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: https://talksport.com/football/efl/1074825/charlton-athletic-news-johnnie-jackson-thomas-sandgaard-efl/

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: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/tottenham-loanee-deserves-to-make-charlton-athletic-appearance-before-end-of-the-season/

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.

Saturday 19 March 2022

Back to back victories

Charlton had an unchanged team against Burton Albion on a beautiful spring day at The Valley.   Jason Pearce was struggling with injury and Akin Famewo replaced him on the bench.   The attendance was 11,348 with 320 in the away massive, the lowest attendance in a football for a fiver game.

Charlton didn't get a lot of early possession in a scrappy start.   Burton were trying to get forward as quickly as they could so as to turn Charlton.

Charm merchant Hamer put in a reckless challenge on Dobson, but referee Rebecca Welch showed just a yellow.   The Addicks were still not getting a lot of the ball.

Washington advanced via Route One and put in a chip over the advancing keeper to make it 1-0 on 12 minutes.    Macca flicked on from a long throw and kicked the ball straight up the field to Washington who scored with one touch.   It was his 10th of the season, all in the league.

Burton won a second corner.   Matthews cleared away and Charlton got a throw in.  

Charlton conceded another corner.   A free kick was given for a foul on Stockley.  

The Addickted started a chorus of Valley Floyd Road.    Burton won another corner.  Matthews headed away.  Charlton won a free kick for offside.

Charlton were struggling for possession and build up play.   They needed to be more clever with their movement to stretch the Brewers defence.   Niasse was booked for a high boot on Clare.

Lavelle had to head away a goal bound ball.   An effort by Oshilaja came off the bar.  He had time and space to pick his shot.

Garrett had to dive to make a save from his own player.    Charlton continued to look uncomfortable in possession.

Blackett-Taylor was coming into the game really for the first time, created some space and made it 2-0.  After some patient build up play, his ball dribbled in at the near post with Garrett's view obstructed by Stockley.  When he was signed, one leading moaner said we were scraping the barrel.

Despite the score line it had not been the most comfortable first half, but Charlton took their chances.  Hasselbaink was not happy and loitered to speak to the official.  He still wasn't happy after the break.  Steve Brown said there had been a lot of aerial bombardment.  We needed to defend the long throws well, getting the second phase right.  Scott Minto thought at times we weren't close enough.   Steve Brown said we need to keep the ball a lot better than we had.   Burton had shut us down quicker.

HT: 2-0

Oshilaja got a yellow card for a foul on Stockley.  Fraser's free kick wasn't the best.   An effort from Washington was blocked.

A Blackett-Taylor effort was over the bar.  He came off as a precaution as he had played more than expected in midweek when returning from injury.  DJ replaced him.

Charlton were looking more comfortable on the ball in the second half. 

Gilligan was booked for an off the ball foul on Washington.  Burton made a double substitution.

Fraser put in an excellent cross for Stockley but his header was saved by Garratt.

Burton won a corner at the Jimmy Seed stand.  The ball was blocked away by DJ at the expense of another corner which was unproductive.

Dobson dealt with a moment of danger with a superb challenge on Chapman.   There was a vigorous chorus of Valley Floyd Road.  A shot by Niasse was well blocked by Matthews.   Chapman was booked for a foul on Dobson.

On 81 minutes Fraser was replaced by Lee to provide fresh legs.   Burton claimed that Clare had handled the ball, but a free kick was awarded for a push.

Clare intercepted a shot from Chapman. 

Five minutes were added on.   There were two opportunities for Charlton, but they were not taken.  An attempt from Washington was blocked.

It wasn't a classic game, but it was another three points.   It was the first double of the season.

Charlton are now 15th, Shrewsbury had a surprise win at Rotherham.

Johnnie Jackson said it was a good professional performance, not at our best, would like to have seen more goals.   The conditions were difficult.  There was a swirling wind and a dry pitch.   We defended our lead well, they have that threat with the long throw.   We dealt with double figures in terms of long throws coming into our box.  We're scoring goals again and now we're looking more solid.  I think we can manage it better at times, there was lots of space in behind them at times.   The players have stepped up.   They've all done that to a man.

Charm merchant manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink insists that Charlton were not better than his side and their defeat was down to individual errors.   In a sense he may be right, but they only had one shot on target while we took at least some of our chances: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/you-cant-tell-me-charlton-were-better-burton-boss-hasselbaink-blames-defeat-on-individual-errors/

I am not pretending that it was a great performance but we are 13 points above the relegation zone and Crewe will find it very hard to overtake us now.

Tuesday 15 March 2022

Moaners confounded

Moaners searched for a new narrative as Charlton beat Gillingham 1-0 at The Valley tonight, the goal coming on 39 minutes from Alex Gilbey pouncing in the box.    Pontus Dahlberg spilled Corey Blackett-Taylor's initial attempt and although the keeper reacted quickly to block Jayden Stockley's follow up, Gilbey slammed home.

Gillingham stayed in the game, their midfield pressing up the pitch more in the second half, but the Addicks held firm.  Masterton blasted over one of the best chances for the visitors on 89 minutes.  Charlton were able to manage the six minutes added on.   There was a tunnel jump for the first time in ages.

The returning Corey Blackett-Taylor was impressive in the first half but faded somewhat and was eventually replaced by Jason Pearce as the game to an end.   Curbs said the returning player was really dangerous, put such a shift in.   

The return of Conor Washington was a big plus.

Attendance was 9,278 with 1,559 away fans.

Charlton are now 16th, ten points above the relegation zone.  Teams below us lost.

Alex Gilbey said he knew his output this season had not been good enough.  He had a few chances before the goal.  'We knew we had to start on the front foot, get our fans on side  We were a little bit sloppy towards the end, but showed a lot of heart.'

Smiling supremo Johnnie Jackson had plenty of praise for Gilbey and the way in which he had responded to advice: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/charlton-athletic-matchwinner-alex-gilbey-played-like-he-had-a-point-to-prove/

Gillingham's new venture in charm merchant managers, Neil Harris, thinks they deserved something out of the game: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/gillingham-boss-neil-harris-only-an-individual-error-cost-us-at-charlton-we-deserved-something/

'Kent Derby' brings more gloom to The Valley

 In his latest post the Chicago Addick captures well the pall of gloom and the nervousness that hangs over The Valley ahead of this evening's so-called 'Kent Derby' against Gillingham.

Confidence is an important ingredient in football and Charlton can't find a win or even score a goal from open play.   Under their new manager Gillingham have won a couple of matches and have moved towards the middle of the form table while Charlton remained rooted to the bottom.

All this has provided a field day for the many Charlton fans who seem to derive their greatest football pleasure from being negative and pessimistic about the team they support.   If I felt as negative as they did, I think I would think stay away.  As it is, the negativity and high expectation of the fans lead me to think that might be the right thing to do.

Now, of course, they have a point.  Many of them put it down to persistence with a 3-5-2 formation, but are the players there for a 4-4-2?   Do the players care very much anyway?  Good performances in training crumble once they get on the pitch for a game, although that could be confidence again.

One can imagine the Gillingham manager's team talk: 'Push them hard from the kick off.  They will concede a silly free kick in a promising position.   MacGillivray will stay rooted to his line while the defence lack height and will be at sixes and sevens (although watch out for Stockley).  You will get a free header and they will be chasing the game with their heads down.'

Calling for the head of JJ now is a waste of time as we would have difficulty in getting a good replacement, quite apart from the cost.  His position should be reviewed at the end of the season before making any signings.  

If we are relegated, we will need a different kind of manager.   League 2 football is closer to non-league with a reliance on hoofball and a penchant for head tennis in midfield.

One bright spot tonight could be the return of Conor Washington to the starting line up.  He has an ability to get in behind defences and could even score himself.

I think we will get a useful home point.  Bear in mind that six of the teams below us have far worse goal differences, itself worth a place in the table.

Sunday 13 March 2022

Jacko criticises Macca

Shell shocked supremo Johnnie Jackson has admitted that Craig MacGillivray is not commanding his six yard box: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/charlton-boss-johnnie-jackson-provides-straight-answer-when-asked-about-goalkeeper-craig-macgillivray/

This was evident yesterday when Accrington keeper Savin was willing to come out of his box to snuff out threats.   Admittedly, there should be better communication and more pace from the Charlton defence as Curbs pointed out.

I didn't want Amos to go, but presumably he had a better offer from Wigan.  Many fans are pinning their hopes for next season on the return of Ashley Maynard-Brewer who impressed at Ross County in the Scottish Premier League before his injury.  The SPL isn't the greatest league in the world, but it is surely as good as League One.

Jacko is clearly baffled by the form of the rest of his players, suggesting it is a confidence problem rather than a lack of effort.  Certainly they seem to train well but then fail to deliver on matchday.

Fans continue to insist that the formation is the problem, but does he have the players for 4-4-2?  I know it's all supposed to be about the manager in modern football, but I think more of the fault rests with the squad, although I was surprised that Gilbey was omitted yesterday,.

Saturday 12 March 2022

Attack and defence poor up north

424 Addicks saw another disappointing display in a 2-1 defeat at Accrington this afternoon.   Once again Charlton failed to score from open play and conceded from defensive errors.  The Addicks were not able to take advantage of the home side going down to 10 men.

Charlton won an early corner after coming close to scoring with a half volley from Lee at the Wham Stadium against Accrington, but Savin made an excellent save.  Stockley's header from the corner went wide.

A shot from Accy was dealt with well by Macca.  After a free kick from McConville a Sykes header was just wide.   It wasn't well defended.

Charlton won another corner after good work by Stockley, but it was headed away by Sykes.  The Addicks won a second corner.   The keeper grabbed it at the second attempt.   Purrington fed Stockley, but a heavy touch by him led to an Accy free kick.

Pearce headed clear and a shot was off target.  The Charlton midfield need to get to grips with the second balls.  An Accy header went over the bar.

After a good opening few minutes, Charlton were struggling to get into the game, a not unfamiliar story. Then Lee called for a handball against Coyle when the ball struck his arm.   The referee made the decision after hesitating and Stockley scored from the spot on 18 minutes to make it 0-1 a little against the run of play.   It's good to get some luck for once.

Leko was brought down by blunderer Coyle who received a yellow card.   On the whole, Leko was not in the game that much compared with Stockley.

Lavelle had to clear behind for a corner which animated the home crowd.   Stockley headed away and it was flicked on by Lee as Charlton attempted to counter attack.

Set piece woe and defensive errors

Accy won a rather fortunate free kick.  Charlton couldn't clear their lines and after a goalmouth scramble the home side equalised in scrappy play, a header going beyond the Addicks player on the line.  Longelo scored the goal.  Macca could have done better by asserting himself more.   Once again Charlton conceded in a disappointing way from a set piece.

A counter attack by Accrington saw them take the lead on 33 minutes, a Charlton cross leading to their goal.  Leigh fired into the bottom corner from the edge of the box.   Once again it was an avoidable goal with the opposition given too much space.   Charlton had enough players back but weren't concentrating in the final third.   Steve Brown said the communication was poor.  Coyle limped off.

Charlton were attacking but the referee stopped the game.   Dobson and Pell received yellow cards, the Accy charm merchant having struck Dobson who reacted.

Clare received a yellow card for challenging Pell.   Following the free kick, Charlton struggled to clear their lines, Dobson eventually clearing the danger.

Charlton had another free kick to defend, another unnecessary one given away.   The header was won by Pell but the move ended in a goal kick.

Three minutes were added on after a lively first half.   Charlton were not winning enough first touches, although the wind was a factor.   Purrington had a throw in but had no real options.  

Steve Brown said that Accy seemed to anticipate more than we did.

HT: 2-1

Charlton won an early corner.  Fraser's delivery was decent but it was headed away.

Charlton gave away another silly free kick, this time from Lee.  Clare won the header.  The ball was eventually claimed by Macca.

A shot by Purrington was straight at Savin after some good build up play.  He could have done better even though it was a tight angle.

A shot from Leko was deflected away by Rodgers.   He was getting into the left channel more.  The corner was cleared away.

Pearce fouled Bishop a yard or so from the penalty area.   Pell's shot hit the six man Charlton wall. Gunter cleared from off the line from Sykes and the Accy player couldn't take a second opportunity from the six yard box.

Pearce came off for Washington.  Leko switched to right wing back.

On 63 minutes Leigh led with an elbow in an aerial challenge on Clare and received a red card.

Charlton made a handball claim as Leko's cross hit a hand, but a corner was given.  DJ came on to replace Purrington on 71 minutes.  

Charlton were not displaying any creativity.   The Addicks had not created one chance since the home side went down to ten men.  Accrington continued to work hard.

Lee put in a good ball, but Savin saved from Stockley.   Burstow replaced Gunter on 86 minutes in a last throw of the dice.

A goal from Washington in time added on was chalked off for handball and he was booked.

The pundits

Curbs said that Charlton were flat again, two poor defensive goals.   Steve Brown said that the referee could not see the claim for the second penalty, nor could the assistant.   Curbs said the referee had already given one that was 50-50.   Accrington never gave us too much of an opportunity to build.

Curbs said they made a really good start and then succumbed to something we expected.  They knew what they were up against.   Steve Brown said that we were under massive amounts of pressure for the first goal.  MacGillivray was stuck on his line, Savin was not.

Curbs said that for the second goal there was no urgency, players were strolling back.   Steve Brown said it's a difficult place to go, their bobbly pitch suits the way they play.  It was a bit like under Nigel.

Curbs hoped there would be a decent atmosphere against the Gills.   Tuesday night would be a big game.  We had got to stop it.   Steve Brown said you have to earn the right, no one gives you a result.  We were not physically matching work rate or chances.   It must be difficult for Johnnie to know who to trust.   When things went wrong in the 90 minutes in the heat of battle it was down to the player.

Time to move on?

The club wrote to me yesterday about my poor attendance at home games this season.  Unfortunately, I have had a minor but persistent condition that has affected my mobility.

My GP is a Manchester City season ticket holder and follows them around Europe. He has made it clear that I am to keep away from the 'crap' teams I support, including my non-league club.

I have listened to all the commentaries and watched games that have been streamed.   It looks like I might get a clean bill of health soon, so I may be able to make the tail end of the season.

Addick's Diary will have been running for 25 years next season and it may be time to call it a day.   Next year it will be 70 years ago when I first went to The Valley.  Blogs are less popular than they were and the Burgundy Addick provides excellent match reports while Drinking During the Game and the Chicago Addick provide incisive analysis.

I want to concentrate on my more general football work, including the television work I do for the Press Association/Globelynx for stations in the Gulf and Far East.

However, I am considering a podcast.

Thursday 10 March 2022

Is Burstow in limbo after Government moves on Chelsea?

What does the Government's decision to constrain Chelsea's operations mean for Mason Burstow and Charlton?  https://footballeconomyv2.blogspot.com/2022/03/government-swoop-on-chelsea.html

The short answer is I don't know and it all depends on how things play out over the coming weeks.

It should be noted that the terms of the licence allow 'Inter-club payments to discharge obligations which existed before 10 March 2022 under player loan arrangement [and] Inter-club payments to discharge obligations which existed before 10 March 2022 under player sale arrangements.'

It is unclear whether the £1.6m has been paid and who is paying Burstow's wages while he is on loan - they could well be shared.

Burstow's recent appearances have been disappointing and some fans think we did good business in selling him off when we did.

For me it's another case of a young player being pushed forward too quickly too soon, in this because we lacked a forward line.  The service he has been getting has not been great.

In Burstow's case it was all about potential.   If he doesn't go to Chelsea, hopefully he can be nurtured more slowly at The Valley.

Saturday 5 March 2022

Clean sheet draw

Charlton ended their run of defeats with a 0-0 draw against Sunderland at The Valley.

Jayden Stockley and Scott Fraser came back for Charlton's game against Sunderland at The Valley, but was the real problem the formation as many fans have suggested?   Sean Clare (wearing an outfit that Curbs said deserved a fine) said that the formation suited a lot of the players, what had been missing had been a platform up front.  Curbs said that the return of Jayden Stockley was crucial.

Nathan Broadhead was brought straight back into Sunderland's starting line-up.  The on-loan Everton striker is fit again after recovering from the hamstring injury he suffered in the Carabao Cup quarter-final defeat at Arsenal the week before Christmas.

A Sunderland corner won after five minutes was directed straight at Macca with a header.

A challenge saw DJ on the ground as he was caught on the shin and might have been penalised if there was VAR.

A Sunderland corner was headed away well by Stockley.  Sunderland came at Charlton early and tried to attack, securing comfortable possession.   The Addicks were being dominated and needed to keep the ball better.

After a great pass from Fraser, Burstow was caught offside.   The crowd was relatively quiet despite the generous distribution of free tickets available from your local newsagent.   My uncle was never asked to do that in the 1950s.

Lavelle was in late with a cynical challenge and received a yellow card.   Every cross seemed to be going beyond the three centre halves.

MacGillivray made a save at the expense of a corner.   From the corner Stewart missed a clear goal scoring opportunity for the Black Cats, but he headed wide.

Sunderland were trying to turn the Charlton back line with balls over the top.   Good defending by Lavelle dealt with Stewart who headed wide and landed awkwardly.  He looked fine to carry on.

Charlton conceded a corner from nothing, Macca put too much on it.   DJ got a strong foot to the corner, hitting the top of the Curbishley stand.   Sunderland were making life difficult for Charlton when they were in possession.

DJ had to head behind for another Sunderland corner.   Charlton couldn't get out of their defensive third and hadn't managed a goal attempt after nearly 30 minutes in.   It was another header from Stewart from the corner but again it went wide.

Sunderland won a free kick just outside the Charlton penalty area, 10-12 yards left of the centre marking.   Pritchard's free kick was tipped over by Macca for a corner.   He certainly had to deal with it. Macca clutched the ball from the corner.

Charlton continued to be on the back foot under pressure.    From a Lee free kick Stockley's header went wide.

It started to rain.   A sliding challenge from Lee took out Gooch and he received a yellow card for a clear foul on 40 minutes.   Pearce defended well for a throw in.   

A Stockley header went wide of the post.   A ball from Lee was cut out for a Charlton corner in added time.   The referee flagged for a push.  

Steve Brown commented that in earlier matches we would have gone behind with the pressure we were under.  Sean Clare said we had done well to come out at 0-0.   Greg Stubley said we did enough to stay in the game and gradually we had grown into it.  Scott Minto thought we were playing too long and not giving the front two a chance.

HT: 0-0

Gunter put in a decent block to stop Broadhead.    He then made a great saving challenge.    Macca saved from Gooch.

Steve Brown said that Sunderland pressed very well as a unit.   It was difficult for Charlton to break through the press.

Macca saved well from Winchester, it was along the deck at pace.   Steve Brown said it was a very similar pattern to the first half.

It was quite a bitty opening, but the visitors were in control.   Charlton couldn't get sustained possession with fifteen minutes of the half gone.

Charlton won a free kick near the tunnel for a foul on Purrington.   Lavelle's header was just wide of the post and went into the side netting.

Gunter had to put the ball out for a corner as safety first.  DJ and Purrington got the ball clear, it came back in, Pearce headed it clear and then Stockley.  Eventually Charlton won a free kick.   Fraser was replaced by Gilbey.   Fraser had struggled to get into the game, perhaps still affected by having had Covid.

After a counter attack by Charlton with a hook on by Stockley, Burstow put it wide of the post.    He perhaps waited too long to make the shot.

Broadhead came off for Sunderland, replaced by the Spurs loan player Clark who soon looked lively.  Gilbey put in a ball to Burstow, but it was blocked.   For the first time in the game it was end to end.

Leko came on to replace Burstow who had not made a great impression on the game.   Pritchard had to come off after a clash with Dobson, he had looked dangerous at times, but his end product was disappointing.

Pearce made an important interception as Clark approached and the game entered the last 15 minutes of normal time.   Purrington got a yellow card for a challenge as the Sunderland players surrounded the referee demanding more.

Macca saved well from Stewart after a good move by the visitors.   Roberts replaced Gooch for Sunderland. 

Steve Brown said Charlton had been harder to break down, but Sunderland won a corner.   DJ headed away.  Sunderland got the ball back in but headed over.

The visitors won another corner, the ball deflecting off Gilbey.   Charlton dealt with the corner well, Stockley made an important challenge.

Macca had to save again as the Black Cats counter attacked.   Five minutes were added on.   Leko won Charlton a free kick by drawing a foul.  Lee took the free kick but Lavelle failed to score with a header which went over the crossbar.  Dobson made a great block as Sunderland threatened and Charlton won the goal kick.   Wright fouled Stockley and got a yellow card.    Lee took the free kick, but Stockley could not take the opportunity and was offside anyway. 

Praise for Pearce

Curbs said MacGillivray had had a good game.  We put in some good defensive blocks.  I thought we were more defensive in our wing back play.  We got some decent balls in in the second half, we were just not able to get on the end of it.  Sean Clare said we weathered the storm, sometimes we were our own worst enemy.  Scott Minto said that Pearce was very good.   Sean Clare said you knew what you were getting with Pearcey.  Curbs said some of the balls up to Stockley were aimless.   Sean Clare said that Fraser was a player who needed the ball.

Jason Pearce said we had 'to get back to basics, we done that.  Sunderland had a lot of goals in them, we stayed resolute as a unit.  We feel we needed to be tough on each other, nothing personal.  Macca made two brilliant saves.   Today there was no booing, the fans were really behind us.  We need to be better in possession, we will work on that.  We are delighted with a point.  Accrington's always going to be a tough game.'

Jacko said it was a real battling performance based on hard work and spirit.   'There's been questions asked this week of all of us.  There have been some good honest conversations.  We looked each other in the eye and said we all need to do more.   There was a period in that first half when they were having corners and lots of set plays, Stewart is a real threat in those situations.   I thought Craig was excellent. We did a lot of work in the week on limiting the opportunities, forcing them into wider areas, narrower angles.   Jayden's a massive player for us, excellent work rate from the front.   We need to be better in possession of the ball.  Blackett-Taylor is coming close to fitness.   We've got another clear week, you can focus on your training, another tough test coming up.'

Charlton remained 16th, nine points above the relegation zone.

Sandgaard's plans for club raise doubts

Thomas Sandgaard has set out his plans for the transfer window which include more loan signings to the disappointment of some fans: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/thomas-sandgaard-breaks-down-how-he-sees-summer-transfer-window-for-charlton-athletic/

Loan signings have been a mixture of the good (Conor Gallagher), the mixed and the poor.  However, any fan who feels able to fund a new player should contact TS.

TS has also explained that he intends to appoint a new CEO and they do not need to have a football background: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/charlton-athletic-owner-on-his-plans-to-appoint-ceo-and-why-they-dont-need-to-have-football-background/

Again the lack of a football background has been criticised by some fans.  TS has argued that he wants the club to run as a real business, but the difficulty is that football is unique sector of the economy and society as I have argued in my book Political Football.   I am prepared to offer a free signed copy of the book to any fan who can identify a credible candidate for CEO (entries of Peter Varney not allowed: also please note that signed copies of the book are worth less than unsigned copies).

Of course, some of us recall our experiences with Katrien Meire.   What always puzzled me about her was that she was a competition lawyer but she never apparently told Roland that his assumptions were flawed in competition policy terms.

Stockley: players should be hurting

Fans may prefer to blame Johnnie Jackson for recent poor performances, but in a firm message to his fellow players Jayden Stockley has made it clear that the players have to take responsibility for inconsistency: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/if-every-player-is-not-hurting-there-is-something-wrong-jayden-stockley-sends-our-clear-message-to-charlton-athletic-squad/

Speaking like an old fashioned club captain, Stockley said: 'We’ve set ourselves targets and fallen short. If that is not hurting each and every player then there is something seriously wrong – because the mindset has to be to get this club back where it has come from.  If you don’t want to be a part of that journey then there is no use to you being here,'

It's refreshing to see a player take responsibility for what happens on the pitch.

In another development, the club appears to have issued an excessive and random number of complementary tickets for today's game.   The 'Fill The Valley' objective is laudable, but one has to be careful not to upset existing season ticket holders.

Friday 4 March 2022

Looking on the bright side of life

Probably not as far as many Charlton fans are concerned as the Addicks face Sunderland at The Valley tomorrow.   Many fans seem to enjoy wallowing in gloom more than looking for more positive signs.

For what it's worth, the manager of my pharmacy is a keen Sunderland fan.   He regards Charlton as a bogey team and is still recovering from the last play off defeat.  He regards it as a bad omen if I go into his shop just before a match, but I had to go in yesterday and have to go in again today.

Sunderland's recent form has been inconsistent and they are in the bottom half of the form table, although Charlton are second from bottom which will please the fans forecasting relegation.  I don't bet, but if I did Iwould take short odds on Charlton surviving.   The teams below us are not that great.

Last Saturday's 3-1 victory over Wigan for Sunderland included two penalties, but then you have to win them and score them.  Away from home the Black Cats have a remarkable record of win six, draw six, lose six.   No doubt they will be hoping to improve the win column tomorrow.

The local paper has declared that 'it is a good time to play Charlton', citing our run of defeats.  However, the nominated player is more cautious describing it 'as a tough place to go' - but then, of course, that makes the win look even better: https://www.chroniclelive.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/ross-stewart-wigan-win-charlton-23283791

Charlton should have Jayden Stockley and Scott Fraser back with Conor Washington possibly on the bench.  It is difficult to see how we could be expected to win matches without a proper forward line.  Stockley is also key in defence from set pieces, although perhaps we rely on him too much.

However, many fans think the problem is the formation rather than the players.   I simply don't know - I don't have any coaching badges, I have never played even park football or enjoyed any success on Football Manager.

My sport was orienteering and what you learn from that is actually quite relevant to football.   I would say that the key lessons are: having a clear sense of purpose and direction; maintaining a steady pace for the long haul; navigating well and reading the terrain ahead; overcoming obstacles and not becoming disheartened by them.

All that could apply to a football club.   I wasn't able to listen to Thomas Sandgaard's Q and A, but hopefully he is becoming more realistic about the scale of the task he faces.

I do not think that a club the size of Charlton can ever be in the Premier League again.  With the Championship distorted by parachute payments even that is a big ask so clubs like Peterborough end up as yo-yo teams.   We may have to settle for League One football for a few years yet.   Some fans may leave, but we could then up with fewer moaners and more of a core of loyal supporters.

Thursday 3 March 2022

Rickster sets the record straight

Tweeting from his Thanet base,VOTV editor Rick Everitt has pointed out a number of errors in recent statements by Thomas Sandgaard.

'According to TS last night, Charlton made an operating loss of £100m over several decades before RD turned up. Club did run an operating loss 1992-1998 - which aggregates to £7m. From 1999 to 2008 it often made an operating profit but the aggregate is a loss of about £15m.

This isn’t the actual loss though because it doesn’t account for player trading. In the next seven years, under RD, the operating loss was £70.5m. Thomas claimed that RD improved the finances but the facts suggest he made them MUCH worse.

Charlton made an operating PROFIT during five of eight PL seasons and lost £59k in another. They did make an operating loss of £7.5m in 2005/06 and £11.6m in 06/07, and £6.6m in the First Division in 99/00, but the claim there was a £100m cumulative operating loss pre-2014 is false.

In 2009/10 it would have made an operating loss of £3m on trading without a big debt write-off (which shows as profit). Thereafter the operating loss was £10m in 2009/10, £6m in 10/11, £6.8m in 11/12, £6.4m in 12/13. So, you can make a case for about £50m over 21 years before RD.

It’s also the case that the"Spivs"* inherited relatively little debt in 2010/11, because the former board had wiped most of it in 2009. Comparisons with Derby County are ridiculous and amount to no more than the obvious point that English football is a money pit. Yes, we know!'

Shome mishtake shurely - ed. Experienced entrepreneurs who had plans for a new ground for the club

A long-standing fan from London has provided an alternative view: 'There seems to be some dissent on TS comments around the debt of the club when RD bought it. Rick Everitt is disputing TS figure of £100M saying it was only about £7-8M and that the club made some small profits when in the Premier League. 

Without looking at the accounts I guess the difference is RE is looking at the balance sheet, which doesn’t include any directors’ loans that had been written off, whereas TS is including them as the loads were required to cover external debt so therefore meant there was a loss that would have been shown if the loan was still in place. I get where TS is coming from.'

Jackson will stay at the wheel says Sandgaard

Thomas Sandgaard has claimed that Charlton have the third largest budget in League One: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/thomas-sandgaard-claims-charlton-have-third-highest-league-one-budget-and-outline-role-he-hopes-to-play-in-future-success/

He also claims that Charlton are aiming for a top two finish next season and that Johnnie Jackson remains part of his plans which will disappoint those fans who have been calling for the manager's head: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/thomas-sandgaard-sets-charlton-top-two-target-for-next-season-with-johnnie-jackson-at-the-helm/

Sandgaard's claims have been greeted with scepticism by some fans who say they have heard it all before. It is also being said that Sandgaard is now telling people how badly the club was run when it was in the Premier League, based on the operating losses.  It is questionable whether he can have a useful opinion given he wasn’t around at the time. He seems to have taken on board certain things from Roland about how the latter was let down by the staff, but of course they were Roland’s staff.

Having said that, he is the owner and we are unlikely to get a new one - even Chelsea may not find that easy.   I always feel constrained about criticising owners when all I put in to the club is a season ticket and a Valley Gold subscription.   Actually I have put some money into my non-league club because at that level a few K can make a real difference.

Some perspective is needed on ownership issues,  Although it now seems a long time ago we had the spivs  who wanted to sell The Valley and move to a soulless stadium on the Greenwich Peninsula.   [Ed - entrepreneurial owners with a strategic vision].  We then had Roland who hollowed out the club.  They were followed by East Street Investments who admittedly brought a new class of vehicle to the West Stand car park, but attracted the opprobrium of fans despite their unique entrepreneurial qualities.

I know some fans say it is a ridiculous argument to say that we should be glad to have a club, but it was in real jeopardy and may still be.   I would rather play in the National League than disappear altogether.

I think that TS is a classic example of someone who has been successful in business thinking that they can apply those skills in football which is a unique sector of the economy and society.   Any person with money would be best advised to stay away because you will turn a large fortune into a small one and get a lot of grief along the way.

Wednesday 2 March 2022

Golden days under Roland?

Football fans, particularly Charlton fans, never cease to amaze me.  I often wonder about their decision-making in their day jobs, but I suppose a different side of their personality comes out in football.

A number of fans on social media keep suggesting that life was better when Roland was 'in charge'.  They argue that he provided funds: yes, he did, but they were loans with interest attached.  The interest rate was reasonable, but the club now has a big pile of debt which could still threaten its future.   The first thing that TS has to pay for is the lease on The Valley and Sparrow Lane.

The barmy Belgian had no emotional connection with the club, attending just one match.   His interest was in building a network of European clubs, an idea poorly executed and eventually abandoned.  In the meantime he foisted on us some hopeless continental players (nominated by boy wonder Thomas Driesen) and a merry go round of managers.   Remember Karel Fraeye?

He also appointed a chief executive with no prior experience in football who negotiated some poor contracts with excessive lengths, inflated wages and a lack of sell on deals.   Then we had innovations like the fan sofa which is as naff as it gets.

Above all, he sold the club to East Street Investments, albeit Matt Southall claims that he was 'wronged' at Charlton: https://footballeconomyv2.blogspot.com/2022/03/a-tangled-legal-web-at-rochdale.html

Some people say that TS doesn't have enough, but people need to wake up and smell the coffee.  A billionaire is never going to come to Charlton.

Some people object to him playing his guitar on the pitch, but if I put millions into a club I would expect some personal benefits.

Some of the money has been poorly spent, but that happens at clubs apart from Charlton.  I was as guilty in many other fans in thinking that Kirk was a good signing.

Last night's results show once again that the clubs below us are not that great and at least four or five of them are clearly worse.