Thursday, 2 June 2011

transfer update

Been out of contact for a while. To be honest, with all the negativity around the club during our end of season run I thought it was best to stay away. On that bad run I have just a couple of thoughts:

1. Since I have followed Charlton we have always finished with a bad run of games so I'm not worried about "our worst league position ever" or any of that. I'm convinced parkinson would have missed the playoffs as well (he had Jackson, Martin, a less petulant Reid) BWP added a goal threat but Powell lost our most creative players.

2. We were changing our system and this takes time, by the end of the season there were signs of improvement, next year with a new crop of players and hopefully a fit Jackson and Youga we will be much better.

Now on to the transfer news, which is all that will keep me going in these quiet summer month.

- Hollands, a very good signing in my opinion, he will add strength to our midfield which, minus Semedo, we were lacking.

- Pritchard, not much to say really as I haven't seen him play, his record suggests that with the right support and training he could be effective.

- Pope, hopefully our next season has been ordained with this signing, I hadn't heard of him before he signed, more than likely a development player, competition for Gough

- Sullivan, very happy with this one. All the intangibles to be a very good keeper. Organizes his defence and very vocal. Not something we have had since Kiely or Myhre which is surprising considering it is the keepers job. Better than all our other keepers last year at claiming crosses and a good shot stopper, pushes the ball to the side rather than back out into play. Needs to improve on extending to shots away from his body.

- Paul Hayes, on holiday at the moment, back this weekend and expected to hold talks at the valley, he has experience getting out of thus division and we tried to get him in January. Not a goal threat on his own but a very good foil for a strike partner, he will bring the best out of BWP if we get him.

- Racon, at the Gold Cup, not holding any contract talks until he returns.

- Semedo, had preliminary talks apparently. Unless things have changed in the last couple of weeks the rumours linking him to palace seem to be no more than hot air. Freedman said they were flat out not interested as they already knew the man they wanted for that role and it wasn't Jose. I hope he stays as we will need someone to protect the back four with our new, more expansive tactics.

- Dailly, contract talks have broken off for the time being. Doesn't want another pay cut (fair enough) and wants to start (not sure that is best for us).

We are still in the market for at least one winger, 1 or 2 centre backs, a left back and possibly another midfielder in the middle. There are probably more who I have missed off this list but I will update as I hear things.

Come on you reds!
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Saturday, 5 March 2011

Charlton v Tranmere

I will be at the game today despite the foreboding feelings leading up to it. There has been a lot of negativity surrounding the performances of late and with some justification, especially the last two games.

Goalkeeper - Rob Elliot has come in for a lot of criticism, with much of it targeted at his weight. I flat out disagree with this, if weight was such an issue then Paddy Kenny would not be one of the top keepers in the championship. Rob's problems seem to stem from his lack of agility and sense of positioning. He cannot get down to the low shots, or up to the high shots, fast enough. The weight question could be a factor in this but I don't believe it is the overriding problem. To me he has never looked like more than a league 2 keeper. Parkinson cost us dear in many situations but over the summer his loyalty to Rob cost us a better keeper. Darren Randolph was not perfect, see some of his performances in Scotland, but he was 10x better than Elliot. Whenever I feel sorry for Phil I remember what he has done to my club and the balance is restored.

If the rumours that Rob is ill are true then I hope Ross Worner gets the nod. Rob at 100% recently has been poor and I dread to think what he will be like when he is ill. Ross had a rough start to his Charlton career but did begin to improve, unfortunately Rob recovered from his injury and Ross was dropped. Worner is a bit on the small side for a Goalkeeper but he makes up for this with some very good jumps to claim high crosses. He is also the more agile of our keepers, he gets down to the ball well but high shots across him to his top right corner do beat him. I think this is down to positioning but it is a weakness that needs to be rectified. Today I would like to see him given a chance, over the past few games Elliot has made a number of costly errors, and yet he must feel untouchable because he hasn't been dropped. Cab Ross really do that much worse than conceding a total of 6 goals against the likes of Exeter and Carlisle?

Defence - we have a chance for a change here and hopefully it will revitalize the team. I personally think Dailly's time has come, Parkinson originally brought him in as a utility player and he made one of the centre back spots his own. Now he is a liability. Against Carlisle, their first goal was down to us defending too deeply. The ball was picked up around the halfway line, and no one put a challenge in until they were on the edge of the area, at which point Jenkinson came across from left back. This is probably because we don't have the younger legs in defence that would allow us to cover for an error but we are causing ourselves more problems with this style. Doherty comes in for a lot of the blame however, he is a good first ball centre back. He wins most of his headers and clears the danger either out of play or upfield. The problems for me come from Dailly playing as the second ball centre back. He isn't comfortable in this role and his lack of pace means he struggles to mop up the knock downs from targetmen. Dailly cannot win the ball consistently in the air anymore which means he would be a useless first ball centre back but because he is captain we have to find a place for him. I'm also wondering if he is the right choice of captain now. Yes he is the most experienced, but he seems more content to argue with his team than drive them forwards. There seems to be more respect for Semedo in the ranks and I would prefer him as captain leading by example.

Today I would like to see Mambo give a go and possibly Llera. I'm not a massive fan of big Mig as he can be very error prone, however, he seems to be better with the ball at his feet and that is what you need with a second ball CB. Mambo on the other hand looks like your stereotypical 1st ball CB. He is big and, you would imagine, strong. He needs to be given a chance to shine and this seems like the perfect opportunity. Francis and Jenkinson should start at RB and LB. I'm not sure Fry will be fully fit but if he is either Llera or Francis would make way with Jenkinson moving to RB in the latter scenario.

Midfield - there is a lot of take about our need for a creative CM, however we already have two. Jackson is a natural CM not a winger and Racon can also play the role. Reid or Eccleston can patrol the left flank with Wagstaff on the right.

My preferred midfield today would be Reid, Semedo, Jackson, Wagstaff with Reid and Racon coming on towards the end when the game is stretched.

Forwards - with Akpo and Abbott leaving in quick succession we have found ourselves in a bit of a hole. BWP automatically has to start as he has been our most prolific goal threat since joining. Alongside him though we have a problem. All reports seem to suggest that Anyinsah will not make the game today. Joe has not been great in front of goal this year but the strength of his game is bringing his teammates into the game. Benson is back but he is not really a targetman. This means we will need to play the ball on the ground and down the wings. To do this our midfield will have to stand up and be counted, something some of them don't like to do. Unfortunately outside of this starting strike force we seem to be out of options, you could shift Wagstaff or Eccleston forward, but this means Reid, Racon, or McCormack would have to start.

In all honesty I can't see this lineup being picked. Instead I think it will be more like the team below and we might get away with a draw.

Elliot, Francis, Fortune, Dailly, Jenkinson, Eccleston, Racon, Semedo, Jackson, Wagstaff, Wright-Phillips

But despite everything I will still be there cheering them on from start to finish and who knows, with the right motivation even this group of misfits might be able to pull off a miracle.
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Monday, 31 January 2011

Premiership Pondering - former addick on the move

Andy Reid is apparently undergoing a medical at blackpool along with former Charlton target James Beattie. This would seem to suggest Charlie Adam is off to join the Reds revolution up in Liverpool.

I think some thanks is owed to Chelsea for kicking off one of the more interesting transfer deadline days. I can't help but think Liverpool are wasting the Torres transfer money in a flurry of panic buying. I for one don't understand how Andy Carroll is worth £35m, 10m more than they spent on Torres originally, and I don't imagine Adam will come cheap either. Add to that the money spent on Suarez and you're talking about 60 to 70 million. Surely that money could have been better spent on other players during a rebuilding phase at Liverpool?
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Charlton Corner - Bessone in

The Argentine left back has traded the glitz and glammer of Leeds for the warmer climes of London.

Initially on loan until the end of the year, we also hold an option to sign him in the summer. Hopefully we also renew Matt Fry's loan as I would like to see him stay, not a natural left back but he has some an admirable job and if we have two left backs it means Johnnie Jackson can stay in midfield where he is more comfortable. Matt Fry could also give us more youth and pace at centre back which I feel we have been lacking, plus I believe his contractat west ham ends in the summer and I would like us to pick him up permanently if we can.

For those of you interested in the Torres ordeal in the premiership Liverpool have made a his for Andy Carroll of Newcastle but it was rejected. Whether this is a sign that Torres is on his way or if this means Liverpool will keep hold of the sulky Spaniard we will have to wait and see.
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Premiership Pondering - Konch leaves the king's realm

Transfer deadline day, a day of big gambles for people with more money than sense. The big news is that Chelsea are loosening the purse strings once more and contemplating a £50m bid for sulky Fernando Torres. If he doesn't sign now he will in the summer. My gut feeling is that Liverpool should cash in now while his stock is high rather than wait and hope his attitude changes.

Other news from the Kop is that Paul Konchesky has joined Nottingham Forest on loan for the rest of the season. Many criticised him for not being Liverpool calibre. This may have been true in the past when Liverpool were consistently challenging for the top 4 spots, however, this year they are fighting to sneak into a European qualification spot and Konchesky has shown he can do a job at that level. He has been made a scapegoat for Liverpool's fall from grace, much like Roy Hodgson, and now leaves a club with ideas, currently, above their station.

I hope we make a few signings of our own, there have been some rumours flying about regarding who we are looking at and there is an interesting mix of attacking and defensive options. This seems like our first exciting January in a while, where there seems to be only talk of addition rather than subtraction. Although this may say more about our current crop of players rather than our ability to gold on to them, if you would rather look at the glass as half empty. I'm excited for tomorrow nights game and some new signing may push the current team to up their game.
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Monday, 24 January 2011

football forum - disgusting behaviour

Yes I'm talking about Richard Keys and Andy Gray and I am not one of these people who believe this has been well and truly blown out of proportion. If they had made this comment about Uriah Rennie, to my knowledge the only current black official in the premiership, they would have been thrown out by sky and yet because it was a sexist, and not racist, comment they were only dropped for one game.

There is no place in society, let alone the beautiful game, for their backwards attitude. I have listened to their conversation and it was not just one throw away comment, that would have been bad enough, this was a sustained, derogatory conversation.

We are meant to have moved on to a time where equal rights is something that is carried out and not just said. But what has become clear is the fact that sexism is a far deeper into the game than just two idiots in the press box. Players at my club, a self proclaimed family club, are defending the actions of these men, although with their childish attitudes they should not be considered men, and I find that sickening. Calls to "free the sky sports 2" are a joke, they were wrong and completely out of order and they have barely been punished, as I said before if this comment had been made about a black official they would have been sacked as part of the "kick it out" campaign.

I don't understand how people can believe this act is defensible at all. I rarely agree with Rio Ferdinand but I would happily stand shoulder to shoulder with him when he said that this attitude has no place in our game.

We all believe that if you are good enough then you should be picked for the England team. Why should this be any different for officials? We all complain about the officials at our games and the decisions the get wrong. Now we have an official, who in my opinion, got every decision right but in the eyes of some isn't good enough because she was born the wrong sex, this is just plain wrong. The FA should have stepped up to the plate, along with Sky and the public, and screamed out against this but everyone seems happy to give them a one game ban and sweep it under the carpet. Well I am not, this should be eradicated from our game. We criticised the Italians for the racism targeted at Mario Balotelli earlier, but refused to treat sexism in our own game with the same outrage. It is disgusting, this is a statement on the society within our game where the colour of your skin, rightly, no longer matters, however, your sex can clearly still hold you back. We want equality and one game for all, but as long as people like Richard Keys and Andy Gray remain in the game then this dream can never be realised.

Everyone wants the best for their family, the next time you look at your wife, daughter, sister or mother think about what they dream of doing and then imagine someone like Richard Keys or Andy Gray ridiculing them because they had the audacity to be female. If there are people who still don't believe they did anything wrong then perhaps my ideas and dreams for our society are out of touch with the real world.

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Charlton Corner - a win and a striker

I checked the internet this evening expecting to read about Keys and Gray, instead I was pleasantly surprised to find the rumours of Bradley Wright-Phillips were true. I now feel we have two top strikers for this decision. Yes, Anyinsah may not be a prolific striker right now but everyone who has seen us play this year has commented on how well he has lead the line, especially in comparison to the rest of our "strikeforce".

Now we have two strikers who defenders will have to worry about, something we have truly lacked since Mendonca and Hunt in my opinion. If we can add another defender and extend Fry's loan until the end of the year I will be happy.

A quick look back at the performance on Saturday, it was by no means a classic but we got the job done, something I never had faith in a Parkinson team doing. There were clearly a lot of nerves in the first half but once Wagstaff scored in the second half the team seemed to gain some confidence in their new style of play.

Although he wasn't on the pitch long Eccleston impressed me, much like our Scott Wagstaff his motor never seems to stop running. He chased back and won us the ball before picking up the pass from Francis and running at their defenders, Benson take note otherwise your Charlton career will be over before it started and I for one won't miss you. There was an element of luck to his goal but he took full advantage and made them pay which we will need in close games.
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Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Charlton corner - Lee Martin hops on his tractor

Unfortunately Lee Martin will be back at ipswich for the rest of the season. Although he had lost his starting berth as of late he still offered an intriguing option off the bench. Now Chris Powell has another hole to fill, this could explain why we have been targeting bostock.
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Sunday, 16 January 2011

Charlton Corner - The dawning of a new era

The Chris Powell era truly begins tomorrow with Chris taking charge of his first training session. We haven't been told who will be joining the coaching staff, however, I expect Keith and Damian to have prominent roles at least until the end of the season.

I have been disappointed with some of the pessimism that has greeted Chris' appointment although to some degree it is understandable. Yes, he does lack experience as a manager but he has all the intangibles to be a success.

1. He clearly has coaching ability, 3 managers would not have retained him at Leicester and he would not have been approached by Newcastle for their assistant manager position if this was not the case.

2. He has the respect of his peers and leadership qualities as demonstrated by his 5 years as PFA chairman. He was also chosen as one of the ambassadors for the 2018 world cup bid.

3. He isn't fazed by the media spotlight, in fact he seems to thrive in it. Approachable, honest and straight talking the daily pressures of being a manager should not take too much of a toll.

He has no record in the transfer market but then again neither did Alan Curbishley or Steve Gritt when they took over and I doubt any Charlton fan would want to forget where their appointment took us. Comparing Chris to Curbs is unfair, that is a big reputation to live up to, but it is in those situations that Chris has found a way to exceed all expectations.

Perhaps it would be better for us to compare Chris to Eddie Howe who we all, myself included, were happy to be linked with. I personally think we have the better man now. Eddie's word seems about as good as milk left out on the side, you might as well chuck it in the bin after 2 daya, whereas I feel you can trust Chris to keep to his word. Right now Eddie has more experience, but, only this season has he managed above league 2. Both of them are now taking a big leap into the unknown and I will be interested to see who comes closer to achieving their goals at the end of the season.

Finally, Chris has the endorsement of colleagues from each of his past employers. They were not required to make public statements praising him, and yet that has been the case. Sven may be disliked in England because of his record with our national team, but his record at club level is hard to argue with. He did not have one bad word to say about Chris, he was not required to say anything at all, he could have said nothing and no one would have thought less of him, but he came out and gave a glowing reference. I have no doubt that Chris is the right man for us, and given time he will make us great again.

We should all be there supporting him come Saturday if for no other reason than he is a Charlton legend who has come back to help us. He may not have been the hero some of us wanted, but he is the hero we need. He can be our Dark Knight, and he can save us from these dark times.

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Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Charlton corner - Eccleston races in

Nathan (not Bernie) Eccleston has joined the Addicks on loan from Liverpool for the rest of the season. The speedy striker hasn't been prolific so far during his short career, so he should fit in well with our current group of net busters. He has been training with us this morning and should be available on Saturday.

So that is one signing we all want, Lowry from Villa is expected to join before the close of the window as well giving us another option at the back. All we need now is a manager to pick the team!

For anyone interested, palace have appointed Dougie freedman as the man to save them from relegation so we won't be competing with them for a manager any time soon. Peterborough have darren Ferguson back which removes another option from the market. I hope we will hear who our new manager is by early next week.
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Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Charlton corner - where to now?

So the excitement of the last day and a half is over. Howe would have been a good manager for us in my opinion but I think this proves his heart was always with bournemouth and I am happy for them, and him, that he stayed.

This would seem to put us back at square one, although you would hope the board didn't have all their eggs in one basket. Rumours have already begun to fly around about our "new" next manager. I hope we get them in place soon so that the can get to work in the transfer market, that is if we have a budget to spend. I expect to see Keith Peacock back on the sideline on Saturday and will be cheering him on to get a result.

Now with all the excitement out of the way I can finally get back to some work!
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Charlton corner - Howe long will this take?

Well the new owners aren't finding it easy to appoint their new man. After the excitement of yesterday we still have no announcement and our interest is rumoured to have cooled. For the latest news on the Eddie Howe sweepstakes I would recommend keeping an due on here:


However, if you cannot keep up to date there, have no fear, I will post any news as soon as I hear.

updates (latest at the bottom): bournemouth squad arriving for a team meeting. No training has taken place, any news would be announced to the team before the media so hopefully we will hear something today one way or the other.

update: 11.12am players waiting in stadium cafe to hear from Mr Howe,apparently the meeting with the chairman has gone on longer than expected.

update: 12.01 players have finished their meeting and are leaving the stadium cafe, rumours swirling that Howe has avoided the media and is heading to London for a 2pm press conference, the club involved has not been named although palace appear current favourites, perhaps their chairman has his "miracle"

no official announcement from bournemouth but the players are leaving, no training taking place, announcement expected by media shortly. this is worse than the lebron James "the decision" debacle in the US... palace and Charlton odds fluctuating all morning.

12.34 Charlton pulling out of Eddie Howe race, he is expected to stay with bournemouth, perhaps he just enjoyed being in the spotlight... rumours are starting up that Charlton are pushing for Gary Johnson or Chris hughton, peacock to take charge at Wednesday...

12.42 Mitchell, Howe and tindall (sounds like an X-factor boy band) announce that the management team is staying. Howe watch can officially end.
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Monday, 10 January 2011

Charlton corner - Howe about that

Sky sports are reporting that Eddie Howe is set to become our new manager. At 33 he will be younger than our club captain but that hasn't hindered him so far in his managerial career.

He has an impressive 50.5% win percentage, not even Curbs could match that, in 101 games. He has battled against a transfer embargo and 17 point deficit to bring Bournemouth from bottom of league 2 to second in league 1 within 2 seasons.

The fans love him at Dean Court, he is a local boy, and I hope we will be the same. If you are looking for a reason to love him, once the rumours are confirmed, look no further than the fact he turned down Palace to join us, if we give him time and support here is to hoping he can improve that great win percentage.

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