Monday, 12 September 2011

Can We Go Home Now?

It may not have been a classic, but it did have it's talking points. Two goals that stood and, by all account (I've not seen either repeated on the box), two 'goals' which should have also been given. So it was 3-1 then! Either way, a Charlton victory. Any sympathy I may have felt for Exeter was negated in part by the sheer stupidity of Nardiello in getting himself sent off. If Charlton were also robbed of a perfectly good goal a short while after Nardiello's effort, then young Solly showed the Exeter front man just how to react to such an injustice.

I've always felt a sending off, no matter how you feel the numerical advantage may be advantageous at the time, ruins the game. Exeter got behind the ball and defended, relying on the chance of a counter wherever possible. They never really threatened, but it took Charlton far more patience to break them down than some fans present were prepared to accept. This disappointed me, if I'm honest. I have to say, there are growing sections of Charlton fans that are sounding more like Spurs fans as the games go on, like it's our God given right to roll teams over because we've got 'history'. At present, I'm putting this undercurrent of irrational thinking down to the sheer frustration of being in League One and a desire to get out of it, but it really bothers me to hear this sort of attitude from Charlton fans. It's as if there's a growing number of 'fans' who want the wheels to fall off just so they can tell us they told us so!

In my book, Saturday was all about staying calm, sticking to a game plan and getting up and over a very stubborn obstacle - which we did. 3 points won.

Anyone who read my previous post will know that I took my young son, Thomas, along Saturday to what was his first Charlton game. In reality, the young lad done far better than I'd hoped, with a good 40 mins passing before the first "can we go home now". At times throughout the first half he genuinely looked like he was watching wide-eyed, and he pulled out a couple of sensible questions. One of which I could well have done without, following Nardiello's sending off. I had to explain the chap had been very naughty and was sent from the pitch to have a think about his actions. I thought I'd prepared myself well, with a pocket full of sweets and a fully charged DS should he get bored, but what I hadn't even considered was the noise. He was clearly a little unnerved by the volume inside the Valley. The only downside to the day will have been the 3 blokes who sat behind us in the first half who shouted and swore repeatedly throughout the first half. Firstly, I'm so thankful I'm not that negative. Secondly, what a shame you have no respect for your fellow Addicks. We moved to the Northern end of the East Stand in the second half and my boy managed to see out the game, but it was a shame we had to compromise our position for such ungentlemanly people.

In hindsight, I think the whole day was just too much for him to take in, but I'm glad my Mum and me took him. At least he knows now what Daddy does every Saturday afternoon and over time I'm hoping he may ask to come again.

A special thank you to Charlton who added a note in the matchday programme about my lad's attendance for his first ever game. That was a great bonus for me and he was chuffed to bits with seeing his name in print.

So back to my usual seat on Tuesday night, and hoping for a repeat of the excellent performance shown by the 2nd 11 against Reading.


  1. Ted,

    My son was also 4 when he first went to a game. My wife came with me (My Dad was away) and it was very similar to your experience. He hated the loud noise, and he burst into tears when the first goal was scored. I did bring him to the next game (again with his Mum) but this time they left at half time to sit in the park.

    He did enjoy bits of it, but even now (three years later) he doesn't want to go again as it is too loud.

    Truthfully he doesn't really like football, but then I was ten before I set foot in The Valley, and I can't say that I fell in love with it immediately.

    I was trying to talk him into coming on Saturday. I offered him every bribe I could think of, including telling him that if he didn't come with me he would have to go to Bluewater with his Mum and watch her try on clothes all afternoon. He still wouldn't budge. All I had left was to tell him that Santa would be cross with him if he didn't come, but I just couldn't do that to him.

    In the end they will make their own decisions, but I, like you, was very excited, and nervous, about his first trip to The Valley. It's a real shame that some fans don't think to keep their language clean when there are children about, but sadly there are members of society that will always be like that.

    I'm glad he has been indicted though, even if it is a little while before he comes back.

  2. Thanks for the comment, KHA: much appreciated.

    I guess time will tell if my boy takes to football...or even Charlton!

  3. Ted,

    Good to know that you're being a responsible parent and bringing your lad up correctly ! My lads both attended by the age of 4 and you'll find that gentle persuasion and persistence will work. My lads are somewhat older now and totally Addickted.

    I got frustrated with Saturday's performance not out of a feeling that we ought to roll teams over but because we didn't change our approach despite them going down to 10. Exeter were a poor looking side prior to the sending off and out inability to change anything meant we didn't get the goals we ought to have done.
    If things remain as close as they are now then that could cost us come the end of the season. It was a great opportunity to improve our goal difference, had we scored one more we'd have been top.
    I feel that we do need to be able to adapt better in various situations.

  4. Thanks for the comment, Phil. Much appreciated.

    You make a very good point regarding changing our approach after Exeter went down to 10. A point to which I would agree. Hopefully, as our new look team continue to gel, we'll see the shifting of gears accordingly in such cases.