Monday, 5 May 2014

We've Got 99 Problems But The Pitch Ain't One

Blackpool 0- Charlton Athletic 3.
Callum Harriott celebrates his second goal.

For me personally, this Season 'oribillus was bookended by two thoroughly pleasant trips to the seaside, Bournemouth and then this weekend, Blackpool.

The first fixture, away at Bournemouth, did not end with the result we all wanted but at least the Charlton support had a really good day out.
The packed Boscombe 'Spoons was a sea of happy faces when we all reconvened before the game, after our few months of being strangers.

The fixture was the first outing for the "Since I Was Young" song, soon to be so ubiquitous it would be used to promote the campaign to sell Season Tickets.
The Charlton support had nicked it wholesale from Motherwell in the Jock League but in these days of all clubs singing the same stuff, it was good to have something that generally wasn't sung by opposition fans.

I've kept my silence in recent weeks. 
I had no desire to start picking fights or promoting disharmony amongst the Addicks by coming to the defence or otherwise of Jose Riga.

The season is now over so I can say that while resenting- and quite frankly hating what Jose Riga stood for, (the weapons grade, Biblical standard shafting of an honourable man), I can't deny I've become a little bit fond of the man himself.

He of course had nothing to do with the ousting of Chris Powell, he just ended up sat at his desk.
I'll never sing about being part of his 'Army' but the way he conducted himself was never anything other than thoroughly professional.

He had plenty of opportunities to blame any shortcomings on the previous post holder but refused to do so. 
(David Cameron et al take note).

His contract ended with the last kick of the ball at Blackpool but in what could be described as feint praise, I'd be more than happy if he was to retain the position.

The fact that Riga managed to avoid the drop while playing a very close approximation of a CP side, Standard imports often playing little or no part, just makes me think that Powell could have done it too, if only he hadn't had to deal with the toxic atmosphere behind the scenes.

We ended the season on a high, scoring for fun when for most of the year cows bums were pretty safe from our strikers waving banjos. 

Callum Harriott has become a goal machine.
Who saw that coming?
I really enjoyed seeing him celebrate with the match ball on Saturday. He deserved it. 

From the outside, Charlton's 'problem' would appear to be the pitch. 
Even people without much knowledge of the Championship have commented to me about our 'shocking' pitch and how the club had 'robbed' Doncaster due to calling off a game we were losing because it got a bit wet.

It doesn't seem to matter how often we remind people that a) the club couldn't call the game off, it had to be the neutral referee.
b) the game should never have started
c) Doncaster had gone down to 10 men while Charlton had just scored,  
and d) the visitors were now about to defend the almost impossible to defend goalmouth.

Mr Roland and Katrien have been rather slack at offering contracts to many of the players I'd hope to be retained but I cannot fault his decision to splash (ahem) the cash on our swamp of a cabbage patch.

My good friend Jay Z was saying just the same thing while supping a few local brews the other day, "We've got 99 problems but the pitch ain't one (any longer)".

So, what's to become of our club? 
The next few weeks will be quite an eye opener. 

Will players like Hamer, Dervite, Morrison etc. move on, due to lack of any real willing to retain them, thereby opening a handy gap for some Standard also rans - or will we start building a new team with 'proper' signings, proven at Championship level?

Will we manage to wangle young Poyet's signature for another season before he leaves us to set the world on fire?

Time will tell.

It's just nice to be able to put this season to bed and forget about football for a while. 

As ever, I'd like to thank the people who make my Charlton days entertaining, even when the football has been woeful (you know who you are my friends) and the people who have popped by here to read, and even in a few cases sent me messages asking me to "come back" when I stopped posting for a while.

I do need to say a rather feeble "sorry" to the people who sit near me in the East stand as I got progressively more 'sweary' from the period after Christmas. 

Not big or clever.

Have a great Summer fellow Addicks and see you at Welling.