Sunday 28 January 2024

Neil wants to stay 'oop North

Speculation that Alex Neil is a favourite for the vacant managerial post at Charlton seems ill founded to me.

Neil led Norwich to the Premier League in 2015 and then spent four years at Preston before becoming Sunderland manager in early 2022.   The 42-year old won promotion fron League One through the play offs in his first season, but controversially quit to join Stoke.

His 365 bet didn't work out and he won just a third of his 66 matches before being sacked last month.

The Scot has always said that he wants to have control over transfers and club strategy but at The Valley director of football Andy Scott (the Chicago Addick's hero) likes to call the shots.

On joining Stoke he said that one of his reasons was a desire to work closer to his family located in the north-west (presumably from his Preston days).

Former Luton boss Nathan Jones looks a better bet to me.   He was Charlton's under 21 development coach for one year.

Saturday 27 January 2024

Acceptable result or poor performance?

There have been two reactions from fans to yesterday's draw at Blackpool.   One is that it was a good result against a side with a decent home record.   The other was that the performance was poor and Charlton certainly rode their lick in the first half.

With Curtis Fleming in interim charge following Michael Appleton's sacking in midweek, the Addicks were seeking a first win since November and both sides traded early chances.

Hayden Coulson saw an effort blocked on the line before Dan Grimshaw saved brilliantly at the other end from Freddie Ladapo's header.

Ekpiteta headed inches wide and Jordan Rhodes could not quite squeeze the ball over the line after charging down Ashley Maynard-Brewer's clearance.

Kyle Joseph then saw an effort cleared superbly by visiting defender Lucas Ness, via his own post, and the woodwork came to Charlton's rescue again shortly after the restart when the Blackpool striker thumped a shot against the crossbar.

The Seasiders broke the deadlock when Karamoko Dembele met Albie Morgan's pass before drilling the ball low into the corner.

But Charlton levelled in the 69th minute when Alfie May's shot took a wicked deflection off Ekpiteta and beat the unlucky Grimshaw.

May came closest to a late winner, but both sides had to settle for a point.   May has said that Charlton's players must take ownership of their poor performances:

Nearly 800 Addicks were there.   Those travelling by train had an awful journey back as recalled by Louis Mendez on Twitter.  

Interim boss Curtis Fleming praised the endevbour of the players:

A twenty year decline

Twenty years ago this week Charlton were fourth in the Premier League.  What has gone wrong?  The Evening Standard is critical of the current anonymous owners:

Friday 26 January 2024

Morgan could play his part in tangerine nightmare

Curis Fleming has not ruled himself out of becoming permanent coach at Charlton, but is focusing on Saturday's match at Blaclpool:

Fleming does not feature in the betting odds with Nathan Jones at 1/2 followed by Nigel Pearson at 2/1 (no thanks).   Jurgen Klopp is, of course, now available.

It will be a tough test and could well turn out to be a tangerine nightmare with on form Albie Morgan scoring against the Addicks.

However, it is a low bar to do better than Appleton in terms of selection, tactics and substitutions - and even pitch side animation for those who think that make a positive difference.   Give your instructions during breaks in play is my view.

Our record in the last five games at Blackpool has actually been quite good:

CAS Trust point out that there are some hard games ahead and we could be playing league football against Bromley next season:

I still think there are four teams worse than us in the division.

Tuesday 23 January 2024

Appleton goes

After Charlton were defeated at home by Northampton tonight, Michael Appleton has been sacked.  Unlike Dean Holden, he never really connected with fans.

Fans often mention former managers such as Lee Bowyer and Chris Powell, but realistically an out of work manager is likely to be appointed.   One name already mentioned is Michael Duff who was at Swansea City.

Charlton's winless run in League One extended to 10 matches after a 3-2 defeat to Northampton that left home fans chanting for the dismissal of head coach Michael Appleton.

The visitors took the lead in the seventh minute when Kieron Bowie's through ball was controlled by Tyreece Simpson, who calmly cut past Rarmani Edmonds-Green before beating keeper Ashley Maynard-Brewer.

Charlton levelled after 20 minutes as Aaron McGowan put Alfie May's low cross from the right of the penalty area into his own net.

McGowan quickly redeemed himself as he teed up Sam Hoskins to sweep Northampton back into the lead.

Charlton equalised in first-half stoppage time, Tennai Watson drilling across Lee Burge after Freddie Ladapo's original shot was blocked.

McGowan produced a goal-line block to deny May in the second period before Addicks wing-back Tayo Edun was sent off for a second bookable offence - both fouls on McGowan.  Richard Cawley thought that this was a harsh decision.

Northampton grabbed a winner just moments from the end of seven additional minutes, substitute Louis Appere tapping home from Mitch Pinnock's pass.

Farewell, then, Corey Blackett-Taylor

Corey Blackett-Taylor has gone to Derby County on an initial loan deal with an up front payment of £300,000.

When he arrived at the club, one fan said we were 'scraping the barrel', but we have benefitted from his pace on the wings, his assists and his goals.

Peter Varney has appealed to fans to get behind the team tonight, regardless of their views of the team or Michael Appleton, a plea I endorse.

The Cobblers have some injury concerns ahead of the game:

Saturday 20 January 2024

Pressure on Appleton grows

Steve Brown said on Charlton TV yesterday that pressure on Michael Appleton would grow if we lost at Burton yesterday.  The 2-0 defeat saw the Addicks fall to 16th in the table.

I don't think the owners are minded to dismiss him.  Apart from anything else, there is no queue of well-qualified applicants keen to manage Charlton.

I am no fan of Appleton, but the criticism that he is not animated enough is misplaced.  A manager jumping up and down on the touchline is just a distraction.

Charlton dominated long spells of possession in the first half without putting the Burton goal under severe pressure.

Midfielder Tyreeq Bakinson twice went close for the Addicks as they looked for an equaliser, a low volley from a corner blocked well by Crocombe before a raking shot bounced just wide.

Albion got the perfect start to the second half as Brayford poached a second at the back post when Charlton failed to effectively clear a long throw just two minutes after the restart.

Charlton rarely threatened Crocombe's goal in the second half, with an angled shot from debutant Freddie Ladapo the best they could muster until substitute Daniel Kanu rattled the crossbar in added time as Albion moved above the Addicks in the League One table.

Friday 19 January 2024

Appleton's new formation plan

With Derby County yet to come up with an acceptable fee for Corey Blackett-Taylor, Michael Appleton is nevertheless pushing ahead with a new formation plan without wingers:

The Chicago Addick asked earlier this week what would happen if we lose at Burton tomorrow (I have it down as a score draw).  The answer is nothing because it is clear that the owners have had enough of the managerial merry go round.

Actually they might as well have left Dean Holden in place, he might have done better than the incumbent.

Freddie Ladapo is to be brought in as a loan signing from Ipswich reports Richard Cawley:

CAS Trust for Burton here:

Monday 15 January 2024

Dobson may have to learn one of Europe's most difficult languages

A Hungarian club is interested in George Dobson.  It is unclear whether the move would take place now or pre-contract for the summer:

Richard Cawley is also reporting that Charlton are hoping to conclude a permanent transfer deal for Swindon keeper Lewis Ward.  He has had a varied career:

Recent comment by many Charlton fans have suggested that if he wants to go, he should be allowed to do so.

Elsewhere, Albie Morgan scored two goals for Blackpool on Saturday, his third in two games.  I still think he was inconsistent for us and may yet be for the Tangerines.

Sunday 14 January 2024

Saturday 13 January 2024

Some signs of hope in defeat

Some Charlton fans saw some hope after yesterday's anticipated defeat by Peterborough with Coventry rated a good acquisition along with Bakinson.

The visitors dominated the first half and deserved to make the 29th-minute breakthrough when Mason-Clark curled a shot beyond Addicks keeper Ashley Maynard-Brewer.

Charlton, who have now lost four of their last five league games, were booed off at half-time and boss Michael Appleton made a double change in an attempt to spark life into his side.

The changes had an immediate effect as the hosts drew level just three minutes after the restart when May headed home from close range after Tyreeq Bakinson's shot was blocked.

However, they finished the game empty-handed when Mason-Clark drilled in a low drive 15 minutes from time.

Michael Appleton has said that Charlton will not stand in Scott Fraser's way if he wants to leave in the transfer window:

His performances have not been inspired this season, indeed he always had his critics - but then that is to be expected if you play for Charlton.

Friday 12 January 2024

May return bothers Posh

Peterborough United are concerned about the return of Alfie May for tomorrow's fixture at The Valley:

Even so, our leaky defence does not make me confident of a good outcome.

The signing of Conor Coventry from West Ham has been completed in the face of competition from the Massives:

In their preview of the game, CAS Trust think that a 0-0 is unlikely:

Wednesday 10 January 2024

Ramsgate fan breaks silence

There has been a long and surprising silence on the part of VOTV former editor Rick Everitt, but at last he has broken cover with an penetrating and in depth analysis of tonight's opportunity to ask questions of three Charlton directors:

Whilst I recognise that the Rickster is not everyone's cup of tea, few people have as much understanding of the history of Charlton.   He asks some important questions about the plight of the club and asks fans not to be distracted by second order questions such as the price of food and drink or even new signings.

You need to read the article for yourself but here are some key points:

'The lack of any clarity about who is steering the ship and how they intend to get it to its destination, whether that is the Championship or above. Nobody in their right mind could imagine that the club can ever be financially sustainable in League One.

Now we can probably agree that competence has been in very short supply at The Valley for many years, but the idea the club can limit its operating losses in this way short of a revolution in wider football funding is pure fantasy.

One of the key drivers in Charlton’s extraordinary rise in the 1990s and 2000s was the connection between the fans and the club, up to and including the board. This was possible because supporters knew the club was open, honest and engaged with them.  That has not been true for at least a decade.'

Monday 8 January 2024

Transfer turbulence

Sheffield Wednesday have expressed an interest in West Ham midfielder and Charlton target Conor Coventry:

Jonson Clarke-Harris is yet to agree personal terms with Charlton:

Charlton have a history of signing injured players and Lewis Fiorini will be heading straight for the treatment table at Sparrows Lane after 18 months of 'injury hell.'   However, he played for Michael Appleton at Lincoln City.  So that's all right then.

John Eustace, mistakenly replaced by Wayne Rooney at Birmingham City, is still without a job.  The Sunday Times warned yesterday that he should be careful or he would end up at Charlton.

Saturday 6 January 2024

A familiar story as Charlton fail to hold on to lead

Charlton failed to hold on to a lead three times at Port Vale yesterday and was once again conceded a late goal.

Port Vale and Charlton remain separated only by goal difference in the League One table after playing out a 3-3 draw at Vale Park.

Charlton led on three occasions, through Corey Blackett-Taylor, Daniel Kanu and Tyreece Campbell, but Ethan Chislett's successfully converted penalty and goals from Uche Ikpeazu and Gavin Massey earned Vale a point.

Chances were at a premium in the early stages and Charlton took the lead out of nowhere in the 27th minute when Blackett-Taylor slotted home after latching onto Louie Watson's header back into the box from a cleared corner.

Vale were level just before half-time, though, as Chislett sent Ashley Maynard-Brewer the wrong way from the penalty spot after Massey's attempted cross hit Karoy Anderson's arm in the area.  Some Addicks thought that the penalty award was harsh, but handballs are given these days when a player does nothing.

The visitors started the second half brightly and their pressure told shortly before the hour mark, with Kanu capitalising on some poor defending to poke the ball into the net after a one-two with Tayo Edun.  Four minutes later, the Valiants equalised for a second time thanks to Ikpeazu's header from captain Nathan Smith's cross.

The Addicks went ahead again in the 83rd minute courtesy of Campbell's first-time shot from substitute Terell Thomas' cross-cum-shot.

But they could not hold on for victory as Massey's fantastic curling effort from the edge of the area secured Vale a share of the spoils in the second minute of stoppage time.

VOTV website editor Rick Everitt comments: 'The 3-3 draw at Port Vale means Charlton have failed to win more than once in ten consecutive third tier matches for only the second time since WW2 (14 campaigns). The previous time was under Chris Powell in Feb/Mar 2011.'

Elsewhere 'Gobby' (Karl Robinson) has been appointed manager at Salford City in the hope that he can talk them out of relegation. However, he was too talkative as he was sent off in the 14th minute of his first home game. Also sent off was Ryan Inniss, now on a vegan diet with Forest Green Rovers.

Friday 5 January 2024

Club hierarchy backs Appleton

Charlton's hopes of a top six finish are effectively over for another disappointing season, but those in charge of the club continue to back Michael Appleton who has been the focus of fan fury:

I am no fan of Appleton, but I think that the problems are more fundamental and don't look like being solved in the January transfer window.  

CAF Trust try to predict the unpredictable in relation to tomorrow's trip to beautiful downtown Burslem.  If anyone is going to fail it's Charlton not Vale;

Tuesday 2 January 2024

Charlton swoop for Championship centre back

Richard Cawley reports that 'Plymouth's left-sided centre-back Macaulay Gillesphey has been spotted at The Valley. Charlton are close to deal for the 27-year old and it will be a six figure fee.'

Gillesphey has made a total of 78 starts and 13 substitute appearances for Argyle since signing from Australian A League club Brisbane Roar in the summer of 2021.  He played 35 times for the Pilgrims in their 2022/23 League One title-winning campaign but missed the start of this season due to injury and since returning to fitness has been limited to just three starts and one appearance off the bench.

Charlton have not kept a clean sheet for 12 games.

Charlton are also interested in 23-year old West Ham midfielder Conor Coventry.   His contract ends in June and he would be available for a small fee: