Monday 21 December 2015

A Serious Lack of Festive Cheer...

If I had a Christmas wish, I'm damn sure I wouldn't waste it on Charlton. And anyway, it would take more than a Christmas miracle to change our fortunes any time soon.
Saturday's defeat ensures that we will be spending Christmas Day in the relegation zone and after the Boxing Day game at Bristol City we will have reached the half-way point of the season with the worst goal difference in the division. It could be a very bleak 2016!
My fellow blogger, Chicago Addick, wrote this excellent piece on Karel Fraeye earlier today: The Circus of Karel Fraeye. I think we all realised pretty quickly that Fraeye was going nowhere. His appointment permanent from the outset: the 'interim' tag just a very poorly actioned smoke-screen to fool very stupid people. It fooled nobody. Meire was foolish enough to think it would.
There is no recruitment process is there, Katrien? Another lie. It is painfully clear that Duchatelet was hoping for an upturn in results (a new manager bounce) before announcing his man in the post. It hasn't happened. It was never going to. I wonder if Roland and Meire are as embarrassed as they should be? 
On the desk of those poor chaps in the media team, still waiting issue, is a dusty memo from Meire that reads something like 'in light of the encouraging upturn in form and following an extensive and painstaking search, we have come to the conclusion that Karel Fraeye is the right man to lead us into the next exciting period in this club's history'.
Oh dear! The hapless Meire has got her work cut out justifying the appointment of a man who might well be 'nice enough' but is woefully short of the required basic credentials to run a Championship team.
I noticed yesterday that there are a few conspiracy theories doing the rounds surrounding Duchatelet's intentions, one of which relates to him actually orchestrating and  ultimately benefiting from Charlton's demise by justifying a lucrative sale of the Valley to property developers. Such is the state of the club at the moment, it's not hard to see how people have come to this highly pessimistic train of thought, although I'm less convinced. Mr. Duchatelet clearly doesn't give one ounce of a toss about us, so if he wants to put a 'for sale' sign up outside The Valley he will not waste time plotting our demise over a number of seasons.
Not that I can offer any explanation to his bizarre ownership. Nobody in their right mind would. 
As for me, I'm looking forward to my enforced hiatus over the holiday period and it will not be until Blackburn at home on the 23rd of Jan before I see the Addicks again. Heaven only knows what state we'll be in by then, but I'm not going to allow it to spoil my Christmas and a holiday with the family. I was going to do Colchester away on the 9th, but I can't be bothered now. Simple as that. I've decided to take my son to watch Arsenal v's Sunderland instead. He's an Addick, but he's found his own natural draw to the Gunners and I will not discourage it. What right would I have to anyway? I spent many happy Saturday afternoons on the North Bank at Highbury in my mid-teens with my Arsenal supporting mates, and I'm keen to visit the Emirates myself.
It will be nice going to watch a game of football knowing it can't spoil my Saturday night...
Anyway, enough of this negativity. Thank you to anyone who has taken the time to read anything I've wrote this year and especially those who take the time to comment. Have a great Christmas and New Year.

Wednesday 16 December 2015

Not Good Enough...

I can only hope that some time in the not-to-distant future, when we're languishing in mid-table mediocrity in League One, struggling to get a foothold in another tough, uncompromising division Duchatelet has woefully underestimated, that him and the embarrassingly naïve Meire both eventually reflect on evenings like last night with deep regret. If ever there was a lamentable sign of the times, this was it.
Bolton Wanderers, a financial shambles of a club that's very future is in serious question, should have been easy fodder, even for us. Players unpaid again, bottom of the league, lowest goal scorers...etc You might imagine their players would be demotivated and demoralized. In reality, they looked far hungrier than our rudderless, worn-out, threadbare squad.
The game lacked quality all over the pitch. It was a poor example of a football match from two sides facing down the barrel of a gun.
Despite the unexpected surprise of a first minute goal and another on 26 mins, Charlton failed to take any form of control and with a mixture of truly embarrassing defending, poor decision making and tired passing, it was only a matter of time before Bolton got back in the game. Lookman's brace almost forgotten as the team trudged off, heads down, at half time. The Valley faithful struggling to hold back their anger.
Apparently there was 12,294 inside The Valley last night. My best guess would be nearer 8,000. The image above was taken 10 mins before kick off. I know the club must include season ticket holders who, for whatever reason, don't attend, but a 'true' figure of attendance should be printed as well, if only to embarrass the breathtakingly ridiculous Target 20,000 that Meire will undoubtedly persist with. I shake my head every time I think about it. Laughable!    
Duchatelet's immense stubbornness and Meire's naivity is killing this great club. I feel angry, but not in a way that wants to fight. It's a feeling that I've had enough. I'm fed up with feeling so negative about something I have given everything to for years and years. It's not good for you to feel that way.
Thankfully, I miss the next two home games as I'm away with the family over Christmas and New Year. I can count on two hands the total of home games I've missed in the last two decades, but it will be the first time in 21 years I have missed back-to-back games. At this point, I see it as a blessing: an enforced hiatus, if you will. My only regret is Duchatelet already has my money as a season ticket holder, so despite my empty seat, and my boy's next to me, Roland and Katrien will not care.
But that's what comes when generating a level of income is more important than ambition.
By the time I return I fully expect us to be cut well adrift in the bottom three, and....Fraeye to have been appointed full time. Lets not kid ourselves, Fraeye is going nowhere despite the poor results. Charlton's lack of managerial direction, ability and experience the very reason we're in this mess. 

Friday 11 December 2015

Man v's Mountain?

Hill walkers amongst us will no doubt be familiar with a huge big rock formation in the eastern fells of the Lake District that looms ominously above anyone who dares to try and pass. A difficult enough obstacle at the best of times, but when tackled in conjunction with some of it's near neighbours like Fairfield and Heron Pike, it might well prove too much of a challenge for some. The mountain's name is Nab Scar. Now as you read that name you might be, as I was earlier this week, instantly reminded of our very own Naby Sarr, but unlike the natural rock formation noted above, our French defender is proving to be anything other than a forbidding, impenetrable rock.
I've had the great pleasure to walk the slopes of Nab Scar, and as fell walking goes, the most you really need to worry about is ensuring a firm footing for your feet. For the vast majority of Mr. Duchatelet's foreign imports, finding your feet appears the biggest challenge of all, and many have fallen over the precipice trying (if you can call it that) in some cases, never to return. My guess is Naby will end the same way, but I'd love to be proven wrong.
With Partick Bauer starting his suspension following another red card against Brighton, Charlton's leaky defence is under even greater pressure tomorrow against a physical Leeds United, and young Naby will need to step up and make something of his 6ft 5in frame. Let's hope tomorrow is a turning point for him.
I believe there is another protest planned behind the West Stand tomorrow at 14:30 which I will be fully supporting in principle if not in person. My boy is due to come with me tomorrow and I don't want him exposed to that side of following Charlton at the moment. He knows I'm not happy, but he doesn't really understand why. Perhaps you need to have done the decades of unabridged and uncompromised support to fully understand what is at risk least in my opinion and those who will protest again tomorrow. At 9 years of age he's the future of this club, but after seeing his favourite player in Tony Watt given away loaned out recently, finding a reason to get excited about watching Charlton is harder to find than seeing Roland at the Valley on a matchday! 
Funnily enough, by all accounts, Mr. Duchatelet was at the Valley most of this week, no doubt listening to the hyperbole, rhetoric nonsense spilling out of Meire's mouth. She will have painted a very different picture than those of us in the 2% are seeing, that's for sure. I wonder what his thoughts are on Target 20,000 when gates continue to fall. He may be unrelentingly stubborn, but surely he's not as naïve as Meire?
Unsurprisingly, as he's not a Charlton fan, Mr. Duchatelet will not be staying on to watch the game tomorrow. His absence clearly setting a growing trend amongst so many other genuine Addicks...