Tuesday 30 July 2013

The Curious Case of David Button...

Boy, Charlton do know how to make life difficult for themselves. As if having only one senior striker in the squad isn't concerning enough, 'keeper, David Button, has now been surprisingly sold to Brentford for an undisclosed fee meaning we've only got one senior player in that position as well.
If I didn't know any better, I'd begin to think this is some sort of sick joke Charlton are playing on us. Any moment now it will be revealed as such and a plethora of new players will be announced to the huge relief of the Addickted. We'll all have a laugh and then we'll go on and win the Championship easily. Slater and El Jimenez will be held aloft at the Valley like the heroes they are destined to be. 
It is a joke, isn't it?
If I didn't know any better, I'd suspect El Jimenez is slumped on a big leather armchair somewhere, turning his brandy glass in his hand, taking occasional sips and smiling contently like some sort of demented tyrant. I imagine his wife calling out to him "phone for you, dear" she says. "Who is it" he snaps. "That nice man Chris Powell...he's most insistent you talk to him". Jimenez slumps deeper in his chair. "I'm not in. Tell him I'm not in". 
I say 'if I didn't know any better' because surely our owner wouldn't do such a thing, would he?
Twitter is alive with Charlton fans confused and angry. Some sort of sign Mr. Jimenez, please. Just something to let us know it will all be OK...

Sunday 28 July 2013

Fire Power...

I wasn't able to get to the Valley yesterday for Paddy Powell's testimonial, but full credit to those that did. A quick glance over my twitter feed post-match and it was clear (as if we didn't already know it) that whilst we look solid enough in defence, we are in serious need of senior striking options. Unfortunately it is looking increasingly likely that we'll start the season with our Breton warrior as the only senior forward option outside a handful of promising but untested youngsters. God help us if he picks up a knock in training this week!

Little wonder then, that Sir Chris opted for a 4-5-1 formation..

Even if surprise signings are made to fill the prestigious 9 and 10 jerseys next week, those players will have no time at all to gel with their new teammates before the season kicks off next Saturday. The rumours that unattached Ricardo Fuller may yet re-sign may help in this regard, but given his injury problems and high wages I'm not sure he's the answer. His absence from the squad yesterday looks to reiterate this point.

Throughout the summer a good majority of fans have called for the re-signing of Obika, but although nobody can question his impact as last season drew to a close, I do not see him as a 15-20 goals-a-season striker and I don't think it would be long before fans got on his back. My concern is how he would cope with that as he strikes me as a confidence player. I like the guy, but personally I'd look elsewhere. Other names have been mentioned (most of whom I've had to Google), but not one has excited me.

It was also disappointing that after an encouraging pre-season (at least in terms of results), a home defeat in yesterday's testimonial resulted in an influx of doom and gloom. It's amazing what difference a few new faces would make in lifting the spirits of the concerned Addickted. 

Dave at Drinking During the Game has painted a worrying picture of the clubs ownership situation in a number of his recent posts, including this one. I hope with all my heart his suspicions are wrong (as he will do, of course), but none the less, without urgent squad investment I'm bracing myself for a tough season ahead. In fairness, as an Addick, that's something I've had plenty experience of doing over the years.

Wednesday 24 July 2013


Charlton announced their squad numbers for the forthcoming season today and no sooner were they released but the rumours began to circulate as to why there was a gaping hole between 8 and 11! I'm not expecting a play maker and centre forward to arrive in SE7 any time soon, but it's likely numbers 9 and 10 have been left open as a bargaining tool for enticing any would-be signings to take the plunge and join the Addicks.
In reality, it's been some while since you could read too much in to squad numbers. Nowadays players wear their preferred numbers more out of superstition or tradition. Regular player of the year, Chris Solly, retains his favoured number 20, as does our Breton warrior, Big Yann, with his preferred number 18. Young winger, Callum Harriott (pictured above) makes the biggest impact, jumping from number 32 to 11, where his career should continue to blossom (hopefully with the Addicks) in a way that the previous occupant, Scott Wagstaff, just couldn't quite manage.
Hamer unsurprisingly retains the number 1 jersey (once held by former centre-back, Sweaty Balmer, of course). Dale Stephens holds on to the number 8 jersey, which, without wishing to contradict my earlier statement, perhaps hints that he is part of Powell's plans after all.
For as long as I can remember, I always played football in the number 3 jersey. It simply wasn't an option to play in another number: psychologically it would have crippled me! Some years back, when managing a local Sunday morning men's team, I incurred the wrath of the East Hertfordshire County FA (and a £40 fine, if memory serves) for refusing to name a traditional 1 to 11 in a league cup final. The League had requested the finalist do so to make the production of a matchday programme easier (no, I never got it either). The problem is that I had named myself on the bench which meant I wouldn't have been able to wear the number 3. I had great pleasure receiving my medal from a very disgruntled League Chairman!

One name that doesn't feature in the 2013/14 squad list is Bradley Wright-Phillips who secured a move to the New York Red Bulls today after being released by the Addicks. Thanks for the memories, Brad. Good luck in the States. 

Tuesday 23 July 2013

The Bearded Warrior...

I recently dusted off my crayons and took part once again  in the The Football Attic's 'League of Blogs 2013' initiative. As per last years effort, football bloggers were invited to submit a home and away kit design in the style of an old school Subbuteo figure. For anyone with an ounce of football nostalgia running through their veins, this invitation to get creative was just too good to turn down.
This year I decided to create a no-nonsense, man's man of a player - most likely a centre-back or holding midfielder - that came complete with the sort of heavy facial furniture every 'proper' hardman should have: a big beard! I even gave him muddy knees from those uncompromising tackles and a facial scar from putting his head in where it hurts to over emphasise that this is a chap not be messed with. Other than his shirt number, he is everything I wasn't when I played!
If I'm being hard on myself, I frustratingly forgot one major accessory that this man should be wearing: the captain's armband. For indeed, he is a leader of men... 
The design phase...the birth of the bearded warrior
As part of the process, the favourite design as picked by those good chaps at The Football Attic got to have their kit immortalised forever in real Subbuteo player form. No, my bearded warrior never won (I'm still gutted but trying really hard not to hold a grudge), but it never stopped me contacting Adam from Fantasy Flicker and for the ridiculously cheap price of £5 I went forth and had my hard-nut talisman created in real form. The results are below...   
Grrrr...don't mess!
I already have a few ideas for the 2014 League of Blogs campaign. This time, victory will be mine!

Thursday 18 July 2013

The Valley – Community Asset...

Forgive me if any of my fellow bloggers have already wrote about this (if they haven't then the jolly well should have), but I would urge all Addicks to visit the website of the Charlton Athletic Supporters Trust and sign their on-going petition designed to give the Valley a 'Community Asset' status, which, if approved by Greenwich Council, will mean the Valley stadium cannot be sold separately to the Club without a 6 month consultation period which would include the CAS Trust being notified, and perhaps most importantly, being able to bid.
For me, falling in love with the Valley as a young boy with a huge fascination of football stadiums is the reason I'm an Addick today. Whatever safeguards our great stadium can only and ever be a good thing. Obviously we can only hope there will never be a repeat of the Sunley / Gliksten situation that lead to us vacating the Valley back in 1985. It takes less than a minute to fill out, so no excuses!
The link to the CAS Trust and all information regarding the Community Asset status can be found here. And while you're at it, if you haven't done so already, then sign up to the CAS Trust...