Thursday 29 December 2022

Latest takeover developments: tragedy or farce?

Rick Everitt has stated: ‘Sandgaard is aiming to sell 80% of Charlton for £11.3m, but contributions as small as $75k are being sought from small investors in Texas (by the potential purchasers, not Sandgaard), which suggests group lacks serious funds and no Valley purchase is likely.

Potential small investors are being told of recent appointments (including Rodwell, Warrick, Holden, Scott) and also that major cost reductions are feasible following bad management.

My take on the latest info is that the intention here is to flip Charlton - there would be some short-term spending but the cost-cutting claims being made (no doubt for the benefit of gullible Americans) are absolutely risible as a business plan.’

Another contributor on Twitter stated: ‘Potential investors are being asked not only to buy in, but also to take on a share of the annual losses.   I can’t imagine many people falling for that, nor blithely accepting glib references to cost reduction opportunities.’

This all looks ramshackle to me and confirms my view that nothing significant is imminent.  This all looks ramshackle to me and confirms my view that nothing significant is imminent.  However, Everitt has subsequently stated that Sandgaard has signed a deal with the Methven group including an exclusivity deal for due diligence.

Based on what I saw in the Netflix series on Sunderland, Methven is not good news.   Like all old Etonians, he has excessive confidence in his own good judgment.

The esteemed Drinking During the Game blog has unearthed another man of many parts hanging round the club, Simon Lenagan whose father was at one time the owner of Oxford United:

It is difficult to say whether this is a tragedy or a farce, probably both.

Friday 23 December 2022

American investment firm linked with Charlton

Unconfirmed reports have linked American private investment firm Carlisle Capital with Charlton.  They are based in Portsmouth N.H. and seek long-term value in their investments:

The bid is being spearheaded by Adam Binnie - vice president of Carlisle Capital - who wants to add a traditional English club to his company’s portfolio. They regard Charlton as an under performing club with great potential.

Their president was born in Scotland and they have interests in media and real estate.    They were involved in an unsuccessful bid to take Derby County out of administration.   They withdrew because of complications over stadium ownership.   This could be an issue at Charlton.

Thursday 22 December 2022

Short contract for Holden

Dean Holden's contract will run until the end of the season, Andy Scott's runs until the end of January, but he is hoping for longer.  This may depend on any ownership changes.  Meanwhile, Scott sees his role as strengthening the squad by the end if January:

Holden visited the Royal Oak last night.

Steve Gallen will be involved in transfer negotiations.

Wednesday 21 December 2022

Methven denies imminent takeover stories

Charlie Methven has spoken to the SLP's Richard Cawley:

He denies press reports that he has putting together a consortium of Americans and Qataris to acquire the club.   However, he says that SE7 Partners is the vehicle he and Warrick would use if they thought a takeover was viable in the future.

One of Methven's gimmicks at Sunderland was to change the stadium music, so watch out for the Red, Red Robin (mind you, getting rid of Addicks to Victory would be a plus):

Methven is an old Etonian and a public relations consultant, although chancer and opportunist might be more appropriate:

Tuesday 20 December 2022

The plot thickens

As expected Dean Holden has been appointed as Charlton manager and I wish him well in his months with us.  Andy Scott is the new de facto Director of Football.   A new chief operating officer (Jim Rodwell) has been appointed.

What is mysterious is that the new finance director (Ed Warrick) is co-director of a shell company called SE7 Partners with Charlie Methven.   Rick Everitt thinks this could be the beginning of the end of Sandgaard, but we shall see.

I do not have a favourable view of Methven, albeit largely based on the televised series about Sunderland.

Dean Holden tipped as new manager

Richard Cawley has stated: 'Nobody denying that Dean Holden is set to be Charlton's new manager, Put it that way. And quite a few calls and messages have gone into people who could easily deny it!' He subsequently stated that Holden will become head coach today. It is expected to be a three and a half year deal.

Cawley is also expecting 'other structural changes'. Anthony Hayes will still take the team against Brighton.

Richard Cawley has stated: 'Indications as well that there is or was set to be staff meeting yesterday, now today. Suggests that even chief executive role could be filled as that would usually warrant some more formal kind of announcement. Another source has confirmed Andy Scott is defo coming in.'

However, some other sources have denied that there will be a chief executive appointment today.

More from Richard Cawley here:

There are unconfirmed reports that Andy Scott will be director of football:,_born_1972)

After a long playing career as a defender, Holden has had primarily assistant or caretaker manager roles at Oldham Athletic, Bristol City and Stoke City:

He is available and presumably not too expensive.

Monday 19 December 2022

Sandgaard denies Mansour deal

There are conflicting stories on social media tonight but Thomas Sandgaard has denied that there is any deal with Mansour, although a new manager appointment may be imminent.

Richard Cawley states: ‘Thomas Sandgaard has just called me to deny that there is any deal with Mansour. Says he has never spoken to him or ever had any dealings with him. Also adds that Methven [formerly at Sunderland] is not going to be appointed to any role.’  [Rumours that he would become CEO].

Sandgaard also added that there is set to be an announcement tomorrow but "not about investment or change of ownership" but about "a change of personnel". He adds: "I'm hoping the fans will like the appointment."

Richard Cawley has also denied rumours that Lee Bowyer will be returning.

Peter Varney has stated: ‘I have nothing to do with Mansour nor do I know if he has any interest in the club. Please support the team on Wednesday and make it a noisy and positive atmosphere however negative you feel about our current predicament.’

Egyptian conglomerate interested in Charlton

Rick Everitt has stated: 'Interesting Charlton have been linked with FC Nordsjaelland as that is a name I’ve heard over many months as possible investors. Does pull together a lot of the strands of the story.'

They are a Danish team from North Zealand playing in their country's Super League:

The club is owned by leading African football academy Right to Dream which has itself seen Egyptian conglomerate Mansour Group acquire a majority shareholding.   Mansour, reportedly worth £2bn, has recently been appointed senior treasurer of the Conservative Party in return for his generous donations and is looking for an English football club to buy:

Thursday 8 December 2022

Who is responsible for our current plight?

Create your own user feedback survey

Tuesday 6 December 2022

Ben Garner sacked

For once the rumours were right.  Ben Garner was sacked as Charlton manager this morning after taking training.  When Richard Cawley tried to contact the club yesterday, he got a formal denial.

Garner's tactics and team selections were criticised and I am not claiming that he was a genius.  However, any manager would have found it difficult to achieve the goals he was given on the budget he was provided with.

A balanced appraisal by supporter Ben Hayes was: 'Garner seemed to place his football philosophy above winning games. He wasn't backed financially and had ridiculous injuries but he was not getting the best out of what he had,'

Our greatest success has come with managers in place for some time: Seed, Lawrence, Curbishley.  Since Curbs left in 2006 we have been through 14 managers in 16 years.

There is a great deal to be said for managerial stability.  Apart from anything else, sacking managers costs money that could be spent on players.  At my non-league club we have had the same manager for 12 years and he has delivered steady performance on a small budget.

It will be interesting to see who wants to take on this poisoned chalice now.   Whatever happens, the owner can't be sacked.    Unfortunately, more fans may become disillusioned and cease being active supporters.

Louis Mendez has said on BBC Radio London that he would be surprised if Lee Bowyer wanted to come back.  Given the emphasis on the style of play maybe they would want another young manager who played it around at the back until everyone got bored and went home.

Richard Cawley commented: 'Kenny Jackett has been at recent matches. Not saying this with any info that he is in the frame at all, but he is out of work and available. Equally, Tom Watt might get a short-term crack at it.'

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink has also been mentioned (groan). If you have any good suggestions, put them in comments and I will organise an online poll in a few days.

Richard Cawley's take on the sacking is here:

Wednesday 14 September 2022

Remarks by new director draw scorn from fans

Remarks by Charlton non-executive director Leo Rifkind have gone like a lead balloon with fans.

Rifkind tweeted, ‘Financial sustainability in football means money going out = money going in. This means that the club is its own guardian and is ultimately not dependent on ownership funding. We, the fans, as supporting a club in buying tickets effectively own the decision making of a club.’

VOTV editor Rick Everitt retorted, ‘In what sense are you a fan and who are you to tell us about Charlton? You’re just hired help and you know nothing about what works or doesn’t work at this club. If you had any understanding you’d tell Thomas Sandgaard his pricing is absurd, as fans all know.’

Legal eagle Lauren Kreamer commented: ‘The first is that it's staggeringly ill-timed, coming after a bang-average draw to Forest Green on a rainy Tuesday night with the Valley about 1/3 full (if that), where our lack of summer investment was all too apparent.

The idea that fans not buying tickets is the problem would be laughable if it weren't so insulting. People are lying awake at night wondering how they're going to pay their energy bills this winter, and tickets are over £30. There are a multitude of factors at play.

If fans "effectively owned the decision-making", we would have spent some of the Pope + Burstow millions on a striker this summer, we wouldn't have touched the Robots with a bargepole, and the proper Charlton people who have been "made redundant" would still be at the club.

Anyone who believes that ticket sales alone could ever give financial sustainability is deluded. On Duchâtelet's (admittedly daft) valuation of the Valley, we would have to sell it out at £30 a ticket (with zero other expenditure) over 60 times to buy it back. See the problem?

The idea that fans are to blame for what we're seeing is deeply concerning. It's out of a playbook we thought had been thrown out. If you can ask us with a straight face "how we are prepared to support our club", you have clearly learned nothing in your short time at our club.

It's 30 years since our fans founded a political party, dug weeds with their bare hands, did everything in their power to get us home. I was six months old. 28 years later, I did what little I could to keep our club safe, like so many have done before me. It's what we do.

Supporter groups have tried time and again to share our combined centuries of knowledge about the club we love. We've mostly been ignored. If you genuinely want to hear our thoughts and learn from our expertise, you know where we are.’

A response from CAS Trust is here:

Saturday 16 July 2022

Charlton predicted to finish 11th

Four Four Two have predicted a 11th place finish for Charlton.  They state: 'Owner Thomas Sandgaard wants a promotion push, but a squad rebuild is required.  It may be hard for manager Garner to honour his chairman's ambition in his first season, even with the additions of goalkeeper Jogo Wollacott and centre back Eoghan O'Connell.'

Fan file writer Natasha Everitt goes for an optimistic 6th place finish.   She says that the key player will be Jayden Stockley and the player she'd most like to have back is Joe Aribo, noting that 'We miss midfield firepower.'  She selects Charlie Kirk as the most underrated player.  She draws attention to Deji Elerewe who 'reminds me of a young Joe Gomez who plays beyond his years.'

The magazine predicts a first place for the Massives and a second place for the Tractors.

Monday 30 May 2022

87 per cent of Charlton fans also support a non-league club

87 per cent of the Charlton fans who responded to our poll said that they do support a non-league club (remember that the bar for support was set quite low), but there was a big range of clubs supported.

Ebbsfleet United was the most supported club, but accounted for just 15 per cent of all responses.

  1. Ebbsfleet United (15%)
  2. Welling United (12%)
  3. Bromley (11%)
  4. Dartford (11%)
  5. Dulwich Hamlet (8%)
  6. Non-league club elsewhere in UK (8%)
  7. Other Kent club (5%)
  8. Maidstone United (3%)
  9. Other London club (1%)
  10. Others (27%)

Bray Wanderers

The 'other' clubs named were: Dover Athletic, 2; Ashford United; Bray Wanderers in Ireland (Charlton played them in a friendly many years ago); Clapton; Cray Wanderers; Concord Rangers; Dorking Wanderers (now National League); Halesowen Town; Hampton; Hashtag United;  Herne Bay; Kidderminster Harriers; Leamington; Margate; Sheffield FC (one of the oldest football clubs); Solihull Moors (who could be going up to the Football League); Southport; Stansted; Sutton United (now in League Two).

Thursday 26 May 2022

Survey on new manager

Give your views on Ben Garner as Charlton manager. Create your own user feedback survey

Wednesday 25 May 2022

Rocking Robins boss is new Charlton manager

Swindon Town boss Ben Garner is to be the new Charlton manager.   Richard Cawley of the SLP says that the deal has been agreed tonight, including the compensation paid to the Rocking Robins.

Garner will bring in Scott Marshall and Scott Lindsey who were his assistant coaches at Swindon.   What this will mean for Jason Euell is unclear.

My initial reaction was that I was a bit underwhelmed, but realistically managers of the calibre of Beale or Warburton are not going to come to a League One club that finished in the bottom half of the table.

Swindon fans are unhappy.   One commented: 'We give a rooky manager a chance to prove himself and he kicks us in the teeth as soon as a new opportunity presents itself.'

Garner started coaching at an early age following a serious injury and came through the ranks at Crystal Palace:

Sunday 22 May 2022

New survey: do you support a non-league club as well as Charlton?

If you support more than one non-league club choose the one you most closely identify with and perhaps add a comment

Create your own user feedback survey

Sunday 15 May 2022

Two relegated clubs we face next season

Of the clubs relegated from the Championship, we have already discussed Derby County whose takeover is still not resolved:

Barnsley have been through the mill,  At Barnsley, where Chien Lee and Paul Conway are co-chairmen, a spokesperson for the Conway Out! campaign group tells Off The Pitch that it has been “a record breaking terrible season.”

They say that concerns about being part of a multi group model were initially overlooked “due to our excitement that we were bought by a consortium with a net worth of £9 billion.”

Billy Beane, the legendary baseball executive of “Moneyball” fame is also a Barnsley shareholder. But the Conway Out group say that the Moneyball football decisions have been disastrous for the club. They allege that the style of play that got Barnsley to last year’s play offs was changed “because there wasn’t enough interest in our players due to our direct style.” They claim this was adopted so the owners “could sell our players for more profit.”

The benefits of being part of a Multi Club Ownership (as practiced by Roland) have been at best opaque. “The only real effect on us is that some of our younger players have been loaned out to Esbjerg and a few of our players who weren't good enough were transferred to Nancy and Oostende. But apart from that, there hasn't been any other effects yet.”

The spokesperson added: “I’d love to think that this is just an exception, and one bad season at Barnsley due to a few bad decisions due to the ownership group. Unfortunately, we aren't the only club in the ownership group that have been relegated this season, with Nancy officially relegated and Esbjerg on the brink of relegation.”

Barnsley may not find it easy next season.

Peterborough United are not one of my favourite clubs, partly because of their very physical tactics at The Valley a few years back when, as usual, we got little protection from the referee.

The Posh have plans to move out of their rather ramshackle London Road ground, but the riverside site planned for the new stadium is controversial and funding is unclear.

They are a club who think they are entitled to be in the Championship, but have great difficulty staying there when they do get promoted.   However, I rate Grant McCann as a manager and they will be a handful next season.

Tuesday 10 May 2022

Fans' top picks for next manager

With 190 responses to our poll on the next Charlton manager, Mark Warburton is out in front with 33 per cent.   He and Michael Beale in second account for nearly 50 per cent of the selected responses.   There were a lot of suggestions in comments which I will report on later, but Curbs and Chris Powell appeared a lot.

Mark Warburton
Michael Beale
Darren Ferguson
Neil Lennon
Michael Appleton
Matt Gray
Paul Tisdale
Michael Carrick

Sunday 8 May 2022

50-50 split on Jacko sacking

Our survey on whether Jacko should have been sacked has attracted 162 responses and fans have split 54% - 46% that he should have been.

This is, of course, not a representative sample of fans, but it is not out of line with the balance of comments on social media.

The rights and wrongs of his removal and the way in which it was done is now water through the Thames barrier, although I would like to thank him for his years of committed service to the club.

We now need to look to the future which is why I am running a poll on who fans would like to see as the next manager.   I listed some of the most frequently mentioned names, but it could well be an appointment out of left field.

Both surveys will remain open for a few more days.

Friday 6 May 2022

Next Charlton manager

You can vote here. The list is lrgely based on quoted odds, but excludes Seane Dyche (no hope), Hasselbaink and Curbs at 25/1

Create your own user feedback survey

Sandgaard lists Jackson faults

Thomas Sandgaard admits that many fans were upset by the sacking of Johnnie Jackson, but defends his decision:

Sandgaard said: 'There are the fans who understand that maybe we could do better in terms of how we show up at games, the formation we play, our flexibility if a game develops differently to what we expected – how quickly can we transform and adjust to those things? Substitutions etc, there are many things that some fans have picked up on that maybe we could do differently.'

Fans are deeply divided on the issue.   Our Survey Monkey poll which has attracted over 100 responses is showing a 50-50 split.

You can still vote here:

I hope to run a poll on possible candidates for manager over the weekend.

Wednesday 4 May 2022

The case for and against Jacko

Without doing a poll it is difficult to judge the balance of views among Charlton supporters on the removal of Johnnie Jackson as manager.

Let's consider the case for and against.   One fan tweeted: 'Maybe not a popular opinion but Jacko was out of his depth. Will always be a club legend but as a manager the style of play was boring, performances were average at best, tactics were weak.'

Whilst I think the complaints about the 3-5-2 formation were overdone, his obstinacy in refusing to change it or having a Plan B was a concern.   It meant that the opposition knew what they had to do: get in behind a weak defence.

On the other hand, Jacko inherited a poor results platform from Adkins.   Things did get better and the poor run was as much to do with the absence of a forward line as anything.

I was a bit more sceptical about his appointment than some people because I think the preference for a 'Charlton man' means that sentiment often gets in the way of clear thinking and good decision-making.

On balance, I would have let him build a team over the summer and prepare them pre-season, but I also understand why Sandgaard took the decision he did.

However, a great delay in selecting a replacement would be damaging.   New players will be reluctant to sign until they know who the manager is going to be.   Remember that because of the World Cup the League One season starts on the weekend of 30th July, so there won't be much of a pre-season.

I do think the vitriol directed at Thomas Sandgaard is unfair.  The club was on the verge of disappearing when he took over and I don't accept that there was queue of prospective buyers.   If I put £12m into  a business, I would expect some say in what happened.

The concern is, of course, that he does not understand League One football and a number of his immediate aides don't either or don't display much judgment.   But like it or not, he is the owner.  Some fans may not renew their season tickets, but that was likely anyway.

CAS Trust chair Heather McKinlay reflects on the decision here:

Vote here:

Tuesday 3 May 2022

Exhaustive search for Jackson successor

Thomas Sandgaard explains his decision not to extend Johnnie Jackson's contract:

Richard Cawley of the SLP comments: 'Fairly clear indications that the style of football that Thomas Sandgaard wants, he didn't feel was aligned to the way that Johnnie Jackson felt was best way to win promotion.'

Terry Skiverton has also left as coach, but this has not led to any rending of shirts.

Sandgaard says he is looking to next season.   Whoever is chosen should  have no previous connection with the club and can take a long, cool look at things.

However, supremo Sandgaard has said that it will be an exhaustive search, but in the mean time will not affect recruitment:

The decision was a bolt from the blue and the initial reaction from supporters has been predominantly negative.

VOTV editor Rick Everitt commented: 'The detail about Jacko’s contract got very confused but my understanding is final league position this season determined the level of severance pay he’d get. So finishing 13th made sacking him a cheaper option. It wasn’t about an extension this summer.'

Steve Brown commented on BBC London Sport: ''I don't think Johnnie has done badly enough to warrant being sacked. We're so quick in this country to pull the trigger on young managers we put in charge of a football team."

'The best Charlton could have hoped for when JJ took over was 6th and it would have taken a championship winning run to get 6th. I don't look at JJ as the reason they've finished 13th. I look at the squad, recruitment, lack of leadership within the players.'

Monday 2 May 2022

We won't play these clubs next season

Now that Charlton are something of a League One fixture, who will we miss next season?

There will be six clubs leaving League for promotion and relegation this season with a seventh to be decided.

After a traumatic time, Wigan spent well and wisely to secure the championship, also making good use of existing players like Max Power who often tormented us.   They have, however, been something of a yo-yo club over the years.

Not so mich as Rotherham who have had six successive promotions and relegations.  I thought they played the best football in the division.   Paul Warne is an excellent manager.

It will be interesting to see who secures the play off place.   The Franchisees clearly have the momentum, although just failing to secure automatic promotion may undermine that.  The Massives are clearly a possibility as they head for the staging post of the Championship back to their rightful place in the top flight.

Sunderland always seem to go through a play off trauma, although they don't have to face us this year.  In many ways I would like to see Wycombe Wanderers go up as I have a lot of time for Gareth Ainsworth, but they are probably outsiders.   A shout out for Plymouth's Green Army who were denied at the death.  They were probably doomed when a friend who is an Everton fan who lives in Exeter went to watch their last game as he was so fed up with Everton.

At the other end, Doncaster Rovers have declared they will bounce straight back, but I have my doubts.  Crewe never matched up to the challenge of League One football.   I am not sorry to see the back of AFC Wimbledon.  I know they have a squeaky clean image as a fan owned club (a format I oppose), but I think they are not as nice as they make out.

I am very pleased to see the back of Gillingham and the so-called Kent derby.   'Chopper' Harris was very outspoken about what is wrong with that club, although he didn't mention the temporary stand.  At least we will be spared caravans clogging the roads for the home fixture.

Morecambe turned us over and have survived.   They have never been relegated as a club   Fleetwoood Town will continue to offer an enticing away trip in the depths of winter.

What I didn't realise is that Fleetwood are building their own international empire like the City Group. They own Fleetwood United in the UAE's third tier and Western Cape Fleetwood in South Africa's Fourth Division.

Saturday 23 April 2022

Charlton move into top half of table

 Charlton beat the pride of Shropshire 2-0 at The Valley this afternoon in the last home game of the season.   It was six victories out of the last nine.   Charlton are now 12th, just in the top half of the table.

What was to be an unchanged Charlton side from the win at Cambridge faced Shrewsbury Town at The Valley on a chilly afternoon, but DJ replaced Blackett-Taylor after the team had been announced.  He developed a late illness, so late there was no extra sub on the bench.  It was a big miss.

Yann Kermorgant was the guest on Charlton TV and his son was a mascot.  The 'we were better off under Roland' crowd might like to remember how he let Kermorgant go.

Charlton made a good start, as is usually the case.  An effort by DJ was tipped away by Morosi and led to an early Charlton corner.

Pearce had to make a good header away under pressure after Morgan had let the ball slip.

Sean Clare came down awkwardly and the referee sent him off the pitch.

Shrewsbury got into the game a bit more, Fornah putting in a decent shot, and Johnnie Jackson was on the edge of his technical area urging his players on.  Charlton weren't finding to easy to stop the visitors coming forward.   Steve Brown said we had to be better at recognising where they were trying to get in behind.

The ball took a big deflection off Dobson to give Shrewsbury a corner in front of the Covered End.   It ended in a free kick for Charlton.

Charlton's midfielders needed to get involved more to give the Addicks a spell of possession, but Shrewsbury won another corner.   It was headed away by Stockley.

A heavy touch from Famewo in a clearance put Charlton in trouble, but Udoh was unable to take advantage.   Gilbey kept losing possession.    

Matthews sent Washington on his way but the keeper made a good save.  

It had been a catalogue of errors from both sides but with no outcome.   Steve Brown said that Charlton had not been creative and were not keeping the ball well.

Charlton won a corner, a move starting with a good throw by Matthews.   Gilbey's header went straight to Morosi.

It had been a half lacking in intensity.    There was no time added on because as Louis Mendez commented the square root of sod all had happened.  

HT: 0-0

Macca had to make an early double save from Bowman and Daniels before Famewo cleared away.  The Charlton defending had been poor with a lack of communication.

Pearce won a free kick by the corner flag, Morgan's effort leading to a Charlton corner which was cleared.

Washington was in goal but Morosi saved.  A good Morgan corner was met by a powerful Stockley header to make it 1-0.

Macca had to palm away a shot from former Leamington ace Udoh.  

The disappointing Gilbey came off and Aneke came on.   A good move from Charlton with nice work from DJ on the left ended with a header by Aneke straight at Morosi.

Morosi was upset about something that happened behind his goal in the Covered End and the referee made a note.   The referee went to speak to the fourth official and Charlton security.   There was a long delay.

Morgan delivered the free kick well and the power of Aneke's header after he got away from his marker made it 2-0.  

Seven minutes were added on.   Macca had to stretch out and grab the ball.   Charlton applied some pressure, but the third goal didn't come.   A Morgan free kick led to a corner.   The ball went over the bar after both Clare and Stockley went for it.

Kanu came on to loud applause.   Dobson took a shot but it went wide.

The pundits

Curbs said that Macca made a great double save.  It had been a disappointing season.  From where we were when Jacko took over you've got to be well pleased.  It would be a tough old game at Ipswich.  We had to go into the market.    Blackett-Taylor had the turn of pace, but DJ was more tricky in the box.  We weren't playing against the best opposition.   We had one or two scares but survived it.   'I think Jacko will be looking at the back five.  We let some poor goals in.  We need to be a bit more aggressive when we're exposed.  There was scope there to turn it around.'

Post match comments from Jacko here:

Comments from both managers after Shrewsbury's Slovakian goalkeeper made comments about an alleged racist remark directed at him:

It appears that two men ejected from the ground and interviewed by police were wrongly identified:

Friday 15 April 2022

Back to back losses at home

 On a warm day at The Valley Mason Burstow replaced Conor Washington leading to complaints from some fans.

Charlton dominated the early exchanges with Blackett-Taylor prominent.   There were opportunities and Gilbey went close from a Blackett-Taylor cross.  Morgan squandered one by not passing to Blacket-Taylor but putting in a poor shot It was 14 minutes before the Shrimpers had a wild shot on goal.

It was a classic case of Charlton starting the game very well and then losing control.

Macca had to save from danger man Stockton after he was one on one with Pearce a long way up the pitch.   Morecambe were getting into the game more with the Charlton wing backs high up the pitch.

Macca had to touch the ball wide for a corner.    There was too wide a gap between Matthews and Clare and the Shrimpers were starting to pick holes in the Charlton defence.

Stockton, the top scorer in the lead, gave Morecambe the lead after 25 minutes, the ball going in off the post.  There was a failure to track players.

An Albie Morgan shot was saved comfortably.   A Burstow shot went over the bar.

Charlton had a period of pressure with good possession, but Morecambe were able to defend.  A free kick won by Morgan led to a Charlton corner, but nothing more.  Stockley was disappointed with a ball from Morgan.

Clare conceded a free kick for handball.  Famewo did well to clear.

Morecambe went 2-0 ahead with a tidy ball from the edge of the penalty area through a crowd of bodies after there was panic in the back.

Famewo had to concede a corner after some casual play in midfield.   Stockley headed the corner away.

Charlton won a corner, a good effort from Stockley was saved well and the striker's follow up went wide.

Curbs said we had balls flashing across the six yard box.  He had thought they were for the taking, we got in some good positions. Their first goal was really good.  The second goal was avoidable, it should have been cleared.  For the second goal we had four chances to make a challenge and we didn't make any of them.   There were four players around the ball, but none of them took control.  You couldn't take your foot off the pedal, you had to be at it all the time.

HT: 0-2

Good work by Burstow led to a Charlton corner, but it ended in a goal kick.   The ball in from Morgan was not right for Stockley.

After patient build up play by Blackett-Taylor and a great cross the header was won by Burstow and Stockley converted to make it 1-2.

After a Gilbey cross, Blackett-Taylor hit the side netting.

Charlton conceded a corner.   It was taken short and ended in a throw in for the visitors.

A poor throw was intercepted by Gibson and the visitors made it 1-3 to the delight of the Morecambe massive.  Matthews was slow to react and Clare could perhaps have got a bit closer. It was another lapse in concentration. Gilbey was replaced by Washington in response.   It looked like a 3-4-3.

Macca had to come out to ensure that Stockton didn't score.  An effort by Connolly ended on the roof of the net.

Forster-Caskey came on in place of Morgan to provide more midfield quality.

Famewo was brought down by Phillips.   The free kick went past everybody.

Pearce took one for the team and received a yellow card for taking out Stockton.  Burstow was replaced by Aneke.   Arguably Burstow had not been fed enough.  Cooney replaced Gibson for Morecambe.

Clare gave away an unnecessary corner.   Dobson was brought down in the penalty area, but the referee waved it away.

Blackett-Taylor was once again outstanding on the left and his cross enabled Aneke to score with an outstanding header to make it 2-3.

Morecambe made a double substitution and were able to waste some time.   Five minutes were added on.  Dobson made a great turn but his shot went over the bar.

Once again we started a game well, the opposition get a chance and take the lead.  We started the second half brightly and then conceded again.  Pressure at the end of the game did not bring a reward and it was back to back defeats at home.

The pundits

Curbs pointed out that you can't concede three goals at home.  Bradley Allen thought we were worthy of a draw.  Curbs said that Corey had been a revelation at left wing-back.

Bradley Allen said that the changes gave Charlton a lift.   Curbs said that the defender had come across and taken Dobson for the penalty shout.   Bradley Allen thought that the defender did not get a faint touch on the ball.  Curbs said that the reason we were not in the top half of the table was because we had three strikers out.   To concede three goals to a team towards the bottom of the table was hard to take.  

Bradley Allen praised Blackett-Taylor as a young player that showed real promise.   Curbs said people were having to double up on him.  He had to work on his defensive side as he had not played wing back before.

Curbs said it was one step forward and one step back again.  It was interesting to see what Jacko would do now he had three strikers back.  

Charlton had 23 attempts on goal, but just four on target, the same as Morecambe.  Charlton remain 15th, Tuesday's opponents Cambridge United are 14th.

Jacko said: 'It was a frustrating game, end to end, a lot of chances, too many for the opposition.  They were clinical when they did get the opportunities.  I was disappointed with the goals, we gave them the third goal, it deflated us, took us a bit to get going again.  We had a little period in the first half when we lost our concentration and they exploited it.  Corey was outstanding in the second period.  Good to have the big man (Chuks) back.  In the second half the boys gave it everything.

Silent Voice

Voice of the Valley will be on sale as usual at The Valley this afternoon but it will be the last issue of the fanzine apart from a farewell one in September.

The VOTV website will continue in operation and will cover important developments.  Editor Rick Everitt hopes to produce new publications about Charlton.   It is now 30 years since Battle for The Valley was published.

The decision is not a financial one with sales recovering after the pandemic and over 600 copies being posted out to subscribers from the Rickster's Ramsgate base.

It is likely, however, that the demographic of readers is an ageing one.  Digital and podcasts have become all important, although they cannot substitute for the files of back issues I have stored on my shelves.

Fanzines played an important role in the development of fan power in the 1980s and VOTV made an important contribution to the return to The Valley campaign, although many contemporary fans were not born then or were very young.

The closure of the Voice means that I am more likely to keep this website going, although I do not have the Rickster's unrivalled network of contacts and in depth understanding of the club.

Tuesday 12 April 2022

Do you support a non--league club?

This week's Non-League Paper contains a feature on the revival of Ramsgate.   The Kent town is, of course, the home of VOTV editor Rick Everitt, ousted last year as Thanet Council leader.   Although attendances at Ramsgate have grown from around 185 a year ago to 700 now (863 for last week's clash against Haywards Heath Town) I doubt whether the Rickster goes there.

Pushing for a play off place in the Isthmian League South-East, Ramsgate have hired 61-year old former Gillingham and Welling United boss Steve Lovell as manager.   Whether the hiring of the former Glaziers and Spanners striker is quite the coup they think remains to be seen.

At my own non-league club, Leamington, I am known as 'the Charlton supporter'.  The Baggies seem to be the favourite Football League club, although there is also a history of Villa support (there is a bit of tension with Coventry City with one song directed at them).   I am secretary of the vice-presidents club which offers a half time cup of tea and the biscuit of your choice in a 'lounge' (aka portakabin).

I am thinking of doing a survey of the non-league clubs that Charlton fans go to watch when Charlton are not playing, or at least not at home.  My hunch is that the favourites would include Bromley (supported by the SLP's Louis Mendez), Welling United (perhaps less so these days), Dartford and Dulwich Hamlet. However, I would be interested to hear other suggestions for survey prompts.

In days gone by there were quite a few fans who alternated watching Charlton and Millwall and some occasionally went to Arsenal.

Monday 11 April 2022

Dobbo: 'I'm no Frank Lamphard'

George Dobson has pledged to repay Johnnie Jackson's faith in him, shrugging off Nigel Atkins's low opinion of him: 

If anything condemns the Atkins diet, it is that.   He gave us a poor start to the season.   We had a bad run under Jacko, but I would like to know how the armchair critics would have dealt with the absence of key players.   I suppose the answer would be 4-4-2 which is supposed to solve everything.

Dobson comes across as a very modest player who just gets on with it.   He says he would like to get a couple of goals a season, but insists he is no Frank Lampard:

For once it's good to see a defensive midfielder being appreciated by fans.   It is actually one of the most challenging positions to play in.  Perhaps I appreciate because my father played at what was then called left half.   However, two unsung heroes at Charlton are 'Squib' Hammond and Keith Jones.

Pessimists are saying that Dobson will be sold over the summer.  I don't think he is very high profile, but clearly any move in that direction by Sandgaard would be very unpopular.

Saturday 9 April 2022

Charlton grind down Millers

 Charlton made five changes for this afternoon's game against Rotherham at a sunny New York stadium.  Some of them were enforced with Fraser and Lee having had knocks.   Jason Pearce was captain and alongside Akin Famewo in defence.   DJ was replaced by Blackett-Taylor.  Albie Morgan came in with Forster-Caskey on the bench.  Nile John was given a chance to warm the bench.

Rotherham showed off the pizza trophy before the game started.

Kick off was delayed because of a medical emergency in the crowd.  442 Addicks were present.

Rotherham won the first corner after four minutes.  Matthews headed clear.

Pearce made an important block as the home supporters urged their team on.   Pearce and Matt Smith were in a battle.

A free kick was headed away by Gilbey.   A follow up strike was wide.  There was not much to choose between the two sides.  The impressive Smith put the ball over the bar, but he was offside anyway.

Charlton won their first corner after 20 minutes.  It was headed clear by Wood.   After subsequent play, Morgan sent the ball sailing into the stand.

Charlton started to struggle in terms of controlling the ball allowing the home side to take charge.  A corner was conceded.  The ball went to Washington, but Rotherham countered.  

Charlton had an opportunity to score but Rathbone got his foot in on Washington at the expense of a corner.  This was headed away comfortably.

Famewo conceded a corner, his position not being the best.   Pearce headed clear.   It was a brave header and he went down.

Famewo collected the first yellow card of the game after he got a tackle wrong.  Peter Shirtliff said it was naive.  The ball was headed away by Clare.

The home support was quieter except when they were shouting for free kicks.   The half came to a rather scrappy close.   Blackett-Taylor had a chance for a shot but it ended up as a cross and a Rotherham throw in.  Two minutes were added on.

Old school Rotherham

Rotherham had put Charlton under pressure but only had two clear opportunities.   It was a game of not many chances but Charlton had defended well.   Curbs said he was not expecting Rotherham to be so direct.  We couldn't get the ball up to the front two and if we did it wouldn't stick.  Forster-Caskey's stepdad said that the home side were an old fashioned team.  Curbs said we saw so much possession based football these days, but the Millers were old school.

HT: 0-0

Charlton conceded an early corner from the kick off.  Stockley headed clear and then again.  On the whole it was a quiet and indecisive start to the second half.

Clare broke away and created a chance for Charlton.

Morgan fed Dobson who scored a great goal on the volley from just outside the penalty area to make it 0-1 on 56 minutes.

Rotherham were rattled as the home supporters tried to rally them.   Blackett-Taylor put the ball over the bar.   The home side made a double substitution.  

Dobson had to scramble the ball clear for a corner.  The ball was sent over the bar.  Rotherham made a third substitution.   It looked as if Rotherham were going three up top.

The home side applied some pressure, trying to get the ball forward at every opportunity.  Stockley headed the corner clear.   Pearce had to intervene at the expense of another corner.  Macca claimed it well on the edge of his six yard box.

Gilbey's ball was blocked away leading to a Charlton corner which was unproductive.  Dobson's shot was gathered by the Swedish keeper.

Morgan did not give Stockley good service.  Leading goal scorer Smith scuffed a shot.

The home side won a corner.  There was a lot of pushing and shoving.  The referee decided that Macca was fouled.

Stockley tried to chip it over the keeper but he got back in time.  Dobson conceded a free kick.   It was a tricky one for Macca but he caught it superbly out of the sun.

Three minutes were added on.   Blackett-Taylor was replaced by Purrington.   The Charlton fans started Valley Floyd Road.  Rotherham were awarded a free kick, but were unable to take advantage.  

Peter Shirtliff noted that Washington was always running in behind and stretching the home defence.

The pundits

Curbs said that the three centre backs dealt with Rotherham's direct play.   They were magnificent and dealt with everything that came in.   Gilbey and Dobson picked up a lot of the second balls in midfield. Dobson scored a cracking goal.   Forster said that in the second half we took the game to them.  Rotherham kept doing the same thing.   We gave as good as we got.   Stockley had worked his socks off, to a man they had worked their socks off.

George Dobson said he was delighted to score his first goal for the club.  'I just thought I'm going to have a swing it.  When it went in the net there's no better feeling.   Coming across the body it's the toughest technique.  We're putting in good performances, getting ready for next season.   We knew we had to stand up the battle, using Jayden and Conor on the counter attack.  We've just got to use it as fuel for next season.  The start of the season put us in a really tricky situation. '  [Dobson was not part of the Atkins diet].  

Curbs noted he was nowhere under Nigel Atkins, not even on the bench 'he puts in everything.  He's been excellent since he got in the side.  MacGillivray took a lot of pressure for us today.  It's a good run we're having at the moment.  If we finish as strong as we can, it will make us more attractive.'

Jacko: 'It was a really good away performance, I would have liked one or two more goals.  We limited the opposition to a few chances.  I thought we defended brilliantly today, especially in the penalty box.  We worked a lot on that, the lads implemented it brilliantly.  I thought we looked really fit, really strong, full of energy.  I did freshen it up a little bit.   I thought everyone still looked strong in the second half. When you've got a front partnership like Jayden and Stockley it gives you an opportunity to get better results.   We're in a good place, the boys are bouncing in the changing room.'

Charlton remain 15th, but they are just one point behind three teams.   Charlton had five shots on target to Rotherham's one. 

Charlton remain 15th, but they are just one point behind three teams.

Friday 8 April 2022

Charlton 'a really good footballing side'?

I have a lot of time for Rotherham manager Paul Warne.   Opposition managers always try to big up Charlton because it looks better if they win and helps when they get their book of excuses out after a defeat.

Nevertheless, Warne says: 'They've got some outstanding players.  I know I always speak highly of the opposition, but as we have seen, respectfully, every team can cause you problems.  They're a really good footballing side, so when we get the ball back we're going to have to be effective.'

More from Warne on the game here:

Rotherham are fresh from their pizza trophy triumph over Sutton United, albeit it wasn't an easy ride.  Before that they lost 0-3 at home to Shrewsbury and are behind Charlton in the form table.   However, they have won 13 out of 20 home league matches, losing just four.   They have scored 40 goals at home and conceded 20.

I thought that the Millers played some good football in the Championship and were unfortunate to be relegated.   As far as one can judge from highlights on the Football League show, they are a well-organised side who pass well and have pace.

Following midweek results, Rotherham have fallen back to third, although they have two games in hand over MK Dons in second.   For most of the season Curbs has been saying that Wigan and Rotherham will take the automatic promotion places and I agree, although the Franchisees are improving all the time.

I had this down as a 1-1 draw at the beginning of the season.   That might be possible if it wasn't for our shredded defence.   Famewo has not improved to the extent I had hoped, indeed he has slipped back.  There is no doubting Pearce's commitment but pace is an issue.

Tuesday 5 April 2022

Reckless challenge costs Charlton

 Charlton drew 1-1 with Wimbledon at the new Plough Lane tonight after indiscipline saw the Addicks reduced to 10 men.

A Stockley overhead kick was dealt with by the defender and the resultant corner was unproductive as the game started at a fast pace.  The Charlton end was sold out.

The ball pinged around in the six yard box but the keeper saved from DJ.  There was then another save from Washington.

Charlton were in the ascendancy, Stockley was winning the aerial battles, but Lavelle went down in a challenge. 

Wimbledon then got into the game more and after some sloppy play in midfield DJ conceded an unnecessary free kick, but it ended in a Charlton free kick for handling.

Wimbledon advanced on their left and won a corner.

Charlton were less crisp and bright than they were in the first 20 minutes.   Sean Clare shot over.

The game was getting a bit scrappy although it was being played at a fast pace.  Charlton were not being very creative.   As Wimbledon grew in confidence, we looked exposed on our right.   Jacko was screaming instructions.

Charlton were caught in possession and conceded a corner.   Steve Brown said we were not showing much fluidity and the passing was not great.

In time added on, a Washington half volley went over.  

Curbs: 'flat and uninspiring'

Curbs said in the first ten minutes we created two or three good chances and didn't take them.  After then it had been flat and uninspiring.  Wimbledon looked the strongest going into the second half.   The ball should not be knocked up to Stockley too early.   The first goal would be vital.   Wimbledon were a poor side and we hadn't taken advantage of it,

HT: Wombles 0, Addicks 0

The home side piled on the pressure and won a free kick, Lavelle having to come off and was replaced by Inniss who had to concede a corner.

Dobson took one for the team receiving a yellow card.    Inniss got a red card for a reckless challenge. Blackett-Taylor was going to come on.   Forster-Caskey came off and Famewo came on.

Charlton were on the back foot and under heavy pressure since the red card.  DJ made way for Blackett-Taylor.

After great work by Matthews on the right, he put in a good cross and Stockley scored with the header.

Wimbledon made a double substitution.   Macca had to tip the ball over the bar after a home corner.

A free kick was awarded against Dobson in a central position.    The shot came off the wall.

Blackett-Taylor needed treatment.  Purrington got a yellow card.   Jacko got a yellow card,  Dobson dealt with the free kick well at the expense of a corner.  A second corner followed and Wimbledon equalised on 87 minutes.

In eight minutes added on Famewo was brought down and the Wimbledon charm merchant got a yellow card.  A Wimbledon corner was wasted.

Steve Brown said we were hanging on towards the end.

Curbs said he couldn't understand Inniss making that sort of challenge on the halfway line.

Pessimists out in force ahead of Wombles game

Charlton face AFC Wimbledon this evening and already the gloom and doom merchants are out forecasting that this will bring the home side's winless run to an end and even forecasting a 3-0 victory for them.  If I was so pessimistic I would have to stop actively supporting the club.   As it is, I encounter more negativity in relation to Charlton than any other aspect of my life.

Wimbledon get very favourable treatment because they are seen as a fan owned club and a model for the lunatics taking over the asylum elsewhere.   However, it should be noted that they have a very prosperous fan base and have also sold bonds with a very attractive coupon.

Charlton does have some moderately prosperous fans and when Peter Varney was chief executive tried to get money from some of them.  A friend of mine then in the music industry was invited to The Valley for lunch.  He was told that for an unspecified sum, presumably five figures, he could ask for something like a five year free season ticket with lounge access.

At my non-league club the approach is more unsophisticated.   The chairman rang me up and said that the drains on the training pitch were knackered and could I send over a few k in exchange for shares which I donated to the supporters' trust.

The problem with buying shares in a football club is that there are generally few tax benefits.   If I could have found some way of reducing February's one off £40k tax bill fo exceeding my lifetme allowance on my 75th birthday, I would have been delighted.  However, my family would certainly have something to say if I started handing over significant sums to a football club, given that they see my support for Charlton as a harmless eccentricity at best.   My father certainly gave me a mixed inheritance when he started supporting the club almost 100 years ago.

At home Wimbledon are draw specialists, having won just two and drawn eleven.  My hunch is that a draw will be the outcome tonight.   Away from home Charlton have scored just 19 goals, although five teams in the division have a worse record.   Charlton are currently mid-table in the form table while Wimbledon are second from bottom.

There is a lot riding on this game for the Wombles and not that much for Charlton even though we are not mathematically safe.

Monday 4 April 2022

Some surprises as Jacko rates Charlton managers

A long interview with Johnnie Jackson in which he talks about working under Karl Robinson and Lee Bowyer.   I am no fan of Gobby, but Jacko is full of praise for him and no doubt saw a side of him that we didn't (I notice he was complaining about referees once again at the weekend):

He talks about a whole series of managers and in particular he praises José Riga saying he was 'really impressive' and wishes he could have stayed on.  I always thought he was one of the best of the Roland era.

He notes that he could have gone with Bowyer to Birmingham, but has less to say about recent challenges. However, he does say that Sandgaard was 'serious and different to what we had before.'   The fear of players not getting paid went away.

Of course, he is hardly likely to criticise the owner.   I still think we have reason to be grateful to him, but his initial irrational exuberance was unfortunate to say the least and created expectations that could not realistically be met.

Saturday 2 April 2022

Opportunities not taken

 incoln did the double over Charlton at The Valley this afternoon.   Not a great surprise given their away record.  I had this down as a Lincoln win at the beginning of the season.  We lacked sharpness in front of goal until Stockley scored a consolation.   Charlton are now 15th.

It was an unchanged team for Charlton against Lincoln City, but Jake Forster-Caskey was on the bench after his long absence.   His play when he came on was one of the few positives.  It was a sunny afternoon in SE7 as the game started.

Curbs pointed out before the game that a good run in would help to attract players to the club over the summer.

Matthews put in a pass to the edge of the box, Washington chested it down for Stockley who took the early shot and it went wide.

A flowing move from Lavelle brought the ball out of defence, it was worked wide to Gilbey who see his cross headed behind for a corner.  A second corner ended in a free kick as the Imps called for a yellow card.

Clare defended superbly from a threatening cross, Lincoln showing what they can do for the first time.  Their plan was evidently to get the ball up to Cullen with runners on either side.

Steve Brown thought we were struggling to break down their defensive pattern.   We weren't penetrating enough.  Scully was breaking well down the left hand side for them.

The woodwork saved the visitors on 23 minutes.  Gilbey got to the byline and drilled across a great cross and Stockley got a thigh on it from close range and the ball crashed back off the bar.

Charlton got their 100th league booking of the season as Gilbey received a yellow card.  At least we are top of the league for something.

The Addicks were back in the game more after the Imps had enjoyed a good spell.  However, Steve Brown felt the front two had to hold the ball up better.

Blackett-Taylor advanced well, having not been in the game that much, but Lincoln had enough bodies to stop Washington's shot.

Lincoln score, Gilbey sent off

Purrington had to head over a shot after some good build up play by the Imps.   Blackett-Taylor cleared the corner at the expense of a Lincoln throw.   Charlton couldn't get the ball off Whittaker and he scored for the visitors on 32 minutes.    It was a poor ball to give away.   Steve Brown said that Lincoln were soaking up the pressure and were looking good around the penalty area.  Washington had had a couple of opportunities when he could have done better.

Gilbey got a second yellow card and was sent off on 36 minutes.  He should have been more cautious when he was on a yellow.  Pulling back a player's shirt let his team mates down.  No Charlton player complained about the decision.   Steve Brown said he thought we were looking a little bit tired and sluggish.

Birthday boy Brian Cole reminded the crowd that it is a no smoking stadium.  

Steve Brown said we were getting totally overrun in midfield, Dobson and Fraser couldn't cover the ground.   Stockley was finding it difficult to hold up play.   Lincoln were in control and starting to play through the lines.  We didn't look clinical or sharp enough in the penalty box.   We had to set the press off some how. Lavelle had to receive treatment.

Curbs said we started off ever so well, but Lincoln always looked dangerous on the break.  The goal was a really good finish in the end, we were chasing the ball and no one was getting there.   It was a very open first half, but we couldn't find the killer ball.  We looked dangerous when Blackett-Taylor got the ball.

Curbs said that when you were battling away and there was a lack of confidence it led to a lack of bookings.

Curbs suggested that Stockley might need to come off as he was returning after a long period injured.

HT: Addicks 0, Imps 1

Charlton won a corner taken by Fraser.  Lincoln had almost everyone back and broke.  Matthews won a generous free kick for Charlton.   Steve Brown said it would be very difficult for us to get back in the game.   There weren't going to be many chances to outplay them unless they gambledd.

Dobson conceded a free kick in a central position but some 30 yards out.   The ball went harmlessly over the bar.

Washington had a good run but his cross was cut out.   Purrington put in a cross for Stockley but it was saved on the line on 54 minutes.   The whole ball was not over.

It's ten against ten

Whittaker got a red card for a late studs up challenge on the Cat.   The crowd was lifted.

Washington put in a cross for Stockley but the keeper saved from his free header, he should have put it into the ground.   The corner was unproductive.

Fraser made way for Forster-Caskey, his first appearance since the end of last season.   He soon took his first corner.

A Forster-Caskey header went wide.  Leko came on for Matthews on 73 minutes in an attacking change.

Lincoln came down the left again, Robson had time and space to pick out Scully who made it 0-2 on 76 minutes with a ball into the top corner of the net.

Steve Brown said it was difficult to find quality strikers who could finish one chance out of three or four in League One, even Championship clubs couldn't get them.

Dobson went off and Elliot Lee came on with four minutes of normal time remaining.  

From a Forster-Caskey corner, Stockley scored with an excellent header in terms of power and direction.   Washington was just wide of the post after some good football by Charlton.

Four minutes were added on.   A corner gave Charlton a last throw of the dice.   Clare's header sailed over the bar.

The pundits

Curbs said we would be kicking ourselves that we hadn't taken anything from the game.  Why had Gilbey pulled the shirt back twice in the centre circle?   This was so naive.  

Charlotte asked if there was a lack of concentration from a defensive point of view.   It was agreed that Clare needed to get tighter for the first goal.   Curbs said they scored two goals which should have been stopped.

Peter Shirtliff said that Stockley could have had a hat trick with his chances.   Curbs thought the ball was over the line.   

Curbs said it had taken Stockley 45 minutes to get going, that happened when you had been out for a while.   They could have three or four games and then hit a wall.   Peter Shirtliff said one of the bright things was the passing of Forster-Caskey when he came on, he was picking people out.  Curbs said he put dangerous balls into feet.

Jacko said he did not know how we had lost the game with the chances we had.  He was disappointed with the goals we conceded.   It was impossible to say whether the ball was over the line.  He couldn't have any complaints about Gilbey being sent off.  'I think the centre forwards will be disappointed they didn't take their opportunities.   There was a lot of positives, even in defeat it was a positive performance.  On another day we would have won.'    Jayden was not back to moving as freely as he was, but he was getting there.   It was fantastic to see Forster-Caskey back.  'I thought  he added something really, really good.  That's another option for me now.'

Friday 1 April 2022

Fans' panel brought in to help manager

Charlton are going to be the first club to have fans in the dugout at matches.  A fans’ panel is to be assembled with one representative selected at random from each of the stands and a chair elected by Valley Gold subscribers.

The manager will coach the team during the week and then report to the fans’ panel on Friday afternoon on performances and injuries.

In the meantime the fans will have been visiting the social media sites of Saturday’s opposition to see what their fans think of their players, which are any good and which are judged to be a waste of space (usually most of them).   With all this information they will then select the team and the formation.

On match day the manager will be in the technical area and give tactical instructions to the team.  However, the fans’ panel will vote on the timing and selection of substitutions, but the manager will be allowed a vote.

Under Roland the club had considered complementing the fans’ sofa with a fan’s consultant in the dugout, but the idea fell through when it was revealed that Jonathan Acworth was the preferred choice.

A club spokesman said: ‘It is clear from their comments on social media that fans know a lot about how the team should be selected and the game played, so we thought we would harness that knowledge and enthusiasm.’

Asked whether many fans had coaching badges, the spokesman said that kind of technical knowledge could be deployed in training during the week.   The fans had an instinctive understanding of the game as shown by the success that many of them had enjoyed on Fifa, Football Manager etc.   Indeed, some had direct playing experience of Sunday league football.

Tuesday 29 March 2022

Jacko gets the blessing of the Orange One

 Johnnie Jackson was interviewed on Talk Sport today.   Here are a few key quotes, some of them courtesy of VOTV columnist Natasha Everitt.

Jacko said: “I've seen it all [at Charlton], I’ve been through some real ups and downs. There was a period there under Chris Powell where we had success and I was really hoping that that would be the catalyst for the club to kick on, and that never happened..."

“Then we got momentum again under Lee Bowyer and myself when we managed to get promoted again to the Championship, but history repeated itself really and we didn’t get the help we needed that season to make a real go of it. We found ourselves falling backwards again.  It’s been disillusioning..."

“But this time round with the owner we’ve got now, Thomas Sandgaard, there’s some real positivity around the place and he’s got some real ambitions for the football club... hopefully those couple of decades are behind us.  The club is in a much better place, much better hands.”

The Orange One recalled the hostile reception he got at The Valley, but spoke positively about JJ: ‘He sounds like a very grown up manager.  I want him to do well.’  Jim White, Roland's mate, reminded listeners that we were going to miss out on the play offs again.

Jacko said we’ve got to try and finish the season strong, win every game.   We need a feel good factor around the place, ending the season with some optimism, some positivity.    It was his 12th season at the club in different roles. ‘I’ve got a real feeling for what the club’s about.   Although I am a young manager I bring a lot of club experience to the table.’

Jacko admitted that it had been more challenging than he had expected.  ‘We were at our most depleted when we faced the toughest run of fixtures.  We’ve come through it now.  It makes you stronger in the long run.’

‘It’s a really important summer for us, recruitment is going to be key.  I have a clear idea of the type of squad I want to build, keeping the right ones from this year that we’ve got a nucleus of.  We’ll need the owner’s help with that.’

More here:

Magazine writes off Jonatan Johansson

The latest Four Four Two has a supplement on the invention of football, or rather 30 years of the Premier League.   One feature is on 'One-Season Wonders' and among those included is Jonatan Johansson.

This magazine has a bit of form with Charlton, having predicted a dire fate in the year we won the League One championship with Chris Powell.   The club bought the framed copy of the cover.

I liked JJ as a player and I think his contribution went beyond the goals he scored.   I remember the warm reception he received as a Finnish international (106 caps) when we played a friendly against Oulu in northern Finland.

Four Four Two points out that he scored his 13th goal of the season on New Year's Day 2001.   'Newly promoted Charlton were eighth in the table and the £3.5m attacker's noggin had just delivered league goal No.10 of a stellar six months.'

'The former Rangers man managed a mere 17 over the next five years, however, before a six month loan at Championship Norwich in January 2006 finished his spell in English football.'

He did some coaching in Scotland and married a Scottish television presenter.  Returning to Finland, he has been manager of TPS Turku (where he played) since 2020.

Saturday 26 March 2022

Third win and third clean sheet in a row

Charlton won 1-0 at Doncaster this afternoon in front of around 700 Addicks, many of whom had taken advantage of the subsidised coaches.   It was a story of missed opportunities for the Addicks, and they had to hang on at the end, but it was a third win a row and another clean sheet.   Charlton had nine shots on target to one for Donny.

On four minutes CBT broke and got into the box, Stockley poked a shot past the keeper but a defender was on hand to clear it off the line.

On 16 minutes Charlton were awarded a penalty after CBT was brought dow., Washington instead of Stockley took the shot and the keeper saved.

On 24 minutes a poor goal-kick saw the ball head straight to Stockley who got in the box and squared for Washington, but his close-range effort is saved by the scrambling Mitchell.

Close to the break, Stockley flicked on Matthews' long throw and CBT was inches away from turning it in at the back post.

Missed opportunities were the story of the half as the Addicks headed in all-square at the break.   Louis Mendez said it could have been 3-0 if they took their chances.

HT: 0-0

Finally on 67 minutes Stockley scored.    Excellent work from CBT who skinned his man on the left and pulled back into the box for Stockley to slot home.

A Washington shot was saved by the keeper. Stockley faced an empty net, but his effort came off the crossbar.  How did we not score?

The midfield was starting to tire, Gilbey had worked really hard.   Doncaster won a free kick on the right edge of the penalty area, tiredness showing on the part of Charlton.   Blackett-Taylor went down.   Purrington headed away.

Blackett-Taylor was booked for coming back on without permission, although he was waved on by the fourth official, as an argument broke out between the two benches.

Famewo came on for Charlton in place of CBT.   Six minutes were added on as Donny won a corner.  Fraser swiped it out.    Lee came on for Fraser.

Donny won a free kick near the corner of the area after an alleged foul by Purrington.   Macca made a great claim.   Macca had to make a save with his legs from a shot.   Clare blocked the ball but the referee awarded a goal kick rather than a corner.

The pundits

Steve Brown said we would have comfortably won the game.   Instead we were under pressure at the end.   It was three games without making changes so Jacko had a core he could trust.   They were good results if not great performances.

CBT was derided by negativists as 'scraping the barrel' when he was signed.   Scott Minto said that he had come in again and make a big impact.   CBT said he was enjoying the wing back role, he had never played it before.  He felt he had improved.   'We've got a lot of togetherness in the camp, let's finish the season strong.'   He definitely felt he could last the 90 minutes.

Charlton are now 14th.

Thursday 24 March 2022

Spurs may get the hump over Nile John

Johnnie Jackson hopes to give Nile John a chance before the end of the season, i.e., when we are mathematically safe:

He may well have great potential, but I am far from sure that he was the right loaning signing at this time for us.

The SLP's Richard Cawley has tweeted: 'I'd also say there is a way to conduct yourself. NJ seen as one of top young prospects. Sandgaard already said wants to loan significant number of players next season, can imagine Spurs will think twice about any others.'

I would like to see fewer and more carefully selected loan players, but I'm not paying the bills.