Wednesday, 28 April 2010

J J On His Way.

So, he's gone then.
For far less money than we hoped but then again, probably a lot more than most third division clubs could command for a player who isn't even a guaranteed starter.

I wish Jonjo Shelvey well up there in Liverpool.
They are a huge club with passionate and knowledgeable supporters.

Who knows? We may see him back at the Valley either in our own red shirt or even one of our opponents, should Liverpool loan him out while they are developing him.

I liked Jonjo.
I liked the fact that he seemed to be playing purely by intuition and natural skill. He looked like a kid playing in the park or the playground which must have been awful for managers to try and fit into a system but always made him likely to create something special.

Jonjo gave the impression he was playing for fun rather than it being a job.
Despite his middle aged crown, he played as if he was a ballboy who had taken a wrong turning in the changing rooms and been given a place in the side by accident.

I found out today that Jonjo Shelvey played for Byron Red Star youth team.
One of my first football memories is walking through the park with my dad, to cheer on Red Star when I was a small boy of about 4 or 5 years old.

Good Luck Jonjo and thanks for the memories.

Saturday, 24 April 2010

Exeter City 1-Charlton Athletic 1

This afternoon, a man with a nice, sensible haircut* managed to deny Charlton the chance to gain a top two place and automatic promotion.
(*my haircut).

It's the lottery of the Play Offs for us then.

I am an admirer of Paul Tisdale; he's done a fantastic job down there in Devon.

The game today seemed to be fairly similar to any other game Charlton have been involved in lately.

Dominance, be it shots on target, possession or corners means nothing if you can't get the ball into the net with the final touch.

Listening online in the South East London sunshine, it seemed as if it was one Charlton corner after another for periods of the first half.

Well done to Exeter who have given themselves every chance of remaining in League 1 with the result today.
The 1000 plus Addicks, currently making their way back from the South West, will be disappointed at the missed opportunity but it's been the slip ups at home to teams such as Leyton Orient and Brighton that have really spoiled our season.

So, at least two, possibly three, extra games now stuck onto the end of the season.
That's more much needed money from selling programmes and pies, the ticket sales, the television hand out, (oh NO, we still haven't won on TV this season have we?) etc etc.

The only blot on the horizon I can see, is next week we have Yorkshire on patrol, hoping to emulate Norwich  City and grab Promotion at the Valley.

I have a feeling they might manage it too.

In other news, our old handsome friend Mr Dowie has weaved his magic again, this time at Hull.
'Our' Darren scored for Sunderland today to defeat Hull 1-0.
It will now take a most implausible sequence of events to stop Hull City being returned to the Championship.

Dowie will no doubt be part of one of the networks World Cup 'dream teams' of presenters.

As for Hull?
He'll be long gone from them and waiting for his next chance to manage someone for less than 15 games.

Friday, 23 April 2010


A friend who works for Film London has been involved in setting up a football themed festival, due to take place over the 7th and 8th of May 2010.
They are using The Shortwave as a venue, which is a fantastic South London cinema if you've never visited it.

The website with everything you might need to know is here.

Those Addicks who are heading West tomorrow to visit Exeter, might be interested to see, there is a film being shown in the 'Big Match' section of the festival, devoted to the Grecians and what it means to follow the club.

Saturday, 17 April 2010


Addicks 0 - Bandits 1.

Nobody can deny Norwich City have been the stand out team in this division over the season.
City thoroughly deserve their now guaranteed promotion.

Norwich have the luxury of being from a one club town. Their support has been unwavering.
Being the only show for miles and miles around, surely helps their attendances being close to the ones they enjoyed in their Premiership season.

Norwich is a lovely town with, for the most part, good natured citizens, - I'm pleased for the people of Norfolk.

So on to today.

I'm not going to waste my time typing out what happened.
The statistics speak for themselves.



  • Charlton 
  • 68%      32%
  • Norwich

Attempts on target

  • Charlton 
  • 9            2
  • Norwich2

Attempts off target

  • Charlton 
  • 7           1
  • Norwich1


  • Charlton 9           1
  • Norwich9          1


                                  9            1


  • Charlton                              11    14
  • Norwich14

How on EARTH did Charlton come away from the game with nothing?

The star of the game was, without a shadow of doubt, Forster in the Norwich goal.
He made some fantastic reaction saves, not least from Bailey and Burton.
Forster also received rather a lot of protection from the referee, which seemed tinged with irony for any of us who were at Carrow Road earlier in the season.
On that day, Grant Holt smashed our keeper, Robbie Elliott, out of the way to grab a draw in added on time.
Today our keeper Darren Randolph was mostly a spectator.

We do seem to be coming good at the right time.

A few weeks ago, I was worried we were going to be a spent force if we managed to stumble into the Play Offs.
The performances against Southampton, Colchester and now Norwich might only have plundered 3 points but the team really 'gave it a go' and goals aside, we are playing with more of the early season panache.

Crispy commented today that we seem to be a 'warm weather' side.
 We were absolutely flying early in the season, then fell apart somewhat throughout the colder months.

Perhaps we've come back to life again now the clocks have gone forward?

A Casual Rating
Every member of the Charlton side is being awarded a Lacoste polo this time.
It's not often I've felt the need to clap the team off the pitch after a defeat but today I just had to agree, there wasn't much more our team could have done.

We were proud of our team and that felt good.

We played Norwich off the park, they grabbed a rather fortuitous goal and then they 'parked the bus'.
City left a single player up front, (at the most), throughout the game and created very little.

The fact that Norwich started to waste time with only 65 minutes played, speaks volumes about how they saw the game progressing.
Only when Jose Semedo was substituted, did Norwich gain even a minor foothold in the proceedings.

The Norwich crowd were obviously down here for a party but our support was also quite bright.
Everyone could see our team were giving everything they could and but for wayward finishing and solid defending, Norwich would have been looking back wistfully on last years 4-2 defeat, leaving South London completely humbled.

The Primark novelty slogan tee shirt is staying on the hanger this time.
Nobody had a howler and the officials generally played their part in a good game, though it did take them rather a long time to catch on to the pushing in the back whenever the Norwich defence thought the referee was unsighted.

Bring on Exeter!

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Charlton Ath. 1 - Colchester United 0


A loud Valley witnessed a pulsating game involving two teams playing on the edge this evening.

The referee threatened to lose control many times but seemed to just about keep a lid on things.

Returning ex-Addick, Kevin Lisbie, was the unlikely recipient of an injury time straight red card to go with a previously earned yellow.

Earlier in the game, I had been fairly sure that neither team was going to finish with 11 men.

The goal was a mixture of high skill and good fortune.

Lloyd Sam twisted and turned so much while approaching goal, the covering defender tied himself in knots and fell over.
He didn't get up, leaving Sam free to deliver the killer cross for Forster to powerfully head past the 'keeper.
Unfortunately, the defender then had to be stretchered off, receiving warm applause from all parts of the ground.

The rest of the game was a nervy affair for most of us, - we really needed a second goal to ease the tension.

Five, (FIVE?) minutes of added on time, included the usual obligatory couple of moments where it looked like we were going to throw it away, not least when Colchester appeared to miss an open goal with almost the last kick of the game.

The relief when the referee finally blew his whistle was clear for all to see.
Supporters and players celebrated 3 valuable points that really shouldn't have been in doubt but as we know, nothing ever goes completely to plan at Charlton!

A Casual Rating
The Lacoste polo shirt is being awarded to Jose Semedo.
Another accomplished performance from our Portu geezer. He soaked up most of the Colchester attacks and managed to usually be just in the right place to put in important blocks.

The Primark novelty slogan tee shirt is going to Aidy Bothroyd and his long ball, hoof it style of play.
Both teams spent long periods of the game looking upwards, waiting for the ball to come down again from the sky.

However, in all honesty, I enjoyed tonight's game more than any other I've been at for months.

Lets hope it's the start of a really enjoyable few weeks for Charlton Athletic.

The Old Brewery Greenwich

I'm sitting in the sunshine outside the Old Brewery cafe/bar in
You know what?
I'm not too fussed about Charlton Athletic at the moment.
Parky could pick Graham Norton or one of the Dorothys to play up front
and right now, I'd just smile.......
The glorious combination of sunshine and decent beer has got me
feeling rather carefree.....
Might not be the case come 7:45pm of course.

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Well Done Pompey!

Portsmouth FC were relegated from the Premiership yesterday but today, they beat a highly fancied Spurs side 2-0, AET, to claim a place in the FA Cup Final.

Nobody gave them a prayer - this was purely a last chance for their supporters to get together and have a good sing song before their return to the Championship.

The Portsmouth fans were immense.
Totally fantastic from start to finish.

The team defended as if their lives depended on it.
They rode their luck at times but only a small fraction of North London would argue that Portsmouth didn't deserve their victory.

Perhaps, with professional albatross and 'World Record' relegated player, Hermann Hreidarsson off the pitch due to injury, Pompey were due a little good luck?

$outhampton 1 - Addicks 0

I just knew what was going to happen yesterday.

Pardew seems to have a fairly good record against his former teams, (how we rejoiced when Curbs came visiting with West Ham, only to be sent back through the Blackwall Tunnel nursing a 4-0 battering).

Yes, old big nose surely knows how to raise his teams against his former employers.

Southampton are of course, benefitting from the birthday present of Administration.

I feel particularly strongly about this.
The South coast club were up doo doo creek financially but managed to wipe out their debts in an instant.

Those companies and individuals who lost their money after doing business, in good faith, with the Saints must have been overjoyed to find the team signing a million pounds forward at the beginning of the season.

Since then, Southampton have been able to bolster their squad with players such as big hitters in this league, Lee Barnard and Jason Puncheon among others.
I would be sending manure through the post to St. Mary's, if I had been one of the businessmen who lost thousands and thousands of pounds from my dealings with the club.

So, the 3 wins and a draw points deduction they received?
Yesterday one of the wins came that most certainly wouldn't if we, like them, had found the money to buy a striker.

I imagine Southampton must feel they have been punished by their points deduction.
It's hardly a punishment though.
We haven't gone into administration and look highly likely to reach the Play Offs but are then subject to the lottery of one off games.

In all probability we won't go up.

If we don't, most of our semi decent players will be picked up by other teams with more financial clout, (like Southampton!) and we will no doubt spend a couple of years consolidating in the middle of League 1, before making a push, hopefully in the same fashion Millwall are doing now.
We will be left financially crippled with a demoralised club and fanbase.

Southampton have spent this year building a squad that's highly likely to walk the League 1 title next season, in the same way Norwich have done this year.
They have been winning games comfortably, so their crowds are up and there is a feel good factor on the South coast.
 Their team are coming together in this 'dead season', almost like playing a whole year of warm up games.
They've had a chance to build for the future with a clear mind.
Anything they achieve this year is a bonus.
Their impressive march to victory at Wembley in the Decorators Cup, will have pacified any rumblings of discontent and thrown down a marker for other teams for next season.

Who has really been punished?
Not Southampton that's for sure.

Charlton gave it a go yesterday but were unfortunate to find Kelvin Davis, yet again, in the form of his life.
The Saints stopper was fantastic at The Valley the last 2 times I've seen him.
 His 3 saves at St. Mary's from Nicky Bailey efforts saved the game yesterday, and the 3 points for Southampton.

I hold quite warm affections for Southampton.
As a youngster, I went 'training' with them.
This was back in the early 80's,- days before children were officially signed up by teams.
I had been 'spotted' and invited to come to weekly sessions that were run so professionally, I was desperate to be retained.
We were treated really well and were all aware, this was a privilege not to be wasted, potentially the first step on the ladder to becoming footballers.

Despite these positive feelings for the Saints, I feel they have cheated in the last year.
If they were forced to pay back all the money they owe, they wouldn't be able to afford their current team, never mind their wages.

It's just another example of behind the scenes in football, being rotten to the core.
The win at all costs mentality, pushed by businessmen with morals made of soup, has started to turn me against a game I have loved since around 1972.

I was cheered by some positive news about one of our former players, Danny Mills.
Always one of the most, 'committed' players, especially in his completely nut job second period with our club.
He always seemed an honest and upright individual, (away from crashing into wingers!), so I was really pleased to read about his latest venture.
Good on you Danny.

I suppose for every bunch of shysters, there are others involved in football who can still find the time to do good.
(Danny Mills justgiving page.)

Monday, 5 April 2010

Charlton Athletic 1- Carlisle United 0

The scoreline tells you nothing about today's game.

If ever there was a time when a team were absolutely hammered 1-0, this was it.

If Charlton had exited the pitch at full time having won by 4 or 5 clear goals, it wouldn't have flattered us.

Chance after chance went begging in the second half and it was just as well that Sam Sodje had scored with a bullet header from a perfect, swinging deadball cross, late in the first half.

Charlton managed to exhibit a bewildering array of ways to fluff chances.
While the score remained 1-0, it always seemed likely that Carlisle might catch us on the break and punish us with a case of daylight robbery.
Luckily, when just that situation arose, the celebrations of the Cumbrians were cut short as the linesman raised his flag for offside.


So, 3 more points and perhaps a little bit of confidence in the camp as we head down to St Mary's for the showdown with Pardew's Saints at Southampton next weekend.

A Casual Rating
Undoubtedly, the biggest cheer of the afternoon emanating from our particular part of the ground, was when Crispy, myself and Crispy's dad were interrupted from our enjoyment of a bag of Chocolate Buttons.
The reason?
Crispy senior won the halftime draw and therefore headed home to Bromley this evening very nearly £1000 richer!
Congratulations Sir!

The Lacoste polo shirt is being awarded to Sam Sodje, firstly for smashing the ball into the net but also performing some excellent, well timed challenges that nullified some very dangerous attacks.
Akpo Sodje looked sharp when he came on, though his shooting boots were left in the changing room.
The much maligned Dave Mooney, (often by me!) also deserves an honourable mention as he could have been credited with 3 or 4 assists today had others not messed up at the critical moment.
Racon and Semedo both had good games but Sam Sodje keeps the shirt.

The Primark novelty slogan tee shirt is staying in the wardrobe this time.
Nobody had an absolute stinker and even though some of the referee's decisions seemed a little odd, he tried to play advantage for both sides and the game did flow.

A bon voyage to Crispy, Juliet and Hannah as they head off to Cuba tomorrow morning for a little R&R.
Upon their return, Crispy will need to really up his training as this year's London marathon will only be a few weeks away.
He's running for Breakthrough Breast Cancer, contribute here.

I hope he returns to news of our points haul from the games against Southampton and Colchester.

Sunday, 4 April 2010

Franchise 0 - Addicks 1

Yesterday, I plodded up to Buckinghamshire to visit the 'city' - (yeah right), of Milton Keynes.

I had little intention of going to MK but after a late night message from Crispy, it was all systems go.
Basically, I was too weak willed and crumbled, despite previously announcing the game would have to go ahead without me.

My experience of Milton Keynes, as a place, is quite limited.
My previous visit was possibly 5 or 6 years ago when I went to the Xscape, sno!zone, which looks even more dramatic and impressive on the inside than it appears on the outside.

It's now over 24 hours since our game at Stadium:mk, so I thought I'd rattle off a few thoughts of my day.

The Good
Firstly, what a fantastic stadium!

Architecturally, it is much more alluring than any of the other 'newer' stadiums I've visited, with the possible exceptions of the Emirates and Wembley.
It's just a huge shame that the team who play there, attract crowds so sparse, a 'bumper crowd' such as yesterday, doesn't even half fill it.
I'm sure there was some jiggery pokery going on with the announced attendance.
To say there were in excess of 10,000 souls inside yesterday, is surely laughable.
 I'd have guessed closer to 6,000 with 7,000 at the very,very most.

Even without the top tier of the stadium being completed, I was thoroughly impressed with the arena.
If England does win the race to host the World Cup, though Milton Keynes might not be a traditional football hotbed, the country could do far, far worse than using the Buckinghamshire stadium.

The seats were superior to anything I've experienced since our trip to the Emirates. They were comfy, had good sight lines and there was plenty of leg room. The concourse was light and airy and there wasn't a stench of fried food as you performed a half time promenade.

The girl who sold us our tickets for the away section of the ground was the epitome of efficiency and friendliness. We were so charmed by her leaning over a desk towards us, we decided it was more like a hotel reception than the usual glass fronted ticket office experience.

I was also impressed by the amusing and cheery ladies who were standing outside Asda, collecting for Breast Cancer. They cooked us some tasty hotdogs and burgers and made it very easy to donate to their charity.

I enjoyed the acerbic wit of Frankie Valley throughout the game. He's lost none of his ability to laugh through the pain of supporting Charlton, despite his excellent blog being merely a memory nowadays.

Another highlight of the day was the alarmingly cheap, Asda coffee shop.
A latte and a chocolate-toffee-shortbread thingummy for less than £2.
I'm in!

With my tongue only partly pushed into my cheek, I was able to say at the end of the game that the Dons supporters wouldn't really care too much about their defeat.
 They have 'no history',  -just 7 years ago the club didn't exist.
Any of their supporters who have reached an age when they have left Primary school behind would have obviously had a team they supported before the Dons existed, thus making the Milton Keynes outfit their 'second team'.
Who really cares when their second team lose?

The Bad
Firstly, the Jubilee Line was out of action, (again), so the first part of my journey to London Bridge was undertaken by overland train.
Unfortunately, the train was so packed, I spent the duration balanced on one foot with a German couple, BOTH wearing rucksacks (??), pushing into me and discussing loudly how the service was 'scheiss' compared to the fatherland.

The game itself was a poor spectacle.
It was the kind of game where nobody really deserved to win as nobody really did anything. Darren Randolph pulled off a few saves, though one of them had at least a smidgeon of 'weetabix' about it.
(Hi to all the 80's kids!)

Charlton scored due to a well 'won' penalty and a very assured finish from Forster.
In my opinion, we were unlikely to score from open play so a penalty was a fantastic return from a poor effort by both sides.
Midfield seemed to be out of favour from both teams as the defences hoofed the ball up front, only to have it returned moments later. This went on for most of the first half and much of the second.

Only when Shelvey, Akpo Sodje and Sam came on for a tiring Forster, ineffective Mooney and out of sorts Waggy, did our team look remotely balanced and start using the space.
Akpo Sodje was left to run around in the middle as there was now more intelligent use of the wings.
A final 20 minutes of backs to the wall defending saw Paul Ince's men leave the field pointless.

On a personal level, definitely the worst part of the day was the zip on my fly breaking completely off my jeans, as I went for a pre match 'comfort break'.
The outcome was the front of my jeans now gaping open and me cursing my decision to wear rather loose and airy boxer shorts underneath that offer absolutely NO support and an absolute certainty that my 'old fella' would be falling out at the front.
I did consider returning to our friendly ticket seller and asking if she could offer me a safety pin.....
It's now back to the old trusty button fly 501's and a wave goodbye to the trendy, 'fashionable' strides.

Luckily, my coat was long enough to cover my modesty but I'd like to apologise to any passengers on the Northern Line yesterday evening who may have been traumatised as I absent mindedly sat jigging my legs about while listening to my iPod.

I am also a little disappointed to report that I spent the day in Milton Keynes but I didn't even see a hint of a concrete cow.
Shame eh?

A Casual Rating
The regular award of a Lacoste polo shirt is being granted to Darren 'Randy' Randolph. He really hasn't been given a fair crack of the whip this season at Charlton and I was very pleased to see him performing well between the sticks.
He did seem to favour the punch when a more accomplished 'keeper might have caught the ball but everything panned out well for him and he probably made at least one game altering save.

The Primark novelty slogan tee shirt is being awarded to the referee, who in a long season of third rate homers, really did make you wonder why we even pretend the referees are 'impartial'.
Perhaps the only decision he gave in Charlton's favour was for the penalty and in truth, it wasn't even remotely debatable, though I'm sure cry baby Paul Ince doesn't share my views!

Tomorrow, we entertain the men from Cumbria as Carlisle United undertake the long trip down to South London.
At this stage in the season, it's all about results so another soporific showing but 3 points would please most of the Addickted.

Saturday, 3 April 2010


After a week of saying I wasn't going to be found anywhere near Milton Keynes today, I now find myself walking towards the train station for a visit to the town of concrete cows.

What's wrong with me?

See you there!

Come On You Reds.