TalkSport ? – Talk utter tosh !!

65milesIt’s been just under a month since I last posted on this blog and to be honest, I haven’t really thought much about it.

On the pitch it hasn’t been all that clever; Football For A Fiver day became another embarrassment to what would be a very embarrassed football club – if those in charge actually cared enough about it.

A very poor performance at home to Rochdale, with a significantly low attendance especially for a Football For A Fiver day, did nothing to staunch the growing dislike of Russell Slade’s tactics and would only add to the general disappointment, and anger in the hearts and minds of the majority of Charlton supporters.

Johnnie Jackson’s missed penalty didn’t help, but to be fair, it would have been a bare papering over the huge cracks in this club at the moment.

Going down at home to Crawley in the CheckATrade Trophy just added to the malaise – I didn’t go, pointless competition, and then a positive …. Millwall away called off due to international call-ups.

But, back into the swing of it all on the 15th and home to Coventry City.  A combined group of disgruntled {… understatement …} supporters marched to the ground to protest outside the main entrance, the game was interrupted by a load of flying pigs (what is the collective term for that ?) before what could only be described as one of our better performances.

Some might say we only play well when we protest, and that might actually be the case, but Coventry were poor and we took our chances. Saying that, the Coventry centre-half created two of those on his own, clearly not one of the more ‘two-footed’ members of their playing staff.

Off on a tangent for just a moment, but these guys, even at league one are getting a pretty decent wage for playing football, you’d think someone somewhere might spend a bit of time with them teaching them to use their ‘weaker’ leg for something other than standing on ?!

While I’m all for a Charlton win, and the opportunity to jeer at an opponent making a bish of it, if he’d just whacked it away with his swinger we’d have only got one and there might still have been a chance for them to get something out of the game.

Still, he didn’t, three goals and three points, a pleasant journey home and the possibility that this might just be a turning point.

And so, to Port Vale away. With my brother gallivanting abroad with his young lady I was pondering making the trip by myself – God knows why, but then I went for it, took the afternoon off and rung my own good lady to tell her the news.

And fair play to her, for she had pre-empted my decision and arranged for cover herself and came with me !!

A pretty easy trip from Colchester (A120, M11, A14, M6) took us to the outskirts of Stoke where we met the rush hour traffic and then had a bit of a search to find Burslem and Vale Park (thank-you cleaning lady at the local health centre) but a kindly trio of stewards sorted us out a parking space as the heavens opened and it peed down.

Still an hour to kick-off so a stroll in the rain back into the town and a chip shop that despite offering a daily special of a pie, chips and tea for £3.50 despite not having any pies, supplied a very nice cod and chips and an opportunity to dry off.

Back to the ground and a chance to be ripped off four quid for two cups of tea (why do I pay that at away grounds when I wouldn’t pay it anywhere else ?) before a first half that could have seen us go in at the break half a dozen ahead.

Obviously we didn’t, Little Freddie Ulvestad our only scorer with a tidy touch from a Ricky Holmes run and cross.

The second half was much of the same with Ulvestad missing two great chances; the first a rebound off the keeper from a Magennis strike which looked simple at the time but from the highlights was a lot harder, but the second, a glorious chance from six yards with an unmarked header from another Holmes cross could only find the keeper.

And so of course the 250-ish of us awaited the inevitable.

A double substitution (after Hanlan had come on for Lookman earlier) saw Holmes and Magennis go off to be replaced by Chicksen and Novak.

And, what seemed just seconds later, Fox bished a clearance, Lennon stuck out a leg and Port Vale had themselves a penalty kick.

Unfortunately for the travelling Charlton fans it wasn’t a Charlton player taking it and so the ball found the back of the net and the nail-biting began, interspersed with a large majority directing their grumpiness at the manager and his substitutions.

There was still time for another Charlton chance though, but alas Hanlan snatched at his shot and the ball flew high and into the stand.

The final whistle followed not long after and began the boos and anti-Slade chanting. The wife and I were off though, a bit of a wait in the car park but we were on our way home.

Unfortunately, it was dark, and in this country that is usually the cue for people in reflective jackets to wander around closing slip roads and putting cones out like they’re trying to signal to an other-worldly intelligence.

Access to the M6 was okay but joining the A14 had the mockers put on it and we were diverted via the M1.  Junction 20 was the suggestion at the entrance to the M1 only for J20 to be closed and the least said about the invisible signs at Junction 15 the better.

We ended up staying on the M1 to the M25, and then A12ing home.

A bit of a disaster, but still home by two and my wife was able to sleep most of the way so she wasn’t too bad having to get up at six for work – a hero – she can come to football again !! (Although I doubt she’ll want to)

When I had a chance to think about it all a bit more clearly the next day, I wasn’t that disappointed with a point – it wasn’t like we hadn’t created any chances, we just hadn’t been able to take them, so I was still quite positive.

No chance of a trip to Gillingham though so I followed the ‘event’ via Twitter. Surely a performance like Port Vale would reap rewards as Gillingham, with a win ages ago, no clean sheet in forever (25 games apparently) and having conceded almost twice as many goals as us, should be an opponent to have a go at.

Alas no, as according the those I follow on Twitter, we were bloody awful. Another missed penalty – you are supposed to score them lads – this time from Ricky Holmes might have given us a bit of a platform but in the end it was another penalty – taken successfully at last by Nicky Ajose got us a very luck point.

Charlton Live was a fun listen Sunday night (not) with even Sue Gallop being considerably less chipper (not a good sign)

And so on to today … Katrien Meire gets another chance to try and build bridges, only to blow up another few and dig herself deeper with what appears to be an almost scripted interview with TalkSport.

A radio phone-in show where no-one is allowed to phone in seems all a bit odd to me – but then this is the Charlton Athletic management team we’re talking about so should we really be surprised.

A few more lies come out of her trap (“no offers to buy” – COME ON !!) and so we’re all pissed off over again. To me it can only be one big old joke to her and the puppeteer Roly who clearly don’t give half a toss between them !

On to Saturday then … home to Chesterfield where no doubt we’ll get done by you know who !!

I shall be there … can’t quite seem to stay away … but please, let’s play 4-4-2 and have a bloody good go eh ?

C’mon you Reds !! (please … ?)

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