Tuesday 31 January 2017

More readies for Roland?

Richard Cawley of the SLP has tweeted that should Carl Jenkinson leave Arsenal, there is a sell on clause which would mean more money for Roland.

However, the projected move to Palace appears to have broken down and no other club appears to be interested.

The latest shock news from Cawley is that Roger Johnson may be going. Counsellors will be available for fans at The Valley should this happen.

Ajose's going home

Wiltshire media are reporting that Nicky Ajose is returning to Swindon Town, although it is unclear whether it will be a loan until the end of the season or a permanent deal: Return to the County Ground

Ajose was the Rocking Robin's top scorer last season and was signed by Russell Slade for a reported £800,000. However, he has not been in favour with Karl Robinson.

I am not critical of Robinson because I think Ajose has been a disappointment. Perhaps he didn't get the service he needed, but I have seen him miss clear goal scoring opportunities. Given his high salary, it is the best outcome for the player and the club.

Monday 30 January 2017

Arsenal striker in on loan?

Richard Cawley of the SLP reckons that Charlton will secure the signature of highly rated Arsenal striker Stephy Mavididi on a loan deal: Mavididi

Championship and other League One clubs are said to be interested, as well as clubs in Europe. However, the loan path from Arsenal to Charlton is a well trodden one.

Exit route for Ajose?

Bradford City may be willing to take on goal shy Nicky Ajose. Southend are prepared to offer a loan deal, but the Bantams have the readies: Farewell?

Ajose is one of the highest earners at The Valley. On Tuesday morning BBC Radio Wiltshire was reporting that he was going to rejoin Swindon Town.

The final nod from Arsene Wenger is still to come, but young Polish defender Krystian Bielik is expected to join the Addicks from Arsenal on loan for the rest of the season: Deal almost done

He is well thought of at Arsenal, but has been unable to break into the first team. The story has attracted some interest from Polish media.

Top six still possible

Jake Forster-Carskey, who made an impressive debut at Bolton, thinks that a top six finish is still possible for Charlton: Interview

Let's just hope we don't end up with a play off semi-final against Millwall!

Sound familiar?

Blackpool chairman Karl Oyston has attacked hard core activists opposing his stewardship of the club where he has been in charge since 1999. He said, 'There's normally a half a dozen or so outside the ground on match day waving a banner around. They are people with no alternatives, nothing to offer and just want to criticise, deride and abuse the proper fans that come into the ground.'

'Their numbers are dwindling, the interest is dwindling and they're a busted flush. They have nothing to offer and you can only go on for so long trotting out the same tired rhetoric before they get bored of it. We run the club and yet naively, perhaps childishly, think we should be driven away.'

In 2010-11 Blackpool were in the Premier League and the £100m plus windfall presented an opportunity for prudent investment. Instead, Oyston-owned clubs and subsidiaries have drawn more than £28m in interest free loans from a club that continues to make a profit (£7.5m in the latest accounts). They are currently 13th in League Two.

Perhaps Katrien could arrange a meeting between Karl Oyston and Roland to commiserate with each other.

Sunday 29 January 2017

Robinson tries to add to squad

Karl Robinson would like to add to his squad before the transfer window closes. He has the green light from Roland Duchatelet, but says he is being quoted over inflated prices: Daylight robbery

In all fairness it is difficult to get value in the January transfer window with clubs pushing for promotion and others looking over their shoulder at the relegation trapdoor.

Saturday 28 January 2017

Charlton win at Bolton

Charlton secured an unexpected 2-1 win at Bolton Wanderers this afternoon and moved back to 11th place in League One. This was an especially good performance with ten men for 80 minutes, Page having been sent off on 11 minutes after taking out the last man, and Magennis missing.

Bolton opened the scoring on 13 minutes from a free kick, then Bauer responded on 23 minutes, taking advantage of a free kick from debutante Jake Forster-Caskey to head the ball into the net. Next Chris Solly saw his own block deflected off the post, before Rudd has to be swift off his line to deny Clough.

Forster-Caskey was also the provider through a free kick for a time added on goal by Byrne.

Bolton tried to get back in the game in the second half, but the Addicks stood firm.

The Football League Paper said this morning, 'It was the Addicks who summoned the mix of fight and quality we associate with promotion chasers. And with new signings Nathan Byrne and Jake Forster-Caskey making an immediate impact on this evidence Addicks fans have every reason to hope January can be a turning point for their team.'

Football League Paper player ratings

Rudd, 7; Solly, 6; Bauer, 7; Konsa, 7; Page, 5; Crofts, 6; Forster-Caskey, 8; Byrne, 7 (Holmes, 81, 6); Aribo, 6 (Jackson, 89); Chicksen, 7; Watt, 7 (Novak, 62, 6).

Jacko wants to keep on playing

Johnnie Jackson's contract is up in the summer, but he hopes to go on playing, even though Karl Robinson is preparing him for a coaching role: Johnnie Jackson

Charlton face Bolton Wanderers away today. It wasn't so long ago that this was a Premier League fixture when it could get a bit tasty afterwards.

Bolton were one of my promotion picks. Their form has been a little mixed recently, but with Charlton still facing injury worries this looks like a home win. Former Addick Lawrie Wilson is a regular for the Whites, but Dorian Dervitte has struggled to make the first team: CAS Trust preview

Odds: Bolton 20/23, Draw 12/5, Charlton 10/3. Officials are all from the north.

Friday 27 January 2017

Roland tops worst owner league

A new accolade for Charlton owner Roland Duchatelet: he has been voted the worst owner of a football club in the country, although Coventry City, Blackburn Rovers and Blackpool run him close: Club ownership survey

No doubt Roland would say that this reflects the stupidity of the voters.

The word is getting round. I went to see my GP this morning for a post operative check up and he said that I was in good shape, remarkably so considering that Charlton were rubbish.

Wednesday 25 January 2017

Immoveable object

El Hadji Ba appears resolved to stay at Charlton, despite there being no role for him. A period training with Den Haag did not lead to anything. He refused a settlement earlier in the season and still has 18 months to run on his contract: Misfit

Another good use of funds by the regime.

Tuesday 24 January 2017

Charlton want to hold on to man of steel

Charlton want to offer a new contract to 20-year old midfielder Anfernee Dijksteel: Man of steel

His current contract expires in the summer and Ajax and Everton are already interested. With a new contract, he can be sold later at a higher price.

Shrimpers sack groundsman over their frozen pitch

Southend United have sacked their head groundsman because their pitch was unplayable on Saturday: Frozen out. The decision has been criticised by fans on social media.

Up the river Charlton's groundsman had to explain a situation that was not of his own making.

The club retains complete confidence in Katrien Meire as chief executive.

Monday 23 January 2017

Nightmeire at the FA?

The FA need more women in their ranks, but should not be resort to hiring Katrien Meire, argues this article: Nightmeire?

Apparently, the chief executive is aggrieved by her treatment by Charlton fans. Perhaps she should show less enthusiasm for what are now called 'alternative facts'.

A load of Red Bull

An amazing £75m price tag has been put on Charlton by its eccentric Belgian owner, according to fanzine Voice of the Valley. An article by fanzine editor Rick Everitt claims that the figure was given by chief executive Katrien Meire in a new year phone conversation with Austrian-based energy drinks Red Bull who have been looking for an English club to add to their portfolio of New York Red Bulls, Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig.

Apart from the ridiculous price (which could have been an opening gambit), more than four times the £18m Roland Duchatelet paid for the club, Red Bull have higher targets on their list including West Ham United and Swindon Town, so it doesn't look as if it will be Red Bull Charlton any time soon, a move that would not have gone down well with Addicks fans.

Everitt writes, 'The club's 2015/16 accounts are likely to show a thumping operating loss and a debt of around £50m to Duchatelet's Staprix company at June 30th last year. While that in part will be mitigated by substantial player dealings in 2016/17, significantly a reported £8m guaranteed from the sale of Ademola Lookman to Everton, the club will make another heavy operating loss in League One.'

Everitt faces his own loss after the postponement of last Saturday's game against Scunthorpe when it was revealed that pipes under the pitch had not been connected to any heat source. Voice of the Valley was due to be sold before the game, but now the living room of his bijou Ramsgate cottage is full of unsold copies. However, such is the enthusiasm of Charlton fans for the fanzine that several hundred have bought copies online to be sent by post. You can get yours here: Voice of the Valley

Saturday 21 January 2017

Not pitch perfect

Defenders of Roland often point to the work he had carried out on the pitch, but apparently this did not extend to linking up the heating pipes with a boiler. All too expensive for Roland, apparently.

Rick Everitt has tweeted that the club did not take adequate precautions because they underestimated the weather. The postponement could cost tens of thousands of pounds.

I set out early from Warwickshire this morning and was already at Coventry Station by 10 a.m. There had been no hint that a postponement might be possible and I hadn't taken my tablet with me.

I thought that the area around The Valley was quiet and I soon learned about the postponement. I did take a look at the club shop which I thought was uninspiring.

My Voice of the Valley had arrived when I got home. It does have a very interesting story that Roland wants 75 million for Charlton.

As a result of the postponement,Charlton have fallen from 11th to 14th.

Crystal Palace are now in the relegation places, having lost 0-1 at home to Everton. Ademola Lookman looked sharp when he came on and had a shot on target with his first touch, but unfortunately did not score the winning goal.

Friday 20 January 2017

Marquee signing? Maybe, maybe not

Charlton could still bring in a marquee signing, but I wouldn't bet on it. Karl Robinson muses on the difficulties of the January transfer window, saying he doesn't want to bring in someone who has been on the bench all season and couldn't immediately slot into the side: My dilemma

All reasonable enough: it is hard to get value in the January transfer window. However, lurking in the background is the disengaged figure of Roland. It may be 'America First! for Donald Trump but it's not 'Charlton First' for Roland. As long as the books can be balanced in part by sales, the urge to push for a play off place is not that strong.

One table that Charlton top

There is one table that Charlton top in League One and that is the draw specialists table with twelve matches drawn. Rather surprisingly, they share first place with Bradford City, a team in the play off places. However, the Bantams have not lost a single game at home whilst Charlton have lost three.

Another home defeat must be a risk tomorrow when they are visited by Scunthorpe United, currently second in the table and fourth in the form table (most recent matches: won three, drawn two, lost one). Last week, the Iron won at Northampton, managing to chalk up 14 fouls and four yellow cards. The winning goal was scored by star man Josh Morris who smashed the ball into the top corner of the net from thirty yards. Earlier the set piece specialist saw a free kick thunder off the crossbar.

The CAS Trust preview rates Scunthorpe the toughest team to have visited The Valley this season to be faced by a depleted Charlton squad: Iron men

Odds: Charlton 15/8, Draw 23/10, Scunthorpe 29/20. The equivalent match in 2011/12 ended in a 2-2 draw.

Referee Brendan Malone has been a man in the middle since 1981 (so it is said, he would have been 13) and is now 48.

I have to confess that I have crossed Roland's palm with silver tomorrow and taken up the offer of a meal in the lounge and a padded seat (cell?). Although I have made a good recovery from my knee replacement operation last month, and I am driving again, the East Stand steps are too big a challenge.

Rick Everitt will be heading up from the Isle of Thanet before the match with his white van full of a new Voice of the Valley, although a record 300 copies sold in advance. My article traces my family's interest in football back to my grandmother born in 1875. You can read more about what is on offer here: VOTV

Thursday 19 January 2017

Robinson in legal tangle

Karl Robinson has got caught up in a legal tangle not necessarily of his own making after Dele Ali's agent had to put his company into administration when faced with a two million pound tax bill. Robinson is a shareholder in the company and was involved in Ali's development as a player. Robinson so far has not made any comment on the matter: Off pitch problems

Charlton Athletic have stated emphatically that they have no players on their books from Impact Sports Management.

Wednesday 18 January 2017

Robinson rules out move for Grigg

Charlton supremo Karl Robinson has ruled out a move for Wigan striker Will Grigg: No move for hot shot

Apparently he is out of our league in more ways than one. With Josh Magennis out for a month and Ajose out of favour, it might seem a good time to invest some of the Lookman money.

Tuesday 17 January 2017

Big Sam admits that he may not be able to save Palace

Sam Allardyce has built his reputation on saving Premier League clubs from relegation, but he may have bitten off more than he can chew with the Glaziers. 'I am scared that we won't succeed, yes, definitely. Because the last thing I want is to say I've come here and not been able to save Crystal Palace.'

Since Big Sam replaced Alan Pardoo on December 12th, Palace have taken one point from a possible twelve. However, it is not all bad news on the points front. Sam has never had so many Nectar points with Sainsbury's being so convenient.

Monday 16 January 2017

Striker in and striker out?

The rumour mill is linking Charlton with Wigan striker Will Grigg who has represented Northern Ireland. Meanwhile, Coventry and Swindon are said to be interested in Nicky Ajose who is out of favour with Karl Robinson. Ajose has disappointed at Charlton, perhaps he didn't get the service, although he also seemed prone to miss clear opportunities.

Grigg formerly played for Walsall: Career history

Watt: why it was time for me to return

Tony Watt considers that it was the right time to return from his native heath to Charlton. He needed to spend some time with his family, but now he has packed his kilt away and considers that Charlton are matching his ambitions. Nothing less than promotion to the Championship will do: Prodigal returns

Fine: just get fully fit and remember not to try and do it all yourself.

Watt is actually an Orcadian name (one of my friends from the islands has it). It is a modified form of 'Twatt'. All the name signs for this parish were removed by the islands council after they kept being stolen.

Sunday 15 January 2017

Magennis may have suffered major ankle damage

Charlton fear that Josh Magennis may have suffered major ankle damage yesterday: Magennis

With Tony Watt not match fit and Ajose possibly on his way out, we don't have many options up front.

Saturday 14 January 2017

Injury hit Charlton hold on for point

With two injuries in the first half hour, Charlton held on for a 0-0 draw against Millwall at The Valley today. The early loss of Josh Magennis was a particular blow. It was a poor quality game, watched by an official 15,315 of whom 3,169 supported the visitors. Local blogger Darryl Chamberlain called it south-east London's 'El Crapico.'

The returning Rudd was in goal, Solly was back and Page replaced the departed Fox at left back. Magennis was up front on his own.

On 8 minutes Gregory was one on one with Rudd. He had beaten Bauer for pace and tried to lob the advancing Rudd but the ball went wide. Magennis fell awkwardly on his ankle and had to be stretchered off, but returned to the dugout in the second half wearing a big protective boot. He was replaced by Tony Watt, who had already received a big cheer from the Covered End as he warmed up. He advanced and got past two players to win the Addicks a corner.

Byrne tried his luck from twenty yards, but it was held by Archer in the Millwall goal. Watt cleared with a good header from a Millwall corner. Page, who had made an impressive start, went down holding his ankle and had to hobble off. Chelsea loanee Jay Dasilva came on and Chicksen moved to left back.

Thomson was booked for a foul on Byrne. Archer tipped away a volley from Byrne. Tex was booked for a soft foul on Morison who made the most of it. Dasilva's low cross was too close to Archer. Chicksen was fouled, but the Charlton free kick was cleared, Shaun Williams received a yellow card for tripping Konsa.

HT: 0-0

Charlton had lacked a cutting edge without Magennis and Millwall had more chances in the second half. Rudd did well to get to the ball before Gregory. Watt was booked for a high challenge. Bauer got the ball in the net from a Charlton corner, but it was ruled out for a foul on the keeper, a decision that infuriated Karl Robinson. Tex cleared away a Millwall free kick.

In the latter part of the half, Charlton were under some pressure. They won a free kick after a foul on Watt, but Tex kicked it out of play. Holmes replaced the substitute Dasilva. A dubious Millwall corner (it was clear that Morison had put the ball out) was followed by a second. Solly was booked for a foul on Ferguson. From a free kick by the corner flag, Gregory put the ball inches wide.

Hapless referee Keith Stroud broke up a Charlton counter attack by standing in the way. He seemed unable to position himself properly. Gregory got a yellow card for kicking Rudd when he had the ball. In five minutes added on, a Bauer header was just kept out by Archer.

Following the full-time whistle, Teixeira was then red carded (a second yellow) for an off-the-ball incident for throwing the ball at Morison. He has tweeted an apology to fans, while hinting that he was provoked.

Possession was 65-35 in favour of Charlton, but they had just three shots on target to Millwall's two.

Millwall manager Neil Harris commented after the match on the Bauer disallowed goal: 'Ten years ago, it's a good goal. I was a striker, so I think if the goalkeeper's letting the ball go you should be able to challenge.'

The Football League Paper commented, 'Charlton have cause for optimism- Ezri Konsa's mature performance and accomplished debuts from Nathan Byrne and Jay Dasilva. They can feel hard done by with injuries and two disallowed goals.'

Charlton remain in 11th place.

Football League Paper player scores: Rudd, 7; Solly, 6; Bauer, 5; Texeira, 4; Page, 6 (Dasilva, 7); Crofts, 6; Byrne, 7; Konsa, 7; Aribo, 6; Chicksen, 5; Magennis, 6 (Watt 5).

Friday 13 January 2017

Derby day

It's difficult to say anything fresh about a derby between Charlton and Millwall. Indeed, Richard Cawley of the South London Press seems to have been struck dumb on the encounter between two teams he has to cover with all the enthusiasm he can muster as a Fulham supporter.

However, The Times had a fresh angle yesterday, arguing that the revival in clothing sales at Marks and Spencers could be attributed to the 'back to basics' approach of the Millwall supporter now in charge of the company. The analogy drawn was that Route One football should ensure victory for the visitors at The Valley this afternoon.

The Times commented, 'Put a Millwall fan in charge of the frocks and look what you get, the best Marks & Spencer clothing sales for six years. They're a right bunch of fashonistas down at The Den - or at least the ones that remember to keep their tops on.'

However, another Times report pronounced the M & S results as 'close, but no cigar' so it could well be a derby draw this afternoon. Indeed, in 2009-10 it ended 4-4. Odds are: Charlton 15/8, Draw 23/10, Millwall 29/20.

The CAS Trust preview reminds us of our wretched record against our neighbours: Uphill struggle

Voice of the Valley has a link to its report on the last time we beat Millwall - in 1996: Past times

There will be now new VOTV on sale this week. Rumours that following a visit to a brewery mid-week Rick Everitt was going to put out a special souvenir edition containing a free spanner turned out to be baseless.

Thursday 12 January 2017

Those were the days

The Financial Times published earlier this week a 1957 picture of Charlton's Billy Kiernan battling with Stanley Matthews. The player in the background waiting for the outcome of the tussle could be Derek Ufton.

Wednesday 11 January 2017

Can mercurial talent be kept on track?

That is the question Karl Robinson is reasonably asking himself about Tony Watt: Talented, but

Watt is certainly an exciting player, but also sometimes too selfish, trying to do it all himself rather than releasing the ball.

He will be on the bench on Saturday, weather permitting.

Reprieve for Millwall?

Our sister site, The Political Economy of Football, reports on a possible reprieve for Millwall in the bid to save land around their ground from a compulsory purchase order: Reprieve?

I know we have a needle derby against them coming up, but what is happening at The New Den is a potential threat to all clubs with established grounds, including us, in the name of 'regeneration' or 'gentrification'. All fans should sign the change.org petition.

As it so happens, I have a greater dislike for the Nigels and Nigellas of Sellout Park than Millwall who are at least an authentic club rather than a bunch of suburban [comments deleted by editor].

Monday 9 January 2017

I was gazundered, complains Robinson

Karl Robinson has complained that Sheffield United secured the services of Sean Carruthers for less than Charlton were prepared to pay: Gazundered

So why would Carrurthers go to the Blades, who are supposedly the less 'massive' club in Sheffield? Perhaps Carruthers thought they had a better chance of going up than Charlton. Or maybe the toxic situation at The Valley did not appeal to him? It's even possible that he was not that keen on being reunited with his former boss.

Answers on a postcard please.

Welcome, Nathan Byrne

Charlton continue to splash the cash as they prepare to sign Nathan Byrne from Wigan where he was surplus to requirements. To be fair, Preston North End were also interested: Byrne to sign

Apparently he can play as a wing back or a winger. He has had quite a varied career. He joined Spurs from St.Albans City, then went on to Swindon, Wolves and Wigan: Career details

Sunday 8 January 2017

How Charlton nurtured Lookman

A positive story from The Independent about how Charlton spotted and nurtured Ademola Lookman. Charlton's Academy is praised as one of the best in the country and the point is made that it wouldn't have happened at a bigger club: Nurturing talent

Wombles connection helped land Aribo

A Wimbledon connection involving Jason Euell helped Charlton land new starlet Joe Aribo: Landing the deal

Aribo could be the next player to follow in the footsteps of Joe Gomez and Ademola Lookman.

Saturday 7 January 2017

Beating Charlton is more important says Millwall boss

Millwall supremo Neil Harris says he would swap a win over Charlton in next week's derby for today's 3-0 demolition of AFC Bournemouth in the 3rd round of the FA Cup: Beating Addicks is the real deal

It is difficult to understand the tactics of the Cherries today. They put out an entirely changed side, so that the players, as well as not being their best, would not be familiar with each other, although they did bring on better quality subs when it all went pear shaped. By then it was too late. You would think a mid-table side like Bournemouth might regard the FA Cup as a worthwhile target.

As it is, Millwall have gained confidence and momentum. Karl Robinson faces the chance of being hero or zero.

Tribute to Sam Bartram

Steve Sutherland is writing a series of occasional blogs to mark the 25th anniversary of the return to The Valley and the first is a tribute to my boyhood hero Sam Bartram: Where is Charlton?

Friday 6 January 2017

Eccentric, arrogant, obdurate

Courtesy of CAS Trust, I reproduce below an extract from President Duchatelet's recent interview about the social functions of football:

At Charlton, fans are turning on you. How annoying was the playful protest that disturbed your birthday lunch?

Roland: That was very unpleasant.

Marieke: “There is not much we can do about it. It has started to live a life of its own. Roland is the scapegoat. It does not matter any longer whether he does something well or something bad. He is the symbol of their protest.

Roland: Supporters can have a say in the logistics, like how the beer should be served. If they want to choose instead of the board or the manager, than things go wrong. They first picked on Katrien Meire (general manager at Charlton). When I continued to back her up, they turned against me. A sort of witch hunt. Sociologically very interesting, but it has gone too far. Especially because they are bothering me personally.

Q: Why do you then not simply give in and leave Charlton for what it is?

Roland: “I never give in to blackmail. I can determine myself what is good for the club.

We knew it already, but it's confirmation: eccentric, arrogant, obdurate.

Farewell, then, Morgan Fox

Sheffield Wednesday have signed Morgan Fox for £700,000. Last summer they were prepared to offer £2mL Signing

The controversial left back made over 100 appearances for the Addicks. It's probably the best outcome for the player and the club.

Welcome to his replacement: Lewis Page . Career details: From Bishops Stortford

Elsewhere, Super Kevin Lisbie has signed for Whitehawk, aka *****hawk.

Battle is on for Fox

Charlton Athletic and Sheffield Wednesday have agreed a fee for Morgan Fox, but he is yet to agree personal terms with the Massives. Derby County also want him and may yet stage a ram raid.

How is that Fox is the scapegoat player of many Charlton fans and yet clubs pushing for promotion to the Premier League want him?

As other Addicks have commented, it's the Simom Francis story all over again. An underrated player gets the crowd on his back and loses confidence. Even so, I still think he needs to improve his game, but he could do that at a Championship club.

Thursday 5 January 2017

Millwall may have to relocate to Kent

Millwall could be forced to relocate if Lewisham Council seize land around the club: Departure?

Rivalries aside, the handling of this matter by the Council has been murky and tawdry and has attracted widespread criticism.

The North Kent coast has been mentioned as one possible new location.

Farewell, then, Ademola Lookman

The sale of Ademola Lookman to Everton has been completed for an undisclosed fee, believed to be £7.5m plus add ons. The contract is for 4.5 years.

Thanks for all your sparkling play amidst some real dross. You will now be able to develop your talents in a better environment, particularly now that a new stadium for Everton looks closer: New hope for Everton

Lookman has tweeted his thanks to Charlton. Read Everton's profile of their signing here: Star player

Richard Cawley reports on the sale here, including a comment by recently silent Charlton chief executive Katrien Meire: We didn't want to sell him

As we say farewell to Lookman, we welcome Jake Forster-Caskey on a two and a half year deal.

Tuesday 3 January 2017

Lookman medical imminent

Ademola Lookman's medical at Everton is imminent: Lookman

One cannot expect someone of his ability to play in League One. The interesting question is how much of the money will be made available to strengthen the squad.

Forster-Carskey on his way?

It looks as if the Seagulls are willing to end Jake Forster-Carskey's loan spell at Rotherham where he has only made seven appearances with the relegation-threatened Millers. He could then join Charlton for the rest of the season: Heading for Sparrows Lane?

He is not likely to bust any limited budget approved by the President.

Blades swoop for Charlton target

Sheffield United look as if they have beaten Charlton to the signing of MK Dons midfielder Samir< Carruthers: Carruthers

Monday 2 January 2017

Super Josh Magennis

That was the chant at The Valley this afternoon as the striker scored a hat trick in a 4-1 victory over Bristol Rovers. Joe Aribo provided three assists. Charlton are now 11th five points off the play off places.

Charlton did not start well as they adjusted to the formation with three in midfield and Konsa uncertain about his role, but he improved considerably as the game went on. The Gasheads went ahead on 9 minutes, sending their 1,572 supporters wild with delight. Patrick Bauer slipped as he tried to pass the ball to Phillips and Easter took advantage to make it 0-1.

Aribo won a free kick in a promising position after a good ball from Konsa. Magennis signalled his intent by hitting the crossbar.

Even so, Charlton were still playing at a low intensity. Rovers were getting too much space and needed to be closed down more quickly when the Addicks were defending.

Transfer target Fox received a yellow card for a rash challenge. Botoka went on a run but was fouled in a cynical tackle by Lee Brown who received a yellow card. Then on 41 minutes Aribo delivered a free kick to Magennis who scored with a header to make it 1-1.

A good ball by Botaka was put just behind for a corner. A shot from Konsa was blocked. Chicksen tried from 30 yards in the two minutes added on.

HT: Addicks 1, Gasheads 1

On 50 minutes Rovers were inexplicably caught out by the same free kick routine. Aribo delivered the ball to Magennis at the far post and he headed the ball into the far corner to make it 2-1.

Good work from Bauer saw Magennis put the ball over. The improving Crofts intercepted a dangerous low cross. Konsa forged forward for 70 yards, beating three or four players and winning a free kick.

Rovers made a double substitution, bringing on Matt Taylor. Crofts fed Aribo who turned provider for Teixeira who scored easily to make it 3-1.

Crofts put in a great ball over the top and with an excellent touch and the perfect finish Magennis put the ball in the bottom left-hand corner to make it 4-1.

Aribo received a standing ovation when he was substituted by Ulvestad. The risk is that he will now be a future sales target.

Solly got a yellow card for fouling Taylor. With Konsa and Solly substituted, Charlton saw the game out. As well as being given the chance to socialise, fans saw a decisive win. Official attendance 12,252.

You couldn't make it up

I was going to make my April Fool's story this year the formation of a True Supporters' Association by Cyril Brownnose of Pratts Bottom, ably assisted by the overseas chapter led by Roland Parrot of Sint Truiden.

Talk about life imitating art, there is talk on social media of a Pro Owners Group being formed, although apparently it is being put back until February.

I find it difficult to see how anyone who has listened to the 'Getting to Know the Network' podcasts could be pro owner.

I was prepared to cut the new owners some slack initially to give them a chance. Moreover, although my view of Chris Powell was and is very positive, I don't think he is beyond criticism.

What is evident is that fans are divided and that the atmosphere is becoming more toxic. In my view the blame for this rests mainly with the owner and the chief executive. However, I will need to consider this summer whether I want to continue coming to somewhere that is as much a protest venue as it is a football ground.

As we look forward to celebrating three years of Roland's ownership, you may want to watch this short video: Roland in charge

Sunday 1 January 2017

Gasheads seek revenge

Today it's Belgium versus Jordan at The Valley with the visit of Bristol Rovers. The Gasheads will be seeking revenge for the 1-5 defeat inflicted by Kevin Nugent.

A friend who is a life long Gashead offered me a lift to that game from the Midlands. In the event he couldn't make it which was just as well because he was so disgusted by the result that he would have left me in Bristol.

He won't be at The Valley today as he works in Australia from January to April (it's a hard life). Neither will I as, although I am making a good recovery from knee replacement surgery, I can't drive yet and my physio says I must not use public transport. Just as well that I still have the milk delivered as the milkman brings everything from bread to cat food.

I think that the result in Bristol had a lot to do with the Gasheads gambling on three incautious half time substitutions.

The bookies find this a hard one to call, but I think that with Charlton fielding a depleted side, it's likely to be a draw. Odds are: Charlton 13/8, Draw 23/10, Bristol Rovers 13/8

Previous games at this level against Rovers ended 4-2 and 1-1.

Darren Deadman is the referee.

Liddle gives it large to Roland

Millwall supporter Rod Liddle has written an excellent article in today's Sunday Times castigating President Duchatelet.

An extract follows.

I have bored you about the apparent destruction of this once great club before and risk doing so again. But something is afoot at The Valley. The club’s owner is a strange Belgian called Roland Duchatelet who has just appointed his seventh manager in two years and sees Charlton now occupying their worst league position since the three-day week.

The previous manager, Russell Slade, was sacked just as the team were putting together a bit of a run. Karl Robinson is now in charge, but God alone knows for how long. Duchatelet operates a cunning network between his Belgian and British football clubs, employing people who seemingly possess the level of understanding of football you might expect from a largeish raptor — an Osprey, say, or a Marsh Harrier.

In an interview recently he outlined some of his views. Football matches are simply social occasions for people to meet up and have a nice drink. Winning is not terribly important, although it does improve the atmosphere. Charlton have certainly abided by this ethic in recent seasons, although the social occasion stuff is dwindling because people aren’t turning up any more. Many Charlton fans seem to loathe Duchatelet and have staged a series of protests. Duchatelet opined that these outpourings of loathing were “sociologically interesting”, if upsetting.

The view among most Charlton fans seem to be that Duchatelet is simply staggeringly useless, rather than malign. They want him gone — and it wouldn’t surprise me if there were moves in that direction quite soon. But again, we have to remind ourselves that the Belgian is an extremely successful businessman. He does not have a track record of idiocy. He has a track record of making very large amounts of money.

And so you wonder. When Duchatelet took over the club in January 2014 it was stated that there had been no rival bids at all. But I know of at least two consortiums which had been interested. More to the point is the worry now over the future of Charlton’s beautiful and historic ground, The Valley. I spoke to an estate agent who valued the ground, were it to be redeveloped, at more than £100m. A prime site suddenly becoming available in the affluent and sought-after Royal Borough of Greenwich, at a time when councils are being exhorted to build more and more homes (especially in London).

It is true that Charlton Athletic Football Club has been designated a “community asset” by the local council — but this agreeable little title has only a couple of years left to run. Nor, interestingly, does it preserve The Valley for the club. All it does is demand that the owner, if he were to sell the ground, must find another site for it. Perhaps not in the Royal Borough of Greenwich, perhaps somewhere closer to Charlton’s large Kent fanbase. Somewhere quite a bit cheaper. Bromley? The Medway towns?

Further, the decline of Charlton Athletic from potential Premier League contenders to League One mid-table mediocrity means that the value of the club, per se, has reduced enormously over the two years since Duchatelet has been in charge.

In fairness, asset-stripping is not something which Duchatelet has indulged in at any of his previous clubs. It may simply be that he really is as unversed and magnificently clueless about British football as he appears. And equally, while Charlton are languishing at the moment, the third tier is not exactly unknown to them. But the notion that even medium-sized clubs will last for ever, because the fans love them, has winnowed away in an economic climate where the market determines everything.

The continued existence of Charlton is fraught, and in the hands of people who have no sense of the community history which attends to every side, from Chelsea down to Newport County.

Ricky Holmes set to return for Millwall

Ricky Holmes is determined to return for the derby against Millwall: Pledge

Chris Solly is back in training and Declan Rudd is making progress, although Phillips has performed well.

Search parties out for Nugent

Search parties were out on New Year's Eve for Charlton's most successful coach Kevin Nugent. He has not been in the dugout for the last two Cbarlton games.

When Karl Robinson was questioned, he was very vague saying that Nugent had been 'in the building' in the last few days: Disappearance

Presumably this meant a visit to Sparrows Lane to collect his personal effects and P45. He is then believed to have headed up the M1 to Coventry City's Ryton training ground to join Russell Slade.

VOTV editor Rick Everitt has tweeted that he thinks that the underlying issue is a financial one.