Crikey, 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 !!