My part in Bolton’s downfall

Now I know that most of you will consider Johnnie Jackson’s excellent goal yesterday as the turning point , but I beg to differ .
The real turning point came when , bouyed by 2 pints of pre-match strong lager, I managed single handedly ( well with the support of me homeboys around me) to get that number 18 booked for nothing more dangerous than a ‘coming together’ .
Now I’m not that great on detail ,so I can’t even tell you who the coming together was with . It might have been Harriot , but no matter , the important thing was how it transformed me into Bill Bixby ( that incredible green thing with the torn shirt)
Enraged by our rather calamitous showing to that point , I leapt to my feet and screamed , shouted and stamped about this injustice until referee Kettle could stand no more- I left him with no choice , a middle aged man’s rage had to be quenched and No 18 went into the book ………………………….the rest is history .

It was only on the trip home that my son turned to me and said ‘ Dad I think you won that game for us with that booking ‘ that I realised the full extent of my role .

Even Doogie Freedman recognised it in his after match comments when he made veiled barbs that the crowd got behind Charlton – come on Doogie , I think you & I both know what really happened from Block F in the East Stand came a tremendous and sustained roaring that no Kettle could resist.

Strange that my son complimented me – I wonder what he wants.

Charlton should have moved to the Olympic Stadium

Calm down , I got your attention didn’t I

Following West Ham’s planned & exciting move to the Olympic Stadium , which has the potential to reduce our crowds further , it occurred to me that part of the reason our fans are so out of sorts at the moment is not just the home form , its the lack of a plan , a vision, a statement of intent or indeed any kind of communicated thought from the owners.

We used to have a plan – the Valley was going to become a 36,000 seater stadium , we have seen the artists impressions , we were going to harness the latent support from all the housing development going on in the Thames Gateway corridor . If not , a move to the Greenwich Peninsula was on the cards , a purpose built stadium . We ship in Scandanavians by the plane load via City Airport. Valley Express expands to 800 coaches , Rick Everitt creates Target 40,000 , etc , etc , etc
I know that relegation from the Premiership was a body blow , but surely we should still have a vision and a workable plan to get there by 2016 or whenever.

All businesses of any merit have a plan. Football is a funny business because most clubs rely on one or two very rich shareholders and 5,10 , or 20 thousand very small contributing ‘stakeholders’ . In most cases , but not all , the couple of rich shareholders communicate the bones of the plan to the stakeholders. Not so at Charlton.

All we know is that they aren’t Charlton fans and so we can guess that in all likelihood the plan is to try and sell it for more than they paid for it as soon as possible , Weve certainly seen a procession of relatively swarthy gentleman ushered through the lounges by Mr Slater — ” yes , these people sitting at these tables drinking beer, we aren’t entirely sure who they are but here in England theyre called fans , but in the Board room we call them the mushrooms because we keep them in the dark and feed them – well you now what ……………… anyway, look over there thats called a table and those things gathered around it are called chairs and I’m pretty sure this red thing we are standing on is called a carpet – Well thats the tour over , could you just make the cheque payable to TJ & Cashy , Bank of Bolivia , Cayman Islands branch

Renew your season tickets – thats an order !

I had a call from the club about whether I was going to renew my season tickets , lounge passes etc . I thought about it for , errrr 15 seconds and said well Yes
Notwithstanding the financial implication which is significant – and I understand why people might worry about that – there is never any doubt that I will keep renewing my season tickets- I mean for heavens sake what else would I do on a Saturday. Shopping’s not a proper hobby and I’d only watch Jeff Stelling and get annoyed at the telly, trying to unravel what Ian Dowie is trying to say .

Now , I know we are useless at home ,I know that we havent got any money , I know that the owners have no affinity with the club ( aside from Lord Murray) , I know that theyve put the prices up , I know that unless Sheik  bin ‘do a deal with a couple of chancers’  comes along we will be in deep trouble next season – but hey I’m a Charlton fan – isn’t that what we do .


Your club needs you more than ever

you know it makes sense , renew, renew, renew …………………………………………………………..


The Road to Aldershot – Part 2

Since I normally play tennis on Sat mornings , it was convenient for me to pass my tickets for the Millwall game to my son. Thats not to say that I didn’t do that in full knowledge that it would be a wasted day out anyway – but he’s only young- what would he know. My lifetime of support has led me to the unerring conclusion that if we were riding high at the top of the Premiership and Millwall were floundering in the Blue Sq South , a chance meeting in the Cup at the newly renovated 65,000 seater Valley stadium would result in a comfortable victory for the plucky minnows from New Cross. Yesterdays Racing Post confirmed my recollection of history , Millwall have suffered only 2 defeats at the Valley in our last 14 encounters .
So instead I pottered along to Aldershot for a far more convenient 3pm ko against Wombledon. It was a shocking game played by 2 awful teams , as a CAFC fan , it was interesting to see Harry Pell in midfield ( lanky cultured a bit Dick Tydemanesque) and John Sullivan in goal for Wimbledon . Sullivan played well , a couple of really good saves . He certainly talks a lot , he never stopped shouting at his defenders . Most interesting abuse of the day came from the Aldershot old boy in front of me who bellowed ‘Sullivan , you couldn’t save a fu…ing stamp ‘ — heavens , the youngsters of today they wouldn’t even remember those sorts of savings schemes .

Anyway, back to Charlton , now he took my advice and we are playing 2 up front , what else to do ?? The problem all season has been the lack of strength and creativity in central midfield. We needed to spend some money and the new owners couldn’t afford it. Getting in young relatively inexperienced loanees from the Premiership ( Raziak, Frimpong and Obika ) has been a complete waste of time . You need proper battle hardened professionals.

If we manage to stay up which is definitely going to be touch & go , the close season is going to be interesting. Last Year , rumour has it that TJ had to find some money at the last minute to keep us going and fund the summer £5m gap.
I wonder if we will wake up one day in May or June and find that TJ , Slater and Kevin Cash have all given up and walked away . If so , I think if I was Richard Murray , I’d go ex directory and turn off my mobile for a couple of months .

Lets hope not otherwise I might be watching a regular encounter between the Shots and Charlton in a year or two’s time.

Oman to Aldershot via Huddersfield ( & Cheltenham) – Part One

Allrad-Auto bei Dünenfahrt

Readers ( thanks to all few of you) , I’ve had a busy couple of weeks . We had a 6 day holiday lying by the pool in Oman which was lovely , mid 30’s every day . The highlight – or sort of- of the trip was a 6 hour round journey excursion to the desert to see – well actually the desert – but what we did there was ‘dune bashing’ in a 4 wheel drive and swim in an oasis Wadi with a load of those little fishes that bite your toes and theyve now banned in UK shops , I think theyre called pirahanas. I’d read about it and didnt expect to be scared , especially in comparison to the Play off final against Leeds, but I’ll tell you what climbing up a vertical sand dune at top speed in a 10 year old Toyota Land cruiser and not knowing how tall it is the other side is a bit like watching the Titanic sink in 3d , except the Irish aren’t locked up in 3rd class.

Anyway, having conquered my fear of sand dunes , we got back on Friday and suitably tanned , I made my way to the frozen north of Huddersfield . I didn’t blog a report because others do it better and frankly both teams were pretty useless , but we deserved to win by a margin . Post game , I confidently predicted that Udders wouldn’t win another game all season ( reader will note yesterday the prescience of my preduction, Leeds 1 Hudders 2). The journey back via the foggy and sleety moors was reminiscent of American Werewolf in London.

A few days later , I’m off to Cheltenham for my annual pilgrimage to the racing festival. I only do a couple of days with my old mates from University because thats all my liver can stand . The pattern of the day is that we arrive at 10.30am ,the gates open , settle down in our seats , open the first lager at 10.45 , study the form for 2 hours, back 7 losers, return to our hotel , go for a curry , open more lagers , wake up , feel dreadful , cooked breakfast , back to Cheltenham for 10.30 , open a lager , feel better ….. youve got the pattern.
Anyway, I learnt something new this year which despite my advancing age came as something of a revelation. A couple of years ago , our mate who lives in the US brought along his mate from Texas who is an avid Dick Francis reader and has therefore spent his life in thrall to plots about cheating racehorse trainers , betting scams , and the long run up the hill from the last fence . It was his dream to come to the festival , so last year he came along and he liked it so much , he joined us this year too .
Now I’m not saying he likes the ladies but you couldn’t leave him in a room with Jilly Cooper for long . It was ladies day on Weds and Jim likes taking photos , so while we plied our way through lager no 27 , Jim went wandering round Cheltenham taking photos of the ladies , hen parties, groups , ones & twos , all sorts and types.
Do you know what ? In EVERY single photo , there must have been 50 or so , the girls , women . ladies ( & hen parties) all strike a pose and smile obligingly for a camera shot for a 60 year old American bloke they don’t know from Adam .
I always wondered how David Bailey got off with Marie Helvin.
I’ll tell you what , if you are down on your love life luck and you always end up with the nutter on that internet dating lark – go buy yourself a camera and wander round Sainsbury’s taking photos of women . You’ll either get punched by someone’s boyfriend , locked up or you’ll get off with someone … what have you go to lose ?