Monday, 20 November 2017

Happier Valley

The Daily Mail notes the absence of protests at The Valley, but points out this does not mean that fans are reconciled with Roland. They still want him to go and if a 'for sale' sign can be hung outside the ground at Blackpool, why not at Charlton: Happier Valley

Saturday's Voice of the Valley covered the completion of the due diligence process and the more than thirty issues it has thrown up, including complex technical ones such as sub-leases which will not be resolved quickly.

Rick Everitt has tweeted that it is time that the national media did some work on the real story and forced Charlton to make a statement.

Forster-Caskey sees the positives

Jake Forster-Caskey reckons that if Charlton continue to play the way they did against MK Dons on Saturday they will secure many more victories. He points out that the Addicks have now gone eight games unbeaten: Banking wins

He says that he was close to the penalty incident and no way was it a penalty.

Saturday, 18 November 2017

'We were robbed'

That was the conclusion of Steve from Petts Wood after today's 2-2 draw with MK Dons at The Valley today and his comment echoed the feelings of many Charlton fans. However, whom we were robbed by? An incompetent referee or our own failure to take our chances when we were ahead in the first half and we were dominating the game.

At that stage we were playing some very good football with precision passing and good insight into where space might open up. Six minutes in Josh Magnennis put us 1-0 ahead with a precision header from a Forster-Caskey corner. A deflected curling effort from Forster-Caskey came off the post. We could have put the game to bed because I think that MK Dons would have caved in if they had gone 2-0 behind.

As it was, they got back into the game(although they didn't have a real shot on goal until 36 minutes) helped by the fact that many of their very physical challenges were overlooked or dealt with very leniently by the folically challenged referee, not least when Ricky Holmes was wrestled to the ground by their charming No.7. In the second half he started to give out a blizzard of yellow cards to both sides indiscriminately, having lost control of the game.

We were still 1-0 ahead at the break, but the visitors equalised. After that we were less in control of the game. Ben Reeves going off after taking a knock didn't help. A great run by Kashi put us 2-1 ahead in the 87th minute by creating an own goal from a Fosu cross, but then the linesman flagged for a penalty after a dramatic drive by Peter Pawlett.

Early in the second half Mark Marshall should have doubled the lead but was stopped by Nicholls when through on goal. But after 63 minutes substitute Agard levelled, heading in at the far post from a Scott Golbourne cross. Moments later MK Dons striker Chuks Aneke went through on goal but fired wide.

An injury time opportunity was wasted after a poor ball in by Ahearne-Grant.

A lot of credit goes to Josh Magennis for his tireless efforts, always chasing down the ball. Naby Sarr had a good game at the back. Ricky Holmes should not try and do it all himself, but should pass the ball.

But at the end of the day Charlton have fallen back from 3rd to 5th. The Northamptonshire referee meanwhile got his lift back to Milton Keynes on the Dons team coach from where his wife could pick him up. (Given some misunderstandings, I need to clarify that this was a joke. But he might as well have done given his performance. I don't think referees should be chosen from locations near one of the teams playing).

Karl Robinson said after the game that he would be kicking his cat in frustration if he had one (as the Football League Paper put it this morning, 'The cat's not got Karl's tongue'): Frustration

Football League Paper rankings

Amos, 6; Solly, 6; Konsa, 6; Saar, 7; DaSilva, 7; Marshall, 7; Kashi, 5; Forster-Caskey, 8; Holmes, 9; Magennis, 8; Reeves, 6 (Fosu, 6).

Friday, 17 November 2017

The franchisees are in town

Charlton face MK Dons at The Valley today. I must make sure the train I get from Coventry does not stop at Milton Keynes.

The Franchisees are currently 14th in the table but fourth from bottom in the form table. They have actually won three of their eight games away, as many as they have won at home where they have been something of draw specialists.

Four Four Two forecast a 8th place finish at the beginning of the season while their fan commentator saw them in the play off places at 5th. Former Hearts boss Robbie Nelson is in charge.

24-year old 'swashbuckling' ex Arsenal youngster Chuks Aneke was highlighted as 'key player' at the start of the season. In last Saturday's 1-0 win over Fleetwood both managers admitted that he was the difference between the two sides as his goal gave MK Dons their first league win since the beginning of September. Robbie Nelson said, 'Chuks Aneke is a top player. He has been doing a lot of work in training and staying behind after'.

We have won three of our four league games against MK Dons at this level, one by 5-1 in 2009-10, but we lost last year's encounter 0-2. (Karl Robinson's first game at The Valley as manager was a 0-0 draw with them in the FA Cup). As the CAS Trust preview notes, 'On 4th April this year came one of the most depressing performances of the last few years when MK won 2-0 at The Valley. It seemed almost as if the emotion and pageantry of the PC Palmer memorial tributes had drained the life out of the Charlton players. Now we host them again at a time when optimism around the club is probably at its highest since the start of the Bob Peeters season.'

Richard Cawley interviews 'man of the moment' Tariqe Fosu: Point to prove

A new edition of the Voice of the Valley will be on sale around the ground before the game. If you want to enjoy the thoughts of the vinegar pissers in the comfort and privacy of your own home, you can order a copy online: Deathless prose

Charlton talking to Best

Charlton are talking to trialist Leon Best about his future. Although Karl Robinson has said that the content of the talks will be kept 'internal', he admits that 'we like what we see': Transfer talks

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Big price range at Charlton

The latest BBC Price of Football study shows that Charlton have both the second cheapest (Bradford City have the cheapest at £149) and the most expensive season ticket in League One at £175 and £500 respectively.

They also have the most expensive single ticket at £34. Full report here: Data for all leagues

Whether that represents a smart pricing strategy or incompetence is a matter of opinion.

The myth of Alan Curbishley and Charlton fans

There is a persistent myth that Charlton fans wanted to get rid of Alan Curbishley and replace him by someone who would take us 'to the next level', the implication being that we were a bunch of idiots with excessive expectations who didn't know when we were well off. Here is the latest airing of this myth: Ridiculous expectations

As Dave Lockwood has pointed out on Twitter, only a tiny minority of fans ever held this view. What most of us wanted was for him to be given the financial backing subsequently provided to Iain Dowie who promptly wasted it.

Sint Truiden CEO has a dig at Roland

Sint Truiden's CEO seems to have had a big of a dig at Roland as the sale of the Belgian club is completed, saying that you cannot run a football club like a company: Diminishing network

Roland no longer owns any clubs in Belgium. The future of Charlton remains uncertain, although it seems that due diligence by prospective purchasers has now been completed and has thrown up a number of issues.

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Konsa to go but £5m price tag

Karl Robinson believes that Arsenal and Everton target Ezri Konsa will go in the January transfer window, but wants a minimum of £5m for him. I would say he would be lucky: Konsa

However, it is evident that January signing plans will depend on the fee he attracts.

Will cup game be televised?

Unconfirmed rumours are suggesting that the FA Cup game against AFC Wimbledon may be televised on Monday evening. Latest reports suggest that it will be 2pm on Sunday.

Today is Roland Duchatelet's 71st birthday. Unfortunately, there will be no group of banner wielding protesters in Sint Truiden to greet you at your 'live feed'. Give yourself a treat: sell the club.

However, perhaps he is too busy at the moment selling his first club, STVV: Japanese buyers

Google Translate says: 'In June Roland Duch√Ętelet sold twenty percent of its shares in STVV to Digital Media Market. That DMM will be the main shareholder has been known for months. That deal would be officially announced during the winter break.'

'According to the latest news article, it is likely that the acquisition will be publicized on Tuesday, November 14th. Japan is playing that night at the Jan Breydel Stadium against the Red Devils. Dozens of Japanese media have been [sent] to Belgium. An excellent moment for DMM to attract extra attention in Belgium and Japan.'

Five players could go out on loan

Five players could go out on loan in the January transfer window, according to Karl Robinson. They are all fringe players and there are no great surprises in the names. Whether they have much of a long-term future with the club remains to be seen. What is a surprise is that the manager thinks that the midfield requires further strengthening when we have seen some stellar performances: January plans

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Charlton go 3rd

Charlton went third in League One yesterday courtesy of Plymouth Argyle. Their pilgrimage to Valley Parade saw them beat Bradford City 1-0, depriving them of their goal difference advantage over the Addicks. Charlton remain 2nd in the form table.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Response to Meire interview

An interview by Katrien Meire in the Belgian magazine 'Knack' gave the impression that the protests against her and Roland Duchatelet were motivated by misogyny and xenophobia. CAS Trust board member Heather McKinlay has written a reply: Response to Meire interview

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Joe Gomez praises Avory

As he waits for a possible England debut, Joe Gomez has praised the help given to him by Steve Avory at Charlton: He helped my career

We shall remember them

Jim Mackenzie was one of the founders of Charlton Athletic, serving as honorary secretary and he died one hundred years ago this year. An interesting and informative blog post about his life: Remembering a Charlton hero

Robinson discusses cup draw

Karl Robinson discusses Charlton's FA Cup draw against Wimbledon and the 'banter' that will inevitably accompany it: I'll say something stupid in the build up

Charlton lost their Checkatrade trophy match to Portsmouth at The Valley 0-1.

Congratulations to Alan Curbishley on his 60th birthday, alas no longer mentioned every time there is a managerial vacancy.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Lennon due for return

After being out almost a year injured with a groin problem, Harry Lennon should be available for selection soon. He has taken part in back-to-back training sessions. However, Charlton are not short of centre back options and some fans do not rate him that highly. Offers for him were nevertheless turned down during the summer: Closing in on return

Marshall fulfills his childhood dream

When Mark Marshall was growing up in Deptford it was his dream to play for Charlton and joining the club felt like coming back home. He had a few Championship offers in the summer, but wanted security. He says that team spirit is good and Charlton have a good manager: Marshall interview

Marshall has also talked about the frustrations he has faced since his move to Charlton: Frustrations

Pompey hungry for victory

Portsmouth are hungry for victory over a 'big club' when they play Charlton in the Checkatrade Trophy at The Valley tonight. Manager Kenny Jackett is hoping that the 'goals will flow': Jackett looking for goals

Odds for the match are: Charlton 6/5, Draw 12/5, Portsmouth 23/10. Charlton are at 16/1 to take the Checkatrade trophy.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Victory required effort

Charlton beat Truro City 3-1 at The Valley this afternoon to progress to the 2nd round of the FA Cup. The White Tigers gave a good account of themselves and Charlton had to both graft and display skill.

There was plenty of well-drilled precision passing by the Addicks, although I felt that sometimes we needed to show more urgency and press forward more. However, after the game, Karl Robinson said that he thought we opened up too much at the back as we went in pursuit of more goals.

A lot of our shots were straight at the keeper (others blazed over) but he showed that he could guard a net as well as make fishing nets. Amos had to make some good saves and Solly cleared off the line in the first half.

The Addicks hit the crossbar early on through Jake Forster-Caskey's header and Ben Reeves put the hosts ahead with a smart half-volley on 10 minutes. Mark Marshall's deflected shot (some might have counted it as an own goal) doubled Charlton's lead but Tyler Harvey headed in to pull one back in front of 996 travelling fans. At this point I started to think about the timing of the night sleeper from Truro and whether one could go to a replay, even if there was extra time, and get it back to London.

Reeves made it 3-1 with a drilled shot across goal 20 minutes from time. Truro had a shot deflected off the crossbar in time added on.

Charlton fans applauded the Truro players off the pitch at the end of the game.

Karl Robinson said that having Mark Marshall and Ben Reeves available was like having two new signings: Robinson upbeat

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Full page feature on the big match in The Times

The Times has no doubt about which is the big FA Cup match tomorrow: Charlton Athletic v. Truro City. They have devoted a full page feature to the game, although the focus is very much on the White Tigers. Manager Lee Hodges says that the match means 'absolutely everything.' 'There have been tears,' he said.

Chairman Peter Masters says that the club's business model does not stack up: 'We get gates of about 400-500 and 300 on Tuesday nights and we've got to put in £20,000-£25,000 a month just to keep going. If we put in £15,000 a month, you'll end up around the bottom of the league. If you stick in £25,000, you'll stay at the top.'

Under the ownership of property developer Keith Heaney Truro won the FA Vase, but the financial crisis pushed him into bankruptcy, and propelled the club towards winding up orders and a filing for administration.

Masters heard the club needed a £50,000 bond to stay in the National League and saw an opportunity. He brought in his friend local taxi magnate Philip Perryman. There was a £4.5m debt, but he was able to negotiate that down to £80,000.

The Stadium for Cornwall. which Truro would share with the Cornish Pirates rugby union team, is due to be ready by September 2019, but if it isn't the club will face big problems. As it is, with their Treyew Round ground due to be redeveloped, they have to find somewhere to play next season, possibly at Torquay.

Lee Hodges has said that he will not park the bus against Charlton, but has instructed his players to attack: Truro boss sends warning to Charlton

Odds: Charlton 2/9, Draw 19/4, Truro City 12/1.

Keeper is familiar with nets in more ways than one

A barber, a window fitter, a carpenter and a keeper who makes fishing nets three days a week are among the part-time players from Truro City who will take on Charlton in the FA Cup on Sunday: The opposition

Friday, 3 November 2017

Congratulations to Joe Gomez

Congratulations to former Addick Joe Gomez on his call up to the England squad to face Germany.

Gomez, the current England Under-21s captain, has forced his way into Jurgen Klopp’s first team squad at Liverpool. The 20-year-old joined from Charlton Athletic in 2015 and has recovered from a cruciate ligament injury shortly after coming to Anfield.

Gareth Southgate said, 'I think a back three is perfect for [Gomez]. He's quick, athletic, can use the ball, great personality.'

Strong side against White Tigers

Charlton Athletic will put out a strong side when National League South side Truro City visit The Valley in the first round of the FA Cup on Sunday: Strong side

However, Josh Magennis will not be available as he joins Northern Ireland for their World Cup decider against Switzerland so Joe Dodoo will lead the Charlton attack. Ahmed Kashi is suspended after receiving a fifth yellow card last Saturday.

The Cornish side are expected to bring a thousand supporters to South-East London.

It is the first time that the White Tigers have reached the first round of the competition and manager Lee Hodges says that it is fantastic to be drawn against 'one of the giants': Bursting with pride

Truro City's chairman says he would ask Torquay United if the clubs can share Plainmoor if the White Tigers are promoted from National League South. Truro will leave their Treyew Road ground at the end of the season in order for it to be redeveloped. The club hope to move to the planned Stadium for Cornwall, but work on the arena in Truro has yet to start.

The CAS Trust preview is here: Best team in Cornwall - ever. (As a former follower of Falmouth Town, I might dispute that).

I will be previewing the game on Radio Scilly around 9.40 am on Saturday.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Robinson fuming at performance

Despite Charlton's 3-2 win over Fulham Under 21s at The Valley last night, which saw them progress to the knockout stage of the coveted Checkatrade Trophy, Karl Robinson was left fuming at his young team's performance: Fuming supremo

Joe Aribo scored a late winner for the Addicks.

The attendance was the lowest ever (741) for a competitive fixture at The Valley.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Charlton needs strikers: Best is a striker

That is the conclusion reached from a review of the pros and cons of Charlton signing Leon Best on a short-term contract. He has now been training at Sparrows Lane for a month: Should Charlton sign Best?

He does have a rather poor goal scoring record and is injury prone. The argument that that doesn't matter as the midfielders are scoring goals strikes me as spurious. If that is the case, do we need an old warhorse lumbering around up front?

On the other hand, it would give us a bigger choice of formations and he might be better at holding the ball up than Magennis.

Two sides in form clash at The Valley

Two sides in form clash at The Valley tonight as Charlton face Fulham Under 21s in the Checkatrade Trophy. Depending on the result, either side could go top of the table: Excitement mounts

Bet 365 odds are: Charlton 8/11, Draw 13/5, Fulham U21 18/5.

Fulham celebrity supporter Richard Osman is thought to be unlikely to attend. In fact, he thinks it's pointless.