Sunday 31 December 2023

Club at crossroads

 Happy New Year to all Addicks

Charlton's chances of making the play offs are fast disappearing over the horizon as another season of mid-table mediocrity looms.  Soon the 'we'll be playing in League Two next season' crowd will be out.  However, I think there is enough in the squad to avoid regulation, plus there are at least four teams that are actually worse.

The loyalty of fans is being strained, however, although as Peter Varney pointed out the other day, we still have an excellent away following.

The manager's tactics are open to question, as the Chicago Addick has argued, but the real problem is the lack of quality in depth in the squad.  Without resolving that, changing the manager will achieve nothing and no one of real calibre is likely to be attracted to a mid-table League One club.

It is difficult to work out what the strategy of the owners is.   The late lamented Dave from Drinking During the Game devoted analytical effort to trying to work it out but was unable to come up with an answer he found satisfactory.

The rational strategy would be to 'fatten the calf', get us into the Championship and hope that some wealthy individual saw it as an economical way to get into the Premier League.   However, it is a narrow path to success with steep drops on either side.   Moreover, little in football is rational.

We need decisive action in the January transfer window, albeit it is a difficult window in which to secure value.   Whether we will get it remains to be seen, but without it the outlook is bleak.

My health is stabilised, so I hope I will be able to make it to The Vallwy when the weather improves.

Friday 29 December 2023

Gasheads snuff out Charlton

Charlton are 12th in the table after once again conceding a late goal at Bristol Rovers to provide a dismal end to the calendar year.

Charlton began brightly and Alfie May almost opened the scoring after two minutes but his curling shot thudded against the crossbar with goalkeeper Matthew Cox well beaten.

But Rovers gradually gained the upper hand and served a warning of their growing threat when defender Tristan Crama's goal celebrations were cut short by an offside flag just before half-time.

Daniel Kanu wasted a glorious chance to hand the Addicks the lead before Martin showed him how to finish.

The 35-year-old former Scotland international put all his guile and experience to good use to break the deadlock after 68 minutes, volleying in following good work by Aaron Collins just 12 minutes after entering the fray.

Slobodan Tedic levelled for Charlton with a clever near-post finish following fellow substitute Tyreece Campbell's cross after 85 minutes.

But Martin had the final say four minutes into stoppage time when he was left unmarked by the Charlton defence to thump home Collins' cross from close range to take his tally for the season to six goals.

News from the treatment table - and striker bid

Terry Taylor and Conor McGrandles could be back from injury by the end of January, but there is no news of Chuks Aneke:

Charlton Athletic have enquired about Peterborough United striker Jonson Clarke-Harris ahead of the January transfer window. The Addicks were keen on a move for the 29-year-old in the summer and have reignited their interest.

Thursday 28 December 2023

The bleak truth

Louis Mendez notes: 'There's eight sides in League One who score on average less than a goal per game. Charlton have played all of them and seven have scored against us. Two of them scored twice. Only the league's worst attack, Shrewsbury, didn't out of those sides.'

Some of the manager's tactics are open to question, but the real problem remains insufficiently quality in the group. It won't be easy to rectify in the January transfer window.

Friday 22 December 2023

Owners ready to invest in January

Charlton's owners are willing to invest in the January transfer window to boost play off prospects:

Here's hoping!  Best wishes for Christmas and greater success in 2024!

Wednesday 20 December 2023

Fans calm after player departure

There have been no reports of fans handing back their season tickets or rending their shirts after the news that Charlie Kirk has left Charlton by mutual consent, i.e., he was paid off.

He must be one of the most disappointing signings in the past decade which is saying something.  He was offered plenty of opportunities to show what he could do.

Friday 15 December 2023

Tough test for whom?

Barnsley supremo Neil Collins says ahead of tomorrow's game at Oakwell: 'Really tough test. When you look through their squad, top attacking players. Slightly slow start to the season but I think the position in the league probably doesn't do them justice. We'll need to be really at it on Saturday so it should be a really good game.'

Of course, you might as well talk up the opposition as it then looks better if you beat them and you have an alibi if you don't.

I had this down as a 3-0 defeat in the prediction league.  A bit pessimistic perhaps, but I would be pleased with a point.

CAS Trust is unsurprisingly pessimistic about prospects for the season without a good result at Barnsley:

Tuesday 12 December 2023

Holden reflects on life at Charlton

Dean Holden reflects on his coaching experiences.   You have to scroll down for the main (and interesting) Charlton content.  He thinks that injuries made life difficult for him, but is grateful for the 'phenomenal' messages of support from Charlton fans:

Monday 11 December 2023

Appleton throws down gauntlet on transfer window

Charlton's January transfer window will have to be a million times better than the last two windows if Charlton are going to be promoted insists Michael Appleton, signing more than a handful of players:

We can but hope, although full of doubt - getting value out of the January window is not easy.

Meanwhile the fates of key players George Dobson and Corey Blackett-Taylor remain uncertain with six months left on their contracts,

Sunday 10 December 2023

Again a failure to hold on to a lead

Apparently Charlton were unable to compete physically with Cambridge United yesterday, in part because of injuries, although arguably that was not the only problem:

I was amused that the report states that neither side was able to start a 'major chant' in the first half, but no wonder supporters were fed up.

According to reports I have seen, the foul that led to the decisive penalty was outside the box, but it is no good expecting referees to get things right or consult their so-called assistants.

Thursday 7 December 2023

The blame game

Unfortunately continued ill health has meant that I have been following Charlton from afar and intermittently.   I see that after defeat in the second hand vehicles trophy, some fans are piling in on Appleton.

I was not a great enthusiast about his appointment, but for a long time the problem at Charlton has not been the managers but the players.  Taken as a whole, they are not good enough to achieve promotion.

Appleton needs a January transfer window to get rid of the dead wood and bring in some new players, particularly defenders.   Then he can be properly judged.