Oh Johnnie Johnnie

I don’t want to sound like too much of a know all , but hey we won so here goes. With the exception of picking Pearcey instead of Famewo, I picked the same team as JJ. It always makes you wonder when you spend 50 odd years watching your team – why the manager ( Nigel) doesn’t see the same obvious things as you. Dobson may not be Kinsella but he’s bloody energetic and gets stuck in and should have been playing for a while now. Purrington is a bit short of Championship class but in League 1, he’s an excellent defender. Gunter and Matthews have both been poor this season, but Matthews ,when he is concentrating, is the better player.

Then you’ve got to play 2 up front and it had to be Stockley and Washington. Who in the right mind would drop Stockley for Davison, madness ! Davison has promise but Stockley’s goalscoring record speaks for itself.

I don’t bet on football because I’m a horse racing man but I so fancied us to win yesterday that I had £50 on it, which would have been great but the odds at 5-1 seemed a bit skinny to me so I went for the 8-1 Charlton to win but Sunderland to score ( lets face it we are bound to let one in !) – that was a bit silly , but who cares we won which made it a very good day.

The trick for JJ and Jason will be – can they keep it going- Donny is a winnable game next Saturday and we need to start winning regularly now to climb out of the mess.

As someone on twitter put it, there are only 3 certainties in life for a Charlton fan, Death, Taxes and beating Sunderland.

Selecting a Manager for Charlton

I hope and believe that JJ and Jason will prove to be a successful combination at Charlton.

If you consider the successful managers we have had at Charlton, both Curbs and Powell were helped hugely by their relatively recent football careers and their intimate knowledge of some of their earliest recruits. For Curbs, it was Steve Gatting, Gary Nelson and John Robinson , all of whom he knew from playing with them at Brighton.

With Chris Powell, it was Michael Morrison and Yann Kermogant whom he knew really well from his Leicester role. Lennie Lawrence is an honorable exception here but he worked so hard and had a fantastic knowledge of the best players in the lower leagues, hence how we picked up, John Humphrey, John Pender, Steve Thompson and George Shipley. To be fair to Lennie , he was a genius at recruitment ( Ralph Mine excepted !)

Anyway, my point here is that if it turns out that JJ does not get the job long term, I’m not keen on anyone who doesn’t know the players in the lower leagues well. For that reasion, I woudn’t take Chris Wilder or Ryan Mason for example. I’d much rather a Michael Flynn or a Matt Taylor. Ian Evatt at Bolton is an excellent example of what can be achieved.

Anyway, I hope this is just academic and JJ and JE start with a win at Sunderland tomorrow

Good Luck JJ & Jason

Thomas bowed to the inevitable this morning and delivered the Spanish Archer to Nigel. Its a shame for a whole load of reasons but most of all because Nigel seems to be a really nice, positive and kind human being and frankly that’s what we should all aspire to. Nevertheless, the results have been terrible and whilst I don’t subscribe to the ’we’ve got one of the best squads in the division’ mantra, we certainly should not be in the relegation zone with this lot.

It’s time for experienced heads and if team selection were down to me, Firstly, I would revert to 442 – Pearcy would be straight back in the team at least until the January window when we need to acquire another solid centre half. Sure he will make mistakes, give away fouls and the odd goal, but Akin is currently doing that too and the team needs leadership blood and guts and our Jason is just the man for that job. Purrington would replace the Palace secret agent who just looks useless to me. Lavelle picks himself and someone tell Gunter that he’s playing for Wales and not Charlton and maybe he will defend properly.

I would also play Dobson at Sunderland, we lack aggression and energy in the middle and I don’t think we have anyone else who can do that job bearing in mind that Watson doesn’t have the mobility any more. I’d probably play Lee, Morgan and Leko as the other 3.

Up front, I would play Stockley and Washington and tell Connor that Saturday is a Northern Ireland game

Anyway, its definitely going to be very tough but JJ and Jason are both vastly experienced and history suggests that ex players have an excellent record for management at Charlton- Eddie Firmani, Mike Bailey, Curbs and Gritt, SCP to name a few.

Good Luck JJ & Jason


Pantomime Defending

Sunderland should be looking forward to racking up a cricket score against us on Saturday. We can only assume that Purrington is injured because there is absolutely no other reason why Soare would ever play. He was terrible against Lincoln and even worse tonight. Famewo just looks like a bloke who has had such a bang on the head, he’s forgotten how to play football. Gunter just lets wingers cross at will, McGeady will be looking forward to some fun at the weekend.

Then lets consider the midfield, we know we are going to be in for a physical battle with the big Accrington bruisers so we pick Morgan and Clare !- is Adkins completely mad ? Morgan was OK and tried hard, Sean Clare has no physicality and is just not good enough. Gilbey played well. Rick Everitt made a good point on Charlton Life when he said we probably should have realised that this was going to be tougher than we hoped when we bought Dobson and Clare, neither of whom could get in other 3rd divsion teams last year. It was hardly a statement of intent was it.

Finally, do you remember the good old days of Curbs and even Bowyer in the Championship when we played 2 banks of 4 and 2 up front and when you watched us defending it was like table football because you could see then all moving left to right.

When you watch this Adkins team , they are absolutely all over the place, its like watching a kids game where they all chase the ball together. There is no proper shape or tactics.

If Adkins stays, we are nailed on for 4th division football next year for the first time in our history.

Nigel’s time is up

I don’t really like sitting behind my keyboard suggesting someone should lose their job but as a stakeholder, 40 year season ticket holder, sometime shareholder and North Stand patron, Ive had enough of Nigel and its time for a change. If it were me, I would take out Ged Roddy too.

The football has been turgid, clueless and the team heartless. The recruitment with the exception of Elliott Lee has been poor. We haven’t replaced Aneke and Millar properly and so removed a lot of our attacking capability. Famewo plays like a cross between Franz Beckenbauer and Frank Spencer whilst Matthews and Gunter just haven’t played well.

For Nigel, the results and our League position speak for themselves . He has to go. I don’t know anything about Ged Roddy but coincidentally met someone last weekend who knew him from his days at Team Bath- he was very negative about his capabilities and suggested that success would be very difficult to achieve with Roddy’s hand on the tiller. It was suggested that our ex player, Matt Taylor, the Exeter manager, who worked with Roddy at Bath would have an interesting opinion. Anyway, regardless of that, once again for Roddy too the results say it all.

What would I do if I were the manager ?

I would immediately revert to 4-4-2 and play that every week. I would put Stockley back in the team and play him alongside Washington. Playing Davison in front of your only proven goal scorer is stupid.

In the middle, I would bring Dobson back to be the ball winner, he’s limited but he’s energetic and aggressive. I’d play DJ on one wing and maybe CBT on the other and tell them to get down the flanks relentlessly and lob balls into the box. Then I’d play Lee alongside Dobson. At the back, I’d bring back Purrington, he’s not a Championship left back but he is a proper League 1 left back. I’d drop Famewo and bring back Pearcey. I know that’s controversial but we are in the relegation zone, we need a fighter, a leader someone who does the basics right. Right back is a problem, I think Matthews is the better player but he’s had a complete nightmare so far this season. Lavelle and MacG pick themselves. On the bench I’d have Gilbey, Leko, Arter, Famewo and Gunter.

Just as another aside, for future recruitment at this level, I wouldn’t recruit anyone who plays international football whether that’s for Wales, N. Ireland, Eire or Montserrat. It’s impossible to play a settled team when the likes of Washington, Gunter and Arter are repeatedly away on International duty and frequently return knackered. The decision of Lyle Taylor to play football for Montserrat ( population 5,000) actually got us relegated from the Championship. It’s all very well when you are in the Premier League and have loads of those sorts of players but we , very obviously, do not.

I guess the problem for Thomas getting rid of Nigel is the length of his contract and potential pay off, however, if we carry on with him in charge relegation to League 2 seems a real possibility.

By the way, did I dream this but didn’t we beat Plymouth 6-0 away near the end of last season and they are now top of this division – how did that happen ???

I think for Nigel, who seems like a thoroughly nice, positive person, walking is great and now is the time to walk away.