Chicago Addick living in Bermuda
"I won't sign players who I don't believe will improve on what we already have."
) Come on Curbs - Fish, Fortune, Kish (shall I go on?) at Man City on Saturday?
Oh well, at least for a few months we can talk about something else. But you know what we're like, the 'January Sales' gossip spree will start soon enough.
What will tomorrow bring?
The transfer deadline looms ever nearer and by the time I wake tomorrow it will only have a few hours of life left in it.
Unlike most of my fellow Addicks I was at work today, and it was a very quiet day on the Charlton front. Plenty of bored Bank Holiday speculation as always on the Net Addicks board
- what will people talk about on Wednesday? Thomas Graveson, Andy Reid who was once again quoted bemoaning the price on his head, Darren Bent, who scored tonight, coming with Graham Stuart going the other way and more Parker bollox.
Meanwhile WBA signed Robert Earnshaw
for 3m (I worry that will come back to haunt us), Javier Saviola
joined Monaco on a season long loan from Barcelona and Yakuba's
price probably tripled.
I worry that any plans Curbs may have had were derailed after our performance on Saturday and the fact that once again he is the subject of further media conjecture following the despicable sacking of Sir Bobby Robson
does not help.
Whilst on the sacking of Sir Bobby - Craig Brown
also went yesterday from Preston, crazy - expect Rob(ert) Lee to find himself a little job helping out Shearer in a new management team at St. James Park which will I think include an older right hand man - Terry Venables maybe?
So will I wake tomorrow to text's and newsflashes? Well holding your breath as a Charlton fan is always a dangerous game, or will Murray & Curbs spring the ultimate secret press conference? We will know soon enough.
Man City away. What was the score? 0-4
Landed back into Chicago about 8pm tonight after a top but hectic few days at home. On Saturday I was with my son (4, lives with his Mum in West Malling) who I was very glad to see was not wearing the Stoke City top his godfather bought him this time around - it's alright, we've had words!
So my knowledge of Saturday's game at Eastlands was limited to 5 Live and BBC Radio London in the car and then Chris Kamara on Soccer Saturday. How amazingly, if not typically disappointing after the enthralling result on Wednesday? This is a text I got from my old mate Rauchy Saturday night who was on the train back from Manchester: "Absolute shit, we made City look like Brazil, glad I'm pissed it lessens the pain!" Well I was reasonably inebriated watching Match of the Day
later that evening and it didn't take away my pain. How bad
Kiely is having a nightmare start to the campaign (the 2nd goal about summed us up) and Fish and Fortune are looking so susceptable at the back. What has Perry done that is so wrong? I've looked back at last season's fixtures and it took us until December to let in 8 goals away from home (Southampton's last minute winner against us at St Mary's on TV).
Two days to go before the closing of the transfer deadline and all the talk is off strikers and midfielders, but isn't it at the back that we have our biggest problems? Or is our midfield just too lightweight? Away from home are Euell and Rommedahl too attack minded? Who knows, but we and Curbs have plenty of time to "think about it" (more
) as our next game is more than a fortnight away. From my little window on the Charlton world I do tend to agree with some other views that this could be a very volatile season and a throw back to our sides in the 80's when we needed to score 5 goals to win a game.
Reports from those who were there: cafc.co.uk
; The Observer
; Wyn Grant
; All Quiet
Villa home. What was the score? 3-0
Wow, what a homecoming. I awoke this morning with a smile on my face, a slight head and a hoarse voice. All of which must suggest a fine victory last night (gawd, I do miss that feeling).
So from the beginning. The Bugle was great (if a bit quiet, though it was always busier on a Saturday) - seeing lots of mates and tucking a few pints away. The first 20 minutes I thought we were all over the place. Vassell should have scored and Cole looked very lively in the face of huge barracking from the home fans. Then slowly we started to pass the ball and a cracking cross by the Herminator was wonderfully headed home by Jeffers. Before this the BBC camera's showed that Rommedahl had a good shout for a penalty turned down by, in my opinion, an otherwise decent referee who seemed intent on letting the game flow.
Five minutes later we witnessed a wonderful strikers finish by Jeffers again. How many times have we seen a Charlton player smack that chance into the crowd or dwell on the opportunity too long? The Valley has a potential new hero and the way he celebrated his goals he knows it.
Prior to half time Lisbie was unfortunate with two chances to increase the lead and the team left the pitch with applause ringing in their ears. 15 minutes after the restart Luke Young scored his first ever Addicks goal at an important phase of the match to kill the game off at 3-0.
The Valley crowd were in fine voice now and it was time to relax and watch some exciting runs from Rommedahl and continued good movement from Lisbie and Jeffers before Curbs confused us all by throwing on all three subs in a 10 minute spell - A left sided midfielder/left back for a striker, a centre half for a midfielder and a midfielder for a winger. Um. Carlton Cole was also pulled off by O'Leary to our delight, just a shame that my slant on the chant: "Carlton Cole.... is a roaster, is a roaster," didn't catch on!
Now, conscious that I don't want to be one of those 'armchair' fans who doesn't go every week (I know, because they used to piss me off) I thought that Fortune and Fish had strong games, Fortune pleasing me because he went back to the Rufus school of defending, i.e. when in doubt kick it out. Young gave a very energetic performance and prior to last season I was not his biggest fan. Kiely made a couple of good saves, but got away with a fumble in the first half. Hreidarsson was excellent.
Kish again played his role exceptionally well (scary), Murphy gave the ball away a lot which was worrying although he did get better as the game went on. Euell typically covered every blade of grass, but I would really like to see Holland (when back) paired alongside Murphy in the middle with Euell in a more forward role, but not necessarily as a striker.
Nothing excites a crowd more than an out and out winger hogging the touchline and I really believe Rommedahl will only get better and better as he learns more about the Premiership and his opponents. Lisbie had a good game, but obviously did not improve on his goals to games ratio and that is why the jury is still out 9 years after he made his Charlton debut. And of course Jeffers has a huge chance to be mentioned in the same breath as Hales & Mendonca. No pressure Francis.
Thank you Charlton, it was well worth the journey and it's my birthday today too!
Reports from others that were there: BBC Sport
; Guardian Unlimited
; Wyn Grant
Back on Blighty
Back at home, not a speed walker in sight. Arrived this morning at Heathrow - should of been Gatwick, but a host of cancellations at O'Hare last night changed that.
Popped into Blackheath for a spot of lunch with my Mum & Dad, turning down an offer of a pint because my body was thinking it was breakfast. Now all set for the Valley tonight. Will be in the Bugle at 6pm, body now thinks it's lunchtime so getting a bit thirsty!
Looks like Kishishev and Bartlett are out. Just 2 weeks ago we had an injury free squad - knew that couldn't last! Hopefully I will get a chance to see Hughes and Jeffers start the match.
I'm looking forward to the game, if not naturally a bit apprehensive (you don't watch Charlton for 29 years and ooze confidence on matchday, let me tell you?). I can already smell those hot dogs and hear the first bar of the Red, Red Robin. Come on you Addicks.
Portsmouth home. What was the score? 2-1
There I was throwing my guts up on a boat in the middle of Lake Michigan, when I received a text from Vito who occupies the seat next to me in the Covered End. "We won 2-1, we were shit, Euell scored and an o.g. All I can really say though is that we were shit!"
Well it cheered me up. I was in agreement with Curbs that a win was a win and so I went back to my throwing up. And let me just tell you about the one that got away - a 20lb salmon was looking me in the eye after I had reeled it in 80 bloody feet and the chain smoking idiot first mate somehow lost it between taking it off the line and putting it in the poxy net. Gutted, but despite the puking we had a good - if long, 6 hours - time fishing, catching enough salmon to keep me in dinners for a week or so.
So after reading the reports, I think Vito's comments may have been a bit harsh on the team. It seems there were improvements from all over the pitch, particulary from Lisbie and goalscorer Euell. Rommedahl looks like he is getting into his (quick stride) and Murphy's impact on the team will only improve as he blends in with his new team mates. Although it does seem Danny's memory is a ton better than Jeffers as according to Curbs the 'fox in the box' "is not yet on first name terms with the players." (more
I'm not a Kishishev fan but if he can go through a game without making a cock up, he can always be trusted to chase everything 100% and it sounded like he performed his role well in protecting a week earlier shaky back four.
And then we had the wonderful piece of luck four minutes from time when Shaka Hislop failed to get down to David Unsworth's header. "It was one of the worst goals I've ever seen," said Harry Redknapp. Sorry Harry, there is no such thing!
And finally, can I conclude by saying how nice it is to see Chrystal Palarce at the bottom of the table. Long may it continue.
Reports from those who were there: BBC Sport
; Wyn Grant
I feel rather pleased that I managed to avoid last week's humiliation and that would of been just listening to it at home on the internet let alone actually being at Bolton to see the pile of poo Charlton served up to the expectant Addicks who travelled up there.
I could dwell on Curbishley's team selection here or his defensive tactics but what is the point? I just hope that the team heed some of Curb's comments
made today at the press conference. One thing that is not a given is team changes, "There's a big case for making quite a few changes, there's a big case for leaving it as it is and there's also a case for tinkering with it a bit. And I'll decide that before the game."
If for nothing else than to give the Valley crowd a lift when the teams are announced I think changes should be made. It will also send a message out to the players that so embarrassed everyone connected with Charlton last Saturday that those kind of individual and collective performances will not be tolerated.
I remember the first half of the Wolves away game last season which came after we got stuffed by Man City on the opening day. We need to do it again, pure & simple.
Rumours a plenty still continue on the new player stakes. I still really hope it will be James Beattie (who is still 'injured
') but I wonder how much cash we still have in our piggy bank. I am told via a mate who knows an agent on the South Coast (not Beattie's though) that we did have a bid rejected, contrary to reports. I just wonder if Richard Murray is playing the waiting game that has worked well for him in the past and as the clock moves closer to the end of the month we may get our man.
Darius Vassell is another candidate - if Beattie goes to Villa instead - according to the oracle that is the London Evening Standard
, as well as Andy Reid and a defender which I think is a must. Not withstanding the appalling defensive display at Bolton, I worry that Fish, Perry & Fortune are too inconsistant for the Premiership and the quality of strikers it contains.
This Saturday at 3 o’clock I will be on a boat out on Lake Michigan fishing with some buddies. We have a very early start, 5am or something equally ridiculous, but at 9am Chicago time my mind will once again turn to the Valley. A place of worship I have attended since I was 8 years old. A time only interrupted when a piece of A4 paper told us that we had to spend future Saturday afternoons at that shit hole next to Sainsburys. Once again I will be relying on text messages & probably god as we look to forget the awful display last Saturday.
I have booked my flights however to be back for the Aston Villa game next week. I will fly overnight on Tuesday and will go via Cincinnati to arrive at Gatwick on Wednesday morning in readiness for my first use of my season ticket. Not bad – that’s only working out to be 17 quid per game so far!
Bolton away. What was the score? 1-4
When I don’t have a cat in hells chance of finding out the Charlton score, I am pretty good at blocking out what is going on 4,000 miles away on a football pitch. I never used to mind, it used to occupy my mind to the detriment of whatever else I was doing but I have got a lot better with age and a realization that there are other things in my life and a weekend in Bermuda is not a bad alternative.
So Saturday after watching the wonderful smiling dolphins at the Royal Dockyard I was waiting for a ferry to cross from one side of the Island of Bermuda back to the capital Hamilton where we were staying when my phone buzzed in my pocket. It was a text from Chris at the Reebok. “We are playing shit, 2-0 down. Kiely has let another free kick in on his near side. Bartlett & Lisbie are up front! Murphy is the only bright point.”
I looked at my watch and it was half time. Great. My mood dipped, we got on the ferry and my girlfriend looked at me with that well known ‘its only football look’.
Towards the end of the game, my phone shook again. “4-1, 15 minutes left,” said the text. Typical bloody Charlton I thought. I relayed the message to my girlfriend who asked if we should beat Bolton, “yes, well maybe, we are away though, maybe not, oh I don’t know.”
And that was that really. The first game of the season, the start of a 9-month journey that we all know will ebb and flow, but began like it did last year with a sound thrashing – as described rather succinctly by BBC World on Saturday night.
Reports from those who were there: Inspector Sands
; The Independent
; Wyn Grant
Bolton or Bermuda?
I'll be honest, it was a tough shout. Fly back 4,000 miles and then some to the Reebok on Saturday or go to Bermuda for a week on business (well a tiny bit of business and a lot of pleasure). I leave tomorrow for Bermuda and Saturday will seem very weird. I have pretty much nearly always gone to the first game of the season, home or away. It is a wonderful day that always starts with dreams and high hopes.
My mate Chris is going to Bolton, so he will give me regular updates because I'm sure I won't find out an awful lot about it on the island. Yesterday made my heart go all of a flutter. What an amazing day that was? Pity the poxy official site couldn't keep up though, eh? Just hope that we don't do what we did last year on the first day of the season!
It appears we are still in the market for new players. I assume the club expected to lose Jenson, but Paulo was a surprise
. And what of Konchesky
? Me thinks the transfer activity won't stop here. Curbs has got the spending bug.
So, for what it's worth with 3 days still to go, this is my line up for Saturday.
Young El Kharouri Fish Hreidarsson
Rommedahl Murphy Holland Konchesky
Subs: Anderson, Perry, Hughes, Euell, JJ
Well, well, well..
..what a day. And typically it was a day when I was tied up in boring work meetings too. My phone was buzzing like no one's business and the two times I popped back to my desk I had received Newsflash
emails. You spend all that time waiting for the transfer bus and then two come at once.
So, Danny Murphy for 2.5m and Francis Jeffers, the 'fox in the box, for 2.6m. A day only spolied by the sad news that Paulo has, as expected, put pen to paper in Rome
Lets talk about Paulo first. I am disappointed that he will be leaving us after a year but lets face it, we all know what it is like to have a football club in your blood. Plus of course he will be nearer to his family and I for one can understand those yearnings. He will go with my best and I only hope that there's a significent enough gap in the Serie A and Premiership calender that we can welcome him onto the pitch for one last goodbye.
Back to the future then. The day has finally come when little Charlton can compete with and buy players from bigger clubs. Two more internationals to add to the now long list (even my memory remembers when it was only John Robinson) and I am sure in the thinking of both players was the belief that they are now going to be plying their trade for the future England manager.
It was great to see the news leak out today that little Tottenham somewhat misled the press with their comments yesterday and that Murphy's first choice
was always the Valley, even the mild mannered Curbs felt the need to speak out, "Everyone talks about Tottenham and I don't know why. They should be talking about us. Spurs were a little bit naive and a little bit spiteful to be honest."
I love it. Any Spurs fans reading this? Wake up and smell the coffee. This is not still 1960.
And then if that wasn't enough excitement in one day, we go and throw some more money around and buy Jeffers from Arsenal. Only 23, and with a lot to prove, just Curbs' kind of player.
All in all quite a day. I need to catch my breath and await tomorrow's Newsflashes. Come on, it is only Tuesday.
Bush & Kerry
Anyone with an interest in the US Election, or if you want to learn about it's 2 candidates should click here
. Very funny.
Will the 3 players include John Hartson?
"We will bring three players in by the deadline, if not next week, I haven't got that much money to spend and I don't think you'll see a £7m player come in."
I've just had a look around some of the national newspaper websites for any early morning (your time) gossip and have learnt that Spurs have 'signed'
Danny Murphy for 2.5m, Michael Carrick will sign
tomorrow (Monday) for Arsenal, after discussing personal terms and Rangers are weighing
up a bid for Sylvain Wiltord.
The way we are going, it will be easy guessing our transfer targets because there will only be 3 players left.
Anyway, we all know the Charlton way - tip top secret and all that. I'm still thinking one will be Beattie and the other two will be complete surprises. However, can I throw the name of John Hartson
into the middle? He has just the injury record that normally attracts us to a player!
Going for gold
The XXVIII Olympics begins where it all started this week, in Athens. The Opening Ceremony takes place next Friday, although competition actually begins on Wednesday with the Football minus any GB side of course.
I love the Olympics. I will sit in front of the box and watch sports (and sometimes non-sports) that you couldn't normally pay me to watch, all day and night. It's amazing isn't it, how suddenly Archery can become exciting if we have a hope of winning a gold medal?
The BBC always do a wonderful job of covering the Olympics but this year I will have to rely on their internet coverage
as I am here in a world that only includes America, which is why it has amazed me that the media coverage here has been almost non-existent. A couple of the cable channels have been warming up to it, but there has hardly been a peep out of the main networks, unless you include security threat updates and the constant reporting on the overpaid Team USA
In a country that will win medals for fun (97 at Sydney 2000) one would have thought the Olympic Games would be a topic on everyone's lips, but it's not. Iraq, the Nations security, the forthcoming election in 3 months time and Baseball still dominate the media. Very little mention of potential heroes like Michael Phelps
, Shawn Crawford
and Courtney McCool
So, I will watch NBC's
coverage for the odd mention of a British name and be in constant touch with the internet to find out how our boys and girls are doing. These are the names to watch:
Paula Radcliffe - marathon
Darren Campbell - 100m & 200m
Beth Tweddle - gymnastics
Craig Fallon - judo
Matthew Pinsent, James Cracknell, Steve Williams & Ed Coode - rowing, coxless four
Ben Ainslie - sailing
Leon Taylor & Peter Waterfield - diving, 10m synchronised pair.
Georgina Harland - modern pentathlon
Curbs seems to value friendlies about as much as me with the emphasis on fitness and experiments rather than results and performances. However confidence is another huge consideration and a comfortable 3-1 victory
last night over Chievo Verona at the Valley was a much needed boost following a difficult week for the Addicks.
Difficult weeks should not come in early August though, but it did as the management teams' continued search for new players met with blanks and our enigmatic Italian hero flew back "home"
it seems ready to end his time in England. The Sparrows Lane car park is looking a bit empty as Turner and Rachubka also disappeared, both on 1 month loans.
Rumours back in Blighty I see continue in earnest such as this on BBC 606
about Beattie, Carrick, Graveson and Prutton (the most amazing proposed sequence of events I have ever heard) and more interestingly this about Danny Murphy
Oh well, its going to be an apprehensive week for us fans, but let us hope that Curbs and Merv don't lose sight of Bolton on Saturday. I am sure they won't. Come on you Addicks.
Will the last one to leave, please turn out the light
I'm getting a headache. Surely we can't lose Paulo as well? Suspicions arose when he didn't play the other night at Colchester and as media stories persist, we have been told that he will miss Friday's game at home to Chievo because he has flown back to Italy for 'personal reasons'
. Doesn't sound good if you ask me, despite agent Moreno Roggi's comments that "there is no agreement with Lazio." (more
Losing Paulo is not even worth thinking about. Ok, he will probably play less games this year, but his presence on the training ground and in the dressing room is well documented and for him to leave days before the start of the season will rip the heart out of, what I suggest, is a squad already struggling with confidence as we approach the get go.
Lets hope some new faces and a cracking win against Chievo Verona
will perk us all up. Because I am rapidly running out of aspirin.
Turner to Brentford
Have the Premier League changed the rules? Are we only allowed 2 substitutes now? Is Curbs going for an all out attacking formation using just 2 defenders? Are we going to get rid of more players than we acquire? Shall I get my kit?
This is getting ridiculous, and of course the official site keeps us in the dark. Michael Turner today signed for Brentford
on a one month loan deal, so if I am right, that is 3 defenders out and 1 in. You do the math!
I finally got rid of my poxy laptop, well its gone back to IBM for surgery. My temporary replacement is not perfect, but it is a vast improvement and it picks up Blogger's new text formatting which is great. I am still having probs with Hello.com, I can't seem to enter my password without getting an error code, hence lack of pics on this site. I need to get that sorted.
With the weather changing here quicker than the transfer drivel on Tribal Football.com, I thought I would add a weather forecast to the blog courtesy of The Weather Channel
. As they say in Chicago, if you don't like the weather, go indoors for 10 minutes and by the time you go back outside it will be different.
I have also had a little play with my links and added a couple of thought provoking London Blogs - Casino Avenue
and Diamond Geezer
and I am in the throws of investigating the Chicago Blog
I finally purchased some furniture the weekend. Anyone who has visted Chez Chicago Addick will tell you that it currently has a very minimalist feel. I'm much more at home in this place though and lying in bed last night looking through the blinds 36 floors up at the downtown Chicago skyline did bring it home to me that this is a quite a cool place to live.
Nevertheless, these are my current gripes about America & the people that live here:
1. The TV is truly appalling. From the production and the adverts through to the programming. The night before last I watched the 'grand finale' of Who wants to marry my Dad?
Basically three daughters (all gorgeous obviously) that during the past few weeks had to choose between 13 women to be the wife of their Dad. Stacy 'won' for the record. God it was awful, particulary watching the happy couple 'make out' in front of the 3 grinning, tearful daughters. I will never moan about UK Gold again.
2. Power walking. Now what is that all about? On the Lakeshore you literally see hundreds of normally large people walking fast. What are they late for something or do they have a bus catch? What?
3. I have got used to being greeted by shop staff like I was a long lost family member, but this weekend during my power shop it did slowly drive me mad. I am going to get a sign and put it around my neck saying "yes I am very well thank you, and no I am only browsing and yes it is a fine day thank you". Americans, you gotta love em.
Back to footie, with Arsenal preparing to sell Patrick Vieira
to Real Madrid for 23m, which is good value when you compare that to some of the money that Chelsea throw around, it just shows that even the biggest and best clubs cash their top players in. In my mind it will be a real shame (no pun intended) that one of the best players in the world will depart the Premiership to join the 'Galacticos'
What has happened to the Carlton Cole saga. Have Charlton just let the matter go away? That does seem out of character for the normally terrier like Peter Varney. Or is the potential 3rd new player going to be a replacement from Chelski? Or am I jumping the gun and should worry who will be 1 & 2 first?
It was great to see that All Quiet In The East Stand
unearthed a story about Big Fat Peter Garland
. He was a mini (or not so mini) legend in my mind during the early days back at the Valley. Great song too.
I see that relatively unknown - and a complete 9/1 no hoper according to the American media - boxer Danny Williams put Mike Tyson on his arse
the weekend. All credit to the South London born boy, it sounded like an action packed 4 rounds. I am not a big Boxing fan, but like others I desperately try to remember Tyson as the awe inspiring Iron Mike of 15 years ago, whose sheer brute strength brought him 37 consecutive knock outs and not the mess he has become.
It appears that Japan is the next stop for the sad debt laden fighter, whose recent 'acheivements' include divorce, lawsuits, prison, drug abuse, religious conversion, street brawls, car crashes, road rage, ear-biting and bankruptcy which means in an effort to clear reported $22m debts he will take up Japan's lucrative K1 all-in fighting sport, which is apparently a mixture of boxing and kick-boxing that generates serious money. A sad and tragic tale.
Cross off Carrick. Add Reid & Moore?
I see tonight that a couple of previously 'Charlton linked' players are in the news. Michael Carrick is subject to a record bid
by Portsmouth, although the amount has not been disclosed.
Forest winger Andy Reid - who I have always liked the look off - has put in an official transfer request at the City Ground 4 days before the season starts. He clearly has a point when he says that he has been vastly overpriced
Craig Moore's proposed move to Blackburn is off
, after another Premiership side entered the fray. I heard our name linked with him last season, when the ex Rangers captain and McLeish first had a difference in opinions.
And finally another p1ss poor friendly performance from us at Colchester tonight. A late goal by The U's Ben May meant that the game finished 2-2. Konchesky and Hermann getting our goals - both from corner's. Dennis Rommedahl was the only highlight according to the report
I don't want to labour a point, but....
I can only assume that one would have to be either mad, sad, have money to burn or all three to have gone to both Gillingham
the weekend (go on, tell me it was you). I have made it quite obvious on these pages my views on pre-season friendlies, but 0-0 against Gillingham on a Friday night sounded like torture and then there was another turgid performance at Kenilworth Road on Saturday when we drew 1-1.
It was bad enough (and sad enough) listening to the last 10 minutes on Friday on the BBC London website 4,000 miles away with Carl Leaburn co-commentating. According to the O great one (66 goals in 375 matches), the most exciting part of the evening was when Andy Hessenthaler rugby tackled an Addicks fan on the pitch at the final whistle. We Charlton fans know how to make our own entertainment.
There sounded like little else to cheer and although heartened by Curbs words today about "bringing in at least two more players," as the calender turns to August I am starting to get worried about the quality & strength of our squad, particulary compared to our competitors.
I, like every other Addick is getting desperate for a News Flash Bulletin
telling us of a new signing.