Monday, 23 April 2018

Jordan Cousins would like to come back one day

Former Addick and QPR player Jordan Cousins would like to come back to The Valley in some capacity later in his career. He grew up in a house five minutes from The Valley and is holding his summer soccer camp in Greenwich: Wants Valley return

Home truths at The Valley

Richard Cawley of the SLP reports: 'Josh Magennis has refused to go into detail about the “home truths” dished out by Lee Bowyer when he took caretaker charge of Charlton Athletic. The underperforming Addicks looked big outsiders to secure a League One play-off spot when boss Karl Robinson quit for Oxford last month. But Charlton have taken 16 points from Bowyer’s eight games in charge and are fifth in the table after Saturday’s edgy 1-0 victory at Portsmouth.

Magennis found himself out of the starting line-up until the last two matches but scored in a 2-0 win at Shrewsbury a week ago as well as providing the assist for Nicky Ajose’s goal at Fratton Park. 'The best thing with Bow is how brutally honest he is,” said the Northern Ireland international. “He tells you how it is. There were a few home truths when the gaffer left and he said he needed to change it up.'

'Some things are meant to be kept in-house. We’re all adults and if you can’t take a bit of criticism then you’re in the wrong game. I’ve got a great amount of respect for everybody, it needs to be kept behind closed doors.'

'Being out wasn’t nice but the biggest agenda isn’t whether I play 90 minutes – the main aim is promotion. We know that Wembley is well within our grasp. There is so much at stake for everybody and we have a genuine chance of getting there, not many people get to say that.'

Charlton definitely have more steel since Bowyer’s appointment on a temporary basis until the end of the campaign. 'We have got very gifted players but sometimes ability isn’t enough,” said Magennis. 'You have to be ready to go to war. Charlton are a big scalp. Charlton is a massive team – you can see that with our travelling support and at The Valley. Bow expects high intensity. That’s how he was as a player – in people’s faces – and he doesn’t expect any less now. Coming off wrecked is a bare minimum.'

I have reproduced the article in full rather than providing a link as the SLP site is responding slowly after recent problems.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Vital win for Charlton

Charlton beat Portsmouth 1-0 at Fratton Park this afternoon through a Nicky Ajose first half goal in front of 2,448 away supporters who were in fine voice, his first goal for the Addicks since 2016. Play off rivals Plymouth Argyle lost at Northampton.

On 16 minutes Ajose did good work down the left and turned provider for Magennis, but it was just taken off his toes. Four minutes later a Forster-Caskey shot was deflected wide. From the corner a Forster-Caskey shot was scrambled off the line.

Charlton were clearly the better side. They were winning possession and broke forward a number of times. They just needed better decision-making in the final third.

A Fosu volley went wide. The home fans were getting frustrated, On 33 minutes Pompey had their first shot on goal, but it was well wide.

On 40 minutes Ajose made it 1-0. He took advantage of a Magennis flick, the keeper came out and Ajose slotted past him.

Pompey came out strongly in the second half and won a series of corners. Charlton had to dig in, but stood up to the test with Amos in command of his goal. Fosu had to be withdrawn on 57 minutes with a hamstring problem and DaSilva came on for his 50th Charlton appearance. One minute later Reeves hit the post with a volley.

On 60 minutes a great Konsa tackle prevented a Pompey goal. Page was injured and was replaced by Marshall. An Ajose effort on 71 minutes was blocked. A Forster-Caskey shot was deflected on 76 minutes for a Charlton corner

On 80 minutes Amos made a good save in a crowded box. Six minutes were added on, extended to seven, but Marshall won a late free kick by their goal.

Friday, 20 April 2018

Tuesday, 17 April 2018

To the Londoners 2-0

Charlton were back in the play off places tonight after an unanticipated 2-0 win at promotion chasing Shrewsbury Town. The result leaves Paul Hurst's Shrewsbury five points adrift of the automatic promotion places with four games remaining.

Chances were in short supply at either end in a goalless first half, with Ben Godfrey firing a shot from outside the penalty area off target for Shrewsbury. Then Aristote Nsiala headed a Shaun Whalley free-kick wide as the hosts pushed for a breakthrough.

Charlton were first to threaten in the second half when Jake Forster-Caskey's corner was headed over by Magennis. Shrewsbury quickly surged forward and substitute Abo Eisa's cross-shot was pushed away by goalkeeper Ben Amos.

Tarique Fosu's well-struck shot for Charlton was tipped over by Dean Henderson before visiting skipper Pearce headed a Forster-Caskey corner just wide. But Pearce was more accurate when another chance presented itself in the 74th minute, heading in a Forster-Caskey free-kick from the left from close range to break the deadlock. The Addicks doubled their advantage deep into stoppage time when Magennis lifted the ball home following a sliced clearance from Henderson.

There is now everything to play for in a massive game at Fratton Park on Saturday.

Solly out for rest of season

Chris Solly is out for the rest of the season with a knee injury. He will undergo keyhole surgery later this week: Chris Solly

Sunday, 15 April 2018

Top six finish still on says Bowyer

Lee Bowyer reckons that a top six finish for Charlton is still on: they could beat Shrewsbury, Portsmouth and Blackburn: Bold promotion claim

There is something to be said for being positive, but each of these teams is a formidable opponent and Charlton haven't really looked up for it.

Bowyer reckons that the boos at the end of yesterday's game were directed at the referee.

Saturday, 14 April 2018

Down the Football League we go

Charlton fell back to 8th in League One after a 0-1 defeat by Scunthorpe this afternoon. This was the position I forecast at the beginning of the season.

Ivan Toney struck the only goal of the game as Scunthorpe moved into the League One play-off zone. The 1-0 win lifted the Iron up to fifth spot in the table, two points ahead of the lacklustre Addicks.

The game sprung into life in the 20th minute with a save at either end, Ben Amos first denying Hakeeb Adelakun and then Iron goalkeeper Matt Gilks thwarting Nicky Ajose moments later.

Scunthorpe made the breakthrough in the 31st minute when Adelakun beat the offside trap and burst clear on the right, squaring a low ball into the danger zone for Toney to tap home from six yards. Josh Morris blazed a stoppage time free-kick over the crossbar from just outside the box as Scunthorpe finished the first half strongly.

Toney produced a super save from Amos five minutes after the restart when meeting Rory McArdle's free-kick and unleashing a powerful volley which the Charlton keeper did well to tip over. Jake Forster-Caskey glanced a header wide and Ajose saw a curling effort fly just over as Charlton finally began to ask some questions.

Adelakun was only denied by a crucial block from Patrick Bauer and once more in the 71st minute when Amos had to save his goalbound attempt. There were late penalty appeals from the hosts as Ajose and Bauer both claimed to have been pulled back in the box within the space of 60 seconds. But both were ignored by referee Graham Salisbury and even though Ben Reeves and Tariqe Fosu went close at the death, in the end this was a far more comfortable victory than the scoreline suggests.

Friday, 13 April 2018

Scunthorpe will be worried says Bowyer

Scunthorpe will be worried about playing at The Valley tomorrow given Charlton's home record says Lee Bowyer: Must win game

The Iron have been on a dreadful run, winning just one game in the last fifteen: Massive game

However, one fan has observed that new manager bounces don't last that long and teams revert to the mean with the Charlton squad being just not good enough.

The CAS Trust Preview thinks that a draw looks likely which would mean that we would be out of the top six when we face Shrewsbury on Tuesday: Tariqe the key

Forster-Caskey's rallying call

Jake Forster-Caskey is thriving in a new deep lying midfield role and has issued a rallying call to fans for tomorrow's key match with Scunthorpe: Stick with players

The last Voice of the Valley of the season will be on sale before the game. There has been a range of issues for the usual suspects to get their vinegar stained teeth into. As always, if you order by 3 p.m. today a copy of the latest issue can be sent to your home to arrive on Saturday morning (we have just heard that the linotype machine has broken, so postal copies will not arrive until Monday at the earliest): Order a copy

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Disappointment for Charlton

Charlton went down 1-0 to AFC Wimbledon tonight. Although they remain in 6th place, it was a missed opportunity to use their game in hand to consolidate their hold on a play off place.

The Addicks lacked a cutting edge with Zyro disappointing up front. The closest Charlton came was when they hit the post following a corner on 72 minutes.

The Wimbledon goal came right at the end of the second half through Taylor when Bauer slipped in possession. The home side then dug in defensively in the second half. Charlton used all their substitutes (Magennis, Marshall, Ajose) to no avail.

745 Addicks witnessed Lee Bowyer's first defeat as manager.

Lee Bowyer has said that he was not happy with Zyro's performance and has told him so: Critical of forward

A crucial game

Wimbledon manager Neal Ardley has called on the club's supporters to rally behind them at the Cherry Red Records Stadium tonight: 'We are going to play against a very good team on Tuesday and we are going to need all the help we can get. They are a different team to the one we beat in the cup. They've had a lot of turnaround, obviously the manager has come in, and they are playing a different formation. Their last four games have reflected that. I've watched their games and they've been very good.'

Wimbledon are currently one point above the relegation zone and sixth from bottom in the form table (Charlton are 7th). They have won seven games, drawn four and lost eight at home.

The Times gave Charlton a 16 per cent chance of promotion last Saturday. To improve that figure we need to win our game in hand tonight.

Neal Ardley has told Richard Cawley that Charlton are a bigger attacking threat under Lee Bowyer: Attacking threat

Monday, 9 April 2018

Amos praises Bowyer's philosophy

Ben Amos has given Lee Bowyer the credit for Charlton's revival: Bowyer deserves plaudits

I think he’s brought his own philosophy,” said the stopper. 'He’s gone two up top for large parts. He’s kept it quite simple, not over complicated anything.'

For me Bowyer has a clear vision of what he wants to do and how he wants to do it.

Saturday, 7 April 2018

Addicks remain in play off places

Charlton remained in the play off places after they continued their unbeaten run with a 1-1 draw at Bristol Rovers this afternoon. 927 Addicks were present.

On seven minutes the keeper fumbled an Ajose shot, leading to a Charlton corner. On 11 minutes Amos had to dive to his right to make a great save from Harrison's low drive.

The Gas went ahead on 21 minutes. Pearce headed back to Amos and Bennett pounced on the loose ball.

On the half hour a curling shot from Ajose was tipped over the bar. Aribo headed the corner just wide. Ben Reeves equalised for the Addicks on 45 minutes, his shot taking a deflection.

On 53 minutes Reeves tried from distance, but Slocombe kept the ball out with a diving save. Zyro was over from a tight angle on 64 minutes. Ajose was replaced by Mavididi on 64 minutes.

On 68 minutes Page put in a great cross, but Zyro couldn't connect. On 84 minutes two Charlton efforts were cleared off the line. A late Rovers corner in the last minute of time added on caused a scare, but the ball went over.

The report from Louis Mendez can be found here: West Country point

Friday, 6 April 2018

Gas playing for their future

With the play offs now out of reach, players at Bristol Rovers have to play for their future at the club: Everyone has to play for their future

The players have been kicking lumps out of each other in training which hasn't pleased supremo Darrell Clarke too much given his injury worries. But he has promised home fans that his players 'will put on a performance' tomorrow against Charlton.

The man in the middle will be Robert Lewis. He was the referee who had to be stretchered off after clattering into Josh Magennis.

Can Lee Bowyer emulate Chris Powell and achieve four straight wins in his spell as manager? Bristol Rovers will be no pushovers, despite having one of the worst defensive records in League One: CAST preview

Odds: Bristol Rovers, 9/5; Draw, 21/10; Charlton, 13/8.

Thursday, 5 April 2018

Ajose is loving life under Bowyer

Nicky Ajose says that he never wanted to go out on loan from Charlton. He is loving life under Lee Bowyer. Not surprising, as he had just five starts in sixteen months under Karl Robinson, and has had almost as many under Bowyer: Ajose interview

Fosu out for two weeks

Tariqe Fosu will be out for two weeks with a groin injury, but Ahmed Kashi is returning. Lee Bowyer is in confident mood and considers that he has 'a good squad of players'. One might add that he knows how to motivate and organise them: Injury news

Boss Bowyer reckons that Joe Aribo is a great player and will be capable of playing at a higher level. Bowyer has been working with him for over a year: Joe Aribo

Bowyer has thanked Roland for trusting him to act as caretaker manager until the end of the season: Thanks Roland

Bowyer said: 'The biggest thing for me is the way the players are competing and working hard as a team and showing a togetherness.'

Wednesday, 4 April 2018

Successful duo to stay on until end of season

Lee Bowyer and Johnnie Jackson are to stay in charge of Charlton until the end of the season. This has been made a condition of sale of the club and is a very welcome decision.

It does, however, imply that the sale of the club is not as close as had been thought.

Some puzzles in parent company results

Baton Ltd., the parent company of Charlton Athletic, have published their results online through Companies House. By and large they are the same as for the club, but Kieran Maguire of the Price of Football notes: 'Sold players (Lookman etc) at a profit of £16.2 million in 2016/17, but only received £405,000 in cash. Could have sold on credit, but debtors are only £3.7 million. This begs the question "What has happened to the other £12 million"?'

He also notes, 'CEO Katrin Miere’s salary included in "Key management compensation" total of £966k. This figure rose 15 per cent in year compared to overall wage fall of 21 per cent.'

Rick Everitt has pointed out that compensation to Russell Slade is included in this figure. He was paid more than other coaches hired by Roland.

EFL's star of the day

That was the accolade given to Joe Aribo and Louis Mendez has interviewed him. He says that Lee Bowyer is helping him to get goals: Charlton's fine form

Charlton made the second highest level of payments to agents and intermediaries between February 2017 and January 2018, £425,466 (Blackburn Rovers paid out £764k). Money well spent, Katrien?

Charlton Athletic Holdings Ltd. has now submitted its annual report to Companies House. This has been done under the small companies regime, so the information provided is limited. It defines itself as a property investment company and the land on which the Valley stands together with that at Sparrows Lane is valued at £11.7m.

Tuesday, 3 April 2018

Pardew may be the worst manager in West Brom's history

Alan Pardew may be the one of the worst, if not the worst, manager in the history of West Bromwich Albion reckons local paper Express and Star: One of the worst

This is a man who cannot even keep hold of his own jacket. Yet last evening he was being lauded on Radio 5 as a 'successful manager'. It is interesting that his time at Charlton is never mentioned in these appraisals.

Monday, 2 April 2018

Charlton back in play off places

Charlton are back in the play off places after Lee Bowyer's side recorded a convincing 3-1 win over Rotherham United at The Valley this afternoon.

The Millers almost led through their first attack in the opening minute when Will Vaulks struck the crossbar from the edge of the area when Joe Newell's cut-back was deflected into his path.

After Tariqe Fosu then fired over from a free-kick from similar range, both teams struggled to create until Zyro was gifted the 28th-minute chance from which he scored. Under an aimless long ball and despite little pressure, Josh Emmanuel clumsily headed possession into the forward's path where, from 20 yards, Zyro controlled with his left foot before shooting with his right beyond goalkeeper Marek Rodak and into the bottom-left corner.

Charlton's second came in the 54th minute when Jake Forster-Caskey curled towards Aribo from a left-wing free-kick, and the unchallenged midfielder nodded inside the right post from in front of goal.

Victory was then put beyond doubt in the 65th minute when Aribo played a one-two with Nicky Ajose from just inside of Rotherham's half before racing clear and powerfully scoring the ninth goal of Bowyer's reign in off the crossbar.

Paul Warne's team responded 12 minutes later through Richard Wood's untidy, close-range finish from a rebound, but it was only a consolation.

Report from Louis Mendez here: Bowyer's buoyant start continues

Sunday, 1 April 2018

£57m owed to Roland's company

The 2016-17 accounts for Charlton Athletic have now been published and may be viewed online on the Companies House website. They show that £57.7m was owed to the parent company, Staprix NV. Rick Everitt suggests that the current figure may be nearer £70m. £695k was paid on interest on these loans in the financial year.

Turnover fell from £12.1m to £7.6m. The largest item was matchday income, but this was down from £4.8m to £3.2m. The report notes, 'The 33% decrease on prior year arises to the decrease in attendances from the 15/16 season following relegation from the Championship and some continued fan discontent leading to reduced purchases at The Valley on matchdays.'

Central distributions from the Premier League and the English Football League fell by 64 per cent as a result of relegation from the Championship. There was a one off £0.2m parachute payment. Commercial income decline by 2 per cent to £1.3m.

Staff costs fell from £14.0m to £11.1m. This was not far short of 150 per cent of turnover, a worryingly high ratio.

There was a profit on player sales of £16.2m which it is admitted is unlikely to be repeated for a long time.

VOTV editor Rick Everitt commented, '[The] accounts confirm that Duchatelet and Meire had halved income from spectators three years after taking over. Turnover lowest since 1998, all-time record operating loss of £14.3m while paying same wages as 2014 to finish 13th in L1.' He considers that it represents an abysmal trading record with poor cost controls.

Ahearne-Grant praises Kewell

Karlan Ahearne-Grant has told the Football League Paper that his career-best form is down to one man - Harry Kewell. Ahearne-Grant has scored eight goals in nine games heading into the Easter weekend.

'Harry's a huge inspiration,' said Ahearne-Grant. 'He's a big character too. He's my manager of the moment and he knows what it's like to feed players confidence. It's good to work with him. It's been a pleasure. I think he can definitely go far.'

Ahearne-Grant said that he and Kewell won't be distracted by reports that the Australian is going to take over at Charlton from Lee Bowyer.

Fosu praises formation change

Tariqe Fosu has praised the formation change introduced by Lee Bowyer, replacing the 4-2-3-1 favoured by Karl Robinson with a 4-4-2: Rewards of formation change

We were told by Robinson that 4-4-2 was not possible with the players available, but it hasn't been a problem for Bowyer.

Fosu praise Bowyer for giving the team the freedom to play and not putting them under undue pressure.

Saturday, 31 March 2018

Statue row holds up takeover

The takeover of Charlton has been held up by a dispute about how Roland’s contribution to the development of the club can best be commemorated. The Belgian had commissioned a design for a statue to be placed alongside the Bartram statute outside the West Stand.

It would be based on the famous Manneken Pis statute in Brussels, but the flow of liquid would be vinegar. Katrien Meire would be recumbent on a replica of the fan sofa and Thomas Dreisen would be in the background with his laptop alongside a discarded pizza box.

The Australians were prepared to accept the statue if they could have an animated one of new mascot Skippy the Kangaroo alongside. I saw one of these animated characters in Perth WA one Christmas – there was a Father Christmas in the hotel lobby who would say ‘Ho! Ho! Ho!’ when approached and then launch into a seasonal medley. Skippy would say ‘Good Day!’ and then sing ‘Waltzing Matilda’.

Our informant on the Isle of Sheppey says that the arrival of a consignment of toy quokkas and kangaroos at the club shop will be a sign that the takeover is going ahead.

Friday, 30 March 2018

Bowyer's boys make it a very Good Friday

He may only be in charge until Easter Monday, but Lee Bowyer's Charlton won an emphatic 4-0 victory at Northampton Town this afternoon, greatly enjoyed by the 1,208 Addickted in attendance. The Addicks looked really dangerous in the final third.

On 14 minutes Page put in a great cross, the keeper got a hand to the header by Reeves but couldn't keep it out. The Cobblers tried to respond with an effort by Grimes which was just wide of the near post from 25 yards.

On 19 minutes there was a superb dummy from Ajose, Fosu picked it up and doubled the lead from the edge of the box. Six minutes later an Ajose shot was deflected wide and Bauer headed over from the corner.

A Fosu shot from outside the box stung the palms of the keeper. Following a free kick from Forster-Caskey, a Pearce header was cleared off the line.

HT: Cobblers 0, Addicks 2

Fosu made it 3-0 to Charlton when a 25 yarder found the bottom corner. Earlier Northampton had learnt that their Chinese investors had pulled out, and it was clear that the home support were not happy with Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink who had a scarf thrown at him.

Great defending from Bauer denied Long. Fosu was inches wide on 61 minutes. On 63 minutes Ajose was replaced by Mavididi. The substitute was soon causing problems and after an Aribo shot was blocked, an effort from Forster-Caskey was deflected wide.

On 67 minutes Zyro was replaced by Magennis. Pearce received a yellow card for excessive enthusiasm. The lively Fosu was just over from 35 yards. On 79 minutes Mavididi put in great work down the left and a Reeves cross to the back post was headed home by Magennis to make it 4-0.

It nearly became 5-0 on 81 minutes when Mavididi rounded the keeper, but somehow he managed to recover. Crooks received a yellow card for a foul on Mavididi. Charm merchant Pereira received a yellow for tugging back Dijksteel.

The Addickted were in great voice. After a chorus of 'We Want Roland Out', they sang, 'Are you watching Robinson?'

Charlton are in 8th place with a game in hand and the same number of points as Peterborough. They are two points behind Plymouth in 6th place.

Bowyer exclusive interview

Lee Bowyer was once the best midfielder in Europe according to the Daily Express: Simply the best

Of course, that was at Leeds United. The interview also refers to his chequered past and discusses his determination to succeed.

Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Injury boost

Stephy Mavididi may be available on the bench against Northampton on Friday, after being out injured for two months, while Jay DaSilva could also be in contention: Injury boost

Tuesday, 27 March 2018

Kewell on his way?

Social media reports are stating that Crawley Town manager Harry Kewell has said his goodbyes to his players this morning as he is set to leave the club and be announced as Charlton manager this Thursday. Charlton are set to be taken over on Wednesday and the new owners believe Kewell is the man for the job.

I have no independent confirmation of these reports. I would like to have seen Bowyer given more of a 'fair go' at the task of management.

Why Robinson left

Johnnie Jackson has said that Karl Robinson left Charlton because he thought the new owners would sack him: Why Robinson left

Jackson contrasts the dressing room styles of Robinson and Bowyer. Robinson was 'very, very vocal' (some might say 'gobby') while Bowyer is calm and collected and provides snippets of information.

Jackson has talked to Richard Cawley about his player-coach role and why he had to apologise to Chris Powell: Could only do it for a year

Monday, 26 March 2018

CARD says takeover imminent

The Campaign Against Roland Duchatelet has reproduced an Evening Standard report which claims that the takeover of Charlton by the Australian consortium is imminent. We have been here before, of course, but they say they have confirmation from other sources. Let's hope we get definite news soon: Takeover

Bowyer has the badges

Lee Bowyer has the necessary coaching badges to take over at Charlton on a permanent basis should the need arise: Coaching badges

Charlton legend Johnnie Robinson paid a flying visit to The Valley today.

The picture shows Johnnie Robinson with one of his children as a baby. A wag of a fan asked, 'Is he answering back yet?'

Talking of Robinsons, Karl didn't forget to take his big book of excuses with him when he went to Oxford. After their 3-0 defeat at Portsmouth yesterday, he blamed the referee. It may be that the referees' conspiracy he discovered was directed at him not Charlton.

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Valley of Hope

The Independent takes a look at Roland's disastrous reign at Charlton as it hopefully comes to an end: Valley of Hope

Charlton's win yesterday under caretaker manager Lee Bowyer was the front page splash in The Football League Paper this morning. It's a long time since Charlton have enjoyed top billing.

Saturday, 24 March 2018

Lee, Lee, Lee Bowyer!

Alan Curbishley and Keith Peacock back at The Valley. Technical advisers under the new regime?

That was the chant at The Valley this afternoon as an impressive Charlton defeated an in form Plymouth Argyle 2-0 to move within two points of the play off places. We were told it was not possible to play 4-4-2, but Lee Bowyer and Johnnie Jackson managed it.

In his first start at The Valley for over a year because of injury, Lewis Page opened the scoring with a brilliant strike on two minutes. A dipping left-footed volley came off the underside of the bar.

Plymouth had said they would dominate the early phase of the match, but it was a lively start from the Addicks with some good quality football. On 15 minutes Amos tipped Taylor's low shot on the post and almost had his own goal celebration.

However, an exceptional goal celebration was to follow. Aribo played the ball in from the right and Zyro provided a brilliant header to make it 2-0 from close range. He then put the ball under his shirt. After the goal, Charlton continued to press, winning a series of corners.

Bauer's header was saved on 24 minutes. On 27 minutes he was booked for a foul on Portuguese danger man Cameiras. Just after the half hour Carey managed to bend an effort just beyond the far post for the visitors who had 3,034 Green Army devotees in the Jimmy Seed stand.

Reeves received a yellow card for a trip on Makasi. In time added on, Ajose directed a volley at goal and Matthews pushed it away.

HT: Addicks 2, Pilgrims 0

On 53 minutes there was good build up play between the much improved Reeves, Ajose and Fosu, but Fosu put the ball just wide. Argyle made a double substitution on 54 minutes. On 69 minutes Fosu put the ball into the side netting from a tight angle.

Argyle were not really in it in the second half, but could manage the occasional threat. A Carey snapshot from 20 yards was not far over the bar. Ajose was taken off on 81 minutes and received a great ovation as he was replaced by Mark Marshall.

As normal time drew to a close, Aribo turned provider for Zyro, but his shot was just wide. In time added on Reeves was withdrawn to give Academy graduate Taylor Maloney his first start.

Richard Cawley tweeted that Jake Forster-Caskey had been good again today, dictating play from deep. Cawley has provided an 'on the whistle' report which suggests that 'reports of Charlton's play off demise may have been greatly exaggerated: Vital win

Cawley spells it out on Robinson

An excellent piece by Richard Cawley of the SLP in which he spells out how trouble has been brewing for weeks between departed manager Karl Robinson and the club. It's a balanced account, but he warns that Charlton's season is on the point of implosion: Trouble brewing for weeks

A very telling last sentence: 'Duchatelet’s Charlton are used to crisis management, but they are unskilled at dealing with it.'

Gritty: Bowyer has learned from mistakes

Steve Gritt says he never thought that Lee Bowyer would go into coaching, but thinks he has learned from his mistakes: He has to test himself now

He was a very aggressive player and sometimes that aggression was misplaced, but there was now an opportunity for him to seize.

It will be interesting to see how the Bowyer-Jackson dynamic evolves. The Curbishley-Peacock relationship was a very effective division of labour (the best analysis I ever saw of it was on Chinese television).

Portuguese attacker Reuben Lameiras talks about his experience of protests at The Valley. He says that the Pilgrims will be aggressive and start fast: Will play for 90 minutes

Green Army sources claim that 3,000 of them are making the journey to the capital.

Friday, 23 March 2018

Chris Powell was first choice as manager

According to South London Press sources, Chris Powell was the Australians' first choice as manager. However, he recently joined Southend United and I do not think that 'back to the future' would be a good idea.

Karl Robinson left Charlton without any compensation: I didn't ask for a penny

Interim supremo Lee Bowyer is uncertain whether he wants the job on a permanent basis. 'Ask me at the end of the season,' he says: Bowyer uncertain on future

Charlton will derive no benefit from Nick Pope's rise to the England squad as there was no clause in the transfer contract about international appearances.

Radio script for tomorrow's game

As Plymouth Argyle are the 'local' team and undertake training on the islands, my weekly football broadcast on the Radio Scilly tomorrow morning starts with the Charlton v. Plymouth Argyle match. This is what I will have to say from the Porthmellon studio.

After a poor start to the season, Plymouth Argyle have made a significant recovery and have every chance of qualifying for the play offs. They have won seven of their last eight games. They are sixth in the table and second in the form table.

Derek Adams thinks his side are a match for anyone in League One. He said: ‘I reckon my squad is capable of doing anything. The players have the bit between their teeth and have put themselves in a very good position. I don’t see many better teams in this league than ourselves. When I arrived at this club, the team couldn’t come from behind so we had to change the mentality. We have certainly got great character and spirit now and we have got good momentum at the right moment.’

Today [Saturday] Plymouth Argyle face my team Charlton Athletic at The Valley. The Addicks have been going through some difficult times recently and have fallen out of the play off places. They are sixth from bottom in the form table. A long takeover saga involving an Australian consortium is yet to be resolved. Belgian owner Roland Duchatelet has been highly unpopular with Charlton fans and has been the target of demonstrations, including some in his home town in Belgium.

Charlton manager Karl Robinson left earlier in the week to join Oxford United. Former player Lee Bowyer has been put in temporary charge, assisted by skipper Johnnie Jackson.

Argyle reckon there is no better time to play Charlton, but Bowyer and Jackson could motivate the team to rise above their recent lacklustre performances.

Plymouth have won six, drawn seven and lost five away from home. Charlton have won eight, drawn six and lost five. I am forecasting a draw which will suit neither team.

Kewell dampens down speculation

Harry Kewell has dampened down speculation that he will be the next Charlton manager just because he is Australian: Kewell has his say

However, he did admit that Charlton were a 'massive club' (copyright Sheffield Wednesday) with 'huge' potential and the capability to produce stars like Karlan Ahearne-Grant. Ahearne-Grant is the only Charlton player to score eight goals this season.

Crawley fans don't want to see Kewell go: Fans have their say

Thursday, 22 March 2018

Aussies in on Monday?

The oracle of Ramsgate hesitates to use the words 'done deal' as he has been too hasty before, but Rick Everitt reckons that the Australian consortium have secured the purchase of Charlton and an announcement will be made on Monday. Given the alternative, I am relieved.

Farewell, then, Karl Robinson

Karl Robinson has left Charlton Athletic by mutual consent and Johnnie Jackson and Lee Bowyer are in temporary charge, the first management duo since Gritt and Curbishley. Last man standing Richard Murray has thanked Karl Robinson for his services: Temporary bosses

Robinson was not the best manager we have had nor the worst. He faced difficult circumstances, not getting all the resources he needed. His heart was in the task. Even so, some of his tactics and formations were open to question and he was very fond of the sound of his own voice.

His win ratio at Charlton was 35 per cent which was a lot better than Pardew's 26 per cent, although Pardoo has managed to achieve 5.9 per cent at West Brom.

So, in the words of the newsreels when Neville Chamberlain stood down as prime minister, 'Thanks for all you tried to do.' I wish him well riding the Tiger at Oxford United and hope that his family gardening business in Milton Keynes prospers (see last VOTV).

In a statement Karl Robinson has thanked Charlton fans for their support during his 16 month stay: Statement

An announcement of his appointment at Oxford United is imminent and flags have already appeared along The High. Oxford United fans are complaining that the appointment lacks the promised 'wow' factor.

Green Army on the march

Understandably enough, Plymouth Argyle think that this is the ideal time to take on rudderless Charlton: Perfect time

VOTV editor Rick Everitt has written for TalkSport on the crisis at the club: No one in charge

There have been rumours overnight that Karl Robinson has already left the building and Lee Bowyer is in charge, but I have no reliable independent confirmation of these reports.

Some speculation on possible replacements, the only one that would interest me is Uwe Rossler: Replacements

Last but not least, today we should remember PC Keith Palmer, he's one of our own.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Johnnie Jackson would be caretaker manager

Johnnie Jackson will be caretaker manager if Karl Robinson decides to go to Oxford. As Richard Cawley says, it would be a popular appointment: Caretaker

There is still no definite news from Oxford, but I am convinced that 'Tiger' is another bonkers owner.

Mark Marshall speaks out

Karl Robinson's resignation offer was news to Mark Marshall, but the winger has a lot of sympathy with the Charlton coach saying that no one likes to be deceived: Boss has my blessing

Marshall said that Charlton's poor form could not be blamed on the takeover uncertainty. However, the absence of a chief executive and a chief financial officer leads to a general sense of drift at the club which cannot help. Some suspect that Karl Robinson is manoeuvring to get the best exit deal.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Crawley boss to be new Valley supremo?

The Australian consortium bidding to acquire Charlton want to put Harry Kewell, currently at Crawley Town, to be the new Charlton supremo: Latest speculation

The Australian has played for Leeds United and Liverpool as well as a number of clubs down under: Harry Kewell

'Exciting announcement' pending at Oxford

Oxford United's owner has said the club will make an 'exciting announcement' today. Karl Robinson is on very short odds to become the next manager. Oxford have recently tweeted that this is 'International Happiness Day'.

The more I read about Oxford's new owner 'Tiger', the more I think he belongs to the class of bonkers owners. But Karl knows all about that.

Disappointed by the lack of investment in the transfer window, the shell shocked supremo may see Oxford United as an escape route: Way Out

Richard Cawley has just reported that Karl Robinson has offered to resign, more than once: I will go

Roland Duchatelet has rejected his resignation: Non!

One question is who would be available to accept any resignation, but presumably we still have a kit man?

Latest reports suggest that the streets in SE7 are calm and no fans have arrived to rend their shirts.

If he does go, I would put Jason Euell in temporary charge.

Monday, 19 March 2018

Ahearne-Grant finds his shooting boots

On loan at Crawley Town, Karlan Aheare-Grant has scored six goals in seven games. On Saturday he scored two goals away at Carlisle to secure Crawley a draw, delighting the 75 Crawley faithful who had made the trip north.

His first goal involved jinking past two defenders before drilling a low shot into the bottom right corner of the net.

This has all been against League Two defences, but it does give some hope that he is developing as a player.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

Sven preferred to Karl!

New Oxford United owner 'Tiger' 'My-name-is-too-long-for-my-door-plate' has decided that he wants a manager with a 'wow' factor and has plumped for Sven Goran Eriksson. The former England manager is said to be interested in coming, let's hope he doesn't think he was being offered an honorary fellowship at an Oxford college.

The bookies are still offering short odds on Karl Robinson. Oxford would be nearer to his Milton Keynes home.

One wonders what wheeze the new Thai owner of Oxford will come up with next. There is talk of a cable car system in Oxford to relieve congestion (really dreamt up as a riposte to Cambridge's recently unveiled plans for an underground) so perhaps it could run out to the ground.

He should perhaps be reminded that Sven had an unhappy spell at Notts County and there is a lot to be said for a man motivator with League One experience. Sven recalls his experience at Notts County: How I was conned at Notts County

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Bore draw at The Valley

In freezing conditions Charlton drew 0-0 with Fleetwood Town at The Valley this afternoon, leaving them five points away from the play off places. The official attendance was 9.865, but it was a few thousand below that, bearing in mind that EFL rules require that season ticket holders are counted as in attendance.

The visitors sat back in the first half and Charlton were incapable of breaking them down. Around the half hour mark, the Covered End started a chant of '4-4-2'. One fan tweeted that Robinson's tactics and formation were ****. Charlton were slow and predictable The referee was so bored he added no minutes on.

Robinson played his master stroke on 60 minutes with a double substitution. Magennis went off to ironic cheers, accompanied by Reeves. Ajose and Zyro came on.

Amos did well to keep out a one on one on 62 minutes and the rebound was just wide. The visitors were in more attacking mode in the second half.

Richard Cawley tweeted that Fosu and Forster-Caskey were the only players trying to make something happen.

Fans scanned the Charlton heights for sight of a kangaroo, but not even a wallaby could be seen.

I have to say that I am glad I am too unwell to come to matches.

Karl Robinson put the display down to the poor decision-making in the final third, so that's all right then. Admittedly, sixty per cent possession and two shots on goal does tell a story.

Chris Solly could be ruled out until the summer (at least Acworth will be pleased): Knee problem

Deal or no deal?

The postman rang the doorbell this morning. He nervously handed over a package: 'I think this is for you.' The only identifying mark was that it had come from the Medway sorting centre. It could have been a fanzine for Gillingham or Maidstone United. But it was, of course, Voice of the Valley posted the day before from Ramsgate.

'Deal or no deal'? is the headline. As it is two hours before the fanzine will go on sale around the ground, I do not want to publish too many spoilers. However, there is an excellent editorial by Rick Everitt which makes the point that, while there are many reasons why we go to The Valley, there has to be a level of focus on football success and this has been missing for some time.

On the takeover, the Rickster confirms that there is substantive interest in buying the club, but it all comes down to Roland's financial ambitions. At least five groups have been interested. The Scots headed back across the border before I had time to identify my Scottish forbears. In addition to the Australians and a British consortium, Rick Everitt refers to Arabs and one fronted by Dutch speakers, based in Belgium or Holland or both.

Friday, 16 March 2018

Cod Army ready to give Charlton their chips

Fleetwood Town players are confident of taking all three points at The Valley tomorrow, building on their unbeaten run under new coach John Sheridan: We travel with confidence

Last year's fixture ended in a 1-1 draw. Fleetwood are 10/11 for relegation. Odds: Charlton 11/10, Draw 11/5, Fleetwood 27/10

Forecast: Fleetwood secure a draw with an equaliser in time added on.

Retiring will be hard admits Jacko

Stopping playing football at the end of the season will be the hardest thing he has ever done, admits skipper Johnnie Jackson. However, he is looking forward to taking up a full-time coaching role at the club: Retirement

The Football League Paper runs 'where are they now?' features on players from lower league clubs and it is amazing (or perhaps not) how many are postmen or taxi drivers.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

It's crunch time for everybody

It's crunch time for everybody at The Valley says embattled supremo Karl Robinson with Charlton 19th in the form table and at risk of falling out of the top ten if they cannot beat the Cod Army on Saturday. Talking to Richard Cawley of the SLP, Robinson insisted 'This is not about me anymore': Growing pressure

Robinson commented: 'It’s now got to a stage where something has to be said. [I didn't think he'd been slow in saying things before now]. Because I can’t just keep saying we’ll be alright, we’ll be alright.'

Just as Charlton's play off hopes disappear down the Mersey, a new issue of Voice of the Valley will be out on Saturday. It can be purchased around the ground before the game or you can order it by post before 3 pm on Friday to be delivered under plain cover to enjoy in the privacy and comfort of your own home.

I have an article which I drafted in my head to while away the time in hospital. Fortunately, I didn't draft it from the time in intensive care when I discovered a facility in Norwegian, but there is a tale from beyond the grave.

I can't change my formation says Robinson

Addicks have been pleading with Karl Robinson to change his 4-3-2-1 formation and play with two strikers up front but the shell shocked supremo says he can't because he doesn't have two fit strikers. Zyro is more of a winger than a striker, he says: Formation can't change

He does then go on to say that Charlton have played four different formations in the last four games. Robinson does admit that he made mistakes with his substitutions against Oxford.

Defenders of Karl Robinson say that he has been given insufficient materials to work with, and that is the case, but he could have made more of what he has.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018

Fleetwood a massive game says Solly

Charlton's home match against Fleetwood Town on Saturday is now a massive game says Chris Solly: 'Words don't mean a thing, we have to do our talking on the pitch now': Rallying cry

In 2006, when we were still in the Premier League, if we had been told we would have a massive game against Fleetwood Town twelve years later, it would seem impossible.

Takeover could be next season

Supremo Karl Robinson has further dashed the hopes of Charlton fans by saying that the takeover of the club might not happen until next season. It is clear that he has no idea what is going on and is getting increasingly exasperated. But other reliable sources seem to know nothing either:

Robinson says there needs to be a complete change of mentality at the club. Less generous supporters might think this should include a one way ticket to Liverpool. There is no chief executive and just one English board member who has done a lot for the club in the past but is now past his sell by date.

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Tide comes in for Blackpool

After five months without a home win, Blackpool beat Charlton 1-0 this evening with a goal in time added on. It was a grim night for the 264 Addicks who have made the journey in a crowd of 3,216. After the game social media had many demands for Karl Robinson to go.

Although they had some chances, Charlton never looked like scoring. It was 71 minutes before they won a corner by which time the Tangerines had had fourteen.

It was a dreary first half with a twelve minute delay after Blackpool's Delfouneso was stretchered off. Page had to be withdrawn after the clash of heads. Brian Cole commented, 'So far the game that was called off was better than the first half.'

In the time added on Forster-Caskey was just over the bar with a half volley from 25 yards. Solly supplied a pinpoint cross to the head of Zyro, but the ball went over the bar.

After the break Magennis nodded wide from a Zyro cross. Sarr had to clear off the line on 80 minutes.

One minute into stoppage time Amos, who had made a couple of good saves, came off his line and only half cleared, allowing the home side to put the ball in the net. Fosu was narrowly wide with a last chance.

Karl Robinson has admitted that it was no use blaming the referee for Charlton's poor performance. Instead he has turned to the last page in his book of excuses: blame yourself. He has admitted that the buck stops with him and he has to take responsibility. He also apologised for failing to acknowledge the travelling Addicks after the game: Buck stops with me

Meanwhile former Charlton coach and interim manager Les Reed is being blamed for the problems encountered by Southampton: Saints

Riga talks about his time at Charlton

Of all the managers foisted upon by this the Duchatelet regime, the one I have most time for is Jose Riga. He wanted to stay on after his successful start at The Valley and when he came back two years later he found a completely different club. He was fascinated by how much football is in the DNA of English people.

Read an interesting interview with him here: People were just waiting for relegation when I returned

Robinson throws down the gauntlet

Tough talking supremo Karl Robinson has said that players can stay away from the club for the rest of the season if they have given up on the play offs: Players can stay away

Presumably this is meant to be motivational as the team heads for a blustery night out by the Irish Sea.

Admittedly, Robinson hasn't been given all the materials he needs, but he could have made more of what he has.

Blackpool lost 3-0 at title chasing Blackburn on Saturday, Blackpool boss Bowyer admitting that there was a gulf in quality between the two teams. Blackpool are, however, ahead of Charlton in the form tables with the Addicks seventh from bottom. At home the Tangerines have won five, drawn six, lost five. They have scored 23 and conceded 24. Charlton away have won six, drawn four and lost six. The result tonight is anyone's guess.

We can expect some odd refereeing decisions tonight as the man in charge is Trevor Kettle.

Odds: Blackpool 31/20, Draw 21/10, Charlton 15/8.

Monday, 12 March 2018

I got my Oystons mixed up, admits Karl

Karl Robinson has admitted that he got his Oystons mixed up when he got into a spat after the postponed fixture at Blackpool: Robinson on Blackpool owner

The supremo has taken the precaution of looking at his big book of excuses in advance and has lighted on the difficult pitch at Bloomfield Road. Add in a swirling wind off the sea and you have the perfect alibi.

Has anyone noticed that Karl looks remarkably like the actor in the current confused dot com advert?: Ripped off and confused about tactics

Kaikai toe injury blow

On loan Glazier Kaikai has injured his toe and will not be available at Blackpool tomorrow night. One cheeky fan tweeted 'That's good': Injury doubt

More significantly, Kashi, DaSilva and Mavididi are not available.

An overseas private equity firm has expressed an interest in buying the troubled club. Leaving aside what their motives might be, and recalling how Coventry City have suffered, they are apparently proposing to lease the stadium off the Oystons. Tangerine fans want them completely out of the club.

So expect a low attendance. Home fans are still boycotting. A few hardy Charlton fans might turn up, including those who live 'oop north. I would expect a strong wind off the Irish Sea, so wrap up warm.

Pardew is defiant

A defiant Alan Pardew has said that he will not resign at The Hawthorns and at the time of writing there is no sign of him being sacked. In part this is because none of the usual suspects, the middle-aged men on the managerial merry go round, is available. Tony Pulis is achieving success at Boro.

In his press conference, Pardoo accused his players of lacking effort and hurting his pride. The Times commented, 'Yet if his pride is dented it should be because of his own failure than suboptimal players underperforming. He has won seven of his last 54 Premier League games, dating back to the final days of his reign at Crystal Palace, has lost the Albion dressing room and indisputably deserves to be sacked.'

Will the Pardew myth finally be debunked? Not so long ago he was talked of as a potential England manager, mind you some hopeless cases have ended up there. Accounts of his career usually fail to mention his time at Charlton when his tinkerman tendencies were on display.

My message to the West Brom board: Alan Curbishley is available and willing to go beyond the M25.

Events at West Ham

The protests against the regime at Charlton have been peaceful, making allowance for the destruction of the hated fans' sofa. Pent up anger spilled over at the London Stadium on Saturday. I have expressed my views in two posts on a sister site:

Why West Ham fans are upset

'We were promised a dream, we were given a nightmare'

I know that some Charlton fans have campaigned against the generous terms that West Ham were given at the London Stadium, but that is a separate if related issue. I was quite amused to learn that one of the complaints being made was that a steward was wearing a Charlton jersey under his hi-vis vest.

This is another example of a board misleading and being unresponsive to fans which is why changes in the governance of football are needed.

Saturday, 10 March 2018

Alice through the looking glass

Charlton's humiliation was emphasised by the wild gyrations of a giant rabbit. Photo: Kyle Andrews.

It was an Alice Through the Looking Glass day for Charlton as they were crushed 4-1 by a rampant Peterborough. Magennis missed a penalty and was jeered off by his own fans. Karl Robinson was first down the tunnel to access his big book of excuses, but as there is no board to sack him, his job should be safe. The only consolation was to see the grim visage of relegation specialist Alan Pardew after West Brom's 4-1 defeat at home by Leicester City. But then the pundits are now talking about Millwall as possible Premier League hopefuls.

Before the game Richard Cawley tweeted that it was like Alice in Wonderland at London Road with a bizarre giant rabbit, two builder mascots and a man and a woman walking around in top hats and smart clothes. Matt Wright later tweeted that Charlton losing brought things back to normality.

Charlton are now 8th in the table and are fortunate not to have fallen further: results at one point would have dragged them down to 10th.

The Addicks did look a bit better when Zyro came on (he scored their goal), but why not start with him rather than the out of form Magennis?

It was a very open game in the first half, although some fans who were there thought that Johnnie Jackson lacked the legs. On 15 minutes a Fosu shot was blocked on the edge of the box. A Forster-Caskey volley was saved. The home side showed their intent when they hit the post on 25 minutes. Aribo put in a decent shot from a tight angle, but it was saved.

With a minute of normal time remaining, a free kick caused havoc in the Charlton box. A cross to the back post was turned home by Hughes to make it 1-0.

The Addicks started the second half brightly, winning a series of corners, one nearly leading to an own goal. On 54 minutes a push on Magennis led to a penalty, giving Charlton the chance to equalise. Magennis put the ball just wide of the post, having wrong footed the keeper. Four minutes later Sarr conceded a penalty, allowing the Posh to go 2-0 ahead.

Kaikai and Magennis came off, to be replaced by Reeves and Zyro. A few minutes later Jackson was replaced by Ajose. On 73 minutes a Reeves ball from the right allowed Zyro to score with a header. This gave Charlton hope again, but on 81 minutes Marriott shot under Amos from a tight angle. It was Marriott who made it 4-1 on 85 minutes.

Richard Cawley of the SLP is running a poll on Twitter on whether Charlton will make the play offs. He has got over 400 replies in just 50 minutes and 89 per cent say no.

Friday, 9 March 2018

New Posh boss 'proudest man alive'

New Peterborough boss Steve Evans is set to be 'the proudest man alive' as he looks forward to beating Charlton on Saturday: New supremo

The 55-year-old Scot, who resigned from Mansfield Town earlier this week, has lived near Peterborough for many years. He told local radio: 'It's probably the second club that's closest to my heart, the first being Glasgow Celtic. I've been in and around the city for the best part of 30 years - and probably for the best part of 20 years I've wanted to be the gaffer here.'

Now 50 per cent Canadian owned, Posh want to turn over a new leaf and stop being the 'nearly men' of League One. Last season they finished 11th, fading after Christmas.

This is an important match for the Addicks as they try to get into the play off places. Odds: Peterborough 13/5; draw, 12/5; Charlton 2/1.

Brett Huxtable is making the trek up from Devon to referee the match. Not everyone is keen on him: Yeovil fans cross

Thursday, 8 March 2018

My first Charlton game was a reserve fixture

I wrote a piece for a sister site on the under 23s and this got me thinking about the world of reserve football as it used to be, before the nonsenses of the Carabao Cup and development squads: The world of the under 23s

If we go back to the 1950s, reserve games as The Valley attracted around 1,500 spectators, if that. Some fans went to see Millwall if they were at home, others Arsenal. Most only went to the ground when there was a first team game, and they were selective about those, as the fluctuations in attendance figures show.

I can remember my father taking me just once to a reserve game and that was a Combination Cup fixture against Aldershot. I remember it because we encountered some Aldershot fans. But why did we go to this game? It was on September 5th 1953 and I now think this was my first game at The Valley (I was six years old). I think my father decided to take me to a reserve game to get me used to The Valley before we went to a first team fixture.

Over the years I have been to a few reserve fixtures when it fitted in with commitments in London, at The Valley, at the training ground and at Park View Road. I remember one game against Norwich City when I went with a friend. It was an afternoon game with a sparse attendance. The referee looked as if he should be drawing his pension and when my friend bellowed 'Get a grip, ref!' he seemed to be very startled.

Games could be held in unpredictable places. Once when Rick Everitt was away in Australia I was writing the match reports for the club site and I had to cover a reserve game between Oxford United and Charlton. I went to their then ground at Headington, only to find they were playing at Witney. It was a freezing night, but at least I saw the unique sight of referee Wendy Toms booking legend John Barnes.

In those days reserve games had a few fringe players or players coming back from injury, but mostly young hopefuls with Keith Peacock saying after a failed corner: 'We went through all that at the training ground.'

Four Four Two published an article in 2007 on reserve football which had quite a lot of Charlton content. Charlton had won the Premiership League South title twice and were hoping for a third success, but reserve team boss Glyn Snodin went to Southampton as assistant manager and Charlton finished fourth.

Reserve team captain Barry Fuller was interviewed and said 'For us it's like the first team playing in the Premier League. All the boys take it seriously. We want to win every game.'

Fuller was released by the Addicks and signed by Stevenage. He is now with AFC Wimbledon. Michael Turner was the reserve captain before him and signed for Brentford in 2004, realising that there were two or three players in front of him. He was one that got away as Hull then snapped him up for £350,000. He then went to Sunderland for what was thought to be £6m. Now 34, he plays for Chris Powell's Southend United.

It is actually quite difficult to tell who is going to make the grade in first team football.

Dreaming spires are not for me says Robinson

Karl Robinson has played down reports of a move to Oxford United after the odds were slashed on him being the next manager. The U's have been without a manager since January and are under new ownership: Oxford job link

The odds on the Charlton supremo were slashed to evens last night, but Sky Bet have taken bets on 37 different names which they admit is unusual for a League One club. It is not known if Alan Curbishley is among them.

Some big names have been in the frame as the U's new Thai owner moves towards a decision: 37 candidates

Robinson pins his hopes on Zyro

Josh Magennis has a hamstring problem and is unlikely to be available for the crucial 8th v 7th clash at Peterborough on Saturday. Also worrying is that Fosu and Forster-Caskey have been unable to train.

Supremo Karl Robinson is pinning his hopes on Michal Zyro who looks likely to be favoured over Ajose up front. He has been doing well in training: Injury worries

All sides have injuries, but Charlton have often had a makeshift look about them this season. In large part this is down to the funds available, but I think that Robinson is rather one dimensional when it comes to tactics.

If the Australian takeover went ahead, it would be the clash of two former dominions at Peterborough with the Posh now 50 per cent Canadian owned. I have no news on the takeover front. However, my personal view is that the Australian bid looks more solid than the alternative.

Wednesday, 7 March 2018

Maybe it's because I am a Londoner

Lucy May, 1875-1956

One of my children bought me one of these DNA match kits for Christmas and I was surprised to find how heavy the concentration of matches in London was. I knew, of course, that my family had lived in Plumstead Common since the First World War, but I also knew that there was Cornish and Scottish ancestry. However, when I started to trace my family tree, the preponderance of Londoners born and bred was clear. Some were within the sound of Bow Bells. My great-great grandmother Mary Heaven was born at Tower Hill in 1801 and married at St. Martins in the Fields in 1819.

The women on the maternal side of my family tended to live long lives, even before the advent of modern medicine. My maternal grandmother, Lucy Adelaide Florence May, was born in 1875 and died at Plumstead Common in 1956.

She was in her twenties when Queen Victoria died and was in many ways a Victorian. But she also had a very strong interest in football. Admittedly, this was partly for gambling purposes, doing 'the pools' as everyone did in those days. But her interest was far broader. Although she had had very limited education, she was evidently an intelligent woman.

Because her son-in-law was a newsagent she was able to get such football publications as there were free of charge. She was particularly interested in questions of promotion and relegation, issues which she discussed with me at some length. Her view was that in the short run these might be explained by managers and players. However, there were also longer run forces at work. She obviously didn't use this language, but she meant structural and demographic. For example, did the demotion of Liverpool from the top flight say something about the city?

I am completing negotiations with Manchester University Press for a book on football to follow up the one I co-edited for them in 2010. The book will be dedicated to my grandmother who stimulated my interest in the broader context of the game. In my study I have a simple ornament which used to be on her bedside table.

Friday, 2 March 2018

Wimbledon game off

As expected, tomorrow's game at AFC Wimbledon is off because of a frozen pitch: Postponed

This will leave the Addicks with a pile up of mid-week fixtures.

Thursday, 1 March 2018

Robinson talks the talk

Leamington manager Paul Holleran hails from the Black Country and has a formidable vocabulary from which referees benefit

Karl Robinson certainly knows how to talk the talk and his latest rallying cry is to be found here: Promotion run in looming

I know that we have had injuries and uncertainties about the ownership of the club. But tactics have sometimes been at fault as well. The Plan A does not allow for much flexibility and it is far from clear if there is much of a Plan B.

We could well make the play offs, but that is not the same as getting promoted. Remember that game against Swindon?

New owners are likely to want to make a fresh start with a new manager. I would be interested to hear suggestions about suitable British managers (although the coach may well turn out to be Australian). Anyone who suggests a non-league manager will be sentenced to sit behind Paul Holleran at a Leamington game as he shows his command of swear words.

The pitch at Kingsmeadow is not at its best

There will be a pitch inspection at AFC Wimbledon's Kingsmeadow ground (aka the Cherry Red Records Stadium) tomorrow and I expect the game to be called off given 'snowmageddon'. Supremo Karl Robinson is not happy about the prospect of more midweek matches, not least there, as he launches his promotion push: Pitch inspection

The lady referee at North Ferriby did not appreciate Paul Holleran's efforts to widen her vocabulary. He was sent from the dugout.

Wednesday, 28 February 2018

Price agreed with two purchasers

Charlton called in an expert in opaqueness to help them generate their statement

A price for the purchase of Charlton has now been agreed with two separate parties and the matter is now with the lawyers, Richard Murray has stated.

How the choice will be made between these two prospective purchasers is unclear, as is their identity. It could be a joint purchase. I found the statement so ambiguous that it could have been drafted by the Vatican. Perhaps it was.

Fans will be informed of the outcome in due course.

Rick Everitt has clarified that Murray implied that one or other of the offers would be taken up. I must have lost my ability to read between the lines taught to me by my newsagent uncle in Lakedale Road all those years ago.

However, I am a still uncertain about how one would choose between the two offers if they were similar on price. Of course, such offers sometimes involve bells and whistles such as extra sums to be paid on promotion or phased payments. There could also be issues about the £/€ exchange rate.

Palace plan for relegation

Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish has admitted that the club is making contingency plans for life in the Championship. 'We are in a dangerous place,' he admitted: Contingency plan

Palace are yet another club to suffer from the myth that Alan Pardew is a good manager.

The club is pushing ahead with plans to redevelop Selhurst Park and is looking for a naming rights deal.

Monday, 26 February 2018

What colour will the smoke be?

Roland is a shrewd businessman and wants to get a return on his 'investment' after all the hours he has put in

The sole Charlton director from England left standing, Richard Murray, will issue a pronouncement 'Urbis et orbe' (SE7 and the world) later this week on what, if anything, is happening in the takeover talks. This has been agreed with CAST. Murray had originally hoped that a decision one way or the other would be reached this month.

If Murray appears wearing a cork hat and carrying a toy kangaroo while 'Waltzing Matilda' plays in the background, one conclusion can be drawn. It is more likely that he will have nothing more substantive to report than 'Shooters Hill Station has been closed due to snow' (as was announced at a wintry Millwall v. Charlton clash).

Richard Cawley's short report can be found here: Takeover update

Reprieve for Super Al

He may be a dead man walking, but Alan Pardew has been allowed one last drink in the last chance saloon against Watford on Saturday: Got worse under Pardew The bemused Chinese owners cannot understand why Pardew has failed to be the motivator and tactical genius they were assured he was.

Their difficulty is that there are no credible alternatives immediately available. The days when Alan Curbishley's name would pop up in these circumstances are long since gone.

Baggies fans might have been careful what they wished for. Tony Pulis is a miserable old school so-and-so but I doubt whether he would have got them relegated.

Pardew himself said, 'It's not for want of trying. I've gone into my records [Charlton triumphs?] and used most of my repertoire, but I've still got a few things to go.' So we may see a bit more of the Tinkerman he tried at Charlton, an episode usually air brushed out of accounts of his career.

Saturday, 24 February 2018

Charlton fairly beaten

Charlton were overtaken by in form Plymouth in the play off places after they succumbed 0-2 to Shrewsbury Town at a freezing Valley this afternoon. There is no doubt that the better team won. My preview warned about the danger posed by former Leamington ace Alex Rodman and he opened the scoring for the visitors in the second half. Beckles then made it 2-0 from a corner.

All credit to Paul Hurst for getting his team to play as a cohesive unit. Karl Robinson? The less said the better. Robinson claims that the players did not implement his game plan. Why would that be?

Charlton did create three chances in the opening three minutes, but after that it was downhill all the way. Amos did save a rather tame penalty from Nolan with his legs, the ball then bouncing off the crossbar.

Charlton managed a decent opening five minutes in the second half, but then it was all Salop. After they went 2-0 down, Richard Cawley tweeted that Charlton showed a total lack of belief they could get back in the game. On 82 minutes Fosu, who had come on as a substitute, was just off target from 25 yards. Handbags at six paces on 85 minutes showed players' frustration.

Official attendance on football for a fiver day was 17,581 with 1,254 supporting the vistors.

Alan Pardew's future is in doubt after West Bromwich Albion lost 1-2 at home to Huddersfield Town. Why do people think he is a managerial genius? Seven wins out of fifty games with Palace and the Baggies.

'We could lose' admits Shrews boss

Shrewd Shrewsbury boss Paul Hurst admits that his team could lose at The Valley this afternoon. It will be a tough test of their credentials, but he has told his players just to relax and enjoy it: No worries

The coach is on its way, traffic doesn't look too bad and everyone is looking forward to a day out in London.

Earlier in the season Karl Robinson said that he reckoned Shrewsbury couldn't sustain their challenge. Admittedly, quite a few pundits had them down as relegation candidates.

The CASC Trust preview asks 'how come Shrewsbury are so good?' It seems a lot is down to the manager: Medium sized town in Shropshire

Shrewsbury have not won at The Valley since 1984, but games have been few and far between.

Referee Christopher Sarginson from across the border in Staffordshire will ensure that the Salopians get fair treatment. He is also known for adding on lots of stoppage time, but then Charlton matches are generally the last to finish anywhere.

Odds: Charlton 5/4, Draw 2/1, Shrewsbury 12/5.

Friday, 23 February 2018

Charlton could face former Brakes ace

One of the keys to success in the non-league system is sifting through players who have been let go by the Academy system to see if there are any hidden gems. Leamington have done this quite well with Danny Newton doing well for Stevenage.

In the summer there was a tussle between Leicester City and Swansea City for the signature of leading striker Courtney Baker-Richardson, a Coventry City academy product. Swansea won and he is banging in the goals and providing assists for their under 23s.

However, possibly the real star is Alex Rodman, a mainstay of Shrewsbury Town: Alex Rodman shines

It seems only yesterday when I was standing on the touchline at the New Windmill Ground chatting to his mum. He has had some injury problems recently, so Charlton may be spared him tomorrow.

Now living in Solihull, he played for the Brakes for three years while studying for a business studies degree at Nottingham Trent university. He was paid £30 a week and then in his last year at uni went to Tamworth where he earned £60-£70 a week.

He went on play for Aldershot Town and got three England C caps. However, he was then diagnosed with blood clots all over his lungs, had to go to hospital and was on Warfarin for three months. With his career apparently at an end, he broke down in tears but went on to play more than 200 games.

Rodman's father established Warwick Sports & Leisure.

Now aged 31, he is taking a master's in sports directorship at Manchester Metropolitan University. 'I found the more I dive into books, the more I read and learn and challenge myself, the more I grow as a person and a player. I feel that not only am I in the best shape of my life, fitness-wise, but also intelligence-wise with the decisions I make on the pitch and off.'

Richard Cawley of the SLP has done an exclusive interview with Ezri Konsa. Read it here: Promotion hopes

Thursday, 22 February 2018

The clock is ticking

I am back after my second stay in hospital and the club remains unsold, despite Richard Murray's stated belief that it was most likely to happen in February. However, Ramsgate pundit Rick Everitt reckons that any further delay will cost Roland Duchatelet: Time is running out for Roland

Some fans are sceptical of what Rick has to say because he has jumped the gun more than once. However, he does have access to multiple sources of varying credibility and they don't always tell the same story.

'Charlton till I die.' Yes, but I want my club back first with credible owners who are prepared to work with the fans to rebuild Charlton.

Sunday, 18 February 2018

Price was not right

Scotland supremo Alex McLeish has told the Evening Times in Glasgow that an effort to buy Charlton came to an end because Roland wanted too much for the club. An investment company was also involved. Presumably this leaves just the Australians in the frame.

Thursday, 15 February 2018

Service still suspended

Unfortunately I am back in hospital again. At least I can think about whether I prefer a kilt or a cork hat. The kilt does not need a pile of debt.But with McLeish having accepted the Scotland job, fresh doubts have arisen. However, his role seems to have been that of an advisor on the football side.

Friday, 9 February 2018

Tykes take a look at Robinson

Barnsley have Karl Robinson on their short list to replace Paul Heckingbottom as manager. Garry Monk is favourite, but Robinson is reckoned to have done a 'solid' job at Charlton.

Whether new owners would be happy to see Robinson see out the season or would want to bring in their own man right away remains to be seen.

Thursday, 8 February 2018

Done deal?

After over a fortnight in hospital, I was allowed to go home today. The NHS was marvellous throughout, thankfully averting a 30 per cent fatality rate.

What better news to greet me than growing reports that the sale of the club has been agreed. It looks like the Australians with a price tag of £45 million which represents a good deal for Roland.

With the SWAT team in charge of me for six weeks, there will be no early return to The Valley for me, but it looks like I have something to look forward to.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Chris Powell appointed Southend manager

Chris Powell has been appointed manager of Southend United on a two-and-a-half year contract. He was a player at the Shrimpers for many years: Chris Powell

Welcome, Michael Zyro

Charlton have signed Wolves forward Michael Zyro on loan for the rest of the season: Michael Zyro

The Polish player's career history can be found here: He's no zero

Charlton are still working on a loan deal for Crystal Palace's Sullay Kaikal.

Curse of Pardew, Part 94

A number of Premier League clubs have experienced a 'bounce' following a change of manager: Leicester City, Everton, Swansea City, Stoke City, even Crystal Palace.

But there is one glaring exception: joint bottom of the table West Bromwich Albion How could that be?

Monday, 22 January 2018

Timing of runs is crucial says Aribo

Joe Aribo thinks that the timing of his runs is crucial in enabling him to score goals from midfield. Lee Boywer has been helping him in training. It now looks far less likely that he will be sent out on loan: Timing of runs is key

Saturday, 20 January 2018

February most likely date for sale

With two consortia actively involved in negotiations, February is the most likely month for the sale of the club, Charlton director Richard Murray told CAS Trust representatives in yesterday's meeting: Murray speaks

In any event Roland would want to sell by the summer as he did not want to incur another season of losses.

Murray denied that there was any fire sale of players. It was evident that there might be circumstances in which funds would be available for new signings.

Convincing win for Charlton

Charlton secured a convincing 3-1 victory over Walsall at The Valley this afternoon, enabling them to hold on to their play off place. They are now just two points behind Bradford who lost at Bristol Rovers. It wasn't entirely straightforward and bringing on Fosu in the second half was a great substitution. The combination of his pace with that of Mavididi allowed the Addicks to dominate play more.

Charlton started brightly, although the returning Chris Solly picked up a yellow card for a foul on 10 minutes. There were chants of 'We Want Roland Out'. It appears that there is now a preferred bidder and a new process of due diligence has started.

Walsall were sitting deep when out of possession and it was difficult to open them up. Magennis broke away and put in a low effort but it was a very tight angle and the keeper was able to tip the ball round the post.

Then on 31 minutes Joe Aribo took advantage of a Mark Marshall cross from the left to put the ball in the bottom corner of the net with a controlled volley. It was his third goal in four home games at The Valley. On 35 minutes Mavididi rattled the bar.

Then on 41 minutes Otzumer took advantage of a cross from Leahy to head the ball into the net to make it 1-1. The former Charlton youngster was released because of his height.

HT: Addicks 1, Saddlers 1

On 48 minutes Lennon was caught in possession and Walsall were able to rattle the bar. Magennis burst through on 50 minutes, but shot straight at the keeper. On 52 minutes Fosu replaced Reeves.

On 61 minutes Mavididi went for goal from a very tight angle when Arbo was screaming for the ball in the middle.

Charlton's crosses were often poor and once again their corners were below the required quality. On 64 minutes Amos reacted well to keep a Walsall corner out. As the Saddlers stepped up the pressure, Bakayoho threatened but his shot fortunately ended up in the side netting.

Charlton hit the woodwork for the second time in the match on 69 minutes when Magennis hit the post with a header. On 71 minutes Roberts made a great save from Konsa. It was difficult to see why Charlton were unable to score in the ensuing scramble.

As Mavividi burst through with great pace, Roberts managed to put the ball in his own net to make it 2-1. On 86 minutes Walsall had an unmarked man on the far post, but were unable to take advantage.

Marshall had been working hard and went down with cramp. The referee gave him some treatment and then he was replaced by Ahearne-Grant.

Mavididi made it 3-1 on 89 minutes. He burst into the box, cut inside a defender and fired past Roberts. Five minutes were added on and once again Charlton's game was virtually the last to finish.

Apparently one signing is almost over the line and negotiations are continuing with Palace about a loan.

Johnnie Jackson interview

Johnnie Jackson will hang up his boots in the summer, the leading Charlton legend of the post Premier League interview. In this in depth interview he covers a range of topics from fan protests to prospects for this season. He also reveals that he relaxes by playing the guitar: Charlton icon

Kinsella hopes to start for Walsall

Mark Kinsella's son, right back Liam Kinsella, hopes to start for Walsall at The Valley this afternoon: Relishing Charlton trip

Walsall are currently 15th in League One. They have won three, drawn three and lost six away from home.

The CAS Trust preview is here: Morale boosting win needed

It appears that transfers during the window are being handled by one of Roland's Belgian envoys. What that implies is unclear, but it is unlikely to be good news.

Friday, 19 January 2018

Karl's waking nightmare

Karl Robinson wakes up every day hoping to hear that the takeover of Charlton has gone through: I wake up hoping for news

Robinson says that people say he should bring in loan players, but there is a limit to the number he is allowed to use.

Robinson defends Holmes over Sheffield move

Karl Robinson has defended Ricky Holmes over his decision to move to Sheffield United: Fan backlash

The so-called 'fan backlash' seems to have been talked up a bit and didn't seem that intense to me. Holmes also seems to have overreacted a bit.

Thursday, 18 January 2018

Brighton now interested in Konsa

Brighton and Hove Albion have now joined Everton in expressing an interest in Ezri Konsa. However, no bidding war is anticipated and the price tag is expected to remain around £4m: Seagulls in the frame

Talk to me Roland

Karl Robinson would like more communication with errant Belgian owner Roland Duchatelet. In the last four weeks he has had a text from Roland and an e-mail about Ricky Holmes: Wants more contact

The manager has no idea about what is happening with the takeover and whether it might take place in one week or five months.

Robinson praises fans for cancelling protests

Karl Robinson has praised fans for cancelling plans for protests before Saturday's game against Walsall after lone English director Richard Murray agreed to meet wih representatives of Charlton Athletic Supporters' Trust: Robinson praises fans

Bury are going to send back Nicky Ajose as he is of use to them, but will continue paying a portion of his wages. Charlton do not intend to play him and hope to loan him out.

Richard Cawley has tweeted that reliable sources are suggesting that Chris Powell is lined up to be the next Southend United manager.

Tuesday, 16 January 2018

Murray to be called out by Saturday demo

Charlton fans will demand answers about the club’s immediate future by rallying outside The Valley’s west stand before Saturday’s home match against Walsall. The Coalition Against Roland Duchatelet (CARD) is asking Addicks supporters to assemble outside main reception by 2.15pm, when they will call on director Richard Murray to come out and address them. CARD wants a pledge that a significant part of the cash from player sales during the January transfer window will be reinvested in replacements.

Charlton sold winger Ricky Holmes to Sheffield United for a reported £400,000 this week and are expected to conclude a £4m deal for defender Ezri Konsa to move to Everton before the end of the month. Murray said in a club statement on Monday that no fees would be reinvested because Charlton are in takeover discussions, but gave no indication of when or if these talks might be successfully concluded.

He is one of only two Addicks directors following the departure of chief executive Katrien Meire in December. The other is owner Duchatelet, a Belgian businessman, who last attended a game in 2014.

A CARD spokesperson said: “We need to hear from Richard Murray about the club’s immediate future. He said four years ago when Duchatelet took over that he would be responsible for the relationship with the fans and that he would speak on behalf of the board when appropriate. We feel it is only fair that we should give him the opportunity to do so. At the weekend manager Karl Robinson promised a takeover update this week, but there was nothing new about that in Murray’s latest comments."

“Holmes has gone and Konsa is likely to follow. We don’t expect Duchatelet to put in extra funds this month, but it can’t be right that the squad is weakened with no guarantee of a takeover. It makes no sense even in terms of getting the best price for the club, because he is making Robinson’s job of securing promotion more and more difficult."

”We want a guarantee that if Konsa goes without a takeover then a significant part of the fee will be made available to Robinson to strengthen the team. We also want a timeline for takeover negotiations with clarity about whether a deal is possible or likely before the end of January. We urge all concerned fans to come and hear what Murray has to say."

The spokesperson went on: “We have not staged any protests this season because we have been aware of takeover moves and did not want to do anything that might have affected a possible promotion push. The club has now damaged that prospect itself, so we are giving notice that the period of truce is over. We will not be organising anything inside the stadium on Saturday, but the gloves are coming off. Unless the situation is resolved, this is likely to be the start of an escalating series of lawful protests, both at The Valley and in Belgium. It’s now up to Murray to explain why that shouldn’t be the case.”

I would offer long odds on Murray coming out from the comforts of the directors' lounge.