Wednesday, 13 December 2017

Defending Josh Magennis

Josh Magennis has had a poor run of form recently, but the defence mounted of him here argues that he hasn't had good service: He'll score the goals for promotion

I have noticed a few misses when good chances presented themselves, but no striker is perfect, particularly at this level. The real problem has been the absence of a quality strike partner.

Monday, 11 December 2017

Robinson fines players for social media posts

Karl Robinson is to fine some players for their social media posts after Saturday's defeat to Newcastle. A number of player got on to a train for Newcastle (what's wrong with London?) for their Christmas party after the game and some fans were upset by posts of them laughing and joking after defeat in the commemorative match: Facing fines

Saturday, 9 December 2017

Historic result reversed

Charlton's 1-0 victory over Portsmouth on the return to The Valley 25 years ago was reversed with a 1-0 defeat this afternoon. Charlton remain 6th in the table.

There was a good atmosphere before the game with the opera singer and a larger than usual crowd. However, there was a game of football to be played.

The first half was more or less even with some end-to-end football but few real chances. DaSilva was weaving some occasional magic. It was Portsmouth who had the opening effort of the game with Gareth Evans seeing his shot tipped over by Ben Amos after 26 minutes. Pompey then had Conor Chaplin's goalbound effort superbly blocked by Chris Solly before Joe Aribo's header glanced off the post for the hosts just prior to half-time.

A dubious free kick was awarded against Charlton after the break and Magennis put the ball in his own net to make it 0-1. After that, Charlton were under a lot of pressure with the midfield losing control and a rather harsh penalty was awarded against Solly. It looked if it was going to be 0-2, but Amos managed to make the save.

Charlton then got back into the game more, and there was hope of at least a draw. However, they lacked the cutting edge that would give them a goal. The Addicks came nearest to an equaliser when substitute Leon Best's header was tipped wide by the keeper.

I'm not sure I would have taken Marshall off as I thought he had quite a good game and was able to penetrate down the wing.

There was some criticism of Holmes where I sit with the suggestion that he should be sold in the January transfer window so we could buy a more consistent player. He had one poor shot on goal and once again did not always pass when he should have done, but I am not sure I would get rid.

Friday, 8 December 2017

Robinson reckons takeover would end his career

Karl Robinson thinks that a takeover at Charlton would end his career at The Valley: Career ending

I find this a bit surprising. Robinson has done reasonably well and might be able to achieve more with a less constrained budget. So new owners might be prepared to give him a chance.

Lookman scores twice

Ademola Lookman showed that he had not lost his eye for goal when he scored twice in Everton's Europa League win in Nicosia last night. The Toffees were full of praise for the youngster: Blistering strike

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Bauer and Kashi out for a month

Patrick Bauer and Ahmed Kashi have been ruled out for a month with foot injuries. Fosu remains unavailable: Foot injuries

There are always going to be injuries, but this reminds us that the biggest challenge to our promotion ambitions is the thinness of the squad.

Colin Walsh recalls that day

Charlton legend Colin Walsh recalls the day the Addicks returned to The Valley and he scored the winning goal against Portsmouth. He was fined for turning up late as he was held up by fans.

He was always confident that Charlton would return to The Valley and bought a house in Bexleyheath where he still lives, although it was a nightmare getting to games at Selhurst: Colin Walsh interview

'Sweaty' Balmer will be driving down from Scotland to stay with him so that he can attend Saturday's game against Portsmouth.

Rick Everitt tells the story of the return to The Valley from his perspective as Mercury sports editor at the time: How the Battle Was Won

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Still in the Cup

Charlton beat the Swansea City development squad 3-2 last night to proceed to the last 16 of the Checkatrade Trophy. A brace from Reeco Hackett-Fairchild and another goal from on form Karlan Ahearne-Grant gave the Addicks victory in an entertaining game: Cup progress

The Swansea view is that Charlton's experience showed and the Addicks took their chances: Swans

Who is Andrew Muir?

With Andrew Muir and his Australian consortium reportedly granted a period of exclusivity in their bid for Charlton, what is known about the prospective owner? Voice of the Valley readers will already know something about him.

However, Football London has tried to find out more about him, although it wasn't an easy endeavour. They suggest that he is an 'out of the box' thinker and that Charlton fans need to be wary of him: Australian consortium

Of course, fans are so keen to escape the depredations of Roland that it is easy to throw caution to the winds. But at least he isn't a B or C list Chinese investor called Mr.F.Yu which was always a risk.

Reacting to the formation of a 'Roland Out' political party in Belgium, Roland Duchatelet has commented, 'another nasty upsetting of a small group of ex-CAFC supporters. It's a small minority that cannot find our policy, ninety per cent of the supporters do.' Yes, it's those disgruntled ex-employees pissing vinegar again.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

The little fox in the box

Karlan Ahearne-Grant's goal against Peterborough gave him confidence after a long barren spell. He is trying to be a 'little fox in the box': More confidence

Where are they now?

A look at what has happened to the players in the historic opening match against Portsmouth following the return to The Valley. For example, 'Sweaty' Balmer is now a 'qualified' fork lift driver. I remember that he and his wife were thinking of opening a children's nursery, but it was pointed out that all the pupils would end up with strong Glasgow accents: Where are they now?

Happy Back to the Valley day. It's a double anniversary for me as it's the day I met my late wife, although not that day.

Protesting Charlton fans, in an echo of the Valley Party, have formed a 'Roland Out Today' political party to contest the next local elections in Sint Truiden: Political party

The website for ROT can be found here: Roland Out Today

Monday, 4 December 2017

No deal for Lewington

There will be no deal for Dean Lewington who is currently training at Sparrows Lane. He has been frozen out at MK Dons and Karl Robinson is helping his former player out as a favour to a stalwart of the Franchisees: Veteran training with Addicks

Sunday, 3 December 2017

'Second rate' Charlton can concentrate on league

Charlton can concentrate on the league after being beaten 3-1 by AFC Wimbledon this afternoon in the second round of the FA Cup. One leading fan tweeted, 'For the avoidance of doubt, we have been second rate all afternoon.' Brian Haines consoled himself with the thought that 'we're spared the predictable disappointment of a rubbish draw in the third round.'

The Addicks started brightly enough with a Marshall shot blocked on the edge of the box. After a DaSilva pull back, an Ahearne-Grant shot was blocked by the keeper's legs.

Charlton were not looking solid at the back and McDonald scored on 10 minutes from a loose ball in the box after Osailaga had stormed through.

On 22 minutes, following good work by Marshall down the right, Ahearne-Grant equalised.

Amos made a good save from a low Taylor strike. Just before the break, an effort by Magennis was blocked and a short corner routine inevitably failed to work.

Charlton started the second half well. Long made a good save from Holmes at the near post. From the corner the ball fell to Marshall, but Long pushed his powerful strike away. A shot from DaSilva was deflected by Long on to the woodwork and Magennis put the rebound over.

Best replaced Ahearne-Grant on 68 minutes. On 70 minutes McDonald burst through on the right and Taylor put a loose ball into the bottom right-hand corner of the net to make it 2-1.

Hackett-Fairchild replaced Marshall on 75 minutes. Magennis headed a Forster-Caskey free kick across goal, but no one could collect. On 80 minutes a penalty was awarded against Dijksteel and Taylor made it 3-1 to put the game beyond reach.

Lennon came on as a substitute on 88 minutes, his first appearance for Charlton in 13 months.

Attendance, 3,270, 723 disappointed Addicks.

Karl Robinson has said that missed opportunities led to Charlton's defeat with the key period being the first fifteen minutes of the second half: Missed chances

Saturday, 2 December 2017

Curbs warns Roland

In a double spread feature in this morning's Football League Paper Alan Curbishley warns Roland Duchatelet to back Karl Robinson in the January transfer window - or face the wrath of supporters.

Curbs said: 'The main thing is that the owner has picked someone who understands the division and knows what it takes to be successful. We've had lots of managers go in there who didn't understand the league. had never been there before and had to spend months getting to grips with it.'

'It's imperative that Charlton go up. They have to be back in that Championship. They are playing in front of 10,000 in a 30,000 stadium and the atmosphere needs lifting.'

Reflecting on his own career, Curbs said that what he doesn't see recurring is a manager staying 15 years in the same job. He admits that the hiatus in his own career was partially self-inflicted. He had plenty of offers, but waited for the perfect job, only to fall off the radar.

'When I left West Ham, the opportunities simply weren't there.' He couldn't make a return now: 'I've been out too long now. A lot of that's been my fault, but what's done is done. The fact is I think the people who own football clubs now don't even know who I am.'

Is scepticism about sale reports justified?

Some scepticism is being expressed about the latest reports about the possible sale of the club, given that such reports have appeared before. This scepticism is not just being expressed by regime apologists who flatly refuse to contemplate the departure of their hero.

Some useful clarification has been provided by a normally reliable source: 'There haven’t really been any false alarms, to be honest. Duchatelet has been willing to sell for some time and has progressively admitted that in his public and private comments. Being willing to sell and able to sell are two different things. The latter requires a viable buyer.

There has been interest at various times but none of it has progressed to the current stage, either in terms of legal process or frantic management activity, partly because Duchatelet has blocked it. The Times knows nothing that isn’t in the public domain and less than many Charlton fans know.

This deal may still not get over the line, but to characterise what’s happened as a series of false alarms both underplays the present situation and overstates what has been said before. This is very close.'

A South London Press report makes the point that this is the first time that Duchatelet has said publicly that the club is for sale. They name Australian Andrew Muir who has been featured in Voice of the Valley. However, price will be the key in any sale: Open to offers

Friday, 1 December 2017

Chris Powell joins Spurs

Chris Powell has joined Tottenham's scouting team. He has been working for Spurs on an ad-hoc basis, scouting players in Britain, but he is not expected to join the club on a full-time basis.

The 48-year-old has been out of work since leaving his role as Derby's assistant manager in March and his last managerial job was at Huddersfield, where he spent 15 months until November 2015.

He is a Spurs fan, but famously scored a winning goal for the Addicks at White Hart Lane in the Premier League.

Roland puts club up for sale

The following report has appeared in The Times: 'Roland Duchâtelet, the controversial owner of Charlton Athletic, has put the club up for sale and admitted that he should not have invested in football.

The Belgian bought Charlton nearly four years ago when they were in the Championship but has faced strong protests from supporters in recent seasons over the way that he has run the club, who are now in League One.

CARD (Coalition Against Roland Duchâtelet), a supporters’ group, have put pressure on him to either invest or sell his stake in the club. Stunts have included a mock funeral being held before kick-off, beach balls being thrown on the pitch and a pitch invasion.

Until now, Duchâtelet,71, had been adamant that he would not sell Charlton. “I have not decided anything, I am open to possible offers, I will take the time to think, but contrary to popular belief I have not made any money from football, this rarely happens for investors, those who say otherwise are wrong,” Duchâtelet said.

“It’s not that I’m fed up, I have other activities and my age,” he said. “Actually, I wanted to leave football after the sale of the Standard Liège. Football is an exciting world, but very complex: there is a lot of underground influences, we decide a lot about emotions, we make and break your image on the basis of rumours, social networks create real background slides that are difficult to answer [not quite sure what this means but it is a typical Roland remark]. “It was an interesting experience and I learned a lot about how social media have an impact on the psychology of masses and how they can influence decisions which affect many people.”'

It should be noted that an interview with the French language press has a somewhat different emphasis with Roland saying he has decided nothing, he would be open to offers eventually for Charlton and his other clubs (but there is an alternative translation, see comment below), but he is taking time to reflect. However, it is also evident from this interview that he has no found his experience in football an unhappy one.

Regime apologists have persistently denied that reports that Roland was interested in selling the club and that prospective purchasers had undertaken due diligence.

Injury worries ahead of cup game

Charlton will be without eight first team players for the FA Cup tie against Wimbledon on Sunday. Patrick Bauer had to go off with a foot injury on Tuesday, although his performance was rated as rather tepid before then: Injury worries

Robinson says he is not concerned about abuse from Dons fans, although it does not reflect well on them and perhaps they should move on. I do wish people would stop calling the game at the non-league Kingsmeadow ground a 'derby'.

Robinson also says that the timing of the Checkatrade trophy game on Tuesday against Swansea is not helpful. Charlton could have to face former Leamington ace Courtney Baker-Richardson who is in the Swans development squad.

Robinson still aiming to sign striker

Karl Robinson is still seeking to sign a striker in the January transfer window, although if Leon Best is successful he may sign just one striker rather than two. Following Tuesday night, the jury is still out on Best: Striker search

It's not easy to get value in the January transfer window. There is always the risk of getting a striker who is injury prone, out of form or has an attitude problem. We have had experience of all these at Charlton.

Charlton legends, among them Kevin Lisbie, Carl Leaburn and Jon Fortune, will train with the first team today as a means of bringing home the significance of next week's Portsmouth game: Legends

CARD are planning to issue fans with red-and-white rosettes before the game as a tribute to those involved in the campaign to return to The Valley. I can remember when people wore rosettes (often home made) and carried rattles.