Wednesday 30 November 2022

Varney hints at takeover possibility

In a rather cryptic Twitter post former Charlton chief executive Peter Varney has said: 'If you care about Charlton even if you feel disillusioned at present please buy your ticket for the Brighton cup game and come with the mindset to create a passionate atmosphere as it is very important to showcase the club on that night.'

This has been interpreted as meaning that prospective purchasers of the club will be there that night. There have certainly been rumours about such investors, but it should be cautioned that Roland is unlikely to be willing to sell The Valley or the training ground - or certainly not at a reasonable price.

Congratulations to Olly Groome on his appointment as head of media and communications at Welling United. It has been suggested that he reached an out of court settlement with Thomas Sandgaard over his dismissal from Charlton.

Tuesday 29 November 2022

The rewards of victory

Over £200,000 in prize and television money for Charlton or Stockport if either side can beat Walsall in the 3rd Round of the FA Cup: £35,000 - Tv fee - 2nd Round Replay; £67,000 - 2nd Round Winners; £105,000 - 3rd Round Winners.

Unfortunately if we can't beat the Hatters at home, we are unlikely to do so away.

Brighton have sold out the Jimmy Seed stand for the League Cup fixture in a day.   It would be feasible to give them part of the East Stand (entry by the Bartram Gate) for the derby of two clubs who hate Palace.

Sunday 27 November 2022

Not much magic in the FA Cup

Louis Mendez discusses four takeaways from Saturday's FA Cup draw including (once again) poor defending:

He draws attention to the low attendance, but actually only three clubs had higher attendances in the FA Cup on Saturday, one being the Massives.  The media may like to talk about the magic of the FA Cup, but it has long since gone.

My fifth takeaway would be Charlton's inability to last the 100 minutes which is increasingly becoming the norm as we have seen in the World Cup.  Given the number of substitutes, there is an argument for cracking down on time wasting but it isn't doing us any favours with our thin squad.

BTW, I have been away to Edgeley Park with two teams - twice with Charlton, I particularly remember an Andy Hunt hat trick.  I also went with my non-league team Leamington which shows how Stockport's fortunes have waxed and waned.   Very convenient for the station - if there are any trains.

If any Charlton fans are excited by the presence of former Sunderland part owner Charlie Methven in the directors' box on Saturday, let me quote one Charlton fan who described him as a 'total bellend'.

Saturday 26 November 2022

Fears of Sessegnon hamstring injury

Shell shocked supremo Ben Garner is hoping that Steven Sessegnon was only suffering from cramp when he was withdrawn from yesterday's game, posing a potential threat to his already thin squad:

Garner thought there were a lot of positives to take from the game with Kirk doing well, although fans writing on social media had a different view.

We go again oop North

A 97th minute goal following a corner earned Stockport County a replay at The Valley in the FA Cup this afternoon.  With goals from Sessegnon (arguably an own goal by the keeper) and Morgan the Addicks were 2-1 ahead the break after an early opener from the visitors.

Morgan's goal came from a lovely ball over the top by captain Dobson and he had time to take it down. Keeper Hinchliffe got a touch but couldn't stop the ball going in.

The visitors pushed hard for a leveller in the second half and Ashley Maynard-Brewer saved excellently from Ollie Crankshaw and Hippolyte.

Chuks Aneke was replaced in the 67th minute by Blackett-Taylor.

Blackett-Taylor had a big chance to extend the Addicks' lead in the 77th minute but struck the outside of the right post.

Ben Garner was unhappy about the corner that led to the equaliser, saying the ball did not cross the line.  More here:

Attendance was 3,889 with 925 away fans.   Peter Varney commented: 'With the Upper North Stand closed there was not one song from home fans and all the atmosphere was generated by the away fans. I doubt any other club shuts out its most passionate fans.'

Young keeper's injury woes

Ashley Maynard-Brewer discusses the injury challenges he has faced - a broken nose and a dislocated shoulder:

Friday 25 November 2022

Charlton players on 'final warning'

Ben Garner says that some of his senior players are on a 'final warning' after he was impressed with the work ethic and attitude of his young squad at Plymouth:

Perhaps Kanu could get a chance against Stockport?

Thursday 24 November 2022

Up for the Cup

Both Charlton and Stockport County are six points off the play off places, although Stockport probably have the better chance of getting there unless Charlton bring in new players in January.  Here a Stockport fan talks to TalkSport and Charlton fan Natasha Everitt (she forecasts a 3-2 win tomorrow):

The CAS Trust preview on the 'Argentina of the North' is here:

Stockley suspension poses problems

Jayden Stockley has received a three game suspension for violent conduct caught on video at Port Vale:

Ben Garner has no complaints about the ban:

Stockley is not popular with many Charlton fans and has been having a poor season, although it can be debated how much of that is due to the system and poor service (not all of it).

Nevertheless, Miles Leaburn is still working his way back to fitness and Chuks Aneke can only play part of a game, leaving Ben Garner with a selection dilemma.  We need another striker.

Tuesday 22 November 2022

No more pizza

Charlton are out of the pizza trophy after suffering a 3-2 defeat at Plymouth.  Kanu scored the opening goal on eight minutes.  This was his first goal for the club at senior level.

Sam Cosgrove soon equalised for the Pilgrims and Niall Ennis then grabbed his eighth goal of the season in all competitions in the 15th minute.

Seventeen-year-old midfielder Caleb Roberts put the hosts 3-1 up at the start of the second period with his first senior goal.

Charlton substitute Karoy Anderson pulled a goal back in the second minute of added time 

Richard Cawley commented: 'Pushing at the end to try and take it to penalties. Paid the price for some sloppy defending. In saying that, who really cares about the competition? Good experience for the youngsters.'

There were 101 Charlton supporters there. It should be borne in mind that there are some supporters who live in the West Country.

Sunday 20 November 2022

As poor as it gets

The consensus among Charlton fans is that the performance at Port Vale was particularly dismal.  We were unable to defend our box for the Vale goal.  On the highlights you can see three defenders retreating in a line and unable to intervene.   We were also unable to penetrate a well-organised but hardly stellar defence.

Louis Mendez sums up all the problems well in his takeaways from the game:

Saturday 19 November 2022

Garner lays it on the line

Ben Garner has made it clear that he expected things to be different when he took over at The Valley and has not had available the budget he needs to bring success:

There are no indications that Thomas Sandgaard will make significant sums available in the January transfer window.

Addicks fail at Vale

On-loan Blackburn Rovers frontman Danny Butterworth got the only goal of the game in beautiful downtown  Burslem as Port Vale saw off Charlton Athletic.

Butterworth's superb 57th-minute solo effort was enough to lift Darrell Clarke's Vale into 10th in League One, above the Addicks.

Neither side managed a single shot on target in a nondescript first 45 minutes.

But Vale finally broke the deadlock 12 minutes into the second half with Butterworth's third goal since arriving in the August window - all of which have come in Vale's last three home games.

Collecting the ball from David Worrall down the inside-left channel, he arrowed his way on an angled run to the right side of the Addicks box penalty area, holding off two visiting defenders before carefully sliding a measured, low right-foot shot just inside debutant Australian keeper Ashley Maynard-Brewer's right post.

Butterworth was then close to a second when his raking left-foot drive from 20 yards just cleared the bar, with Maynard-Brewer beaten.

Late Addicks substitute Jack Payne almost rescued a point for Ben Garner's side with a fierce right-foot shot on the stroke of 90 minutes, only for recalled keeper Jack Stevens to brilliantly tip it over the bar.

But the hosts hung on to send the majority of the 7,604 Vale Park crowd happy with only their seventh win in 19 attempts since being promoted from League Two last summer - and Charlton tumbling three places to 14th in the table.

Ben Garner says that we need to be able to deal with teams which play 'anti-football' which is another way of saying we need to be able to break down teams with average defences which probably won't happen with Stockley wandering lonely as a cloud:

Friday 18 November 2022

Two match ban for Garner

Ben Garner has been given a two match touchline ban and fined £2,000 for his conduct at the match with Ipswich Town.  The ban will apply to tomorrow's match at Port Vale and next Tuesday's pizza trophy game at Plymouth.  Garner thinks that the judgment was harsh:

He is the first Charlton manager to get a fine and touchline ban since Lee Bowyer was banned for three games and fined £4,000 in 2019.

860 Charlton fans have so far bought tickets for the game in beautiful downtown Burslem tomorrow.  Port Vale are currently 15th in the table and have won three, drawn three and lost three at home.  Charlton have won just one away, but drawn five.   The Addicks are 5th in the form table and the Valiants are 12th.

Ben Garner becomes the first Charlton manager to get a touchline ban and fine since Lee Bowyer was banned for 3 games and fined £4,000 after comments he made to referee Peter Bankes during and in the tunnel after Charlton’s 2-1 defeat to Swanse


Bowyer did not want Gallagher

Lee Bowyer did not want to take World Cup bound Conor Gallagher on loan, but eventually gave way to pressure from Steve Gallen:

No senior keepers at Vale

Craig MacGillivray is an injury doubt for tomorrow's fixture at Port Vale and Ashley Maynard-Brewer is ready to take his place between the sticks:

MacGillivray suffered a bad concussion at Burton leading to memory loss:

Tuesday 15 November 2022

The future of football fanzines

I commissioned Charlton fan Paul Breen to write for Political Quarterly about football fanzines.  There is some Charlton content and the article is free to view for a fortnight:

Monday 14 November 2022

Keepers may be recalled

Charlton are thinking of recalling Ashley Maynard-Brewer and Nathan Harness from their loan spells.  Harness has had no minutes at Bromley:

Kirk loving life in London

Charlie Kirk has settled in well on his return to London:

However, he admits Ben Garner had to have stern words with him earlier in the campaign.

Louis Mendez says there is no excuse for what Charlton served up at the back at Burton.  He also discusses what will be a massive time for Craig MacGillivray:

Saturday 12 November 2022

Keeper's World Cup trip in doubt

Charlton's World Cup is in doubt after Joe Wollacott injured his finger in yesterday's warm up:

He has now had to withdraw.

High scoring draw specialists

After going 2-0 ahead, Charlton ended with a 3-3 draw at the Pirelli Stadium today.  Charlton have slipped back to 11th.

Joe Wollacott injured his finger in the warm up and Craig MacGillivray took his place at Burton Albion.

The start of the game was very scrappy, no real chances for either side.

MacGillivray had to make a good save, tipping the ball over the bar.

Inniss stepped inside his man, made a great run and fed Kirk in the penalty area who scored brilliantly with his left foot on 25 minutes.

MacGillivray dealt with a dangerous ball well, getting a whack on his hip.  He received some precautionary treatment.

Kirk got his second on 36 minutes with a wonderful finish, after a long ball forward reached Stockley, Kirk reacted long before any Burton players did.  

Burton got a free kick after the re-start and Oshilaja scored at the near post, getting ahead of Dobson.

Rak-Sakyi won Charlton a corner which led to a second, Campbell forcing Taylor backwards but it was unproductive.

Sessegnon defended an Oshilaja cross at the expense of a corner which was taken short.

Charlton struggled to clear their lines and Hamer equalised with a volley just before half time.  MacGillivray was blinded by Inniss.

A Dobson shot was deflected for a corner after much sharper and quicker passing. 

Campbell made a great run but lost his footing. 

Curbs said it was a difficult bobbly pitch, very dry.   Steve Brown said it was a laboured first half from us.

HT: Brewers 2, Addicks 2

A shot by Sessegnon went just over the bar after good build up play involving Campbell.

A Sessegnon cross hit the bar and went out of play.

Burton scored a third with MacGillivray having no chance.   It followed a Charlton goal kick.  

A scramble in front of goal followed a throw in, Inniss just managed to clear.

Aneke and Blackett-Taylor came on.   Campbell and Stockley came off.

MacGillivray had to tip a shot from Smith over the bar with Charlton under pressure.   From the corner Charlton were second to the ball again.

Burton won another corner.  Inniss headed away.   Taylor got a yellow card for fouling Rak-Sakyi.

Problems arose after a MacGillivray kick that was not long enough.

Dobson came off and Forster-Caskey came on for his first league appearance.  Kirk came off, he had not been involved much in the second half and was replaced by Payne.

Aneke fed Rak-Sakyi well and he put it over the top of the keeper to make it 3-3.

Rak-Sakyi was involved in a counter attack, but it was stopped by a block.

MacGillivray had to tip a header over.  He was able to gather the corner.

MacGillivray had to tip the ball over again.   The corner was cleared.

Blackett-Taylor threatened, but the ball skied off his boot.

It was end to end as MacGillivray had to make another save.   Fraser came off and was replaced by Morgan.

Rak-Sakyi was fed by Aneke but was not able to make use of it.

Burton won a late corner, but did not convert.

The pundits

Curbs said that on the balance of play we had to be happy with a point.   We did look shaky, especially on set plays.   We rode our luck, we had taken one point off two teams at the bottom of the league.

Steve Brown said they had so many chances second half.  We had to be productive with the possession. It was the poorest he had seen Dobson play.  Our two central midfield players were very deep.   Curbs said that for the opening Burton goal Dobson had time to swap with one of the big boys.

Steve Brown said that in the second half we were losing headers a lot from long throw ins.

For the third goal Steve Brown said that Fraser was nowhere near good enough.

Ben Garner says Charlton are 'running on fumes' at the moment with eight players out because of injuries and suspensions:

Friday 11 November 2022

Aneke can't do more minutes

Ben Garner says that opposition managers must dread Chuks Aneke coming on, but admits that he is not ready to do more minutes:

Richard Cawley comments that Aneke doesn't need many minutes to do some damage:

Miles Leaburn and DJ are set to be back before Christmas with DJ the nearest to returning:

Scott Fraser reckons Charlton have improved over the last two months:

Forster-Caskey is on appearances pay boost

Louis Mendez reports that Thomas Sandgaard said there is an increase in Jake Forster-Caskey’s contract if he plays but that winning games and getting points is the priority, so the potential increase does not impact selection.

He said Ben Garner has no instruction from him on whether or not to play Jake. He said the fact JFC hasn’t been playing has nothing to do with the clause in the contract but instead is based on the manager selecting a team that he feels is best for each specific game.

I don’t find this convincing and fans have suspected it to be the case for some time.   If one player costs more to play, this is bound to have an influence on the manager's decisions.

New insights on 7-6 win

Charlton's 7-6 victory over Huddersfield Town is well travelled ground, but an article on the game in the latest Four Four Two contains some new insights.

Such was the lack of interest in the tie that BBC Sports Special decided at the last minute to cancel their coverage.  It was a wet, freezing day and many fans were engaged in last minute Christmas shopping - as we were in Woolwich.

After Derek Ufton dislocated his shoulder in the 21st minute Terriers manager Bill Shankly told his players to go for the throat and they were 2-0 up by half time.

Addicks manager Jimmy Trotter told Johnny Summers to change his boots - they were on the verge of falling apart - and switched him to centre forward.   By the 62nd minute Charlton were 5-1 behind so Trotter switched Summers to outside left.   He then hit four goals in 17 minutes with strike partner Johnny Ryan adding a brace.

The BBC made amends by sending a car to take Summers to their London studio for the evening show.

Garner still waiting to talk to Sandgaard

Ben Garner wants to sign George Dobson on a long-term contract, stating that he agrees with the favourable judgment of fans on the player:

However, Garner is still waiting to talk to Thomas Sandgaard about the January transfer window which is now just six weeks away.

Thursday 10 November 2022

Charlton the only London club left in Carabao Cup

Charlton are the only London club left in the Football League Cup: 

Let's hope we don't get Gillingham.  Results mean that some of the most enticing ties are no longer available.

Wednesday 9 November 2022

Tuesday 8 November 2022

Through to the fourth round

Charlton have gone through to the fourth round of the league cup for the first time since 2006, making ir a treble in cups in the last week.  Goalkeeper Joe Wollacott was the hero as the visitors beat Stevenage 5-4 on penalties in the Carabao Cup after a 1-1 draw.

The Addicks advanced to the fourth round, with Scott Fraser converting the winning penalty after Jake Taylor saw his effort saved by the Ghanaian.

Boro's Luke Norris had scored from the spot in the first half and it looked to be decisive until super sub Chuks Aneke fired home in the 87th minute.

Stevenage were gifted the opener in the 22nd minute when Charlton defender Richard Chin inadvertently handled in the area and Norris coolly converted the resulting penalty.

Stevenage continued to press, with Taylor forcing Wollacott into a stop before clipping the bar minutes later.

Charlton were much improved after the interval and with three minutes to play, substitute Aneke clinically finished to send the game to a penalty shootout.   It was his 17th goal as a substitute, a club record,

After four flawless spot-kicks, Wollacott dived to his left to save Taylor's, before Fraser made no mistake to send the Addicks through.

Ben Garmer would like Crystal Palace in the next round:

Keeper dilemmas

Ashley Maynard-Brewer suffered an injury while he was on loan at Gillingham but is now fit again, but the Gills have a new loan keeper who is doing well:

Ben Garner is not happy with Bromley's failure to make use of Nathan Harness.

Thomas and McGrandles are not available for Stevenage:

Sunday 6 November 2022

Elerewe recalled

Deji Elerewe has been recalled from his loan at Wealdstone after Terrell Thomas was injured.   Charlton face the Stevenage team of charm merchant manager Steve Evens in the Carabo Cup on Tuesday.

Of the defenders out on loan, Elerewe was the best one to recall in my view.  

Jack Payne has warned against complacency ahead of the Stevenage tie:

Payne will keep working hard to get a starting place in the League One side:

Academy featured on EFL show

Charlton's Academy was featured at the end of ITV's EFL show this morning.  Apparently it is ranked 8th of all 92 academies, although I am not sure how this is calculated - didn't get us Category 1 status.

Ben Garner said that the first team would have struggled this season without Academy players.  Miles Leaburn said there was a family feeling all the way through the club.  Steve Avory and Deji Elerewe were also interviewed.  

Saturday 5 November 2022

Job done

Charlton will be in the draw for the second round of the FA Cup on Monday. 

Jack Payne struck twice as Charlton eased past Southern Central Premier League Coalville Town 4-1.

Payne and Jayden Stockley put Charlton in charge but part-timers Coalville, who are 91 places below the Addicks in the football pyramid, gave the home side a scare when Ashley Chambers pulled a goal back just after the break.

However, Payne ensured there was no late shock when he made it 3-1 with nine minutes to go and a rasping drive from substitute Chuks Aneke late on wrapped up the victory.

Coalville keeper Paul White had already brilliantly clawed away a Tyreece Campbell shot when he was beaten by a header from the unmarked Payne in the 24th minute.

More slack marking from the non-league side allowed Stockley to make it 2-0 in first-half injury time when he headed home from a Payne corner.

Attendance 4,707.

Friday 4 November 2022

Thomas wants to stay

Terrell Thomas is delighted to be able to fulfill his dream of playing at The Valley and is looking for a longer term contract:

When he was in the Academy it was a turbulent time at The Valley, culminating in the arrival of 'Gobby'.

Ravens looking for pickings

Coalville Town supremo Adam Stevens is looking forward to tomorrow's encounter against Charlton:

CAS Trust ironically refer to the pursuit of the quadruple in their preview:

Ben Garner's options are limited after bad injury news about Egbo, although somewhat better on O'Connell:

Garner hoping to be on the touchine

Ben Garner will not contest the FA charges against him.   He is not expecting a touchline ban:

Coalville player is Addicks fan

Coalville Town defender Jake Eggleton is a Charlton season ticket holder as are his family:

He hopes to swap shirts with George Dobson after the game.

Wednesday 2 November 2022

New Valley record

A new Valley record of the lowest ever attendance for a first team match - 662 (26 away) - was set at tonight's pizza trophy match against Brighton and Hove Albion under 21s.   It was a wet and windy evening.

Jack Payne earned extra toppings when he scored in the 92nd minute, the ball squirming through the keeper's hands, to make it 2-1 and take the Addicks through to the knockout stage. Lavelle scored the first goal.

Zach Michell and Henry Rylah made their first team debuts.

Fans who saw the game were puzzled why Forster-Caskey is seen as a second string player.   This mystery may never be resolved.   They also agreed that Kanu was not ready for League One.

Extensive photographs of the action here:

Two charges for Garner

Ben Garner is facing two charges from the FA in relation to last Saturday's game, one for his initial reaction and then for his subsequent conduct:

No charges have been brought against the referee for arrogance and incompetence.