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.

Charlton a 'distressed asset'

Charlton are now a 'distressed asset' according to Rory Smith, football correspondent of the New York Times, writing in the latest issue of Four Four Two.

He warns fans hoping for a brighter post-Roland future, 'Such circumstances attract the speculators and the snake oil sellers, the wolves and the vultures. Many don't have the reserves of patience or cash required; others don't realise quite what they are taking on, or try to bail out once things turn sour.'

Wednesday 5 October 2016

Big Dave Lockwood speaks out

Former pitch announcer at The Valley talks about his difficult decision to leave the club he loves and his new life in non-league football: Dave Lockwood

A full account of Charlton's plight

Charlton's plight has been written up in a number of articles and blogs but this one is particularly full and informative: Crisis of ownership

It argues that Charlton has been made a dumping ground and feeder club in one fell swoop. It is based around interviews with key individuals in the opposition to the current regime.

Addicks 'not in the place we want to be' says Slade

Russell Slade has admitted that Charlton are 'not in the place they want to be' after last night's 0-2 home defeat to Crawley in the Checkatrade Trophy: Any answers?

Charlton did not force the Crawley keeper to make a save until the 79th minute.

Tuesday 4 October 2016

Kashi out until 2017

Talented midfielder Ahmed Kashi will be out until 2017 after he had surgery for his Achilles problem in Qatar yesterday: Kashi

Slade likely to get the boot

Russell Slade is likely to be the seventh Charlton manager to get the sack from Roland forecasts VOTV editor Rick Everitt writing in The Currant Bun. He forecasts that the long nightmeire at The Valley is likely to continue: Ramsgate fan writes

Coventry paper features Charlton's concerns

The Coventry Evening Telegraph looks at other clubs apart from Coventry City that have problems with their owners, including Charlton: Shared worries

Monday 3 October 2016

'Highly imaginative' protests praised

This blog from The Guardian looks at growing antagonism between owners and fans around the country with a considerable focus on Charlton. Addicks fans are praised for their 'highly imaginative' and 'vocal' campaign against Roland Duchatelet and their 'unity of spirit in defiance': Rogue owners

A joint protest march at The Valley has been organised by Sky Blues and Addicks fans for the Coventry City game on 15th October.

Saturday 1 October 2016

Not good value even for a fiver

Only goal difference now separates Charlton from a relegation place after they went down 0-1 at home to Rochdale at The Valley this afternoon, giving the visitors their fifth successive victory. In 18th place, the Addicks are one place above Millwall.

The attendance was about 4,500 down on the last 'football for a fiver' match. In 2012 we got over 10,000 more for an equivalent game against Stevenage.

Charlton started with an unadventurous 4-5-1 formation and Johnnie Jackson failed to score from the penalty spot. Charlton did produce a late rally, but it was not able to secure even a point. It's just two wins out of eleven now. The rainbows seen over The Valley brought no good fortune.

The report on the game by Louis Mendez is here: A forgettable week

Russell Slade thinks that the booing by fans when Ricky Holmes was substituted was 'slightly disrespectful': Customers rebuked