5 pints for £11.80

What a great night we had at Wigan. The whole team put a heroic shift in with a particular shout out for Harry Lennon who was outstanding and showed just what we have missed. He also gave Naby Sarr and Ezri Konsa the opportunity to show how good they can be when playing in the right positions and with the proper physical support that he provides. Let us hope for his sake and ours that he remains fit for the rest of the season. The defence will stop leaking goals. All we need then is to find a striker from somewhere who can score some goals and we will move up the table again. A potential takeover cannot come quickly enough to get the full benefit of the January transfer window.

I’d slightly forgotten what fun away games up north can be. Although it was a bloody long drive there and back, the banter was great, the result was good, the locals were very friendly and above all in the after match pub in Leigh, 2 pints of Guinness and 3 Pints of Bombardier for £11.80. I stood gawping and disbelieving offering more money as the girl behind the bar repeated it – £11.80 – bloody fantastic.

I’m off to scour the fixtures for another trip to the dark North – I need to take the opportunity while I can because maybe we won’t get to Bury or Rochdale again for a few years ( hopefully) !!


Dancing in the Streets

Finally , finally some good news from Charlton – probably the most poorly suited, incompetent, inept and divisive CEO in the history of football and certainly in the last 50 years at CAFC has resigned.

Good luck to Katrien in whatever she does next – hopefully a key managerial role at Crystal Palace awaits

Spineless Charlton

When I was a kid and pretty much in the 50 years since I was told that you built a football team with strength down the spine, so your key players are a decent keeper ,two uncompromising centre halves, a tough ball winning centre mid and a strong competitive goal scoring centre forward – then what you do is build the rest of the team around that. For example, look at our team that Chris Powell built last time , Hamer – Taylor, Morrison ( Cort)- Hollands ( Stephens) – Kermit ( BWP).

Amos is OK and just maybe a combination of Pearce, Bauer and Lennon ( hugely underrated by the fans) works but to be honest the midfield and forwards just don’t cut it. Admittedly we’ve got some decent players, Da Silva, Holmes, Fosu, Solly, Konsa and Aribo are all OK , but they don’t really form the spine – although Aribo shows promise and Robinson should have played him earlier.

Robinson has been hugely disadvantaged by the loss of Pearce, Bauer and Lennon because at this level you don’t want ball playing centre halves like Sarr and Konsa you want no nonsense body on the line , attack the headers, scare the centre forward, take one for the team men. Pearce and Lennon are proper 3rd division centre halves.

It is difficult to see how this team can be successful because the spine is too weak and the team is unbalanced . To be fair to Robinson it would always be impossible to get promoted from any league in the world with only one striker and to be frank he’s not really a goal scorer.

In order to win any more games in this division this season we will need 2 of those centre halves fit again and we will need to buy at least one goal scoring centre forward and hope that Aribo keeps progressing.

I will be travelling to Wigan in hope but with an increasing sense of foreboding.

Would you fancy Greenwich Peninsula ?

The revelations in court that the previous regime of Jiminez, Slater and Cash were trying to sell the club on the basis of a potential Stadium move to the Greenwich Peninsula were already known to me. Nevertheless, the 69 page court judgement against Jiminez and Cash makes fascinating reading. Effectively, they were running around borrowing money from various sources to keep the club afloat until they could sell the club and the sweetener that they were offering to all interested parties was the prospect of a share in the potential £800m profit from a £2bn redevelopment of Greenwich Peninsula to include a new 40,000 all seater stadium for CAFC.

One of the observations from the court documents is that by contrast, Roland seems to be a straightforward and honest individual, if a little naive. The last 5 years are littered with ‘if onlys’ but what a shame he didn’t appoint an experienced CEO and Football Manager who knew what they were doing from Day 1 – surely to heaven – anyone with a quarter of a football brain would have stopped the needless sale of our best player, Yann, and then built a promotion team around him. Richard Murray has something to answer here because he watches the team every week and as a fan he must have known like us that Yann was irreplaceable- the whole point of being Chairman is that you use your experience to stop the Board from making terrible decisions. This one decision alone is probably the most damaging one made at Charlton in the last 10 years.

As for a move to Greenwich Peninsula , well why not ??  I’d be up for it – I’m not wedded to The Valley – let’s be honest , we’ve had hardly any success there in the last 100 years, so maybe a Stadium move would herald a new dawn. An all seater state of the art 40,000 seater Stadium with a team to match, playing in Red & White and called Charlton Athletic FC – where do I sign and how many season tickets can I have ??

Do the barriers to development render the project untenable ? – well I don’t know and I defer to Rick Everitt’s more forensic analysis in the excellent Voice of the Valley but Slater and Jiminez managed to get Blackstone – who are the world’s 5th largest private equity business – to send a team over from New York to investigate – so they must have thought that the project could have merit.

Battersea power station stood empty for decades before all the difficulties and objections were overcome – why not Greenwich Peninsula?  What we need is a new owner with deep pockets , imagination and a long term plan to make it happen and I really hope I’m still around for the first game!!!

Post predict promotion for Charlton

The Racing Post published their half time football season predictions today and their League 1 pundit has bravely advised punters to get on Charlton at 6-1 to achieve promotion. For those of you who are both diehards and clueless, you can get 70-1 now on us going up as Champions.

The pundit reckons our chances are dependent on getting our injured players back and that was before he heard about Billy Clarke. To my mind, our chances are more dependent on finding a 15 goal striker for the 2nd half of the season and that in turn is dependent on our geriatric owner deciding whether he cares whether we go up or not. Unfortunately since he is not a normal owner of a football club, none of us can know the answer to that.

Let us hope that we get some luck over the next few months and the greatest gift that any Charlton fan could have before the season is out would be a new owner and CEO who know what they are doing and care about the football club and it’s customers.

It would be great if we start the next run of games with a more direct and 2 men up front approach to the Blackpool game. Let’s really get after them instead of spending 20 passes to get in the penalty area.

Happy Christmas to all Charlton fans and your families – keep the faith surely our luck will change soon !


Dear Karl – please can we play 4-4-2

Yesterday was entirely predictable with a predictable result. We run around and look busy for 20 minutes and then if we haven’t scored we run out of ideas, the opposition come into the game and score and then we have to try to turn our possession and corners into a goal which we can’t.

Dont get me wrong, I’m a big fan of Karl, but we have become a complete one trick pony at home . Although amazingly we are still 6th in the table, apart from a short spell against MKDons , I haven’t seen us play well for weeks.

The system we are playing means that a) Magennis has to play regardless of whether  he is in good form, knackered or injured and b) if he is any of the above which he certainly looked yesterday, the ball keeps flying back to our half and the defenders start to look overloaded .

Presumably Karls reluctance to play a second striker alongside Josh is because we haven’t got one which is undoubtedly a fair point, but I would definitely have played KAG up there yesterday , he is on a mini roll and this is the THIRD division and the opposition teams are generally pretty hopeless. Yesterday was yet another example of Josh playing against and getting nothing out of two enormous centre halves – there was no one there to pick up knock downs , flick ons – and this has been going on for weeks now.

Surely it is time to try a new system, we aren’t playing in the Premier League or some sophisticated football league , we are playing in the lowest reaches of the Football Pyramid with some half decent players – we ought to be able to change the system and shake it up a bit.

The other thing that looks like a problem is the lack of leadership on the pitch. With the honourable exception of Chris Solly, who certainly gave everything yesterday , there is no one on the pitch to galvanise and drive the players like a Johnnie Jackson or a Mark Kinsella or a Scotty Parker or a Johnnie Robinson.

Apart from the game and the performance, it was a lovely day !! , the Club’s marketing team have certainly improved immeasurably.

The all round entertainment and build up was brilliantly orchestrated and it was great to see a decent crowd again.