Sunday, 20 May 2012

Security Meltdown

Something needs to be done.
Last night there was the most appalling breach of security I'd be amazed if those in control keep their jobs.

Those of us with longer memories will recall prankster Karl Power lining up on the pitch with the Manchester United team, prior to a UEFA Champions League game against the German side, Bayern Munich.

He was quickly spotted by the real players and sloped off.

Last night, in the Champions League final no less, somebody with a less than blemish free record was able to leave the crowd, put on a full kit, join the players and become a part of the trophy presentation.

Heads will roll.

Saturday, 19 May 2012

It's Blackpool.

We now know another of our opponents for next season in the Championship.

On merit, West Ham probably deserved to go up, (having finished third in the final league standings) but Blackpool had momentum and the beating of highly fancied Birmingham in the Play Off semis under their belt.

I chose to go retro and listened to the game from Wembley on the radio.
This gave me the opportunity to do other jobs I've been avoiding all week but really I quite like listening to football without the pictures- at least when Charlton aren't involved anyway.

The game was fairly enjoyable but it didn't compare to Blackpool triumphing over Cardiff 2 years ago, or indeed 'The Greatest Game' which was at the same stage of the competition, involving some team or other from South East London and Sunderland in 1998!

So, assuming the football fixture list computer doesn't send us up to Blackpool for a midweek evening game, we can all look forward to a weekend break on the Lancashire coast.

I just hope we get more luck on the pitch than we had on my last two visits to Bloomfield Road.

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Thumb Twiddling.

At the start of the season, I remember having a game of 'prediction' with Chicago Addick who was over for the first game against Bournemouth.

The end of the previous season had been less than inspiring but the unprecedented changes to the playing staff at the Valley had lead me towards cautious optimism.

I said that I'd be pretty happy with a Play Off place and the end of season lottery.

As it turned out, my prediction fell way short of reality and Charlton strolled towards the title with 2 games to spare.

So, our summer has started a little earlier than I expected/hoped for.
No Play Offs.

I must admit it did feel odd waking up on Saturday without even a thought about the mighty reds and how they'd be faring.

The team are on 'vacation' in Las Vegas so I doubt there'll be any transfer news for a while.

I intend to enjoy the hiatus.

Sunday, 6 May 2012

That's All Folks!

Charlton Athletic 3 - Hartlepool United 2.
The Fat Lady has sung, (or at least a couple of well proportioned ladies and a bloke did anyway).
It's all over.
There is no more.

In all the excitement, it was very easy to forget there was a game of football to be played.
Personally, I could have carried on turning up in League 1, with this current squad and manager, for a while longer.

Charlton Athletic have been so far ahead of everyone else, it was almost seen as a fluke when the team were beaten.
 It's been a joy and I didn't want it all to end.

If the Notts County home game is taken out of the equation, the defeats were all rather unfortunate. Sending offs and deflections were critical, along with the odd, (very odd), Northern referee in order for the Addicks to leave the field pointless.

The day started at the Rose of Denmark, dressed in my Hawaiian shirt, (in the rain), singing to the people at the bus stop.
When we arrived, The Valley pitch was a hive of activity.
There were opera singers, parachuting Red Devils and once the first half started, the most amazing paper aeroplane competition to enjoy, along with a pretty entertaining football match.

Hartlepool added to the event more than could be expected in the circumstances.
Their team were impressive but their supporters were heroes.
Last year they arrived at Charlton as Oompa Loompas.
This year they came as Smurfs.

I know for a fact, there will be very few Charlton supporters who now don't have a soft spot for the Hartlepool Monkeyhangers.
They've certainly made friends in this part of South East London.

The game?
Hartley hadn't read the script and only went and scored against the hosts!

The cornerball came in from the left and other than around 500 Hartlepool smurfs and others, the 26,000 Valley was silenced.

It didn't matter one jot of course and we began to discuss how it was "so Charlton" to go and lose the celebratory game.

Maybe that would have been the scenario with the old or more recent Charlton but the current crop were having none of it.

Another corner and Danny Hollands volleyed the ball past the impressive 'Pools keeper, then Danny Haynes headed into the roof of the net and finally, the most perfect icing on the cake was Yann Kermorgant's effort that had I not seen it, I would have thought was a physical impossibility to score from the tight angle.

Hartlepool got a meaningless-but certainly well deserved and applauded from most parts of the ground- second goal, and then that was it.

A stage was erected, the trophy was presented, we sang, we all got choked up when Chris Powell spoke on the mic, we cheered, we cheered some more, we hung onto each other, we tried to work out which wife/girlfriend was with each player as they strolled around the pitch and eventually we headed off for the summer break.

Not many people would have gone home, most people went off 'on one'.

We did a bit of a tour taking in the Angerstein Hotel and The Pilot in Greenwich, Cafe Rouge and finally being attacked by a Space Invader at The George on Borough High Street Southwark.

A fantastic season.

One hundred and one points, just 5 defeats all season and being so far away at the top of the league since September, the media saw it as a foregone conclusion we would be champions and focussed on the Yorkshire teams of Huddersfield, Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday, wondering who would take second place.

Thanks to everyone who has taken the time to read my thoughts.

It won't be long and we'll all be back again at Welling for preseason!

Saturday, 5 May 2012

Slow & Low, Let Yourself Go.

I can't let today pass without adding my own personal regret at the sad passing of Adam Yauch, known to many as 'MCA'.

MCA was a member of the Beastie Boys.
He died, on the 4th of May, after 3 years of cancer treatment.
He was just 47 years old.

The Beastie Boys hit the headlines in our country due to some appalling 'journalism', shocking in its inaccuracy at the time but perhaps less so now.

We have all become well aware of the dubious morals of the red tops, the way they work to sell stories, not even slightly concerned at ruining reputations.

Sensational articles were fabricated.

The Beastie Boys appalling behaviour was the talk of our moral guardians, especially a particularly awful piece on them mocking terminally ill children.
Something had to be done.

It was all lies of course but as we've subsequently learned, the papers never let the facts get in the way of a good story.

Politicians questioned if the band should be allowed into the country and middle England shook with fear.

By the time they arrived on our shores, the police presence outside the shows was more like a high profile football derby than a music event.

Needless to say I loved it!
Run DMC were also on the bill but I think most people were there for the Boys.

After that initial burst of notoriety, the lads grew up, became more musical, played their own instruments and relied less and less on sampling.
Yauch became very prominent in the Free Tibet movement.

I bought a Beastie Boys cap at one of those early 'notorious' shows.

It's difficult to believe now but back then, real 'American' style baseball caps were difficult to get hold of in England.

After a while, my grandad took it off my hands as it was 'perfect' for him to wear while playing in his crown green bowls league.

It always made me smile to think of the old fella wearing the cap.

Just now, I'm not smiling so hard.

Thanks for the memories MCA.
RIP, MCA, (on the right)