Monday, 17 September 2007

Charlton comeback- again

2-2. Not a bad result. An away draw is never bad- especially at Colchester who are a decent team. But worryingly, another two goals conceded. Our defensive lapses need to be cut out if our attacking prowess is going to count for anything. Its no good scoring two if you concede two as well, besides the excitement of it all, that is.

We now enter a period of a few weeks in which teams can climb the league very quickly.

Norwich at home is an interesting fixture. They are a side that have playoff aspirations, and so should come at us a bit.This will leave space in behind for us to exploit (another high scoring game in the offing, perhaps?) with our numerous attackers.

Both Iwelumo and Todorov 'hobbled off' at Colchester. Does anyone know how serious their injuries are?

Saturday, 8 September 2007

England 3-0 Israel

So, surprisingly a good performance from England in a game that we never looked like losing.

Wright-Phillips, Owen and Richards got the goals to ensure that Mclaren (wearing a suit and sporting an impressive combover) and Venables (donning his England tracksuit and a black and white striped polo-shirt, with swag written in big letters on the front) looked slightly less pale at the final whistle. Mclaren even looked to have slightly more hair at the end of the game, or maybe it was a trick of the light.

Both Coles were disappointing, and Ferdinand was his usual dopey self, but other than them everyone was uncharacteristically competent. The only other downside was that Heskey performed well enough to earn a recall...

The calm before the storm.

Wednesday, 5 September 2007

Current ponderings

Fantastic result against Palarse, eh? Apparently, the atmosphere in the stands, and in the changing room after the game was great. Morale in the squad must be superb after a comeback last week and a local derby victory on Saturday. And two consecutive wins puts us up to the heady hights of seventh, only one place outside the play-off places! Wow, us, in the top half... I, like most Charlton fans, am enjoying the Championship; the excitement, the passion, but most of all the optimism I feel going into every game. I genuinly believe we can and should win every week, which is much better than hoping for a draw.

The latest rumour is that Pards is weighing up the possibility of signing a teenage Ireland international on loan, to replace Marcus Bent. Pudon?

England have two games coming up. I love watching England play, but only because I enjoy moaning and shouting at the overrated idiots when they mess it all up- again. Yet, I remain hopeful that one day, maybe far in the future ,there will be a good England side. Fat chance of that with Emile Heskey, yes, Emile Heskey, recalled.

If Mcaren is short of strikers then why not try Agbonlahor, Young, Moore or Derbyshire (all look like players with great potential) instead of Heskey.

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Window round-up

The transfer window is finished, and on the whole I am happy with Charlton's wheeling and dealing. The last two days saw two arrivals and two departures.

Both Mills - experienced, tough tackling and influential - and Sodje, six foot odd and wide as a door - are good loan signings, whether as cover or in the first team.

Faye and Bent meanwhile have gone up north, also in "loan" deals. Faye need never return as far as I'm concerned, but I am in the minority of Charlton fans where Bent is concerned. Sure, we paid too much for him; sure, his wages are too high and sure, he doesn't score many goals, but I always thought that he won lots of headers, worked hard (at times), and would be very dangerous in this division. Most other Charlton fans disagree, I know.

I suppose that one reason for all the loans, not just at Charlton, is that it gives the clubs time to haggle over a fee, while the player is still eligible to play.

Today we play Palace. They'll be up for the game, no doubt. But will we? Will our newbees understand the importance of the game? We shall see.

Monday, 27 August 2007

Stockport next up

Anyone else noticed that every team we play begins with the letter 's': Scunthorpe, Swindon, Stoke, Sheffield Wednesday and now Stockport. Typical Palarse to ruin it on Saturday.

I'm not going tomorrow, but I will be interested to see what sort of side we field. Will we try to build a side that knows each other inside out, and start with the same or very similar eleven? Or will we use the cup as an opportunity to rest key players and blood youngsters?

Meanwhile, rumours that Bent may go to Wigan or one of the promoted sides (likely), and Earnshaw might come to Charlton (ridiculous) persist. Reasons to doubt the Earnshaw rumour ? The lad has only just got off the train at Derby, and would surely be reluctant to move straight back to a Championship side; we are already well stocked with strikers, even if Bent leaves; Pards has bemoaned our side's lack of height, so seems unlikely to be on the lookout for another titch; and apparently the money that Derby receive for the transfer would be spent on Nugent, who recently moved to Portsmouth, and probably wouldn't fancy the move to a club already fated to relegation. No one links us with the kind of tough and commanding centre back that we really -- desperately -- need. Pards moves in mysterious ways ...

Saturday, 25 August 2007

Charlton 3-2 Sheffield Wednesday

Well I was gonna have a rant, but...

This is the sort of game that can really give a team confidence and kick-start their season, as Pardew pointed out. Certainly the second half was probably as good a performance as we'll see this season, and credit must go partly to Pards for that. But in the first half, we were terible. I don't understand why Reid (all left foot) was on the right, and Thomas (all right foot) was on the left- although he prefers it there- and blame must go partly to Pards for that.

We swapped the wings and introduced Zheng and, in the second half, the game turned. Three fantastic finishes later, we left The Valley happy.

So, a qualified well done to Pards and the lads. Let's hope everyone's learning the lessons. Defensively we've got to toughen up and start winning the aerial battles and Pards needs to recognize the importance of Andy Reid to the side, and play him where he can have the greatest influence on the game - which is not stuck out on the right wing.

Man of the match: Iwelumo. Two thumping finishes to give us the points after a poor first half. Reid, for some great passes and a fine goal, and Zheng, for adding shape and discipline to midfield, ran him close.

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Wednesday Preview

Injury list: Yassin, Varney, Holland, Todorov.
Other unavailable players: Dickson (loan), Racon (Pards won't play him yet).

So it could be that our squad will be stretched for Saturday, but I remain unusually optimistic. I didn't see the the Stoke game, so the last time I saw Charlton was against Scunthorpe, which wasn't a bad performance. I am anticipating a similar game: smooth build-up play, slick passing and silky skills creating chance after chance, versus uncompromising hoofs for Big Bent to chase. ;)

Seriously though, the difference in technical ability between Scunthorpe and us was huge, and Wednesday may not be much better. They will probably battle in midfield, defend deep and ride their luck while we attack relentlessly. 0-1 then... with Jeffers getting the only goal... please God no.

Hopefully the ref won't be so bad this week, anyway.

I would line-up:

Semedo McCarthy Bougherra Thatcher
Ambrose Zheng Zhi Reid Thomas
Bent Mcleod

Subs: Randolph, Powell (for the post-match jig), Fortune, Sam, Iwelumo.