Just getting embarrassing now isn’t it ?

Okay, this is getting a bit ridiculous. Last post on here was the end of January and it’s now almost the middle of March.

I didn’t realise it was quite that long until one of my three readers pointed it out last Tuesday night, thanks Ken !!

So, why haven’t I posted for so long ? I don’t really know, it’s not as if there hasn’t been anything to write about. Maybe I’ve just become a little bit apathetic about the whole thing.

The side has been pretty poor under Robinson with suggestions that some players haven’t been putting in quite the expected amount of effort. Maybe some of the players just aren’t good enough or maybe the manager isn’t up to the task.

But, there have been eleven matches since my last post so (for my future benefit if for nothing else) time for a quick catch up.

First up was Bolton away – and not the best start with Lewis Page getting himself a red card for a last ditch challenge to save what would have been an almost certain goal. Unfortunately Bolton scored from the free kick anyway !

Not all that bothered about ‘watching’ the rest of the game via Twitter but then we equalised through Patrick Bauer and even more surprisingly took the lead just before the break thanks to Nathan Byrne. An excellent defensive effort throughout gave us all three points and a pretty cheerful evening.

Home to high-flyers Fleetwood and such is the mentality of this Charlton fan after Bolton away that I was expecting nothing less than victory.

Taking the lead, possibly against the overall run of play thanks to Ricky Holmes it became a little of what only Twitter could relay from the Bolton game as we slowly dropped deeper and deeper. Of course, it was only a matter of time and sure enough Fleetwood bagged their equaliser right at the death which was compunded by Byrne getting a stupid red card before they very nearly nicked it in the final seconds. Two points thrown away !

Three away games on the trot and the first was a bit of a rerun of Fleetwood. We take the lead at AFC Wimbledon courtesy of Ricky Holmes, don’t capitalise on the lead and then balls it up by conceding in second half injury time.

Off to Oldham on Valentines Day (the team, not me) but nothing doing there as we concede inside the first five minutes and despite having more possession, more chances and more shots on target, we couldn’t get the equaliser.

And so onto Rochdale away. A team not that far ahead of us but one goal ahead of us inside the first five minutes (again). And this from a team who hadn’t scored in the previous four games !!

This time we found an equaliser thanks to Jordan Botaka and then went ahead care of possible new striker Jorge Teixeira. Of course we couldn’t hang onto the lead and Rochdale were soon level. I almost gave up the Twitter feed after eighty-four minutes when Rochdale went ahead but this time it was us getting the last few moments equaliser with Teixeira grabbing his second.

Slightly worrying (and this has been a niggle for a while) is the seeming lack of saves from Declan Rudd. He dropped the cross for the opener when he should have done better and did the same against Scunthorpe a week ago.

Anyway, Oxford Utd at home on the twenty-first, the day after my birthday. The least said about the game the better really with us going down 0-1 with former loanee Conor McAleny scoring from distance with what looked a pretty weak (but ultimately very well directed) shot past Declan Rudd.

Nothing doing in the going forward column bar a shot from Mavididi that came back off the post and Chris Solly getting a straight red for a bit of a lunge. Quite a few complaints from those around me at the decision, especially as Solly looked to have been fouled just beforehand but either way he shouldn’t have dived in and the decision was probably the right one ?!

More importantly was the pre-match entertainment – my brother decided to treat me to a seat in Crossbars for the Curry Night. Not a bad meal by all accounts, (no funny tummy Wednesday morning was the best sign), although the slightly bizarre sight of one of the waitresses bringing out the dessert options of a doughnut, muffin and chocolate cup cake without the aid of a tray or a plate.

I was expecting her to start juggling them before her opportunity was spoilt by a chap dropping his plate into his own lap and spilling tikka down his crotch.

Alas, there was no Charlton Legend in attendance (despite said attendance being in writing on the evening’s agenda) so following our performance on the pitch my brother sent a strongly worded moan to the club and bagged them a second attempt to do better tonight.

Saying that, the Charlton Legend will be Bob Bolder (Keith Peacock is the only other option and he has a lounge named after him) but quite what the poor sod has to do while us lot are scoffing curry I don’t know. Maybe he’ll stand between a couple of the pillars in the lounge, gloved up ready to fend off flying onion bhajis ??

Looking forward to it already !!

Back to the Valley again on the Saturday to face Bury. Patrick Bauer had a goal disallowed early on but then Bury took the lead after we made a complete and utter bish of clearing the ball from our penalty box and eventually they were able to force it home.

Lee Novak, who I thought had a pretty good game was denied by bar and keeper, Mavididi had a half chance or two but again, nothing doing and another trip home with no points in the bag and a general feeling of depression in the air.

Not a lot going the right way for us at the moment and the bottom end of the table was starting to look a lot closer than the top !!

A chance to get away from the somewhat toxic atmosphere that was starting to raise its head at the Valley with an away trip to Shrewsbury Town saw us ahead at half time thanks to two great strikes from Ricky Holmes but Shrewsbury equalised and then went ahead inside the space of two minutes with the highlights of our defending almost too embarrassing to watch without peering through my fingers.

Holmes completed his hat-trick and put us level with twenty minutes to go but our defensive frailty meant we couldn’t hold on and conceded a fourth that we couldn’t equal again.

Another away game had us up at Northampton but we conceded two while only scoring one and another three points go to our opponents leaving us without a win in eight.

Over this period KR had come out and said that some players weren’t fit to wear the shirt (I paraphrase – what he said was more like I have players I have to play cos I don’t have a very big squad) but the suggestion that some couldn’t be arsed was definitely there.

We then played equally poorly at Northampton, leaving those in attendance with more than enough ammunition to chuck at the players and manager after the final whistle with KR saying almost the opposite to his comments from the week before without much evidence to back it up.

In my opinion he definitely talks more than a little too much for his own good – it’s an oldy but a goody, but do your talking on the pitch !!

At the same time as we were being poor in Northampton, a fair few supporters were across the channel in Belgium taking the protests to the home of the man whose ownership of the club has ultimately brought us to where we are now. A march through the streets of St Truiden certainly brought notice to our concerns and I have to be honest, I was very surprised that Robinson kept his job as last time he had a home visit Roly got a strop on and sacked Russell Slade.

Strange then that Robinson didn’t lose his job that weekend but Russell Slade did again – getting sacked by Coventry City (another club with dodgy owners !!)

So after four defeats on the spin, we have three home games in a week to try and stop the rot. Unfortunately, the first of these was against Scunthorpe, a team right up there. I wasn’t confident at all. On top of that I’d already spent most of the day down in Lydd (a town that the back of beyond forgot) for my Great Uncle’s funeral.

Uncle Frank and Auntie Pat used to live just around the corner from the Valley when I first stated going to Charlton, in fact the photos of me on ‘My Charlton Pictures’ page as a small person were taken outside their house.

Quite why they moved to Lydd I’ll never know but a trip back up to Charlton meant a train journey from Chelmsford for my brother who was too young to know them and so didn’t go to the funeral.

A delay to kickoff due to some security issue at London Bridge only added to the general nail-nibbling before the game got underway, we looked quite promising really and Scunthorpe looked a bit shit.

A good corner from Ricky Holmes (in itself a rarity) was met by the swinger of Johnnie Jackson on the volley and we were ahead. A bit of a change in formation with what looked like almost three up front with Ricky Holmes the point of the triangle certainly seemed to cause a few problems for Scunthorpe, and with Jacko making sure all around him were pulling their weight we didn’t look too bad.

Chicksen in at full back for Page gave us a bit more going forward
Unfortunately, the obviously not fully fit Josh Magennis had to go off and Robinson made another odd substitution, replacing him with a holding midfielder in Andrew Crofts rather than either of Tony Watt or Karlan Ahearne-Grant.

This decision seemed to push us back a bit, with Ricky Holmes sent to the wide position and Joe Aribo pushed forward. He had been very good in the middle alongside Jackson but looked well out of position higher up.

A cross from the left was probably too far out for a keeper to come for but Rudd did anyway and made a bit of a bish of it. An attempt at a one-handed catch didn’t and the ball landed at his feet as he landed.

A desperate swing of his left peg tried to clear but he missed the ball completely and Scunthorpe took full advantage, grabbing possession and banging it home for the equaliser.

And so the nail-nibbling began again with Scunthorpe now pushing hard for the winner only for Jorge Teixeira to get pulled down in their penalty area, Tony Watt to grab the ball and ping it past the keeper to take the plaudits and give us the points and a cheerful trip home.

Why then, having played pretty well all things considered against a promotion chasing side did we revert back to a one up front formation against Walsall ?

No brother this weekend, he was off gallivanting abroad at a stag do while Charlton were playing (he can’t complain about Katrien doing much the same) so my eldest daughter made a return to the Valley for the first time in almost a year.

All Walsall early on with Simeon Jackson missing an absolute sitter from eight yards out before Rudd went walkies leaving Joe Aribo to come to the rescue and clear off the line. Another slight concern of late is how easy we seem to be beaten by the very long ball and sure enough we were undone by the same thing – Simeon Jackson away again and he finished well past Rudd to put Walsall up just before the break.

An injury to Ezri Konsa early in the second half had me hoping that Jason Pearce is very quickly available again (as Bauer & Teixeira are not a good pairing at the back) but with no defenders on the bench it all looked a bit ominous when Johnnie Jackson stripped off.

Having seen him not be great at left back a while ago I was almost overjoyed to see him go into midfield and Freddie Ulvestad drop back alongside Teixeira.

And fair play to Ulvestad who played very well there, making me for one a little more confident in the ‘play it out from the back’ system as he is a lot more comfortable in possession.

A switch back to the more successful formation of the previous Tuesday night and we were instantly a better side, helped by the introduction of Lee Novak up front. He started winning headers and putting himself about, a pass from Joe Aribo found Tony Watt and his vicious strike beat Neil Etheridge (former loanee) to tie things up.

Half chances for us and one for them did nothing to change the scoreline and the game ended with a point apiece and us going home a little disappointed not to get more out of it.

Only other thing to spoil the day for me was Mr Twat-Bollocks sitting near us who this time out decided Nathan Byrne was the worst defender ever, or, as he called actually said “I don’t know who’s playing right back but he’s just terrible”.

Possibly more importantly than all that are the rumours (for that is all they are for now) that Roland may be considering selling up.

Honestly I’m not counting any chickens – but what I will say is that I’m hopeful that one, the rumours turn out to be true and two, whoever buys us can’t make any worse a fist of it then Roland has.

We’ll see in due course but until I see something about a firm offer in the national press I shall keep well hid any feelings of joy !!

I may of course take the day off work to come down to the Valley to help Katrien pack, or even just join the massive throng of those politely waving her out of Harvey Gardens.

One final bit of negativity before I go though – who is in charge of the match programme because it has been bloody awful this season. Not in overall content or quality but just in the laziness of production.

The spelling and grammar mistakes just leap off the page and completely ruin it for me. Just a tip chaps, turn on the ‘check spelling in capitals’ option on your laptops because spelling mistakes in titles and headlines are just embarrassing !!

Whinge over – on to tonight, home again against Bradford – brother’s girlfriend’s team !! Surely a win – and a curry in the company of a Charlton Legend too.

C’mon you Reds !!

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Time for a catch-up !!

65milesCrikey, last post on the 19th December !! I knew I hadn’t put anything up for a while but didn’t realise it was quite that long ago.

A lot has happened since then – so much to recap and with another game tomorrow, so little time.

On the pitch it’s been a bit hit and miss. Millwall away (I didn’t go) sounded like we really weren’t up for it and were pretty much bullied to a defeat in a game that we never got going in.

Conceding two just before the break (both of them poor from our point of view but the second was absolutely shocking with Morison so unmarked it was almost embarrassing) wasn’t helped by Nicky Ajose getting one back (a good goal, build up and finish) but sure enough Millwall killed it off with Steve Morison getting a well taken but terribly defended second on the hour.

Karl Robinson didn’t sound a happy bunny after that defeat but not as annoyed as the majority of Charlton fans on social media.

The thing is, beating Millwall is getting more and more unlikely if you don’t have players willing to get into them and battle just as hard, if not harder.

We’ll come back to that a bit later on.

Christmas Day came and went – no Charlton calendar for me this year alas and then Boxing Day at Milton Keynes.

Having suffered the FA Cup replay defeat at Stadium MK and with it being Boxing Day, the decision was taken to stay at home.  Despite allowing a number of very good chances MK Dons were unable to take them and Ademola Lookman pretty much confirmed he would be on his bike come the January window with a great finish from an equally great, if not even better through ball from Andrew Crofts to score the only goal of the game and give us a slightly belated present.

And so onto New Year’s Eve. An away trip this time with wife, brother and his girlfirend in tow took us to Roots Hall and the pleasures of the away seating behind the goal.

Fortunately, the away fan ‘thing’ of standing was the best option as trying to sit would have needed me to have left everything from my hips down in the car park but it wasn’t the best of afternoons again as we struggled to get anywhere going forward especially first and some poor defending gave Southend a chance to open the scoring.

A great save from Dillon Phillips and the post coming to the rescue kept us in it, but Jorge Teixeira, Morgan Fox & Little Freddie all denied by the keeper had me thinking this probably wasn’t going to be our day. Joe Aribo hits the bar with a curler, they miss an absolute sitter header at the far post and maybe, just maybe.

I have to be honest, there were some chunks of the game I didn’t see too much of as the combination of being six foot tall, standing at the back, the low roof and some expertly positioned tannoy speakers contrived to obscure my view but we finally got something to cheer about when Andrew Crofts volleyed home a cross from Joe Aribo to snatch a point from nothing at the death.

Funny how the mind plays tricks, but I thought Crofts slid in to finish left footed off the underside of the bar. Not my brother, who thought much the same, wife, who didn’t see anything but the ball hit the bar and then everyone leaping and brother’s girlfriend who also didn’t see it but joined in with the leapage noticed that he actually volleyed it with his right foot as he fell away from goal.

I didn’t until seeing the footage later, combined with Josh Magennis rooling around the goal net with the defender trying desperately to get hold of the ball and get it back for the restart. At that point I didn’t care about going for a winner, I’m too pessimistic so was more than happy with a point.

The least said about the smell from the gents after the game as the wind wafted the hum of stale urine behind the goal the better !

So not a bad few days and soon back at the Valley for the return match with Bristol Rovers.

Having travelled cross-country to see us stuff the Gasheads I was looking forward to this one and we weren’t to be disappointed, with one of the best displays of the season so far.

Four one at home, a Josh Magennis hat-trick featuring two identical headers and a superb third from a great Andrew Crofts’ pass, not forgetting of course the deft touch of Tex from another Joe Aribo assist, made us forget for just a moment the horrors of our ownership and send us home with a broad grin on our faces.

Obviously it didn’t start quite as well as we would have hoped with the BFG making a BF cock-up to concede possession and ultimately the opening goal.

We then hit the bar twice before Rovers showed they are still clearly as poor at set piece defending as they were at home and Josh took both chances superbly.

A week off with the Rochdale game cancelled gave us Millwall at home and a chance to redeem the performance at the New Den but we still couldn’t beat them. But, we didn’t lose either and the performance showed a bit of grit so not all bad.

Disappointing that we lost Tex for a game to a mad moment after the final whistle but having read the Richard Cawley interview with Steve Morison later in the week I’m just glad that he waited until the final whistle as I don’t think we’d have hung on if we’d had to play with ten.

Also disappointing that we lost both Josh Magennis to an injury which although not as bad as it first looked will see him out for a month at least and also an injury to one of the new boys, Lewis Page.

Nathan Byrne looks like he might be quite useful, great to see Ricky Holmes back despite running too close to the byline twice and over-hitting both crosses behind and what can only be described as a God-awful bun on the top of his head.  Lose it Ricky, we like the bouncy, flowing locks!

Also good to see Tony Watt back in a Charlton shirt – hopefully he might be able to stick at it this time around and the Karl Robinson is the man to keep him on the proverbial straight and narrow.

I appreciate he has possibly burnt his bridges on more than one occasion but he clearly has the ability to get people on their feet if he can keep his own on the ground.

He is not however the man to lead the line in a ‘one up front’ formation so hopefully we can get someone there to do that job and let him run a few rings round the opposition from a slightly withdrawn position.

Scunthorpe being called off was not a great surprise, not the only game in the ‘area’ not making it but of course we’re Charlton and could only add to our laughing-stock-ed-ness by the news leaking out that we have the pipes for an undersoil heating system but nothing connected to it to actually provide the heating.

If only we’d bottled a few of Katrien’s previous speeches there might have been enough hot air to run the thing.

So, Bolton away tomorrow and I think we stand a chance of something up there although not entirely sure what side we’re going to put out.

Away from the pitch the main news was the sale of Ademola Lookman to Everton for a pretty big fee (thanks the January Panic-Buy Window) although we haven’t spent much / any of it.

A new boiler might be an idea if Roly hasn’t already filled in his paying-in book and deposited the lot in his building society book.

Good luck to him (Ademola not Roland) and a very tidy finish with his second ever touch to finish off the rout of Man City.

Also very good luck to Morgan Fox as he goes to Sheffield Wednesday. I liked Morgan. He wasn’t great, he made mistakes but he was Charlton and you can never say he didn’t give everything.

I’ve said it before on here that he was very much a confidence player and when he made a cock-up (as they all do from time to time) the immediate grief he got from a proportion of the crowd knocked that confidence even more.

With the squad we have he didn’t have a lot of competition for his place (and you can say Tareiq Holmes-Dennis all you like if you want) but it wasn’t Morgan’s fault he got sold.

Also, with Ademola in front of him Morgan didn’t have a lot (any) help in defending and rarely had an easy out ball up the line with Ademola often moving inside.

Still, Foxy’s gone now – good luck mate !!

His move I thought might quieten the twit who sits just along from me who berated the poor sod every time the ball came anywhere near him and in this bloke’s eyes Morgan could do no right.

If he didn’t get forward he called him lazy, if he did get forward and lost it he was an idiot, he was a defender and he should stay at the back.

Apparently the guy is also a fully qualified coach because according to him the left back should stand next to the winger at all times, even if the play is on the opposite side and the right winger is hugging his touchline!?

Alas Morgan’s transfer has not shut him up …. he’s moved on to Ezri Konsa who now is the worst defender in the club.

He also spent the Millwall game moaning at DaSilva for not taking people on, then when he did and lost it, then when he did and crossed it but we had no-one in there and then when he lost the ball in a tackle. Unfortunately the last one was actually Joe Aribo, but I suppose from up in the Covered End Aribo and DaSilva look very similar.

Except Joe is about twice his size !!

Alas the man’s an arse !!

Good to hear about WAR (Women Against the Regime) and what they have to say about Katrien’s FA appointment (or not).  Good luck to you.

Not sure what I think about Red Bull either. Anyone should be better than Roland but what sacrifices will come if they are the buyer of choice?

I can’t imagine the league will consent to a name change (they wouldn’t let Hull City) but money talks – especially if you have lots and lots and lots of it.

We’ll see I suppose. Still, tomorrow is the most important thing for now.

C’mon you Reds !!

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Well that was God-awful !!

charviglenWell … to quote myself, “Here’s hoping that today might be the start of this expansive, goalscoring side that KR has been gushing about.”

Nope, didn’t do that !!

Possibly one of the most appalling team performances that I have ever witnessed – an almost complete lack of effort.

I’m not saying they weren’t trying – or am I ?

There just was nothing there apart from the first few minutes of each half – after which we just didn’t do anything.

Do I go through the team and individually comment ?

I don’t think I can if I’m honest – it would be too depressing.

What I will say is that Dillon Phillips is a good keeper but is too young and isn’t ready for the first team – poor decision making at times and distribution. Ezri Konsa is not a full back (we have one in Kevin Foley – play him).

Morgan Fox is a good player but needs support on the wing which he does not get, neither Jordan Botaka or Ademola Lookman give him any protection whatsoever, he never has an easy out ball down the line and neither of them even consider covering for him when he gets forward. He also didn’t look fit to me.

It’s no surprise that his confidence is shot to bits but the cheering that went on when he got substituted was thoroughly unhelpful, unnecessary and unpleasant.

One wonders how many of those cheering would have done the same had it been Ademola Lookman that had been substituted instead, especially as he was as bad if not worse than Fox as he is (allegedly) a star in the making.

His performance was awful, his set pieces were shocking, ignoring the last minute fall over, the free kick we had thirty yards out in the first half was surely calling for either a blast from distance or better, a clipped ball into the tall boys at the edge of the box, but no, a one-two and a no-chance dance at the first of two lines of defenders.

He gave the ball away so many times it was on the way to embarrassing with people around me (and me) calling for him to pass every time he got possession before he could lose it.

Yes, he’s young, yes he’s still learning but do something about it – take the pressure of him by taking him off, or better, not starting him.

Opponents have worked him out … get tight, kick him a few times and knock him about and he tries too hard and then disappears when things don’t work for him.

Adam Chicksen needs to start – he was the only player who actually looked like he was interested in having go – at Milton Keynes away he was great going forward from full back.

We seemed to have no leadership at all, we missed Jacko in the centre of midfield (I know I’ve said he shouldn’t be playing but away at MK he was very good at the back point of the diamond) and very little fight.

Nicky Ajose needs either dropping or a hefty kick up the arse.

He’s not going to dance past two or three and ping it in the postage stamp but at the moment he’s not even getting in the right positions.

The frustration is shining more and more brightly as he waves his arms about and moans when he doesn’t get the pass – the worst time when Josh Magennis didn’t pass but took the opportunity to shoot. To be honest, who wouldn’t shoot in that situation ?

It wasn’t so much the moaning, it was the complete lack of thought to chase the ball as it ran away, instead berating his strike partner for not squaring it.

It’s time for Mr Robinson to start fulfilling some of that promise he’s been spouting instead of trying to be everyone’s mate.

I appreciate there’s not a lot he can do once the players get on the pitch, but he can have a rant and a rave from the technical area and make some sensible changes.

There is no way that Lookman should have stayed on for the ninety minutes – replacing him with Chicksen on the left would have given us a better attacking option as Lookman had been shit and would have also provided poor Morgan Fox with the protection and support he’s been missing.

This wingers playing narrow crap is exactly that – they become useless from an attacking point of view as there is less space to work in and more players to beat, and neither of them have a clue about defending so would be of no use to the other two in midfield.

And as for bringing Joe Aribo on instead of Jacko in a game where we’d been bloody awful and the rest of them needed a kick up the backside, I just think there’s something a bit fishy going on.

The whole lot need to practice the basics – we must have had the highest percentage of misplaced passes this season so far.

Okay, can’t talk about this any more … we’ve got Millwall on Wednesday and a performance like that will have them laughing at us for years to come.

Possibly more importantly I’ve just received four tickets for Southend away on New Years Eve. What I don’t need on the last day of the year is a drive back to North Essex with brother and his girlfriend and my wife telling me how bad we are.

If the thought of a London derby against Millwall can’t get the players up enough to put in a performance to somehow try and erase Saturday from our minds then I fear for Karl Robinson making it to the end of the transfer window.

Chris O’Loughlin anyone ?

And on the subject of regime lackeys, clearly Mad Roly is still listening to them. The latest craziness from our Belgian owner has him calling supporters stupid and chucking the same at Chris Powell.

Personally I think someone who is happy to spend lots of money employing public relations people and then spouting utter tosh without checking with them is possibly more stupid.

But what do I know ?

One thing I do know agrees with the out-take from ‘Getting To Know The Network’; if those players his super scout found us were any good at all wouldn’t they still be in the team ?

Ultimately, what matters for me are the results on the pitch … so come on chaps, fingers out and show a bit of fight at Millwall for Christ’s sake.

C’mon you Reds !!

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