Friday 31 March 2023

Son of legends

Miles Leaburn has the second best goals to game ratio in League One, but this in depth interview shows how grounded he is and the invaluable support he has received from his parents, both Charlton legends in their own right:

As CAS Trust point out in their match preview, one reason for going to a relatively meaningless match tomorrow is that there may not be many more opportunities to see him in a Charlton shirt.

Visitors aim for top ten finish

Shrewsbury Town's play off hopes have faded, but they are still determined to achieve a top ten finish:

The Shrews have achieved double figures in home wins, but away from home have won six, drawn five and lost eight.

I had this down as 3-1, but I may be under rating Shropshire's top side.  Shrewsbury will be looking for their first win in six, so that does that mean an eighth home draw of the season for Charlton?

Nice feature here on the Charlton museum, the volunteers do a great job:

Set piece failures worry Holden

As he considers his recruitment plans for next season, Dean Holden is concerned about Charlton's negative record at set pieces, particularly defending them:

Thursday 30 March 2023

Pre-season sorted

De an Holden has sorted out his pre-season friendly programme and most of them will be away from home because of work on the pitch:

Let's hope we have some good new players to watch.

Wednesday 29 March 2023

Dale Stephens retires

Dale Stephens has retired from football at the age of 33:

He was a cultured midfielder for us and scored a few outstanding goals as here:   He made 84 appearance for us before joining Brighton.

Former Charlton chief executive Peter Varney comments: 'Will never forget the day he signed for Charlton for £400k after difficult negotiations with Oldham. It started at Sparrows Lane in the morning with a no and ended in the afternoon with a yes. The Coach House lunch sealed it!!'

Saturday 25 March 2023

Late equaliser for visitors

Chris Forino’s late header rescued a point as Wycombe Wanderers drew 1-1 away at The Valley this afternoon.   The Addicks have slipped back to 12th in the table.

In what was a fiery affair at the Valley which saw several skirmishes and eight yellow cards, both sides felt they could have won the match.

During the opening 45 minutes, Charlton controlled the game.  Albie Morgan saw his attempt from just inside the box bounce past Max Stryjek.

After a quarter of an hour, Morgan managed to evade two defenders and fired a shot across the six-yard box, with his attempt being tapped in by Miles Leaburn at the back post.  It was the striker’s 9th of the season and his third in his last three games.

The second 45 was end-to-end.  Stryjek thwarted attempts from Jes Rak-Sakyi, Tyreece Campbell and George Dobson, whilst Wheeler and Chem Campbell again went close for Wycombe.

The Chairboys continued to throw the kitchen sink in the final 10 minutes, and after Nick Freeman’s shot was tipped away by Maynard-Brewer, the unmarked Forino smashed in his fourth of the season with a powerful header from the resulting corner.

In the dying embers of the contest, Rak-Sakyi again went close but his shot went wide, whilst Dobson and Scott Fraser fired over.

Holden has described Miles Leaburn's goal return as "excellent". Felt his side merited the three points. Says the Wycombe goal "came out of nothing".  Dean Holden: "We've conceded too many goals from set-pieces this season."

Leaburn has scored more goals and has had more goal involvements than any other teenager in the EFL, so likely to be a target this summer:

In his four taekeaways, Louis Mendez reckons that Charlton should have killed the game off:

Friday 24 March 2023

Home form improvement needed

Dean Holden has said that Charlton need to improve their home form with just six wins, six draws and six defeats.  Tomorrow's visitors, Wycombe Wanderers, have won eight away, drawn two and lost eight.

The Chairboys lost 0-1 at home to Barnsley last Saturday and manager Matt Bloomfield singled out his side's defending around the goal-line as crucial to their narrow loss.

Wycombe are concerned that Charlton have found form for them at the wrong time as they seek to break into the top six.

Lucas Ness will be out all season, a real blow.

CAS Trust argue that it is important to maintain momentum in games between now and the end of the season:

Thursday 23 March 2023

Recycling supremo rubbishes takeover talk

Marc Spiegel has rubbished claims that he has lost any of the backing for his takeover of Charlton:

Chief executive Peter Storrie says he cannot provide a timeline on when the takeover will be completed, but it doesn't look imminent:

Thomas in favour, Clayden leaves

Terrell Thomas was set to leave Charlton on deadline day, but he stayed and has impressed Dean Holden since then and has been called up for St.Lucia:

Charles Clayden has left Charlton permanently for Wealdstone and Dean Holden appraises his strengths and weaknesses:

Holden wants a better pre-season

Miles Leaburn may be available to play against Wycombe on Saturday while Lucas Ness is awaiting advice from a specialist, but looks unlikely:

Dean Holden made some implicit criticism of pre-season preparations and squad recruitment saying that he wants a squad that is 'robust, resilient and well conditioned enough to go all season.'

Wednesday 22 March 2023

Defender's deal extended

Charlton have extended Richard Chin's contract for a year.  Dean Holden points out that he can play in a few positions:

Tuesday 21 March 2023

Spiegel keen to 'move things forward'

CAS Trust have reported on their online meeting with chief executive Peter Storrie:

He is in daily contact with Marc Spiegel, who is very enthusiastic and keen to move things forward. Peter admitted that the club was losing significant money and that this would likely continue next season. The squad needs further rebuilding over the summer. 

He stated that he was not aware of the detail regarding future source of funding, whether Spiegel was acting with other investors and whether or not Sandgaard will retain any form of stake. 

CAST welcomed the openness of the meeting with Peter Storrie in his role as acting CEO. We found him to be much more realistic about the challenges of running a League 1 football club than Thomas Sandgaard, who of course thinks it's easy. We hope that Peter's knowledge will bring a bit of calmness and stability to the day to day operations.

Monday 20 March 2023

Rak-Sakyi disappointed at Vieira sacking

Jesurun Rak-Sakyi is really grateful for the support he has received from teammates and staff at Charlton.  He is not happy about the dismissal of Patrick Vieira at Crystal Palace:

The Glaziers seem to be at sixes and sevens with the owners falling out with each other and Roy Hodgson to be recalled from retirement.

Rak-Sakyi is confident that Tyreece Campbell will step up to the plate during the enforced absence of Corey Blackett-Taylor:

Sunday 19 March 2023

Blackett-Taylor faces long absence

Dean Holden hopes that Corey Blackett-Taylor may be back before the end of the season, but it is far from certain:

Holden also discusses Matt Penney.   In another article, Louis Mendez is franker. describing him as a 'passenger' and another example of poor recruitment decisions.

Leaburn hamstring concern

With Rak-Sakyi in double figures, Dean Holden has set him a new goal target:

Miles Leaburn was withdrawn at half time against Cambridge because of a concern about his hamstring:

Saturday 18 March 2023

Back to back away wins

Charlton won 2-1 at Cambridge this afternoon after a game of two halves.   The Addicks have gone up to 11th.

Corey Blackett-Taylor was not available this afternoon and will be out for six to eight weeks with a hamstring problem.   Charlton played a 4-3-3.

Charlton won the first corner of the game after nine minutes, but it ended in a goal kick.  

Cambridge won a corner.   Morgan headed it away.  

Rak-Sakyi provided the perfect assist for Leaburn to score on 16 minutes after a good ball over the top from Sean Clare.  Cambridge had tried to claim for offside.

Charlton were being given space and also creating it for themselves.   The midfield were dynamic and the wide players were doing well.

Morgan's free kick was excellent with a delivery to the near post and Rak-Sakyi scored on 28 minutes to make it 0-2.  It was very well worked with Campbell distracting Cambridge.

Sean Clare had to receive treatment for a head injury.

Disgruntled Cambridge fans started to turn their disappointment on the officials.

Three minutes were added on.   Cambridge got a last minute corner but the delivery was over everyone.  Charlton had clearly dominated and created a lot of opportunities.

Steve Brown said we had played with an excellent tempo, we had come alive today.   The front two wide players looked really good.   We needed a killer instinct in the second half.   He would like to see Morgan and Fraser break into the box and get a shot away.

HT: 0-2

Kanu came on after the break for Leaburn.  He may have had a niggle.  Cambridge made three changes which made a difference.  They moved to four at the back.

Hector had to concede a corner.  Cambridge had a free header but Maynard-Brewer made a good save diving to his left.

The second half was not going the way of the first in terms of chances and possession.

Charlton had to concede a corner.   Cambridge got a goal back  on 71 minutes with the unmarked Jones stretching at the far post after an initial header from Brian Bennett.

Kilkenny came on for Morgan.  Sessegnon came on, replacing Thomas.

Cambridge were winning the 50-50s.  Kilkenny headed away a Cambridge corner.   It had been a difficult 10 minutes for Charlton.

A shot from Brophy was blocked.   Inniss cleared away an attempt from Tracey.

Charlton were still under pressure despite the changes with Payne coming on.   Kanu was brought down, but nothing was given.   There is general agreement that it was a penalty.  A Charlton corner ended in a free kick for Cambridge.

Seddon got a yellow card for a foul.  The free kick was unproductive.  Cambridge made another substitution.  

Four minutes were added on.  Rak-Sakyi came off.   Charlton won a late corner.  

The pundits

Kevin Lisbie said that we gave away the ball sloppily in the first five minutes of the second half encouraged Cambridge.    Steve Brown said that Sean Clare got caught in possession twice.  Scott Minto asked whether we had missed the physicality and mobility of Miles Leaburn in the second half. Kevin Lisbie said it was evident we had missed him in the second half.

Louis Mendez provides his four takeaways from the game, noting that Michael Hector is looking more the part:

Holden plans for a summer rebuild

Dean Holden is looking forward to a summer rebuilding job to make Charlton promotion contenders from League One:

Let's hope the money is available.

Friday 17 March 2023

New injury worries ahead of Cambridge game

Corey Blackett-Taylor is a new injury worry for Charlton and is being sent for a scan on a potential hamstring problem.   The knee injury to Lucas Ness is still being assessed:

Dean Holden was full of praise for Tyreece Campbell's performance at Morecamble.  Curbs always complained about players banging on his door, but Holden said Campbell should bang on his door more often.

Charlton hope to maintain momentum at tomorrow's game at relegation threatened Cambridge United.  I had this down as a 2-2 draw in the Badger League predictions.

At home Cambridge have won six, drawn four and lost eight.   Manager Mark Bonner has said his team 'are really devoid of confidence.'  Losing to MK Dons last week, they 'got worse as the game went on.'

CAS Trust have said that the best we can hope for is an 11th place finish and we could still have our worst finish since 1927:

Away tickets have sold out and 1,474 Addicks will be there.

Meanwhile over at Palace, with the Glaziers three points above the relegation zone, Patrick Viera has been sacked.

Thursday 16 March 2023

Tuesday 14 March 2023

Convincing win on the road

Charlton are 12th in League One after a convincing win at Morecambe.

Charlton produced an excellent performance to demolish struggling Morecambe 4-1 at the Mazuma Stadium.

A brace from Corey Blackett-Taylor and goals from Miles Leaburn and Scott Fraser gave Dean Holden's side a convincing win.

Leaburn gave the visitors the lead in the 17th minute when he volleyed neatly past Connor Ripley from eight yards out.

Four minutes later the visitors doubled their lead from another corner. The ball was floated to the far post for Ryan Inniss to head back across goal for Blackett-Taylor to volley home from close range.

Charlton made it 3-0 two minutes before the break when Tyreece Campbell's cross from the right found Blackett-Taylor, who got the wrong side of Dynel Simeu to score his second of the game.

Morecambe hit back just past the hour with a sweet strike from Donald Love but any hopes of a comeback were dashed when Scott Fraser played a neat one-two on the edge of the area and slotted coolly past Ripley eight minutes later to complete the scoring.

Dean Holden told BBC London: ''I was really pleased with the tempo we played at. We played with real personality. We'd had a good chat with the players after the weekend in terms of the way we want to play. Last few games, we'd gone away from what we're good at.'

He has challenged his squad to be more consistent:

Corey Blackett-Taylor came off as a precaution after his brace:

Monday 13 March 2023

Lucas sent for scan

Corey Blackett-Taylor, who attracted transfer interest from Wigan in the January window, has seen his contract extended by 12 months:

Lucas Ness is being sent for a scan to assess the extent of his knee injury:

Ryan Inniss has recovered from his dental problem and will travel to Morecambe tomorrow.

Dean Holden is reluctant to say anything about contract talks with young players, believed to be Lucas Ness and Aaron Henry:

Saturday 11 March 2023

Holden says ownership certainty needed

Dean Holden says that he was delighted to sign a new contract but admits there is still need for certainty about the club's ownership:

A meeting between CEO Peter Storrie and the fan advisers didn't yield much, although it is evident that the prospective owners are a consortium and they won't be buying the stadium and the training ground:

The official language is also now 'takeover' rather than 'seeking investment'.

Charlton limp to home draw

Charlton limped to a 1-1 home draw with Accrington Stanley this afternoon and remain 16th in the table.  Sessegnon scored the first Charlton goal in nearly eight hours.  It is now five games without a win.

Charlton had only three shots on target compared to eight for Accrington.

The returning Corey Blackett-Taylor put an effort wide after eight minutes following a powerful run for the hosts.    The midfielder almost forced Mo Sangare to turn into his own net five minutes later but the defender found his clearance hitting the post.

Accrington took the lead when Whalley was left unmarked in the area to head home just short of the half-hour mark but the Addicks equalised with a stunning 35-yard effort from Sessegnon eight minutes before half-time.

Accrington had the better of the play after the restart without creating a clear-cut chance until the 68th minute.

A solo run by Whalley finished with his shot palmed away by Ashley Maynard-Brewer, who then tipped an Aaron Pressley rebound over the bar.

Late on Accrington had to rely on keeper Toby Savin to block the onrushing Daniel Kanu and keep the score level.

Dean Holden says that the goal was a cheap one to give away.   The stop-start nature of the second half prevented the development of momentum:

Louis Mendez provides four takeaways from the 'snoozefest' at 'The Valley morgue':

Thursday 9 March 2023

Holden says challenges still ahead

Charlton still have work to do says Dean Holden even though three of their five upcoming matches are against clubs in relegation danger starting with Accrington Stanley on Saturday:

Scott Fraser is still an injury doubt for Saturday:

Monday 6 March 2023

Oxford target Holden

Oxford United want to talk to Dean Holden about their managerial vacancy following the dismissal of Karl Robinson according to TalkSport and other media sources

Charlton have not received an official approach.

Saturday 4 March 2023

We will see more of Kanu

Dean Holden says that Daniel Kanu will get more minutes but they will have to be managed:

Holden revealed that Lucas Ness apologised for his mistake that led to the first goal at Plymouth.  Holden admits it is not great being a Charlton fan at the moment, but we need to stick together:

Down the Football League we go

In line with my Badger League prediction, Charlton lost 2-0 at Plymouth Argyle this afternoon and fell to 16th in the table.

Charlton have now gone seven hours without scoring.

Second half goals from Ryan Hardie - just nine seconds after the restart - and substitute Niall Ennis saw the Pilgrims clinch their 15th home league win out of 17 games this season.

In his four takeaways from the game Louis Mendez notes that Macaulay Bonne has not scored in 420 days:

Charlton had an early opportunity to test Argyle when they were awarded a free-kick 25 yards out after a foul on Jack Payne by Galloway.

The ball was clipped into the box and headed clear out of the penalty area by Wilson as far as Kilkenny, whose strike from distance went harmlessly over the bar.

Jack Payne fired over for Charlton from 20 yards out after the ball was flicked across to him by Kilkenny as the visitors made a confident, purposeful start.

Payne was influential for Charlton, playing in a central position behind striker Macauley Bonne, and from one of his crosses Sean Clare put the ball over the bar.

There was controversy on the stroke of half-time when Argyle were adamant they should have been awarded a penalty for a handball by Hector.  Woolmer awarded a corner instead of a penalty and Argyle continued their protests at the end of the first half as Hardie, Edwards and assistant manager Mark Hughes all went over to the referee.

Charlton took the kick-off after the break and the ball was played back to defender Lucas Ness, who went to hit it forward but had it charged down by Hardie.    The striker then advanced into the penalty area and chipped the ball over the onrushing Maynard-Brewer and into the net for his 16th goal of the season in all competitions.

With the home side in the ascendancy Dean Holden made a triple substitution as Hector, Macauley Bonne and Payne were replaced by Corey Blackett-Taylor, Miles Leaburn and Daniel Kanu.

Charlton had more attacking energy about them after the triple substitution and Argyle had to repel some promising attacks from the Addicks.  Rak-Sakyi sent one header across the face of goal and wide of the far post as Charlton started to enjoy much more possession in the final third and caused some anxious moments for Argyle.

Kanu sent a low shot wide of the far post after a Charlton break before Schumacher made a triple substitution, with Galloway, Azaz and Hardie, replaced by Lonwijk, Niall Ennis and Cosgrove.

Charlton pushed on with increasing urgency as they chased an equaliser and Argyle had to stay strong and look to play on then break, which they did successfully in the 87th minute.  Edwards broke forward and played the ball outside to Wright, whose low ball inside found Ennis and he sent a shot past Maynard-Brewer into the bottom corner of the net.

Friday 3 March 2023

Sale of club unaffected by SE7 Partners dispute

Thomas Sandgaard and SE7 partners continue to make contradictory statements about what happened in the failed sale and it may need the courts to sort it out.  As far as fans are concerned, it is the search for another bidder that is now important, although I think that we had a lucky escape with Charlie Methven:

The Athletic has a long feature article on the dispute today which mainly looks at it from the SE7 Partners perspective and does make a few new points:

VOTV website editor Rick Everitt is understandably pessimistic about the state of the club in his latest analysis of the situation and has some critical things to say about Sandgaard.  He is doubtful about whether Marc Spiegel has the resources needed to turn the club around:

Thursday 2 March 2023

Argyle look for bounce back win

Promotion chasing Plymouth Argyle are looking to bounce back against Charlton tomorrow after their 5=2 defeat at Peterborough last Saturday:

Argyle have won 14 of their 16 home matches this season, losing just one.   However, they have slipped down the form table to a midway position.

My Badger League prediction was a 2-0 defeat and I don't see much hope of us getting anything from this game, but I would be happy to be proved wrong.

CAS Trust notes that it seems a long time since we beat Argyle 5-1 at the beginning of the season:

Louis Mendez says that Charlton have been a sleeping giant for too long:

Wednesday 1 March 2023

Aneke out for rest of season

Chuks Aneke is out for the rest of the season with a hamstring injury:

It is difficult to recall such an injury prone player.

Muted Posh

Peterborough had defender Josh Knight sent off in a second-half flare-up during a goalless draw with Charlton.

Knight was dismissed by referee Andrew Kitchen in the 54th minute after kicking out at Charlton forward Jesurun Rak-Sakyi as the pair clashed on the floor.

Rak-Sakyi was hugely fortunate not to follow Knight down the tunnel, escaping with a yellow card for lashing out at Knight in retaliation.

Another Peterborough player, Jack Taylor, was also booked for an initial foul on Rak-Sakyi which sparked the incident.

Charlton were unable to make their numerical advantage count, with captain George Dobson firing over and substitute Corey Blackett-Taylor being denied by Posh goalkeeper Will Norris.

Ryan Inniss had earlier squandered Charlton's best chance of a low-key first half when heading over from a Sean Clare corner.

Peterborough rarely threatened, with League One's leading scorer Jonson Clarke-Harris coming closest when his header midway through the first half was kept out by a smart Ashley Maynard-Brewer save.

Taylor tested Maynard-Brewer in stoppage-time after dribbling from box to box only to be denied.

Charlton went up one place to 13th.