Saturday 31 December 2016

Draw is good result

An away point was really the best result Charlton could hope for at Southend today. A 90 minute equaliser scored by Andrew Crofts made it 1-1 for a share of the points.

Simon Cox put the Shrimpers ahead halfway through the first half.

However, Joe Aribo and Jorge Teixeira were then both denied by Southend goalkeeper Ted Smith before the Shrimpers almost made it 2-0 when Stephen McLaughlin fired against the right post. In reply, Ezri Konsa and Jordan Botaka were both .denied by Smith.

The Crofts goal was made possible by excellent work by Aribo who earlier had hit the bar. Shortly before the goal Phillips had denied Atkinson to stop the Shrimpers going 2-0 ahead.

Lookman was omitted from the side, having been diagnosed with 'transferitis'.

About 1,800 Addicks made the trip. They were praised by Karl Robinson, along with Aribo after the match: Giving youth a chance

Charlton remain 12th.

No hope of signing Millwall midfielder

Karl Robinson would like to sign Millwall midfielder Shaun Williams in the transfer window. Needless to say, he was once at MK Dons, However, Millwall have hopes of promotion and are going to hold on to all their key players: Set to fail

Friday 30 December 2016

Welcome back, Tony Watt

Having failed to get sufficient game time on his native heath with Hearts, Tony Watt has returned to Charlton: Watt returns

Karl Robinson rates Watt, having tried to sign him for MK Dons at the beginning of the season.

However, Robinson has made it clear that Watt has to show that 'he has got the balls to play for me' and will put him through a gruelling fitness test: Prove you can play

With the focus on Watt Cristian Ceballos and Igor Vetokele are to stay in Belgium: Players on loan

Tough trip to Southend

Southend United are now sixth in League One and third in the form table. They are unbeaten in eleven games, having dispatched AFC Wimbledon 3-0 on Boxing Day. Whilst it is the case that Southend are the only club against which Charlton have won more than fifty per cent of their matches, that was when our relative positions were different: CAS Trust preview

Karl Robinson has got his alibi out early, complaining that he could put out almost a whole side of injured players. Of course, we miss the likes of Ricky Holmes, but we just have to do our best.

Our new youthful loan signing from Chelsea (Jay Dasilva) won't be available until January and is presumably there to replace Lookman. At 5ft 4", he is the shortest signing since Matty Holmes.

Making some reference to the trip to Belgium, Robinson says that 'The President has his theories.' Yes, and pretty wild most of them are, and based on little knowledge of football.

Odds are: Southend, 11/8; draw,23/10; Charlton 2/1. I don't see a happy end to an unhappy year.

Robinson to raid Franchisees for players

Karl Robinson hopes to take two players from the MK Dons in the January transfer window. Samir Carruthers is a central midfielder and Ben Reeves is an attacking midfielder. Both are out of contract in the summer: Double raid

Now here's an idea for Roland: why not attract less stupid fans by moving Charlton to Milton Keynes?

Thursday 29 December 2016

Roland sounds off

I don't have a precise source for these comments, but apparently Roland has said that getting to the play offs is of secondary importance. 'The important thing is that we fulfil a social function, people meet in the stadium every two weeks.' Far fewer of them than used to!

Not much hope then of Il Presidente reinvesting the Lookman money in the squad. I'm not renewing next season unless Roland goes.

Massives to swoop for Fox?

Sheffield Wednesday are reported to have renewed their interest in Morgan Fox. Many Addicks would no doubt say 'Good riddance!' He was booed off at his last Valley appearance.

He is certainly the current scapegoat player. Oddly enough, it was another left back, Paul Sturgess, who fulfilled that role in the mid-1990s.

My view of Fox is that when he is good, he is very good and when he is bad, he is very bad. He has some quality, but lacks consistency. Perhaps he could find that elsewhere.

A fee of around £1m seems possible as the Owls seek to boost their promotion hopes: Man in demand

Wednesday 28 December 2016

Farewell, then, Ademola Lookman

Everton have agreed a fee with Charlton for Ademola Lookman so that the transfer can go ahead at the beginning of the January window. There will be no loan back. Lookman still has to agree personal terms with the Toffees: Lookman

Everton have a new scouting regime and director of football Steve Walsh tasked his scouts with identifying the five best youngsters in English football.

No League One club is going to turn down £10m or £11m for a player that cost them nothing (and at least who isn't going to Palace who were interested). Charlton have been a selling club throughout their history. The crucial question now is whether His Excellency President Duchatelet will use the money to buy quality players to reinforce the squad.

Monday 26 December 2016

Jacko has the makings of a good manager

Johnnie Jackson has the makings of a great manager, according to Charlton supremo Karl Robinson. In the meantime, he wants the 34-year old to take a bigger role in coaching: Top manager

It should all be harmony and light, then, as they head off on Eurostar today to meet up with Roland.

Robinson and Jacko off to see Roland

Manager Karl Robinson and captain Johnnie Jackson are to travel to Belgium tomorrow to meet Roland Duchatelet and plead for new signings. Chief executive Katrien Meire will travel with them to ensure that they behave themselves.

However, Robinson is already respectfully referring to Roland as 'the president'. (Curiously, Katrien has referred to him as 'The Shareholder', but one could think of other names). The trio, along with Richie Barker, will take in the match between Sint Truiden and one time mother ship Standard Liege.

Robinson wants two midfielders and a winger (the latter presumably to replace Lookman). Robinson declared confidently on Goal Rush, 'We're going to spend in January.'

The meeting will be in English, but translation from Scouse will be available.

More about the trip here: Summit talks

Robinson breaks his duck

Karl Robinson secured his first victory for Charlton with a 1-0 victory over his old club MK Dons thanks to a first half Ademola Lookman goal. Charlton are now 12th, six points off the play off places.

650 or so 'stupid people' saw the victory, a banner declaring the ignorance of the Addicks supporters.

Charlton lined up in a 4-3-3 formation with Magennis, Ajose and Lookman up front.

After a scrappy opening, the Franchisees created more chances. Fortune smiled on Charlton when Dean Bowditch had to go off injured with the home side sowing confusion by bringing a second George Williams on to the pitch.

Then somewhat against the run of play Crofts picked out Lookman with a superb defence splitting ball and the youngster finished calmly on 38 minutes.

Johnnie Jackson had to be pulled off with an injury in the second half and the impressive Aribo came on. The home fans became increasingly restive and vocal.

Bauer defended well. Aribo set up Ajose, but his shot came off the keeper. Lookman was booked for time wasting and replaced by Chicksen.

In the four minutes added on, there was the rare treat of a cameo by Roger Johnson. Ulvestad powered towards goal and Walsh got a yellow card for bringing him down.

Interesting to see former Addicks Yann Kermorgant and Callum Harriott score great goals for Reading today.

Sunday 25 December 2016

Those roundabouts

In all his years in charge of the Franchisees Karl Robinson must have grown familiar with the roundabouts of Milton Keynes. He cannot have anticipated making two quick returns to stadium:mk with his new team.

The voluble Scouser has had plenty to say for himself since coming to Charlton, but the pressure is on him to deliver some points. The absence of a new manager bounce has led some Addicks to regret the departure of Russell Slade or to suggest that Kevin Nugent should have been given a chance.

However, as Rick Everitt has argued in VOTV, the question of who the manager happens to be is really a diversion. The real problem, as The Times noted on Saturday, is Roland Duchatelet's 'calamitous ownership'.

The simple fact is that the squad is not good enough to reach the play offs (I do think it is good enough to avoid relegation). In particular, the central midfield gives the ball away too easily and can't get into the box quickly enough to give the forwards some service.

The real test for Karl Robinson will not be today's result, but whether he can persuade Roland to make some decent signings in the transfer window.

In games at this level in the league against the Franchisees, we have won one, lost one and drawn one. Odds: MK Dons 21/20, Draw 5/2, Charlton 5/2.

The CAS Trust preview is here: Preview

Saturday 24 December 2016

Scilly times

At Radio Scilly's Porthmellon studio

When Zoe Parry became the license holder and station manager at Radio Scilly earlier this year, I thought that my job as mainland football correspondent might be in jeopardy. I went to the islands to meet Zoe and not only was my 9.45 slot on Saturdays confirmed, she tasked me to cover the US presidential elections and develop a bespoke series on islands.

Zoe, who has extensive experience in commercial radio, stood down from her job at Islands Partnership today to devote more time to the station. Meanwhile, station DJ Will has to deliver five hours of live programming from 7 to 12 noon each day.

Zoe and I will be working on some new programming ideas in 2017.

Meanwhile, the New York Times has published the best report I have seen yet on the two team football league on the islands: Smallest league

Wishing all Addicks a Happy Christmas and a Roland and Katrien free New Year.

Friday 23 December 2016

Sky Blues to swoop for Ajose?

Russell Slade appears to have been so impressed by Nicky Ajose during his stint at Charlton that he wants to sign him for the Sky Blues, reports the Coventry Evening Telegraph: Ajose

Ajose nearly signed for the Sky Blues before. The 20 goals a season form he showed at Swindon has not been replicated with the Addicks, but if he went to Coventry, he would at least be familiar with an environment in which games are interrupted by protesting fans.

Thursday 22 December 2016

Robinson gives it large

The following report has appeared in the Evening Standard

CHARLTON manager Karl Robinson was today holding one-to-one meetings with his players after slamming their display at The Den. Charlton are now without a win in five games since Robinson took over and he delivered a brutally honest assessment of the problems at The Valley.

The club are languishing in the bottom half of League One and their fans have staged a number of protests in recent months in a bid to get owner Roland Duchatelet to sell up. "Right now not many people will be proud of what they are seeing," said Robinson, who took over at the end of last month. "It is not good enough and there are certain aspects of the club I am not happy with.

"For too long there have been too many fingers pointed in different directions. We need to stand up and take responsibility on the pitch and in the dugout [which is rather crowded]."We talk about the owner and everything else but that was about us and that was not good enough. If we had won, it would be masking an awful lot of problems.

"If the players cannot take this, this is what it takes to play for a big club like Charlton Athletic. I think sometimes people do not realise how lucky they are."

Asked what he would discuss in the meetings, Robinson said: "The truth. What I think. I am going to be honest they think of their performances over the last two games. We cannot keep going the way we are. People need to understand what it takes to play for this club. We have to be better. If people cannot accept that, then I am not the man for them to play for.

"It might be a bit of positivity towards them as well. To build them back up. Do not see it as a negative. I want to build them back up.I am straight and hopefully my players appreciate that they get told the truth."

Charlton have serious injury problems but they are in danger of falling out of play-off contention if their poor form continues.The Addicks are seven points off the top six and the January transfer window cannot come quickly enough for Robinson. "We need to bring in players," he said. [Let's hope Roland uses some of the Lookman money to fund them].

Palace sack Pardoo

It's inevitably taken a long time for the truth to sink in, but Crystal Palace have sacked Alan Pardew, their chairman saying that the Glaziers could not afford to be relegated: Pardew

It's not so long ago that he was tipped as the next England manager, but recently he has had to dig deep into his Great Big Book of Excuses. Accounts of his illustrious career usually fail to mention the damage he inflicted on Charlton.

Sam Allardyce is tipped to take over, but no doubt Alan Curbishley will be mentioned by lazy journalists.

I had to laugh when listening to the commentary on the recent Palace v. Chelsea match which came from what Rick Everitt has called 'the contraption that passes for a main stand' at Sellout. Not only was the commentators' vision restricted, but as they craned their necks towards the Sainsbury's End, they complained that it smelt dank. 'Yes, it even smells dank in August,' remarked one of them.

Of course, the downside of this development is that while Pardew might have taken the Nigels down to a more appropriate level, a new manager might well keep them up, so Christmas has come early for them. An Allardyce side might be less pretty to watch, but he would grind out the points.

Twitter reports are claiming that Pardew will get a pay off of £5m, so he can cry all the way to the bank.

Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil

Charlton manager Karl Robinson doesn't have time to read the papers so he claims to not be aware of Roland Duchatelet's comments about Charlton's fans as 'dumb' or 'stupid': Too much on my plate guv

After last night's admittedly predictable defeat at Millwall, some Charlton fans are demanding that Robinson walks the walk as well as talks the talk. Some are even saying, 'Come back Russell Slade, all is forgiven.'

Until there is a change of ownership, nothing will get sorted.

Wednesday 21 December 2016

Boycott king Slade joins Coventry

Russell Slade clearly likes clubs where the fans are in dispute with the owners, as he has joined Coventry City as manager: Russell Slade

Sources close to Slade said, 'What's not to like? If there are no fans in the ground, no one can see his negative tactics.'

Into the Den

In a specially arranged Yuletide peace and harmony fixture, Charlton play Millwall at The New Den tonight. Charlton's record against their neighbours is not good to say the least and the last we played them there at this level we lost 4-0. Charlton have not beaten Millwall since 1996.

Odds are: Millwall Evens, Draw 12/5, Charlton 11/4. Millwall expect to be close to full strength: Millwall preview

Josh Magennis claims to be 'fired up' for the game. Let's hope so: Magennis

Charlton manager Karl Robinson says that the match is about actions not words. He revealed that it is a 'massive' game: Get in

Let's just hope that after this evening he doesn't have to replace his book of football clich├ęs by a copy of Alan Pardew's Great Big Book of Football Excuses.

Millwall have been having their own troubles with Lewisham Council trying to slap a compulsory purchase order on some of their land, including that used by their Community Trust. The origins of this improbable gentrification project are rather murky and likely to be fought out in the courts.

Monday 19 December 2016

Another PR disaster

So much for hiring expensive consultants, Roland's latest outburst has made the Currant Bun: Dumb fans

I watched the video of his interview, shame it was in Flemish rather than French. If this programme passes for entertainment in Belgium, Sundays there must be boring.

What was clear was that at some points the young interviewer was making Roland squirm as he was obliged to say 'No! No!' more than once. I also liked the way they used footage of the protests which made it clear they were well supported and a still of the taxi.

The studio audience looked bored and bemused, but I suppose if you are a middle-aged lady from Ghent it wouldn't mean a lot to you.

May I suggest that the Belgian ambassador in London tells King Philippe of the Belgians that this isn't doing his country's image any good at all. Usually people associate chocolates and beer with Belgium, and the First World War. Now they see a prize chump displayed before them.

Philippe (left), have a quiet word with you errant subject.

Sunday 18 December 2016

Roland's Christmas message

Roland Duchatelet has delivered what is in effect a Christmas message to Charlton fans through an interview on Belgian TV and it is not one designed to win friends and influence people.

Apparently, he thinks that those who have opposed him are 'stupid people'. From what I know of the CARD activists, a number of them are high calibre individuals and this is reflected in the ingenuity and sophistication of their campaign. Roland once again comes across as arrogant and obdurate. Admittedly, there is a view that business skills can be applied to any activity, including running a country, but in my view football requires very specialised forms of knowledge and some direct experience of the game.

According to Roland, the campaigners are not real supporters but activists motivated by considerations other than the true interests of the club. In the past it has been suggested that this might include disgruntled ex-employees and those opposed to a woman holding senior office in a football club.

Duchatelet criticises Chris Powell for not accepting help and advice in the form of the largely useless players that were shipped over from the network. It quickly became clear that Duchatelet and his advisers had no conception of the strength and quality of the Championship which many analysts would rank as just behind the top four European leagues (or perhaps even better than France's Ligue 1).

In response to one question, there is at least a hint that he might not go on for ever. Charlton may represent a mere 1.5 per cent of his empire, but perhaps it is beginning to take up too much of his time and emotional energy.

Saturday 17 December 2016

Flat Charlton go down to dismal defeat

Charlton went down to a 0-2 defeat at home to Peterborough this afternoon in a performance that disappointed those hard core Addickted who have kept the faith. Karl Robinson doesn't seem to have been able to sprinkle any magic sparkle dust on the side.

With the mist literally rolling in from the Thames, the visitors played in a luminous yellow and set themselves up as 4-3-3 against Charlton's 4-4-2. The Addicks did press quite well in the opening minutes.

However, the Posh were then able to score too easily on 21 minutes. A free kick conceded by Botaka was taken by the lively Taylor. The inswinging cross left Phillips with no chance with Tafazolli the scorer.

It was worrying to then see signs of panic with players taking out their frustrations on each other. The crowd also became restive.

Charlton did make a decent start to the second half, playing with more urgency and intensity. Ajose put a shot just over the bar, then Magenniss saw a shot come off the post while Botaka hit the crossbar.

However, it was effectively game over when Edwards scored for the Posh. Phillips should have perhaps not stayed on his line. The Addicks made a double substitution, giving Aribo his first league start and he and Chicksen did liven things up. Ajose should have scored from a corner.

Once again problems in the central midfield were evident. Fox was booed from some sections of the ground when he was replaced by Hanlan.

Charlton are 13th, one place ahead of Millwall, but these positions look likely to be reversed next week. Official attendance was 10,193, of whom 1,017 were from Peterborough.

Friday 16 December 2016

Bring on the Posh

Charlton face Peterborough United at The Valley tomorrow. They are currently in the play off places with a four point lead over the Addicks. In the form table they are one place ahead of Charlton in 7th.

The Posh's away record is strong, winning four, drawing two and losing just three. They have scored 11 goals away and conceded ten.

It is ten years since Darragh McAntony bought Peterborough and he will be overseeing his tenth permanent boss this season, having appointed Grant McCann who was eager to take his big break in management. He likes to use a midfield diamond.

We last met Peterborough at home at this level in 2010/11 when we won 3-2, a possible score tomorrow.

Odds: Charlton 5/4, Draw 5/2, Peterborough 2/1.

A new Voice of the Valley is out tomorrow and it seems that it is taking a moderately favourable view of new boss Karl Robinson: Warm feelings

It is rumoured that VOTV editor Rick Everitt will be wearing a Santa Claus outfit tomorrow and will have a sack of presents for Katrien and Roland. Katrien gets a one way Eurostar ticket to Belgium and a file of Edith Piaf singing 'je regrette rien.' The man who has everything, Roland, was more difficult to cater for but will get personal development books on humility and listening skills.

The CAS Trust preview of the match is here: Tough test

I can't be there as I am still recuperating from my knee replacement, but thanks to the Warwick orthopaedic team for doing an excellent job. The sawing and hammering during the op was impressive, but I have had hardly any pain and family and friends have rallied round to look after me.

Tuesday 13 December 2016

Addicks go out in extra time

Charlton exited the FA Cup in extra time at stadium:mk yesterday. Ben Reeves and Dean Bowditch both struck early in the first period of extra time for the Franchisees. Earlier the teams could not be separated after 90 minutes as Daniel Powell and Adam Chicksen netted for MK Dons and Charlton respectively, the Dons goal resulting from a Charlton error.

Not only do MK Dons face a thumping from the Seagulls, their fans may find there are no Southern Trains to get away on afterwards.

Lookman to join Toffees

It looks as if Everton have beaten off competition from Arsenal and Liverpool to secure the signature of Ademola Lookman in the January transfer window. With add ons the fee could eventually be £11m: Lookman

Charlton would like to have loaned Lookman, but the Toffees are in great need of a replacement for Yannick Bolase who is out injured for the rest of the season. They think that Lookman is that replacement.

The sale would be a great feather in the cap for Roland's 'player farm' strategy.

Giving youth a chance

New era Charlton is known for giving youth a chance, exemplified by Thomas Driesen. It is remarkable how far you can get with a combination of nerdishness, an innovative hairstyle and sycophancy, provided you have your own back bedroom and laptop.

Tonight Charlton's young players get their chance at stadium:mk with at least four or five under 21s making an appearance. Charlton's supremo Karl Robinson has given fans a heads up that he is fielding a weakened side: Eight changes

The Franchisees may also reshuffle the pack with neither side being that enticed by being given a thumping at the Amex in the third round.

Monday 12 December 2016

The answer lies 'oop north

Historically the north-east was an important and fruitful recruitment area for Charlton. Times have changed, but Richard Cawley has tweeted that Karl Robinson and his entire coaching staff are heading north to look at potential targets in the January transfer window. How this fits in with tomorrow night's game at MK Dons is unclear, but Milton Keynes does not count as north,

Saturday 10 December 2016

Addicks keep clean sheet

Charlton kept a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw with Bradford City at Valley Parade this afternoon, remaining 11th in the table. I suppose we would have taken it beforehand.

The Addicks hit the woodwork twice in the first half and had the ball cleared off the line when perhaps Magennis should have done better.

Charlton gave the Bradford a defence a torrid time in the first half, hitting the post, seeing a shot cleared off the line and having a penalty appeal turned down. The penalty appeal came in the ninth minute as Bradford defender Nathaniel Knight-Percival wrestled for the ball with Magennis.

Three minutes later Magennis saw his angled shot hit the far post and rebound to safety after running on to a pass from strike partner Nicky Ajose, while he also had a shot cleared off the line by Bradford right-back Stephen Darby after taking a pass from Lee Novak.

Bradford's best first-half chance was in the 37th minute when Nicky Law supplied a through pass for Jordy Hiwula, but Dillon Phillips came quickly off his line to block the shot.

The home side had the better of the second half with Hiwula again having their best chance. Mark Marshall played him through on goal in the 59th minute, but he was again denied by the impressive Phillips.

Patrick Bauer got an injury time sending off for a second yellow card.

Dillon Phillips would not be happy as back up

Dillon Phillips would not be happy as back up keeper at Charlton and is determined to make the most of his time in the limelight as number one. He joined the club at the age of seven and talks about his formative experiences: Back up not good enough

Friday 9 December 2016

Bantam weight challenge

Charlton's last visit to Valley Parade was in Premier League days, but new manager Karl Robinson has been there a number of times with MK Dons, usually on the losing side, Robinson continues to promote his message of respect for the fans and positive thinking, no doubt aide by the club's expensive new communications aides: Looking for change of luck

It's a results business and I don't see us getting one tomorrow.

Over stocked with centre backs

Karl Robinson has reasonably decided that Charlton are over stocked with centre backs, but choosing who should go is not an easy decision. Will it be determined by who can fetch the best price, with a number of our players attracting attention from higher league clubs: On their way out?

If any departures led to the recruitment of a creative central midfielder, it would be welcomed.

Wednesday 30 November 2016

Robinson hopes to make 500 game mark at Charlton

Karl Robinson hopes to achieve 500 games in management at Charlton which means he would be at The Valley for another 150+ games, rather more than those who suggest he will be out before the end of the season. He also asserts that the Addicks are the biggest club in League One: Giving it large

He can certainly talk the talk, whether he will be allowed to walk the walk under Roland remains to be seen, but perhaps for now he should be given the benefit of the doubt.

Break in service

I have to go into hospital for knee replacement surgery tomorrow, so I won't be posting for a while. It will probably be at least six weeks before I can make the journey to The Valley.

At one time that would have been a big wrench, but not these days. My identification with the club has been eroded.

I suppose there are now three groups of Charlton supporters. First, those who don't come any more and probably won't come back even under a new regime. Second, those whose primary purpose is to come to protest. Third, those who come and do not support the protests, an apparently growing number of whom oppose continuing protests to judge from the boards. Disagreement between this group and the protesters can make for a divisive, even toxic atmosphere.

The Bloke Beside Me met someone from Belgium the other week who knew about Roland. He said that he seems himself as a rebel, and the more criticism he gets, the more he likes it as he thinks he is stirring things up and challenging the conventional wisdom.

For all the sophistication, verve and energy of the CARD campaign, I don't see Roland going any time soon. Even if he was disposed to sell the club, I think that his price would be unrealistic.

I have to have a second operation in the summer, so I will have to consider then whether I get value from my season ticket. The bonds are loosening.

Roland giving Chris Powell his orders

Leaked e-mails show Roland Duchatelet giving Chris Powell detailed advice on which players he should select and how he should set up his team: Getting to know the network

The Daily Mail report on the story is here: Explaining 4-4-2

Tuesday 29 November 2016

Robinson: I want O'Loughlin here

Karl Robinson has insisted that he wants Chris O'Loughlin as part of his coaching team. Core trouble makers had suggested that he was being forced on Robinson as Roland's spy, and that was the only reason he wasn't on the first available Eurostar, but Robinson insists that this is not the case.

Apart from a 'the more the merrier' approach, Robinson wants O'Loughlin to teach him what he has learnt from Belgian football: Please stay

I would have thought the main lesson to be learnt was to avoid any involvement with Roland.

Monday 28 November 2016

Roland 'single minded' says Robinson

In a three-and-a-half hour meeting in Paris new Charlton manager Karl Robinson found Roland Duchatlet 'single minded'. He then met Katrien Meire at the training ground and was told 'Yes, Yes, Yes' in response to every demand: Press conference

Robinson also said that unity on and off the pitch was crucial to success. He claimed that it was hisision to ask Chris O'Louglin not to get on Eurostar but to stay to help out: Unity the key

Patrick Bauer says that he is looking forward to working with Robinson (mind you, he is hardly likely to say he doesn't want to have anything to do with him): Bauer excited

An interview with the Evening Standard is here: Bringing back stability

Robinson to sign new keeper?

It is being rumoured that Karl Robinson is to sign a new keeper with Declan Rudd sidelined because of injury until the new year. One name being mentioned is that of Ian McLoughlin who played under Robinson at the Franchisees.

I think that Dillon Phillips has performed well so far, although admittedly we do not have experienced cover and that is presumably what McLoughlin would be. He last played in 2014 for Newport County and is currently a free agent: Career details

Saturday 26 November 2016

Nugent to stay on

Kevin Nugent is to stay on as part of Karl Robinson's coaching team at Charlton: Nugent

Nugent says that, based on what he did at MK Dons, he expects Robinson to play open, expansive football.

Nugent has expressed his thanks for the response he got from the Charlton players: Praise for players

Charlton make their point

A last gasp equaliser by Patrick Bauer gave Charlton a point in a 1-1 draw against Sheffield United at The Valley this afternoon. Kevin Nugent bows out as caretaker manager with an unbeaten record, Karl Robinson having watched the match from the stand.

Coming to the ground I saw a cavalcade of taxis headed by the 'Taxi for Roland'. The start of the game was delayed after stress balls and plastic taxis were thrown on the pitch.

We managed to just about match the Blades in the first third of the match without creating anything much. Magennis was inches away from tapping in a Johnnie Jackson cross after six minutes and then a goal by Magennis correctly ruled offside. Crofts, whose game is improving, got in the way of a close range strike from O'Connell on 19 minutes.

Then a rather dubious free kick led to a well-worked routine by the visitors which caught us with a sucker punch, Duffy scoring. Ajose put an effort on to the roof of the net on 38 minutes.

After the break the visitors pressed for the decisive second goal but we managed to stand firm, although they were pressing us hard and had more tempo to their game. Fouls off the ball on Lookman, whom the Blades clearly saw as the danger man, were ignored by the referee. Lookman forced Moore into a save on 73 minutes.

Then Bauer scored from a Adam Chicksen's free kick to make things level and Charlton had a last minute effort to score a second.

Phillips had an excellent game in goal. Sharp's overhead kick was easily dealt with by Phillips early in the second period and moments later the home stopper was at full stretch to tip behind Fleck's long-range drive. Phillips came to the rescue once again for Charlton with a top class save to somehow deny Duffy and was on hand to prevent substitute Caolan Lavery heading home 10 minutes from time.

Charlton stay in 11th place. They are 7th in the form table.

I have to say that I was amused to hear all the Palace fans on 606 saying that Pardew has 'got to go'.

Football League Paper player ratings

Phillips, 8; Foley, 6; Bauer, 5; Pearce, 7; Fox, 6; Crofts, 5 (Botaka 81, 5); Ulvestad, 5; Lookman, 6; Jackson, 6 (Chicksen, 52, 6); Magennis, 6; Ajose, 5 (Novak, 63, 5).

Sheffield United had six shots on target to Charlton's two and 11 corners to two for Charlton.

Friday 25 November 2016

No fear for Blades

Sheffield United have no concerns that the appointment of Karl Robinson as manager will boost Charlton's performance tomorrow. As their manager points out, Robinson will not be on the pitch: No fear

This is no match against a Chesterfield or Port Fail. The Blades are one of the giants of the division and are eager to get out of it at last so that they can once again confront their city rivals, the Massives.

Our last match against them at this level in 2011/12 resulted in a 1-0 win for the Addicks. Odds are: Charlton 21/10, Draw 23/10, Sheffield Utd 13/10.

Josh Magennis is delighted that his strike partnership with Nicky Ajose is clicking. Not before time: Partnership

Thursday 24 November 2016

Robinson wants to bring in own men

Karl Robinson wants to bring in his No.2 Richie Barker to The Valley, currently caretaker boss with the Franchisees: Assistant

There is no news of the fate of Kevin Nugent or Chris O'Loughlin, although VOTV editor Rick Everitt assumes that the latter will stay as Roland's spy in the camp.

The match that matters

The match that matters is that between new Charlton manager Karl Robinson and eccentric owner Roland Duchatelet asserts VOTV editor Rick Everitt in a new blog post: Robinson v Duchatelet

The Ramsgate-based fan argues that in different circumstances the appointment of Robinson might have been welcomed by the Addickted. He is a young manager who has got a team promoted out of League One, but he is used to a very different type of owner. He has no experience of dealing with a Thomas Driesen figure offering his insights hunched over his computer in his shorts in a back bedroom in Belgium.

One has to feel a little sympathy for manager number eight under the regime as he settles into his office, takes a sip from the poisoned chalice and nervously eyes the ejector seat in the corner.

The generally shared view is that he will be out by the end of the season. Although the squad is depleted, I am not quite so pessimistic. In my view it's the best appointment Duchatelet has made. But then it could be argued that the regime and its incompetent chief executive will overshadow any skill set that Robinson may bring and doom his best efforts to failure.

Unlike Russell Slade, CARD will offer him no moratorium in protests with action promised for Saturday's match against the Blades.

Wednesday 23 November 2016

Norwich may recall Rudd

Norwich City could recall Declan Rudd in the January transfer window. It would be their last chance to make some money out of the keeper who has interested Championship clubs: Nervous wait

Charlton could make an offer themselves, particularly given Rudd has expressed an interest in staying, but he could cost a significant amount.

Phillips bids for No.1 spot

After an impressive performance at Bristol Rovers, academy graduate Dillon Phillips hopes to bid for the position of No.1 keeper at Charlton while Declan Rudd is out injured: I can play at League One level

He was disappointed not to keep a clean sheet.

It is always good to have some competition for the position of keeper.

Tuesday 22 November 2016

Nugent coy about future

Kevin Nugent was coy last night about whether he would be part of Karl Robinson's coaching set up: Nugent

According to a tweet from a fan, Robinson said last night when he left the Memorial Ground that the protests on Saturdays would have to stop and 'we have to stick together.'

Kevin Nugent's Red and White Army

Kevin Nugent bowed out as Charlton's caretaker manager with an emphatic 5-1 win over Bristol Rovers and a hundred per cent record in his two games. Thanks for all you tried to do!

p>Phillips dealt effectively with a ball into the box on three minutes. An early Charlton corner was unproductive. Neither side dominated in the opening minutes, although Bristol Rovers had more of the possession. 411 Addicks were in the crowd of 8,089.

Charlton started to look threatening, with Chicksen prominent, but Rovers were able to clear. Lookman was about to pull the trigger, but was well tackled.

Phillips made a good save with his feet as top scorer Taylor advanced down the right.

Lookman put a free kick into the box, but Roos punched it clear, clattering one of his own defenders.

Bauer knocked the ball up to Magennis who controlled it superbly on his chest, Lookman took a left-footed shot from 20 yards out and it deflected into the back of the net to put Charlton ahead on 26 minutes. It was the first shot on target for the Addicks.

Magennis fired over from a Lookman free kick. The home fans started to get frustrated. Phillips made a great double save from Taylor, although there was a foul for handball anyway.

Magennis broke through after Lookman turned provider, but Lockyer intervened and cleared the ball away off the line. Lookman’s corner went out for a goal kick.

A Rovers free kick led to a corner. A Rovers header came off Crofts by the post. Phillips tipped the ball over the bar from Clarke-Salter. Taylor came into the box on his own from the right and drew a great save from Phillips.

With Charlton under pressure, Rovers won another corner which Phillips jumped for and claimed.

Magennis buried the ball to make it 2-0 after good work on the right, at first with Foley and Ulvestad, a good ball from Lookman found Chicksen who dragged it back inside the six yard box.

At the other end, Taylor sent a header over from close range.

Half time: Gasheads 0, Addicks 2

The Gasheads made a double substitution at the break. Hartley and Colkett replaced Moore and Montano. Rovers went for three at the back.

Ulvestad broke into the area and his shot was deflected for a corner taken by Lookman. Bauer’s header went into the bottom right hand corner to make it 0-3 on 52 minutes. In reaction Rovers took Sinclair off and brought on Harrison.

Chicksen forced Roos into a save from six yards at the expense of a Charlton corner which was cleared.

Magennis crossed for Ajose, but he was denied by a sliding tackle leading to a Charlton corner. There was a break in play while Clarke-Salter received treatment. The stretcher was brought on for a dislocated shoulder. The Gasheads were down to ten men on 65 minutes, having used all their substitutes.

Rovers cleared Lookman’s corner. Hartley gave away a corner. Chicksen’s effort was unproductive. Another Chicksen corner was cleared. He was then booked for a foul on Taylor.

Pearce blocked a shot at the expense of a corner. After a number of efforts, Charlton cleared. Taylor put a shot wide. Hanlan replaced Magennis on 74 minutes who received warm applause from the Addickted as he went off.

Rovers took a corner quickly, it was well cut out by Hanlan.

Fox went on a run down the left, Chicksen struck from the edge of the area and it took a deflection to make it 4-0 on 76 minutes. It was the first time Charlton had scored four goals in a game since Rotherham away in January.

Lookman made way for Botaka. Bauer made a great tackle and received a yellow card. Taylor’s free kick hit the wall and went out for a corner. Phillips punched the ball away.

The home crowd became excited as Rovers won another corner but Leadbitter shot over the bar. The home fans continued to sing their heart out.

A good move saw Ajose take a shot and he found the bottom right-hand corner to make it 5-0 on 84 minutes. It was a patient build up, Ulvestad picked out Ajose. Jackson replaced Chicksen who had had a good game despite doubts about his selection.

This was the first time since Charlton had scored five goals in an away game since Peterborough away in November 2010.

Botaka put one in from distance wh went just over the bar.

Six minutes were added on. Rovers were awarded a penalty after Phillips took out Gaffney. Phillips was shown a yellow card. Taylor took it and scored, depriving Charlton of a clean sheet.

Charlton moved up to 11th in the table, three points off a play off place and above Millwall who drew 0-0 at home with AFC Wimbledon.

Ajose got round the keeper, but a defender cleared for a corner which was claimed by Roos. In the sixth minute of time added on Ajose shot over from the edge of the box. Charlton won a final corner, but it was cleared.

Video of highights here: Goals

New manager at Bristol

Karl Robinson was at Bristol Rovers tonight as he prepared to take over as Charlton manager. He met with Roland Duchatelet in Paris yesterday and accepted the role. He will be the eighth manager in the last three years.

Most Addicks seemed underwhelmed or indifferent at the news and speculated how long he would last.

The absence of Declan Rudd with a hip injury was the shock team news from Bristol tonight with Phillips replacing him in goal. There was also surprise at Chicksen replacing Johnnie Jackson.

Big challenge for next Charlton boss

Richard Cawley says that the big challenge for the next Charlton boss is not mounting a promotion challenge, it's turning around the mixture of anger and apathy felt by most Charlton fans: Challenge

Unfortunately, the time for bridge building has long since gone, particularly with an owner who thinks that the club is worth 1.5 per cent of his time.

Monday 21 November 2016

The sort of match that can define a season

How a season goes can often be determined by midweek matches away in winter. A win against Bristol Rovers tonight would propel Charlton towards the play offs. A defeat would have them looking over their shoulders at the relegation struggle. Perhaps the most likely result, a draw, would confirm that it is going to be a season of mid-table mediocrity.

The Gasheads are currently eighth in the table with the same number of points as AFC Wimbledon in sixth place. They are lower in the form table. At home they have won four matches, drawn three and lost two.

On Saturday they drew 0-0 at home with relegation strugglers MK Dons. A triple substitution by 38-year old manager Darrell Clarke on 52 minutes failed to pep up their attack, but he was satisfied with an 'honest' performance. Clarke, of course, brought them out of the non-league and then into League One and rejected an offer from Leeds in the summer.

Last season Rovers fans repeatedly tweeted US politician Darrell Clarke, mistaking him for their manager. The politician responded, 'I can relate to the manager because we both get blamed when things go wrong.'

Top scorer Matty Taylor will be available for Rovers despite picking up five yellow cards this season. However, one of those was in the Checkatrade Trophy and doesn't count. He scored 13 goals in 12 matches at the end of last season's campaign.

The Bristol Rovers official site coverage of the game includes a paragraph on the protests (the club is Jordanian owned): Preview

Rovers select three Charlton players to watch: Josh Magennis, Nicky Ajose and Ricky Holmes (injured): Key players

Caretaker manager Kevin Nugent will be in charge. A 'panel' is considering short listed candidates for the post of manager. Latest odds are Robinson, 1/4; Caldwell, 11/4; Nugent, 16/1.

Odds are: Bristol Rovers 13/10, Draw 9/4, Charlton 21/10. In 2009/10 we lost 2-1 at the Memorial Stadium. In 2010/11 we drew 2-2.

Referee Simon Hooper comes from the West Country. He sparked controversy in his first Premier League game by taking a number of controversial decisions favouring Crystal Palace: Simon Hooper

Bowyer throws his hat in the ring

Lee Bowyer has now completed his coaching qualifications and the 39-year old would like to manage at Charlton which he describes as a 'lovely' club (not so much these days, though): Keen on Charlton

I remember Bowyer coming to a midweek away game at Huddersfield after he had joined Leeds, so I think his heart is in the right place. How good he would be a manager, even in more normal circumstances than prevail at The Valley, is an interesting question.

Another injury blow

Another injury blow for Charlton with Chris Solly out for several months with a knee injury: Solly

It is at times like this that the lack of depth in the squad becomes apparent. Thank you Roland.

Sunday 20 November 2016

Fox praises Slade

Morgan Fox thinks that Russell Slade improved things for Charlton on and off the pitch and was surprised when he was sacked: Fox on Slade

Top Millwall fan criticises regime

In his weekly column in today's Sunday Times Millwall fan Rod Liddle criticises the rule of Roland at Charlton. He says, 'The madness continues at Charlton Athletic.'

He continues, 'the club show every sign of being administered by the inmates of a mental institution ... [Slade] didn't fit in with Roland Duchatelet's infamous network of "appointees", who are generally characterised by their complete and utter lack of knowledge of football.'

'The fans, while not terribly dispirited at seeing the back of Slade, who is not known for the flamboyance of his football, are in open revolt.' Chris O'Loughlin is described as 'part of Duchatelet's inept and hilarious network ... Katrien Meire, the club's loathed chief executive, has had to deny demanding that TalkSport block calls from fans who are antithetical to the way the club is being run - which, to my reckoning, is pretty much all of them.'

'The Charlton supporters deserve a medal for their continued objection to the destruction, through ineptitude, of one of the country's most likeable clubs.'

Saturday 19 November 2016

Axed MK Dons boss in frame

Former MK Dons manager Karl Robinson has emerged as the latest favourite for the hot seat at Charlton. However, caretaker manager Kevin Nugent now thinks that the job is much more attractive as Russell Slade has put the foundations in place: Dirty work done

Of course, that leaves aside the question of working for Katrien and the regime. However, Robinson is attracted by the club's thriving Academy: Odds slashed

Solid win for Charlton

It hardly qualified as the start of a new era, but Charlton secured a solid 2-0 win over Port Vale at The Valley this afternoon in front of what must have been then smallest crowd this season. The attendance was officially 8,992, but there were far fewer than that in the ground and the streets were eerily quiet afterwards. Both goals came in the first half and Port Vale pressed more in the second half while a potential third Charlton goal was ruled offside.

The Addicks took the lead in the 30th minute through a superb Josh Magennis header, with the Northern Ireland international finding the far corner from Morgan Fox's first rate cross. Charlton - with caretaker boss Kevin Nugent overseeing proceedings - doubled their advantage a minute before half-time, as Fox's pass found Nicky Ajose who beat the offside trap and slotted the ball past Jak Alnwick in the Port Vale goal.

Andrew Crofts almost put the result beyond doubt five minutes after the break when his 20-yard dipping volley went inches over the crossbar. The visitors, as expected, came out after the break searching for a goal back but Nathan Smith's flicked effort that evaded Declan Rudd's goal was the closest Bruno Ribeiro's side came to scoring.

The referee was the worst I have seen at The Valley for some time. He failed to see things that others saw and saw things that no else did. The follically challenged official booked Lookman after a Vale player fell over which they were prone to do.

Charlton are now 14th in the table. However, that is just four points off a play off place and they are eighth in the form table.

Football League Paper player ratings

Rudd,6; Foley, 7; Bauer, 6; Pearce, 6; Fox, 8 (star man of match); Lookman, 7; Crofts, 7; Ulvestad, 6; Jackson, 6 (Botaka, 7); Magennis, 7 (Hanlan, 6); Ajose, 8.

Charlton knock back Lookman bid

Charlton have rejected a verbal offer of £7m from Everton for Ademola Lookman and continue to value him at £10m. Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester City continue to be interested: Lookman

Friday 18 November 2016

Charlton top sackings league

At last Charlton are top of a league: they have sacked the most managers since the start of the 2012-13 season. All this at a club that was once a byword for stability. More details here: BBC sackings league

Fail look for Valley success

Port Vale are hoping to overcome their poor away form (one win in eight) by taking advantage of the chaos at Charlton tomorrow. In particular, former Addick Jerome Thomas is relishing the clash: Valiants

Vale fans have offered their solidarity with Charlton fans in their protests against the regime: Solidarity

Odds: Charlton 7/10, Draw 5/2, Port Vale 17/4.

A new Voice of the Valley will be on sale before the game. Look out for gnomes and elves wearing Roland and Katrien masks.

Holmes could be out for two months

One of our few creative and talented players, Ricky Holmes, could be out for two months after breaking a bone in his foot: Holmes

Thursday 17 November 2016

Could Costa come back as manager?

Assistant manager Kevin Nugent has taken over first team duties until a new manager is appointed. Chris O'Loughlin has joined the coaching staff but will not be considered for the permanent managers job. Some Addicks think that he is already doing the job, but without the title.

A number of possible candidates have indicated interest, at least for the future. The most interesting of those is Jorge Costa, popular loan player and Millwall hater. In an interview, he said how much he had enjoyed his time at Charlton. The club still have a special place in his heart: The Tank

Another is former Burton Albion and QPR manager Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, although according to Twitter he wants a break from managerial duties after leaving QPR: Hasselbaink

The bookies have it as a two horse race between Johnnie Jackson and Gary Caldwell, but fans have said that they would not like Jackson to be sacrificed in this way and his career brought to an ignominious end at the hands of the regime.

Fans fight back

An in depth and sympathetic look at the protests at Charlton with some historical context: Fans finding their voices

Palace worst team in football

As a distraction from the chaos at Charlton, here is news that Crystal Palace are officially the worst team in English football in 2016: Glaziers

Tuesday 15 November 2016

FA call in Meire

Richard Cawley of the SLP has now said that the story about the Football Association calling in Katrien Meire is incorrect and he has taken it down with his apologies. It would certainly have been an unusual step by the FA.

Roland Duchatelet has hit out at protests by Charlton fans, saying 'they have nothing to do with reason': Lacking reason

O'Loughlin couldn't even get a job in Northern Ireland

The man tipped to be the next Charlton supremo, Chris O'Loughlin, could not even get a job with a small club in Northern Ireland: Chris O'Hopeless

His Wikipedia entry is no longer available but what it said about his career was:

  • 2007 Orlando Pirates (Assistant Coach)
  • 2008 Supersport United (Academy Coach)
  • 2009 AS Vita
  • 2011 AS Vita
  • 2012 Melbourne Victory (Assistant Coach)
  • 2013-2015 Sint-Truiden (Assistant Coach)
  • 2016 Charlton Athletic Temporary Gimp

Don't ask me what the last entry means, at today's Valley anything is possible.

Celtic join race for Konsa

Celtic have joined the race for the signature of Ezri Konsa. Brendan Rodgers undertook a personal mission to watch him at Swindon on Saturday, but unfortunately he was on the bench. A number of Premier League clubs have also watched him: Konsa

Monday 14 November 2016

Farewell, then, Russell Slade

Reports are circulating (from the BBC among others) that Russell Slade is to be sacked and a statement is expected at 7 p.m. After just 16 games in charge, he was given the news after training today according to a tweet from Richard Cawley of the SLP.

His spell as manager has been far from inspiring, although he is not the fundamental problem. We also have to be concerned about his replacement.

According to VOTV editor Rick Everitt his replacement may well be former Sint Truiden boss Chris O'Loughlin. The Irishman has no experience of the English league, but has remained on Roland Duchatelet's payroll: Likely replacement

There are reports that Nigel Adkins is also in the frame: Adkins

Another candidate to emerge is Steve Evans, but he has now sealed a deal with Mansfield: Steve Evans

The Rickster now fears that the whole future of the club is at stake: Club in danger

The official statement on Slade's dismissal did not appear until 9.40 p.m.: Parted company

Slade has expressed his disappointment at his dismissal and says he was not given time to finish the job he started. He says that the club needs stability (if only): Slade speaks

Slade does have the distinction of being the third longest serving Charlton manager under Duchatelet: Track record

Sunday 13 November 2016


Tomorrow is the 70th birthday of our generous benefactor, Roland Duchatelet. In order to commemorate this auspicious event, CARD are sending a specially decorated taxi on a three day tour of Belgium. The taxi will then operate in London for three months: Presents for Roland

The taxi forms part of a small convoy of vehicles which have now arrived safely in St. Truiden. The stunt is receiving publicity in Belgium. On Monday morning the taxi was in the main square of the Belgian town with a birthday card perched on top.

On Saturday Charlton fans were able to greet Roland with a banner as he was eating lunch: Video

Apparently, the CARD team received a hostile reception at the stadium. Roland has reportedly told a local journalist that he is 'very upset' that they are here on his birthday. The presents from CARD included a ticket for the Sheffield United game and a map of South London. Roland has also said that the protesters are ex-CAFC employees who cannot deal with a woman CEO.

The taxi is now on its way to Brussels.

Roland may wish to reflect that a special birthday can be a time for giving as well as receiving. Sell our club!

Saturday 12 November 2016

Dismal display ends in defeat

Charlton's unbeaten run ended with a deserved 3-0 defeat at Swindon today.

The lack of depth in the squad was painfully apparent as Charlton faced Swindon Town in front of the Sky TV cameras at the County Ground today. In particular, there was a lack of width with no natural left-sided player. At least pre-match humour was provided by the trousers of Swindon’s dancing Rocking Robin falling down and Ajose having a quarrel with the corner flag.

Solly made a good block to get in the way of Kasim’s volley. On seven minutes Doughty just headed over for Swindon from a cross. Charlton had difficulty getting possession with a lack of movement from the central midfield.

Novak won a free kick for Charlton. Jackson swung it in and Fox came close. After good defending by Bauer, Ulvestad turned provider for Ajose who put in a good low cross, but the keeper got there first.

Swindon won a couple of corners in succession, but Charlton were able to clear from the second. Ajose won Charlton a corner, creating something out of nothing. Jackson took the corner, but the referee blew for a foul in the box.

Ajose won a corner for Charlton, but although the Addicks created some pressure. It was ultimately unproductive. Rudd have to make a low save from Murray just after thirty minutes. Fox played it safe to head out for a Swindon corner. The referee blew up for a Charlton free kick.

Norris drew a save from Rudd and Bauer had to clear the ball away. Fox put in a good cross but Novak headed just over the bar.

Thomas got a yellow card after a late challenge on Foley. Jackson delivered the free kick and Bauer’s header was put behind for a corner. This led to another corner after Bauer won the header. It was cleared and Ulvestad fired well wide to boost the shot off target statistics.

A shot from Murray took a deflection off Fox to put Swindon ahead on 43 minutes. ‘Glad All Over’ rang out.

Ajose won a late corner, but Bauer put it over the bar.

It had been a woeful half from Charlton. Any viewer who switched on by mistake would have thought they were watching one of those slow television programmes. 504 Addicks were enduring the game in person.

HT: Robins 1, Addicks 0

Brandon Hanlan replaced Foley after the break. Swindon won an early corner, but it was cleared. Bauer put a cross behind for a Swindon corner. Jones was unmarked at the back post, the ball was flicked to him by Goddard, and Jones made it 2-0. It was a case of not doing the basics with poor defending by Pearce.

Novak won Charlton a corner, but it was headed clear. Crofts operating just in front of the back four was not working. Charlton were losing the ball in midfield and Swindon then attacked in numbers. Charlton were being forced into mistakes because they had no outlet other than kicking it long.

Novak chipped the ball to the far post, but Hanlan had his shirt pulled as he went for the header. It should have been a penalty. The unmarked Morris missed a chance to make it three after he failed to take advantage of a cross.

Novak’s cross was put behind for a corner. It led to a second which came to nothing.

Rudd made a good save from Kasim. Pearce blocked the rebound. Jackson was booked for a four on Furlong. Goddard got away with deliberately taking Solly out.

Good play between Novak and Solly won a corner for Charlton, but it was collected by the keeper. Jackson was replaced by Chicksen.

Kasim was allowed to run to the edge of the Charlton penalty area, the ball run to Goddard who slammed it into the back of the net to make it 3-0. Charlton fans chanted, ‘Just sell our club, our famous football club.’

Apart from their obsession with Tim Sherwood, Sky were repeating a PR line: Katrien has met with 34 supporters’ groups, bridges can be built, Roland has spent £38m etc.

Friday 11 November 2016

Charlton want loan back for Lookman

Charlton will insist on a loan back if a Premier League club signs Ademola Lookman in the January transfer window. Everton are the latest club to show interest, but Crystal Palace remain keen. The Addicks are looking at a price tag of around £10m: Ademola Lookman

Weakened Charlton face Robins

Three players are away on international duty for Charlton's match in front of the television cameras at the County Ground tomorrow, while Ricky Holmes is doubtful. However, Swindon sources reckon that the real danger man is in form, box-to-box player with his fine technique, the one and only Fredrik Ulvestad: The view from Swindon

Odds are Swindon, 12/5; draw, 12/5; Charlton, 23/10.

Thursday 10 November 2016

Red Bull at Charlton

The director of sports at RB Leipzig was at a recent Charlton game. Red Bull are said to be in the market for an English club (they also own one in Austria and one in New York), although he also attended games at Brentford and Chelsea. Apparently, the main purpose of his visit to The Valley was to watch Ademola Lookman: Red Bull

Red Bull managed to get round Bundesliga rules to name their club RB Leipzig and in the unlikely event of their acquiring Charlton, the club would probably then become Charlton RB. In line with their other clubs, The Valley would become the Red Bull Arena. Our sister football economy site looks at how they took over a failing club in Germany, relocated it and renamed it: Getting round the rules

Monday 7 November 2016

Looking back on a year of protests

Richard Cawley interviews some of the key individuals who have been involved in the protests at The Valley including former pitch announcer Dave Lockwood and VOTV editor Rick Everitt who makes the point that the protests have been proportionate and have shown humour: A year of protests

And soon we have Roland's 70th birthday to celebrate!

Sunday 6 November 2016

Jackson hopes Lookman doesn't leave

Johnnie Jackson hopes that Ademola Lookman will not leave in the January transfer window. So say all of us, but I fear that he might. He is one of the few things than enlivens my trips to The Valley these days: Please stay

Ricky Holmes is to have a scan on his injured foot today to see if there is any further damage. It required three stitches after he was forced off in the cup tie against Scunthorpe. He may not be available for Swindon on Saturday where the Charlton side is already weakened by international call ups: Injury

Rudd's pride

Declan Rudd thinks that Charlton's defence has been a rare source of pride in a difficult season. The Addicks have conceded just 14 goals in 15 league games so far.

Rudd told the Football League Paper 'We're second in the league for goals conceded and it would probably be better if we'd had longer partnerships in the centre back position.'

Charlton go through into 2nd round

Charlton progressed into the second round of the FA Cup yesterday, beating league leaders Scunthorpe

Ademola Lookman's brace was crucial. Johnnie Jackson also fired home for the Addicks as they saw off a second-half fightback from the visitors courtesy of substitute Tom Hopper's header.

Charlton were the first to threaten within a minute as Ricky Holmes got the better of Conor Townsend and raced into the box. Following early Scunthorpe dominance, it was Charlton who took the lead through a sublime left-foot strike from Lookman went into the top corner of the goal as the first-half substitute (replacing the injured Ricky Holmes) converted his fourth goal of the season in style. The Addicks doubled their lead six minutes later courtesy of Jackson's fine low finish.

The visitors managed to pull a goal back seven minutes into the second half as Hopper headed home from a Josh Morris corner. The Iron nearly levelled moments later but defender Charlie Goode saw his shot deflected onto the post before Kevin Van Veen's follow-up was denied by Declan Rudd.

Attendance was 4,123.

Football League Paper player ratings

Rudd, 8; Foley, 7; Bauer, 7; Konsa, 6; Fox, 6; Holmes, 6 (Lookman, 7); Crofts, 6; Ulvestad, 7; Jackson, 7; Magennis, 6; Ajose 5.

Friday 4 November 2016

'Tough game' for Scunthorpe

Scunthorpe manager Graham Alexander thinks that Charlton are a better side than their league position suggests and reckons that his side face a tough game in the FA Cup at The Valley tomorrow: Tough task

Odds are: Charlton 13/10, Draw 21/10, Scunthorpe 19/10.

Thursday 3 November 2016

Greetings from Scunthorpe

I spent yesterday and the night in Scunthorpe. At yesterday's meeting I was approached by someone wearing a Scunthorpe United tie who turned out to be a shareholder in the club. 'You're not doing very well for a big club,' he said and 'we are top of the league.' No answer to that really.

Apparently the chairman of Scunthorpe is using the fortune inherited by his wife to boost the club.

There is little excitement here about tomorrow's match which is expected to be a routine victory.

Roland, I thank you.

Monday 31 October 2016

Weakened squad at Swindon

Charlton are going to be without Jordan Botaka, Ademola Lookman, Josh Magennis, and possibly Andrew Crofts, due to international call ups for the Swindon away game on 12 November. They have been able to call off games previously as three or more players have been called up for international duty but they agreed that Sky could televise the game at Swindon and by doing so also agreed that they couldn’t request for the game to be called off.

Saturday 29 October 2016

Charlton make hard work of it

Charlton beat lowly Chesterfield 1-0 at The Valley this afternoon thanks to a late goal by substitute Lee Novak. However, they made hard work of it. With the exception of the energetic Ricky Holmes they seemed to lack pace, allowing the Spireites to get all ten outfield players behind the ball as Charlton mounted one of their laboured attacks.

The game was held up in the first half by long lectures by the referee in an attempt to demonstrate that he had not recently been promoted out of the non-league system.

Both sides hit the post in the first half, in Charlton's case from Ajose as he burst through on goal.

A superb one-handed save by Ryan Fulton prevented Josh Magennis heading Charlton in front shortly before the break. Magennis again went close with his head 12 minutes into the second half, placing his attempt inches off target after being picked out by Ricky Holmes' delivery.

Ajose should have broken the deadlock with a quarter of an hour remaining but instead headed wide when it looked easier to score. But the winning goal eventually arrived four minutes from time when Novak headed home from a Holmes cross.

Charlton had improved somewhat in the second half. However, Ademola Lookman had a poor game by his standards and was eventually substituted. Nicky Ajose missed some chances to score and was also substituted. Once again the midfield surrendered possession too easily.

The result puts Charlton 14th in the table and four points off the play off places.

I can't remember it being so empty and quiet walking back to the station and at the station itself, reflecting the low attendance. 'Free Speech Day' was a bit of a damp squib inside the ground apart from a few home made banners and the occasional North Korean flag.

Friday 28 October 2016

'Tough assignment' for Spireites

Chesterfield admit that they face a 'tough assignment' at The Valley this afternoon. They have not won since September 17th and have not hit the net in the last four outings. They are yet to win away in League One. However, apparently there is 'understanding' of the situation of manager Danny Wilson who is in the ninth post of a managerial career that stretches back 22 years: Spireites

Wilson thinks that Chesterfield were bullied too easily last season and selected players to put a stop to that, so we can expect a physical encounter. For his part, Russell Slade should put out a strong attacking formation.

In 2011-12 we beat them 3-1 in Yann Kermorgant's first match for Charlton.

Odds are: Charlton 4/5, Draw 13/5, Chesterfield 10/3.

Thursday 27 October 2016

The unasked questions

VOTV editor Rick Everitt has supplied a list of questions he would have liked Katrien Meire to be asked in her TalkSport interview today: What she should have been asked

The club has insisted that they did not ask Talksport to block calls from fans: No censorship

I am away on holiday with the family this week so haven't yet had a chance to listen to the interview, but my impression from comments on social media is that she largely got away with things and that the interventions by Danny Murphy weren't helpful.

One Addick commented, 'What an abjectly weak performance by the interviewers who demonstrated a woeful lack of background and in depth knowledge, that allowed KM to trot out the usual company line without any real challenge of what was said.

Most of which was to gloss over the massive errors of the past and focus on the current situation that was presented as all is now ok. None of her past statements where really challenged except when asked about her opinion of the history of CAFC and allowing her to explain it was misinterpreted - all without question from the interviewers.

As a neutral listener I would come away with the impression that there had been a couple of minor problems in the past but everything was now ok and the fans were being unreasonable.'

VOTV editor Rick Everitt was interviewed on Talksport yesterday. His contribution is four minutes in on this segment: Rickster

Tuesday 25 October 2016

Charlton rode their luck

Charlton were lucky not to get a penalty awarded against them at Gillingham on Saturday, reckons Jason Pearce. Nicky has been disappointed not to be in the side and the centre back line up is the side's greatest strength, allowing them to ride out a virus crisis: Pearce's analysis

Monday 24 October 2016

Do it yourself

A Manchester Addick talks to Matt Wright and Voice of the Valley about the perils and pleasures of making your own protest banners: Protest

Sunday 23 October 2016

Time to fly

That was the message delivered to Roland and Katrien by a plane flying over the Priestfield Stadium yesterday. Just think if all this energy and innovative ideas could be used in conjunction with new owners willing to work with the fans.

A 1-1 draw saw Charlton slump to 17th in League One, sandwiched between Millwall and Gillingham. The Addicks showed no attacking verve in the first half, Having slept on it, those who went think it was as bad as it seemed at the time.

Gillingham went in at half-time a goal to the good after Bradley Dack headed home a Paul Konchesky cross. Charlton's Ricky Holmes saw a second-half penalty saved by Stuart Nelson, who had replaced the injured Jonathan Bond on the half-hour mark, but the Gills stopper could do nothing about Ajose's spot-kick a minute into time added on.

Dack saw Charlton goalkeeper Declan Rudd race out to block a 25th-minute shot before he looped a header home for the opening goal five minutes before half-time.

Charlton were much improved after the break but could not find a way past Nelson, who tipped a Josh Magennis header over before denying Holmes from 12 yards after Ryan Jackson had pulled down Fredrik Ulvestad. But in injury time Gillingham's Chris Herd handled in the area and half-time substitute Ajose stepped up to fire the ball into the bottom right-hand corner.

Saturday 22 October 2016

Slade: why I took off attackers

Russell Slade has explained why he took off two attacking players at Port Vale just before Charlton conceded a penalty, although he insists that the two events were unrelated: Why I did what he did

Unfortunately it looks as if both Holmes and Lookman are doubtful for today's so-called 'Kent derby' at Gillingham, limiting Slade's attacking options. 2,200 Charlton fans are going.

Gillingham are now without a win in their last five games and are 18th in the table.

Odds are: Gillingham 19/10, Draw 11/5, Charlton 13/10.

Friday 21 October 2016

Blues interested in Bauer

Birmingham City, who have new Chinese owners, are monitoring Charlton defender Patrick Bauer: Bauer

He could well be a target for Birmingham or other clubs in the January transfer window.

Wednesday 19 October 2016

The sad demise of the Rickshaw

VOTV editor Rick Everitt traces the sad demise of the Valley Express service. As the main originator of the 'Rickshaw' as it came to be known, he is well placed to do so. At one time over 80 coaches were bringing fans to The Valley from locations as far apart as Colchester and Andover.

Even in our previous stay in League One, the Rickshaw was flourishing. Gillingham's Paul Scally became indignant about the service, although as the Rickster points out his own Isle of Thanet is a redoubt of Addicktion. Read more here: Valley Express

Tuesday 18 October 2016

Frustration in Burslem

Charlton drew 1-1 at Port Vale tonight. After an impressive first half, they sat back in the second as they tried to defend their 1-0 lead, but Vale won a late penalty.

Johnnie Jackson came into the Charlton side at Vale Park this evening with Novak dropping to the bench. Pearce missed out with a groin niggle and Lennon replaced him.

Ulvestad tried his luck from distance on 7 minutes, but Smith put in a good block. Rudd had to deal with a dangerous cross and Fox had to clear it for a Vale corner. Lennon got his head on the ball and Charlton then won a free kick.

A good move on the right side involving Holmes, he put in a low cross which went across the face of goal, but he couldn’t find a purple shirt. Magennis put in a scuffed shot that went wide from the edge of the box.

Lookman tried to turn provider for Jackson, but the skipper fired over.

Holmes failed to bury a Fox cross from two yards out. Almwick saved it point blank before Vale got rid of the ball. The Addicks kept up the pressure and Magennis hit the crossbar with a header after a great cross by Holmes.

Great play from Ricky Holmes on the right hand side and a flick from Ulvestad went through the legs of Alnwick made it 1-0 to the Addicks with his first goal for the club.

Holmes ran half the length of the pitch, his cross was headed behind for a corner. Bauer headed just wide from the corner which was well taken by Lookman.

Jackson curled wide from the edge of the box on 41 minutes after Magennis had flicked the ball into his path.

It was a dominant first half display by Charlton that deserved a bigger lead. Of the attendance of 3,494, 253 were Addicks.

HT: Valiants 0, Addicks 1

A Lookman free kick was parried by Alnwick into the path of Ulvestad, but he missed. Holmes was harshly booked for a foul on Tavares who had rolled around dramatically The Addickted broke into a chant of, ‘We are the pride of all London.’

A Vale corner was headed clear by Lennon who went down with a head injury.

Vale had a spell of pressure on 60 minutes and won a corner. Holmes cleared. A good move down the right saw Charlton win a corner. Vale cleared and counter attacked, but Bauer sprinted and put in a good tackle.

Lennon put the ball behind for a Vale corner, but Fox headed it away. Port Vale brought on their big No.9, Rigino Cicilia, as they sought to apply more pressure. A Charlton corner flicked off a Vale head and was just out of reach for Bauer to turn home.

On 70 minutes Lookman was replaced by Hanlan.

A cross from Holmes was met by Ulvestad, but Alnwick made the save from the header

Holmes put in a free kick, but Smith headed it out for a corner. Jackson’s header went wide.

Charlton won a free kick on the edge of the box on 80 minutes. Solly went down as he burst into the area. Tavares got a yellow card. The free kick from Holmes was cleared.

Chicksen and Novak replaced Holmes and Magennis on 82 minutes. Port Vale won a penalty against Lennon for tripping Jones after a clearance from Fox put him in trouble. Rudd got a hand to it, but it went into the roof of the net to make it 1-1. ‘Glad All Over’ broke out over the tannoy.

Hanlan broke through, but his shot went over the bar. Rudd dropped a cross, but was able to recover.

Five minutes were added on. Charlton forced a late corner, but it was cleared away. Ulvestad put a shot wide from 20 yards. Some of the Addickted start to sing, ‘Russell Slade, he ain’t got a clue.’


Vale have strong home record

Charlton face a trip to the Potteries and the only club in the Football League not named after a geographical location tonight. Currently 7th in the table, Port Vale have a strong home record winning five games out of six.

They went down 4-0 to Sheffield United on Saturday, but that says as much about the Blades as it does about Port Fail. Vale's coach put the result down to poor defending at set pieces. Lookman's corners are improving, but some of there are still poor, while our free kicks are of variable quality.

The clubs last met in a League Cup game in 2000 at The Valley which Charlton won. The last visit by the Addicks to Vale Park in 2000 ended in a 2-2 draw. A draw is more than possible tonight.

The local paper focuses on last Saturday's protests in its preview: Pigs can fly

Odds are: Port Vale 9/5, Draw 23/10, Charlton 6/4.

Sunday 16 October 2016

North Korean flag incident

Like many fans I saw the North Korean flag displayed at The Valley yesterday. This report suggests that after the game a young fan with the flag was pushed against the wall by security guards who carried no ID: Incident

Video from Coventry of the protests: Sky Blues perspective

Midfielder Andrew Crofts admits that he has never encountered flying pigs at a game before: New experience

Bromley Addicks meeting

Katrien Meire held the latest of her 'get to know you' meetings with Bromley Addicks before yesterday's game. The meeting lasted 35 minutes. Various accounts came back to me, including one from the Bloke Beside Me.

KM was accompanied at the beginning by Kevin Foley, who has a calf muscle tear. He attended the meeting for five minutes before being dismissed. Also in attendance was a guy who has responsibility for building works, apparently this was Tony Keoghan.

Richard Redden, the author of a lavishly illustrated history of Charlton, started the proceedings with a monologue which covered his dislike of the regime and his dislike of CARD, how the pitch was sacrosanct and CARD were guilty of breaking the he sanctity of the pitch.

There were calls for Katrien's resignation, which were met with wry smile. She was urged to get Roland over to meet fans.

A question was raised over the Sparrows Lane development and in case you had not noticed has now been delayed till 2018. When Mr Keognan [?] asked how had relegation affected it, someone called out money. He then denied this and waffled on, with no clear explanation that undermined the rationale that money was the reason.

There was the usual stuff about previous mistakes and learning from them and she was called out on these, with no real response, other than she wants to focus on future and not the past. "Why keep on about the past, we want to look to the future and make this great club successful again. And we need you guys to help us do it, tell us how".

Thomas Dreisen was mentioned and she failed to answer what football qualifications he had. She stated he was one of a number of people on the network scouting team.

Saturday 15 October 2016

Pigs can fly - and Charlton can win

The start of the game between Charlton and Coventry City was halted for six minutes when the pitch was bombarded with toy pigs from four sides of the ground. But Charlton went on to win 3-0, moving up to 15th in the table.

Not only were all the goals well taken, but they were well deserved. Ricky Holmes, Ademola Lookman and Josh Magennis all put in a shift and Ademola's trickery and skill is a joy to behold. Admittedly, he did miss one golden chance to score, but he's still learning.

Both sides hit the woodwork in the first half, but Ulvestad turned provider for Holmes who scored in the 32nd minute.

The Addicks were just 1-0 up at the break and Coventry stepped up a gear at the start of the second half. We stopped pressing them and fell back too much with just a small gap between the defence and the midfield. Declan Rudd had to make a super save to prevent an own goal.

Magennis unselfishly turned provider for Lookman 12 minutes before the end and then Magennis lobbed the keeper to put the result beyond doubt.

Hanlan had a cameo and looked lively and effective.

Football League Paper rankings

Rudd, 7; Solly, 6; Bauer, 6; Pearce, 7; Fox, 6; Crofts, 6; Ulvestad, 7; Holmes, 8; Lookman, 7; Novak, 5; Magennis 7.

Friday 14 October 2016

Coventry fans join protest march

500 Coventry fans are expected to join tomorrow's protest march against the current regime at The Valley before the relegation six pointer against the Sky Blues: Solidarity

In an in depth report the Daily Telegraph describes the joint protest as historic, referring to the irony of two one time Premier League clubs being in this position: Historic protest

A new edition of fanzine Voice of the Valley will be on sale before the game.

Rubbish skips and ice baths

In his new book Game Changers Alan Curbishley recalls of Charlton, 'We were a Premier League club but we were a small Premier League club and didn't have the money and resources of other, more glamorous clubs.'

This proved a challenge when new head of medical, Wayne Diesel (praised in glowing terms by Curbs) wanted to introduce ice baths. 'We didn't actually have any baths that we could fill with ice, so Wayne improvised using large refuse skips we had at the training ground.'

Then the players had to be persuaded to jump in. 'I knew that if Paolo [di Canio] jumped in the others would follow because of who he was.' It all had to be explained to di Canio, but then he got in and the other players followed.

Curbs recalls that 'Wayne definitely had an influence at the club and the way in which the players were looked after, streamlining the medical and sports science departments.'

Wednesday 12 October 2016

Curbs book gets a pasting

Alan Curbishley's new book Game Changers gets a pasting in a review from When Saturday Comes. The reviewer thinks that it's an insiders job and hence Curbs does not rock the boat. Moreover, it is not really a revelation to say that money has changed football: Alan Curbishley

I've started to read the book, but it's hardly one I can't put down. The interviews with personalities in the game like Arsene Wenger are interesting enough, although the reviewer thinks that the really novel ones are those with backroom staff which I haven't reached yet. Apart from the interview with Chris Powell, which I summarised in an earlier post, there isn't a lot of Charlton content.

Herminator loses management job

Hreidarsson with equine magnate John Window

Former Addick Hermann Hreidarsson has lost his job as manager of Icelandic side Fylkir after they were relegated. He holds the joint record for the largest number of relegations for a player from the Premier League: Herminator

Monday 10 October 2016

Curbs talks to Chris Powell

Alan Curbishley's new book Game Changers consists of a series of interviews with football personalities and one of these is with Chris Powell.

Chris says: 'I think that I always had it in my mind to be a manager. But it's when you actually become a manager and walk into the office on the first day with everyone there and looking at you, that's when you realise they're all thinking,Right, what are you going to do?'

'There's so much you have to organise, and you soon realise that no matter what department in the club, it all comes to you. One of the big things that hit me when I first got the job was when I walked out at The Valley for my first game there and I thought I'm leading the team now.'

'I'll never forget it. I turned round and looked at the dugout and the main stand during the game and thought, 'This is it. You always said you wanted to manage. Now this is it. You stand there and you're really on your own.'

'Winning as a manager surpasses winning as a player because it's the culmination of your work through the week, and to see it come together on a Saturday, especially if the performance is to the levels you expect,just surpasses everything. But if you lose it's terrible. There's no middle ground.'

'I think the first six months I had at Charlton were invaluable. I had time to think about the next season and the restructuring I wanted to do with the team to try to get us promotion. We had a great start to that second season and didn't lose for twelve games. We got promotion and that was my first full season as manager, so it was a big moment for me. The next season we were in the Championship, and you have to reassess and be realistic about what you can achieve as a newly promoted team - but we managed to finish ninth and were only three points off the play offs.'

'I think that as a manager you have a responsibility to bring young players through, to try to make that happen, but you also know you're not always going to get time. That's the reality, and losing your job is something you have to come to terms with.'

Sunday 9 October 2016

Powell to take over at Derby

Chris Powell is set to take over at Derby County after Nigel Pearson left by mutual consent: Chris Powell

Thursday 6 October 2016

Club senior management to meet CARD

Senior management at Charlton have offered to meet the Campaign Against Roland Duchatelet (CARD) next week. They appear to be concerned about the resumption of what they call 'disruptive' match day protests: Meeting

CARD has given a vigorous response to the media leaked request.

Meanwhile, the Daily Mail is the latest media outlet to ask why the club is in such a mess: Protesting fans

A first rate post by the Blackheath Addick summarises some of the logical dilemmas associated with this offer, the most fundamental being that the whole purpose of CARD is to get Roland to sell up which is unlikely to be announced at such a meeting. The Blackheath Addick asks whether it is another PR stunt or a genuine attempt at constructive engagement and decides that it is more likely to be the former: Cynical or genuine?

I do think it shows that the regime are rattled.