Jake Forster Caskey

Ben Garner must be completely bonkers if he is not playing JFC when he is fit and available. Inevitably the guy will be rusty and will need to be reintegrated to the team carefully because he’s had a serious injury, but he is still only 28 and probably the only player in this squad capable of playing at Championship level. We are desperately short of quality all over the pitch, need goalscoring progressive midfielders ( because we forgot to buy a striker ?) and he’s not even getting in the squad.

Its just a very poor decision.

442 and tippy tappy football

If you have players with unbelievable quality like Manchester City or Liverpool, in fact, half the Premiership teams, you can play the ball around the back as long as you like. In fact, if you are Man City it doesn’t really matter what formation you play or what the tactics are, you’ve got the best players and therefore they do what they want.

It’s a bit different at Charlton , isn’t it. We’ve filled the team with solid League 1 and 2 players plus the odd loanee and maybe one or two who could play in the Championship if I’m being generous. Consequently, the slow build up from the back ( in my opinion) is doomed to failure because we haven’t got the quality on the pitch to make it successful. This is compounded by the catastrophic failure to secure a 2nd striker to play along Stockley. We should all be praying he doesn’t get injured because if he does, we will be relegation candidates for sure.

I’m boringly repetitive about this but I absolutely don’t care how we play so long as we get results. I differ from the owner on this point who obsesses about pretty football but hasn’t resourced the manager to get close to it.

Basically, teams score goals when they get the ball in the opposition’s box which is what we need to do more quickly and more often. You cant score from your own half or just over the half way line.

In order to do this , we should revert to a conventional 442 and let Leaburn and Stockley bully defenders together

You know it makes sense ……….

Clueless Charlton

What to do in the current crisis to stop us hurtling further towards Division 4 ?

  1. Stop playing open expansive football we haven’t got the players to do it. Dig in and get some results to stop the rot. The football is easy on the eye but the results are hopeless and that’s all that matters. Noone cares how we play. The owner and manager have set an expectation of the playing style that they haven’t made the investment for and therefore don’t have the capability to deliver
  2. Start playing 2 strikers up front together. Obviously not getting another striker in the window was both stupid and reckless. However, if it means sacrificing a winger to play Stockley and Leaburn together that’s what we need to do.
  3. Bring JFC back into the side.He is bound to be rusty but when he is even 75% fit he is
    the best midfielder at the club by a mile. Morgan and Mcgrandiles are just not good enough
  4. Tighten up the defence. It’s about clean sheets. Garner needs to organise them properly to defend for their lives. Like him or loathe him, Inniss is our best defender. Give him the responsibility of sorting out our defence on the pitch.
  5. Whilst we are all grateful for Thomas Sandgaards rescue mission on the club , it is clear that he doesn’t have the funds or appetite to launch a serious promotion challenge even from Division 3 let alone the Championship. He needs to find a new owner for the club.

A Night at The Valley

With sincere apologies to Poetry – sometimes a different approach is needed , here goes ….

It was a cold, damp, drizzly night at The Valley, Less people there than a Liz Truss Rally

We came to see a football demolition, We even attended of our own volition

Changes galore, six and counting, Possession possession passes mounting

We only have one fit quality striker, Leave him benched like a stranded hitchhiker

A breakthrough goal, the atmosphere lifts, Possession, possession, the Rovers gifts

Then the mist breaks, the midfield crumbles, JFC an eskimo whilst McGrandles bumbles

Team selection a mystery, everyone’s a winger, A cock up from Jo Jo, a real humdinger

A draw with Forest Green Rovers, who are they?, Is this where we are now, they make us pay

A suburb of Bristol, a ground named after a Lawn, Not the start we wanted, no closer to our new dawn  

You can’t win games without good mobile strikers, Our forwards seem slower than the Hairy Bikers

Jayden’s a goal scorer but he’s a one man band, The club and team are stuck in shifting sand

Addicks to Victory, that dreadful boring dirge, Irritates me more, prompting a sickness urge

I want to support, it’s been all my life, But its tough right now, the problems rife

The summer transfer business a shambles at best, No strikers arriving Washington and Davison, that’s two less

Garner, Gallen and Tommy apparently not fussed It seems to us that maybe Tommy’s gone bust

AA( 1957-)

Elizabeth the Great

When I was a young Socialist leftie, I was all for a bit of a revolution and abolishing the monarchy. I’ve always been deeply suspicious of young people who are Conservative because there is nowhere sensible to go when you get older, maybe they end up like Nigel Farage or Jacob Rees-Mogg (ugh !)

Anyway, As I got older ( and older !), I think I began to appreciate the value of the institution and in particular the selfless, stoic and heroic service of Queen Elizabeth. Yesterday was a very sad day for the country and many people all around the World. She truly was a legend.

Camilla Long in The Times is one journalist who continually writes negative stuff about the Monarchy. When you consider the terrible second rate characters and morally bankrupt chancers who inhabit the political world now, I cannot imagine a stupider idea than replacing the monarchy with yet more elected political Presidential nominees.

Charlie seems like a decent bloke. I used to be a mentor for The Princes Trust and it is a brilliant organisation. His ideas on Planning, Farming and Climate Change were probably 20 years ahead of his time. If you fancy a nice day out , get down to his model village, Poundbury in Dorset, its fabulous.

I hope the Nation gets behind him now.

God Save the KIng.

Ambition under Sandgaard evaporating

Following last nights shambolic close to the transfer window, obviously,we all HOPE like Ben Garner and Thomas Sandgaard that we have enough to challenge for promotion, but given the striker options, we now don’t EXPECT to challenge for promotion, do we ?

Long gone are the days of ‘ reaching the Premier League and playing European football in the next 5 years’ or Adkins assertion when we played promoted Hull- ‘that will be us next year’. This transfer window has cemented our position as a mid table 3rd division outfit. Sandgaard’s principal stated ambition now has changed from getting to the Premier League to ‘making the club financially sustainable’ and reducing costs and losses. Unfortunately, that’s not how football works and hasn’t worked like that for the last 50 years or so. Cost cutting and reducing losses will not result in success on the pitch and unless we are successful on the pitch, revenues will decrease and losses will increase. Charlton are not Accrington, although hanging on for grim death in the 3rd division might become our mission if the cost cutting and lack of success on the pitch continues.

It is very disappointing that competing with virtually every other London club remains tantalisingly out of reach. For most of my 50 years supporting Charlton, I have regarded Fulham, Watford, Palace, Millwall, QPR and Brentford as similar clubs or a bit smaller than us. Now we compete with the Wimbledon’s, Orient’s and Wycombe’s, its a bit sad. The Richard Murray Premiership period was a wonderful dream.

We’ve had a decent start to the season and Garner seems like a sensible bloke and who knows, maybe he is the next Brian Clough and he will triumph against the odds, Lennie Lawrence did it – but an injury to Stockley in the next month or two is likely to see the early season optimism evaporate as fast as Sandgaard’s ambition.

No Striking Options, No promotion

It’s easy for me to tell Thomas that he needs to put his hand in his pocket for another striker but I’m not the guy who is funding the club to the tune of £6-8m a year.The problem is that, however good Garner is as a manager, without some alternative experienced options up front, it will be impossible to get us promoted.

The longer we are marooned in the 3rd division, the more money Thomas will lose and the further behind Palace ( and God forbid) Millwall we are falling.

Letting Washington AND Davison go without a replacement arriving just looks silly. Stockley is an excellent player but in this system he is either going to get injured or completely knackered without any back up available. Apparently, another centre half is the priority which doesn’t speak volumes for Deji or Ness or indeed Sean Clare who can also play there, in addition to O’Connell, Inniss and Lavelle.

If I was the manager and had to choose just one position, I’d get another striker over another centre half every day of the week.

There again, I’m not the manager which is probably just as well !

No more Olly

The news that Olly Groome was made redundant yesterday after 10 years great service for the club is just depressing

it will prove to be a good thing for Olly and he will no doubt earn more money and have a good career elsewhere but it’s another HR own goal by Thomas.
As a minor act of protest I have immediately unsubscribed from all Charlton comms.

No more strikers ?

I want to be positive about our start. I thoroughly enjoyed the Derby game although on 99 times out of 100, given the chances they missed Derby should have won. QPR was really entertaining and by all accounts we played well at Sheffield Weds. So far so good and Ben Garner’s tactics seem to be a breath of fresh air.

The U21’s continue to stuff pretty much everyone, this afternoon 5-3 against a very strong Sheffield Utd side. The future continues to look bright

There is one dark cloud. I don’t really care what Ben says about not needing or not being able to afford another striker but if we don’t get one, I cannot see us getting promoted. I am a fan of Jayden Stockley he is an excellent League 1 striker but in this system particularly, its a huge physical ask for him to play virtually on his own for 90 mins every week.

Chuks is very good at this level too , but we will struggle to get more than 15-20 games out of him. Miles Leaburn looks really good ( better than Burstow) but he’s only 18 and cannot be expected to lead the line on his own.

If this transfer window closes and Stockley gets injured, we will be in deep deep trouble.

Tippy Tappy football coming to The Valley

I know I am expressing a Neanderthal view of football, but I don’t really like the thought of Ben Garner’s style of football. In all the years that I have been watching Charlton in the lower leagues I can only remember a couple of examples of teams who pulled it off successfully. Reading did for a while, Swindon briefly under Hoddle, maybe Brighton when they got promoted and that Swansea team where the entire team was under 5 foot and they were impossible to get the ball from. The Premier League is a different planet of player capability and only really Man City and Liverpool get away with it even there.

I am resolutely in the 442 camp with two good strikers, a la Wright Phillips and Kermit, Hales & Flanagan, Mendonca and Hunt, Taylor and anyone. I like powerful, big athletic teams playing like Rotherham and Wigan did last year and Peterboro did the year before.

Anyway, looks like Tippy Tappy is the way this year and its going to be a roller coaster as we watch Inniss, O’Connell and Lavelle make 38 short passes between them before dribbling out from the back whilst we all hold our breath or cover our eyes until its all over. I shall be watching the team with more hope than expectation. As it stands whilst some of the summer recruitment looks good, the current squad is not strong enough to challenge. Another experienced striker is essential with probably a winger and left back too.

I shall get behind the team as normal and who knows- maybe I’ll be a tippy tappy convert by the end of the season.