Tuesday 30 April 2019

Tuesday's results set up an interesting finish

After Portsmouth lost 2-3 at home to Peterborough and Sunderland were defeated by a last minute goal at mighty Fleetwood, Saturday becomes much more interesting from a Charlton perspective. Luton and Barnsley have secured automatic promotion and I didn't want to face the Tykes in the play offs.

Charlton could finish third but that would not necessarily mean meeting a faltering Doncaster. Sixth place could be taken by a resurgent Peterborough who, as we saw earlier in the season, can be a bullying side.

Peterborough may not find an in form Burton easy to defeat at home, but equally Doncaster may not find Coventry there for the taking in their home game. Southend at home to Sunderland have everything to fight for, but Portsmouth can probably overcome the thugs from Accrington at home.

I'm not that good at predictions, but one possible scenario is that Charlton finish fourth and play Sunderland but with the second game at home. My pharmacist, a black cat, has been forecasting all season that we will knock them out in the semi-finals. Perhaps. What is clear is that we need to beat Rochdale decisively.

Our sister site discusses why Sunderland's finances require promotion: Sunderland's financial plight

Equally, failure for Charlton could lead to the loss of our manager (if he has not been driven out by incompetent contract negotiations) and key players.

Monday 29 April 2019

Roland accuses CARD of 'soft terrorism'

In an interview in Belgium, Roland Duchatelet has described the recent visit of CARD to the Belgian Embassy to raise issues about his conduct in charge of Charlton as 'a form of soft terrorism'.

He said, 'Everything is going well now, the club is playing well.' It's never just been an issue about results on the pitch.

'Selling a club is not as simple as buying a club,' says the man who famously didn't do a good enough due diligence job when he bought Charlton.

Evidently the visit has rattled him.

Josh Cullen gives thanks

Josh Cullen says that his year at Charlton has been a priceless experience and Lee Bowyer has been brilliant for him. He hopes to claim a first team place at West Ham next year (well, maybe): Hoping to establish himself at West Ham

Cullen has not always been the most obvious player on the pitch, but his contribution has been considerable. The more general issue his impending departure highlights is the need to rebuild the team whether we go up or stay in League One. The first step along that road is a proper contract offer to Lee Bowyer. A giant step would be the departure of the barmy Belgian, but I am not living in hope despite recent press reports.

Sunday 28 April 2019

Who could we face in the play offs?

Louis Mendez and one of his respondents on Twitter have worked out we could face any one of eight teams in the play offs. Admittedly, some outcomes would require some very strange results. The most likely semi-final opponents are Sunderland.

It's a remote possibility, but I just hope it isn't Coventry City. [As things worked out, they only managed a draw with Shrewsbury today and are out of the reckoning]. We lost twice to them this season, even though I didn't think they were that good in either match (I went home and away). But they were still singing about the three spires at Charlton Station as if they had won the cup.

I do have some sympathy with Sky Blues fans because of the way they have been treated by Sisu, among the worst of the rogue owners. But that's as far as it goes.

My non-league team Leamington have a song about why the fans don't support Coventry. We beat them 5-0 at the New Windmill Ground a few years ago in the Mayoral Cup and they have never shown their faces there since. They don't loan us Academy players like the Baggies, Blews and Saddlers.

Historically, Leamington used to be a strong area of Villa support with several coach loads of supporters going to home games. These days there seem to be as many supporters of Birmingham City or West Bromwich Albion. Sky Blues supporters are thin on the ground. My next door neighbour used to support them because his sons did, but he now goes to Wasps rugby games.

The play offs are a lottery. Either Sunderland or Portsmouth would be tough opponents, Barnsley perhaps more so. But we do have momentum, and we do have Lee Bowyer and Lyle Taylor. We are second in the form table, albeit behind Portsmouth, but well ahead of Sunderland.

Betdaq to end shirt sponsorship

Betdaq is to end its shirt sponsorship at Charlton. This is part of a more general pull back from shirt sponsorship by betting companies with GVC Holdings, the owner of Ladbroke's and Coral, calling for all sponsorship of shirts by betting companies to end to reduce gambling harm: Ban on gambling ads proposed

I do not know how much the shirt sponsorship is worth to Charlton, but it can't be a great deal of money.

Nine Premier League clubs have betting companies as their main shirt sponsor, the most lucrative deal being for £10m at West Ham: Betting company deals

Saturday 27 April 2019

Victory at Gillingham

Charlton won at Gillingham this afternoon for the first time in nearly forty years, defeating the Gills 2-0 in front of 2,306 Addicks enjoying the amenities of the temporary stand. It was the sixth clean sheet in eight games for the Addicks. Victory was achieved without Lyle Taylor and Patrick Bauer who were left out after picking up minor knocks.

On 19 minutes a last minute challenge from one time Addick Fuller denied Williams. Two minutes later Phillips tipped the ball over after an angled shot from Campbell.

Shortly afterwards Aribo made it 1-0 to the Addicks. A Purrington cross hit a defender. Phillips had to fist away a corner.

Sarr hit the crossbar with a ball from a corner. Then on 41 minutes Cullen scored his first Addicks goal. A Williams shot was spilt by Holy and Cullen scored from six yards.

On 55 minutes Vetokele was denied when he was one on one with the keeper and another shot deflected for a corner. Two minutes later a close range effort from Purrington was save by Holy.

On 78 minutes Williams was replaced by Parker to some boos from the home crowd. He managed to give the ball away twice in his first five minutes on the pitch.

Morgan replaced Lapslie on 86 minutes. Cullen headed over from an Aribo cross when he should have made it 3-0.

Elsewhere Luton lost at Burton, allowing Barnsley to draw level with them on points after a home win over Blackpool. Portsmouth and Sunderland drew and Doncaster managed an away draw at Oxford.

The report from Louis Mendez can be found here: Another clean sheet

Friday 26 April 2019

Curse of Charlton strikes before game

Managers are often sacked after they fail to beat Charlton. However, this time the curse of Charlton has struck before the match has taken place. Gillingham sacked manager Steve Lovell this afternoon.

Lovell was in charge for 18 months and had a year left on his contract. The immediate reaction of Gills fans on social media has been one of shock, stating that he was a 'club legend'. It has been pointed out that he was operating on a small budget.

Mark Patterson will be in charge tomorrow.

Bowyer's disappointment at contract negotiations

Lee Bowyer has expressed his disappointment at the lack of any outcome to his contract negotiations with the club: Contract not sorted

The successful supremo commented: 'We’ve worked hard to improve the football club and it’s a much better place now – so I think we should be rewarded for that. It shouldn’t have taken until now to try and negotiate something when you have got 10 days left of the normal season.'

Senior Belgian diplomat to raise Roland's conduct

A senior diplomat at the Belgian Embassy is to raise Roland's conduct and the damage it is doing to Belgian's image after a meeting with the Campaign Against Roland Duchatelet at the Embassy: Roland under the spotlight

Counsellor Alain Leroy listened closely as the CARD representatives outlined how the actions of his countryman were harming the club, its supporters and its wider community, as well as attracting widespread ridicule in the media and across the football industry.

A CARD spokesperson said: 'We were impressed that Mr Leroy was so well informed, which shows how much attention Duch√Ętelet’s actions have generated beyond the football world.'

I have always thought that the most effective way of dealing with Roland is taking appropriate action that affects his standing in Belgium.

Gills have poor home record

Over 2,000 Charlton fans will be making the journey to Gillingham tomorrow to enjoy the luxuries of what must be one of the oldest 'temporary' stands in football.

The Gills are one of eleven clubs that could still be relegated from League One, but one point would secure safety. No doubt they would hope to get it, and perhaps more, in the so-called 'Kent derby' tomorrow.

Bigging it up as the 'Kent derby irritates me. As far as I am concerned, Charlton are a London club and I am proud to have been born in Greenwich. Memories of growing up in South-East London can be found here, scroll down to Chapter 4 for the Charlton content: Growing up in South-East London in the 1950s

Gillingham's home record is worse than their away record, having lost eleven games at home against seven on the road. Charlton are second in the form table behind Oxford United and Gillingham are 19th. However, Charlton have not won at Gillingham since 1980.

Charlton have a number of players out injured, although in some cases it looks like a precautionary move to rest them. (Lyle Taylor, Krystian Bielik, Patrick Bauer, Jonny Williams). We want to win tomorrow, but we do not want to lose any key players to injury for the play off finals.

Cometh the hour, cometh the man? Will former Gills player Josh Parker score his first goal for Charlton at Priestfield? Probably not.

CAS Trust reckons that fifth place is the best Charlton can hope for and reviews our rather unpromising history with Gillingham: Forty year wait

Odds (Paddy Power): Gillingham, 23/10; Draw, 12/5; Charlton, 11/10. Lee Swabey from Devon is the referee.

Fans driving to the ground should note that there may be delays caused by slow moving caravans.

Thursday 25 April 2019

Takeover talk

Fortunately we have been able to focus on the football in recent weeks but there was a takeover specific fans' forum at The Valley last night: Takeover update

Not all the ground covered was strictly takeover related, for example deficiencies in the team were discussed. On the takeover front, it was reiterated that Roland is not prepared to lower the price, although the figure of £65m was denied.

The 'Australian' and 'British' bids are effectively dead in the water, as are two other approaches. Roland has met a fifth international party. 'Since the last meeting he has received an offer and agreed a price. The party have begun due diligence and are coming to the final stages of that process. The next steps after that are with the lawyers and sorting the contract. He said it is clear the party have the money and a previous experience in English football.' I wonder why that didn't put them off.

Roland's point man Lieven de Turck said he did not think that the Belgian buffoon (my terminology) would own the club next season. Let's hope his right. However, presumably any prospective purchaser will want to see what happens in the play offs.

Australian sources are claiming that the Down Under deal is back on, but this looks like a boomerang story to me: Hunt for English soccer club

Dijksteel's Wembley ambition

Having played once at Wembley for the Nike Academy, Anfernee Dijksteel says that he wants to get back to the national stadium in the League One play off finals: Desperate to return

Dijksteel admits that his final product is not always as good as it could be, but says that Lee Bowyer is helping him a lot to improve his game.

It's worth noting that Charlton finished 6th on 71 points last year. This season with two games still to go we are 5th with 82 and could get 88. Eleven clubs could still be relegated, including Saturday's opponents Gillingham.

Tuesday 23 April 2019

Limits for Forster-Caskey

Lee Bowyer is pleased that Jake Forster-Caskey was able to have a cameo against Scunthorpe, but says he is not ready for greater involvement yet as he comes back after a long spell off with injury: Not yet ready

Forster-Caskey could nevertheless have a key role in the play offs.

Bowyer is targeting a third place finish. Which team would be in sixth place remains uncertain. Doncaster went down at home to Accrington Stanley last night so they are now just three points ahead of Peterborough who have a game in hand.

Coventry City also have an outside chance of making sixth place. I would prefer a flagging Doncaster to either Coventry or Peterborough who are capable of being tricky (the Sky Blues defeated us twice this season).

Fans have pointed out that if we win the last two games we'll finish on exactly the same wins draws losses and points as we did before the Greatest Game in 1988. If we score four clear goals we will end up with the same goal difference.

Playing Vetokele a risk worth taking

It was a finely balanced decision for sagacious supremo Lee Bowyer whether to play Igor Vetokele yesterday, but it all turned out well: Bowyer explains Scunthorpe appearance

Just as well given the limitations of our third 'striker'.

Monday 22 April 2019

Back to winning ways

Charlton demolished Scunthorpe United 4-0 at The Valley this afternoon. The Addicks remain 5th in the table, two points behind Sunderland who drew at Peterborough but have a game in hand.

The Addicks opened the scoring on 24 minutes when Dijksteel netted his first Charlton goal by meeting Taylor's delightful pass before drilling a low angled drive past Jak Alnwick. Scunthorpe's Adam Hammill should have done a lot better when placing a 38th-minute shot well wide and only an excellent Dillon Phillips save prevented George Thomas from equalising.

Former Addick Lee Novak fired into the side-netting early in the second period, a miss he and the Iron were left to rue when Charlton doubled their advantage as Ben Reeves whipped in a corner and Aribo climbed highest to head home on 57 minutes. Aribo turned provider six minutes later by finding Vetokele, who coolly slotted a low shot beyond Alnwick.

Things went from bad to worse for Scunthorpe in the 66th minute as Taylor scored with a spectacular free-kick which flew into the top corner.

The report from Louis Mendez is here: Addicks smash sorry Scunny

Momentum for the play offs is key

The Times says this morning that Charlton could still qualify for an automatic promotion place, but it would require a very unlikely set of results. The task now is to maintain momentum for the playoffs - without getting any key players injured.

Many fans reacted to the defeat at Oxford by asking, how could we go down to defeat to a mid-table club after such a convincing win over table topping Luton? Well, football is like that. Who would have predicted that Leeds would have lost at home to 10-man Wigan?

The form table showed that Oxford were level pegging with Charlton and they had home advantage. One experienced fan who was there reckoned it showed up once again our lack of depth in key positions. Certainly, Josh Parker is not covering himself with glory.

Today Charlton face relegation threatened Scunthorpe United (mind you, getting on for about a third of the teams in the division are relegation threatened, but the Iron's position is more perilous than most). I had them as a promotion tip at the start of the season which shows how much I know.

As well as being one place above the relegation places, Scunthorpe are third from bottom in the form table (Charlton are fifth). Away from home they have won six (as many as at home). drawn three and lost twelve. The final ball often seems to be a problem for them.

Odds (Paddy Power): Charlton, 4/6; Draw, 13/5; Scunthorpe, 4/1.

The referee is Brett Huxtable who will be travelling up from Devon. Most Addicks fans will remember the last encounter back in September at Southend when he showed no fewer than seven yellow cards and three reds.

It will be a hot afternoon in The Valley, but no time for thinking about the beach.

The Chris Solly appeal was unsuccessful and he will serve an immediate four game ban, missing the first leg of the playoffs.

Sunday 21 April 2019

Feature article praises Lyle Taylor

A full page feature article in today's Football League Paper praises Lyle Taylor who has scored 20 goals this season, the first player to achieve this since Bradley Wright-Phillips in 2011/12.

Former Swindon striker Sam Parker writes, 'It's not just his goals that have impressed me, his all-round game is improving constantly. He's incredibly hard working, excellent with his back to goal and has the awareness to execute the correct and often killer pass.' His nine assists this season underline that he is a creator of chances as well as an accomplished finisher.'

'Taylor is also very sharp in and around the 18-yard box. I loved his recent goal during the 2-0 win at Plymouth. As Chris Solly prepared to deliver from the right hand side, Taylor made a slight movement towards the near post, taking his marker Ryan Edwards with him before changing direction and finding a couple of yards of space in the centre of goal. The headed finish was relatively simple but it's the movement that gets him the goal.'

'As the focal point of the team, he is particularly good at feigning to run in behind defenders, before showing for a ball at his feet. He seems to play the game at his own pace, never flustered. It looks like the confidence is flowing and he fully embraces the pressure that comes with being the team's go-to man.'

'He's also developed a fantastic rapport with the club's support. Of course, the goals and performances are part of this, but it's away from the pitch that some of his most important work has been done.' The article goes on to discuss his cancer charity work and his stance against racism.

'Taylor could yet cap a superb season with a date at Wembley in May and a second promotion of his career. Just four years ago he was on loan at Partick, surplus to requirements at parent club Scunthorpe. His next port of call, one way or another, is surely the Championship.'

Friday 19 April 2019

Not our day

Charlton's slim hopes of an automatic promotion place were dashed this afternoon following a 2-1 defeat by Oxford United at the Kassam Stadium in front of 1,806 Addicks. Lee Bowyer has already said that we needed to win our last four matches to have a chance of an automatic place. As it is, we stay 5th.

Charlton hopes were boosted when Oxford keeper Eastwood was sent off early in the second half, but substitute keepers often play a good game. Then Chris Solly collected his second red card of the season. Despite a succession of corners won by the Addicks, and six minutes added on, it was Robbo's revenge.

The game got off to a good start when Aribo was tripped in the area and Lyle Taylor made no mistake in scoring from the spot on five minutes. However, six minutes later Curtis Nelson replied for Oxford with a volley from a corner at the far post. Garbutt then put the home side ahead on 24 minutes with an unstoppable free kick that left Phillips with no chance.

Reeves put in a dangerous corner on 36 minutes, but it was eventually cleared.

Parker came on for Reeves after the break and Charlton reverted to the 4-4-2 diamond. On 53 minutes Solly put in a lofted ball from the top. The keeper was under pressure from Taylor and handled outside the area, receiving the red card. The resultant Parker free kick was deflected just wide. Lapslie was brought on to replace Diksteel.

Bielik slipped and lost the ball and Pearce had to deny Sinclair in the box. Bielik received a yellow card for a shirt pull. Taylor put in a cross to Parker, but he was off target.

Solly received a red card for a late challenge on 73 minutes given the RAF sergeant in charge a second opportunity to march a player off the field and ending Solly's testimonial season.

On 79 minutes Charlton had their best chance with the keeper somehow managing to clear off the line from Bauer. Lapslie got a yellow card for a last man challenge. It could have been a red, but the advantage was played.

The tireless Louis Mendez knows his Oxford United from his Oxford City (unlike his brother) and his report is here: Major blow

Shell shocked supremo Lee Bowyer was hugely frustrated after the defeat at Oxford. He said that unless Sunderland, Portsmouth and Barnsley all lose this afternoon then Charlton's top two hopes are over. Addicks boss Bowyer felt the Solly red card was a yellow at worst on first viewing. Says nothing changes now with regards to approaching the play-offs - he just wants to win every game.

Thursday 18 April 2019

Will it be a good Friday for Charlton?

Charlton's early kick off on Friday could enable them to go level on points with Barnsley: Charlton can turn up promotion heat

There will be over 1,800 Addicks there in a sold out away end.

Former Charlton midfielder Ahmed Kashi could return for Oxford after suspension.

The Addicks are second in the form table behind Burton Albion but Oxford are just one place behind them on the same number of points. Charlton have been unbeaten in their last nine visits to Oxford in all competitions (won six, drawn three).

If Charlton get a point tomorrow, or Peterborough drop points at Fleetwood, then a top-six finish is mathematically guaranteed and at worst we'll be in the play-offs.

Odds (Paddy Power): Oxford, 7/4; Draw, 11/5; Charlton, 6/4.

Referee is RAF sergeant Darren Drysdale who is said to be fond of his whistle.

'Ball is rolling' on Bowyer contract talks

Lee Bowyer says that the 'ball is rolling' on talks for a new contract. Weekly visitor and Roland sidekick Lieven de Turck has made an offer, but nothing has been agreed yet: Talks have kicked off

Wednesday 17 April 2019

Fosu and Marshall can't make the grade

Tariqe Fosu and Mark Marshall are both fit but can't make the eighteen on match days says selective supremo Lee Bowyer: Boss explains absence of duo

Both players are out of contract in the summer. Fosu has always shown potential, but has often failed to realise it, especially recently. At 32 Marshall is coming to end of his career at this level.

Charlton face a tough test on Friday with Oxford United fourth in the form table over ten games.

Tuesday 16 April 2019

Charlton 'a side to watch'

A Sunderland perspective on the race for promotion in League One says that Charlton are 'a side to watch' for the automatic promotion places: Rivals in the promotion race

Monday 15 April 2019

Igor concerned about his future

Igor Vetokele is concerned about his future, given that he is one of then higher paid players at The Valley, but for now he is focusing on football. He thinks he has clicked with Lyle Taylor: Igor on his contract situation

Saturday 13 April 2019

Charlton end Luton's unbeaten run

Charlton ended table topping Luton Town's 28-match unbeaten run with a convincing 3-1 victory at The Valley this afternoon. Charlton are now just one point behind Portsmouth and Sunderland although each of them has a game in hand.

Lyle Taylor struck twice as Charlton came from a goal down to beat the Hatters. Luton looked set to continue their run when Harry Cornick fired past goalkeeper Dillon Phillips and into the top corner to give them an early lead at The Valley. Luton could have put it beyond doubt with a second goal but for a superb save by Dillon Phillips.

Luton keeper James Shea was lucky to be shown just a yellow card when he wiped out an advancing Vetokele. Lee Bowyer thought that it was a reckless challenge that deserved a red card: Charlton ready to pounce

Taylor won the crossbar challenge just before the half-hour, but Charlton offered little else until the second half.

After the break, Taylor was pushed to the ground by Sonny Bradley and stepped up to calmly convert the equalising penalty. Luton manager Mick Harford complained that the penalty was a disgrace, but it looked like a clear foul to me.

Igor Vetokele then put the Addicks ahead, finishing low to the goalkeeper's right after Krystian Bielik had put him through on goal. Bielik was tireless throughout despite going down with injuries three times, eventually being substituted. He was able to carve open the Luton defence. Lee Bowyer said that he was suffering from cramp.

Within minutes, Vetokele turned provider, crossing for Taylor who struck the ball low past James Shea from six yards to seal the win.

Two minutes from time Luton charm merchant Andrew Shinnie was dismissed after picking up a second yellow card for a late challenge, having already been booked for a cynical first-half foul.

Congratulations to whoever came up with the 'Rodney Trotter' banner in the Covered End.

Report from Louis Mendez here: Top two hopes kept alive

Friday 12 April 2019

Are Luton invincible?

Luton were not one of my promotion picks this season and I don't think I was alone in that. Four Four Two forecast a 7th place finish at the beginning of the season.

The Luton fan interviewed by Four Four Two at the beginning of the season had them finishing 9th. He said, 'we will be competitive - but with the calibre of clubs in League One, we can't expect to score as many this time around.' Well, Luton have managed to score 80 goals in League One, so perhaps the calibre of League One teams, particularly their defences, is not as high as anticipated.

Four Four Two anticipated that manager Nathan Jones might go to the Championship, and this is what happened. However, they have continued to flourish and manager Mick Harford has picked up the manager of the month award (Bowyer was on the short list).

At home Luton are undefeated, but away from home they have lost four and drawn six, although they haven't been beaten since October. Charlton have only lost twice at home all season and are currently top of the form table. Luton have fallen out of the top six. It took a last minute goal to secure a draw against Blackpool last Saturday.

What is clear is that this is a key match which Charlton need to win if they are to hold on to hopes of automatic promotion. The team is confident and the fans are confident.

Odds (Paddy Power) are: Charlton, 12/5; Draw 23/10; Luton, 11/10.

Gavin Ward normally referees in the Championship, so the importance of the match has been duly recognised.

Thursday 11 April 2019

Bowyer in contract talks

Lee Bowyer is to have contract talks with Roland's sidekick Lieven de Turck today: Sitdown talks

Richard Cawley of the SLP comments, 'Unbelievable to think that this hasn't been resolved. Bowyer has progressed the team on a reduced budget this season. Duchatelet should be trying to get his future resolved as a matter of priority.'

He continued, 'The appointment of Bowyer - and Jacko as his number two - gave a feel-good factor which had been missing under previous appointments in the Duchatelet era. But they have delivered with the results on the pitch.'

'It's amazing to me that Bowyer is having to be the one who is instigating face-to-face talks. I think at most football clubs then you'd have a meeting to talk about the offer at the time it is first made. But this is Charlton.'

Wednesday 10 April 2019

Pearce: Naby Sarr deserves his place

Jason Pearce says that Naby Sarr deserves his place in the side and he had no qualms about waiting for his return to the starting line up against Wycombe on Tuesday when he scored the winning goal: Pearce on Sarr

Pearce reckons that Charlton's form will crank up the pressure on their promotion rivals: Form and rivals

Tuesday 9 April 2019

Twists and turns in the promotion race

Lee Bowyer says that there are plenty of twists and turns left in the promotion race. Charlton will need to win all their remaining matches to have a chance of securing automatic promotion. However, Sunderland face some tricky fixtures: Promotion race

Charlton keep up their promotion challenge

Charlton kept up their promotion challenge with a 1-0 win at Wycombe Wanderers tonight. With Sunderland drawing at home with Burton Albion, Charlton are just four points behind them, although Sunderland have a game in hand. The Addicks are ten points clear of Doncaster in 6th place. They have now gone seven hours without conceding a goal.

It was a remarkably uneventful first half in beechy Bucks. Louis Mendez thought that Charlton were not as fluent as they had been on Plymouth. Then on 34 minutes Pearce put in a volley from a Cullen cross. It was his fifth goal for the club.

Good work by Dillon Phillps preserved Charlton's lead in the second half. On 51 minutes he save from a close range effort, Wycombe's best chance up to then. On 80 minutes he dealt with a dangerous cross and Akinfenva was not able to make use of the rebound. He made another big save on 86 minutes.

Vetokele was a tireless runner. In the first half he was denied by a last minute challenge. In the second half he put a header wide from a Taylor cross.

The match report from Louis Mendez is here: Battle to victory

Smiling supremo Lee Bowyer said that the gritty performance against Wycombe was the kind of victory that wins you promotion: Gritty win

Monday 8 April 2019

Can we unseat Chairboys?

Charlton go to Wycombe Wanderers this evening while Sunderland are at home to Burton Albion. 1,500 Addicks are expected to attend.

Wycombe are currently bottom of the form table while Charlton are third, but this does not mean very much when the Chairboys are battling the threat of relegation. Wycombe have won eight, drawn five and lost seven games at home. Curiously, this is identical to Charlton's away record. Wycombe have not won a game since the end of January.

Manager Gareth Ainsworth says his side has been fighting for weeks, complaining that he has the smallest squad in the league and the smallest staff in the Football League.

Wycombe boss Gareth Ainsworth could have Luke Bolton back in contention for the match. The on-loan Manchester City winger picked up an injury against Shrewsbury on March 16 but could return to action. Darius Charles remains the only long-term injury absentee as Ainsworth has an almost fully-fit squad to choose from.

Krystian Bielik is out injured: Ankle injury

Lyle Taylor could get his 20th goal of the season tonight in line with a prediction by Lee Bowyer: Goal wager with hotshot

Odds are: Wycombe, 23/10; Draw, 12/5; Charlton, 11/10 (Paddy Power).

The referee is Antony Coggins who usually officiates in League Two. He has the distinction of having sent off a father and son in the same game.

Bowyer's contract offer is 'incentivised'

The contract offer made to Lee Bowyer is 'incentivised'. Quite what this means is far from clear, but apparently it is not a normal basic wage: Roland's offer

Perhaps the incentive was to avoid promotion? The serious point is that delay could lead to Bowyer being made an offer elsewhere.

Charlton battered in first half hour

Charlton were battered in the first half hour at Plymouth and they have Dillon Phillips to thank for turning the game around: Taylor on away win

Saturday 6 April 2019

Successful pilgrimage

The 817 Addicks who travelled to Plymouth today saw Charlton win 2-0 to consolidate their place in the play offs. Lyle Taylor scored for Charlton in the first half and on 48 minutes it was 2-0, the goal attributed to Vetokele, although the BBC and Sky ruled that it was an own goal. Louis Mendez reckons Vetokele got a touch.

Luton and Blackpool drew 2-2 after the Tangerines had twice been ahead. Barnsley lost 3-1 at Burton. Sunderland won 2-1 at Rochdale after going behind and Portsmouth beat Tuesday's opponents Wycombe 3-2. Doncaster won by a single goal at Bradford.

Plymouth won a number of early corners and it was 24 minutes before Charlton got their first corner. Bielik was said to have fouled Lameiras on 38 minutes and Argyle were awarded a penalty. Phillips dived to his left and touched the ball wide.

Charlton then went up the other end and scored, Taylor heading home from a Solly cross.

Four Charlton players were booked in the first half: Sarr; Bauer; Vetokele; Bielik. At least this was one short of the five red cards the referee dished out at MK Dons at the end of September.

Charlton were dominant before and after the interval and scored their second goal on 48 minutes. It was created by a superb run and cross by Williams.

Pratley replaced Bielik on 63 minutes, he had taken a slight knock. Lapslie came on for Vetokele on 74 minutes and immediately put in a cross which Taylor headed only just wide. Williams left to a standing ovation on 80 minutes with Parker replacing him.

Report from Louis Mendez: Triumph on the road

On his 50th outing in charge of the Addicks serene supremo Lee Boywer said that the Dillon Phillips penalty save was pivotal in the game. Bielik has a problem with his ankle: Bowyer's comments

Friday 5 April 2019

Lyle Taylor speaks out on racism

In an interview with the Evening Standard Lyle Taylor says that black players must take direct action on racism: Lyle Taylor

Plymouth pilgrimage

Two friends will be setting off from Paddington at 7.30 tomorrow for the trek to Plymouth and here Louis Mendez tells the locals about the Addicks: What Plymouth can expect from Charlton

Apparently 800 Addicks are making the journey.

Plymouth have been unbeaten at home this year and have shown good form in February and March: CAS Trust preview

Odds (Paddy Power): Home, 2-1; Draw, 12/5; Charlton, 5/4.

Referee is Charles Breakspear who is capable of losing it big time.

Thursday 4 April 2019

Bowyer puzzled by Charlton contract offer

Lee Bowyer has been puzzled by Charlton's contract offer which does not take a form he is used to: Puzzlement

Richard Murray is apparently coming in today, so Bowyer is going to ask him what it all means. Good luck with that.

Fans' friend Murray has understandably been keeping a low profile in recent months, so it is interesting that he is on the premises.

Bowyer says that he is 'flattered' by reports of QPR's interest in him, but he has not been contacted by them and does not know where the story came from.

Pardew applies for QPR job

Alan Pardew has applied for the QPR job and will be interviewed on Friday. They deserve each other.

Richard Cawley tweeted yesterday that he did not think that Lee Bowyer would be joining the Super Hoops.

When Roland gave up on football

In his latest interview Belgian buffoon Roland Duchatelet says that he gave up on football a few months after buying Charlton when he decided that Standard Liege had been deprived of the title by match fixing: Huge mistake in getting involved in football

Tuesday 2 April 2019

Lee Clark in frame to succeed Bowyer

According to the Currant Bun Lee Clark, who has been out of work for two years since a short stint at Bury, is in the frame to succeed Lee Bowyer should the sought after supremo go to the Super Hoops: Lee Clark

I have to say I take this with a pinch of salt. Would Roland know who Lee Clark was? I suppose that Thomas Dreisen might have found him on his laptop.

The obvious immediate successor would be Johnnie Jackson, although Bowyer could take him with him. In that case, I would favour Jason Euell.

I have to say that I find QPR a slightly ludicrous club. When they were first taken over, I remember a QPR fan being interviewed and saying, 'In five years time the answer to the question of which is the biggest club in Europe will be either Real Madrid or Queens Park Rangers.# Well, I wouldn't compare their Subbueto shoebox of a stadium to the Bernebau.

Super Hoops sound out Bowyer

Queens Park Rangers are sounding out Lee Bowyer as a candidate for their managerial vacancy. They are impressed by the way he has managed with very little money at The Valley: Potential replacement for McClaren

Let's hope they have as much success as they did with Alan Curbishley when they approached him after we had turned them over at Loftus Road.

Bowyer expects to get a new contract offer this week: New contract

Monday 1 April 2019

A measure of the progress under Bowyer

Charlton are just one point off their 2017/18 total with seven matches left to play, a measure of the progress made under Lee Bowyer: Impressive stat

As the sagacious supremo himself points out, we have only lost one match this year and this was against Fleetwood when we had no strikers.

Bradford City investigate racist remarks

Bradford City are investigating racist remarks directed towards Lyle Taylor on Twitter after Saturday's game at The Valley: Investigation

Williams keeps his options open

Jonny Williams is keeping his options open beyond the end of the season, saying that he could stay at The Valley. He thinks that Lee Bowyer has improved him: Keeping his options open

As with other players, much depends on whether the Addicks are promoted. However, after an excellent start, Williams has been a disappointment to me. Our little group was calling for him to be substituted on Saturday which he eventually was.