Saturday, 27 March 2010
New York Addick has written that this game compares with our 2007 game with West Ham at The Valley for importance.
Hard hitting, home truths indeed.
Avoid a loss and everything is still on.
Lose and it's the shape of pears.
Yorkshire has always held a special place in my heart as my mum is a Leeds girl, (born in Armley jail hospital for some rather odd reason).
Yorkshire people have a reputation for being rather blunt, dour, cheap and insular but personally the sound of their gruff accents makes me feel all warm inside and touched by memories of hearty stews or sliced roast beef on my grandparents dining table.
Parky will not be relishing his trip to Huddersfield.
After changing his mind at the 11th hour, he decided to remain in South London as Alan Pardew's number 2 rather than take over the hot seat at what I read is now called the 'Galpharm' but is firmly labelled in my brain as the 'McAlpine'.
Apparently, the press conference went ahead with an empty chair to stand in for Parky.
I can't help feeling they stole the idea from 'Have I Got News For You' when a lump of lard sat in for Roy Hattersley, back in 1990.
Despite my warm feelings for Yorkshire and my obvious affiliation with the Addicks, I'm not venturing up North today.
I have lots of work I've been (ahem), 'saving', plus I have a surprise birthday celebration to attend this evening.
Neither of those reasons would have kept me from following the Reds a few weeks ago but today I find myself staying away and having a little Charlton holiday.
I know when kick off arrives, I'll most certainly have a massive crumble and end up listening to the warblings of 'Emma' but at the moment I want to put a little distance between myself and our team.
The games against Millwall and Gillingham made me realise how little I was enjoying my football.
When looking back, other than the odd 5 or 10 minute spell, I haven't really enjoyed a game properly since way back in November.
I'd had it with Charlton and was finding it all a bit of a chore.
David Mooney scored a fantastic goal last week but then ruined it with his cupped ear celebrations to the entire ground.
What an arse.
His powder puff performances and woeful 'shooting' have been a feature of our recent decline.
Yes, his goal was terrific and he showed a magnificent touch to find the space to blast the ball into the net but it's hardly been the norm has it?
If he was sticking the ball into the net regularly, rather than fluffing guilt edged chances, I'd allow him the option of giving the crowd the bird but in reality, I think our crowd have been very, very patient with him.
It will be interesting to see what happens the next time one of his 'shots' goes out for a throw in.
As I hinted above, I was feeling rather flat towards Charlton at the beginning of the week.
As the weekend approached, an odd thing happened.
I began to wonder what was going on at the training ground.
What formation would we be playing?
Is Shelvey going to get more time on the pitch than the ball boys?
I was interested.
Our 3 'loan rangers', instead of filling me with dread, actually perked up my confidence.
What's the matter with me?
Today, I'm looking for a performance to be proud of.
Come on Charlton, Please, Please Me!
Yes, we have a shocking array of injuries but Parky has worked hard, with the backing of a no doubt completely empty pocketed board.
The most obvious gaps have been filled and I'm warming up!
I'd like to see Darren Randolph between the sticks today as he hasn't done much wrong when I've seen him play.
Mooney owes us at least a hat trick and many of our other players really should be moving on up from recent performances.
I want to be proud again.
Come On You Reds!
Sunday, 21 March 2010
Oh yes, the pride is back!
Bring out the best glasses and open the Bolinger.
I strutted home yesterday through the drizzle, doing a fair impression of John Travolta in the opening sequence from Saturday Night Fever.
The memories of our capitulation at The New Den have been wiped clear.
Yes, local bragging rights are restored.
We are Kings of the Hill, Billy Big Balls and Joe Cool all mixed up together.
The news will have reverberated around the globe last night with Addicks the world over letting out a sigh of relief and rejoicing.
Yes- we managed to hold relegation threatened Gillingham to a draw.
Sunday, 14 March 2010
Welcome to the Valley, Gills fans.
Our supporters have little faith that Parky will inspire a 'reaction' next weekend.
87% predicting a loss?
I'm surprised it's not more after yesterday.
Watch the numbers tumble by Friday.
We'll be giving the Gills a spanking by then!
(Except we won't)
Saturday, 13 March 2010
If only we'd stayed in the pub.
As it was, we missed the first fifteen minutes of the game due to the lure of Brains SA.
Charlton were awful, and that's being charitable.
If you weren't there, (lucky you), then you need to imagine the most inept pub side, missing a couple of their more mobile players and that might give you an indication of our 'performance' level.
I'm not going to break the game down.
It's all too raw just now.
A 4-0 defeat against anyone else wouldn't have been so shameful. We'd have shrugged, moaned and then carried on.
Such a heavy defeat against Millwall won't be forgotten for years.
In truth, I expected a defeat today but the manner of the defeat was most galling.
Millwall weren't actually that good, just better than us in key areas.
From what I saw of the first half, we were more than equal to Millwall and I began to believe we might be able to get a point.
A flukey, slow motion, non defended corner leading to a goal on 44 minutes didn't bother me too much. I was sure we'd get a few chances to level, later on.
The second half was a series of calamities joined together by errors.
What a load of shite.
After the 3rd goal went in, I turned to Crispy and said I wasn't prepared to stay if it went to 4.
Moments later, we exited the stand, only to find our passage blocked by a metal fence and rows of clueless police.
I wanted the team to see me leave and it to register as a protest.
We were not alone.
In the interests of 'safety', everyone was shepherded into a small area behind the North stand to 'save' us from meeting any Millwall supporters, (who were still in their seats, and would be for at least another 15+ minutes).
We could have had a head start leaving and personally, I'd have been home and relaxing on my sofa within 30 minutes.
People pushed, people shoved, policemen and women had their hats stolen and thrown about, people got angry with each other and argued among themselves.
Some people scaled the fences, only to be stuck between sections.
We stayed put and there was nothing we could do about it.
We were very lucky not to have a case of injury to add to the insults at the New Den.
Why it was safer to be trapped, rather than set free into empty streets or onto a passageway direct to the station was difficult to understand.
It's when people follow rules without any common sense that bad things happen.
Nobody expected thousands of people to leave early but once they had, the rule about penning them in until all home supporters had left, surely needed to be thought through.
I'm going to keep an eye on the post next week.
If Parky and his players have an ounce of decency, they will compose a personal letter to every one of the 3000 Charlton supporters present at the New Den, begging for forgiveness after the debacle this afternoon.
Parky will probably try and tell us we have a 'derby' next week to put it all right.
It's a derby I couldn't care less about and unless you live in mid Kent, you probably won't either.
I'm going to forget about football for a few days and come out of my pit by Wednesday or Thursday.
Happy Mother's Day to all the mums out there.
May your day be better than anything on offer this afternoon.
A Casual Rating.
No polo shirts and no Primark novelty slogan tee shirts this week.
I'm awarding our team tickets to this show instead.
Friday, 12 March 2010
The picture is the usual scene inside the New Den at kick off time.
Perhaps, in an effort to catch a glimpse of 'stars' such as Nicky Bailey or Jose Semedo, the locals have suddenly remembered where 'their' team play?
Whatever the reasons, our arrival at SE16 has captured the locals imagination.
For the first time this century, it's a 'Sell Out.'
Despite having room for around 20,000 seats, the capacity at Zampa Road has been set by safety officials at around 17,000.
Due to sections of the ground being left empty, (to reduce the chance of half wits launching coins at visiting supporters), there will be people locked outside while seats are left begging.
(Not all of the seats purchased will be held by internet sensation, 'Stuwall'.)
Millwall must be one of the few clubs on the planet who moved to a new ground so they could reduce their capacity.
Apparently, as Away supporters, we are going to experience something like we've never experienced before.
Yes, all those trips to Manchester United, Newcastle, Spurs, Liverpool etc etc really will pale into insignificance when we arrive at Bermondsey to hear what around 14,000 people cheering sounds like.
Maybe, if we bump into these guys, it might be an interesting afternoon but I'm not too confident of our team getting much out of the game.
I'd love to be proved wrong but I'll be arriving in hope rather than any kind of expectation.
Enjoy the game.
Sunday, 7 March 2010
Charlton Athletic 2 - Stockport County 0.
The scoreline tells you Charlton gained 3 points but anyone who was at The Valley yesterday, knows that we could have all gone home after 15 minutes and saved ourselves a whole lot of time.
WIth around ten minutes played, Stockport had hit self destruct, scoring an own goal and then only a few moments later, leaving Akpo Sodje completely unchallenged to nod home a second goal.
We rubbed our hands together thinking that this could be 'the one'.
We haven't given anyone a serious tonking since we played at home against Franchise F.C.
Surely the basement boys wouldn't be able to hold out for another 80 minutes?
As we all know, they did.
A combination of poor finishing, poor build up play, Jackson leaving the pitch due to hamstring knack, Richardson running as if he was guarding himself against another injury and Sam spending the afternoon observing the game rather than trying to take control of it, meant that when the referee finally put us all out of our misery, the scoreboard operator had been untroubled.
It's probably for the best anyway as the scoreboard is really showing signs of being on its last knockings.
Keith Peacock looked as if he had popped up from a voodoo ceremony when he made his regular half time,Valley Gold yadda yadda, such was the dullness of the screen.
Due to some sections of the screen refusing to shine at all, the overall effect was a little like those psychology experiments where you have to guess the whole picture when only shown a fraction of it.
Other than a second half flare up between Elliott and Llera after in my opinion, Elliott had failed to command his penalty area properly and a first half, 100% cast iron penalty, waved away for handball in the Stockport penalty area, the rest of the game was rather featureless.
When Burton and Waggy came on for Akpo Sodje and Sam, little to nothing improved.
Burton managed to head what seemed an easy chance over the top of the goal but by that time, a parade of scantily clad Playboy bunnies performing a dance in the centre circle wouldn't have livened up a dull atmosphere and an even duller game.
Results of other games went our way.
However, even though Millwall only managed a draw, the manner of their 2 goal comeback will have left them buzzing and believing they are never beaten.
Along with Leeds, they have made a feature of scoring late on to rescue draws or grasp wins.
Our stuttering showing won't have left anybody on a high, despite the win.
The 3 points are very welcome but if we are to gain anything at the Tool Box next weekend, we need to aspire to Millwall's never say die attitude drawing performance, rather than our own shambolic winning one.
Many people saw this game as merely one to get out of the way before the 'big one' next weekend.
All I can say is I'm glad we weren't playing Millwall this week.
We'd have been hammered.
A Casual Rating
If ever there was a game to bring your book or an iPod, this was it.
The Lacoste polo shirt is awarded to Christian Dailly who did everything he needed to do, without much of a fuss, showing his experience and leading by example.
Whoever is wearing the captain's armband, Dailly is possibly our 'real' captain.
He's the kind of player who is only noticed, when he's missing.
His stellar mopping up at the back all season has been a highlight of a jittery defence.
A second Lacoste polo is being awarded to everyone, young and old, who was inside the Valley when the minute silence was held for Keith Alexander.
It was observed without a single person wrecking it, - even the usual mobile phone didn't ring. It was so quiet, I could hear people chatting outside in the street.
The Primark novelty slogan tee shirt is being held over this week. No one stood out as being especially poor in a very poor game.
The referee made good decisions throughout, trying to let the game flow whenever possible. He played advantage to both sides.
He had no help at all from the East stand lino who made few decisions of his own, merely copying what the referee had already waved for.
Let's hope the game next weekend is a little more entertaining, though in truth, I'd settle for a tedious afternoon with a jammy one goal away win.
Wednesday, 3 March 2010
It's a wonderful world we live in.
As soon as the underground press started whispering about a 'Happening' in South London, it quickly became the talk of the town.
Within days, the local 'heads' had made arrangements to get together for the first time in 14 years.
Tickets sold by The Man, quickly vanished.
A run down shed, built for good times that never arrived, (London SE16), is to be the venue for the Love In. (3pm, Saturday March 13th 2010).
Many thousands of Merry Pranksters from Bermondsey, have given up their usual apathy for local community events to climb on board the groovy train.
Thousands of younger wannabees have been talking in class and deciding they need to get down with the Bermondsey hipsters, wanting to copy the image and revel in the fear these slackers present to the straight world.
WPC Nicola Bailey was on hand to comment, "It's truly a heart warming tale. It brought a tear to my eye when I heard of so many long lost friends who are so keen to meet up again after such a long period of estrangement. It's bound to be an afternoon of love, peace and tolerance unless the placid South London atmosphere is ruined by some tourists from Kent."
She did issue a few words of caution for the fun lovers.
"You may take this with however many grains of salt you wish. The brown Bovril circulating around the New Den isn't too good. It's suggested you stay away from that. Of course, it's your own trip so be my guest but please be advised that there is a warning on that one"
Thanks for that Sister.
Hang loose and stay casual daddio.