Sunday 31 December 2017

Jacko hopes takeover will bring fresh start

Johnnie Jackson hopes that a takeover at Charlton will bring a fresh start with a clean slate for the players: Fresh start

Jackson also discusses his 'working relationship' with Katrien Meire and says he never had a problem with her. I felt he was placed in an awkward situation on occasions when he had to act as her human shield, but he handled these situations with calm professionalism which is a measure of the man.

In another interview the skipper says that his recent displays prove that he still has something to offer on the pitch:

It is being reported that finance director David Joyes has resigned. He is expected to join Middlesbrough. He comes from that area originally and VOTV editor Rick Everitt thinks that there is no link with the resignation of Katrien Meire.

Saturday 30 December 2017

The ex-Charlton player who sacrificed his knighthood

Reading the New Year's Honours List today reminded me of a story about Ted Croker. Ted only featured as a centre half for Charlton in the 1950/51 season. His career was interrupted not just by the Second World War, when he was a flying officer, but also by the Korean War when he was called up by the RAF.

From 1973 to 1989 Ted served as secretary and chief executive of the FA. It would have been customary for his retirement to be marked by a knighthood, but Ted had blotted his copybook. Indeed, he was the first FA secretary in a century not to be knighted.

In 1985 Margaret Thatcher held a crisis summit at 10 Downing Street. Various football dignitaries were required to attend and Mrs Thatcher asked what football was going to do about its hooligans. Ted replied: 'These people are society's problems - we don't want your hooligans in our sport, Prime Minister.'

Before he joined the FA, Ted developed and marketed a snow blowing machine called the Croker Sno Blo.

Four back for Gillingham

Karl Robinson will have more players to choose from for the New Year's Day clash against Gillingham. Patrick Bauer, Jason Pearce, Jake Forster-Caskey and Leon Best are expected to be available: Gillingham choices

However, Harry Lennon will not be available after picking up an injury at Wigan where he was substituted.

Charlton in talks with two consortiums

Charlton are in talks with two consortiums about a takeover, one Australian and one described as 'British based': Takeover talks

British based could mean a number of things, but most likely it would mean British front men (or possibly participants) with the real money coming from elsewhere, e.g., Kuwait.

Friday 29 December 2017

Robinson heralds new era

Karl Robinson hopes that any takeover at Charlton goes through quickly as he prepares to herald a new era: Hopes for quick takeover

Robinson admits that he is none the wiser as to whether any new owners would keep him on. New owners sometimes want a new manager, but in other cases they are happy to assess the existing manager before coming to a decision.

Robinson says that due diligence would have to be done which I thought had been completed for the Australian bid. Either Robinson is out of the loop or a new bidder has emerged.

Joe Dodoo has returned to Rangers. He has to rank as one of our least successful loan signings.

Superb point on the road

Charlton gained an unexpected point in a 0-0 draw at league leaders Wigan tonight in front of 372 Addicks. Charlton were well organised and difficult for Wigan to break down. As a consequence, Charlton have gone up to 8th, one point off the play offs.

In an action packed last twenty minutes the game could have gone either way, but the Addicks withstood a Wigan onslaught with Konsa at his best. It is worth bearing mind that the average age of the Charlton back four was 21.

Marshall was back in the team and Lennon made his first start for a long time. As a consequence, Konsa played at right back. Ahearne-Grant was up top with Magennis on the wing.

Sarr burst forward for 50 yards but a Wigan defender stopped him setting up Ahearne-Grant. On 15 minutes referee Kettle boiled over and booked Marshall for being hit by the ball from a quickly taken free kick as he repositioned himself.

Wigan had their first chance on 21 minutes when a cross came in, but the ball was headed over. An Ahearne-Grant cross was cut off just before Jackson could bundle the ball home.

On 45 minutes, Kashi was booked for a challenge. In the three minutes added on, Ahearne-Grant hit the side netting.

Wigan won an early corner after the break, but it was unproductive. A Kashi free kick on 53 minutes went over the bar. Marshall put in Ahearne-Grant, he rounded the keeper, but his shot was blocked from a very tight angle.

Magennis was booked for time wasting. On 69 minutes Amos saved well from Jacobs. On 72 minutes Holmes replaced Marshall. Lennon received treatment a few minutes later and Dijksteel replaced him.

For the remainder of the game Wigan started to threaten more as they saw the expected nailed on three points slipping away. Amos did well to smother the ball at the feet of an attacker. Following a Wigan corner, Amos saved a header from six yards out.

In a great break Ahearne-Grant ran the length of the pitch but was inches wide, Holmes put in a poor free kick in the last minute of normal time.

In time added on, Wigan hit the inside of the post. Byrne got a yellow card for a foul on Ahearne-Grant as he forged forward. He was replaced by Hackett-Fairchild. Sarr got a yellow card for time wasting. Wigan wasted a late free kick. The league leaders had been tamed.

Nathan Byrne loved his time at Charlton

Nathan Byrne said that he loved his time at Charlton, 'they're a good bunch of lads down there': Expecting entertaining game

What's the betting he scores against us if the match goes ahead?

The state of the League One table is such that Charlton cannot fall below 9th.

Thursday 28 December 2017

Katrien lands on her feet

A number of Charlton fans have been suggesting what job Katrien Meire might take after leaving Charlton and not all the suggestions have been very complementary. However, it appears that she has secured a job at another English club, although the club has not yet been named: New job

She has not retracted comments that upset Peter Varney and the former chief executive is now minded to pursue his legal action against her: Valley takeover dispute

Karl Robinson says that Katrien was in tears when she announced her departure: In tears

The Chairman of the Charlton Supporters' Trust, Steve Clarke, was interviewed by BBC Radio London about her departure, seeing it as a step in the right direction: Interview

Striker loan target injured

It is not unusual for Charlton signings to spend most of their time on the treatment table once they arrive, but this time a loan prospect has been injured before he arrived. Preston striker Eoin Doyle has been on loan at Oldham, a loan that was due to expire this week. He was a target for Karl Robinson, but now it has been discovered that he unfortunately has a blood clot, ruling him out: Striker loan move setback

Farewell, then, Katrien Meire

Katrien Meire has stepped down as chief executive officer of Charlton Athletic as she goes in search of new challenges: The long nightmeire is over

She will not be immediately replaced given that talks to sell the club are ongoing. Readers of VOTV knew that in mid-November, but it is surprising how many fans refused to believe well-sourced stories.

Richard Murray and Roland Duchatelet will take care of the day-to-day running of the club in the interim.

Streets around SE7 remained quiet after the news was released and there were no reports of fans rending their shirts.

The Evening Standard says that it does think that a deal to sell the club is imminent: Takeover talks

The year ahead

It is very unlikely that Charlton will secure one of the automatic promotion places. Wigan are soaring ahead and even if Shrewsbury falter Scunthorpe or Blackburn Rovers could easily take that place.

If we do get into the play offs, and that very much depends what happens in the transfer window, we have to remember that they are a lottery. A return visit to Wembley could result in the disappointment of defeat.

Clubs in the Premier League can turn a profit given the large broadcasting income (Everton are the latest example). However, Championship clubs have to spend big if they want to win promotion: Bournemouth spent 237 per cent of turnover on wages in their promotion year. You have to spend just to stand still. Marcus Evans has owned Ipswich for ten years now and, in effect, has spent £100m just to keep them out of League One.

Even a League One club is no place for a disinterested hobbyist. So what are the prospects of a takeover? Normally reliable sources are giving mixed messages, but it is evident that the real sticking point is Roland's asking price.

There has been talk of interest from the Middle East, but some think this has been talked up to increase the interest of the Australian bidder.

There has been talk of resuming protests, but it has been pointed out that doing that now makes it look as if we only complain when the results are poor. What seems clear is that the really effective protests, in terms of getting a response from Roland, are those that take place in Belgium.

Wednesday 27 December 2017

17 injured including Ricky Holmes

Charlton now have 17 players out injured and Ricky Holmes has joined them on the treatment table. Striker Josh Umerah was called back early from his loan spell at Wycombe Wanderers, but now he has picked up a knock: The treatment table

Perhaps the one good thing about Holmes being injured is that it might lessen interest in him in the transfer window.

No wonder Harry Lennon is saying Charlton could miss out on the play off places: Play off warning

It does look as if there could be snow in Lancashire on Friday night. We are in no condition to play Wigan.

Tuesday 26 December 2017

Robinson hauls in players for 7 am

After what he viewed as an 'atrocious' performance at Southend, Karl Robinson brought in his players at 7 a.m. today. They will have to sit down and watch yesterday's match: Early start

However, the shell-shocked supremo is still confident that he 'has what it takes' to secure a top six finish. Charlton do expect most of the injured players to recover within a fortnight: Injury update

Yesterday I went to watch my non-league team, Leamington. They faced superior opponents in Brackley Town. But they never gave up and battled away, securing an injury time equaliser. Is there the same spirit at Charlton?

Robinson revival fades

After a 3-1 defeat at Southend this afternoon Charlton have slumped to 9th in the table. The Robinson revival has turned into mid-table mediocrity, not that another manager could do any better with the available materials.

Charlton went behind after two minutes at Southend, Cox scoring for the home side. Ranger headed down a deflected shot and Cox bundled the loose ball home from close range. The Addicks continued to look shaky in defence.

On 11 minutes it was 2-0 to Southend. Former Charlton man Michael Turner headed home, taking advantage of a free kick from the right. It was a dreadful goal to concede, so easy.

Holmes gave a glimmer of hope when he managed to sting the palms of Oxley from the edge of the area. Holmes then volleyed over the bar from the edge of the box, having collected a DaSilva throw in.

Charlton had their first real chance on 30 minutes when Ahearne-Grant came in on an angle after he had been released by Reeves but he hit the side netting.

On 38 minutes Leonard picked up a yellow card for a foul on Ahearne-Grant. Charlton then won a corner, but we rarely make anything of them, and it was cleared.

A shell-shocked Charlton improved after the break and got back into the game in the 66th minute when Ben Reeves sent a low, left-footed shot into the bottom corner from 12 yards.

But Southend hit back and made sure of a welcome win when Cox netted with a powerfully-struck low volley from 10 yards.

The report from Louis Mendez can be found here: Boxing Day defeat

Monday 25 December 2017

The end of the pier show

Charlton face a team one place ahead of them in the form table at Southend United today. The fact that the teams are 6th and 13th in the real table shows how much injury hit Charlton's form has suffered recently. Karl Robinson says that he will have three crocked players back at Roots Hall, but won't say which ones.

A sign of the club's difficulties is that they were only able to name six substitutes for the game. Perhaps younger supporters with recent Sunday league experience should have turned up with their boots. The one piece of good news is the return of Ricky Holmes to the line up. Ahmed Kashi also starts.

Southend have won five, drawn five and lost one at home this season, but have only conceded nine goals, compared with 13 for Charlton at The Valley.

The Shrimpers lost 3-1 at Scunthorpe last Saturday which probably says as much about the Iron as it does about Southend. Manager Phil Brown said after the game, 'There are certain things we are doing at the moment which we are getting punished for. Some of the stuff we are doing is okay, but only up to a point. That point is believing in our creativity in the final third.'

Whether Charlton are capable of punishing Southend remains to be seen. Charlton have scored 13 goals away from home this season, half the number of table topping Wigan. Peterborough, who are one point behind the Addicks, have scored seven more.

The most likely outcome looks like a draw to me. Charlton have been unbeaten in their last four Boxing Day fixtures (two wins, two draws). Whether that will be enough to maintain Charlton's tenuous hold on the play off places is doubtful.

1,200 Addicks are expected to attend. They won't have enjoyed the first half. Southend were 2-0 ahead at the break and Charlton had rarely threatened.

Sunday 24 December 2017

Aribo ready for loan move

Joe Aribo is ready for a loan move in the January transfer window - but only if he is not playing regularly: Loan move

Gareth Southgate was at Burnley's game yesterday and it was reported that he was watching Nick Pope for a possible England call up.

Crystal Palace, Everton, Leicester City and West Ham United have all been reinvigorated by a managerial change, but there has been no bounce under Alan Pardew at West Bromwich Albion. How can this be?

Saturday 23 December 2017

Charlton manage to stay in play off places

Charlton have managed to stay in sixth place after a disappointing 1-1 draw with Blackpool at The Valley this afternoon, thanks to results elsewhere.

Blackpool looked poor in the first half while Charlton put some fluent movements together, going ahead through a well crafted goal from Joe Aribo who weaved his way through the opposition. In the second half, Blackpool looked more impressive while Charlton started to lose their fluency. We thought that we were more fragmented after Leon Best went off: he won some balls for us which we wouldn't normally win. Unfortunately, he has reportedly done his hamstring. Magennis also looked better on the left.

The inevitable equaliser came in the 89th minute. Karl Robinson had some harsh words for the referee after the game and some of his decisions were baffling, but it was our inability to score a second goal that was the real problem. Robinson said that the referee was atrocious: Karl speaks his mind

The Addicks went ahead in the 15th minute when academy graduate Aribo's low finish found the back of the net and nearly doubled their advantage when Leon Best met Jay Dasilva's inch-perfect cross from the left but his header drew a superb point-blank stop from Ben Williams.

The Tangerines retained more possession in the second half in their pursuit of an equaliser, but both sides struggled to create clear-cut chances and it took until the 89th minute before Gary Bowyer's side eventually levelled through Gnanduillet.

Charlton were unable to deal with a goalmouth scramble and the powerful striker headed past Ben Amos from close range with Blackpool's first registered shot on target of the match and earn a point.

Friday 22 December 2017

Could we about to lose our record against Blackpool?

Charlton have not lost to Blackpool in our last seven meetings. They haven't won at The Valley since 1976. But, as Louis Mendez has pointed out, we are without the spine of our team.

The eight players out are responsible for 117 out of 231 starts this season and have scored 21 of our 28 league goals.

Blackpool are currently 14th in the table. They have won two, drawn four and lost five away from home. They are sixth from bottom in the form table, but we are third from bottom.

The CAS Trust preview is here: Blackpool

Konsa Everton move reports denied

Karl Robinson has denied Merseyside media reports that Ezri Konsa will move to Everton in the January transfer window. The reports surfaced after the Toffees sent their chief scout to watch Konsa at Ewood Park last Saturday: Everton link

Jiminez and the secret plan to leave The Valley

Tony Jiminez never held any shares in Charlton and wanted to move the club from The Valley to the Greenwich Peninsula. This was revealed in a High Court judgement earlier this week and VOTV editor Rick Everitt has written a detailed report online: How Jiminez schemed to leave The Valley

The latest VOTV will be on sale around the ground tomorrow and includes an interview with former chairman Martin Simons. You can also buy the fanzine online and have it posted to you. It will arrive in a plain wrapper in case your postman is a Nigel.

Just a reminder if you are coming to the game tomorrow that there are no trains from Charing Cross, Cannon Street, Waterloo East or London Bridge. There is a basic half hourly service at Charlton to and from London Victoria.

Thursday 21 December 2017

Transfer plans adjsuted

Karl Robinson hopes to bring in an attacking midfielder to replace Billy Clarke in the transfer window, as well as still as going after two strikers: New transfer plans

It's never easy to get value in the January transfer window. It might be worth looking at a lower level for a player hungry to develop their career.

Wednesday 20 December 2017

Latest injury blow

Jason Pearce is to have a scan on his knee today after he fell awkwardly in training: Knee problem

There was less scope for training ground injuries back in the 1950s as all the players did was run round the pitch or up and down the East Stand steps or go on a 'training walk'. It was thought that if they didn't see the ball during the week they would be hungry for it on Saturday.

Clarke out for rest of year

Billy Clarke is out for the rest of year with a season ending knee injury: Billy Clarke

Jake Forster-Caskey is also out for the rest of this year. Although prone to the occasional mistake, he has been a useful player.

If you have a paper thin squad, it will fall apart at some point.

Monday 18 December 2017

Getting back to basics

Ben Reeves feels confident after Charlton's performance against Blackburn on Saturday. The Valley is a tough place to come to and it's just a question of getting back to basics: We can finish higher than Blackburn.

In an extended interview with Louis Mendez Reeves says that he is getting fitter every week and hopes to be spending more time on the pitch than the treatment table: Hopefully my Charlton career can kick on now.

Of course, what all this is emphasises is the thinness of a squad that is vulnerable to the inevitable injuries. Indeed, as one fan has commented, what was really surprising was how long it took this squad thinness to cost us.

I was interested to read that Alan Pardew thinks that he picked the wrong team against Manchester United. Sounds familiar somehow.

Saturday 16 December 2017

Clarke injury causes concern

The knee injury which led to Billy Clarke being substituted at Blackburn is causing concern, another addition to a long list of unavailable players: Really worried

Karl Robinson insists that he is calm despite Charlton's poor run of form and wants fans to stick with the players: Keep calm and carry on

Another December defeat

Charlton have won only one game in 17 in December under Roland's regime and now it is 1 in 18 after they went down 2-0 at Blackburn Rovers this afternoon. They remain 6th in the table on goals scored.

A goal in each half proved the difference as Rovers made it six wins on the spin in League One with victory over Charlton at Ewood Park. An own goal from former Blackburn man Leon Best set Rovers on their way before Danny Graham's late header ensured three points went to the home side.

Substitute Best flicked home Charlie Mulgrew's superb free kick on the half hour to put the hosts ahead in a pretty dominant first half. But the tables turned in the second 45, with Charlton having the majority of the play but failing to find a way past David Raya and a resolute Rovers backline. And that allowed Rovers to produce a sucker punch, with Graham heading home in the dying embers of the game.

Inside the opening minute Josh Magennis shot from range but it was never going to trouble David Raya in the Rovers goal. Rovers were having plenty of the ball but struggled to create any clear cut chances in the opening stages, whilst for Charlton, Billy Clarke should have done better on the edge of the box but fired well over the upright inside the opening 15 minutes.

But on 18 minutes Rovers had a great chance to get the opener, but neither Bradley Dack or Dominic Samuel could get on the end of a wicked Antonsson delivery from the left. On the half hour Rovers did find the net and it came from the boot of Mulgrew, whose whipped free kick into the box took a deflection off the head of substitute Best and nestled into the bottom corner of the net.

Charlton came out of the blocks quickest in the second half, the home side denying a curling Reeves effort just four minutes into it before denying Magennis' follow up effort, which would have been ruled out for offside had the Northern Ireland international tucked the ball home. Rovers were struggling to get into the half and Mowbray made a double change a minutes before the hour, with Graham and Joe Nuttall coming on to replace Dominic Samuel and Antonsson.

The Charlton pressure kept coming and Mark Marshall hit over the bar from a free kick with time ticking on. The Addicks were throwing more men forward and Jake Forster-Caskey tested Raya from range before Best looked to make amends for his own goal but could only loop a header onto the roof of the net.

Despite Rovers not being at the races in the second half, substitutes Nuttall and Graham combined before the latter nodded home with the last touch of the game to add gloss to the scoreline and secure all three points.

The report from Louis Mendez can be found here: Defeat

'Ruthless' supremo to loan out Ahearne-Grant

Karl Robinson is prepared to be 'ruthless' and 'harsh' and Karlan Ahearne-Grant's recent run of form will do him little good as the supremo considers loaning him out in the transfer window along with Joe Aribo: Attacker's future

Friday 15 December 2017

No hope at Blackburn?

Louis Mendez has helpfully reminded us that Charlton have lost every away match before Christmas since 2009. While this has something of the 'we have never been beaten by this team on a Thursday in February' statement, one has to factor in Blackburn's current form compared with ours.

Blackburn are currently top of the League One form table and third in the actual table. They also won their Cup game at Crewe midweek. Charlton are currently 11th in the form table.

Last Saturday they won 3-2 at Peterborough with 23-year old attacking midfielder Bradley Dack providing two of the goals. A Dack corner provided the assist for skipper Charlie Mulgrew who was named as League One player of the month.

Charlton will still be without the injured Bauer, Fosu and Kashi for the game.

The supporters' trusts at the two clubs have issued a statement ahead of the game on the importance of ownership, complaining of incompetence, arrogance, instability and absence at their two clubs which has affected supporter morale: The importance of ownership

CAS Trust have also supplied a blog post arguing that the cultures of Belgium and Britain are more different than Roland supposed. It's an interesting piece, although I am not convinced by the argument that Britain is relatively less hierarchical and we see everyone as equal: Culture Clash

Wednesday 13 December 2017

Defending Josh Magennis

Josh Magennis has had a poor run of form recently, but the defence mounted of him here argues that he hasn't had good service: He'll score the goals for promotion

I have noticed a few misses when good chances presented themselves, but no striker is perfect, particularly at this level. The real problem has been the absence of a quality strike partner.

Monday 11 December 2017

Robinson fines players for social media posts

Karl Robinson is to fine some players for their social media posts after Saturday's defeat to Newcastle. A number of player got on to a train for Newcastle (what's wrong with London?) for their Christmas party after the game and some fans were upset by posts of them laughing and joking after defeat in the commemorative match: Facing fines

Saturday 9 December 2017

Historic result reversed

Charlton's 1-0 victory over Portsmouth on the return to The Valley 25 years ago was reversed with a 1-0 defeat this afternoon. Charlton remain 6th in the table.

There was a good atmosphere before the game with the opera singer and a larger than usual crowd. However, there was a game of football to be played.

The first half was more or less even with some end-to-end football but few real chances. DaSilva was weaving some occasional magic. It was Portsmouth who had the opening effort of the game with Gareth Evans seeing his shot tipped over by Ben Amos after 26 minutes. Pompey then had Conor Chaplin's goalbound effort superbly blocked by Chris Solly before Joe Aribo's header glanced off the post for the hosts just prior to half-time.

A dubious free kick was awarded against Charlton after the break and Magennis put the ball in his own net to make it 0-1. After that, Charlton were under a lot of pressure with the midfield losing control and a rather harsh penalty was awarded against Solly. It looked if it was going to be 0-2, but Amos managed to make the save.

Charlton then got back into the game more, and there was hope of at least a draw. However, they lacked the cutting edge that would give them a goal. The Addicks came nearest to an equaliser when substitute Leon Best's header was tipped wide by the keeper.

I'm not sure I would have taken Marshall off as I thought he had quite a good game and was able to penetrate down the wing.

There was some criticism of Holmes where I sit with the suggestion that he should be sold in the January transfer window so we could buy a more consistent player. He had one poor shot on goal and once again did not always pass when he should have done, but I am not sure I would get rid.

Friday 8 December 2017

Robinson reckons takeover would end his career

Karl Robinson thinks that a takeover at Charlton would end his career at The Valley: Career ending

I find this a bit surprising. Robinson has done reasonably well and might be able to achieve more with a less constrained budget. So new owners might be prepared to give him a chance.

Lookman scores twice

Ademola Lookman showed that he had not lost his eye for goal when he scored twice in Everton's Europa League win in Nicosia last night. The Toffees were full of praise for the youngster: Blistering strike

Thursday 7 December 2017

Bauer and Kashi out for a month

Patrick Bauer and Ahmed Kashi have been ruled out for a month with foot injuries. Fosu remains unavailable: Foot injuries

There are always going to be injuries, but this reminds us that the biggest challenge to our promotion ambitions is the thinness of the squad.

Colin Walsh recalls that day

Charlton legend Colin Walsh recalls the day the Addicks returned to The Valley and he scored the winning goal against Portsmouth. He was fined for turning up late as he was held up by fans.

He was always confident that Charlton would return to The Valley and bought a house in Bexleyheath where he still lives, although it was a nightmare getting to games at Selhurst: Colin Walsh interview

'Sweaty' Balmer will be driving down from Scotland to stay with him so that he can attend Saturday's game against Portsmouth.

Rick Everitt tells the story of the return to The Valley from his perspective as Mercury sports editor at the time: How the Battle Was Won

Wednesday 6 December 2017

Still in the Cup

Charlton beat the Swansea City development squad 3-2 last night to proceed to the last 16 of the Checkatrade Trophy. A brace from Reeco Hackett-Fairchild and another goal from on form Karlan Ahearne-Grant gave the Addicks victory in an entertaining game: Cup progress

The Swansea view is that Charlton's experience showed and the Addicks took their chances: Swans

Who is Andrew Muir?

With Andrew Muir and his Australian consortium reportedly granted a period of exclusivity in their bid for Charlton, what is known about the prospective owner? Voice of the Valley readers will already know something about him.

However, Football London has tried to find out more about him, although it wasn't an easy endeavour. They suggest that he is an 'out of the box' thinker and that Charlton fans need to be wary of him: Australian consortium

Of course, fans are so keen to escape the depredations of Roland that it is easy to throw caution to the winds. But at least he isn't a B or C list Chinese investor called Mr.F.Yu which was always a risk.

Reacting to the formation of a 'Roland Out' political party in Belgium, Roland Duchatelet has commented, 'another nasty upsetting of a small group of ex-CAFC supporters. It's a small minority that cannot find our policy, ninety per cent of the supporters do.' Yes, it's those disgruntled ex-employees pissing vinegar again.

Tuesday 5 December 2017

The little fox in the box

Karlan Ahearne-Grant's goal against Peterborough gave him confidence after a long barren spell. He is trying to be a 'little fox in the box': More confidence

Where are they now?

A look at what has happened to the players in the historic opening match against Portsmouth following the return to The Valley. For example, 'Sweaty' Balmer is now a 'qualified' fork lift driver. I remember that he and his wife were thinking of opening a children's nursery, but it was pointed out that all the pupils would end up with strong Glasgow accents: Where are they now?

Happy Back to the Valley day. It's a double anniversary for me as it's the day I met my late wife, although not that day.

Protesting Charlton fans, in an echo of the Valley Party, have formed a 'Roland Out Today' political party to contest the next local elections in Sint Truiden: Political party

The website for ROT can be found here: Roland Out Today

Monday 4 December 2017

No deal for Lewington

There will be no deal for Dean Lewington who is currently training at Sparrows Lane. He has been frozen out at MK Dons and Karl Robinson is helping his former player out as a favour to a stalwart of the Franchisees: Veteran training with Addicks

Sunday 3 December 2017

'Second rate' Charlton can concentrate on league

Charlton can concentrate on the league after being beaten 3-1 by AFC Wimbledon this afternoon in the second round of the FA Cup. One leading fan tweeted, 'For the avoidance of doubt, we have been second rate all afternoon.' Brian Haines consoled himself with the thought that 'we're spared the predictable disappointment of a rubbish draw in the third round.'

The Addicks started brightly enough with a Marshall shot blocked on the edge of the box. After a DaSilva pull back, an Ahearne-Grant shot was blocked by the keeper's legs.

Charlton were not looking solid at the back and McDonald scored on 10 minutes from a loose ball in the box after Osailaga had stormed through.

On 22 minutes, following good work by Marshall down the right, Ahearne-Grant equalised.

Amos made a good save from a low Taylor strike. Just before the break, an effort by Magennis was blocked and a short corner routine inevitably failed to work.

Charlton started the second half well. Long made a good save from Holmes at the near post. From the corner the ball fell to Marshall, but Long pushed his powerful strike away. A shot from DaSilva was deflected by Long on to the woodwork and Magennis put the rebound over.

Best replaced Ahearne-Grant on 68 minutes. On 70 minutes McDonald burst through on the right and Taylor put a loose ball into the bottom right-hand corner of the net to make it 2-1.

Hackett-Fairchild replaced Marshall on 75 minutes. Magennis headed a Forster-Caskey free kick across goal, but no one could collect. On 80 minutes a penalty was awarded against Dijksteel and Taylor made it 3-1 to put the game beyond reach.

Lennon came on as a substitute on 88 minutes, his first appearance for Charlton in 13 months.

Attendance, 3,270, 723 disappointed Addicks.

Karl Robinson has said that missed opportunities led to Charlton's defeat with the key period being the first fifteen minutes of the second half: Missed chances

Saturday 2 December 2017

Curbs warns Roland

In a double spread feature in this morning's Football League Paper Alan Curbishley warns Roland Duchatelet to back Karl Robinson in the January transfer window - or face the wrath of supporters.

Curbs said: 'The main thing is that the owner has picked someone who understands the division and knows what it takes to be successful. We've had lots of managers go in there who didn't understand the league. had never been there before and had to spend months getting to grips with it.'

'It's imperative that Charlton go up. They have to be back in that Championship. They are playing in front of 10,000 in a 30,000 stadium and the atmosphere needs lifting.'

Reflecting on his own career, Curbs said that what he doesn't see recurring is a manager staying 15 years in the same job. He admits that the hiatus in his own career was partially self-inflicted. He had plenty of offers, but waited for the perfect job, only to fall off the radar.

'When I left West Ham, the opportunities simply weren't there.' He couldn't make a return now: 'I've been out too long now. A lot of that's been my fault, but what's done is done. The fact is I think the people who own football clubs now don't even know who I am.'

Is scepticism about sale reports justified?

Some scepticism is being expressed about the latest reports about the possible sale of the club, given that such reports have appeared before. This scepticism is not just being expressed by regime apologists who flatly refuse to contemplate the departure of their hero.

Some useful clarification has been provided by a normally reliable source: 'There haven’t really been any false alarms, to be honest. Duchatelet has been willing to sell for some time and has progressively admitted that in his public and private comments. Being willing to sell and able to sell are two different things. The latter requires a viable buyer.

There has been interest at various times but none of it has progressed to the current stage, either in terms of legal process or frantic management activity, partly because Duchatelet has blocked it. The Times knows nothing that isn’t in the public domain and less than many Charlton fans know.

This deal may still not get over the line, but to characterise what’s happened as a series of false alarms both underplays the present situation and overstates what has been said before. This is very close.'

A South London Press report makes the point that this is the first time that Duchatelet has said publicly that the club is for sale. They name Australian Andrew Muir who has been featured in Voice of the Valley. However, price will be the key in any sale: Open to offers

Friday 1 December 2017

Chris Powell joins Spurs

Chris Powell has joined Tottenham's scouting team. He has been working for Spurs on an ad-hoc basis, scouting players in Britain, but he is not expected to join the club on a full-time basis.

The 48-year-old has been out of work since leaving his role as Derby's assistant manager in March and his last managerial job was at Huddersfield, where he spent 15 months until November 2015.

He is a Spurs fan, but famously scored a winning goal for the Addicks at White Hart Lane in the Premier League.

Roland puts club up for sale

The following report has appeared in The Times: 'Roland Duchâtelet, the controversial owner of Charlton Athletic, has put the club up for sale and admitted that he should not have invested in football.

The Belgian bought Charlton nearly four years ago when they were in the Championship but has faced strong protests from supporters in recent seasons over the way that he has run the club, who are now in League One.

CARD (Coalition Against Roland Duchâtelet), a supporters’ group, have put pressure on him to either invest or sell his stake in the club. Stunts have included a mock funeral being held before kick-off, beach balls being thrown on the pitch and a pitch invasion.

Until now, Duchâtelet,71, had been adamant that he would not sell Charlton. “I have not decided anything, I am open to possible offers, I will take the time to think, but contrary to popular belief I have not made any money from football, this rarely happens for investors, those who say otherwise are wrong,” Duchâtelet said.

“It’s not that I’m fed up, I have other activities and my age,” he said. “Actually, I wanted to leave football after the sale of the Standard Liège. Football is an exciting world, but very complex: there is a lot of underground influences, we decide a lot about emotions, we make and break your image on the basis of rumours, social networks create real background slides that are difficult to answer [not quite sure what this means but it is a typical Roland remark]. “It was an interesting experience and I learned a lot about how social media have an impact on the psychology of masses and how they can influence decisions which affect many people.”'

It should be noted that an interview with the French language press has a somewhat different emphasis with Roland saying he has decided nothing, he would be open to offers eventually for Charlton and his other clubs (but there is an alternative translation, see comment below), but he is taking time to reflect. However, it is also evident from this interview that he has no found his experience in football an unhappy one.

Regime apologists have persistently denied that reports that Roland was interested in selling the club and that prospective purchasers had undertaken due diligence.

Injury worries ahead of cup game

Charlton will be without eight first team players for the FA Cup tie against Wimbledon on Sunday. Patrick Bauer had to go off with a foot injury on Tuesday, although his performance was rated as rather tepid before then: Injury worries

Robinson says he is not concerned about abuse from Dons fans, although it does not reflect well on them and perhaps they should move on. I do wish people would stop calling the game at the non-league Kingsmeadow ground a 'derby'.

Robinson also says that the timing of the Checkatrade trophy game on Tuesday against Swansea is not helpful. Charlton could have to face former Leamington ace Courtney Baker-Richardson who is in the Swans development squad.

Robinson still aiming to sign striker

Karl Robinson is still seeking to sign a striker in the January transfer window, although if Leon Best is successful he may sign just one striker rather than two. Following Tuesday night, the jury is still out on Best: Striker search

It's not easy to get value in the January transfer window. There is always the risk of getting a striker who is injury prone, out of form or has an attitude problem. We have had experience of all these at Charlton.

Charlton legends, among them Kevin Lisbie, Carl Leaburn and Jon Fortune, will train with the first team today as a means of bringing home the significance of next week's Portsmouth game: Legends

CARD are planning to issue fans with red-and-white rosettes before the game as a tribute to those involved in the campaign to return to The Valley. I can remember when people wore rosettes (often home made) and carried rattles.