Chicago Addick living in Bermuda
Happy New Year
I can go out and get pissed most nights to be honest and some of the best nights I have ever had out were the unplanned ones. The cost, the planning and the pressure combined with mixing with those saps who only go out once a year makes New Years Eve a non-event for me. Sure I always do something but the days of spending loads of cash tonight finished a long time ago.
After reading Casino Avenue
last night, I went to bed trying to think of my past 10 New Years Eve's and I struggled to remember half of them and even the one's I could, I wasn't sure which year it was.
My best ever New Years Eve was spent at some friends house in a little village near Petersfield. It was hurriedly arranged and there were people we knew and didn't know. We had a huge dinner and it was just a complete laugh. We tried to recreate it in other years but it just wasn't the same. I think that was in 1998.
My worst and there was quite a lot of competition, was the Millennium one. My ex wife was pregnant and so was a mate's wife so we decided to get together and watch it unravel in front of the television. We thought the idea would be to dress up and have a great dinner and some champagne but my mate's wife's idea of pregnancy was that you'll not allowed to let your hair down and have a good time - she was in bed by 10pm followed not long after by my under pressure mate! It was a complete anti-climax and the night, which should have been one to remember for the rest of my live, was excruciatingly dull and boring.
Tonight I have parted with $65 and can drink & eat as much as I want from 9.30pm to 1.30am in a bar in Bucktown called Northside
. I have never been there, it sounds ok and all I had to do was ring a number and give my credit card details. A lot of us are going so at midnight I will be around people I like (not some I love mind) but it should be fun. And I can get a train home for 1 cent
after as the 'L'
runs all night. Ooh, I bet you London folk are jealous of that?
Wherever you are tonight, have a happy and safe New Year.
I can't stop watching CNN's coverage
of the tsunami, it's like a drug. My eyes just wide open at the images before me, my head empty. Last night I was out for dinner with some friends and one of the girls raised her glass to remember the dead and missing but it's not enough is it?
Helplessness is what I feel, although the following wise words from New York Addick
have made me see things clearer "whilst it puts our passion for football in its proper perspective, it also illustrates the shortness of life and the importance of celebrating its wonder since it can be wiped out so tragically. If something as ultimately as pointless as football can help us do so, we shouldn't feel guilty about it."
It is heartwarming to see that Charlton have doubled the £50,000 donation
pledged by Premiership clubs. "I think a lot of people feel helpless, but by contributing to the disaster relief fund everyone can play their part in saving further lives and helping the region to recover. That's certainly what we feel at Charlton, and that is what has prompted the further donation by the directors, players and staff."
said Matt Holland today.
Sportsmen and women in the world of tennis and cricket have also been contributing. Swedish tennis player Jonas Bjorkman
, along with his doubles partner Mahesh Bhupathi are donating their earnings from next week's Indian Open. Sweden, whose people are great travellers and can be found all over the Far East have lost as many as 1,000 nationals in the disaster.
Let's just go for it?
I know every coach talks of building from the back, the importance of not conceding, if we keep a clean sheet we won't lose scenario but let's face it, we are not going to win tomorrow
are we? So why don't we just go for it? Give them a game, give the fans something to remember. So what, we may lose 5-3 but at least it will be exciting with an atmosphere to match, and we may even get on Match of the Day
In the previous encounters this season against the 'big 4' we played a stiflingly boring game which categorically failed. So what's the point of that? I'm not saying we should play 4-2-4 and Curbs rightly won't change the formation but let's get Thomas and Rommedahl running at their defence inside and out at every opportunity and allow Murphy to further show us his mounting panache in front of spoilers Kish & Holland.
And at the back we, that's the fans that is, just close our eyes, cross everything and hope for the best!
The game is being shown live here tomorrow so my Gooner mate and I have made a pact that it doesn't matter how drunk we get tonight we will be in the pub at 9am tomorrow kitted up and ready for kick off.
Come on you Reds.
An appeal to fellow Addicks
The following appeal is being sent out by British expats in Indonesia to their fellow football fans, such as Jakarta-based Addick Jakartass
"I'm addressing this appeal to my fellow Charlton fans. The club has had a very joyful December. Indonesia hasn't.
Dark clouds are casting a long shadow over Indonesia's capital city Jakarta at the moment. And it's not because of the rainy season or that the national side under the management of Peter Withe lost 2-1 at home to Malaysia in the semi finals of the Tiger Cup on Tuesday night (28/12).
No, it's much worse than that. Much, much worse. Players of both sides were wearing black armbands that night for a very good reason indeed. What has swung the mood from the usual year-end festive joy to one of utter despondency for Indonesians is the growing realization that many thousands of their countryfolk have perished in the recent tsunami that has caused death and destruction in coastal communities across Asia.
Aceh, a very rugged and remote region at the northernmost tip of the huge island of Sumatra, has been battered beyond belief. Although Jakarta is completely unaffected, harrowing news footage has been broadcast into the capital city's homes. And TV broadcasters in Indonesia are not like the BBC or CNN. They do not shy away from showing the terrible consequences of a tragedy like this. One image in particular will be etched in my mind forever: seven or eight drowned babies placed side by side in a small room, with peaceful expressions on their innocent faces, but nonetheless lost forever. And then there was the woman who had lost all her seven kids; she was left to curse the fact that she was still alive.
The death toll in Indonesia will be far higher than first expected. Initial reports suggested around 5,000 deaths; but the authorities are now looking at 30,000-40,000 plus. In one town on the western coast of Aceh, Meulaboh, a quarter of its 40,000 population have been wiped out. Although nothing can be done to help those that have died, those still alive desperately need help. Many are starving, have no shelter and are at risk of contracting deadly diseases. The already poor communications and transport systems have to be built anew in order to reach these people. If you are able to make a donation - however small - you would be helping to prevent people from dying. IndonesiaHelp, a weblog, has been set up to give online information to donors.
Everton home. What was the score? 2-0
El Karkouri, da, da, da, da....
for anyone who didn't know how this song went then I reckon they do now as it echoed around The Valley (and my office) at the end of this afternoon's excellent win over Champions League hopeful's Everton.
After a very tight first 45 minutes the game opened up in the 2nd half but as the clock wound down it looked again as if we were going to fail to get a winning goal. Then up popped the increasingly popular El Camel to head home a perfectly controlled Konchesky cross in the 82nd minute to put us in front.
Then during the next attack, the big lump Duncan Ferguson swung his elbow into the face of Hreidarsson and was promptly sent off by Mike Riley.
A minute later the Herminator had recovered sufficiently enough to fire a left foot volley past substitute goalie Richard Wright to claim the 3 points. Cue a Hermann Hreidarsson song from the Covered End.
I listened to the BBC Radio London coverage with a very articulate Steve Brown providing interesting insight and it was great to hear the 27,000 Valley crowd get behind the team throughout the game.
Everton are a very tough side to beat and had only lost once away from home all season (to Chelsea) and conceded just 5 goals, so I have taken great heart from this result particularly as we have struggled against all of the other sides above us in the table so far this season.
For long periods the two sides negated each other in the middle of the pitch and the turning point seemed to be the introduction of Euell and Konchesky as Curbs tried to mix it up and create something different which the two substitutes eagerly did.
I spoke to my mate after the game and he was raving about Murphy and Young and even had a good word to say about Kishishev. My, that Christmas spirit must still be working but let me tell you that's a very nice way to start your day. By 11am my colleagues had no trouble spotting the Brit in the office with a huge grin on his face.
Reports from those that were there: BBC Sport
; Addicks Diary
; Sky Sports
Act of God?
I can't let the huge human tragedy in South East Asia pass without mention. My work means that I read and understand a lot about what devastation Natural Catastrophe's such a tsunami's can cause but trying to understand the scale of this calamity is impossible. Watching television last night, survivors were asking God for help. Wasn't it his fault in the first place?
More than 59,000 people are dead and this figure is rising every minute and the final number will probably never be known due to the type of countries involved. The strongest earthquake seen on this planet in 40 years caused walls of surging water, 10 feet high to spread thousands of miles from Malaysia to East Africa. 11 nations have been afffected and I have been to 3 of those - the beautiful countries of Thailand
, Sri Lanka
and the Maldives
Only last week I was having a beer in London with a good mate of mine who was just back from living in Koh Samui in Thailand. As of this morning he was still waiting on news of his girlfriend, her relatives and his friends in Krabi and Phuket.
It's amazing isn't it that we can predict most things that happen in our world but we are incapable of knowing that day's like Sunday can happen. God sure does work in strange ways.
Southampton away. What was the score? 0-0
I listened to the commentary on BBC Radio London
in the car on the way back from Eastbourne to Heathrow and thanks to the bloody awful traffic on the M25 (where were these people going?) I managed to get the full 90 minutes and although it was nice to listen to us boss a match and play some good football I couldn't help but think we should have taken all the points.
It was another point to add to the total but it does annoy me that we can't kick these teams when they are down. Harry & Jim clearly have it all to do down at St Mary's and it will take all of Redknapp's plastic surgery skills in the window to turn the Saints from ugly ducklings into swans capable of surviving the dive into the Championship.
As for us, we never seemed in any danger defensively and it was poor judgement (or maybe it was the looming shop window) that inspired Redknapp to withdraw Crouch at half-time and not the out of shape Beattie to combat our midfield five.
Talking of which the midfield are becoming quite a unit after playing together for some weeks now but there is talk of some changes tomorrow as the holiday season starts to take its toll.
Euell, JJ and Stuart have all been mentioned and another goalless performance from Bartlett means he might get a rest. What was the score?
has been calling out for Jeffers to be untied from his leash on the bench and after frustratingly missing the game against Arsenal due to injury, tomorrow against his boyhood Toffeemen might just be the right time for him to start.
The game kicks off here at 9am. I will be tuning into the radio at my desk. By the way there was some great noise from the impressive 1,500 Addicks at St Mary's yesterday. I hope to hear more of the same on the radio again tomorrow.
Come on you Reds.
Reports from those that were there: The Telegraph
; The Times
; Addicks Diary
In my old age I have grown to dislike, nay hate Christmas. Everything from Slade and Wizard being played in the stores in October, through to the whole pretence & over the top commercial-ness of the thing. In recent years I have had Christmas' that can only be described as miserable, sad, depressed and difficult. This year's however was the best one I have had for a long, long time.
I will be setting off to Heathrow a bit later - hopefully combining the drive with the commentary of the Southampton match on the radio. I have been back at home for over a week - the longest time I have spent back in the UK since I left in October 2003 and it has been fun.
I arrived last Saturday morning and took in the Hornchurch v Carshalton
match alongside a couple of pints with two mates. Then in the evening I joined a group of friends at their annual Christmas Chinese extravaganza which was let me say rather drunken. 12 hours sleep later and I was ready for the week ahead.
Sunday was a day of shopping and wrapping and in the evening I treated one of my best pals ever (Bakes) and his lovely girlfriend to dinner. My treat - I owe him big time - and I went to bed feeling very pleased with myself & a bit tipsy.
Monday I spent the afternoon in the company of many good friends in the City including an old mucker of mine (Keith) who has been in Thailand for 2 years and then of course I was at the Valley later with my Charlton mates seeing us beat Fulham
Tuesday and Wednesday was probably the highlight of my time with two wonderful nights at One Aldwych
and we owe everything to their superb concierge for getting us into Claridges
on Wednesday night for a truly memorable dinner.
I then had the pleasure to spend two days with my son, who makes me laugh out loud with the things he comes out with. Unlike other parents I will not tell you that he will be the most intelligent kid on the planet, that would be ridiculous because after all I am his Dad but at nearly 5-years old he is exceptionally rounded, confident and outgoing.
We had a mini Christmas Day on Friday with him - my brother refusing to let him win at Operation
- and after taking him home, came back to my parents near Eastbourne and went out for a few pints with my Dad and Brother whilst my Mum cooked, to the local Royal British Legion
Club where my brother, me and my Dad (in that order) were the youngest people in there!
Christmas Day was all about eating, drinking and watching the box of course but I enjoyed to laziness of it all and I can't remember when (if at all) the four of us have been on our own on Christmas Day. It was a very nice day indeed.
So today is Boxing Day
- another tradition that the Yanks have no concept of. To them today is Sunday and that means American Football, eating (well, of course) and getting ready for work the next day as tomorrow is Monday. So Christmas comes to a sudden halt for me. I land later about 7pm Chicago time and will be back at my desk tomorrow but full of some great memories.
I hope you all had great Christmas', happy Boxing Day and enjoy the rest of the 'Christmas break'.
Thank god, no more Scott Parker rumours
Two former Addicks in the news are Chris Powell and Scott Parker. Sky Sports News
told me this morning that Parker suffered a broken metatarsal bone in his foot following his fleeting substitute's appearance for Chelsea on Saturday and will be out for 3 months. So, no more Scott Parker transfer rumours please.
Someone who has left on much better terms is Chris Powell
and a further bonus for the 1,500 happy Adddicks at Palarse recently was seeing Chrissy do his final 'Valley leap' in the Sky commentary box. This
is what I wrote back in September when he first went to Upton Park on loan. Chris - we're going to miss you too
. Thanks for the memories and I have a feeling that our love affair is not over.
As for new Addicks on the horizon, Curbs has been quoted as saying that he's "not going to spend it (money) just for the sake of it - it would have to be on someone who can improve the team."
). Yawn, yawn.
Back to last night
, my brother and I sat in the East Stand in our parents seats as they could not make it up from Eastbourne and I agree with the Inspector
, it was so quiet. The Covered End got going in the 2nd half and heralded El Camel's goal with a rousing new song but that Danny Murphy chant was awful. No more, something more original please but lets get those El Karkouri and Jerome Thomas ditty's sung around the ground. The rest of you are allowed to get involved other than clapping along to the Red Army
number you know?
Fulham home. What was the score? 2-1
A thoroughly enjoyable evening back home in SE7 despite a typically nervy last 10 minutes after Radzinski pulled one back with Kiely and his defenders standing around admiring one another.
The game started slowly livened only by some good combination work down the left side from the Herminator & Thomas. It was Thomas who put us on our way controlling the ball well and finishing confidently after an excellent cross by Bartlett and some extra training at how to celebrate a goal is much needed for the youngster who once again had an excellent game. His bag of tricks and confidence caused Fulham problems all night and they just couldn't cope with him. What a little gem he is and he deservedly left to a standing ovation.
The 2nd half was much better with some good urgency & build up play showed by Kish, Murphy & Holland and it was a shame that Murphy's curling shot after a wonderful run came back of the post because it deserved a goal. The former Liverpool man further endeared himself to Addicks last night although there are times when he still forgets he is playing alongside Kish and not Gerrard.
Kish had another decent game spoiling and breaking down attacks but still too often his passing resembles that of League One and not the Premiership.
My personal man of the match was Talal El Karkouri who after hitting the post then met Murphy's excellent free kick (given following yet another foul on Thomas) with a glancing header and the pace of the delivery meant that it beat van Der Sar despite him getting a big glove to it.
I like El Camel a lot. He has good balance for a big man and has easily settled the quickest of the 'new' signings. He scores goals too and oozes confidence which is clearly rubbing off on Fortune.
As for the others, the two full backs both had good games, Young's positional sense is a vast improvement on when he first arrived and HH is the best player we have bought since maybe Clive Mendonca (?) and his son is in my son's class too as I recently found out!
Holland does a tonne of things but will never make the front pages, Bartlett ran his heart out, set up the first goal, is important to us when we are defending set pieces but never looks like scoring and I would still like to see Curbs unleash Jeffers and see how hungry he is.
Dennis to me is still like a coiled spring, he showed some good awareness and touches at times but was shoved of the ball too often and didn't have any real impact unlike his fellow winger nevertheless it was good to see him roundly applause the Valley faithful when he was replaced by Konch who did a fine job of steadying the ship.
I went to bed last night a happy man.
Reports from others who were there: cafc.co.uk
; The Telegraph
; Addicks Diary
; Build A Bonfire
No doubting Thomas
I have been cheered by the news that Jerome Thomas has signed an extension to his current contract (which I don't expect was up to much) until June 2007. (more
We all know that player contracts are about as solid as a Claus Jenson tackle but Thomas has been a revelation since coming into the side for his full debut against Palarse in the Cup - I remember it was the only thing worth taking home after that depressing night at the Valley.
He came into the side with a real youthful swagger but showing maturity beyond his 21 years has already produced a sackful of Man of the Match performances and to me he's the most exciting player to grace the Valley probably since that bloke now playing for Chelsea's reserves (although we understand he may be moving mansion for the 2nd time in a year and be heading to Glasgow?
Tis the silly season of course and the rumours have started in earnest. The latest being an Italian winger called Massimo Bonanni
who is half owned by Roma & half by Vicenza. Another winger? Surely not, but more realistically we are rumoured to be casting an eye over Michael Dawson
. That would be more like it although not sure the departure of Joe Kinnear
would make it more or less likely.
Christmas at home
I fly home to London on Friday night until Boxing Day. I need to be in the office the last week for some year end stuff, but being home next week suits me a lot better anyway. My schedule (god, I got all American again) is very busy but I'm looking forward to catching up with a lot of people.
I will have my son on the Thursday night and we will have our own little Christmas at my parents on Christmas Eve and it will be nice to be at my parents Christmas Day with my brother as well. A few glasses of sherry will be consumed in front of the Two Ronnies no doubt. I also have the added bonus (think that is the right word) of being able to go to the Fulham match on the Monday night via the Bugle Horn.
Last year I had Christmas here and travelled down to St Louis with a friend to spend Christmas with her family which was different and although they were really nice people, it just wasn't the same. Christmas is not such a big deal here, they just have the one day off and they tend to celebrate Thanksgiving a lot more.
In fact last year after brunch which consisted of ham, chicken and biscuits (and they were not Rich Tea either) we basically went out for a wander down to the famous arch
(and very impressive it is too) and ended up in a hotel bar for the afternoon and got pissed - could have been anyday really!
Don't talk to me about taxi drivers!
Chicago taxi drivers are the worst in the world. Admittedly I have not been in a taxi in every country in the world but I have spent a few quid on taxi's in my time.
Now I know I have been used to London cabs and one of my best mates is a black cab driver so I am biased but you can hail a cab and ask them to go to the smallest shittiest lane in the middle of West London and the cab driver will say, " Ok guv, jump in" and they will take you there. Simple as that. Ok, you might get a life story as well but the fact is they know where they are going.
Chicago cabbies do not have a fuckin' Scoobies. One, they don't speak English. Not even American! Two, they ask you how to get to where you want to go. Three, they spend the whole time talking on their cell phones in a language you have never heard off. Four, the cars are shit heaps. Five, they drive like lunatics and are constantly pressing their horn and shouting abuse at other cars. Six, they normally get lost and ask you if you know where it is you want to go, "No, let me explain Mr Cab driver. I am an Insurance broker, you are a cabbie. You fucking tell me!". And Seven, they then want and expect a bloody tip.
The other day I had a raging row with a cabbie because he clearly didn't know where he was going. He took me miles out of my way and then started moaning that the roads were new. Well if you call 1871 - when the grid system was put into place after the Great Chicago Fire
- new then I suppose you're right you useless twat.
Euell to Selhurst would give me the Palarse-ache
I watched the Arsenal v Chelsea game on Sunday in a busy pub and the pace of the game amazed me. It was what we used to call a real blood & thunder English league game with the ball going from one end to the other without a stop for breath. The weird thing was there were hardly any English players playing. Just shows how the foreign players are adapting to our game as opposed to us following their style. That's not going to help us win the World Cup now is it?
How much money does Chrissy Powell
want for gawd sake? Christ, West Ham must be in a right two and eight as they say in that part of town. Pardew has completely changed that team with only Dailly, Repka (because no one else will have him) and Lomas the only players remaining from their time in the Premiership but they still have real boardroom issues, no cash and the locals are not happy. Perhaps he should consider joining Hornchurch
, who I am told are getting a fresh injection of money.
The latest transfer window rumours have us offloading Jason Euell to Palarse
. Why would we want to do that? How many Premiership midfielders have scored more goals than him in recent seasons? I'm a big of fan of Euell but he hasn't been the same fella since he had a row with Curbs last season and how many times have we seen that become an end to a players time at the Valley? Well, I hope he stays. Its a squad game and we need players like him.
See the Youth Team lost
tonight at Everton in the FA Youth Cup. Oh well, a youngster going onto play in the first team is a bigger reward than a couple of trophies but try telling that to the sad young faces on the long journey home from Liverpool after the euphoria of last week.
The people you meet
often talks about the 'Bloke who sits behind me' and it got me thinking about some of the people that have sat or stood near me at various places along the way. Here are some that have come to mind.
1. I'll get it, I've got a bike, East Terrace, The Valley, early 80's
I believe this bloke worked on the Woolwich Ferry, so my Dad used to tell me anyway. This was back in the early 80's and everytime someone like Steve Dowman used to hoof the ball out into the vast open spaces on the East Terrace, this bloke used to bellow at the top of his voice: "It's alright, I'll get it, I've got my bike."
There was so much room around us in those days, he could have had a bus to be quite honest.
2. Give me a "C", The Valley, Covered End, 80's
I also used to know one of the original blokes who was the perpetrator of the "Give me a C"
chant. Still sung I believe to this day but by no way with as much venom. For the uneducated, this song takes on the form of one bloke (in this case Mark, who after retiring from the 'B Mob' stood with us on the East Terrace) screaming with all his might each letter one by one spelling out Charlton and ended with "What have you got?"
Charlton, Charlton. It can be quite effective, maybe not in writing though!
3. Sim-mmoooooooo, The Valley Club, 1982/83
My Dad used to take me into the Valley Club before games for a coke and a packet of crisps, which used to be situated near the Harvey Gardens entrance. Of course when we signed Alan Simonsen, we were all of a titter because to this day it must go down as one of the most audacious signings ever. I remember it even made ITN's News at 10. He was a fantastic player though and about 5 steps ahead of anyone else in the side.
Anyway this bloke used to sit by the door in the main lounge of the Valley Club and from about 12.30 to 10 to 3 he just sat there with his pint and sung at the top of his voice: "Sim-mmoooooooo."
4. You Old Barton, The Holmesdale Terrace, Selhurst Park, 1990/91
This was in the depressing days at Selhurst, when the only thing that used to keep us going was a very small light at the end of the tunnel with which held the hope that the dream called Back to the Valley would become a reality. We were in the old First Division then and I used to go to more away games than home. We stood on the shit heap of a terrace behind the goal. The other end used to be shut and the police would put the away fans in the corner - I remember occassionally they would put them with us, surrounded by a few coppers, if there wasn't many of them to save on cost.
We used to stand in front of some young lads who used to go to most of the aways as well. One lad in particular had a look of someone who needed to be pissed before the game and who could blame him. At anything and anyone he would shout out in a drunken slur: "Oi you old barton"
and to me and my brother he became known as Barton.
5. Go roooounnnd him, The East Stand, The Valley, mid 90's
A big group of us migrated to the new East Stand and we sat quite near the front and not far from the halfway line which rather strangely was around about the same place as I stood as a kid on the big old terrace.
Everyone was very friendly around us in those days and John Robinson was making his name as a stroppy little winger who gave 110%. Trouble was he never really went around anyone - not like an old fashioned winger anyway. A few rows back a bloke used to meet Robbo's every touch with a long drawn out "Go roooounnnd him,"
which of course fell on deaf ears as Robbo used to cut inside or take a one step back to go two forward.
6. Red roaring, goalscoring Addicks, away games, 90's
I can kind of picture this bloke in my memory but we only saw him at away games - like a lot of people really, I suppose. Just before kick off when both sets of supporters were increasing the noise levels, I always used to hear from somewhere amongst our brethren the loud chant of: "Come on you red roaring, goal scoring Addicks."
This shout, albeit only 8 words took a lot of effort as every syllable was heavily drawn out.
7. Leaburn lover, North Stand, The Valley, 1993/94
Now we all have our favourites but in the early days back at the Valley before we moved our seats to the East Stand - we went for the view and to be honest we were getting tired of the people behind us, particularly 'Leaburn Lover.'
Now, if this gentleman had been black I would have been convinced he had spawned him because in his eyes Leaburn could do nothing wrong. Now, I like some others could see that he did occassionally add value to the team but lets face it, in hindsight it is a bit of a farce that he earnt a living as a professional footballer at the level he played.
My brother and the 'Leaburn Lover'
almost came to blows once because my brother, how can I put this nicely, thought Leaburn was a pile of cack. So it wasn't a good cocktail so we seeked solace in the East Stand.
8. They haven't got a clue, North Stand, The Valley, 2004
Where my season ticket is now, which is in the North Stand Upper. Me (when I'm there) and my mate sit in front of two blokes who are - and new Addicks don't take this the wrong way - clearly part of the new generation of Charlton fans. Anyway they are reasonably well spoken and have discovered football which is fine. But what is not fine is that they are constantly getting the names of players wrong.
Now we can all do this during the heat & speed of the moment but not for 90 minutes and then loudly discuss how terrible Carlton Cole is playing when everyone else knows he plays for Aston Villa (it was in fact Bartlett). Another one I remember was early in the season when they were giving Holland a torrid old time. Holland of course didn't give two hoots because he was sitting in the stand injured. Maybe they need glasses, I don't know but it drives my poor old mate Vito mad.
West Brom away. What was the score? 1-0
I have a couple of memories of The Hawthorns
. One was driving up there like a lunatic in lashing rain (we made a late decision to go to the game when we found it was on) in 1990 to see us lose 1-0 in the 4th Round of the FA Cup. Walshie missed a penalty in front of the Charlton fans massed behind one goal - the pitch was totally unplayable and the game should never had been played.
Then my brother and I went up there for a Sunday live TV match in '95. Garry Nelson scored the winner, again at our end. The ground was almost unrecognisable from my previous visit and it was the first time we had won in front of live TV camera's since 1947.
I wasn't as close to the action on Saturday but it sounded like we won comfortably - we never finish teams off as we should but according to reports the defence held comfortably. As the official site says "although this performance was hardly reminiscent of Brazil it was a comprehensive win."
Now as I don't support Brazil I will take that thank you very much.
The general concensus was that the slimmed down Danny Murphy was outstanding in midfield plus we saw another improved performance from Holland and a goal of course. Jerome Thomas was again adjudged to be Man of the Match - what a bargain this boy was. And I for one was pleased that Romm was pissed off when he got substituted. It shows he cares and he will get another go next week.
Theres been a lot written about our formation but if we maximise the pace and creativity of Thomas and Rommedahl and the middle three can support the defence and the striker in equal measures then I can see that the 4-5-1 could run and run. We shouldn't be afraid to tinkle with this however, particularly at home. My only question is - would Jeffers have missed the 'sitter' that Bartlett did? Correct, we will never know but let's find out eh, Curbs?
.... Put the Palarse on the top....
I'd like to extend my hand out to the new blog Build A Bonfire
. We have seen a few Charlton blogs disappear or go very silent recently but there is still a little community of us. Keep it up and don't get too frustrated with Blogger - even though I am still seething because I've just lost my post on the West Brom game after it wouldn't publish. Bastards.
I don't want to hear it....
"But we won't take anything for granted. It's a chance for us to progress -
let's hope we can do that."
No, no, no. I don't want to even think about it. Why does Curbs do this to us? Rochdale
at home in the cup sends shivers down my spine. A half empty valley muttering to themselves and growing anxious if we are not 3-0 up in 10 minutes and a Jimmy Seed stand packed to the rafters and singing it's heart out. I can just see the Sunday back pages now.
It's a shame it's at home though, away would have been much more fun and I may even had made the journey. Never been to Spotland
before, probably because we haven't played them since 1973, which was before my time. A piece of trivia - I do believe they have never ever been promoted - think that's right. Shame because they sound a jolly old lot on their Rivals board
What a fantastic achievement by our U19's out in Spain. Lets try to remember some of these names, we might be singing them one day. Myles Weston & James Walker were awesome against Barcelona
and the hero in the final against Malaga
was the goalie, who sounds like the new Bruce Grobbelaar
. After me.... there's only one Szabolcs Kemenes, one Szabolcs Kemenes. A good old South London boy, if I ever heard one.
If I was a cat I would lick my own....
Still grinning like the proverbial Cheshire Cat. The picture below
which has been widely used tells a thousand words, doesn't it? I am particulary loving the look on Danny Murphy's face which tells me that he was as elated as every other Addick in the ground after Rommedahl's goal. Lets hope they took that passion and pride with them onto the training pitch on Monday and then to the Hawthorns on Saturday.
Talking to mates and reading stuff on the web, everyone seems be on a real buzz after Sunday. It wasn't only the last kick victory but it was also the real 'old fashioned' battling Charlton performance, the type we have not seen from this current team before.
There has been some great stuff on the Net Addicks board
too. Even the discussion on new player songs, Sir Dennis
being a particular candidate not unsurprisingly. There seems a general concensus that it was the best away day out for a long time and the noise made by Charlton fans was magnificient with everyone getting behind the team and individual players. That
is what being a Charlton fan is all about.
And how annoying is it becoming that we have to explain to stoopid Palarse fans why we detest them and their poxy club so much. Durr. Even Millwall hate them and what reason's do they have apart from the fact that the club stinks from it's annoying
little Chairman right down to their shit
Palarse away. What was the score? 1-0
1-0 was also the tally of the Charlton versus Palarse fans watching the game in the pub I was at this morning. But my was that one person smiling at around about midday. I have been on a real high all afternoon and all because of that 93rd minute shot into the right hand corner of the net by unlikely hero Dennis Rommedahl. Oh how I envied those 1,600 or so Addicks in the Arthur Wait Stand at the final whistle. And even 4,000 miles away on a TV screen I could hear their songs.
The game itself was ordinary and had very few examples of Premiership qualities but as the away side with an appalling habit of conceding a shed load of goals I was more than satisfied with what I thought was a true battling peformance. As the game moved into injury time I, like I imagined other Addicks were just hoping we could close the game down to get a draw. But no football can be so kind sometimes, can't it?
I have to say, even though Rommedahl has showed very little in the games he has played for us, including today, I still get a little buzz of excitement when he receives the ball because I believe he does have that ability to do something out of the ordinary. I really hope that the goal he scored gives him a huge burst of confidence and Curbs gives him a bit more freedom to do what it says on the tin - quote Curbs: "Dennis has got tremendous pace and tremendous talent, I brought him in thinking that, at home especially, he would be able to get past people and fashion some chances. Away from home his speed would help us on the counter attack and he could be devastating."
Their main threat of course was Johnson and I think they will have a job on their hands to keep him through the transfer window but the penalty aside, which was a defo, I thought El Karkouri marshalled him very well. The Penalty save was of course crucial but was more than matched by their goalie from close range by Thomas at the close of the first half.
Kiely's penalty save was wonderful if not completely unexpected because unlike Bobby Bolder (and not forgetting Sasa of course!) I never give him a chance against penalties. Kiely will of course endear himself to us again although there were some other dodgy moments for the Irishman.
Young was excellent again today, both defensively and going forward and Murphy was much better as the other players get used to his strengths and weaknesses - lack of pace being an obvious one. Thomas was always a threat and had a good tustle with Routledge. Bartlett soldiered on all alone but if we are going to only play one up front then at least give them a chance when we hoof it anywhere into the final third.
Anyway, that's it for now. It's times like this that I'm really glad I am 6 hours behind you lot because it gives me more time to wallow in the glory of it all. Bliss.
Reports from those that were there: cafc.co.uk
; Addicks Diary
The biggest game of the season
"The major thing about this club is that we haven't forgotten where we came from,"
Well, lets fucking hope so because in my mind the game on Sunday is our biggest of the season so far. Not only is it against 'that lot'
but a victory would set us up nicely for the next three winnable games (West Brom, Fulham & Southampton), it would erase from our memories the last two Saturday's and it will have Addicks everywhere jumping up and down with delight. There of course is the other little matter of it being 12 years to the day that we our returned to our spiritual home.
I'm not convinced about Curbs words, particulary as we have no Brown, Robinson or Rufus in the dressing room any longer to tell their team mates what it really means to play for Charlton. And let me ask this question. Do 27,000 fans really understand what it means?
Of course two people that do know what it means are Curbs & Peacock, plus a few gentlemen in the boardroom too. Come on Curbs, Keith lets really rally the Reds on Sunday. Tell them where we came from - show them the old video you showed Paulo, if necessary - and encourage them to take the journey on even further and become the new Johnny Robinson's and Steve Brown's.
It pains me to see us only sell half of our allocation
. My brother and I discussed this today and I spoke to another mate as well and we soon realised it was hard to bitch about it when all three of us weren't going either! Times change and we get older and have different responsibilites and we did truly miss a generation of 20 something's with enough disposable income that for them a £35 ticket is a weekend necessity and not a luxury.
If I was home I'd liked to think I would have gone but at 35 quid a ticket, it being on Sky, on a Sunday with the Carling Cup game fresh in the memory and with our away form stinking? I don't know.
Anyway, I'm feeling nervous already 4,000 miles away. These games are painful to watch on television as the Inspector writes on All Quiet
, but nonetheless that is what I will do.
So, finally a plea to each and every Charlton fan going to the game - please, please get behind them like your life's depended on it and lets sing that fucking dump out.
Come on you Reds, lets have it....
Is that the time already?
What time is it? My body is all over the place. I woke up in my hotel room in Detroit this morning at 6am and was startled to find out that I felt reasonably awake. That's because I get an extra hour in bed I thought to myself, no I don't I get an hour less? Do I, oh I don't know.
Anyway, I'm home now and I feel knackered and I need to go to work in the morning. Then I'm cooking tomorrow night for friends, no doubt in Keith Floyd style, so will wake to the alarm on Sunday morning with a red wine head as I wonder up to the pub to watch the game (oh god, the game!). At least kick off is 10am (CST) and not 9.
It's been a busy week Charlton wise. First of all the club announce
that we have submitted proposals to Greenwich Council to initially extend the Valley's capacity to 30,900 by adding another tier onto the East Stand and filling in the south-east corner where the excuse for a scoreboard currently resides.
This is all a precurser for the eventual move to a completed stadium with a capacity of more than 40,600 and very sexy it looks too. The Training ground at New Eltham has many planned improvements
Now of course as a blinkered Charlton fan I think this is all wonderful stuff and times nicely with the news that the stadium is to host a forthcoming Under 20's International
in February. However I really hope that amongst the proposal's are considerations for an improvement in the atmosphere and some thoughts on returning safe standing areas to the Valley.
But irony, which you don't get much off around these parts, is a wonderful thing because - as spotted by The King of Sweden
- in the week that Reg Varney announces the proposed ground expansion, he then bangs on about declining away support and just after the club in it's wisdom decide to charge £40 for the privilege of seeing us getting stuffed by Chelski, he then moans on about the ticketing policies at other clubs, namely Palarse and it not making economic sense! Get this bus out of here Butler.
has done a bit of investigative blogging and found a piece on our latest transfer target Lisandro Lopez
. Doesn't sound very promising does it? Oh well, there's always the Scott Parker rumours. And can we stop moaning about Dennis Rommedahl. It could have been worse, we might have been lumbered with that cheat Jesper Gronkjaer
Lastly I would like to add my best wishes to John Robinson who sadly retired
from the game this week. I remember his debut is some crappy cup competition at the Valley and like others I wondered what Curbs had bought. I think he cost £50k and was bought to replace Rob Lee which was a tough task. To make it even harder, Robbo then went and got injured but I remember to this day a Brighton mate of mine telling me that we had bought a gem. "One of the best young players I have ever seen,"
he told me.
Well 382 appearances later he became one of the most popular players to ever wear the Red shirt, he chased every single ball (he could teach the current squad a thing or two), he argued with the best referees in the country and I don't think I ever saw him run down the touchline to the corner flag and cross the ball in. But we loved him didn't we because he had a big heart and he could play too.
I know he has been running successful soccer schools in Sussex for many years and he recently set up a property company with Cardiff keeper Martyn Margetson. Whatever he does you know that he will do it 110%. He said on Wednesday that amongst the highlights of his career "was all my time at Charlton."
Snap. Good luck Robbo.