Sunday, 20 August 2017

Big changes at Norwich

Karl Robinson is to make wholesale changes at Carrow Road on Tuesday for the League Cup tie, just as he did at Exeter: Back up squad

This is sensible given the relative importance of the League Cup. We probably wouldn't win with a full first team squad and could pick up injuries.

Saturday, 19 August 2017

The big wins always happen when I am not there

Charlton won a convincing 4-1 victory over Northampton Town yesterday: Victory

They did so without me being there. Perhaps I should stay away. I remember missing a 5-1 win over Preston North End when the electric wires came down on the line to Euston. Some Addicks were trapped on a train for hours.

This weekend is my last chance to spend some time with my granddaughters as a group before they take their divergent paths into adulthood: one starts work tomorrow; one is going to music college in Birmingham; one has to make her decisions about which universities to apply to this year. Southampton, where she was born and her father is a season ticket holder, looks like it may be first choice.

I have forecast all three results correctly so far this year on CAFC Picks. I haven't go the scores right on the West Sussex CASC 'Badger' League. We shouldn't be lulled into a sense of false security, as the Chicago Addick has pointed out. We still need another striker.

One Addick who was there commented that the Forster-Caskey goal alone was worth the admission price and that Amos was much better today.

Charlton are now 6th in the table.

Novak's future uncertain

It is being reported that Lee Novak is considering leaving The Valley. It is known that he has been unhappy here for some time and Karl Robinson has held talks with the player's agent. While it is unlikely that many fans will rend their shirts at the prospect of his departure, but it leaves us even more short of 'strikers'.

It can't be a question of wages as Chris Lines has told the Bristol Post that he is surprised how much Charlton players are paid.

Meanwhile, glamour club Barnsley are the latest to be targeted by Chinese investors: Barnsley takeover

Thursday, 17 August 2017

Supremo defends Amos

Karl Robinson has defended on loan keeper Ben Amos after suggestions that he was responsible for the second goal scored against Charlton by Plymouth on Saturday: Shaky start

Robinson says that the ball went through Chris Solly's legs, a claim that is being investigated in case it qualifies for an Alan Pardew Half Baked Excuses award. Robinson also claimed that Amos was not match fit yet as he had not played pre-season.

Charlton's defending at corners continues to be a concern, but Robinson said: 'Ben Amos came out to claim corners, something we maybe haven't had in the past. But then, the problem with that is he might drop one or two and people only focus on the one.'

Dillon Phillips remains reserve keeper for now and has yet to go out on loan. He is regarded as a work in progress and Charlton had hoped to sign an experienced back up keeper.

KR: I can't guarantee we will sign a striker

Karl Robinson has said that he cannot guarantee that Charlton will sign a much needed striker before the transfer window: Worrying update

Looks like will be playing 1-1-4-4, subject to fitness and suspensions.

The supremo had his alibi ready, 'It’s not my fault, it’s previous things that have been done and maybe people have been left to do what they need to do and put us in this position. We’ve not really spent money in the summer, we’ve done things right. I’m not one for wasting money, I like to do things in the correct way and give young players a chance.'

Robinson made an implicit response to criticisms that he failed to take Courtney Baker-Richardson for £20k:'You can bring a striker in for a minimal fee but does he really have an effect and drive the football club forward? I’m not sure. We have to have someone who is going to have an effect.' I can see the force of this argument, but sometimes it is worth taking a risk on a young player if he would not cost much in wages.

Charlton were interested in a loan deal for prolific Bristol City striker (and former Gashead) Matty Taylor, but it is no surprise that he is not available in this window: Staying in Bristol

I do not think that Robinson is at any risk. He has developed an effective working relationship with Katrien Meire and would seem to be on good terms with her.

Investors target Football League clubs

Tying the kangaroo down seems to be difficult

The annual BDO survey of football finance directors has a good reputation. The 2017 report finds that investors are increasingly targeting Football League Clubs with a 'staggering' level of approaches being reported: Takeover targets

I don't know whether Charlton's 'chief financial officer' was one of those who responded to the survey. So far we only know of interest in Charlton from the Australian consortium and judging from the report in the last VOTV Roland seems to blow hot and cold about this.

I suppose it's always possible that someone else might be interested, but this would depend on a realistic asking price, particularly in relation to the accumulated debt pile.

Wednesday, 16 August 2017

Those were the days

On Saturday my non-league team, Leamington, play Stockport County at home in the National League North. I won't be there or at The Valley as it is my last chance to spend some time with my granddaughters before they become, in effect, adults. One starts work on Monday; one is off to music college in Birmingham; and the third is deciding whether to enter the exacting selection process for Cambridge University.

In 2000 Charlton were away at Stockport. In those days I travelled away on the West Sussex mini bus. Usually, I met them in a quiet road just off the M40 junction. Once they took a wrong turn and I had to clamber down the embankment to be greeted by a number of them answering a call of nature.

On this occasion my car had broken down so the minibus came into the Royal Spa where bemused residents saw Charlton supporters clambering out for a toilet break. Not surprisingly, they managed to meet a Coventry City supporter, but, more surprisingly, a Watford fan.

Fortunately the guy who drove a hearse was not at the wheel that day and we made good time to the Railway End at Stockport. Pitch announcer Brian Cole managed the challenge of squeezing through the narrow turnstiles.

I found the programme which contains an extraordinary discussion of the toilet on the Charlton team coach. Read more here: Where you when you were good?