Sunday 31 July 2022

Wollacot saved us from defeat

VOTV editor Rick Everitt provides four takeaways from Charlton's draw at Rotherham.  He says that Joe Wollacott justified his selection as keeper and we could have lost but for his second half heroics.  We failed to convert possession into enough chances, but there were some positives to take away from the match:

Ben Garner would like to be able to make nine substitutes like Premier League sides:

Saturday 30 July 2022

Garner: 'a good away point'

Although the outcome of the game at Accrington was disappointing, Ben Garner thinks that on reflection it was a good point.  He told press box super sub Rick Everitt that it is a difficult place to come:

I doubt whether many clubs will get three points at the Wham Stadium this season.

Garner thinks that Miles Leaburn scoring was a lovely story:


Charlton made a decent start at a wet Wham Stadium in front of 892 Addicks, but were unable to convert promising opportunities. Blackett-Taylor made a good move on 12 minutes, but DJ could not steer it goalwards.  Curbs had expressed some doubts about him before the game.

Accrington threatened on the half hour mark, but an important block was made after an initial header by Dobson.

A good move was started by Sessegnon, Albie Morgan made a surging run along two-thirds of the pitch, a ball back across from DJ on the overlap allowed Fraser to score the opening goal of the season and his first goal for Charlton on 35 minutes.

Morgan took a shot after a good move down the right by Clare but it went just over the bar.   Accrington manager Coleman remonstrated with the referee, about what was unclear.

Scott Minto thought we played really well, got the ball down.   Curbs said we never allowed them to get going in the opening phase of the game.   Steve Brown said that Woolacott had made a couple of good saves.  He was very comfortable passing along the ground.   Curbs warned that we needed to defend the set plays.

HT: 0-1

Accrington put a ball across the six yard box, but none of their players was close enough to take advantage.

O'Connell made a last ditch challenge to stop Hamilton equalising.  

Morgan delivered but a Stockley header was just wide of the post.  

A McConville strike was saved by Woolacott at the expense of a corner.   This corner and a second one were unproductive.

Woolacott had to make another save.  DJ was fouled and the Accrington No.3 was booked.   The home side had raised their tempo.

A clash of heads required a head bandage for Inniss.   Accrington advanced on the Charlton left, got over Inniss and Clare with a lofted shot and McConville on his own scored the equaliser into the roof of the net from the edge of the box.

Accrington made a substitution, while DJ went off.and Leaburn came on.  Morgan came off and was replaced by McGrandles.  

Blackett-Taylor came off and Payne came on for his Charlton debut.  Leaburn had to make two clearances from an Accrington corner.

Six minutes were added on.  There was great work on Segnesson on the left who combined with Kirk, Payne put in a cross and Leaburn scored from the far post with a header!   But then Accrington scored an equaliser when it looked like Charlton had all three points.

The pundits

Scott Minto said in the second half we were lucky to take a point.  Steve Brown said they had dominated the second half.  They were a completely different side.   We needed to be more compact. Curbs said he would have taken a point.   Steve Brown said he thought Wollacott was our man of the match.   We might not see the best Charlton side or performances for another six weeks.  Curbs said there were a lot of straight balls and more angled balls were needed.

Friday 29 July 2022

Will they let us down?

Steve Brown thinks Charlton are in a good place with their new squad.  Although they should finish in the top half of the table, a lot of factors would have to align to see them in the top six:

Thursday 28 July 2022

Charlton will play to strengths against Accrington

Ben Garner insists that Charlton will play to their strengths against Accrington tomorrow and not try to out run them:

Joe Wollacott is number one keeper and will start against Accrington tonorrow:

Richard Cawley reports, 'No Chuks Aneke for tomorrow but McGrandles and Payne will both be in squad despite lack of pre-season friendly minutes.'

Russo was Charlton mascot

Alessia Russo's stunning goal against Sweden in the Euro semi-finals has attracted widespread attention.  Casey Stoney writes: 'I remember Alessia Russo as my mascot as a young girl in 2006 when she was in the Centre of Excellence at Charlton Athletic and I was captain of the senior team.  It made me smile when someone on Twitter found the photo of us in the tunnel and posted it after the game on Tuesday night.'

'Having that opportunity as a mascot gave Russo a taste of women's football in this country, and now she is one of the leading stars.  I remembered she was my mascot back then when I signed her for Manchester United in September 2020, and we laughed about it.'

Wednesday 27 July 2022

Rak-Sakyi deal on brink

It has been confirmed that Charlton are in negotiations to sign Palace youngster Jesurun Rak-Sakyi on loan, but Richard Cawley says there is plenty of competition and it is by no means a done deal:

Charlton in 'fine fettle'

Ben Garner thinks Charlton are 'in a good place' ahead of their opening trip to Accrington:

At least we won't have to face former Leamington ace Colby Bishop who has gone to Portsmouth.  Accrington signed him for £32.5k, seen as too much by Charlton.

Tuesday 26 July 2022

9th place finish for Charlton forecast

All pre-season predictions, this one by 'EFL pundit' Gab Sutton, need to be taken with a pinch of salt, but a 9th place finish sounds realistic.

One fan commented on Twitter: 'Bang on with Charlton. I think we fall short of the playoffs unless a major investment on a striker happens. Think we'll need time to adapt to Garner's style and I hope TS doesn't panic if we're midtable in November but finish strong.'

So here it is: 'Cautious optimism engulfs The Valley. ‘Cautious’, because this is a club with a point to prove: Thomas Sandgaard has done a lot for the Addicks in terms of investment, welcomed after the previous decade, but has at times been found wanting in strategic leadership.

‘Optimism’, because the South Londoners are starting to at least get a few things right.

Summer appointment Ben Garner is an esteemed coach who proved his credentials as a number one at Swindon last season, while recruitment under director Steve Gallen looks aligned with the manager’s possession heavy style.

Goalkeeper Jojo Wollacott brings excellent distribution, defender Eoghan O’Connell is a fine ball-player and Conor McGrandles is a selfless, adaptable midfielder: he starred when Lincoln reached the Play-Off Final in 2020-21.

McGrandles should forge one of the better trios in the league with holder George Dobson, hoping to recapture his form for Walsall and Wimbledon, blended with the playmaking flair of Swindon recruit Jack Payne or Scott Fraser (unless incorporated simultaneously).

Fraser could have earnt Championship moves in the previous two summers and, having emphatically quashed doubts over his work ethic at MK Dons in 2020-21, is more than capable of being among League One’s creative kings once again.

It’s a similar story for Charlie Kirk, who thrived on the left of a front-three at Crewe but was unlucky that Charlton deployed a 3-5-2 for much of the campaign: Garner will play a 4-3-3 this season and the 24-year-old may see the benefits.

It’s a big rebuild, though and patience will be required.   [Some chance of patience with Charlton fans].

Sandgaard targets the top six, but the Dane must give the new management team the leeway to fall short of that objective, and still plan with assurance for better times.'


Ozoh rumours

The reports linking us with impressive young Crystal Palace midfielder David Ozoh are not coming from very reliable sources and there are certainly other clubs interested.

Some would question whether we need another midfielder, although the right midfielder can score goals.  Remember Conor Gallagher?   Good strikers are like gold dust.

Charlton have also been linked with another Palace starlet, midfielder Jesurun Rak-Sakyi.   Some sources say we have already signed him on loan.  Perhaps we will get one of them.

Richard Cawley has said there could be some activity before the weekend, but it might be another player altogether.

Monday 25 July 2022

Garner's financial constraints

Ben Garner recognises the need to further strengthen the squad, but is constrained by the budget he has been given and the EFL financial protocols:

Garner insists that Jayden Stockley fits within the system he is playing, a point raised by some fans.

Sean Clare will play where he is needed

Sean Clare looks set to play at right back but will fit in where he is required:

Saturday 23 July 2022

Garner insists Charlton will stick to their beliefs

Ben Garner has taken some positives from the pre-season game against Swansea, despite the Welsh side edging the game.   The Addicks played a possession based game leading some fans to shout 'Forward!  Forward!'  However, Garner insists that they will stick to their principles:

I'm a bit confused.  Is it a possession based high press?   I am told it is pressing high out of possession, but the system doesn't seem to suit Stockley.

Aneke fitness warning

Ben Garner has warned that Chuks Aneke will have to improve his fitness to cope with Charlton's new high pressing style of play.   Aneke hobbled off at Friday's training ground game with Welling and will have a scan on his calf on Monday.  He is still suffering some discomfort:

To successfully play a high pressing game, admittedly all the rage, we need another striker.

Thursday 21 July 2022

EFL will not disqualify Southall

According to a report from the usually reliable Athletic, Matt Southall will not be disqualified by the EFL from being involved at Birmingham City.

The Athletic understands Southall believes he has been unfairly blamed for disputes between investors at Charlton that were beyond his control. It is also understood that his relationship with Bassini was not close and they are not linked now.

In regards to Charlton, he believes the steps he took to exclude other directors from the south east London club and illegally change information at Companies House were motivated by a desire to find a better buyer to take over. A judge reprimanded him for those actions and awarded costs against him when the matter went to a business court in 2020. Southall admitted his wrongdoing and apologised.

After Charlton, little was heard from him for a year. He was loosely linked to Spanish businessman Erik Alonso’s amateurish attempt to buy Derby in the spring of 2021 but that probably boiled down to making a few introductions.

More significant, and potentially problematic for keeping the fans at Birmingham onside, is his involvement in the attempted hostile takeover of League Two club Rochdale last summer by a company called Morton House.

Like Wanda Nara and Charlton, that is another saga that warrants further reading. Long story short: Rochdale fans did not want their club to be taken over by Morton House, so got organised and fought back.

Southall, for reasons that remain unclear, ended up being Morton House’s front man in an attempt to sue Rochdale's board and supporters' trust. That attempt was ongoing until Monday of this week, when Southall resigned from Morton House. It remains to be seen where that goes next.

Again, it is understood that Southall has an explanation for what happened. Furthermore, The Athletic has seen a document that suggests, despite his admitted wrongdoing at Charlton, the EFL will not disqualify him as a “relevant person” at a club.

Shades of The Who

Large concerts could return to The Valley next year according to Thomas Sandgaard:

Tuesday 19 July 2022

Southall to be given role at Blues

Charlton fans have been disturbed by reports that Matt Southall is to be appointed chief executive officer and possibly chief financial officer by the prospective new owners of Birmingham City:

He is described in the article as 'controversial' which is a mild term as far as Charlton fans are concerned.

Monday 18 July 2022

Latest move down the M4

27-year old midfielder Jack Payne is the latest Charlton recruit from Swindon Town:

Swindon badly wanted to keep him:

Moaners have already started to complain about Payne, but Richard Cawley commented: 'Payne had some really strong interest from a lot of clubs. Can play as a number eight or 10. Swindon offered him a very good deal to stay but wants to be back at League One level.'

There is nothing wrong with recruiting players from a lower division if they are good enough.

Ben Garner has confirmed that Sessegnon playing just one half at Sutton was pre planned:

Meanwhile AFC Wimbledon are working on a deal for Josh Davision:

League Two does seem to be his level, but we need reinforcement up front given that Aneke is injury prone and Miles Leaburn is an emerging talent.  

Garner wants two to three more signings

Ben Garner wants two to three more signings before the season starts, but has declined to say in which positions:

Perhaps a forward?

Saturday 16 July 2022

Davison could go

Charlton have rejected offers for Josh Davison, but could let him go if the price is right:

I have doubts about whether he can flourish in League One.

Manager Ben Garner recognises the potential of the Valley crowd to bring success to Charlton:

Garner comments here on today's 0-0 draw at Sutton United played in very hot conditions:

Richard Cawley commented that the match was not a classic, but that is pretty standard for pre-season friendlies.   

Mid-table finish for Charlton

Four Four Two have predicted a 11th place finish for Charlton.  They state: 'Owner Thomas Sandgaard wants a promotion push, but a squad rebuild is required.  It may be hard for manager Garner to honour his chairman's ambition in his first season, even with the additions of goalkeeper Jogo Wollacott and centre back Eoghan O'Connell.'

Fan file writer Natasha Everitt goes for an optimistic 6th place finish.   She says that the key player will be Jayden Stockley and the player she'd most like to have back is Joe Aribo, noting that 'We miss midfield firepower.'  She selects Charlie Kirk as the most underrated player.  She draws attention to Deji Elerewe who 'reminds me of a young Joe Gomez who plays beyond his years.'

The magazine predicts a first place for the Massives and a second place for the Tractors.

Crunch time for Morgan

Albie Morgan is out of contract at the end of the season and he needs goals and assists to make his mark in a well stocked midfield:

For me Morgan has never been quite good enough, or at least consistent enough.   There are flashes of real talent, but they don't come often enough.

Tuesday 12 July 2022

New role for Aneke

Chuks Aneke was used in a deeper role in last night's 4-2 victory over Colchester United.   Ben Garner praised Josh Davison who is viewed with scepticism by some Charlton fans:

Moaners have said that victories over two poor teams count for nothing, but the squad is showing promise and knitting together well.   Goodness knows what the moaners would have said if we had lost those games.

Unfortunately Mandela Egbo picked up a 'significant' knee injury at Dartford and will miss the start of the season:

No need for a new striker

Many fans have been arguing that we need a new striker, but Thomas Sandgaard says this is not necessary with the emergence of Miles Leaburn:

It would be great if he could deliver in League One, but it's a big ask.

Monday 11 July 2022

Monday 4 July 2022

Segnesson in?

Richard Cawley reports: 'Charlton hopeful of concluding loan deal for Fulham full-back Steven Sessegnon. Attacked-minded and equally comfortable playing left or right side of defence.'

Career details: