Friday 30 September 2016

Premier League clubs close in on Konza

The latest product of the Charlton player farm, Ezri Konsa, is attracting considerable interest from Premier League clubs. Scouts have been watching him and a number of clubs are expected to make a bid in the January transfer window, including Arsenal, City and United: Target

Charlton midfielder Oliver Muldoon has joined Braintree Town on a 28-day loan deal: Loaned out

Valley Floyd Road no more

Valley Floyd Road is off the playlist at The Valley as the man responsible for originally recording it has asked the club not to use it any more. He does not think it is appropriate given the disconnect between fans and the Duchatelet regime: The mist rolling in from The Thames

Beneath The Valley of the Super Nerd

The second part of the scoop interview by Louis Mendez with Thomas Driesen appears in the South London Press today. It is unlikely to appear online until tomorrow at the earliest.

Apparently it covers Driesen's views of Charlton's managers and coaches, explains why Yann Kermorgant was let go and Nego was signed. It is stated that he did not approve of the Kermorgant transfer, but Roland and Katrien are not to blame as they were advised by unknown others.

p>The second part of the interview, in which Drisen admits that Karel Fraeye was not up to the job of Charlton coach, is now available online: Driesen

Thursday 29 September 2016

Bauer a doubt for Saturday

Injury prone defender Patrick Bauer has a minor hip problem and may not be available for Saturday, but Jason Pearce could return after missing two games: Defenders

Russell Slade has reiterated his dissatisfaction with Tuesday night's performance against Oldham. Some fans are calling for his head, but any replacement could be a network member with no experience of the English game. However, I am not confident of much more than a mid-table finish under Slade.

Wednesday 28 September 2016

CARD to resume protests

Against the backdrop of poor on the pitch performances, and revelations about the continued role of Thomas Driesen, the Campaign Against Roland Duchatelet are to resume their protests at The Valley at the home game against Coventry on October 15th: Protests resume

The choice of the Coventry game is appropriate as Sky Blues fans have their own issues with their hedge fund owners Sisu who have run the club into the ground and offended a whole range of stakeholders.

Tuesday 27 September 2016

Carry on Drawing

It was Magennis and Novak up front against Oldham Athletic at The Valley tonight with Lookman on the bench. Ricky Holmes was back. Jackson was on the left in a 4-4-2 formation. Oldham were playing five in midfield, but pushing three up front when an opportunity presented itself.

It looked as if target 20k might be achieved with that many empty seats. Oldham had sold 23 tickets ahead of the game. The total attendance in terms of those actually there was not much more than 6,000. The official attendance was announced at 8,745, but even Jeremy Corbyn would have been able to find a seat.

It was a nervous start for both teams. A lot of the early play was in Charlton’s half. The Addicks were misplacing their passes. Magennis put in a shot straight at the keeper in the first real chance of the game.

Ulvestad was fouled and Charlton won a free kick, but it was 35 yards out and Fox put it over the bar.

Konsa conceded a corner after Oldham broke down the left. The corner was claimed by Rudd. Rudd had to save from Green. Oldham were playing the better football and there were boos from the Addickted. There was indecision at the back as Oldham pressed.

But then against the run of play Magennis scored with a great strike on 22 minutes. Magennis drove in from a tight angle after a great ball from Crofts released Holmes who surged forward. Charlton kept possession for the first time with 21 passes and it paid off.

Bauer made a great sliding tackle on the edge of the box to break up an Oldham attack.

Solly made a goal saving block to deny Palace loanee Ladapo who had an open goal in front of him. Rudd got hold of the loose ball.

A good move down the left, the cross from Holmes missed everyone as did the return ball from Ulvestad. It all started with good work by Konsa.

HT: Charlton 1, Lactics 0

Charlton got a corner after 14 seconds after a shot by Magennis was put behind, but it was cleared. On 48 minutes Ladapo dragged wide from 12 yards.

Holmes beat McKay to turn provider for Magennis, but the striker fired over the bar. On 55 minutes Novak got into the box and won Charlton a corner. It was cleared to Ulvestad who volleyed wide.

On 63 minutes Foley and Lookman replaced Jackson and Crofts. Erwin replaced Ladapo for Oldham.

The Lactics won a corner, but Holmes got it clear. Bauer had to stretch out to deny the lively Erwin a chance to score.

Lookman put in a cross, evading two players on, and the ball was headed out for a corner. Holmes got away from his marker but put the ball wide. Green was able to flash the ball across the goal.

Fox fed Lookman with a great ball, but he could not evade his two markers. Erwin shot at Rudd from distance. Konsa put in a great tackle to deny Erwin.

Fox gave away an unnecessary free kick. Clarke flicked a header into the bottom left-hand corner to make it 1-1. Not a great surprise as Charlton kept on retreating.

Lookman hit the bar from distance. Novak was replaced by Ajose on 86 minutes.

Oldham controlled possession in the closing minute as the boos rang out. Konsa blocked a ball from Erwin. Four minutes were added on. Bauer made a vital tackle in the box. Charlton won a corner in the dying seconds, but Lookman’s effort was too deep. The boos rang out as the whistle blew.

<;p>Charlton did go up to 12th, above Millwall (who lost 3-1 at Port Vale) in 17th place, but a win would have seen them advance to 9th.

Chris Powell's Derby won 2-0 at Cardiff.

Thomas Driesen interview

Louis Mendez of the South London Press has secured an interview with youthful Charlton scout Thomas Driesen. It wasn't initially online, but a few details have leaked out on Twitter.

Apparently the twenty something with the innovative hairstyle is still 'heavily involved' at Charlton. He claims that Roland and Katrien are not at fault for the shambles because they were given 'wrong advice'.

Driesen responded to claims by Chris Powell and Guy Luzon that they did not have the final say on transfers. He said, 'We only gave him [Powell] tons of information. Not ever - not even once - did anybody say anything that he had to use a certain player or had to play a certain system. Because he got so many players from the network to strengthen the team we tried to give him as much information as possible about each player.'

As Rick Everitt has noted, there is a contradiction between saying 'If you were a manager getting five or six players that you never heard about, you want as much information as possible' and saying that the manager had the final say on transfers. What manager is going to hire a player he knows nothing about

Driesen claims that when he was at Standard Liege 'I learned a lot in a short period of time - because I am a football freak. I contacted [Duchatelet] to talk about football and talk about tactics. And then when we were in contact I gave him reports on players that were in the press and linked to Standard. So he asked me if I could do more and more and more, until it became a full time thing.'

The full interview is now available online here (there will be another instalment on Friday): Thomas Driesen

VOTV editor Rick Everitt has commented that it is an good scoop but very damaging to CAFC: 'Driesen repeats the old regime lies and maybe takes them further.'

Katrien Meire has withdrawn from the vote for a place on the Football League Board and it has gone to the Walsall chief executive.

Monday 26 September 2016

Must win match

Tonight's match against Oldham Athletic is a must win game for Charlton as they seek to avoid getting drawn into a relegation struggle and search for a mid-table respectability that could offer a platform for further progress.

Most teams do not stay that long in League One: they either get back to the Championship, at least for a while, or suffer the further humiliation of relegation to League Two. No team has been in the third tier as long as Oldham. They arrived in 1997, having briefly been a Premier League club at the onset of that competition, and have stayed at this level ever since.

Currently they are third from bottom in the table. Their away record is slightly better than their home record. They have won a match away, which they have not done at home, and have only lost one game, drawing two. They have achieved this while just scoring four goals in nine games.

Manager Stephen Robinson complained that nine players just did not show up for the home defeat to Swindon and has promised changes for the outing to Charlton. However, the Ulsterman did praise goalkeeper Connor Ripley as 'magnificent' and it is clear that Oldham have a tight defence.

Ripley is on loan from Middlesbrough and is an England under-20 international. Charlton manager Russell Slade has attracted some criticism for being too defensive and negative and he will need to adopt an attacking stance tonight.

One thing Oldham have in common with Charlton is a rapid turnover of managers with no less than six in 18 months. In terms of performance, they are living up to expectations with Four Four Two forecasting a finish in 24th place.

Odds are: Charlton 5/6, Draw 12/5, Oldham 7/2. Clearly, a Charlton win is expected, but our record against them is not inspiring. All three recent home matches against them at this level have produced draws.

Sunday 25 September 2016

Curbs speaks about his 'sadness' for Charlton

Alan Curbishley has told the Football League Paper 'I feel so sad for what's going at Charlton. There are lots of people still there after my time at the club [after Katrien's purges?] It's ten years since I left and it's incredible how things have changed in that time.'

'Charlton had become an established Premier League team and were looking at who they could attract to kick on. Now they have experienced the pain of two relegations and, with everything else going on, they are danger of staying where they are for some time. The club have to get back in the Championship. It's no good for them in League One.'

'They have got to win the fans back if they are going to have any chance of being successful. Russell Slade was a good appointment. He has great experience at that level, but he needs support.'

Talking of his own future, Curbs fears that he has been out of the managerial game too long to return. 'I turned down Premier League clubs that were down in the relegation zone with 13 or 14 games to go and wanted saving. And I turned down teams in the top half of the Championship, hoping for a boost to reach the play offs. I was prepared to wait until something big, that I wanted to do, came up. Perhaps I waited too long.'

He still hopes for some kind of advisory role, similar to what he had for a short while at Fulham.

Curbs was promoting his book Game Changers which takes a wide-ranging look at the modern game.

Saturday 24 September 2016

Draw specialists?

Charlton slipped to 16th in League One after a 1-1 draw with Oxford United at the Kassim Stadium. Russell Slade's view is that 'If we keep performing like that, there's no doubt we can turn the draws into wins and climb up the table.'

The Addicks went in front through a 54th-minute penalty by Johnnie Jackson. Oxford's right back Phil Edwards handled Ademola Lookman's deep free-kick and Jackson calmly planted the spot-kick straight into the middle of the goal as Simon Eastwood dived to the right. That was the first goal Oxford had conceded for over five and a half hours.

However, they equalised on a swift counter-attack in the 67th minute as substitute Kane Hemmings picked out Maguire making a run to his right, and Maguire drove beyond Declan Rudd from 14 yards.

Both teams produced some free-flowing passing football in the first half. Rudd saved superbly to turn Chey Dunkley's header for a corner and Marvin Johnson twice went close with angled shots.

Eastwood raced off his line to block Lookman's shot with his legs and late in the game as the home side's goalkeeper brilliantly tipped over Josh Magennis' point-blank header. Charlton finished with 10 men as Harry Lennon was shown the red card in the 94th minute for his second foul on Liam Sercombe.

Alan Curbishley commented on Channel 5, 'It looks as if Slade has not had the backing ... the people that own the club have some big decisions to make.'

VOTV editor Rick Everitt says that Russell Slade's start is the worst for Charlton in the third tier in ninety years: Not good

Friday 23 September 2016

Oxford hope for great things

Victory against Charlton tomorrow would give Oxford United their fourth home victory in a row for the first time since 2009: Home comfort

Oxford increased their budget to stay competitive and sold a record number of 4,436 season tickets. However, fans resent the fact that they are tenants in the Kassim Stadium. Four Four Two forecast automatic promotion in second place at the beginning of the season and they have made a solid start.

Charlton fans are taking the match seriously with their allocation of 1,500 tickets sold out and not a penny going to Roland. Earlier today a few seats were still available on the Rickshaws being run by the CAS Trust: Unofficial coach travel

Charlton are without a win in a month, but are hoping to build on their creditable draw against Scunthorpe United on Tuesday: Clean sheet gives hope

Meire bids for high office

Charlton chief executive Katrien Meire is standing for election to the Football League Board. She is going head-to-head with Walsall's chief executive to represent League One. However, VOTV editor Rick Everitt, who revealed the news in an exclusive scoop, thinks that her chances are not that good: Candidate

Thursday 22 September 2016

Kevin Foley interview

Kevin Foley has proved to be a 'versatile' (is that another way of saying utility?) player for Charlton this season. Not surprisingly, he aspires to promotion rather than relegation: Foley's wish list

Wednesday 21 September 2016

Roland in town

Charlton owner Roland Duchatelet made one of his rare and, as usual, unheralded visits to South-East London last night when he met the Target 20k committee, not the most critical group of fans. Apparently he said that he wished football fans would mix at games like rugby fans. He clearly doesn't get it.

Asked why he wasn't around more, Roland said that he could commit more time but Charlton only amounted to 1.5 per cent of income/resources.

Tuesday 20 September 2016

0-0 at the break

Charlton and Scunthorpe were 0-0 at half time tonight after a tight first half. The Addicks were playing a 4-5-1 formation with Magennis up front, supported by Lookman on the right. Ajose was relegated to the bench. Patrick Bauer and Johnnie Jackson were in the side which lacked Ricky Holmes because of injury.

Charlton stepped up the pressure around the half hour mark, but then the Iron came back into the game. Rudd had to save well from a corner. Lookman applied pressure just before the break.

In the second half, Charlton had some chances, but also had to defend with Pearce and Bauer making excellent contributions. Substitute Botaka had a chance to score and in time added on Johnnie Jackson hit the post from a free kick.

Given Scunthorpe's home record this season, 0-0 is a respectable result. Charlton remain 14th.

Russell Slade praised a 'really solid' performance by his players: Iron will

A Northern Addick who was there commented, 'I thought we were decent enough last night; clearly we were set up not to lose, which in the end may have denied us all three points, but I suspect most of us would have taken a point at the start so it would be carping to complain subsequently.

Pearce, who I criticised after Saturday, was much more like the player we'd been told to expect, presumably as a direct result of having the solid Bauer next to him;all four defenders looked assured, with Solly increasingly dangerous going forward.

I like Crofts more and more every time I see him, especially as he seems to receive so little in the way of support from the lightweight Foley, while Jackson and Ulvestad worked their guts out all night - what a shame the skipper's brilliant free kick couldn't have crept in.

Magennis was excellent up top on his own, never giving up in his attempts to bring others into play and Ademola... well Ademola was wonderful; he's way too good for this level of course, but sadly our set-up meant that we were unable to exploit the fact that they detailed two men to look after him all night.'

Elsewhere, former Addick Simon Makienok scored a hat trick in Preston's 3-2 victory at Bournemouth.

Seed grandson condemns regime

Jimmy Seed's grandson James Dutton has pulled out of any involvement in the restoration of the sign on the Jimmy Seed stand and has set out a clear condemnation of the current regime at The Valley, particularly Katrien Meire. It's a powerful piece of writing: Seed sign

Another tough test for Addicks

Seeking to rebound from their defeat by AFC Wimbledon, Charlton face a tough test at table topping Scunthorpe tonight. The Iron have won all three of their home games this season, scoring twelve and conceding just one goal.

Last season Scunthorpe were 15th in January, but then went on a run. One more point and they would have snatched Barnsley's place in the play offs.

Defender Jordan Clarke told the Scunthorpe Telegraph: 'Charlton are a very strong side with high quality because they have just come down. They have had some poor result so we will want to put that right and because we are doing well they will want to put a dent in that. Therefore I am expecting a very high quality and high tempo game.'

Saturday 17 September 2016

Out Wombled

After losing 1-2 at home to AFC Wimbledon today, Charlton are just two points ahead of Bristol Rovers in the first relegation place - or, if you want to be optimistic, four points behind sixth placed Sheffield United with a game in hand.

After an opening goal brilliantly crafted by Ademola Lookman, Charlton had their chances to finish this game off but didn't take them. A 1-0 lead at half time looked slender and so it proved. Lookman continued to shine when he worked his way into the box and saw his powerful drive pushed away from goal just before the break.

Ricky Holmes could have doubled Charlton's lead in the 54th minute, but his close-range effort was excellently saved by Shea. Holmes and Nicky Ajose wasted good opportunities to put the game to bed for Charlton.

When Francombe was stretchered off on 58 minutes and Elliott came on, he seemed to energise the Dons. Poleon had got the measure of Solly and equalised for the visitors and then former Addick Barry Fuller turned provider for Barnett.

What struck me once again was the relative weakness of the midfield which was dropping back far too much after Wimbledon's equaliser.

Charlton had seven shots on target to Wimbledon's two and six corners (although the first didn't come until the second half) to none.

Football League Paper player ratings

Rudd, 6; Solly, 6; Pearce, 6; Konsa, 6; Fox, 6; Crofts, 6; Ulvestad, 7; Holmes, 7; Lookman, 7; Magennis, 6; Ajose, 5 (Novak 68, 6).

Friday 16 September 2016

Selection choices for Slade

Charlton manager Russell Slade must decide whether to recall Johnnie Jackson and Lee Novak for tomorrow's visit of AFC Wimbledon to The Valley. Both have recovered their fitness after injury. Novak scored as a substitute in last weekend's 2-2 draw at Fleetwood following his recovery from a hand injury.

AFC Wimbledon will be at full strength as they attempt to bounce back from last weekend's 3-2 defeat to Sheffield United. The Dons had been seeking to build on their 2-1 win over Chesterfield but conceded three times at Kingsmeadow, and they remain on five points from seven games.

Odds are: Charlton Evens, Draw 12/5, Wimbledon 14/5.

AFC Wimbledon defender Paul Robinson is hopeful of a win: Up for the challenge

CAS Trust see AFC Wimbledon as an 'inspiration to us all': Inspiration

Many fans will be taking part in a 'black and white day', with free scarves available, but not all fans welcome the protest.

The treatment table

Russell Slade has provided updates on three injured Charlton players: Treatment table

The most progress is being made by Jorge Teixeira who may be able to play in an under 21s match on Monday. Unfortunately, Ahmed Kashi is making slow progress. He is now receiving rehab in Paris for his Achilles problem.

In the case of El Hajdi Ba, he is not being allowed to train with the first train and Russell Slade doubts whether he really wants to play for Charlton.

Thursday 15 September 2016

VOTV overcomes 'K' crisis

Fanzine Voice of the Valley has overcome a production crisis and will be available at the AFC Wimbledon game on Saturday: New issue

Editor Rick Everitt is a devotee of hot metal production methods and had a crisis with his linotype machine. Sometimes the letters can snap on an old and heavily used machine.

Usually this happens with vowels. It is almost unknown for the letter 'K' to cause a problem. In the past this has only happened with obscure local newspapers in the Deep South of the United States. Not only do they have to cover the activities of the local chapter of the Klu Klux Klan, they also have to follow the Klan's fashion of replacing the letter 'c' by 'k', as in 'Klu Klu Klan members 'k'onverged on a 'k'onclave.

The letter 'K' has had heavy use at VOTV's Ramsgate headquarters in recent months as it has reported on the activities of Charlton chief executive Katrien Meire in recent months. Fortunately, Rick Everitt was able to effect a running repair using epoxy resin and garden twine, so the issue will not appear with references to *atrien Meire.

Wednesday 14 September 2016

'The essence of Charlton is at stake'

'The essence of Charlton is at stake' argues this latest essay on the fight of fans against the current regime at The Valley: The Set Pieces

If sympathetic publicity was enough, our problems would be over by now.

Tuesday 13 September 2016

Cyril Hammond

I was sorry to hear of the passing of former Addick Cyril Hammond at the age of 88. He was the subject of my first football argument with my father. I thought that his role in the midfield engine room was insufficiently appreciated (much like Keith Jones in later years), but my father thought that he was nothing more than a 'useful' player.

In my mind's eye I can see 'Squib' Hammond surveying the scene upfield, before putting in a long and accurate pass to a Charlton player. Formerly in the drawing office at Red Barracks in Woolwich, Hammond joined the Addicks after National Service in 1950/51. He stayed with Charlton until 1957/58 when he was transferred to Colchester. In 296 matches, he scored just seven goals.

Monday 12 September 2016

Jason Pearce interview

A long interview with Jason Pearce talking about his career and his hopes for Charlton, described as a 'massive club'. (Copyright, Sheffield Wednesday). He makes the point that his time at Wigan shows that new squads often take time to shake down: Jason Pearce

Saturday 10 September 2016

Cods and Haddocks share the spoils

Picture courtesy Brian Cole

Charlton fell back to 13th in League One after drawing 2-2 with Fleetwood Town at the Highbury Stadium this afternoon. (They are 8th in the form table). The Addicks were 2-1 down at half time, but secured a late equaliser scored in the 87th minute by Novak.

The Addicks have now been unbeaten in six games.

Fleetwood's on-loan Burnley striker Chris Long netted his third goal in as many league games in the fourth minute as he rocketed the ball from 35 yards past Declan Rudd from distance. It was all Fleetwood until Charlton finally sparked into life just after the half-hour-mark. Nicky Ajose was just too short to head into an open goal when Magennis turned provider, but a minute later the Northern Ireland international nodded in Ricky Holmes' cross in the 32nd minute.

David Ball restored Fleetwood's lead, picking up a loose ball on the edge of the box and curled an unstoppable ball into the top corner in the 44th minute.

Holmes cut inside McLaughlin but curled wide on 62 minutes. The second half was largely a game of attrition until the match exploded back into life in the final 15 minutes with Town keeper Chris Neal twice making fingertip saves to thwart Holmes and Novak before the striker popped up with the late leveller.

Football League Paper player rankings

Rudd,7; Solly, 7; Konsa, 5; Pearce, 5; Fox, 6; Holmes, 7 (Botaka, 81, 6); Ulvestad, 5 (Foley, 81, 6); Crafts, 6; Magennis, 8; Ajose, 4 (Novak, 60, 6); Lookman 5.

Friday 9 September 2016

What goes down meets what comes up

Just nine years ago Fleetwood Town were in the Northern Premier League and Charlton were in the Premier League, but the two sides meet at the Highbury Stadium tomorrow.

Conor McLaughlin will come back into Fleetwood's team to face Charlton after international duty. The full-back impressed in the Czech Republic on Sunday as Northern Ireland drew 0-0 and he will be restored to a side that has kept three successive clean sheets.

Lee Novak could return to action for Charlton after the striker resumed training following a broken hand. Skipper Johnnie Jackson is a doubt but winger Ricky Holmes is back in contention after recovering from a bruised foot.

Lancashire referee Darren Handley will see that no quarter is offered to the southern softies. The PE teacher was added to the Football League list in 2014/15 after twenty years of hard graft in local leagues, starting with the Bolton Boys League.

Odds: Fleetwood Town 13/8, Draw 23/10, Charlton 13/8. Could go one of three ways then.

Thursday 8 September 2016

How things are at Charlton

The Guardian takes a reasonably balanced look at the state of affairs at Charlton, interviewing both opponents of the regime and those who feel that they are making some effort to reach out to supporters: Boycotts

The article states that season tickets have fallen from 10,278 last year to 6,297 this year. Some fans would have left anyway after relegation, but the size of the fall indicates the extent of the disenchantment with Roland and Katrien.

Glamour tie

Charlton head for Fleetwood Town on Saturday for a League One glamour tie. The CASC Trust has put on a special Rickshaw, but when I last heard there were a few seats left.

Fleetwood had the second lowest average attendance in League One last season: 3,308. (The wooden spoon went to Rochdale). The attendance was not surprising when one considers that the population of Fleetwood is 25,939 and there are other clubs nearby in Blackpool, Morecambe and Preston. AFC Fylde are an ambitious and well funded non-league side, another sign of the football vacuum created by the Oyston regime at Blackpool.

The town has struggled economically since the decline of the fishing fleet in the early 1970s. Three of its five wards fall into the five to ten per cent most deprived in England.

The club has been backed by energy entrepreneur and Fylde Coast native Andy Pilley. He has poured £10m into the club which entered the Football League in 2012-13. He has denied any interest in taking over from the Oystons at Blackpool (Fleetwood beat their rivals 1-0 in the Lancashire Cup this week).

Under experienced manager Uwe Rossler the Cod Army are riding high in League One and Charlton will find that they offer a tough test.

Monday 5 September 2016

What can be done about rogue owners?

Rogue owners of football clubs have been in the news again this week and our sister site on the Political Economy of Football looks at some of the proposed solutions: Rogue owners

Saturday 3 September 2016

Rudd wants to make a name for himself

Declan Rudd has been talking to a Norwich site about how he wants to make a name himself as a first choice keeper: Not such an odd decision

Without a game today, Charlton have fallen back to 10th. Millwall drew 1-1 at home with Bradford and are 4th.

Friday 2 September 2016

Network scout named

An article in a Belgian sports magazine has led to the network scout for Roland being named, and he is very young: Give youth a chance

He has had less influence on recruitment over the summer, although there have been unconfirmed rumours that the current chief scout may be leaving the building.

Thursday 1 September 2016

Greenwich Borough sign Bradley Pritchard

Former Addick Bradley Pritchard who made 79 appearances for Charlton in a three year stay at The Valley has signed for Greenwich Borough to boost their Ryman South campaign: Bradley Pritchard

He joined Charlton from Hayes and Yeading but, after a period with Leyton Orient, is now playing at a lower level of non-league football.

Lookman was Palace target

Russell Slade has confirmed that Ademola Lookman was a Crystal Palace target on deadline day: We had to stay strong

The Glaziers opened the bidding at £4.5m plus Nectar points.

An unwelcome departure

The club's contract with Alou Diarra has been cancelled by mutual consent. He wants to be closer to his family in France: Farewell

I understand and sympathise with his reasons at the age of 35, but I am sorry to see him go. He was a player of real quality. A friend of mine in France was really impressed that he played for us.

I wish him well for the future. He has now joined Nancy on a one year contract: Bon voyage