Tuesday 31 August 2021

Lavelle heads for London

Morecambe defender and captain Sam Lavelle headed for London for talks about Charlton improved their initial £200,000 offer: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/morecambe-defender-moves-a-step-closer-to-charlton-athletic-switch/

According to Richard Cawley, Charlton are confident of two signings by the deadline.

Jacko talks about the continued absence of Schwartz

Speaking after tonight's 6-1 victory over Crawley in the Papa Johns Trophy, Johnnie Jackson discussed the situation of Ronnie Schwartz who did not appear, saying that he was behind with his training: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/johnnie-jackson-answers-question-on-ronnie-schwartzs-continued-absence-from-charlton-side-after-striker-not-involved-during-efl-trophy-clash/

Josh Davison scored two goals.   Report here: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/mason-burstow-debut-goal-tops-off-charltons-papa-johns-trophy-thrashing-of-crawley-town/

Welcome back Harry

Harry Arter has expressed his delight about returning to The Valley on a season long loan from Nottingham Forest: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/harry-arter-happy-to-be-back-at-charlton-athletic-season-long-loan-deal-from-forest/

Treat rumours with caution

I would treat with caution reports linking Charlton with Morecambe defender and captain Sam Lavelle as they originated with Nixon at The Sun has been picked up by clickbait sites: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/charlton-athletic-linked-with-deadline-day-move-for-morecambe-defender/

There is a social media rumour that Harry Arter failed his medical, but I have no reliable confirmation.

Monday 30 August 2021

Gills boss insulted

Gillingham's charm merchant manager Steve Evans says he was 'insulted' by Charlton's bid for Dempsey and thinks it may have been a ploy to unsettle his team: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/insulting-gillingham-boss-slams-charltons-bid-for-kyle-dempsey/

Somehow or other Evans managed to stay out of the mass brawl that marred the end of Gillingham's match at Shrewsbury on Saturday which saw the assistant manager of Gillingham and Shrewsbury's reserve goalkeeper among others sent off after a clash of the titans.

Stockley jumps for joy

Jayden Stockley talks about his first tunnel jump at Charlton: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/jayden-stockley-says-charlton-athletic-had-to-win-their-supporters-back-over-with-their-displays-on-the-field-of-play/

Even leading negativists have a good word for Stockley.

The captain says that the team had to engage in some soul searching to account for their start of season slump.  He is full of praise for Conor Washington: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/charlton-forward-jayden-stockley-we-had-to-look-inwardly-to-find-way-to-end-early-season-slump/

Sunday 29 August 2021

More signings on the way

Harry Arter was at The Valley yesterday, but Nigel Adkins refused to confirm that he was going to sign, saying 'watch this space'.  I think it is likely to be filled with his signature, anyway let's hope so: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/watch-this-space-charlton-boss-nigel-adkins-addresses-reports-linking-addicks-with-move-for-harry-arte/

Richard Cawley of the SLP comments: 'Bit of talk today that Charlton in for Gillingham's Kyle Dempsey and Jack Tucker before Tuesday's deadline. It doesn't sound very likely that either will happen. Elliot Lee's arrival has probably ended club's interest in Dempsey.'

CAFC are, however, still working on a couple of signings before the deadline according to Cawley.

Crewe boss praises Kirk

Crewe boss David Artell thinks that Charlie Kirk is a great acquisition for Charlton.  He considers that poor decision-making cost them the game yesterday.   Maybe, but you have to be ready to take advantage of poor decisions by the opposition: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/some-buggers-in-south-london-have-bought-one-of-our-best-players-crewe-boss-on-charlton-new-boy-charlie-kirk/

Saturday 28 August 2021

Victory at The Valley

Charlton secured their first three points of the season with a 2-0 win over Crewe at The Valley this afternoon.   The victory came with first half goals from DJ and Stockley.  Curbs said they were two great goals.  Crewe threatened at times, but Charlton were able to stand firm in the second half with two clearances off the line.

The Addicks did create opportunities in the second half but were unable to take them while MacGillivray had to make some good saves.

DJ said that everyone was banging on to him about getting on the back post when the crosses come in.  He thought it was his best game in a Charlton shirt.   'We've been playing well, but not coming away with the victories.  The plan was to keep it going.'   More from DJ here: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/diallang-jaiyesimi-delighted-with-charlton-win-and-his-first-goal-of-the-2021-22-league-one-season/

Charlton made a positive start.  In the first fifteen minutes they were on the front foot, dominated possession and created opportunities.

Crewe then got into the game more and there were signs of the midfield being stretched.   The pressure was disappointing.  Negativists on social media started to target DJ.

On 35 minutes Chris Gunter (Scott Minto said he was 'superb') put in a teasing left-footed cross and DJ scored with a brilliant bullet header.

Ainley put in a shot drawing a good save from MacGillivray at the expense of a corner.

On 42 minutes DJ put in a good ball across the pitch, Washington saw Stockley coming down the centre of the pitch and passed to him, Stockley went round the keeper and slotted the ball in.'

HT: 2-0

A Stockley header was over.   Following two Charlton corners, a Gunter shot brushed the side netting.

Inniss had to gone off and was replaced by Deji Elerewe who was praised after the game by Nigel Adkins, but Curbs wondered what Pearce was there for.

Crewe made a double substitution which made them a bit more threatening.   MacGillivray made a good claim from Crewe.   Washington drew a save from the keeper.  It was now end to end and MacGillivray had to deal with a post shot at the expense of a corner.

Kirk was replaced by Elliot Lee.   Following a Crewe corner, a Porter header was cleared off the line by Morgan.  Clare came on to replace DJ.

After a good build up a Charlton shot was cleared off the line. As the 80 minute mark was passed, Matthews put in good defensive work.   Crewe piled on the pressure and MacGillivray had to make a save.  Following a Crewe corner, Morgan had to clear.

In six minutes added on, a tired Washington shot went wide, but Charlton won a corner and saw the game out comfortably enough,

18 attempts on goal to 11, 6 to 4 on target, just edged possession (51-49 per cent).   Charlton are 19th.

Nigel Adkins said that a lot of things on the training ground had been implemented, 'we should have scored more.   We're making sure that everything is positive.   I am really pleased we kept a clean sheet. It was nice to get Elliot Lee on the pitch.   Jayden Stockley's goal was really good, we caught them on the counter attack.   It was a great atmosphere in The Valley.  You can see there is a definite spirit and we have some quality.   Ryan is going to be all right, he was a bit uncomfortable so he came off.  Sometimes we've left Jayden too isolated.  It's getting players to play together to sustain pressure.  We want to try and keep the momentum going.  There's a willingness to keep working and learning.'

Curbs was concerned that Inniss had had to come off twice.  Were we going to do more business?

Louis Mendez offers four takeaway points from the game: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/four-takeaways-from-charltons-2-0-victory-over-crewe-addicks-finally-up-and-running/

Will the prodigal return?

Reports are suggesting that Harry Arter may return to The Valley after a 14 year absence on a one year loan from Nottingham Forest: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/charlton-athletic-agree-deal-for-nottingham-forest-midfielder-harry-arter/

The central midfielder spent the greater part of the intervening period at Bournemouth: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harry_Arter

The Republic of Ireland manager is keen to see Arter get some football: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/charlton-target-told-his-lack-of-football-at-forest-is-not-ideal/

A chance to get points on the board

We weren't expecting a relegation six pointer this early in the season and Crewe will be looking to get their campaign under way: https://www.castrust.org/2021/08/a-good-time-to-be-playing-crewe/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=a-good-time-to-be-playing-crewe

Four Four Two forecast a 20th place finish noting 'With key men departing, last season's brave swashbucklers must limit the sense of transition.'    The fan file contributor admits that the turnover of players is the big talking point, but forecasts a 10th place finish.

Crewe went down 0-1 at home to Accrington Stanley after tame defending from a corner.    Alex boss Dave Artell admitted: 'We didn't get going until it was too late again, and that is a habit that has to be broken.  But it is a virtually new team and we are a work in progress.'

Crewe is the world leading manufacturer of ice cream vans.   Let's hope they won't be ringing their chimes as they leave The Valley this afternoon.

Friday 27 August 2021

Blackett-Taylor is full of hope

Corey Blackett-Taylor is confident that his stay at Charlton will be longer than his five months contract.  He discusses his career and what happened at Tranmere Rovers: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/corey-blackett-taylor-on-signing-short-term-deal-at-charlton-exit-from-tranmere-and-achieving-professional-debut-dream-at-aston-villa/

No need for reserve keeper

Nigel Adkins is in no rush to bring in a reserve goalkeeper as an emergency loan can always be used if necessary: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/nigel-adkins-says-he-wont-be-unnecessarily-rushed-into-signing-a-goalkeeper-before-the-transfer-window-closes/

Stephen Henderson has been training at Sparrows Lane, but it looks as if his services will not be used.

VOTV editor Rick Everitt thinks we would be better off at this stage signing loan players with a solid League One background rather than talented youngsters who might or might not contribute.

Charlton's first Football League game

One hundred years ago today Charlton played their first match in the Football League, beating Exeter City 1-0.

The Western Morning News admitted that 'A word must be said in praise of Charlton Athletic, who gave an indication of great possibilities and should be a welcome addition to the Third Division.'

'The game cannot be described as a great game of football, but it was surprisingly good.  Taking all things into consideration, it was really gratifying to see the enthusiasm and energy displayed by both sides.  Every man of the twenty-two seemed all out to win from start to finish, and even Mr Small, the referee, who with his well-known green handkerchief with which he rubbed an injured man's face, wherever his injury occurred, seemed awfully keen on keeping the players up to concert pitch.'

The Western Times reported: 'For some sixteen years the Charlton people have kept their heads above water in a stronghold of professional football, and now that they have realised the height of their ambition the club have received a tremendous fillip.   There is any amount of enthusiasm.  The new ground is said to be in excellent condition - although footballers are suspicious of "new" grounds; there is to be a new stand capable of holding 4,000 spectators, and the total accommodation is to rise as the season progresses from 30,000 to 50,000, with plenty more room available if required.'

'The new ground has been built on an old chalk quarry, and it is very hard, rough and uneven as yet.   There is no regular stand, the plans having been held up by London County Council.  A small temporary erection did duty for the day.  The fact that Millwall were at home three miles away affected the game adversely, but even so, there were nine thousand people present when the teams fielded.   Charlton wore white shirts to obviate confusion.'

'Play was fast and very inspiring, and the crowd bubbled over with enthusiasm.   The crowd went wild with delight as Dowling took over from his inside forwards and, beating Mitton for speed, scored the opening goal with a shot that Fryer touched but could not stop.'   [It was the only goal he scored in 21 games for Charlton].

In the second half 'the attendance has increased to about 11,000, excluding the hundred or so who received a bird's eye view from the lip of the quarry.'  [Some reports give a figure of 12,000].   'Play continued very fast, and with not a pin to choose between the teams except that Charlton's trio of all experienced inside forwards were more dangerous in front of goal.'

'The match was contested at a gruelling pace and was surprisingly good, considering the state of the field.  Charlton are a very sound team, quick and resourceful four and aft, and with some very speedy forwards.'

Thursday 26 August 2021

Second coming of a Lee

Former Addick Robert Lee is a proud man as his son Elliot joins the Addicks on a year's loan from Luton Town: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/exclusive-former-charlton-midfielder-robert-lee-a-proud-man-as-son-elliot-joins-addicks-on-loan/

Lee is an attacking midfielder: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elliot_Lee

Negativists have found it difficult to come up with a critical narrative, but have settled for an argument that we have too many midfielders.

Of course we need defensive strengthening, but the window isn't closed yet.

Tuesday 24 August 2021

Darren Bent recalls relegation

I put an issue of Four Four Two to one side and I have only just read a feature on Darren Bent.  A questioner from Greenwich, presumably a Charlton fan, asked: 'Charlton went down in your second season there - what went wrong?'

Darren Bent replied: 'Alan Curbishley left, which messed us up, then we got ourselves into a bit of bother.  I scored a lot of goals that season, but got an injury in January after Alan Pardew came in.   I scored in both of his first two games in charge, and won two Sky Man of the Match awards.'

'He made me captain, but the injury was at a killer time.   I came back and scored four goals, but then Spurs came to The Valley, beat us 2-0 and that was it: we went down.  I genuinely think that if I could have stayed fit that season, with the way the momentum was going, we could have stayed up.'

Washington called up for international duty

Congratulations to Conor Washington on being selected for the Northern Ireland squad in their 3 internationals at the start of next month. Washington will now miss the Gillingham away game unless 2 more Charlton players are called up for their respective countries.

Chris Gunter has been called up to the Wales squad.

Monday 23 August 2021

Home support drops

VOTV editor Rick Everitt comments, 'Home support was down 1,800 yesterday on the Sheffield Wednesday game, despite the latter being televised and the free guest ticket being available for the first time against Wigan. Home match tickets issued about 40% down on previous game. Fear it could be worse v Crewe.'

'Hard to know what effect holidays have in August - weather should offset people being away - but Wednesday probably an outlier for lots of reasons. Not going to see 15,000 official again before Pompey on September 25th at this rate.'

Time begins to run out to strengthen squad

Nigel Adkins repeats his 'things on going on behind the scenes' mantra in his latest comment on the need to bring in more players: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/help-needed-for-charlton-athletic-squad-as-time-begins-to-run-out-in-summer-transfer-window/

He refers again to the budget constraint, possibly with a scarcely concealed sense of frustration.  Thomas Sandgaard never said he would splash the cash, but he may have under estimated the sum that was needed in this transfer window to secure quality players.

Gloom merchants are saying that no Premier League club will want to loan development players out to a club in a relegation battle.   However, that overlooks our successful record in developing younger players and the excellent facilities available at Sparrows Lane, plus the chance to play in a real stadium.

Sunday 22 August 2021

Four key lessons from failure

The SLP's Louis Mendez sets out four takeaways from Charlton's winless run: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/four-takeaways-from-charltons-2-0-home-reverse-against-wigan-winless-run-continues/

Given the way in which expectations were raised over the summer, it is understandable that fans are restless.  However, Mendez praises Craig MacGillivray, criticised by some fans, noting that he does add something to the side in terms of his ability to anticipate danger.

However, it is no good if you can't score goals and I note that Chuks Aneke added one from the bench in the 5-0 win by Bowyer's Birmingham at Luton.  But, then, as his critics said, all he does is score goals.

Good to see Patrick Bauer score for Preston in a long absence from injury, indeed it was actually a back-to-back goal in terms of matches he had played in.

Kevin Nolan's take on Saturday's game here: https://charltonchampion.co.uk/2021/08/22/kevin-nolans-valley-view-charlton-athletic-0-2-wigan-athletic/?fbclid=IwAR23ke4-NEWrCJmPCltOwBvMoaK9L9BEVpAv4IGDEcr5QPqi4SNIjWHF7pA

Saturday 21 August 2021

Valley of Despair

Charlton went down 0-2 to Wigan Athletic at The Valley this afternoon, conceding the first goal after 87 minutes and the second one after 95 minutes. 

Curbs said that Wigan looked the more confident and composed side, when they got into the final third they showed quality.  'I couldn't see us scoring, they looked dangerous on the break, one piece of quality is going to finish this.   We never really created that real good chance to get in front.'

'Confidence is a massive thing, if we had won a couple of those early games, it would be different.'  Curbs thought that Blackett-Taylor had pace, he always liked a hungry, desperate player.   Stockley needed some better balls into him.   Albie Morgan was not a number 10, he never caused problems.   'You've got to stick someone up with Stockley to give him some help.'

Mark Bowen said that he was uncertain what the game plan is.    There wasn't that real desire to make it hard for the opposition.  Ben Watson didn't have the legs he had five or ten years ago, you needed athleticism in the centre of the park.

Once again Charlton started brightly enough and Amos saved from Stockley.   However, on 10 minutes Wigan created a chance out of nothing and hit the crossbar.

Wigan started to take control and MacGillivray had to make a super save with a strong left hand.  Stockley remonstrated with Morgan because he wanted the ball crossed to him earlier.

Charlton had possession but were unable to turn it into opportunities and Wigan had the better chances.  MacGillivray had to make another great save after a Wigan free kick.

HT: 0-0

It was still a very close game and Kirk had one of the best chances.   After  both sides made substitutions, the game opened up more with Charlton providing space in the midfield.

DJ was replaced by the debutante Blackett-Taylor and Dobson replaced Washington.   Wyke drew a strong right hand from MacGillivray.

Charlton could have dealt better with the cross that led to the first goal, but it was evident that players were tiring.

The second goal in time added on brought a grim afternoon to a close.

Nigel Adkins said we didn't get outcome we were after, we tried to be positive, to be more of a goal threat.  ' I'm disappointed.   I thought we were knocking on the door.   Craig made some really good saves for us.  There's a lot for us to work on.   Strength in depth, we've got a bit more time, we've got to use this time to bring more players in.'

Scott Minto asked whether it was sticking to the system or whether it should change.   Adkins said that different combinations had been tried.

More detailed comments by the manager here, admitting that there is a confidence problem and ;we are judged by results': https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/nigel-adkins-charlton-athletic-fans-perfectly-entitled-to-express-their-displeasure-this-is-a-big-club/

Curbs said that it was clear that we didn't do enough in the final third.    The players had to look at themselves and see if they were doing the job they had been asked to do.   We're not scoring goals and that first goal has become really important.

Charlton are now in the relegation positions at 21st, just ahead of next week's opponents Crewe and just behind Ipswich.

Where will the win come from?

One point from the first three games is the worst start for Charlton in the third tier since 1928/9 and CAS Trust sees little ground for optimism in their match preview: https://www.castrust.org/2021/08/wigan-where-will-the-win-come-from/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=wigan-where-will-the-win-come-from

Four Four Two forecasts a 12th place finish for the Lactics, while the Fan File contributor forecasts anything from 1st to 10th depending on 'how quickly a new side gels'.   Ipswich have found that it is not straightforward buying a side, but Wigan have done better without in any way being dominant.

The 1-0 win against Rotherham last Saturday was secured with a stoppage time header from a Max Power free kick given away in a dangerous area.

30 goal Charlie Wyke is undoubtedly the danger man to match, but former Charlton keeper Ben Amos was named as star player last Saturday.

It's difficult to be optimistic about this afternoon and unfortunately I can't be there as I have tested positive for Covid-19.

Experienced commentator Kevin Nolan can see problems mounting for Nigel Adkins: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/problems-beginning-to-mount-up-for-charlton-athletic-manager-nigel-adkins/

Amid all the doom and gloom from Charlton supporters, I do find the suggestion that Thomas Sandgaard is a worse owner than Roland ridiculous.   The barmy Belgian ran up a £60m debt, but still failed to pay enough in wages to keep us up in the Championship.   He engaged in unpleasant cheese paring such as denying hard working staff their bonuses.  Then he sold the club on to a group of entrepreneurs of doubtful probity who nearly brought it crashing down.

Friday 20 August 2021

Blackett-Taylor signs

Corey Blackett-Taylor has signed on a short-term contract with Nigel Adkins praising his attitude: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/charlton-athletic-sign-corey-blackett-taylor-on-short-term-contract/

Moaners have condemned the signing as scraping the barrel, but I am prepared to put the judgment of the recruitment team before that of fans.  At least I am prepared to give him a chance.  

Charlton lost out on transfer targets

Nigel Adkins says that Charlton have lost out on a couple of transfer targets to tomorrow's opponents Wigan but could not match the wages they were able to offer: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/charlton-athletic-player-recruitment-process-explained-as-nigel-adkins-makes-transfer-admission/

Adkins had little to say about whether Stephen Henderson would be offered a contract as reserve goalkeeper, sticking to the line that 'a lot is going on behind the scenes': https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/nigel-adkins-asked-about-chances-of-former-palace-keeper-rejoining-charlton-athletic/

There have been rumours that Wigan have been offering £10k a week.

He also explains how the recruitment process works at Charlton with four decision-makers involved, all working within the constraints of a budget.   Ged Roddy is evidently in overall charge and he has attracted criticism from some fans.

It has been confirmed that Corey Blackett-Taylor has been training with Charlton for two weeks.

Conor Washington will not be available on Saturday, but Ben Purrington is expected to be back in training next week.

Adkins says that there are positives to be taken out of Charlton's performances and denies that they have been rubbish: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/nigel-adkins-on-charltons-low-points-return-at-start-of-league-one-season-why-performances-are-key/

Whether this will do anything to offset the all too typical wave of negativity and pessimism that has swept across Charlton supporters is open to question.    Losing two matches by one goal to sides tipped for the top six is hardly a catastrophe.

I don't agree with those who say that MK Dons are a poor side, I think they played a good, passing game. We do rely too much on long balls up to Stockley, but that reflects some of the deficiencies in the midfield.  However, until the transfer window closes, one can't assess the squad.

Alex Gilbey has been badly affected by Covid and won't be back for some time.

Wednesday 18 August 2021

League One fans have the highest promotion expectations

Football fans are notorious for having excessive expectations for their team, but curiously their expectation level varies by division.   I looked at the Fan File forecasts in Four Four Two and counted how many fans anticipated a top six finish (seven in League Two).

League One fans are the most optimistic and Championship fans the most pessimistic.   14 League One fans (58 per cent) forecast a finish at least in the play offs.   The figure for League Two was similar, 13 (54 per cent).

However, the Championship figure was just six (25 per cent).  In the Premier League it was also six or 30 per cent.

Given that League One has a number of competitive sides and is thought to be a difficult league to get out of, this is surprising.

Tuesday 17 August 2021

Game time being managed for Inniss

The game time of Ryan Inniss is being managed says Nigel Adkins: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/nigel-adkins-explains-reasons-for-withdrawals-of-conor-washington-and-ryan-inniss-during-milton-keynes-defeat/

Meanwhile, Ronnie Schwartz managed 45 minutes in a behind close doors under 23 game with Dulwich Hamlet.

Another 2-1 away defeat

It's a game of fine margins, but Charlton went down to a 2-1 defeat at Stadium MK tonight.  The Addicks went ahead through a Stockley goal, but MK responded in three minutes and then scored the winner in the second half.

Charlton started well in the first half and pressed the home side.  A well-delivered free kick by Morgan enabled Stockley to score with a header.

Then a Dobson error opened up a gap and Tottenham Hotspur loan player Parrott was able to equalise.  Once again Charlton failed to hold on to a lead.

Inniss was given a rather harsh yellow card.  A Clare shot was blocked.  DJ fed Stockley but Fisher made a great save.

The three minutes added on saw pressure by the home side.

HT: 1-1

Inniss was replaced at half time by Deji Elerewe.  He was soon called on to challenge Parrott.

Washington pulled up off the ball and hobbled off.  Kirk replaced him and got into the game more as it went on.

A Dons free kick was blocked by Famewo, but the ball was not cleared as it was easy for the striker to score from six yards out.

Charlton had not been creating anything, but from now on MK dominated possession with a passing game.  The seven minutes added on saw the home side dominant.

Charlton are now 20th.

Nigel Adkins said he thought we were good for the first 20 minutes, it was an awful goal we conceded and the momentum of the game changed.   They were better in the second half.  We didn't get the ball. I introduced Kirk earlier than I wanted to.   They are a very good passing side, they got the flow of the game.  We fell short in the second half performance.

Adkins said that the 17-year old Elerewe was exceptional, the future is very bright for him.

Conor Washington felt something go in his back.   Inniss should be good for the weekend.

His comments in more detail here: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/nigel-adkins-reacts-to-second-defeat-in-four-days-as-charlton-are-beaten-at-milton-keynes/

Charlton show interest in young winger

Charlton are interested in former Aston Villa player Corey Blackett-Taylor who has been released by Tranmere Rovers: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/charlton-athletic-interested-in-former-aston-villa-winger-corey-blackett-taylor/

Wigan were interested in the attacking midfielder in the summer, but did not conclude a deal.

Some fans have responded sceptically, but our recruitment team may know more about his potential than they do.

However, when asked, Nigel Adkins was lukewarm about him: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/nigel-adkins-addresses-reports-linking-charlton-to-a-move-for-former-aston-villa-man-corey-blackett-taylor/

Dons aim for play off place

It's eight years since we failed to win any of our first three league games in the season so we have to hope that Charlton can collect all three points at MK Dons tonight.

The midfield was disappointing at Oxford.   Fans' ire has focused on Albie Morgan, but DJ was poor and Dobson and Clare also failed to contribute enough.   Dobson was particularly disappointing as he had been effective against Sheffield Wednesday.

Charlie Kirk will be travelling with the squad, but that implies a role from the bench at best.

New MK Dons coach Liam Manning trained the players for the first time yesterday, commenting 'the guys don't have an idea of what I want, so that is difficult for them.'  Manning was formerly with Belgian First Division B side Lommel.

Manning said that he was excited by what he saw in Saturday's 1-2 defeat at home to Sunderland.  'We had good control of large parts of the game and created lots of chances, but what we can't do is switch off.'

Four Four Two reckon that the Franchisees will finish 8th, saying that they are 'tantalisingly close to becoming a serious force.'   The author of the fan file thinks they will make the play offs.

Monday 16 August 2021

'Picky' approach to signings says Sandgaard

Thomas Sandgaard hopes to make a 'handful of signings' before the end of the transfer window, but emphasises 'we're not rushing it' and that Charlton will be 'picky' in its recruitment: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/thomas-sandgaard-outlines-charlton-athletic-transfer-plans-and-backs-big-talent-charlie-kirk/

Former Addicks keeper Stephen Henderson is training with Charlton after his release by the Glaziers and may be signed as a back up keeper: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/stephen-henderson-training-with-charlton-athletic-after-crystal-palace-exit/

Adkins won't play the numbers game

Nigel Adkins has emphasised the need to create the right kind of supply line for Charlie Kirk.  Jaitesimi disappointed at Oxford because he wasn't given the ball: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/charlton-athletic-boss-on-transfer-window-plans-and-making-sure-new-boy-charlie-kirk-is-in-thick-of-the-action/

Adkins would not talk numbers in terms of how many more signings he thinks he needs, but pointed out that he has to work to a budget.

Wise words from Sunderland supremo Lee Johnson responding to criticisms that he was slow in the transfer market: 'In a perfect world you want to get your transfer work done early, but on the flip side of that it's easy to sign average players - for good players you have to wait.'

Sunday 15 August 2021

Praise from Robinson for Charlton players

Karl Robinson says that Charlton signing Charlie Kirk was a real coup, while he is also full of praise for Jayden Stockley.   He is also impressed by the centre back partnership of Akin Famewo and Ryan Inniss: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/a-coup-rival-league-one-boss-reckons-charlton-have-landed-a-gem-in-charlie-kirk/

It was really the midfield that let us down yesterday and for many fans Albie Morgan is the new scapegoat player.  He is still a working in progress and I think he would be better as a holding midfielder than a No.10.

Somewhat surprisingly, he was named as star of the match by the Football League Paper.  I would have had difficulty in naming a man of the match for Charlton.

MacGillivray should have done better with the first goal, but it is far too early to write him off as a 'poor keeper', indeed Robinson praises him as one of the best in the division last season.

MK Dons don't have a very well organised defence, so we may be able to score from open play on Tuesday.   However, the usual pessimism and negativity is setting in among Charlton fans with some even saying we are in a relegation battle.

Saturday 14 August 2021

Goals given away defeat Charlton

Two goals given away in the first half saw Charlton lose 2-1 to Oxford United this afternoon at the Kassam Stadium in front of 1,373 disappointed Addicks..   Conor Washington gave Charlton hope with a goal from a penalty.   However, in the second half it was Oxford that cam closest to scoring.

Charlton had a chance to score on 15 minutes after Stockley flicked the ball on but Stevens managed to make a good save from Washington.

Oxford broke away and collision on the halfway line saw Matthews go down.  White's shot was saved by MacGillivray, but he spilled the ball.   The right back Williams had run the length of the pitch and from the left scored from close range to make it 1-0 on 22 minutes.

Brannigan made it 2-0 from five or six yards out, Oxford having scored from just two shots on target.  The normally solid Charlton defence was looking ragged.

On 35 minutes a handball off a Stockley header saw the referee gave a penalty after some hesitation.  It was an excellent penalty by Washington that went to the left of the keeper.

HT: 2-1

Washington shot straight at the keeper.  Famewo put in good defensive work, but Oxford were pulling Charlton apart, but they missed a tap in on an empty net which would have made it 3-1.

DJ had been disappointing and he was replaced by Davison who didn't add much.   Inniss put in a great tackle.  Stockley got a yellow card.   Dobson was replaced by Watson.   MacGillivray palmed away a shot.  Inniss made a great clearance that prevented a third goal.

Famewo got a yellow card.  Clayden replaced Gunter as normal time came to an end.  Six minutes were added on, but the only action was Morgan shooting over.

Richard Cawley noted that the result ended a 10 game unbeaten run on the road for Charlton.  It was difficult to take many positives out of the performance.

Nigel Adkins said he was really disappointed.   The keeper made a fantastic save from Washington. DJ had a great pre-season, he wasn't being as effective as he has been.   Adkins hoped that Davidson would energise Charlton.

Asked if Charlie Kirk would be ready for MK Dons, Adkins said he would have to take stock of where he was.  It had been an emotional week for him.

On new players he said there were a lot of things going on behind the scenes.

Adkins thanked the fans for being brilliant all the way through.

Crewe's manager praises Kirk

Crewe's manager has only positive things to say about Charlie Kirk, although his references to poor body language are cryptic: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/crewe-boss-gives-his-verdict-on-charlie-kirks-charlton-move/

A nasty smell at the Kassam

Charlton are yet to register a league win at the Kassam Stadium: https://www.castrust.org/2021/08/oxford-fans-on-the-road-again/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=oxford-fans-on-the-road-again

Four Four Two are forecasting a 7th place finish for Oxford while the Fan File contributor anticipates another 6th place finish.  He says that 'The fans' opinion of the gaffer is pretty positive.  Successive play-off campaigns have given Karl Robinson a lot of goodwill, but there's a slight undercurrent of frustration.'

He continues, 'I won't be happy until we resolve the stadium situation.  Twenty years at the breezeblock Kassam Stadium has been long enough.'  At least the old stadium in Headington with its Meccano stands had character.

The fan also notes, 'The best thing about matchday at Oxford is the nearby sewage works  - the smell is so bad you forget the ground has only three sides.'

He also helpfully informs us that they are Oxford United not Oxford University.   I would never have guessed.

Thursday 12 August 2021

Kirk signs for Charlton

Charlie Kirk has signed for Charlton:  https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/charlton-sign-crewe-winger-charlie-kirk/

It's been difficult for negativists to formulate a critical narrative.

I've only just learn about it because I was in Wolverhampton having lunch with a 90-year old Wolves supporters discussing matches between us in the 1950s.

'Gobby' falls victim to referees again

When he was Charlton manager, one of Karl Robinson's favourite lines from his Great Big Book of Excuses was that he was a victim of a referees' conspiracy.  It seems he still is to judge from his verdict on last Saturday's 1-1 draw in the Varsity game against Cambridge United.

'Gobby' blamed the draw on referee David Rock's decision not to award a penalty for a challenge on Billy Bodin: 'It's a blatant penalty.  He gave two free kicks against my players for exactly the same contact.  He's bottled that decision.'

However, the fuming supremo had to admit that was not the whole story: 'Our sloppiness in the final third, our finishing wasn't at it.  We got into four or five outstanding positions and we didn't exploit that.'

In May Robinson was given a four match touchline ban and a £4,500 fine after being found guilty of violent conduct at the match at Sunderland.   This followed a one match ban for conduct at Crewe.  Robinson said he had no remorse for his conduct at Sunderland, it was how he had been brought up.

Wednesday 11 August 2021

Adkins sees positives in defeat

Nigel Adkins has emphasised the value of last night's 0-1 Carabao Cup defeat by Wimbledon at The Valley as a valuable run out for debutants: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/159150-2/

In effect he treated it as a pre-season fixture, but the reaction of some fans to the defeat was more negative. Personally, I didn't even listen to the match as I thought it was a meaningless fixture and the sooner we were out of this trophy the better.

Tuesday 10 August 2021

Looking on the bright side of life

There is no firm news on the Charlie Kirk saga, although Sheffield United are now interested and he would surely prefer a Championship club with a chance of returning to the top flight to another year or more in League One.   Indeed, this has been a story throughout the summer, players we have targeted going to the Championship.

A final judgment about the transfer window cannot be made until it ends.  I would expect some Premier League loans to come in before then, as they have in previous years.  Some fans object that we are developing players for other clubs, but as long as we benefit I don't see that it matters.   Loan players have a point to prove to boost their careers and the best ones such as Conor Gallagher have been very good.

The squad does lack sufficient depth.   However, there is no point in signing players who wouldn't fit in or demand too much in wages.   As an analysis in the latest Voice of the Valley showed Charlton have lost substantial sums of money for the last decade, apart from one year when we did well out of player trading.  Thomas Sandgaard has had to pump in considerable sums of money to steady the ship.

Like many incoming owners, he under estimated how competitive English football can be, not least in League One.  I think he was unwise to talk about the Premier League in five years, a statement ridiculed by Millwall supporter Rod Liddle this week in the Sunday Times.   I doubt whether Charlton will ever play in the top flight again and getting into the Championship, a justifiable aspiration, is going to take time and patience.

When fans start talking about 'ambition', it generally means someone else spending money on their behalf. I am not going to pay for players, beyond my season ticket, and I doubt whether others are willing or able to.

It is also not that straightforward 'buying a team'.   Ipswich have been splashing the cash, but they struggled to draw 2-2 at home against mighty Morecambe on Saturday.  From what I saw they wee a team of strangers.   At least Charlton have a good team spirit and I am hopeful that players like Albie Morgan have potential to progress this season.

Monday 9 August 2021

Clare sets a minimum target

Sean Clare discusses what he can bring to Charlton on his return to the club.   He thinks that the second half was better on Saturday with the ball played through him more which enabled him to get into the box.  The final pass could have been better from him and other players: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/challenging-for-promotion-is-the-bare-minimum-for-charlton-athletic-sean-clare/

Clare thinks that the performance against the Massives was a step in the right direction: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/charlton-midfielder-sean-clare-performance-against-sheffield-wednesday-a-step-in-the-right-direction/

Saturday 7 August 2021

Goalless draw starts the season

Charlton drew 0-0 with Sheffield Wednesday at The Valley today in a cagey affair.   Apart from a last half attempt by the Massives, there were no shots on target.

Fans were upset that the teams came out to Addicks to Victory rather than the Red, Red Robin.

The game was delayed after Callum Paterson received a head injury and had to be stretchered off.

The first chance on 25 minutes when DJ won a free kick.  Morgan provided a good free kick and Stockley had a free header but it was two to three yards wide.

Stockley required treatment after the keeper punched him in the face.   Matthews got a yellow card for an unforced error.  A Morgan free kick went over the bar.

In eight minutes added on Washington was inches away from a knock down by Stockley.   It had been a feisty but often stop-start half with few chances.

HT: 0-0

The second half was essentially a story of tiring players on a greasy pitch.   Stockley had to work hard in defence, clearing as many as six dangerous corners over the match with his head.

The lack of strength in depth was emphasised when there were no Charlton substitutions until 87 minutes when Charles Clayden came on for Conor Washington.

Attendance was 17,639 (2,712 Wednesday) and the returning fans were in full voice.

Programme editor Benjy Nurick commented: 'Slightly underwhelming start to the season but not a terrible point against a decent side. Charlton definitely the better team in the second half but they’ve got to figure out a way to turn attacking impetus into real chances.'

Nigel Adkins comments on the game here: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/nigel-adkins-targets-25-clean-sheets-this-season-after-opening-day-stalemate-with-sheffield-wednesday/

Friday 6 August 2021

Gary Nelson's tribute to Curbs

Gary Nelson discusses the debt that Charlton owe to Alan Curbishley and also looks at his relationship with Steve Gritt: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/the-debt-charlton-fans-owe-to-alan-curbishley/

Steve Gritt pays tribute to Curbs here and discusses how they worked together: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/charlton-joint-manager-steve-gritt-curbishleys-premier-league-achievement-was-fabulous/

Charlton 'are no strangers to a loss'

 The Swiss Ramble casts his forensic eye over Charlton's 2019/20 accounts.   What is clear is the long-term financial limitations the club has faced that many fans seem unable to grasp.

Following promotion to the Championship, Charlton reduced their loss from £10.1m to just £1.1m, as revenue increased £7.5m (95%) from £7.9m to £15.4m and profit on player sales rose £1.5m to £4.4m, partly offset by expenses growing £3.3m (17%).

The £1.1m deficit was actually one of the best results in the Championship. Only three clubs made a (small) profit in 2020, while some huge losses were reported: Stoke City £88m, Leeds £62m and Fulham £48m (latter two included promotion bonuses).

The operating loss (excluding player sales, exceptional items & interest) improved from £12m to £7m, which was actually one of the best performances in the Championship. Nearly every club in this division posts substantial operating losses, i.e. almost half were above £30m.

Charlton are no strangers to a loss, having only reported a profit once in the last decade – and that was just £1.2m in 2017. Their total losses amounted to £60m over this period. As owner Thomas Sandgaard wryly observed, “It is expensive to run a football club.”

The profit posted by the Addicks in 2017 was largely due to £16m from player sales, including Lookman to Everton. Otherwise, they did not manage to make more than £5m in any other year in last decade. The 2020/21 season will include £5.6m income, mainly Bonne to QPR and Doughty to Stok

The revenue increase was mainly driven by broadcasting income rising £6.3m from £1.5m to £7.8m, due to higher TV distributions in the Championship, while commercial increased £0.8m (36%) to £3.0m and match day grew £0.4m (9%) to £4.5m. Other income included £634k furlough grant.

Despite COVID impact, the £15.4m revenue was £3.3m (27%) higher than the last time they were in the Championship in 2016. Promotion from League One was worth £7.5m. Broadcasting is the most important revenue stream with 51%, followed by match day 30% and commercial 19%.

The total commercial income rose £0.8m (36%) from £2.2m to £3.0m, partly due to more streaming on Charlton TV. This was the club’s highest since 2008, but still firmly in the bottom half of the Championship, far below likes of Leeds £34m, Bristol City £14m and Stoke City £1

Even after the growth in 2019/20, the £15m revenue was still one of the lowest in the Championship. Their financial challenge in this division was highlighted by the fact that this was around a quarter of Fulham £58m, Leeds £54m, WBA £54m and Huddersfield £53.

if parachute payments were excluded, Charlton  would still have only had the 17th highest revenue in the Championship with the gap to Leeds United £54m (due to massive commercial income) being a chunky £39m.

the profit on player sales rose £1.5m to £4.4m, including Dijksteel to Boro plus contingent payments on previous sales (Lookman, Gomez, Palmer, Pope and Grant). That’s a solid improvement, but still a fair bit lower than WBA £29m, Bristol City £26m, Fulham £25m & Brentford £25m

The Swiss Ramble estimates that COVID led to £1.6m reduction in revenue, split between £1.2m lost (match day £0.9m, TV rebate £0.3m) and £0.5m broadcasting deferred to 2020/21, offset by £0.7m furlough income under government job retention scheme, leading to a net £1.0m adverse impact.

The average attendance (for games played with fans) increased 52% from 11,827 to 18,017, the club’s highest since 2013. Mid-table in the Championship, but Charlton’s potential was highlighted by their highest home crowd of 25,363 against Blackburn Rover

The wage bill increased £1.8m (17%) from £10.4m to £12.2m, “primarily reflecting the increased cost of player wages in the Championship”. That said, this was £1.2m (9%) lower than the last time Charlton were in this division in 2016.

Despite the increase, the £12m wage bill is one of the lowest in the Championship, only above Barnsley £11m, so it was perhaps unsurprising they were relegated.

The wages to turnover ratio improved from 133% to 80%, their lowest since 2009 (when they had a parachute payment). The vast majority of clubs in the Championship have (unsustainable) ratios over 100% with Reading “leading the way” at 211%.

Charlton spent £522k on motor vehicles, i.e. twice as much as £262k on new players. Agreements terminated after year-end at a cost of £261k. Sandgaard highlighted previous ownership’s profligacy by giving away one of the infamous Range Rovers in “Our Club Your Car” campaign.

The club only spent £262k on new players in 2020, partly due to a transfer embargo imposed by EFL. This was the second lowest in the Championship, only ahead of QPR £55k, but miles below Fulham £53m and Leeds £46m

Thursday 5 August 2021

Crewe winger in the frame again

Unconfirmed reports state that Charlton have renewed their interest in Crew winger Charlie Kirk.  The Addicks made a £500,000 bid in the January transfer window, but were unsuccessful.  Other clubs are interested.  

Charlton failed to pay minimum wage

Charlton are among companies named and shamed by government as one of 191 firms that failed to pay the legally required minimum wage (under previous ownership between 2011-18). Sixteen employees were involved.

Sheffield United, Coventry City, Oldham Athletic, Crewe, and Portsmouth are the other clubs listed.  Charlton's underpayment was £1.880 whereas that of Sheffield United was nearly £22k.

Another reason to be glad we are under new ownership.   It has been pointed out that 'Roland Duch√Ętelet who started the Belgian political party "Vivant" with the founding principle of a basic income guarantee for all citizens also owned a football club that failed to pay minimum wage to a number of its employees.'

Massive disappointment

Given the gloom that has enveloped some Charlton supporters because of a lack of signings, it is worth noting that the mood at Sheffield Wednesday seems to be pessimistic.

In their pre-season review, Four Four Two said 'Structural issues and off field uncertainty makes recruitment an unenviable task for Darren Moore.  The best-case scenario is that an experienced core stays and some untested youngsters step up, allowing Wednesday to compete without a full overhaul.'  A 11th place finish is forecast.

In the fan file Laura Lawrence says that 'Last season was a pit of despair.  The big talking point among the fans is the future of the club under Dejphon Chansiri.   Like, is there one?   We'll finish still in League One.'