Watching Charlton , the agony and the ecstasy

As the (even older than me ) bloke in front stood up , threw his imaginary season ticket to the floor and stormed out just after Hull scored their offside goal in the 90 something minute , I thought at his age it was a bit melodramatic particularly for the 2nd game of the season , perhaps his dog had been run over that morning, anyway, I did think he ought to know better by now – it’s football – and the Johann goal in the 97th minute gave us what we all come for – the sheer ecstasy of it all. Now let’s be honest, if you could pick a way to win , it would always be in the last minute of added on time wouldn’t it ?

The only thing is that when I put in a shift in the sweltering heat like I did yesterday , heading every ball away from our penalty area and then mustering all my energy to get up the pitch when we were attacking and then somehow , when I’m completely out on my feet , sweating profusely and looking forward to my cup of tea , I manage one final lung busting run to get on the end of big simon’s flick on in the 97th minute , I find it a bit difficult to muster any sensible conversation with the wife when I get home or indeed any kind of emotional connection . Even the dog gets ignored . It’s our 29th wedding anniversary today and it’s a good job I bought the flowers and card a couple of days ago . I haven’t been able to move since Guy jumped on my back.

That old boy in front of me missed all of that , but maybe he had enough energy to talk to his wife when he got home – it takes all sorts.


Dear Guy/ Katrien & Roly

Any chance you could have a whip round , check down the back of the setee , pool any monies we were going to spend on Jodi Jones, James Henry , Brad Jones and any other goalies, wingers and full backs and bring Yann back to the Valley for the season , so we can get promoted . I’d be willing to take a chance without a replacement winger, right back and goalie just to get Yann back so he could head all these inviting crosses into the back of the net.

Hes not playing at Bournemouth and they look like they are going to get Jermaine Defoe now .

The stats don’t lie , 53 goals in the last 143 games , including a whopping 24 goals in 54 games last year. What with Tony , Igor , Simon, Johnann and all the others we’d be a shoo in for the play offs, infinity and beyond.

Shergar Saturday

Yesterday proved to be the loveliest of days. I had the choice of going to watch my son tackle his first triathlon at the excel centre, queue up outside the temple of dreams to collect a duplicate season ticket or watch my horse run at ascot on Dubai Shergar cup day.Since my partner in horse ownership was on his hols and according to the Racehorse Owners Association, when you add up all the costs of ownership, every time a racehorse runs it costs the owner c £4,400, although that was still a lot less than getting my son to the age of 25. Anyway, decisions made, my wife went to the excel centre , my brother went to the valley and I went to ascot.

The scenery at ascot was frankly very lovely in all senses, a beautiful sunny day  with lots of horse flesh and well…lots of other very gorgeous flesh and I’m not talking XXL versions of the new home shirt.

The dubai cup is a strange idea to bring new crowds to racing with all the horses being allocated to teams , GB &Eire, Europe & Rest of World. Our horse , Rydan , ran for Europe and we got allocated Olivier Peslier , the brilliant French jockey. When I say brilliant , I mean normally brilliant.

Privileged as I felt to help give Olivier his instructions in the parade ring before the race. When we said drop the horse out the back and press the turbo charge button at the 2 furlong from home marker , perhaps we should have mentioned that the turbo was more Darren Bent than Dennis Rommedahl. Anyway he charged past 5 horses and was just about to pass the 4th when the finishing post arrived rather earlier than we would have liked.

Never mind , it was a good performance from our brave little horse who seems to have regained his mojo after a couple of bad runs.

I sat and had a very pleasant buffet lunch topped of with a couple of glasses of Chardonnay in the Owners lounge. I’ve got to say , it had the edge on Crossbars, but from that moment onwards my thoughts were at the valley.

I drove home and then suffered the agonies of Paul Walsh’s reports on Sky. A fantastic result rounded off a very lovely day. My brother who went, called me with a match report later that night . He was very enthusiastic and optimistic and suggested that in star turn, Kashi , we have an Algerian Ritchie Bowman- that’s one for you oldies…

Playing newly relegated teams early in the season often helps because their momentum is still downward, however , let’s hope we show another committed performance at Derby which will be a tougher test.




Our future and the Olympic stadium – what’s the official CAFC view ?

An excellent BBC documentary tonight on the taxpayer funded new stadium for West Ham. Essentially, we have all had a taxpayer whip-round and given West Ham’s owners £272m so that they can grow the club’s fan base by another 20,000 . Newham council alone will be receiving 100,000 free tickets a year to be given out as they see fit. Because the annual rent on the stadium of c £2m includes the government paying all the lighting heating , security , stewarding, etc- it means that in effect West Ham are paying virtually nothing in annual running costs. Season tickets are being offered at £99.

Some Charlton supporters dismiss any concerns about this unfair competition on our doorstep but you would have to be bonkers not to think that it will affect our ability to recruit new younger supporters , a clear concern, when apparently , we already have a significantly older age profile than other ‘competitors’ and certainly borne out by all the people who sit near me. It will affect our revenues , make us a less attractive commercial proposition for potential owners .

Steve Clarke and Richard Hunt from the CAFC supporters trust made an excellent contribution to the programme and so did Barry Hearne in his capacity as Leyton Orient Chairman.

There was no official statement or view from our club.

Whilst you might say that the horse has bolted and it’s now too late to respond , its already built , they are already there , etc, the programme made the point that there are now 10 clubs under investigation for unfair State aid in Europe and that the EU were bound to investigate if an official organisation lodged a complaint.

The outcome of such an investigation for West Ham’s owners might result in the forced-repayment by the club of hundreds of millions of state aid.

It would be interesting to hear the official club view on this situation and whether there is any merit in lodging a formal complaint , possibly in conjunction with Leyton Orient.

Someone is fibbing about season tickets

As we speak  I am scanning the sky for the carrier pigeon bringing my season tickets . The club informed me on Monday morning that they had already been dispatched to me, but they haven’t arrived.

This doesn’t make any sense unless the Royal Mail has deteriorated to 3rd world delivery standards .

I never really understand why they split deliveries either , bearing in mind I got 1 of my 3 tickets a week ago. Although that’s been going on for so long in terms of how many databases you are on , it seems churlish to complain about that .

What on earth is going on Charlton ?????

100-1 for the Title

Betstar – who frankly I’ve never heard of – are offering the best odds for Charlton to win the title . Totesport and Betfair are around 66-1 or 70-1. On top of that they are offering a free ( with a number of strings attached) £50 bet. I have to admit that even though the odds on CAFC winning the Championship title ought to be 1000-1, it is just a little bit tempting to open an account just to complete this mad bet.

Who knows what this season will bring with so many new faces on board . The salesstaff and sales managers amongst us ( the optimists) will expect a Top 6 finish whilst the accountants and back office staff ( the pessimists) will expect a battle against relegation.

The pragmatists ( me included) expect mid table again. Although we have an obvious weakness in central defence in comparison to last year, the other concern must be who is going to score the goals with Vitokele continually struggling against injury.

Anyway, at this rate , I won’t be  there to see the QPR game because I have yet to receive my season tickets – aaarrgghhh !!