I normally quite enjoy close-season. For a couple of months at least, football is put on the back-burner, and I can concentrate on all things non-Charlton that should really take priority all year round. I dip in occasionally, of course, but for the most part, I purposely try and steer clear of the usual websites and forums to avoid the speculation and doom and gloom (I have enough of that throughout the season). It’s nice having a break from the mixed emotions of following the Addicks, not having my Saturdays spoilt by indifferent results and juggling my social life around fixtures. I’m certain the missus likes it as well, but it doesn’t last long enough (especially in a World Cup year). Before a ball has been kicked in anger, I’ve already upset the Wife after she told me she’d made plans with some friends for next Saturday. Perhaps I could have picked a better response than “well I won’t be there, I’ve got more important matters to attend to…”.
In fairness to my missus, she may not like it, but she knows after all these years there’s no point putting up a battle. That’s most definitely to her credit and my shame.
After yesterday’s brief (thankfully) run-in, it dawned on me just how close we are to the season kicking off once again. Add to this the arrival of my season ticket this week and I’m already finding myself checking the usual sources for pre-season news with a greater frequency.
As I cling desperately to positives in a very gloomy time, perhaps the one thing that may look different this season is the desire and motivation of the players. Gone are the relics of better times; those big wage players who’s indifferent or poor form contributed to our downward spiral. Perhaps it will be a more ‘honest’ Charlton team this season. Perhaps it will be a Charlton team full of characters with the spirit and desire of a Robinson, Rufus, Kinsella, Mendonca or Brown (he won’t let you down): the very names of those individuals who contributed so massively to our rise to the Premiership. After all, let’s face it, anyone who signs for the Addicks this season can’t be doing it for the money and will be under no illusions about the difficulty of the task ahead, especially being a ‘big’ club in the third tier of English football. If all this is true, then I’m really looking forward to getting behind the team, come what may.
On the face of it, by retaining the likes of Wagstaff and Dailly, re-signing Reid and Jackson, whilst adding decent seasoned pro’s in the form of Doherty and McCormack, I believe we can challenge at the right end of the table (with a sizable bit of luck, admittedly). In addition, the signing of Simon Francis today is a very positive move. I thought he looked decent against us at Roots Hall last season, particularly from dead balls. Of course, we all know we are still a good number of players short, not least of all up front. Perhaps - and I don’t want to tempt fate here – the thing that pleases me the most is that we look likely to hold on to our Portuguese powerhouse, Semedo; my favorite current Addick by a mile. If it were up to me, I’d give him the armband this season.
Oh, and in case you’ve not caught it yet, keep an eye out for posts from ‘Cometh The Haddock’ (link on the right). There’s not been much Charlton-related stuff to smile about in recent years, but this wordsmith has bought a smile to my face on more than one occasions. The ‘It Came From Portugal’ post is genius! Semedo as a superhero? I'll buy in to that any day!
Anyway, I’ve dusted off my keyboard and made my first post of the new season. There are no great revelations, but then you won’t get that with me.
And finally, a message to my Mum: here we go again!!!
One week and counting…COME ON YOU ADDICKS!