Sunday, 24 March 2013


Come & join me!
One of my very oldest pals is the brains (insert obvious joke here) behind this App.

Football Shokx.

I've been playing it a while.
Have a look and if you want, come and join me at the 'Charlton Casualty' league within the Football Shokx app.
You will also be able to compete against others in your own leagues and trade shares (Shokx) in a virtual football stock market.

Ultimately, you'll be going up against other players to see who has the best football knowledge.
Want to accept the challenge?!

Simply go to the iTunes App Store to download the Shokx app.
Then head to the Competitions section and search for Charlton Casualty.

When you've found it just click 'Join'

Happy trading!

Sunday, 17 March 2013

Oh Dear.

Charlton Athletic 0 - Millwall 2.

Well that didn't go as planned did it?

I've had a self imposed twitter and general internet blackout since yesterday.
I know there'll be Spanners crowing about their success, along with other Addicks making dicks of themselves all over the places I'd usually frequent.

 I knew it wouldn't help my state of mind one bit.

I've also refused to watch any (ahem) 'highlights', despite our game being flagged up as one of the featured games on the Football League Show.

If this means I'm flying in the face of the general consensus about yesterday, so be it.

The omens were all fairly good before the game.
The Spanners had played twice since our win at Huddersfield and surely we'd be the fresher outfit?

Crispy had demolished a Lion bar while traveling to the Valley and we decided this was highly significant.

Millwall were pretty poor in the first half.

Charlton had most of the decent chances and played some attractive shapes, despite a pitch more suited to lumping it up into the penalty area and hoping for the best.

The Millwall 'keeper Ford kept them in it, with an excellent save from Pritchard and another from Harriott.

Despite the most obvious Charlton domination, it wasn't the kind of domination where you felt a goal was just around the corner.

Millwall were happy to soak up the pressure and whenever there was a break on goal, Danny Shittu seemed to be on hand to nudge (usually Haynes) off the ball, mostly by fair means.

After hearing the Spanners shouting "it's what we do, it's what we do, Danny Shittu, it's what we do" over and over again, I fear for the future of our language.
It makes no sense, (unless they're all having carnal knowledge of him), which as much as I'd find amusing, I do find rather unlikely.

On the subject of the Millwall support, weren't they awful?

Until they scored, they were among the quietest of visitors to The Valley all season.
Nottingham Forest, Burnley, Brighton, Ipswich and of course Crystal Palace all made much more noise than our supposedly 'famous for their support' neighbours.

Now before anybody starts comparing our crowd with theirs, yes ours was poor too.

The difference being that we all know we are a relatively quiet set of fans, don't trade on our nutjob reputation and are in the middle of a horrific home game slump.
There's not much to cheer about at the Valley this season. Most of us have started arriving with trepidation rather than expectation.

Our announced crowd yesterday told it's own tale, being a rather disappointing 18,000.

Given the weather, the ridiculously early kick off and the profound lack of people who normally come along with their kids, it was understandable.

Needless to say, the same size crowd at our fixture at The New Den was described as a bumper turnout in Bermondsey so I suppose it depends on where you're coming from.

The second half started with Charlton piling on the pressure.
In the East stand we were all up on our feet, believing Kermorgant had scored a curling free kick but the rest of the ground knew the ball had whizzed past the upright.

The turning point for me was when the ball came in from the left and Kermorgant was grabbed around the neck to stop him making contact with the ball.

As clear a penalty as you'd ever expect to see.

Last season, absolutely everything went for us but this year, the footballing gods have decided we are worthy of nothing.
The ball went past Kermorgant and onto Wilson who seemed to have a bit of a collision with the keeper and the post.

The ball went over the bar and we all rose as one waiting for the referee to point to the spot.

Except he didn't.

Once play started again, Millwall had a rare foray forward and scored a breakaway goal that could be described as
a) a sucker punch, or
b) one of those the keeper Button "won't want to see again".

The ball seemed to go through his legs, though I may be being unkind given the distance I was from the action.

The Millwall crowd woke up, their team suddenly looked a yard faster while ours looked deflated.

Only around 5 minutes later, Pritchard made a half hearted challenge that gave away a free kick.
It was so far out, nobody was too bothered.

Unfortunately, once the ball left the players boot, it flew straight towards Button's top left hand corner.

He saw it coming, adjusted himself and launched himself to perform what seemed a rather routine save.
Oddly, he chose to block with two hands rather than one needed to push it around the post and ended up making a right old horlicks of it.

Two nil and game over.

Fuller and Waggy came on but nothing changed.

Fuller deserved a penalty but again the referee was having none of it, and later when Fuller had a chance to place the ball into the net he rather optimistically decided to leather it and sent the ball into the top tier of the North Stand.

As the charmless oiks up to town from the Medway announced, "You might as well **** off!"

Many Addicks chose to do just that and by the time the referee put us all out of our misery, (or started a whole knew chapter of it), around half of the home support were already out of the ground.

Part of the deal when you are an away supporter is that you are inconvenienced so the home support can get away without much hassle.

I've been kept behind in grounds all over the country, not least at Millwall when we were penned in behind the away stand for around 45 minutes a few years ago.

Not yesterday.

Not content with bending over on the pitch, the supporters also found we had to go on a rather pointless journey so the Spanners could have a more comfortable journey home.

No wonder people weren't happy.

I don't know what more Chris Powell can do with the current squad.
He's introduced Harriott who has been one of the few successes but beyond that, it's a treading water season.

As I said right at the beginning of this campaign, the target is consolidation.
Anything better than relegation is fine by me.

However, I'd really rather it wasn't quite so gloomy, especially as I see the majority of my football at what used to be known as Fortress Valley but is becoming more of a 'Help Yourself' convenience store for visitors to our club.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

A Tale of Two Dogs

I turned on my television earlier today to witness an odd looking bloke, rather camping it up, as he minced along next to an overly shampooed canine.

It appeared to be the Cruft's dog show.

Anybody who has seen the fantastic film Best in Show won't be able to take any of that nonsense seriously, so I quickly flicked past.

Saturday was also a day of dogs for me.
I'm not really a 'dog' person, - my little pal Top Cat would agree - yet Saturday was most certainly one where I seemed to be seeking them out.

The first set of dogs were the Terriers of Huddersfield who were playing at home to Charlton.

An early goal, scored by our own homegrown youngster Callum Harriott, was the perfect start.
The next 85 minutes were somewhat shaky at times but a combination of fine defending, excellent goalkeeping, plus the kind of spirit that makes you proud were enough to fend off Huddersfield.

A 1-0 win was Charlton's 8th on the road this season and makes a mockery of the rather feeble home record.
I believe Charlton only need another win to guarantee Championship football next season. Another win  and a few draws should totally clinch it for me.

Lately, I've been having awful luck on my bets involving Charlton.
I've been betting much more successfully on LOSC Lille.
Generally, the money I've lost betting on Charlton has come back again from my LOSC bets.

For those people who don't know, LOSC are known as 'Les Dogues'.
 Literal translation is 'the mastiffs'.

Well just for once, everything came up for me.
My bet on Charlton beating the Terriers and Les Dogues to win 'le derby du Nord' had me like a dog with... etc etc.

Due to picking out Rodelin as a correct goalscorer, I was most certainly quids in last night.


Sunday, 3 March 2013

Not Quite There.

Charlton Athletic - Burnley 1.

Another disappointing afternoon at the Valley.

Burnley were no great shakes and the game had 0-0 written all over it, as they say in pundit land.

Unfortunately, the team from the North West managed to produce the one piece of sublime skill that was on show all game, just a few moments before Half Time.

Charlie Austin really is a decent player and his rasping long shot was just the kind of Roy of the Rovers style screamer we all dreamt of scoring, when we first started playing.

From our seats in the East stand, we had the perfect view as it accelerated off his boot, leaving goalkeeper Button without any chance.

Up until the Burnley goal, Charlton had tried hard but nothing had come off.

Burnley had tried equally hard but other than getting the ball in the net, (long after a flag had been raised for offside), both teams had been playing out one of those encounters when you wished you hadn't made the decision to stop buying programmes as there was little to engross you on the pitch.

Once Burnley scored, the game became an example of Park the Bus.

For most of the second half, Burnley didn't even keep a player up front as they defended and defended against a tide of one way traffic.
At times, Charlton had 7 players in attack in a rather adventurous formation but the equaliser never arrived.

I'm sorry to have to report that while the effort could not be questioned, Charlton just didn't have the ability to unpick a defence who managed to block everything.

The tubby referee was particularly fussy and didn't help our cause one iota, slowing down and breaking up our attacks due to the opposition being breathed on or a Charlton player running what could be described as, "a bit close" to one of theirs but in the end, we just weren't good enough.

Losing to Burnley felt much worse than losing to Forest.
Forest were a class above us and it felt like an achievement to keep them to 2 goals, while also playing with only ten men.

Burnley were poor - but still able to exit the Valley with a fully merited 3 points.

I'm fully aware that Charlton Athletic as a business really didn't have any kind of funds to give Chris Powell last Summer, **when we could and should have been looking to push on from outclassing everyone else in League One.

While leaving the Valley yesterday, Crispy and I agreed that now we really are paying the price for not bringing in the 3 or 4 Championship quality players we need to succeed in this division.

I have nothing but admiration for our current squad - but in general they are just players who were good enough to win League One, (with ease). Now we do need a little extra to advance in the Championship.

Hopefully, the current crop will be good enough to maintain our Championship status and then maybe someone will find a bit of change behind the sofa in the close season, to finally get things going.

I'd just like to add one final thought.

I admit, I'm a huge fan of the boo.
I love a good boo at football.

What needs clarification at this point is I love a good boo at the officials when they've ballsed it up.

I'm most certainly not a fan of booing our own side, purely because they haven't manage to score some goals.

Booing your own team smacks of that 'entitlement' aspect of Modern Football that I hate.

Yesterday, nobody could question how hard our players were trying.
They would dearly love to have been 14 - 0 up at Half Time but obviously, this didn't happen.

Does anybody really think that players being told they're lazy and useless, (usually by some half drunk, out of breath, out of condition idiot in a too tight replica shirt), is going to improve their performance?

Those 'fans' who jeered the team off at Half Time need to take a good, hard, long look at themselves - then they can sod off and watch Crystal Palace.

After all, they're doing well at the moment, so their players obviously try harder, right?

Friday, 1 March 2013

Burnley at the Valley

Burnley come calling tomorrow.

I know next to nothing about them so I really don't know what to expect.

When I think of them, I think of a club who have a wonderful history.
The old Turf Moor was a ground we'd all heard of when I was growing up, even if the precise location of Burnley could have been anywhere Up North between Glasgow and Watford as far as we knew.

Despite a brief flirtation with the Premier league, nowadays Burnley as a town is more likely to feature in one of those dodgy late night television programmes, fronted by a professional haircut with a speech impediment, discussing Britain's 'hardest' pubs or vigilante gangs.

Alastair Campbell is a Burnley supporter.
 I've no idea if he's planning on a few sharpeners at the Rose of Denmark tomorrow but I'd be interested to meet him.
Regardless of his politics, I've always found him to be an engaging and passionate speaker and I was particularly moved by his documentary when he came clean about his alcoholism.
* on second thoughts, the sharpeners might be a bad idea.

The only other useless facts I've picked up over the years about Burnley are:
1. The lowest priced property in our country is in Burnley.
2. At one time, the largest charity shop in our country was in Burnley.
3. Television girl cop show Juliet Bravo was filmed in the town.
4. The French liqueur Benedictine has a remarkable following in the town. I remember hearing that more of the stuff is drunk there than in any other territory.
5. Apparently Burnley has the highest proportion of people who bother to turn up at their home games compared to the population of the town.
I'd argue that towns in the provinces will obviously score higher on this - (I bet Charlton Athletic score highly compared to the population of Charlton Village)- but well done to Burnley anyway, I'm pleased their club is important to their town.

I've made it clear that I know next to nothing about our visitors and I don't know what to expect from them.
Unfortunately, I can say the same thing about the current Charlton side.

Yes, I spend quite a proportion of my non working time thinking about the Addicks, (alright, yes, and some of the time when I should be working), but do I know what to expect from Charlton?


We know our Bretagne Battler Yann Kermorgant won't be up front but who will be?
Will Haynes be starting? Will he be with Fuller? Will we revert to 4-4-2 ?

Last week Charlton were given a bit of a footballing lesson.

Nottingham Forest could have given us a spanking and we were extremely fortunate to keep the score to a 2 goal deficit.
Chris Powell and the team will be desperate to give the long suffering Valley crowd a decent performance.
Which Charlton is going to turn up?

If we do concede first, let's remember the Cardiff game when the crowd carried on cheering and roared the team on to a famous victory.