Don’t tell Thomas your name.. Pike

It seems the one certainty about working for Thomas Sandgaard at Charlton is that you aren’t going to be working for him for very long before you get fired. We’ve had managers galore, Bowyer, Adkins, JJ and now poor Ben. We’ve had Chris Parkes, Ged Roddy, Brian Jokat, Wayne Mumford, Olly Groome, Nathan Chapman, etc, etc the list is almost endless. You just about get introduced at the training ground and before anyone really knows your name you are reading your own compromise agreement. He sacked Rich Cawley before he realised that he didn’t work for the club.

What next ? The job spec is for a manager who plays attractive possession football and scores lots of goals with a squad of players to work with who play a combination of hot potato kamikaze possession football and who forgot to play our striker.

The transfer budget is zilch, the owner is batshit crazy, his son picks the new players from the League 2 free transfer list on his laptop, while the owners partner is experimenting with catapulting hot dogs into the Covered End. What’s not to like ?

I am sure there will be the usual flood of out of work managers declaring undying love for the club and kissing the badge in the folorn hope that they get a decent pay off before the Spanish Archer arrives……..

It’s a shambles yet again……………..Welcome to being a Charlton fan.

No investment, no strikers, no points

It’s not complicated is it. I couldn’t go last night but I WhatsAppd my Charlton mates before the game that we couldn’t possibly win with that line up.

We all know that the failure to get another decent striker in the Summer or put another way, the stupidity of letting Davison and particularly Washington go without replacements was a recipe for disaster.

Personally, I don’t like the style of play either. We are a 3rd division team with 3rd division players. We should be getting the ball into the opposition box as quickly and often as possible and hope something happens. We are trying to play like Man City or England but without the talent on the pitch.

The owner needs to invest in some talented footballers in the January window – not League 2 free transfers or 18 year old premier league loanees but proper relatively experienced players.

If he cant or wont he needs to step aside quickly IF there is anyone out there with an ambitious plan and the funds to support it.

Otherwise we are going to be in a very grim battle to avoid relegation to the 4th division for the first time in our 115 year history.

Peter says buy a Brighton ticket

An interesting tweet this pm from Peter Varney in which he said

If you care about Charlton even if you feel disillusioned at present please buy your ticket for the Brighton cup game and come with the mindset to create a passionate atmosphere as it is very important to showcase the club on that night”

Peter will know how well regarded he is by the fanbase and he will also know how this rallying call will be interpreted. I wasn’t intending to go but we are going to make it a family 3 line whip now.

Changing football club ownership particularly one with no physical assets like Charlton is likely to prove challenging but even if there is a glimmer of hope that we can leave the Sandgaard era of poor management and under investment behind, we should all cling to this request. Let us all travel in hope that a brighter future is possible.


Come On You Addicks

Apathy Valley

The really depressing thing about following Charlton this season is the lack of fan interest – I think we all realised that when he let Washington and ( even) Davison go without replacing them that this season was going to be a complete waste of time. Fans are voting with their feet. The crowd today was abysmal again. The owner has no ambition and what’s the point in us bothering if he isn’t. I’ve had 55 years of going week in week out and I can’t ever remember being less motivated to go.
The team is poor – there are only 2 or 3 who could play in the Championship. The tactics are dull and boring , loads of possession but not enough creativity or direct attacking threat. The most exciting element is watching Inniss and Lavelle wondering what is about to go wrong.

I hope I’m wrong but I think we face a real threat of relegation to the 4th division for the first time in our history

I am truly sorry for being so negative because the world is already a bit depressing at the moment without me being a Jeremiah but we are certainly at a very low point in the history of our football club that means so much to all of us.

Everything wrong with Charlton

It’s easy to go overboard after poor performances but this Charlton side is definitely amongst the worst I have ever seen in 55 years. They were clueless again today.

The fact that we lost to a goal from one aimless long ball to one of the smallest players on the pitch who outmuscled 3 of our defenders says it all. Port Vale were terrible and missing their top scorer and never really threatened our goal but still won because we were even worse.

Week after week we have loads of pointless possession. We are just slow, slow and slower. Garner’s tactics do not suit the limited talents of this team. For it to work, you need very creative midfielders and potentially forwards to break through the lines. Fraser, Kirk and Morgan are not capable of doing that. JFC probably is but for some reason he doesn’t get picked. Ironically, it might have worked for him at Swindon because he had Jonny Williams.

Stockley is slow and not playing well but he has to consistently play on his own against 3 centre halves whilst Kirk and Rak Saki are too far away from him to help. Meanwhile Inniss, Lavelle and Clare spend most of the game passing 5 yards between each other whilst we collectively hold our breath waiting for one of them to make a cock up.

The team is poor and the tactics are hopeless. We are in serious danger of being in a relegation battle.

JFC – Why oh why oh why oh why ?

I have blogged about this before but someone at the club has to be HONEST and tell us why the best midfielder in the club is not playing in the first team. Anyone who watched the game tonight will tell you that he ran the game. Against a team of young, energetic, top quality Brighton youngsters, he lasted 90 minutes and dominated the midfield. His dead ball delivery from corners and free kicks is better than anyone else. His range of passing is better than anyone else. Jayden Stockley must watch him play and pray that he is allowed to come back to improve the service to the strikers. He is light years ahead of Morgan, Mcgrandles and Payne but doesnt even get on the bench. It’s just barmy.

Put simply, we would be in the Top 6 now if we had been playing him this season. It just seems ridiculous. The rumour is that there is a contractual issue which Garner has denied.

If that is true which seems doubtful, then Garner is a complete idiot for not playing him.

Garner doesn’t strike me as an idiot so what on earth is going on ??

Valley of Fun

I never leave football games early – well apart from that game at Brighton in the 70’s when we were 7-0 down with 20 minutes to go – a comeback seemed unlikely then.

Isn’t football just a fantastic game ? The 2nd half and added on time on Saturday entirely encapsulated what football is all about for both sets of supporters. Joy, despair, misery and elation depending on who you were supporting. Wonderful stuff.

Bringing Chuks and CBT on is like bringing on your specialists in American football. They are both pretty much unplayable. When defenders are tired and those two come on, the opposition look at them and panic immediately. I particularly liked Chuks half nelson throw on the centre half for our first goal.

Its such a shame that we didn’t keep Washington or at least replace him with another pacey striker to give Stockley some support. Kirk is clearly not the answer- probably to any question and Ladapo showed on Saturday what proper strikers can do.

Anyway, Zynex share price has risen by 30% in recent days giving it a market capitalisation of $400m which means that Sandgaard’s ‘paper’ worth is back to c $160m – Thomas can you dip into it and buy us a decent striker and another central defender and then at least the 2nd half of the season we could have a proper go at a play off position.

Encouraging (at last)

We played really well last night and pretty well on Saturday too. All the pairings seemed to be working properly now, Egbo and Sessegnon, Inniss and O Connell, Fraser and Dobson and hurrah we started playing two up front with Leaburn and Stockley on Saturday and Kirk and Stockley last night.

We get the ball forward quicker, reduce the tippy tappy fannying around and we start scoring goals and winning matches. I like Ben Garner, he is articulate, sensible and appears to be a calming individual. The contrast with watching Klopp and Guardiola the other night, harrassing officials and winding the crowd up- frankly they should both be ashamed of themselves.

Nevertheless, I have been blogging about the need to play 2 up front and get the ball forward quicker for weeks, especially at The Valley. I think if Garner had twigged that earlier we would have had at least 6 more points.

Anyway, it was fun to watch and lets hope we can keep up the momentum now. Charlie Kirk has lovely delivery and his ball through for CBT’s goal was great, however, away from home at places like Shrewsbury , I’m not sure he is the guy to play alongside Jayden. That’s where Ben will need to earn his money.

Takeover the Academy ?

As it appears that Thomas has lost patience with funding an underperforming Division 3 football club which has now filtered through to significant cuts to the youth set up at the club with coaches leaving and not providing kit for the kids etc. Given that SE London is a hotbed of footballing talent, cutting in this area seems misguided ( at best ) or just stupid ( most likely)

How about this as an idea – a bit like horse racing syndicates – as fans we agree to provide some funding to the academy ( let’s say 20-30% of the annual costs) and in return when someone gets sold – think Mason Burstow and Miles Leaburn next, we get a 20-30 % share of the profit. We could have all sorts of level of contribution. We would be even more personally invested in supporting the youngsters and their careers. Maybe we would influence their contracts to the extent that the minimum number of games they play for the first team before they get sold – lets say 50- so that they can properly impact 1st team performance before they exit.

OR – If we could recruit some of the higher rollers – John Hayes are you still out there – maybe we could try and fund 100% , run it as a completely commercial venture and take responsibility for the whole academy and providing players to the first team and the overall football market generally. Maybe its a Peter Varney project ?

We might even make money out of it !! – I don’t actually think the current ownership would know how to run a British sweet shop so with the talent amongst the fans at our disposal, surely we could make a success of it.

Thomas needs to go now

I think Thomas rescued the club from the ESI crooks and has dumped more than £10m on trying to be successful. We can only thank him hugely for that. Unfortunately it has proved to be a catastrophic failure. I am sure he has been well meaning but he has made bad mistakes which have found him out. Not appointing a proper CEO, spending money on under performing players, e.g Ronnie Schwarz, DJ, Charlie Kirk, trying to prescribe a football philosophy without providing the manager with the players to play that way, not recruiting a striker in the summer when it was obvious to everyone that we needed one, appointing his son to the recruitment team, using his partner as the de facto CEO, over promising and under delivering. The academy is the only area of the club that is successful – incredibly our U18’s beat Liverpool 8-1 yesterday, so the news today that further cost cutting is about to hit the Academy staff is very depressing.

I have no idea how much money Thomas is able to devote to the Charlton project but the change from aiming for European football in 5 years to looking to break even in Division 3 is frankly ridiculous and completely unrealistic. With the current squad and lack of goals ( which are needed to win games!!) 4th division football in front of 5,000 level crowds next season is a likely outcome.

He needs to organise an ‘elegant exit’ for himself now. I know owning football clubs is a mission for mad people only and to make Charlton successful again will probably take £30-50m, assuming that Thomas cuts his losses now and walks away for nothing.

We are still a London club with a good tradition and a decent catchment area and fan base, maybe there is someone out there with deep enough pockets , but sadly its not Thomas