Saturday 30 October 2021

Comfortable win

 Both sides had a cagey start, but the game burst into life when Doncaster cleared off the line from a shot by Lee after ten minutes.   At the other end Famewo received a yellow card.  

Leko was injured and replaced by DJ.  He did have a slight groin injury coming into the game.

Lee put Charlton 1-0 ahead on 21 minutes from a free kick.

Doncaster's finest

Amusement was caused by a topless bloke in the Doncaster end throwing some sparring punches towards the East Stand from 50 feet away. He did briefly get on the pitch and was led away.

Doncaster were having most of the possession, but weren't creating anything.

Gilbey was brought down and the referee awarded a penalty. Conor Washington scored on his 50th appearance for Charlton on 33 minutes to make it 2-0.

Dobson was playing a key role in midfield in winning the first ball.

A shot by Washington was saved well to deny Charlton a third.

Dobson put in an excellent ball to Washington but Purrington put it wide at the near post.

Doncaster did not really create anything in the first half.

HT: 2-0

DJ put in a cross and Charlton won the corner which was taken short and cleared.

The ball was cleared off the line after Stockley got something on it.

A header from Stockley was straight at the keeper after good play from DJ. Doncaster made a substitution with their top scorer Rowe coming on.

Charlton had a free kick in a promising position. Lee took the free kick and Stockley made a run across his man to make it 3-0 on 62 minutes.

Purrington got his claws out to make it 4-0 at the far post on 70 minutes with a superb header after a great ball from DJ.

On 75 minutes Lee went off to a standing ovation and was replaced by Clare. Doncaster also made a substitution.

Davison replaced Washington.

Gilbey put in a shot but the keeper saved to his right after it nearly crept past him. Dahlberg then flicked Stockley's header on to the bar. Without the keeper it could have been six or seven.

Stockley's header went straight at the keeper following a Charlton corner.

Charlton moved out of the relegation zone. A sterner test awaits on Tuesday. Rotherham beat Sunderland 5-1 today with any head butts. Curbs said it would be a totally different game. If we could get anything against Rotherham we were suddenly looking upwards. We should look at five or six games before making a decision about a manager.

Elliot Lee said it was a good atmosphere with the supporters singing, it gave a lift. 'I am getting my fitness, my sharpness, I had flu three weeks ago. We were better than them all over the pitch. We know we could have got more but we'll take 4-0. It will be a tough game on Tuesday night. We're all high on confidence now.'

Johnnie Jackson said he was really pleased with the clean sheet, a good solid performance, probably should have scored more. It was a blow losing Leko so early, credit to DJ he was ready to come into that role, we had done some work with him for that eventuality earlier in the week. The skip (Pearce) was an absolute rock. We had a real good shape about us, limited them to very few chances. We got the better of them through hard work, Doncaster are a good team. We got 100 per cent commitment from what we were asking of them. There's so much quality in that room but we haven't been showing it. Through pure endeavour and pure intent your quality will show through. An incredibly proud day to see the Valley rocking.

Friday 29 October 2021

Jacko sets out his agenda

Johnnie Jackson talks about his approach to football and asks Charlton players to adopt the same approach as he did with dedication to the cause and a hard work rate:

JJ admits that his first home game against Doncaster will be 'difficult':

Doncaster Rovers are making something of a recovery from their poor form.   3-0 against Cheltenham Town last Saturday, the eventual scoreline was 3-2.  They followed this up with a midweek 1-1 home draw against Cambridge United.

They have lost all seven matches away from home, scoring just two goals and conceding 16.  The weather looks as if it will be wet tomorrow which could make the game more unpredictable.

The long-term injury to Sam Lavelle is a blow to Charlton as he was our best central defender and was settling into the side well.   Famewo is more erratic.   Whether Jason Pearce or West Ham target Deji Elerewe should replace him is being debated among fans.   I think that on balance I would prefer the experience offered by Pearce.

Tuesday 26 October 2021

JJ and Euell have shortest odds as next manager

Not surprisingly Johnnie Jackson and Jason Euell are out in front and they may well get the roles they occupy on a caretaker basis, certainly that would please many fans:

Some names are are either unlikely to join a relegation threatened League One club (Chris Wilder) or leave a club where they are enjoying success (Ryan Lowe - what is more Plymouth have £6m in the bank.  More on Plymouth's finances here:

For those who like someone with Charlton connections, Mark Bowen who played at the Greatest Game might be a long shot.   Michael Flynn would be an interesting possibility, but surprisingly ex Spanner Neil Harris is at 10-1.

Monday 25 October 2021

Charlton's recruitment failure

Chris Dunlavy gives his verdict in this week's Football League Paper on the sacking of Nigel Adkins.

'This summer the Addicks released 16 players, all of them on July 1.   Yet it was the end of September by the time the squad was fully rebuilt.'

'Nine of Charlton's 15 signings arrived after the season had begun.   Three - Sam Lavelle, Harry Arter and Jonathan Leko - turned up on deadline day, whilst Papa Souare and Stephen Henderson, both free agents, made their entrance in September.'

'That's nine players - four of whom were in Adkins' final squad for Tuesday's 3-2 defeat to Accrington - who didn't receive any preparation for the season at all.'

'Covid-19. Two years of empty stadiums have emptied cash reserves across the EFL, and Charlton are not the only club to take transfers to the wire in the pursuit of value.'  But 'Plymouth Argyle, a club with a significantly lower budget and a geographical disadvantage, had completed eight of their ten signings by the middle of July.'

'It does suggest that Charlton's technical director, Ged Roddy, and head of recruitment Steve Gallen, are as culpable for the club's current predicament as the man who paid the price.'   Most fans would attach more blame to Roddy than Gallen, although I think that the decision-making structure was overloaded in a way that hampered decisiveness.

I do think that Dunlavey hasn't told the whole story.   For me some of Adkins's formations were both too complex and too rigid while his team selection was also open to criticism, even if it was compromised by a lack of fitness.   Players work better with a formation that is clear but fluid which is what Johnnie Jackson provided on Saturday.

Sunday 24 October 2021

Stockley out for three games?

Shell shocked Sunderland manager Lee Johnson has stated that 'Jayden Stockley won't be available for the next three games because he head butted Tom Flanagan flush in the face. That will have to go to the FA.'

'It's an absolute stonewall red card and then he's gone on to score the goal.  There's eight pairs of eyes who should be able to see that, but for whatever reason, they didn't.'

Fortunately Flanagan did not require any treatment after the vicious assault and was able to play out the game.  Not surprising as it was a shoulder nudge.

It's unusual for the referee to wear a Charlton shirt, but Johnson was unhappy with the overall performance of Drysdale.

Saturday 23 October 2021

Victory at the Stadium of Light

Sunderland lost at home for the first time this season to Johnnie Jackson's Charlton who won 1-0 with a goal claimed by Jayden Stockley.   A performance was called for and Charlton played as a team with some particularly good defensive work. 

Curbs praised Dobson in the middle of the park for doing the job that had to be done.  He said, 'Everyone has played their part.'

Steve Brown said that none of us envisaged a clean sheet at Sunderland.   The game against Doncaster was now even more crucial.  He gave Johnnie credit for getting the two up front which Sunderland didn't expect.

Curbs said there was a lot more aggression about it, we made some blocks when we had to.  Steve Brown said this was a side determined not to leak a goal.   Curbs had been quite right to highlight Dobson, he did the donkey work.   Charlton were tiring towards the end.

Dobson the hero of the day

Curbs said that Dobson made sure he was in the right place at the right time defensively, allowing Lee to go on his runs.   If we could get two home wins, we would be looking at mid-table.

Dobson said: 'The last few weeks have been tough, find yourself out of favour.   I should be keeping my shirt.  For me personally it was unbelievable.  The team gave absolutely everything for each other and there was a lot of quality as well.   We've set a standard and we've got to make sure we're at that level every game.'

'We had a change of formation with three at the back and we decided to go high press, making it five at the back at times.  Next week we can put extra layers on to what we showed today.  We can't get too carried away, it's only one game.   It's a start.'

Curbs said that Purrington was outstanding.  It's hard to pick someone who didn't do his job.  Steve Brown praised Pearce for the way he came off the bench.  He kept the back line nice and solid.

JJ said it was bit of a roller coaster, particularly the five minutes added on.  'We worked as long as we could yesterday.  I've changed the shape.  I had to keep it simple, but I stressed you have to run, you have to work.  What they gave on the pitch was what I asked.   The message got through.   I said at half time "We haven't come here to nick a point, we've come to win the game."'

'We know we've been conceding too many goals, you have to start with a clean sheet.  Against a team that scores many goals, that's brilliant.'

'You need to get that win, you need a statement win and a statement performance.  They needed this win. The mood in the changing room is fantastic.  If it's a one off, its not good enough.  They have shown me what they are capable of.   There's loads of work to be done.  I like two strikers on the pitch.  I try to keep the message simple without overloading them.  It's good we've got a clear week on the training pitch.'

Curbs said that Charlton fans were hoping for this reaction.  He'd made big decisions, made a statement. 'We all needed a lift.'

Steve Brown said the squad was top heavy and it needed to be trimmed down a bit.

Match report

Charlton started with a fluid 4-4-2 formation with three or four at the back.  Sunderland won an early corner after a MacGillivray save, but Matthews headed away.  Charlton briefly switched off defensively, but Sunderland shot wide.

Charlton won four corners in a row.  From one of them Stockley should perhaps have gone for goal after a good ball from Washington.

After another corner won by Srockley, Charlton had a spell of pressure.  Just after the half hour Lavelle went down with a groin injury and was replaced by Pearce

Leko went down after good defensive work in the penalty area to deal with attacking full back Cirkin. A shot was saved by MacGillivray.  A good counter attack led to a Charlton corner.   Dobson took one for the team with a yellow card.

HT: 0-0

Leko put in a great cross but Purrington was unable to connect.

There was a moment of danger when the ball bobbled in front of MacGillivray after a Sunderland corner.  Cirkin hit the crossbar 11 minutes into the half.  Sunderland built up the pressure.   A shot from Leko was blocked.

Sunderland manager Lee Johnson got a yellow card.  On 66 minutes Stockley, making use of a ball from Leko, scored with a header leading to a chorus of 'You're not fit to referee' from the home crowd.

Leko was doing great work as a wing back.  Sunderland made two substitutions.  A Sunderland free kick 10 yards from the area went straight into the wall.

Sunderland called for a penalty for a handball, but Pearce defended with his face.   Leko couldn't get on the end of a Washington touch.  On 79 minutes Sunderland made their third substitution.  Washington made a good run in a counter attack but Hoffman saved.

Purrington got a yellow card for time wasting.  Evans got a yellow card for a late challenge on Famewo.

With five minutes added on DJ replaced Leko and the substitute made a contribution.   Charlton stood firm, as well organised as they had been all match.

The teams around us won, Doncaster beat Cheltenham 3-2 and Shrewsbury who won 4-1 against Cambridge.   Charlton are still third from bottom.

Friday 22 October 2021

Sandgaard: a shock to the system was needed

Thomas Sandgaard says that it was a difficult decision to get rid of Nigel Adkins as he had enjoyed working with him, but sometimes a shock to the system was necessary:

Some Charlton fans have argued that a wider shock to the system was necessary, in particular getting rid of Roddy, given a poor pattern of recruitment over the summer.  I am not saying that they are wrong, simply that I don't know enough about how decisions are made.  However, there may be a case of too many cooks spoiling the broth and it would be good to have a CEO in overall charge.

No rushed decisions will be made about a replacement and Johnnie Jackson will be given time to show what he can do which is only fair.

Thursday 21 October 2021

JJ makes his ambition clear

Johnnie Jackson has made it clear that he wants to be permanent manager at Charlton:

I admire his ambition and I hope he makes the grade, although I have my doubts.

He admits it will be a tough start at Sunderland on Saturday, but anything better than a 3-0 defeat would be a step forward.   The real test will be against Doncaster.

Ramsgate verdict on Adkins exit

VOTV editor Rick Everitt spells out his views on the departure of Nigel Adkins:

Like many of us, the Rickster thinks there may be something deeper that is wrong at the club than the coaching methods used by Adkins being outdated.   

It would be good to have the Ramsgate-based fan's diagnosis of what this might be, beyond the usual complaints about Roddy.  I don't have enough information to decide whether these are well founded or not.

Exit for Adkins

Nigel Adkins has left Charlton and Johnnie Jackson and Jason Euell are in temporary charge:

Whether this represents a longer term solution remains to be seen.   Jackson is understandably popular with fans, but he was also in charge of defensive coaching under the Adkins set up which is hardly a recommendation.   However, attracting a good manager to a League One club in the relegation zone will not be easy.

We shall also have to see if the players are good enough to respond to different leadership, again I have my doubts.

Richard Cawley reports: 'Just had a chat with Thomas Sandgaard. He's made it clear that no rush to bring in a replacement and that Johnnie Jackson will get a crack at showing what he can do.'

Wednesday 20 October 2021

Is Adkins on the brink?

Louis Mendez provides his four take aways from last night's defeat and says 'it is hard to see how Adkins can survive this':

Louis Mendez provides excellent coverage of Charlton and I hate to disagree with him.  After all, he has the contacts inside the club.  But the tea leaves I am reading suggests that Adkins is here to stay, at least for now.

Positive results can win back fans says Adkins

Nigel Adkins still believes that he can win back the support of Charlton fans with positive results.  He said that he had a thick skin and wanted to be at the club:

This leaves an impasse as it is clear from social media comments that he has lost the confidence of most fans while Thomas Sandgaard has no intention of sacking him in the short run.

Once again the whole focus is on the manager, but it is the players who are on the pitch and they have to take some responsibility for woeful defending that gave away soft goals.

Tuesday 19 October 2021

Adkins under pressure as Sandgaard flies in

Thomas Sandgaard has flown from the United States for tonight's game against Accrington Stanley as pressure mounts on Nigel Adkins:

Some fans are suggesting that Sandgaard is unwilling to sack the beleaguered boss because of the compensation he would command.   I think that a bigger issue is the lack of availability of a good replacement willing to take on a League One club in a relegation battle.

Forget Chris Wilder or Chris Powell giving up his England role.   Johnnie Jackson and Jason Euell would no doubt be caretakers after a dismissal, but arguably Jackson in particular is as much part of the problem as part of the solution.

As for Curbs in an advisory role, it's a long time since he did that at Fulham and it wasn't a great success.

Saturday 16 October 2021

Curbs: we face a relegation battle

Charlton lost 2-1 at Lincoln this afternoon and it would be difficult to claim that it was an unfair result. Charlton have dropped a place in the table.

Lincoln had twelve attempts to five and five on target to two.  After starting brightly, the Addicks never seemed to recover from the substitution of Elliot Lee after what appeared to be an injury but in fact was an illness.

Curbs said that after Lee was substituted we were second best all over the pitch.  'We've got so many flair players, if we can't get hold of the ball and impose ourselves, we are on the back foot.'  After the equaliser, we never kicked on.

Jon Fortune said that the shape of the back four didn't look right, the balance of the team wasn't right.  No individual performances stood out for him.  He didn't believe that we were going to put a run of four or five games together.   Nothing was going to happen until we put performances together.

Curbs said it was flat.  If we didn't put the run together, we faced a relegation battle.  It was going to be a long slog.   We had to start on Tuesday.  Scott Minto said that this was where the team really needed the fans.

Arter could have been sent off for a second yellow.   He was trying to get the side going as other players were arm waving and screaming at each other.

Nigel Adkins said we had changed it a bit at half time.  He said we had a clear blatant penalty on the 90th minute.  (The analysts found it difficult to comment on this subsequently).  We should have stopped the cross coming in.   It's fine margins.  Tight calls go against you. Charlie and Josh had not done as well as Josh and Elliot.  

Scott Minto asked if he had been tempted to go for two up front, but didn't get a clear answer.   Adkins said that he wanted to get consistency in the team.

Match report

Charlton started with a 4-2-3-1.   The Addicks started well, but Famewo had to make a good block as Scully and Lincoln threatened.   Leko put in an effort to the right of the post.  Gilbey got a yellow card after a necessary intervention.

Lee had to come off and Blackett-Taylor replaced him, Kirk moving to the centre.

Scully scuffed a shot wide from a good chance after Blackett-Taylor was caught out.  Arter got a yellow card.

Charlton were on the back foot and Johnnie Jackson was screaming at Blackett-Taylor.   Lincoln had a succession of three corners, Davison making a good clearance with a header from one of them.

HT: 0-0

Davison had not been very effective and Srockley replaced him ten minutes into the half.  A hard ball came from a Lincoln corner and Stockley turned it into an open net.  Curbs said that it was a terrible goal to concede.

From a Charlton corner, Stockley flicked it into the danger area, it was blocked on the line but Lavelle poked it past the keeper to make it 1-1.

Stockley got a yellow card.   A Scully shot was saved by MacGillivray at the expense of a corner.  Maguire shot wide.  Stockley headed away from a corner.

Arter was replaced by Watson.  Blackett-Taylor seemed to be struggling with his fitness.  A Scully header found the back of the net but was disallowed for offside.

On 91 minutes from a Lincoln corner the tireless Maguire put in a cross and Poole had a free header to make it 2-1.

Friday 15 October 2021

Contract talks with Elerewe kept private

Charlton will keep talks with Deji Elerewe under wraps.   The player has interested West Ham United and sees Jo Gomez's career as a model:

Thursday 14 October 2021

Verdict on Charlton's poor start

The SLP's Louis Mendez talks to Lincolnshire Live about Charlton's poor start to the season ahead of Saturday's away game against the Imps.  He says that Nigel Adkins is under pressure, but that Thomas Sandgaard is a patient owner:

Wednesday 13 October 2021

Washington scores and Nego appers

Conor Washington scored an opening goal for Northern Ireland in their 2-1 defeat by Bulgaria that ended their World Cup qualification hopes.

Washington's goal for Northern Ireland came from a superb curling cross from the right by Paddy McNair that was met by Josh Magennis, whose header was too close to goalkeeper Ivan Karadzhov, who saved well.

The ball dropped to Washington who fired home the rebound but the goal was ruled out for offside before being awarded after a VAR review showed the striker to be onside.

In the England v. Hungary game former Addick Loic Nego won a penalty for his national side.  How many people saw Nego in his one appearance in an away defeat at Wigan?

Tuesday 12 October 2021

'Give Adkins time to find momentum'

The London Football Scene blog assesses the situation at Charlton:

The article argues: 'There is undoubtedly quality within the squad and Adkins’ tactical flexibility in his quest to find it should be applauded as opposed to having a manager at the helm who stubbornly sticks to a failing approach on the off-chance it works.

 Bringing in a new manager would see another restart without any guarantee of solving Charlton’s current problems or achieving long-term success. What would most likely happen is an adoption of defensive pragmatism and long-ball tactics in order to arrest the slide without any sort of promise of a Valley spectacle anytime soon. 

Furthermore, the tenacity with which Charlton defended their second-half lead at Fleetwood before the international break showed defensive improvement.  Now they have something to build on, Adkins should at least be given until the next international window to find some much-needed momentum. 

Monday 11 October 2021

Surreal move for Davison from Enfield to Charlton

An extensive interview with Josh Davison in which he talks about he nearly played for a team in Latvia and had a trial with the Spanners:

Coming from playing at 300 or 400 to being on the bench at Bristol City was quite surreal.   Lee Bowyer was tough with him and helped him to develop his hold up play, while Darren Pratley helped him settle in.

Friday 8 October 2021

Chris Powell talks about the European championships

Chris Powell talks at length about his memories of the European Championships this summer.  He found defeat in the final very difficult and did not go out for several days afterwards, to the detriment of the dog:

Tuesday 5 October 2021

Leko finds his 'happy place'

The SLP's Louis Mendez gives Blues fans a progress report on Jonathan Leko, arguing that he has found his 'happy place' at Charlton:

Sunday 3 October 2021

Kirk has taken time to adjust says Adkins

Nigel Adkins says that Charlie Kirk has taken time to adjust to life at Charlton, he also discusses why Jayden Stockley has not started:

Saturday 2 October 2021

Charlton back to winning ways

 Charlton won what was effectively a six pointer 2-1 at Fleetwood this afternoon, rewarding the 300 fans who had made the long journey north.   The Addicks remain in the relegation position fourth from bottom, but it gives hope.

Jayden Stockley got Charlton's winner as they ended a run of six games without a victory by beating Fleetwood 2-1.   Jonathan Leko opened the scoring for Charlton with a low drive shortly before the break but Danny Andrew hit a stunning free kick early in the second half.

But Stockley, who had only replaced Josh Davison seven minutes earlier, hit an emphatic winning goal with 20 minutes remaining.

Charlton had deservedly led at the break, having had the better of the chances in the first half, with Charlie Kirk guilty of wasting their best opening by skewing well wide from 12 yards.

Elliot Lee, who had created Kirk's chance, had the favour returned moments later but he lost his footing just as he was shaping to shoot.

Fleetwood's best opening of the half saw Harrison Biggins play Callum Camps in behind the defence, but keeper Craig MacGillivary was out quickly to narrow the angle and save.

In the 51st minute, Biggins was fouled 25 yards out and Andrew found the top corner.

The Addicks should have restored their lead when Lee again found Kirk a few yards from goal but he couldn't make the required connection.

Davison also hit the post from a tight angle as it seemed Charlton's dominance wouldn't transfer into three points.

But Stockley pounced on Leko's pass to slam the winning goal into the roof of the net.

Four takeaways from Louis Mendez in which he says 'don't underestimate the importance of that win':

Friday 1 October 2021

Curbs could be better used than as a pundit

Steve Brown thinks that Alan Curbishley should be brought in as a key advisor at Charlton:

Many fans have argued that his talents are wasted sitting in the stand that bears his name given the current crisis of the club.   Sometimes it seems that he has been hinting at such a role.