Wednesday 20 June 2012

Honest Approach...

England just cannot win! They have, for as long as I can recall, got criticised for underachieving in major tournaments and yet even now they are still getting stick despite overachieving in Euro 2012! Expectations are typically set too high, but even the hardiest of England supporters surely wouldn't have predicted we'd win Group D without defeat. Roy's Boys are through to the Quarter Finals and I'm really beginning to wonder whether this tournament could be different. Time to get behind England.

I'll confess that with so few likable personalities in the England squad I've not been anywhere near as partisan as I have in years past, but there does seem a refreshingly honest and hungry approach to this tournament from the players. I even found myself tipping my hat to John Terry, who, say what you will about certain aspects of his persona, would walk through walls for his country. Gerrard looks in every respect the role model you'd expect from an England captain and his performances so far have been impressive. Parker continues to throw himself, quite literally, head first for the cause and I hope he manages to stay fit. I will always view him as Charlton. It would appear Roy has done well to suppress the ego's and create a unified England national side that's working hard for each other. Good on him. I really like Roy and I'd love to see him successful. Like our very own Sir Chris, Roy demands respect by simply being a decent bloke. 

Stylish, tippy-toe, one-touch football is not going to happen in an England shirt. Fact! We're not Spain but we can be as machine-like as the Germans over time. I'd be happy with that approach if we shared the same level of success that the German's have over the years. Tactically astute Roy Hodgson has got us well organised if not particularly pleasant on the eye and we are proving hard to beat, which is a fantastic trait to have. Roll on Sunday.  

JT picks the ball out the net... 

Karma was restored yesterday following Ukraine's goal that never was. Lets see how FIFA & Uefa clamour over themselves to justify how the goal line official (or whatever they are called) that stood 8 yards away never saw the ball cross the line. Personally, the very sight of the officials behind the goal humours me greatly. I'd be embarrassed to stand there if I was them. Their very presence represent how poorly the beautiful game is being run and those arrogant and ignorant fools, Blater & Platini, should hang their heads once again.

Come on England!

Monday 18 June 2012

Dates For The Diary...

So that's it then; the eagerly awaited fixtures are finally out for the new season. Charlton will have to hit the ground running on the opening day when we start the campaign with a tough away game at St. Andrews, Birmingham, before entertaining Leicester City and Hull City at The Valley the following Tuesday and Saturday respectively.

The full fixture list can be found here via the club's website.

Over the next few days the Addickted will be picking out possible away days and licking their lips at those tantalising home fixtures. For me, I have already taken a huge blow before the season has even got going when I realised I'll miss Palace at home on the 15th of September. Gutted is not the word! It will be only the 7th home game I will have missed in 18 years and sod's law it's against one of our fiercest rivals.

There can be little doubt that the fixture list looks a little more attractive than it would have this time last year and in just under 9 weeks time the rollercoaster will swing in to action once again...

Monday 11 June 2012

Repeat of 82...Please!

No matter how much I've tried to convince myself otherwise, I do care about England's progression in Euro 2012, and like a good proportion of the nation I will be finishing work early later this afternoon and settling down in front of the TV to cheer on Roy's Boys.

I've watched almost every minute of every game so far despite not giving much thought to the tournament in the months leading up to it. Funny how things change. In all honesty, I'm a sucker for a major tournament and have been since Espana 82 when I fell head over heels in love with football at the impressionable age of 8. The impact that World Cup had on me was immense, and I hold those memories dear. Of course, by coincidence, England played France in the opening game of that tournament, also. How we'd like to see a repeat of Robson's first minute goal (pic above) and a repeat of that 3-1 scorline! 

My constant shadow companion on the sofa over the weekend has been my son, Thomas. At 5.5 he's still a little young to take it all in, but it's definitely his keenness to watch that has raised my interest ten fold. I had a glorious few hours on Saturday afternoon watching ESPN Classics's 500 greatest goals with the lad. How nice it was for me to introduce players to him of the calibre of Pele, Maradona, Cruyff, Platini, Zidane, Klinsmann, van Basten et al.  

Now, when we play footy in the front room, he announces himself as a Rooney or a Gerrard (sorry Johnnie Jackson, you've been temporarily outed). I can't wait to get home where I know I'll find him in his Charlton kit ready for the game. We'll have a brief kick-about before the match starts and then we'll stand together for the national anthems; chests puffed out! 

I may even afford myself a few extra moments to dig out the St. Georges flag from the loft and hang it proudly outside my house.

I expect nothing, but hope for everything! Eng-er-land, Eng-er-land, Eng-er-land...