Sunday 13 May 2012

Massives are among country's top 10 teams

Media celebrations of the massive achievement of Sheffield Wednesday in finishing second in League One are continuing, this triumph completely overshadowing Charlton winning the league with a record equalling 101 points. Today The Football League Paper devotes its Big Interview to a double spread on Owls owner Milan Mandaric who proclaims that the Massives belong in the top ten clubs in the country.

The two Manchester clubs may be top dogs at the moment, but they had better watch out! Incidentally, I was amused that the United fan who was supposed to have been in the Radio 5 studio this morning hadn't turned up. It's a long way from Guildford to Salford!

The outcome of the League 1 play offs is of interest to the Addickted as they will determine one of the teams we play against next year. The Blades had a bore draw against the heroes of Hertfordshire on Friday night. One would think they should win at Bramall Lane. United have won 16 of their 23 home games this season, although they haven't won in their last four matches.

However, a Blade supporting friend of mine says morale has been low since the rape case. Stevenage have not lost to the Blades in three games this season and went 2-0 ahead in the regular league game at Bramall Lane before being pegged back to 2-2. Stevenage supremo Gary Smith has them practising penalties.

If the unbelievable happened and Stevenage won a third successive promotion Championship fans would be exposed to what is essentially still a non-league ground. At least when they played Spurs on television one could see the traffic racing past on the road outside when the hoofing got a bit too boring to watch. Non-league clubs are often denied promotion because they fail to meet strict ground criteria, but no such tests apply in the Football League.

Huddersfied won convincingly at Stadium MK yesterday, although MK Dons fans are blaming an error by referee Darren Deadman which I can well believe given how useless he was when he refereed our games. However, Huddersfield have enough quality to finish them off at home.

So if it is Blades versus Huddersfield at Wembley, will Harold Wilson's team fail in the play offs as usual? I have friends who support both teams, but I have to bear in mind that my discipline's department at Sheffield University is itself simply massive, has made another important transfer signing this month and houses the chair of the research excellence framework panel. The equivalent body last time was headed up by a Huddersfield Town supporter.

My view is the less massive of the two Sheffield sides deserve to go up given their performance over the season as a whole despite their last minute wobble. Apart from anything else it would be one over Wednesday who have now joined Crystal Palace and Millwall on the 'dislike' list at The Valley.

At the other end of the Championship, The Football League Paper are bigging up Carthorse Cole as the key to West Ham's success. The Addickted will remember him for his loan stay at Charlton which he clearly thought was beneath his dignity as shown by his sarcastic acknowledgement of the Covered End when he scored.

I don't have a lot of time for Blackpool because (i) I don't like their owners, (ii) I think their manager is off his trolley, (iii) it's the only away ground where I've been spat at by a player (not at me personally, but the Addickted in general). Also, as my father was born in North Woolwich, he originally supported West Ham until he crossed the river to live in Eltham where his cousin introduced him to the Addicks.

Incidentally this weekend marks the 200th anniversary of the assasination of Spencer Perceval, the only British prime minister to suffer this fate. Growing up at Charlton House and buried in Charlton Church, he is the only prime minister with Addick connections, albeit a bit premature.


  1. Wednesday are not a new addition to my dislike list, in fact I probably dislike them more than any other club, for their mocking of Charlton on their relegation, after the final whistle. That said, I do have grudging admiration for their PR machine, which has enabled them to totally overshadow our achievments this season. As strong believer in good marketing, I do think that Charlton could do with a strong press relations consultant who already has press relations to bang on when we are doing things right on the pitch. The more coverage we get the more bums on seats are possible.

    1. Fortunately I missed that game as I working in the States at the time. However, I remember others talking about it afterwards. I agree that there is more we could do on the marketing front. However, we are overshadowed by the really big clubs in London. Also we do not have the equivalent of the Sheffield Star or the Yorkshire Post. Of course that does not explain the fascination of the national media, although I think in part that is because the rivalry of the two clubs in one city has attracted their attention.