Wednesday 31 January 2018

Tuesday 23 January 2018

Chris Powell appointed Southend manager

Chris Powell has been appointed manager of Southend United on a two-and-a-half year contract. He was a player at the Shrimpers for many years: Chris Powell

Welcome, Michael Zyro

Charlton have signed Wolves forward Michael Zyro on loan for the rest of the season: Michael Zyro

The Polish player's career history can be found here: He's no zero

Charlton are still working on a loan deal for Crystal Palace's Sullay Kaikal.

Curse of Pardew, Part 94

A number of Premier League clubs have experienced a 'bounce' following a change of manager: Leicester City, Everton, Swansea City, Stoke City, even Crystal Palace.

But there is one glaring exception: joint bottom of the table West Bromwich Albion How could that be?

Monday 22 January 2018

Timing of runs is crucial says Aribo

Joe Aribo thinks that the timing of his runs is crucial in enabling him to score goals from midfield. Lee Boywer has been helping him in training. It now looks far less likely that he will be sent out on loan: Timing of runs is key

Saturday 20 January 2018

February most likely date for sale

With two consortia actively involved in negotiations, February is the most likely month for the sale of the club, Charlton director Richard Murray told CAS Trust representatives in yesterday's meeting: Murray speaks

In any event Roland would want to sell by the summer as he did not want to incur another season of losses.

Murray denied that there was any fire sale of players. It was evident that there might be circumstances in which funds would be available for new signings.

Convincing win for Charlton

Charlton secured a convincing 3-1 victory over Walsall at The Valley this afternoon, enabling them to hold on to their play off place. They are now just two points behind Bradford who lost at Bristol Rovers. It wasn't entirely straightforward and bringing on Fosu in the second half was a great substitution. The combination of his pace with that of Mavididi allowed the Addicks to dominate play more.

Charlton started brightly, although the returning Chris Solly picked up a yellow card for a foul on 10 minutes. There were chants of 'We Want Roland Out'. It appears that there is now a preferred bidder and a new process of due diligence has started.

Walsall were sitting deep when out of possession and it was difficult to open them up. Magennis broke away and put in a low effort but it was a very tight angle and the keeper was able to tip the ball round the post.

Then on 31 minutes Joe Aribo took advantage of a Mark Marshall cross from the left to put the ball in the bottom corner of the net with a controlled volley. It was his third goal in four home games at The Valley. On 35 minutes Mavididi rattled the bar.

Then on 41 minutes Otzumer took advantage of a cross from Leahy to head the ball into the net to make it 1-1. The former Charlton youngster was released because of his height.

HT: Addicks 1, Saddlers 1

On 48 minutes Lennon was caught in possession and Walsall were able to rattle the bar. Magennis burst through on 50 minutes, but shot straight at the keeper. On 52 minutes Fosu replaced Reeves.

On 61 minutes Mavididi went for goal from a very tight angle when Arbo was screaming for the ball in the middle.

Charlton's crosses were often poor and once again their corners were below the required quality. On 64 minutes Amos reacted well to keep a Walsall corner out. As the Saddlers stepped up the pressure, Bakayoho threatened but his shot fortunately ended up in the side netting.

Charlton hit the woodwork for the second time in the match on 69 minutes when Magennis hit the post with a header. On 71 minutes Roberts made a great save from Konsa. It was difficult to see why Charlton were unable to score in the ensuing scramble.

As Mavividi burst through with great pace, Roberts managed to put the ball in his own net to make it 2-1. On 86 minutes Walsall had an unmarked man on the far post, but were unable to take advantage.

Marshall had been working hard and went down with cramp. The referee gave him some treatment and then he was replaced by Ahearne-Grant.

Mavididi made it 3-1 on 89 minutes. He burst into the box, cut inside a defender and fired past Roberts. Five minutes were added on and once again Charlton's game was virtually the last to finish.

Apparently one signing is almost over the line and negotiations are continuing with Palace about a loan.

Johnnie Jackson interview

Johnnie Jackson will hang up his boots in the summer, the leading Charlton legend of the post Premier League interview. In this in depth interview he covers a range of topics from fan protests to prospects for this season. He also reveals that he relaxes by playing the guitar: Charlton icon

Kinsella hopes to start for Walsall

Mark Kinsella's son, right back Liam Kinsella, hopes to start for Walsall at The Valley this afternoon: Relishing Charlton trip

Walsall are currently 15th in League One. They have won three, drawn three and lost six away from home.

The CAS Trust preview is here: Morale boosting win needed

It appears that transfers during the window are being handled by one of Roland's Belgian envoys. What that implies is unclear, but it is unlikely to be good news.

Friday 19 January 2018

Karl's waking nightmare

Karl Robinson wakes up every day hoping to hear that the takeover of Charlton has gone through: I wake up hoping for news

Robinson says that people say he should bring in loan players, but there is a limit to the number he is allowed to use.

Robinson defends Holmes over Sheffield move

Karl Robinson has defended Ricky Holmes over his decision to move to Sheffield United: Fan backlash

The so-called 'fan backlash' seems to have been talked up a bit and didn't seem that intense to me. Holmes also seems to have overreacted a bit.

Thursday 18 January 2018

Brighton now interested in Konsa

Brighton and Hove Albion have now joined Everton in expressing an interest in Ezri Konsa. However, no bidding war is anticipated and the price tag is expected to remain around £4m: Seagulls in the frame

Talk to me Roland

Karl Robinson would like more communication with errant Belgian owner Roland Duchatelet. In the last four weeks he has had a text from Roland and an e-mail about Ricky Holmes: Wants more contact

The manager has no idea about what is happening with the takeover and whether it might take place in one week or five months.

Robinson praises fans for cancelling protests

Karl Robinson has praised fans for cancelling plans for protests before Saturday's game against Walsall after lone English director Richard Murray agreed to meet wih representatives of Charlton Athletic Supporters' Trust: Robinson praises fans

Bury are going to send back Nicky Ajose as he is of use to them, but will continue paying a portion of his wages. Charlton do not intend to play him and hope to loan him out.

Richard Cawley has tweeted that reliable sources are suggesting that Chris Powell is lined up to be the next Southend United manager.

Tuesday 16 January 2018

Murray to be called out by Saturday demo

Charlton fans will demand answers about the club’s immediate future by rallying outside The Valley’s west stand before Saturday’s home match against Walsall. The Coalition Against Roland Duchatelet (CARD) is asking Addicks supporters to assemble outside main reception by 2.15pm, when they will call on director Richard Murray to come out and address them. CARD wants a pledge that a significant part of the cash from player sales during the January transfer window will be reinvested in replacements.

Charlton sold winger Ricky Holmes to Sheffield United for a reported £400,000 this week and are expected to conclude a £4m deal for defender Ezri Konsa to move to Everton before the end of the month. Murray said in a club statement on Monday that no fees would be reinvested because Charlton are in takeover discussions, but gave no indication of when or if these talks might be successfully concluded.

He is one of only two Addicks directors following the departure of chief executive Katrien Meire in December. The other is owner Duchatelet, a Belgian businessman, who last attended a game in 2014.

A CARD spokesperson said: “We need to hear from Richard Murray about the club’s immediate future. He said four years ago when Duchatelet took over that he would be responsible for the relationship with the fans and that he would speak on behalf of the board when appropriate. We feel it is only fair that we should give him the opportunity to do so. At the weekend manager Karl Robinson promised a takeover update this week, but there was nothing new about that in Murray’s latest comments."

“Holmes has gone and Konsa is likely to follow. We don’t expect Duchatelet to put in extra funds this month, but it can’t be right that the squad is weakened with no guarantee of a takeover. It makes no sense even in terms of getting the best price for the club, because he is making Robinson’s job of securing promotion more and more difficult."

”We want a guarantee that if Konsa goes without a takeover then a significant part of the fee will be made available to Robinson to strengthen the team. We also want a timeline for takeover negotiations with clarity about whether a deal is possible or likely before the end of January. We urge all concerned fans to come and hear what Murray has to say."

The spokesperson went on: “We have not staged any protests this season because we have been aware of takeover moves and did not want to do anything that might have affected a possible promotion push. The club has now damaged that prospect itself, so we are giving notice that the period of truce is over. We will not be organising anything inside the stadium on Saturday, but the gloves are coming off. Unless the situation is resolved, this is likely to be the start of an escalating series of lawful protests, both at The Valley and in Belgium. It’s now up to Murray to explain why that shouldn’t be the case.”

I would offer long odds on Murray coming out from the comforts of the directors' lounge.

Monday 15 January 2018

No more signings as Holmes goes

Richard Murray has confirmed that there will be no new permanent signings while takeover talks continue after Ricky Holmes joined Sheffield United for a fee thought to be around £400,000. That won't make much of a dent in the debt: No more signings

However, the departure of Holmes does create some space on the wage bill, so loan signings may be possible.

Prodigal wants to return

Nicky Ajose wants to return to Charlton after failing to find form and playing time at Bury. He has scored once in nine appearances there: Wants to come back

Whether he is the answer is open to question. He only really seemed to succeed at Swindon where the whole pattern of play was built around him.

Sunday 14 January 2018

Ben Reeves hopes Charlton have turned a corner

Ben Reeves hopes that Charlton have turned a corner after their first two successive league victories since October and that they can now put together a run to cement their promotion challenge: We've turned a corner

With Ricky Holmes expected to be unveiled as a Sheffield United player, Reeves says that it up to the rest of the squad to pick up the slack, arguing that there is enough cover: Squad needs to pick up the slack

I am all for seeing my glass half full, but 1-0 victories against relegation threatened sides is not that convincing, particularly given our threadbare squad. We are also five points behind the team in 5th place.

Saturday 13 January 2018

Charlton back in play off places

Charlton have gone back into the play off places after a 1-0 victory over Bury through a 63rd minute Mark Marshall goal.

Charlton had the better of the play in the first half but were unable to find the back of the net. From a DaSilva cross on 12 minutes, a Reeves header was just wide. Magennis made a great drop of the shoulder on 15 minutes, but his effort was saved.

Reeves very nearly set up an own goal on 33 minutes when his free kick was deflected on to the woodwork.

The 362 Addicks managed a rousing chorus of Valley Floyd Road after the break.

Marshall scored after a great run from Aribo set him up for a tap in.

A Mavididi run deflected on to the woodwork.

The officious referee booked Amos for timewasting after he went into the stand to retrieve the ball in the absence of a ball boy.

Bury tried some long balls in the six minutes added on, but to no avail.

Holmes sold as debt management exercise

Reports from Bury suggest that Ricky Holmes has been sold as a debt management exercise with the knowledge of the new owner. The takeover could go through next week. Karl Robinson reportedly used unparliamentary language to describe Duchatelet.

We only have twelve fit players at Bury. Only five substitutes have been named. Solly is on the bench, as is Forster-Caskey, but neither of them can go on.

Who is shaking?

On paper this afternoon's game against bottom club Bury should offer a chance of three points. Bury have not scored in 664 minutes, losing 3-0 at Plymouth last Saturday. They have won only four games at home this season.

However, Charlton laboured last Saturday to scrape a victory against a very ordinary Oldham side. If they had been more accurate in front of goal, the result might have been different. We have a poor record against the Shakers. Of twelve matches we have played against them since 1968, we have won just one.

Bury reckon they are creating more chances, but are also prone to individual errors of which opponents take advantage: Bury preview

Friday 12 January 2018

Varney has no links with takeover bids

Peter Varney has denied that he has links with, or is representing any group, seeking to takeover Charlton Athletic: Not involved in Charlton bid

The former Charlton chief executive also made it clear that his decision to leave Ebbsfleet United was his alone and had nothing to do with his health or retirement plans.

I did not know that Varney was operated on for prostate cancer last September, but I am pleased that he has made a complete recovery.

Thursday 11 January 2018

Everton push for Konsa

Everton are pushing for the signature of Ezri Konsa, offering £4m: Deal for Charlton ace

Let's hope he gets more consistent opportunities in the first team than Ademola Lookman.

As far as Charlton is concerned, it looks as if Roland is in asset stripping mode. I wouldn't be hopeful about any kind of replacement.

Continuing the 'I'm a Charlton player, get me out of here' theme Ahmed Kashi is being monitored by former club Metz, although it would be a summer signing: Monitored

Come back Nicky Ajose, all is forgiven

As the striker crisis at The Valley shows no sign of resolution, the rumour mill is suggesting that Karl's considering a recall and will talk to him on Saturday. However, his salary percentage paid by Bury for the season is factored into the budget and I doubt this increase to the wage bill would be sanctioned in the current uncertain climate.

Far from sure that he is the answer anyway.

Sorry to hear of the financial troubles at Hartlepool: Hartlepool in trouble

Holmes wants to go

Sheffield United are back in for Ricky Holmes with an enhanced offer and the player wants to go. He wants to play above League One level and the Addicks may even not make the play offs this season: Blades push for deal

Wednesday 10 January 2018

Rickster's new takeover relevations

Rick Everitt has made a number of new revelations about takeover interest at Charlton. Much of what he has to say is about the background of the kilted parties, but there is much more besides: Takeover

It turns out that Donald Muir was a regular attender at Charlton in the noughties. McLeish was so stimulated by last Saturday's match against Oldham that he came back to watch the Checkatrade game last night.

Muir was on the Rangers board during the disastrous Craig Whyte era which ruined the club, although his ostensible role was to represent the interests of Lloyds Bank.

What we are to make of all this is less certain. I was initially sceptical because the story was originally broken by the Daily Record which has a track record of conjuring seemingly authoritative stories out of thin air, but there is evidently something to it.

I was interested that the Rickster referred to Chinese visitors to Sparrows Lane in December. I have heard about Chinese interest from another source and I wasn't too happy as I know that many of the prospective Chinese purchasers around at the moment are not 'A' list but 'B' list or even 'C' list.

The due diligence on Charlton which was carried out in October and November (but which many fans denied was taking place) was undertaken by accounting giants PwC. They were acted on behalf of a shell company connected with a Greek-Australian football coach Leoonardis Gardikiotis. The one time coach of the Fiji international team is likely to be a front man, but if a takeover from down under was going to occur, surely it would have done by now.

Finally, two Belgians came over on Eurostar last night to watch the Checkatrade game as the owner's guests and were picked up at Ebbsfleet by an Addicks staff member. An unlikely staff reward. The supreme irony would be if we acquired new Belgian owners.

To those who say they will wait until they read something on the official site, that is the last place you will read anything.

Tuesday 9 January 2018

Kilted bid report derided

Scottish rag the Daily Record has reported that Alex McLeish is fronting a bid for Charlton, but the report has been treated with derision in informed circles.

The report claims he is involved in the bid with lifelong pal Donald Muir, but any interest south of the border does not stack up with his other ambitions: Heading up bid claim

It is true that McLeish was at The Valley last Saturday as a guest of Richard Murray, indeed VOTV editor Rick Everitt tweeted a picture of him in the directors' box. (It looks like this was the picture the Record used of the kilted conspirators which was attributed to an 'unknown internet source'). However, there can be also sorts of reasons for enjoying hospitality at a match (although probably not the quality of the football).

Addicks miss out on another striker

Charlton have missed out on another striker after a Newcastle United target joined Blackburn Rovers: Missing out

Asked if there was light at the end of the tunnel on signings, Karl Robinson bluntly said 'No'.

Charlton have rejected a bid from Forest Green Rovers for Dillon Phillips and have exercised a clause in his contract to keep him at The Valley for another twelve months: Vegans rebuffed

Charlton went out of the Checkatrade Trophy to Oxford United on penalties: Shooutout defeat

RIP Craig Norris

I was very sorry to hear of the death of Craig Norris whom I met once for a discussion when he was supporters' director. A tribute has been penned by Rick Everitt which also includes his Millwall A to Z article: Craig Norris

Ricky Holmes to go?

With takeover uncertainties swirling round Charlton, Ricky Holmes may decide to leave The Valley. Sheffield United could revive their interest: Future in doubt

His departure might not be as catastrophic as it might once have been. He has not been at his best recently, although Karl Robinson says that the whole team has been affected by the off pitch uncertainty. There is too much reliance on playing the ball to him and he can be selfish when he gets it, trying to hang on it until he is dispossessed when he should have laid it off.

Nevertheless, it would represent a further thinning of a squad which Roland will not reinforce.

One might also note that every transfer window produces a 'Ricky Holmes may go' story, but it could happen this time.

Oxford confident for Checkatrade match

Oxford United think that tonight's Checkatrade Trophy game against Charlton at The Valley comes at a good time for their team. Although recognising that Charlton are capable of exploiting a team's weaknesses, Oxford are in confident mood: Checkatrade

Monday 8 January 2018

Two transfer targets named

Two of Karl Robinson's transfer targets that were knocked on the head by Roland Duchatelet have been named: Transfer targets

Carruthers from Sheffield United was already known about, but Josh Cullen from West Ham United had not been named before. Unfortunately, when he was playing for West Ham in the televised cup encounter against Shrewsbury Town yesterday, he had a tooth kicked out and had to go to hospital after the game (the tooth was placed in a cup of milk).

Katrien's departure has made life more difficult for Karl Robinson. They had a good working relationship, and even if she did not have much influence in Roland's decisions, she acted as a buffer between the owner and the manager.

We can make top six says Marshall

Mark Marshall is confident that Charlton can still make the play off places even if there is no activity in the January transfer window: Play offs achievable

Marshall says he is a positive person. I like to be as well, although often I think that Charlton is the least positive part of my life, particularly under Roland. However, of the squad isn't strengthened, I am sceptical about whether we can make the play offs - although admittedly that could depend on the results of teams around us.

However, even if we do make the play offs it is a lottery as far as promotion is concerned. Losing a final at Wembley would be very hard to take.

Sunday 7 January 2018

Lisbie sad to see Valley so empty

Interesting interview with Kevin Lisbie. The Cray Valley Paper Mills player was sad to see The Valley so empty when he went there for a match: Change is needed at Charlton

Saturday 6 January 2018

By the skin of our teeth

Charlton managed to beat Oldham 1-0 at The Valley this afternoon, but it was pretty desperate stuff. Charlton are now 8th in the table.

In many ways the most interesting news of the day was about an argument between the manager and the owner. I was told about it before the game, but more details emerged after the game when Karl Robinson talked to a fan in the car park, a conversation which he shared on Twitter.

Robinson had four players lined up to come in, including Gleeson from Birmingham and Carruthers from Sheffield United. Duchatelet refused to allow the deal to go ahead and Robinson called him an idiot, seemingly more than once. It was not an appellation that the Belgian enjoyed.

The first half was largely a lacklustre affair, although Holmes did hit the bar from distance in the opening minutes. The moment of magic was provided by Mavidid's goal on 27 minutes when he weaved his way past the Oldham defence and steered the ball into the net. In general, however, our efforts were very laboured. Some fans questioned the contribution made by Magennis who often seemed to be too static.

In the second half we kept being pushed back by Oldham and started to defend too deep. It increasingly looked as if the final score could be 1-1, but somehow we managed to hang on.

Rob Hunt almost had the visitors back on level terms moments later with an effort that flew just over the crossbar. Ben Amos had to be alert five minutes after the break to keep out Oldham striker Aaron Holloway, while Holmes' curling shot was tipped behind at the opposite end by Placide on the hour (who managed to pick up an unusual yellow card).

Oldham upped the tempo and Holloway was once again denied by Amos, who stuck a a leg to block the attempt at the expense of a corner as the Latics pushed for a leveller. But substitute Karlan Ahearne-Grant should have wrapped it up late on for the Addicks, instead placing his shot straight at Placide.

Robinson's post match interview with BBC Radio London is here: Manager

Robinson has emphasised the need to bring in more players if Charlton are to be competitive: Transfer targets

Ebbsfleet United have emphatically denied any involvement in a takeover at Charlton.

Naby Sarr injured his hamstring in the warm up.

Friday 5 January 2018

Big challenge for supremo

Playing Oldham Athletic at home should not be a huge challenge, but it is for shell-shocked supremo Karl Robinson. Beset by injuries, and kept out of the loop on takeover talks, he has upset Manchester City fans on social media by making a critical comment on Pep Guardiola.

Charlton are currently 9th in League One and Oldham are 20th. However, the form table tells a different story with Oldham in 16th place and Charlton 23rd with only Bury below them.

Only Southend (30) have conceded more goals on the road than Oldham (27). Like Gillingham until earlier in the week, the Lactics have never won at The Valley.

Gloomier supporters have seized on this as relegation form. However, while the players we have may not be good enough to get into the play offs, they have enough about them to secure mid-table mediocrity.

Briefly in the Premier League at its outset, Oldham have been in the third division longer than any other club. Away from home they have won just two matches but have drawn five. So it could be another case of 'desperate Addicks battle for the point.'

The CAS Trust preview is here: Oldham rather than Wembley

Thursday 4 January 2018

More injury woes

Leon Best is out for a year after the injury he picked up on Saturday, so we are unlikely to see him at The Valley again with his contract about to run out. Jason Pearce has had a setback with his knee problem. Jake Forster-Caskey is to have a scan on his hamstring, but is unlikely to be available on Saturday: Injury setbacks

There may be no signings at January window

Richard Cawley of the SLP has tweeted that at today's Charlton Athletic press conference Karl Robinson will make it clear that it is by no means guaranteed that there will be more signings of players in the January transfer window.

Cawley stated: 'Robinson's frustration pretty clear at that situation. Expected to be able to strengthen this month. But takeover talks means that it seems as if Roland Duchatelet is not ready to spend.'

Talking about rats leaving the sinking ship. Customer dissatisfaction will surely spike at this unwelcome news.

More from Richard Cawley here (he emphasises that this report is a work in progress): Unsure about signings

Robinson says there are six players he wants to bring in and four of them could walk through the door tomorrow if they could: Robinson's targets

He has subsequently said that due diligence is going. It seems that the mist truly has rolled in from the Thames. Robinson said: 'We're in a difficult place. I think we need to be told what's going on. We've been told they are looking to sell the club - I don't have much clarity on that.'

Deano targeted by Glaziers

Former Charlton keeper Dean Kiely is in the frame to be goalkeeping coach at Crystal Palace. He is currently at Preston North End, but worked with Roy Hodgson at West Bromwich Albion: Set to join backroom staff

The news has now been confirmed by Preston North End: On way to Sainsbury's

Disrespectful Sheffield Wednesday fans have suggested that the above picture captures the arrival of Katrien Meire in the directors' car park.

Tuesday 2 January 2018

'Stunned' Duchatelet prepared to lower selling price

Roland Duchatelet is prepared to lower the asking price for Charlton Athletic after he realised that he was not going to get the £50m he wanted. He paid around £20m for the club in 2014.

It is suggested that Duchatelet was 'stunned' by the departure of chief executive Katrien Meire for the job of CEO at the Massives: Takeover talks continue

The question now is whether he will prepared to lower it enough to interest prospective purchasers.

Monday 1 January 2018

Mavididi to return

Arsenal's Stephy Mavididi is to return to The Valley. A loan deal is expected to be signed tomorrow. He has been at Preston North End, but has had few opportunities: Loan deal

Fan Rich Pemberton has tweeted (and I agree with him): 'Good signing IMHO. Was electric in first spell for us before he got injured, hopefully he'll stay fit and recapture that form.'

Karl Robinson has denied any interest in Glaziers starlet Jason Loliko.

Jake Forster-Caskey has pulled his hamstring.

Katrien Meire starts interviewing 28 applicants for the vacant post of Sheffield Wednesday today. Karel Fraeye, all is forgiven.

The long nightmeire continues

Charlton played their eighth match without a win this afternoon after they lost 1-2 to Gillingham, although they managed to stay 9th in the table.

Rumours had been circulating that former CEO Katrien Meire was going to Burton Albion. There was a clue there as Burton beat Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 this afternoon at Hillsborough. Meanwhile, the Owls expressed their delight at the appointment of Nightmeire as their CEO.

She did get one thing right. She said that her appointment was a massive one at a massive club and Wednesday are known as the Massives. However, they may have made a massive mistake.

SWFCC Supporters Club commented that it had been clear for some time that the club required a CEO to assist the inexperienced chairman, so the club appointed someone who had fans rioting in the car park at Charlton.

The game could be characterised as one of two halves. In the first half Charlton simply did not turn up. They were out muscled (as often happens), not least by the Gillingham No.9 and their No.14 (Parker). As the Charlton defence collapsed, Gillingham were able to score through two tap ins (although the second one looked offside).

A lively start from Steve the Hills side saw Eaves denied by Ben Amos after three minutes before the striker set up Parker, who duly converted with 11 minutes played. Gillingham doubled their advantage after 32 minutes when Eaves was able to poke Luke O'Neill's cross past Amos.

At half time Karl Robinson made a double substitution, Joe Aribo and Leon Best coming in. Best admittedly lasted only seven minutes and may have picked up a bad injury. We may not see him again at The Valley.

Forster-Caskey as captain had not looked match fit in the first half and was certainly no leader. Charlton were revitalised in the second half and at times laid siege to the Gillingham goal, but only Joe Aribo could find the back of the net from a Ricky Holmes corner. It is perhaps worth noting that we had eleven corners which shows how good we are at making use of them. The six minutes added on were wasted. Some credit should also go to Gillingham's tall keeper: one wonders why they have been so far down the table.

Josh Magennis did glance a header against the crossbar before the keeper denied him from point blank range after 80 minutes.

To give credit where it is due, Mark Marshall was one of the few Addicks to have a decent game DaSilva also once again played well. But there was too much emphasis on feeding the ball to Holmes who is not at his best. Possession across the match was 60:40, but there was little creativity in the final third. At times the midfield seemed to be missing.

Karl Robinson has promised a signing to arrive by Thursday who will 'excite' fans. We shall see.

After the game, I heard a fan saying 'He's got to go.' It's no good changing the manager if the players aren't good enough.

To cap it all, a suspect package on the line at Kings Sutton meant that I didn't get home until 9 p.m.

Gillingham are draw specialists

Alongside Rochdale, Gillingham have drawn more games than any other team in League One (10) and are serious contenders for the Oak Furnitureland Draw Specialists trophy. Although below Charlton in the table, they are 11th in the form table (six matches) while Charlton have fallen to 23rd.

In the last eight away games, the Gills have won four, draw one and lost three. Charlton's comparable home record has been won three, drawn four and lost one. All this might one to conclude that what has erroneously been called the 'Kent derby' might well end in a draw, but Charlton need all three points to sustain their promotion push.

Karl Robinson personally scouted Gillingham's 2-2 home draw with AFC Wimbledon on Saturday.

Happy New Year to all Addicks. At least there is a glimmer of hope of better times under new owners.