Monday, 16 October 2017

The Graduate

" Are you trying to seduce me Mr Robinson ? "

The Addicks face two tough away tests starting with Oxford where they hope to pass the first test with first class honours.

Travelling fans will be hoping to see a performance a lot more inspiring than Saturday's against a poor Doncaster side. Whilst never in any real danger of losing our failure to add to the early goal nearly came back to bite us on the backside.

Having had two weeks break and with increased competition for places it's not unreasonable to have expected more. However, a win's a win and if it contributes to the ultimate prize of promotion then I guess it's a small price to pay.

One assumes that Robinson will make some changes with the upcoming schedule. However, he's not been one for change of late so who knows.

Oxford find themselves on a decent run following a couple of setbacks towards then end of September. It won't be easy to get anything from the game.

If we can garner 4 points from this game and Saturday's trip to Bradford then that will be a pretty good return ahead of  a faltering Wimbledon side at the end of October.

There is some respite from all the league action after all that when Truro City make their way up from the West Country for the first round of the FA Cup. A home tie is desirable and in opposition that we ought to beat will allow more fringe players to get a game.

Come On You Reds !

Friday, 13 October 2017

Donny Ahoy !

Oh look he's chartered a boat especially !

Charlton return to action on Saturday with the oppo at The Valley being Doncaster Rovers.

Donny have enjoyed mixed results to date this season. They finally recorded a home win last Saturday with a 4-1 win over Southend. On the road they have beaten Blackburn and Plymouth whilst drawing 3 games overall.

The main goal threat will come from former Millwall man John Marquis who netted 26 league goals last season and has scored 5 to date this season.

Rovers are managed by Darren Ferguson and whilst it's exactly a case of like father, like son in managerial terms Darren enjoyed a fair amount of success at Peterborough.

Last season he achieved promotion with Rovers and is a manager who knows the league well and is used to managing successfully on a small budget. He will know only too well what to expect from a side managed by Robinson.

Charlton will be keen not to have lost any impetus gained from the fine performance and result from the Fleetwood game.

Magennis could be excused for being totally knackered from his international exploits and given our totally reliance on him with seemingly no sign of a rest it's only a matter of time before he's injured or becomes pretty ineffective as he runs out of steam.

Robinson now faces a bit of a selection dilemma. As Solly didn't play last time out we had more height ( it's not hard ! ) with Konsa having a fine game. In addition, Sarr performed well too.

Normally you would expect your skipper to come straight back into the side but it's not that simple although I expect Robinson will bring him back in.

Midfield is where even greater selection issues occur. In that respect the manager can have few complaints with a number of options available. Given the trouble that the manager went to organise friendlies and internal practice games if Reeves and Marshall don't feature to some extent it'll look rather futile.

Whilst the rest of the squad will be well rested the 3 international players that we can't do without have returned. Quite how prepared they'll be for tomorrow's game is anyone's guess. Certainly Magennis ought to be physically and mentally tired after some tough games. To some extent the other two as well.

A real long slog of fixture looms large on the horizon and it's fair to say the squad will be used to its fullest extent as injuries and suspensions will no doubt play a part. Let's hope we can start off with a win tomorrow.

Come On You Reds !

Monday, 2 October 2017

A Win At Last !

Fleetwood looking a little shocked by the result !

A much welcome win then for The Addicks on Saturday following a pretty miserable winless run. Good performances from all concerned especially Konsa, Sarr and of course hat-trick hero Fosu.

Robinson ought to be wondering like the rest of us how we could play so well for nearly the entire duration of the game after such insipid and inconsistent performances in the previous four.

Missing Pearce and Solly and able to bring on Marshall and Reeves whilst Aribo is still in reserve many will wonder what as to the validity of Robinson's claim that he is overseeing a thin squad.

Agreed, he doesn't quite have the 2 players competing for each position that he stated he wanted but Robinson's cupboard isn't quite as bare as he would have us believe. In addition, it looks an awful lot more rosy than compared to many of the other squad in League One.

The absence of alternative strikers to Magennis is surely down to the manager himself unless his claims that he is in control of all the transfer dealing is pure fabrication. Selling or loaning out all those players before getting any suitable replacement in is naive for any manager but quite startling for one of Robinson's experience.

I understand the reasons for the Peterborough postponement of course. However, I felt it was a bit short sighted before Saturday's win. I think we can cope without the 3 called up and also the missing Pearce.

We have now added another midweek fixture that will surely test our resources even further especially given that it may well be preceded or followed by another midweek game either side of it.

It looks worse given Peterborough's last couple of results and given that they have an EFL fixture tomorrow against fairly local rivals Northampton. It seems that Saturday was an almost ideal time to play them.

Too late now of course and only time will tell if it was the right one. In the meantime we have a break until Saturday week before we face Doncaster Rovers. Let's hope we don't lose the momentum gained from the win at Fleetwood.

Come On You Reds !

Thursday, 28 September 2017

Copy & Paste

Saturday sees another difficult away game at ( insert club name here ). Following the latest disappointing result against ( enter name of League One side here ) the Addicks will be keen to return to winning ways.

On Tuesday / Saturday ( delete as appropriate ) we started brightly but squandered a number of good opportunities only to be undone by poor defending.

Robinson was rightly frustrated post match citing " poor refereeing decisions / bad luck / all officials having a bias against a big club like Charlton / hyper-inflated transfer fees / the ball was too round " barely raising his eyes from the semi biographical work " 1001 excuses for the one trick manager " subtitled " the big bad book of bo**ocks ".

The manager went onto say that he was disappointed that all hard work on the training pitch working on our new formation and pattern of play didn't pay off. " I'm not about to abandon it after one game and have no intention of returning to a 4-2-3-1 formation................ " who I am kidding of course he didn't!

Robinson believes that when Messi and Ronaldo aka Marshall and Reeves are fit and available then The Addicks will be rising to the top of the league as he stroked a barely recognisable rabbit's foot that was almost devoid of fur.

Perhaps the silver lining of the groundhog day manner of our ongoing failure to win games is that it makes writing any preview very easy and come to that post match review much the same.

Unless Robinson can turn things around then he may well be gone before he gets a chance to face his old club in November. That might be for the best as the comparisons between the fortunes of the two clubs since his departure might not reflect too kindly on him.

Robinson might be glad of a bit of respite given that the Peterborough game is now postponed. The cancellation of these games always seems a little shortsighted to me. There's every chance that we'll have more injuries and the game must be played as soon as possible and Pearce for one won't be back by then. In any case, we've added a midweek game possibly a week after the away game at Oxford.

In the meantime if Charlton are to have any chance of resurrecting their season then they need to get some kind of a result against Fleetwood. Given that we have managed to garner only 2 points from a possible 12 that seems highly unlikely. We can only hope.

Come On You Reds !

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Promising Start and Goodwill Evaporating

" and Smith must score... "

As poor as our start was yesterday ours was awful. For the first half hour you'd have been forgiven for thinking that we were the away side languishing at the foot of the table.

Even before Beckford scored his exquisite goal following a delicious pass from the excellent Josh Laurent former Addick Michael Smith should have put the Shakers ahead.

In a repeat of a rather famous " and Smith must score " moment Bury's version fluffed a fairly easy chance to give them the lead when faced with a virtually open goal.

It's true to say that Smith that doesn't possess too much finesse and grace but he worked bloody hard for his team yesterday and was a thorn in our side throughout. Later into the game and he sprinted way back to the half line to block one of our attacks. That sort of effort and desire was largely missing from our boys.

In the aforementioned Laurent, Bury have a very good player who broke up numerous attacks and played some really good passes. He was roundly booed by a number of our fans following several clear fouls. However, they were committed to break up our attacks and only up to the point that he got booked. It's not his fault the ref didn't book him earlier and we'd applaud any player doing that for us. 

Beckford was quality all afternoon making the most of little quality support from his team mates. As mentioned before his goal was superb. 

Despite having lost the previous two games Robinson decided that he would make only the one change to the starting eleven and that was of course forced on him with Holmes suspended.

Solly and Da Silva struggle with the height of most opposition players but the sight of Da Silva trying to mark Smith most notably from throw ins was laughable.

KAG came straight into the team although I fail to see what he has done over anyone to deserve that. given the need for more height in the back four and with Holmes missing it might have been better to play Da Silva out side and bring Konsa into the defence.

I'm sure Aribo must be wondering what he has to do or how poorly we have to play to get a chance. All Robinson's talk of rotating remains just that.

Robinson looked rather lost yesterday and he spent a fair amount of time sat down which is unusual for him. In the past he has had people like John Gorman to advise him. At present he has Skip and Bowyer. Added to which Solly really isn't ideal as a skipper no matter how good a player he is. I'm not sure it's enough.

Jackson's association and legendary status in the club make him well respected by both players and fans alike. I'm sure he's a wise head to have on the management team. Skip is taking his first steps in the management and one can't expect too much from him at this stage. He will probably make a good manager one day and hopefully with us if so.

Bowyer too has little coaching experience and has not been anywhere near the club ( nor any club as far as I can tell ) until Robinson brought him in. Bowyer had his attention on his fish farm in France.

Bowyer never played in the third tier of English football is hardly your archetypal role model. Quite what he is bringing to the party I don't know.

I've made no secret of the fact that I don't really take to Robinson. His endless interviews with much hyperbole do nothing for me. Neither does the manner in which he celebrates a victory as though we've just won the league. His one dimensional style of play allied to his apparent lack of tactical nous doesn't endear him to me either.

Roly has been blamed for not backing Robinson but whilst Robinson hasn't exactly been able to dip into a vast share of the Lookman money he has been able to recruit well. Most clubs would be more than happy to have a squad like ours.

The manager is putting a lot of faith in Marshall and Reeves turning things around to the extent that you'd be forgiven for thinking that Messi and Ronaldo were about to enter the team.  

Roland and Katrien seem to like him but since they know bugger all about football probably explains his relative longevity in the hot spot. Many more performances and results like those of the last three games and even Roly might feel the need to pull the trigger that he hasn't for a while now.

It may be that Robinson won't be situ to face his old club in November. However, that's still a  way off and in the meantime we've two away games in the space of 5 days that are taking on great significance.

Walsall secured an excellent win away to Oxford and whilst Fleetwood suffered a reverse yesterday at home it won't be easy up there.

Holmes will return on Tuesday but Pearce left on crutches yesterday and Clarke may have picked up a knock too. Perhaps one or two others will finally get a chance to impress. Let's hope it brings an upturn in fortunes.

Come On You Reds !


Thursday, 21 September 2017

No Ricky, No Nicky

Yes, missing both players and chances !

Bury currently sit in 22nd place in League One having made an inauspicious start to the season. Even without our help the started with a home win since when they've garnered only two more points courtesy of a couple of goalless draws.

One of those points came in an away game against Rochdale. Don't be fooled into thinking that the Shakers shut up shop on the road as their last two away league games have been 5 goal thrillers in which they lost by the odd goal.

Despite losing to Fleetwood they had more shots and more possession. Imagine having more shots and more possession and losing by one goal !

I'm sure that boss Lee Clark wants to put an end to the losses. In fact, he'd probably loved to go on a long unbeaten streak no doubt featuring numerous meaningless draws whilst finishing just outside the play-offs places. Should such a thing occur perhaps we could end the run at Gigg Lane later in the season.

Despite not getting the ideal results Bury have some good players in their ranks and won't be a pushover. Given our propensity to miss many gilt edged chances even if we're winning like most of the games this season Bury will be in with a chance making for a nervy game as we need to win to get back on track.

As it is we're going to be under pressure to get a result following two disappointing performances. The task is not made any easier without the hot-headed Ricky Holmes. The name Holmes is of course synonymous with a superior intellect but there's been little clever about the way Ricky has amassed 5 yellow cards already this season. In fact had he connected with a Wigan player in a rash sliding tackle he might have been missing more games.

There's not much competition to replace Holmes with both Marshall and Reeves missing. Robinson now admits it was a mistake to play the china doll that is Reeves so soon. With a nod to our missing sh*t Sherlock !

You'd not believe that Robinson was Ben's manager for so long previously. Indeed as I've said previously the manager took a gamble in signing him and his dodgy injury history is the reason he wasn't snapped up by a Championship side at least at there's little doubting his ability.

Robinson remains welded to his formation and apparently is unable or unwilling or both to change it come hell or high water. Even when things aren't working with his system ( I'm loathe to say Plan A as this is to suggest there's is an alternative and there really isn't ! ) he hasn't made the best use of his subs.

Dodoo unsurprisingly for a last signing really isn't pulling up any trees. We're told he's better on the wing and I wonder if he wouldn't prosper as an out and out striker. Sadly, I fear we may never find out or at least under Robinson we won't.

Effectively two of our own are missing Saturday's encounter as Nicky Ajose is ineligible for Bury and probably just as well.

Two away games follow the Bury encounter before we enter Round One of the cup. One used to fear a regular exit in Round 3 nowadays we need to achieve two cups wins just to get there.........God help us !

Let's hope that we can find some fluency and greater consistency that would see us play more than just one good half, More importantly we need to take more of those chances and greatly improve our defensive display.

Come On You Reds !

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

EPL at 25 was tough to pick an image that sums up 25 years of the EPL !

This year we actually have a connection with the Premier League, we’re both celebrating a 25th anniversary.

In my view not only as a Charlton fan but a total football one too I believe ours is the one more worth celebrating.

Our celebration is one that has the genuine football supporter at its heart. Sadly, the same cannot be said of the EPL’s. Some believe that the game and overall football experience has been improved by the inception of football’s elite league but I beg to differ.

Football in general is now a very different beast to that which existed 25 years and it’s not just the emergence of the EPL that has led to that. The world’s governing bodies FIFA and UEFA have made decisions which have greatly damaged the game.

Let’s examine various aspects of English football today compared to that of 1992 and see if it’s any better ( other than Charlton back in S.E.7 of course ! ).

EPL and The Football League

The EPL setting up itself as the governing body of top flight English football and eventually saw the number of teams reduce from 22 to 20 teams as we could hardly expect players to play so much football !

The aim, we’re led to believe was to improve the quality of the football. In reality many seasons down the line how many really good and memorable games are there ? Sunday saw Chelsea and Arsenal play out a pretty uninspiring goal-less draw despite the usual pre-match hype from Sky that frequently accompanies such fixtures.

In similar fashion to Charlton dropping down a division I’m not aware of a reduction in season ticket price to reflect the loss of the 2 home games ( lower quality football in our case of course ).

The Football League despite naturally having more members and “ customers “ than the EPL is very much the poor relation in every sense of the word.  

Competitiveness of the League

Given that success in the EPL is largely driven by the extent of the financial backing a club has it comes as little surprise that while 49 clubs have competed since the inception of the Premier League only six have won the title:-

Chelsea (5)
Arsenal (3)

We are highly unlikely to ever see a repeat of Nottingham Forest’s triumph in winning the top flight having just been promoted from the second tier.

Competitiveness in Europe and World Football

Since 1992 the European Cup / Champions League has been won by :-

European Cup – Man Utd 1999 & 2008, Liverpool 2005 and Chelsea 2012.

UEFA Cup - Europa League – Liverpool 2001, Chelsea 2013 and Man Utd 2017

Not exactly dominating the scene are we when shortly before the EPL English clubs won the European Cup ( then a knock out competition ) 7 times in 8 years.

I can’t be bothered to research in any detail England’s success on the world and European stage but unless my mind is playing tricks save for some relative success at Euro ’96 it’s been pretty dire.

My apathy towards the national team is matched by that of many players. They earn so much why should they be motivated to pull on an England shirt when the real money is in the top league and / or on the European stage.

Pride in playing for your country is something that is seemingly a disappearing trait.


There are increasingly few British managers in the EPL and the opportunities for them decrease every season with the trend towards foreign managers.


Following the move to all-seater stadia leading to a reduced capacity for most grounds has seen an increase in prices. Many clubs have left their old grounds behind and moved to newer arenas.

Some, like myself, would argue that this hasn’t necessarily improved the matchday experience. One could usually get a seat in a stand if you preferred to sit but most fans would want to stand as we mostly did when I were growing up.

Nice toilets ( to an extent ) and getting a beer, coffee or snack are all very well but the over-riding enjoyment comes from an atmosphere made on the terraces that is somewhat missing from sedentary support.

Older grounds have more character and are much more pleasurable to visit even if they aren’t easily accessible and are harder to find !


Those not of an armchair variety are the least important in the overall equation. As discussed elsewhere the price and timing and date of the game will not be in favour of the genuine supporter.

All of this very ironic given that without the live support there is no atmosphere no matter how much that has been diluted by various factors.


Not much to say other than clearly transfer fees prices have escalated beyond belief. The revamped European competitions have added to them too. Today even a bog standard Premier League player will set you back a few million.


There are now vast amounts of money washing around in some clubs as they have been acquired by extremely rich owners who can afford to spend millions on what are often average players.

Season ticket income sits well behind the TV and sponsors money. Despite that clubs like Arsenal charge ridiculously high prices for season tickets. Many require that if not a season ticket holder you pay to a member just to be in with a chance of getting a ticket for the less attractive games.

Some of this would be forgivable if a decent amount of money permeated its way down to league and non-league clubs but so little of it does, only relatively token amounts.

Many Prem teams ought to play in stripey shirts and wear masks as clubs like our frequently get robbed of promising young players for a relative pittance in return. As such there’s little incentive for the top teams to have academies.

Even if they do then like Chelsea they can loan them out to numerous clubs for them to progress before returning either as improved players to play for their club or to be sold on for a decent profit that they haven’t worked too hard on,

Matchday Experience

What can one say of matchday itself. Firstly, you’ll have already shelled out a decent wedge to get your ticket aside from travel costs.

If you’re lucky the game will kick off at 3pm on a Saturday although unlikely. If you’re even more lucky the game won’t have been re-arranged at the last minute after you made all manner of arrangements to ensure that you can be there.

The atmosphere is likely to be quite sterile even though you may have been handed a clapper to help generate a truly lively climate !

It’s possible that you won’t even have to go as the game will be aired somewhere and after all, one can’t overlook the armchair fan !

Are you likely to see a classic ? Maybe but I’d argue that many games don’t live up to the massive hype that Sky and others promote. Most games can be predicted to go one way due the gulf that exists between the top 6 or 7 clubs and the rest who’ll scrap for a draw or maybe an unlikely win.

In addition, law changes such as the back pass one and greater protection to keepers and other players make the game a less enjoyable spectacle to a degree.

The vast number of subs permissible is another fillip to the bigger clubs as if they needed any more help !

Cup Competitions

The domestic cup scene has taken a back seat to virtually all Prem clubs sadly this extends to those for whom survival in the league overrides the desire for a decent cup run or the need to be competitive in them.

Another kick in the teeth to the traditions of our domestic football. One used to await the cup final with baited breath, now it has become just another televised game that could take place at almost any date or time again with scant regard to true fans of the game.


In case you’re wondering………..I’m not a fan of the EPL. Whatever it’s aims only those to make the big clubs bigger and more wealthy have been achieved.

The ordinary fan of what was once the working men’s game has been priced out or totally inconvenienced for the benefit of the TV companies and their customers.

The English game isn’t improved by its existence by virtue of fewer opportunities for our own players and managers. It is a long way behind other nations and have at best been treading water whilst nations like Iceland with no real tradition or pedigree for the game or suitable facilities have overtaken us.

It’s a sad picture and unless the financial plug is pulled I don’t see things changing. That is highly unlikely of course.

I’m not sure that I’d want to see Charlton back there to be honest. The Championship would be an overall more enjoyable experience I feel.

The face of the game at the top level has greatly altered over the last 25 years. I hope I’m around in another 25 years to witness how it will have developed further. Sadly, I fear that like the last 25 years overall it won’t be for the better.  

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Trouble At Gill !

Ben Drew which is what The Addicks are still lacking.

Tuesday's defeat against a good Wigan side wasn't a cause for panic and alarm. To an extent neither is yesterday's loss to the Gills although that they've been poor to date this season this second successive defeat becomes a bit of a concern.

On Tuesday Wigan closed us down quickly as they pressed well. Like most sides in League One they were bigger and more physical than us and helped by a referee who let a lot of their gamesmanship go. Nevertheless they outplayed us and deserved their win.

Whereas we were mostly in contention in the first half of what was an enjoyable 45 minutes the second half was woeful. We looked lethargic and devoid of ideas. I felt Robinson substitutions weren't good and they they made no impact on matters and in my view made us worse.

There was an argument to keep faith yesterday with the players that have served us pretty well to date. However, it wouldn't have hurt to freshen things up although I accept there isn't much room for manoeuvre. 

We seem to have a good half in virtually all games this season but rarely if ever two good halves. Allied to this the opposition are always in the game as a result of failing to take our chances.

Defensively we lack height and that will always give other teams a chance especially from set pieces. In addition, to that we haven't defended too well at times and look a bit disorganised. Yesterday's goal was a case in point.

The match stats show how much we dominated the game yet as we know the only stat that matters is goals. 

We have a thin squad and injuries and suspensions were always going to impact us at some stage. Marshall and Reeves won't be back just yet. Marshall's injury is a bot of bad luck. However, no matter how good Reeves is Robinson knew he was taking a risk in signing a player with an injury history such as his.

Next week we will be without the influential Holmes as he picked up his fifth booking already this season so at least one change will be made.

That we are short on strikers is of course entirely our own fault and why we let so many go without having lined up any replacements or at least ensuring we'd get them is naive. Doodo clearly wasn't a first choice signing but despite his lack of games in recent seasons will be under pressure to deliver simply because there's no one else. 

It's not all gloom and doom as we sit in 6th place 2 points off second place which isn't totally unacceptable of course. However, if we don't reverse this early slide next week then it looks like another dire season awaits.

I know some will cite a certain lack of funding but Robinson has been backed pretty well in the summer. It's also worth considering that many other clubs would love a squad like ours. I'm pretty sure that ours on paper at least looks better than Shrewsbury's but it's them that sit atop the league having only dropped 2 points to date !

Robinson plays only one way and this was so noticable last season. His defence then was that he didn't have the players he wanted to successfully deploy his preferred system. No such excuse now though.

There's no doubt that the football has been more enjoyable this season and much easier on the eye than a Russell Slade team, that's for sure ! However, if things aren't working then the old Plan B is needed and Robinson still seems devoid of it. This was characteristic of his final days at MK and we don't want a repeat in S.E.7.

The manager has a full week to get the lads back on track for an important game that we really need to win against lowly Bury before difficult away trips to Walsall and Fleetwood.

Finally, I hope that the Legends game is well supported today and I'm sure will be great for anyone who goes. I had a minor op yesterday that prevents me from going and I'm following the best I can via social media etc.

Come On You Reds !

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Good Game ! Good Game !

Nice To Beat You ! To Beat You, Nice ! "

A reasonably comfortable win on Saturday against a poor Cobblers side who are struggling to get their season off the ground.

It’s fair to say that the eventual scoreline didn’t flatter The Addicks and was just reward for their overall performance.

Late on we ought to have had a penalty when Konsa was brought down by the keeper. I’m sure the ref would have given it greater consideration had the score been different.

I’ve not seen Amos play before but have noted many fans say that was his most assured display to date. Oh dear ! He was very hesitant in the first half with little communication with the defence.

In one instance in the first half he was called upon to make a good save that would not have been necessary had he come and claimed the ball in the first place. Hopefully he will improve but he didn’t fill me with confidence and I don’t recall Phillips being any worse at the very least.

That a below par Northampton side were still in the game with a few minutes to go is a worry. They should have been put to bed. A better side will punish our profligacy in front of goal. In addition, our last two goals arose as the Cobblers were chasing the game albeit that the fourth was a wonderful strike.

However, a win’s a win and the football was certainly easier on the eye than the fayre we saw from Mr Slade’s teams.

I am still tolerating Robinson and avoiding listening to his many interviews. I’ve decided that’s for the best ! However, I was unable to avoid his post-match celebrations which for me are over the top.

He can celebrate like that once we’ve achieved something so please save it for then.

Tonight we are away ( at least I think we are ) to Norwich in the League Cup travelling with a much changed team and I’m behind Robinson’s approach to this. It’s unlikely we’ll progress to the next round but if by some chance we should you won’t find me up at 4.30am or whatever trying to catch the draw.

A good performance and an honourable defeat would be acceptable. We have bigger fish to fry on Saturday for the second of our upcoming four consecutive away games.

Come On You Reds !

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Tony, Watt A Waste

Farewell Tony.

There you have it – the enigmatic Scot has finally left the building and this time he’s not coming back. A most frustrating player who clearly needs to sort his attitude and approach almost to the extent that he ought to be asking himself if he really wants to be a professional footballer.

Tony was lucky enough to find one more saloon of the last chance variety in which to imbibe. How long he has in there remains to be seen. For a man who has reportedly suffered a lot of homesickness a move to Belgium would seem far from ideal.

However, I guess he had little choice as football league clubs are seemingly not prepared to take a chance on him.

Clearly there’s a good player in there somewhere as he showed the Valley faithful on occasions. It’s a shame and I sincerely hope that he can sort himself out make a success of his latest move.

Like a lot of what he says Robinson’s insistence that the club were aware of his impending departure and that a replacement is already lined up sounds and looks rather hollow. A bit like how he was going to sort Tony Watt.

Regular readers will know that I’m not exactly chairman of the Karl Robinson fan club. He has continued to make the silly comments and rash statements that have typified his tenure to date.

He promised 5 new signings before he went on holiday and of course they never materialised. 2 players for each position hasn’t happened either and some cases one player for a position would be a blessing !

I’m trying to avoid listening to his numerous interviews and will try to tolerate him.

Despite my aversion towards him I hope he succeeds. As a fan of the club I want him to be a success I just doubt he’s the man to take us there.

Ben Reeves is a risky signing. There’s no doubting his quality and if he stays fit then he can provide the bullets. However, clearly no Championship side wanted to take a risk on him. Keep those fingers crossed folks.

The goalkeeping position is a strange one. I do wish he’d give Phillips a chance. He doesn’t need to go out on loan when there’s nothing better in S.E.7 and he’s a good prospect.

I’m wondering why it’s taking so long with Martin assuming both parties want him at Charlton. Amos looks very much a last moment signing and hasn’t filled the Valley faithful with confidence. He was very much at fault for Plymouth’s second at the weekend.

Elsewhere Robinson seems to have recruited quite well. Clearly he needs to add a striker and a goalkeeper assuming his desire not to play the aforementioned Phillips remains.

The team has had a good pre-season and played some good football. Sadly, it doesn’t count for much when the league kicks in as Ipswich will happily testify.

A battling win over Bristol Rovers and the cup win over Exeter were followed by the defeat at Plymouth. Unfortunately, we failed to take our chances in the first half and followed it up with a disappointing second half.

The Pilgrims knew how to play us and we offered little in return. We do need to have another way of playing if Robinson’s preferred system isn’t working. It was his inflexibility that marred most the games last season.

Passing the ball around with little end result was typical of the Dons under Robinson in his last two seasons. Let’s hope it doesn’t become the hallmark of this.

When he got them promoted he had Afobe, Grigg and Dele Alli who between them they scored 47 of their 101 goals. Clearly having those 3 in any team has to help and makes it easier to implement Robinson’s way of playing.

He hasn’t got that calibre of player available at present and will do well do anything near to emulating that success. If he is to do that then the oft mentioned 20 goal a season striker will be very much needed.

Obviously it’s too early to judge how this season will pan out and it will need at least 10 games before a more informed assessment can be made.

In the meantime on Saturday we face a Northampton side that has lost all three games this season 1-0. Strangely this is their third away league game as I assume some work is being done on Sixfields.

Let’s hope the team can return to winning ways.

Come On You Reds !

You're Welcome !

I missed the start of the season as I’ve been away on my hols. We were in Orlando for 2 weeks as at the ripe old age of 57 I finally made it across the pond ! Such is my limited experience of travelling abroad that this was in fact my first venture outside Europe.

I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed our “ vacation “ ! The service and general friendliness of people was great. It’s easy to dismiss the “ have a nice day “ culture as a bit cheesy but I found it all very refreshing. A stark contrast to a lot of surly attitudes that one encounters on occasion here in Blighty.

It may be the land of tipping but folk do earn those tips and you don’t mind when you receive good, friendly and efficient service. 

I had no trouble adjusting to that nor the larger portions that you get in the various restaurants and diners. Probably just as well for my waistline that I had to come home.

On our return we had an internal flight from Orlando to Philadelphia. Not a particularly notable flight save for an odorous ending !

Upon starting our descent it became clear that a rather unpleasant had appeared on board. My partner immediately made me prime suspect as the frequently asked “ who cut the cheese “ was on passengers minds.

However, I was not guilty m’lud not least because one doesn’t guff on planes, trains and automobiles – one has to have standards ! Upon leaving the aircraft it became evident that there was a cat amongst the passengers and it had pooped ! Lovely ! Thank God that didn’t happen a lot earlier.

I’ve no idea why the malodorous moggy was allowed on the flight but it’s not an experience I’d like to relive anytime soon.

We did Disney and Universal parks plus Seaworld and also some waterparks. All of it was very well done and there were some superb rides and attractions.

I enjoyed them all from the rollercoasters to small rides like “ It’s a small world “ although I didn’t meet anyone I knew on that so clearly they've got that wrong !

I had envisaged long queues for a number of rides but I’m pleased to report that this wasn’t the case. Disney allow you 3 Fastpasses each day included in the price of your ticket. In addition, for other rides you can get time stamped Fastpasses to save you the queuing time.

The more exciting rides are at Universal although they to me have a more of an approach to screw you for as much money as possible. I didn’t feel that so much with Disney.

If you could marry Universal’s rides with Disney’s guest experience then you almost have the perfect park.

Anyway that’s all done now and I am looking forward to a return to the Valley once more but will I be treated to as many thrills as I have experienced recently ?

Sunday, 9 April 2017

Katrien - Q & A

not many answers though

A much needed win for the Addicks yesterday. Just about deserved with the players clearly showing more urgency and determination than on Tuesday.

Having slunk off following recent defeats Robinson was keen to lap it up and to high-five anyone in the same postcode. Remember the manager tells us that he's the same win or lose!

After this game Robinson couldn't praise the players enough. No doubt there'll all be useless again should we lose to Coventry.

All that aside earlier in the day I was part of the audience for the Q&A with Katrien that the trust organised.

It was always going to be a pretty futile exercise as you knew she wouldn't put her hand up to most of the mistakes and her general incompetence. That she was quite so brazen and dismissive in her responses was a bit surprising.

Apologies for a long post but you ought to know this. Some you may have heard or read this elsewhere but some you may not.

Meire was flanked by Dave Joyes and Tom Rubashow - chief financial officer and head of comms or PR guru if you like.

There were about 25 people in attendance. Most details have been posted on Charlton Life and I'm sure that the Trust will post a summary.

One questioner John ( coyote John ) has posted his question and the subsequent response on Charlton Life. John's question was very well worded and thought out and he followed up with points as he obviously felt she wasn't going to give the desired answer. 

It was a question I guess we'd all ask and her refusal to acknowledge the extent of failure is staggering. Meire's response was to just say " that is your opinion ".

I have the accompanying video for a couple of questions which I'm unable to post sadly. I'd welcome suggestions as to how to do so as folk really ought to see it.

Here's the text for John's question :-

Preamble: CJ:



Question: CJ
Response: KM

Follow up: CJ




Response: KM


Incredible that she didn't bother to defend herself or her record. Simply that's your opinion. However, it's not though is it, it's fact !

I said when she finally rides off into the sunset she'd be remembered amongst other things :-

  • The sofa
  • Silly mascots
  • Falling attendances
  • Lowest league position in living memory
  • £1,000's wasted in transfers and manager payoffs
  • The Dublin Conference
  • Numerous managers
Generally abject failure.

How do you think you'll be remembered ?

KM then started waffling about the academy and telling me that it didn't matter as she doesn't have an ego! Really ?

I pointed out that the academy has been here for years but I never got anything else that she felt she'd be remembered for.

A further question was made about non-renewal of season tickets and people not coming to games. It was pointed out none were ex-staff or been involved in CARD activities. They are just discontented fans.

A point was made that on a similar Tuesday night to that just gone when we were in our second season in League One following a spell of 3 draws and 3 defeats the attendance was just over 17,000. So obviously something is going wrong it's not just the football.

This was summarised to :-

a. why have the attendances fallen so low in comparison to our last time in League One
b. If Roland Duchatelet is aware why does he continue to say that the discontent is really just the result of some unhappy previous employees.

KM : obviously we dropped some attendances because of the situation what happened last year it wasn't a pretty sight and the fans turned their back on the club.

Why was that ?

KM : because of us. I recognise that and we have a huge task ahead of us to bring them back in.

You're never going to do it.

KM : Well that's your opinion.

You'll never do it.

So you do accept responsibility, you said because of us.

KM : Yes, because of the ownership, I'm not a fool.

You do accept responsibility now ?

KM : Yes.

But you're still here ?

KM : Excuse me ?

Still here. Still don't feel any professional responsibility that you ought to resign or anything, no ?

You've sacked countless managers. Has Roland ever questioned your position as the person who's appointing those unsuccessful managers repeatedly?

KM : You obviously have to ask him that question.

General laughter in the audience to that response given that Roland is never around to ask anything !

Ask yourself, Katrien ask yourself that question. Three and a half years !

KM : I think I wouldn't be here if I didn't think I could handle the situation.

You know you're in a sinecure post. You know Duchatelet won't remove you. When you go home at night after three and a half years you don't recognise that anything's wrong ?

KM : Roland has businesses everywhere across the world and if he's not happy with a senior manager he will take action, believe me.

Well I'd like to know what you're objectives are, I think we'd all like to know what your objectives are. If you're objectives are to reduce the fan base, take us to the lowest position ever then you're achieving all that.

Would you publish your objectives so that we can all see them.

KM : Our objectives are...

Not our objectives, your objectives !

KM : My objectives are aligned with the club's objectives, what's best for the club and best for the club is to get back in to the Championship and try to and re-engage with the fans. The why I'm here  here sitting today. As long as Roland has the club this is the way forward.

Amongst other things it seems Robinson is here to stay and Katrien told us she has been reviewing players with Robinson. They are looking at 5 attributes like pride and wait for it.....playing for the shirt ! Yes, she really said that !

It may take longer to secure some players especially if they're involved in play-offs. Presumably from the conference......she didn't specify !

Much was made of the new website. This was talked about at length. Great ! We'll have the best website in League One or Two then.

Overall one left with the feeling that neither Meire or Robinson are going anywhere. In her case Meire will cling on as long as she can. She'll never admit her time as CEO has been a failure despite almost admitting it.

She again insisted that she and Roland are fans of the club and passionate about it. This akin of course to a parent saying they love their kids and getting Shannon Matthews to babysit !

Nothing will improve whilst Roland owns the club and Meire is our CEO. We've known that for some time of course. Let's hope they go soon before the damage they do is terminal. As it is it will take a long time to recover from the harm done to date.



Thursday, 6 April 2017

Desperate Times

Tuesday's tribute to Keith Palmer was everything that one hoped it would be and was impeccably observed by all those present.

Sadly the performance on the pitch was nowhere near that.

It seems that the players lacked not only organisation but also motivation on a night when the memory of Keith Palmer should have been the only motivation needed.

Having now lost both Saturday's and Tuesday's games the decision to postpone the original MK game  looks as ill-judged as I thought it might be. I understand the thinking behind it of course but feared the two week break would prove as pointless as those matches.

Robinson had a full two weeks to prepare the team and one wonders what he had them doing in that time. Again he made a number of changes on Tuesday and again to no avail.

Post match and the manage was back to publicly criticising the players again, a ploy that didn't work well last time.

Today Robinson was again spouting drivel, little of it making any sense. He keeps telling us of his honesty saying he is too honest sometimes. What ? If he wants some honesty then why not tell us what it is he keeps saying is wrong at the club.

Today he was saying that the slide has been going on for years. Maybe but it ought not to be beyond any half-decent manager to arrest that at this level with this squad.

He really does talk some garbage one of the best was attempting to take credit for MK's performance on Tuesday ! Only in the sense that you set up so badly Mr Robinson.

I see that Ritchie Barker is expected to leave to take up the Rotherham manager's job. I can't say he'll be missed. After his time as MK's interim manager following Robinson's departure I'm surprised he wants to dip his toes in that particular water again.

Aside from Barker one wonders what the rest of the coaching staff are doing. Bowyer doesn't seem to have made one iota of difference. Hardly surprising though given his lack of experience and I'm not sure given his fishing interests well away from SE7 just how committed he is. I could be wrong of course but I don't see much evidence to the contrary.

Robinson now has the worst managerial record in Charlton history and that's some going. No wonder he looked a forlorn and desperate figure today. He is now down to gimmicks such a training at The Valley.

No doubt he'll ring the changes again on Saturday. Unfortunately, it seems whatever he does makes little difference and I'm not sure even he believes the nonsense he's producing.

Sad and worrying times as League Two looks a greater reality by the day. Let's hope that the players can somehow get the points we need to survive.

Come On You Reds!

Sunday, 2 April 2017

The Fools !

Another quiet week in S.E.7 culminated in another poor defeat appropriately on April Fools Day. However, every day seems like a fools day at present with our club.

At the start of the week the club managed to doing something right with its plan to acknowledge the life of Keith Palmer and to honour his memory.

Come 6pm on Saturday night and we'd had the following :-

  • A dreadful set of financial results confirming just how bad the mismanagement of the club has been in a financial sense
  • Robinson assuring us of his planned summer targets and how if we started pre-season two earlier and in Ireland all would have been fine and dandy
  • Meire smirking at supporters again alongside Sue Parkes who not only stayed on after the final whistle to antagonise supporters but took to social media to make some ill-judged remarks towards them
  • The final part of Getting To Know The Network providing further evidence of the incompetence that has surrounded the club for the past 3 years.
  • A defeat to another average League One side following a full two week preparation for it.
What a mess !

Overlooking most of the above let's focus on the match alone. Robinson had a full two weeks to prepare for it and bizarrely opted not to start most of those players who forced the postponement of the MK game from the previous Saturday.

Admittedly Konsa was injured but probably would have been anyway. Of the other 3 Magennis came on after 66 mins and Botaka after 72 mins. Dasilva as ever stayed on the bench.

Neither Magennis nor Botaka appear to have made an real impact. Therefore, one has to ask ( as I did when we called it off what benefit we got from doing so ). It should be noted that MK were going to be without one of their players.

Now we face playing again on Tuesday. Robinson will probably talk it up as an early chance to put things right. Make no mistake though the remaining games are becoming increasingly must win ones. The players will be under enormous pressure on Tuesday now as we are almost effectively 2 points above relegation when one considers other teams games in hand and how things may look come 10pm on Tuesday night.

Pre-match and Robinson again spoke of the playing for the shirt intimating that he had a wealth of riches in terms of players available. Post-match and he criticised their mentality. I recall he tried this tack before and it didn't work then either.

The man is increasingly being described as a chancer and it's hard to disagree. He won't get a better club or job than this I'm sure. Let's hope he's not allowed to blow a whole heap of money in the summer where he may well be preparing for life in League Two.

It should be noted that one of his main targets, Chuks Aneke, has now committed to another year with MK so that's one deal that definitely ain't happening.

Some folk believe that Robinson should be allowed a transfer window asking who could do better. This is on a par with Sue Parkes warning that any new owner could be worse. Perhaps but they have to be going some to do any worse, This is very true of Robinson and Duchalelet - who could do worse ?

Let's hope we somehow manage to get the points we need to prevent our great club sinking any further.

I'll not be at The Valley on Tuesday as I am away having booked a break before the game had been re-arranged.

Perhaps more important than securing those points is that on Tuesday the life of Keith Palmer is suitably remembered and honoured in equal measure. I'm sure that everyone present will be doing their utmost to ensure this is the case.

He paid the ultimate sacrifice in doing what he probably considered to be just doing his duty. He is an absolute hero and someone we can be proud to call a fellow fan.

My thoughts at 7.45pm on Tuesday will be with everyone in S.E. 7.

RIP Keith.

Thursday, 30 March 2017


It's taken just over 3 years but the club under the present ownership has at last done something we can be proud of. It's not clear where the credit lies but this is not the time or occasion to dwell on that.

The main thing is that the right thing is being done by a number of people and that includes our players who led by Skip are donating their match fee to the fund.

A proper and fitting tribute to Keith Palmer is planned for Tuesday with donations to the fund and appropriate memorials now and something more permanent at a later date.

The word hero is used to frequently sometimes and on occasion inappropriately. However, there's little doubt that it is very relevant in Keith's case. He gave his life trying to protect and save others. People like him should be held in the highest esteem and it's only proper that he is remembered in this way. It's the least the rest of us can do.

I'm sure there'll be a splendid turn out at the game next Tuesday against MK. Sadly I'll not be there as I had already booked a holiday as there wasn't a game at the time.

I have just tried to make a donation to the fund but I note that it's now closed. This is something I would have done anyway as having a season ticket I presume means that none of that would be included in the gate receipts.

There is reference to an HSBC account that donations can be made. If anyone reading this knows how I can donate please let me know in the comments section. Thank you.

Come Tuesday evening at 7.45pm my thoughts will be with all those at The Valley.

RIP Keith.

Tuesday, 21 March 2017

Sale At Dale

All credit to Rochdale for a superb initiative with their season ticket promotion for next season. This is how it works :-

This year, Rochdale AFC will have been established for 110 years - formed on 15th May 1907 - and to celebrate, we are offering fans an unbelievable opportunity to purchase a 2017/18 season ticket for potentially only  £110 !

The £110 offer is based on achieving 4,000 season ticket sales and the final price will depend on the number of season ticket deposits sold:

Over 2,000 season ticket sales - £250
Over 2,500 season ticket sales - £200
Over 3,000 season ticket sales - £150
Over 4,000 season ticket sales - £110

A wonderful incentive for their fans. Any potential loss in season ticket revenue will no doubt be made up and perhaps exceeded by increased refreshment, programme and other sales.

How good is that ! If only we had far a far-sighted owner and CEO who could produce such an idea. Let’s hope that whoever takes over from Roland, whenever that may be, might be swayed towards this type of promotion.

It would certainly go a long way to getting a number of fans back to The Valley.

Sadly, with Roland in charge nothing short of giving the season tickets away for free is likely to have any effect. Even then I’m sure a number would still stay away in protest.

Sadly, with Queen Kat dahn our gaff there’s no sign of any improvement and the only way our tickets are coming down in price is when we drop another division. That is only a matter of time of course whilst our incompetent CEO continues to lead us on our downward spiral.

Sunday, 19 March 2017

Robinson Review

Blah ! Blah ! Blah ! Blah ! Blah !

Chris Wilder’s team put an end to the Addicks recent draws. In so doing they strengthened their promotion from League One whilst ensuring that our struggle to remain in it continues.

Obviously we look at Wilder and think of what might have been if our number one choice had taken the job back in the summer. I think it’s fair to say that he would have got us into a play-off place at least.

Following his success in getting the Cobblers promoted last season his CV is looking better with each passing season.

Comparisons with our present manager don’t make good reading. In fact comparing Robinson with most other League One managers isn’t good and conversely his CV is looking worse with each passing season.

Henry Irving summed it up accurately and succinctly with a post on Charlton Life earlier today.

We'll never know how Wilder would have done under this regime. We can all see how badly Tarbuck is doing.

Slade was sacked and Robinson appointed to give us " the best chance of promotion". Robinson was given a transfer window and he brought in five players.

None have made a huge impression or improvement due to injuries, suspensions or just not being picked by the manager who signed them.

We're now told that it is about next season. But that wasn't the line when Russell "right man for the job" was sacked.

In patches we play some good football under Robinson but that has been when we play 442 using Slade and previous managers players. And we played as well if not better under Nugent who didn't have Holmes or a transfer window.

Karl wasted months, and many points and a transfer window, trying to make 4231 work and has failed.

We are set for our worse league finish in 90 years.

Wilder can hardly have done worse if he tried but at Sheffield Utd he's been allowed to get on with the job. He's built a team spirit and has a consistent way of playing.

Large portions of his budget aren't being spent on players loaned out to other clubs or paying off previous mistakes. And Wilder isn't obliged to put young players in the shop window for a quick sale.

Wilder never got £8m for a young striker either. But then again neither did Robinson. £400k from £8m to spend but even that wasn't spent well. Injury prone players or inexperienced loaners rather than proven, battle hardened performers but remember Karl you're a farmer not a coach. You job is to babysit any talent we have until they are sold. “

That struck a chord with me as I found myself agreeing with every word.

Many will cite our owners and of course they are always a factor. However, Robinson has a good squad at his disposal and it must the envy of most in the league. Indeed at MK he had pretty much of what he had in the Championship last season.

Robinson’s league record for this season, 2016-17 for both us and MK doesn’t make good viewing.

P 30 W 9 D 14 L 17 Pts 41

What ought to be an accurate comparison to a degree is to look at how Robinson’s former team are doing under their new manager, Robbie Neilson.

Robbie Neilson’s league record  - P 18 W 7 D 5 L 6  Pts 26

MK sit one place below us with the same number of points on goal difference but have a game in hand.

In the transfer window MK lost one of their better players in Carruthers and certainly haven’t been able to recruit to the extent and supposed quality that Robinson has.

In his time with us Robinson has told us of how we have the most fantastic players in the league, the next Deli Alli and another who is a Premier league player in waiting.

Robinson’s league record for us :- P 20 W 4  D 8 L 8  Pts 20

The comparison with Neilson’s lesser talented squad show that he has garnered 6 points more from 2 fewer games.

The above doesn’t take into account injuries and suspensions of course but all teams get them.

Robinson doesn’t seem able to get a decent 90 minutes out of our boys. Some folk like the way we played in the 2nd half on Tuesday and for most of yesterday.

Definitely an improvement on recent performances but isn’t it a minimum of what we should expect to see from this squad ?

That the better performances have come from playing a 4-4-2 formation isn’t a surprise. It shouldn’t have taken so long for Robinson to ditch his wretched 4-2-3-1 that clearly wasn’t working.

I believe that most folk can see that Robinson isn’t all that good and of course there’s an awful lot of talk with him. I don't need to see him have a summer transfer window as I know it won't go well especially if we get more nonsense that some clubs won't sell to us or demand outrageous fees.

In addition, as Henry says his player recruitment isn’t that good. Da Silva is a case in point. Why did he get him ? He hardly plays and has only done so recently as there was no other option.

It seems that we’ve got Robinson to the end of the season. We have to hope that he can steer us to safety. I don’t think it’ll be that easy and in the meantime we have to do our best to avoid the numerous pre and post-match interviews. 

Thursday, 16 March 2017

Not Even In Our Wilder Dreams

If only..............

Following yet another draw the Addicks return to the road this weekend with a trip to Bramall Lane.

It is to be hoped that we could play two good halves of a match. Tuesday saw us continue our recent trend of a poor first half with improved effort and performance in the second.

I managed to catch a fair bit of the 2nd half against Bradford and we certainly put them under the cosh. Our poor finishing was again to let us down. We ought to take the rough with the smooth however, as The Bantams could have been out of sight by half time.

That was the case on Saturday too as Walsall’s strikers failed to hit the target.

Quite why Robinson can’t get the team motivated and organised is puzzling. I simply don’t think he’s all that good despite that he talks a good game with his grass and classroom sessions, passion, desire, playing for the shirt etc. etc.

The Blades unsurprisingly perhaps given their position have enjoyed a pretty successful February and March to date. They will no doubt be confident of a win on Saturday.

Chris Wilder will no doubt look at the state of our club and be reassured that he was right to turn us down in the summer. Whether he did use us as a bargaining chip I don’t know but it’s clear the loss is ours. Even under this ownership I think he’d have got us up in the position that reflects our budget.

For our part we can only watch his team march onto to the league title, promotion back to the Championship and think of what might have been.

It would seem that we need at least one more win as a minimum to ensure survival at this level. I really can’t see that coming this weekend. 

After that we'll now have a break as it seems clear the club have taken a short-sighted decision to postpone the MK Dons game. For me, whichever way you look at it it's a poor decision. The crowd would have been bigger on the Saturday for a start. 

In any case look at when we postponed against Millwall..........a lot of good that did us ! I don't think those players who would have been missing would be that big a loss. Da Silva has rarely played and Magennis hasn't been pulling up any trees of late. 

Robinson has been under pressure recently but I read with interest that some feel Robinson should be given more time. Their reasons for this hardly inspire confidence as it’s not because they genuinely believe he is any good or the right man for the job.

Generally it’s borne out of a desire not to sack another manager and to have some continuity. Many will cite the appalling injury list. That has a bearing of course but then again Robinson makes some bizarre decisions when he has players available.

For example clearly Chicksen is our best left back but he rarely plays there. I’ve never understood that. One can cite that only Mageniss can play as a lone striker yet Robinson has had a number of folk in that role. All totally unsuitable.

Today he's been talking of bringing in 10 or 11 players before the break for summer. This has to be more nonsense even only if time wouldn't realistically allow for that to happen. This is aside from the question of ownership. Even if it's still Roly in charge it's hard to see him sanctioning the type of spend needed.

I hope that come next summer we’ll see Roly gone and the new regime bring in a decent, proven manager and back him. I wouldn’t expect instant success that would equate to a play-off place. I just want to see us heading the right direction again.

Obviously a lot of hard work is required to rebuild our club. Getting folk back and fully behind the team and management won’t be easy. However, clear plans for the future and a proper connection with the fans would go a long way towards that.

Here’s hoping !

Come On You Reds !