Mission Impossible

Apologies for banging on about this , but promotion has always been an impossible outcome this season because of our inability to score goals from midfield.

In the season we got promoted last time , the first thing that Varney and Powell identified was that you have to have goals in your midfield otherwise you can’t be successful. That season , JJ ( in his prime) Stephens and Hollands scored 30 plus goals between them.

We have basically no one who can score a goal from midfield – I’m not counting Ricky Holmes who is the Danny Green equivalent who also scored his share.

The recruitment at the beginning of the season set us up to fail with a goalless midfield of Foley, Ulvestadt, Crofts and an ageing JJ .

Konza is brilliant but a centre half and Aribo is also brilliant but will probably end up as the defensive midfielder after the excellent Crofts leaves. Forster- Caskey and or Bryne might prove to be OK but they are both unproven and too late in the season.

The poor recruitment of players under the Duchatelet regime has been the biggest single disaster we have endured.

We are just fans so if we know what the problem is why can’t Roland, Katrien, Russell and Karl ?

It would be a good idea if Katrien called Peter Varney and Karl Robinson called Chris Powell if they won’t take my word for it and they really want to know how to get out of this division.

 

Hope on the horizon

What a fantastic result yesterday – well done to all those involved in the heroic team effort. Most of the time I think Karl Robinson is talking nonsense , but I’m even starting to warm to his post match assessments.

He has been hugely assisted by the emergence of Aribo and Konsa which enables us to play a midfield full of energy which was the biggest problem earlier in the season. Providing the legs and energy around him has given Andrew Crofts the platform to show what an excellent player he is too. Quite what Slade was thinking when we lined up with Jackson, Crofts and Foley earlier in the season will always be a mystery.

Yes there is definitely some hope on the horizon, Forster Caskey gave a MoM performance yesterday , Nathan Byrne provides more pace and Ricky Holmes is due back any moment. The enigmatic Tony Watt seems wedded to the cause, at least for the moment.

Even our incompetent CEO has decided that if she doesn’t say ( or probably do) anything at all that’s what’s best for the club.

Oh and by the way , one for our idiotic owner, the one thing that apparently us stupid fans are allowed to comment on .

The beer and food in Crossbars have both gone downhill, Kronenbourg replaced by crappy Heineken, the food in The ‘ East Stand’ is terrible now – no more decent pies. At the last home game, the server told me that when I wanted a bacon roll , chef had said that she was only allowed to give out 2 ( cold ) rashers of bacon per customer ( perhaps the ovens are connected to the same boilers as the under soil heating) and on a freezing cold day in January, after the game there is no tea and coffee available. Thanks for all your great work in that area.

Despite this, on the pitch there are grounds for optimism at last. Let’s hope the mini revival becomes a full blown dash to the play offs.

COYA

Roland’s Charlton – Fur coat and no knickers

Yesterdays revelation that Charlton installed the pipework for undersoil pitch heating , but not the necessary boilers to heat the pipes seems to me to be the best analogy for the way that Roland runs the football club.

Roland entire philosophy is based on putting just enough resource into the club to keep it going in a modest way to avoid insolvency, using the CEO to shout about things that sound good , but without ever putting enough resources into the club to achieve success.

The transfer policy is a continual reminder of his strategy – every manager that we have had since they arrived has been starved of enough player resource to achieve any success. I remember the 1-0 away victory achieved at Norwich a couple of seasons ago which was the pinnacle of Bob Peeters reign . It was a fantastic gutsy performance with a deflected skimmer from the skipper, JJ , but it was obvious that our player resources were painfully thin on the ground. Gomez was already being used and we were forced to bring on Karlan Ahearn Grant against a team with innumerable ex Premiership players. Peeters didn’t need much more to be a Top 10 club that season , but the obvious gaps were never filled.

Lets face it, to those of us watching every week, relegation from the Championship was always inevitable under Roland – it was just a matter of when.

The decline is continuing in the 3rd division. Say what you will about Jiminez and Slater , but somehow they persuaded Kevin Cash to put in enough money ( with the astute help of a good manager and a clever CEO) to build a team in one season that was not only good enough to romp away with the Title , but also formed the basis of a Top 6 Championship side. We all know that Roland threw that away by immediately selling our best players , the spine of the team – Hamer , Morrison, Stephens and Kermogant.

The team we have today is not a patch on the side that got promoted last time – we have absolutely no chance of getting promoted this year and worse than that the cycle of decline and ambitionless ownership continues without end.

Robinson has just sold players releasing funds of c £8m and has been allowed to reinvest just a fraction of it in Jake Forster Caskey, a player who was 4th or 5th down the player pecking order at Brighton behind – yes you’ve guessed it- Dale Stephens. The team is woefully short of goal scoring strikers and the injury to Magennis is a huge blow. Robinson has already moved to the mantra used by Riga, Peeters, Luzon, Riga, Fraye, Slade which is we just need to get a couple more in to sort the team out. He has even talked , laughingly, about a ‘marquee signing’ – quite what that means under Roland’s ownership – who knows ?

We are talking about a Euro billionaire owner who holds his 70th birthday celebration lunch in the front window table of what looked like the Belgian equivalent of Nandos. He’s not a bloke who likes spending money , whether its on his own shoes, lunch or a pet football club.

Karl, mate, the players never come, it never happens, not this window, the next window, the last window , the window before that or any other bloody window.

There is no ambition to arrest the decline, to put enough resources into the team to make it successful

Roland’s Charlton is all fur coat and no knickers

 

 

 

 

 

 

Calling all Charlton supporters

We all know that our owner is a silly old fool and we all know that our CEO is a clueless incompetent. They have both demonstrated that on numerous occasions.

But tomorrow we are going to beat Millwall after 20 years of misery , you need to forget our idiot ownership and you need to be there to see it.

Boycotters , the disaffected, the lapsed, the disinterested, the driven away, the disappointed.

Tomorrow is the day to reaffirm who you support.

We will win

Legs in the middle

What a pleasure it was to watch the 2nd half yesterday. It felt like the first time in years that we were an irresistible force going forward, Magennis’s finish for his hatrick was reminiscent of the Shaun Bartlett strike against Leicester.

I often feel that football managers over complicate the game. Essentially they just have to pick the best players, motivate them and choose a system ( 442 etc). Although Karl needs credit for playing Aribo and Konsa in midfield yesterday, it has been absolutely obvious to the fans that the biggest problem with the team was a lack of energy and legs in the middle of the park. If Slade had addressed this issue by playing a box to box youngster – Any of Aribo, Konsa or Charles -Cook earlier we would have had more points by now.

Konza and Aribo were outstanding yesterday because they had all the energy and passion of youth.

Anyway, it felt like we might have turned a corner yesterday- it was great to see the joy and pleasure in the crowd after months of misery.

Apart from Millwall at home ( obviously) I would be cautiously optimistic for the rest of the season.

Is Duchatelet an asset stripper ?

Rod Liddle has written an interesting article in The Times today , titled ‘Why would intelligent businessman lose the plot at The Valley’

The article questions why anyone sensible would buy a football club, but also suggests that in Duchatelet’s case the startling ineptitude of his ownership and management team that has driven away more than 50% of the fanbase belies a more sinister objective which is the potential to redevelop The Valley for housing and move the club from its historic home.

To quote’ The continuing existence of Charlton is fraught and in the hands of people who have no sense of community history which attends to every side, from Chelsea down to Newport County. ‘

Sorry to start the year on a downer and let us all hope that there are no long term plans to leave The Valley, but it is certainly difficult to rationalise why an ( apparently) sane and successful businessman would buy Charlton and then appoint incompetent managers (Katrien), resulting in an inevitable erosion of value without some alternative plan on the horizon.

Let us all hope for some relief from the continuing decline of our  football club in 2017

Happy New Year to those who take time to read my rambles , thank you for that and your comments- Good Health and Happiness to you and your families . 

COYA 

 

Albury family trip to Milton Keynes

Heaven knows why, but wifey decided that a Boxing Day trip to Milton Keynes would be an excellent opportunity for family bonding. This was her second away game in 35 years ,the last one being the day Bob Bolder single handedly secured a 0-0 draw for us at Old Trafford, somehow saving at least 10 certain goals. She was disappointed to learn that Bob wouldn’t be playing in goal at MK Dons, a team who had actually been invented since the last time she attended an away fixture.

In truth our visit to Milton Keynes was spent mostly on the M25 , particularly on the journey from Surrey, which lasted 2.5 hours and was a nightmare.Nevertheless we arrived just in time for a family feast of tepid meat pies.

The game was awful – MK should have been a couple of goals up in the first quarter. After that I think there was only one shot on target from anyone and that was the goal from our Ademola after a wonderful pass from Crofts .In the 2nd half we played a kind of passing game that Mr Robinson is known for. There are some tactical things that I just don’t understand – why is Ajose playing so deep ? He isn’t a midfield player or a winger or a wing back, at one point yesterday he was playing behind Fox. Secondly, I don’t understand why Konsa is playing at right back. He is an excellent player and will be a brilliant centre half, but he gets caught out too often , whereas Foley is a steady experienced right back, who should be playing.Finally, why on earth is Roger Johnson even on the bench. He spent about 3 minutes on the pitch yesterday and was lucky not to concede a penalty. Aside from his well publicised unpopularity with the fans, Harry Lennon or indeed Konsa (if Foley is playing) are better options for the future.

Anyway, who cares, we won, we won , we won. The trip home was dreamily easy and the whole family took part in the annual flip the paper fish up the hall after 6 pints and name the unusual dog picture Boxing Day games in the rare state of collective Charlton victory euphoria. That’s a feeling we’d like to get used to.