Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Charlton exit League Cup

A young Charlton side lost 4-1 to Norwich City to Carrow Road tonight, not a surprising result. The Addicks went 1-0 ahead through Lee Novak. Returning from suspension, he provided a rasping shot into the top-left corner from Tarique Fosu's pass, but then Norwich equalised and it was 1-1 at half time.

Josh Magennis came on after 57 minutes and gave the home side some problems, but his presence did not prevent the defeat. Indeed, the best chance for Charlton to get back into the game when they were 2-1 down and Magennis headed wide.

The Canaries had 59 per cent of the possession, twenty shots to four (nine to two on target) and ten corners to five.

The home support gets the prize for the silliest chant of the season so far: 'You're just a small club in Millwall.'

This morning a Canary supporting friend who no longer lives in Norwich posted that he had taken his two boys to their first game. He had to explain to them that it 'wasn't always like this' and described Charlton as 'lacklustre'.

A report from Louis Mendez can be found here: Much changed team

His reports are always good, but he increasingly reminds me of the US vice-president who asked to describe his role said 'You die, I fly.' In the case of Mendez, it sometimes seems like a case of travel a long distance to irrelevant match and stay in the local doss house (although he did do better on his Devon break).

Our priority is promotion.

Robinson gives it large on Carabao Cup

Karl Robinson has made it clear that he can't take seriously a competition for which the draw is at 4.15 a.m. in the morning, not to mention the mistakes that have been made in relation to Charlton in the two draws so far. It was a bit much asking us to put two teams out in the first round.

Needless to say, both squads are depleted: Key men missing

The Canaries have had an indifferent start to the season and are currently 17th after just one win. There also seems to be trouble in relation to the youth players: Youth players defended

I suppose it will be a nice night out for Addicks who have retired to or work in Norfolk, of which there are a few. I was surprised to hear of disturbances in the sleepy seaside town of Cromer which I have always enjoyed visiting, but it has been alleged that members of the travelling community were involved.

Rod Liddle is a Millwall supporter who writes in The Times and the Spectator. To be fair, he has been supportive of the campaign against Roland. In a recent Spectator article he discussed Millwall chants. This must have perplexed the rather conservative and elderly readership, but I suspect they like anything that is politically incorrect. A chant against Gillingham fans involved the placement of lucky heather where the sun doesn't shine.

Enough of the stream of consciousness about this largely irrelevant competition. Goodness knows what the result will be, anything could happen, but I will go for 4-2 to Norwich.

Odds are: Norwich 3/10, Draw 17/4, Charlton 9/1. I don't bet, but if I did, it would almost be worth a punt on the Addicks pulling off a surprise.

Should you be going tonight, please note that the normal route off the A47 to Carrow Road is affected by a road closure.

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Big changes at Norwich

Karl Robinson is to make wholesale changes at Carrow Road on Tuesday for the League Cup tie, just as he did at Exeter: Back up squad

This is sensible given the relative importance of the League Cup. We probably wouldn't win with a full first team squad and could pick up injuries.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

The big wins always happen when I am not there

Charlton won a convincing 4-1 victory over Northampton Town yesterday: Victory

They did so without me being there. Perhaps I should stay away. I remember missing a 5-1 win over Preston North End when the electric wires came down on the line to Euston. Some Addicks were trapped on a train for hours.

This weekend is my last chance to spend some time with my granddaughters as a group before they take their divergent paths into adulthood: one starts work tomorrow; one is going to music college in Birmingham; one has to make her decisions about which universities to apply to this year. Southampton, where she was born and her father is a season ticket holder, looks like it may be first choice.

I have forecast all three results correctly so far this year on CAFC Picks. I haven't go the scores right on the West Sussex CASC 'Badger' League. We shouldn't be lulled into a sense of false security, as the Chicago Addick has pointed out. We still need another striker.

One Addick who was there commented that the Forster-Caskey goal alone was worth the admission price and that Amos was much better today.

Charlton are now 6th in the table.

Novak's future uncertain

It is being reported that Lee Novak is considering leaving The Valley. It is known that he has been unhappy here for some time and Karl Robinson has held talks with the player's agent. While it is unlikely that many fans will rend their shirts at the prospect of his departure, but it leaves us even more short of 'strikers'.

It can't be a question of wages as Chris Lines has told the Bristol Post that he is surprised how much Charlton players are paid.

Meanwhile, glamour club Barnsley are the latest to be targeted by Chinese investors: Barnsley takeover

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Supremo defends Amos

Karl Robinson has defended on loan keeper Ben Amos after suggestions that he was responsible for the second goal scored against Charlton by Plymouth on Saturday: Shaky start

Robinson says that the ball went through Chris Solly's legs, a claim that is being investigated in case it qualifies for an Alan Pardew Half Baked Excuses award. Robinson also claimed that Amos was not match fit yet as he had not played pre-season.

Charlton's defending at corners continues to be a concern, but Robinson said: 'Ben Amos came out to claim corners, something we maybe haven't had in the past. But then, the problem with that is he might drop one or two and people only focus on the one.'

Dillon Phillips remains reserve keeper for now and has yet to go out on loan. He is regarded as a work in progress and Charlton had hoped to sign an experienced back up keeper.

KR: I can't guarantee we will sign a striker

Karl Robinson has said that he cannot guarantee that Charlton will sign a much needed striker before the transfer window: Worrying update

Looks like will be playing 1-1-4-4, subject to fitness and suspensions.

The supremo had his alibi ready, 'It’s not my fault, it’s previous things that have been done and maybe people have been left to do what they need to do and put us in this position. We’ve not really spent money in the summer, we’ve done things right. I’m not one for wasting money, I like to do things in the correct way and give young players a chance.'

Robinson made an implicit response to criticisms that he failed to take Courtney Baker-Richardson for £20k:'You can bring a striker in for a minimal fee but does he really have an effect and drive the football club forward? I’m not sure. We have to have someone who is going to have an effect.' I can see the force of this argument, but sometimes it is worth taking a risk on a young player if he would not cost much in wages.

Charlton were interested in a loan deal for prolific Bristol City striker (and former Gashead) Matty Taylor, but it is no surprise that he is not available in this window: Staying in Bristol

I do not think that Robinson is at any risk. He has developed an effective working relationship with Katrien Meire and would seem to be on good terms with her.