Chicago Addick living in Bermuda
5 minutes but it all counts
Cap number 2, lets hope that's not the end of Luke's England career. I guess a lot of what he did in training and his presence within the tour squad will go a long way to whether Sven will call him into the squad again other than what we saw in his time on the pitch. I personally think he's certainly a viable alternative to Phil Neville and Glen Johnson as a back up to first choice right-back Gary Neville.
This much criticised tour has been an overwhelming success. Today's game
in which Michael Owen proved he is still England's number one striker was very competitive with a more intense atmosphere, whilst Saturday's game went a long way to increasing popularity of the beautiful game in this country.
Players such as Kieran Richardson and Zat Knight staked claims for their further inclusion and Joe Cole was impressive in both games. The English fans in Chicago and New Jersey were also a credit to football and their country.
Meanwhile, the transfer jungle drums had a bit of the Red Red Robin about them today. European Champions League hero Vladimir Smicer has stated our interest in him and Danny Murphy may have a lot of influence in any move. The icLiverpool
website says that the Valley "appears to be his preferred option."
Sunderland appear to have agreed a fee with Blackburn Rovers for 22-year old striker Jon Stead but rumours suggest that we could be ready to fight for his signature.
The vultures are flying over Portman Road. Local papers in Ipswich say that Sunderland also plan talks with Darren Bent but we are in the front of the queue, however wages are a stumbling block for Francis Jeffers moving in the opposite direction. (more
Sunderland's PR machine has been busy today with stories that Jason Euell is heading to the Stadium of Light.
The Dean Kiely to Old Trafford reserves rumour is gathering legs but surely the Sky's Scott Parker chestnut is sat on the side of the road.
It's a wrap
That’s it the season’s over
. No more footie for me. Just transfer gossip to keep me occupied.
A belated chance then to take a look back over Charlton’s season from Chicago Addick’s perspective. If you want a decent player-by-player guide, particularly from an ex-pat’s view, then click here.
I remember being in Bermuda when we got walloped by Bolton in the first game, that did soften the shock a little but this was a sign of things to come as for the first time in many a year we suffered many big defeats.
I got home for my birthday and was treated to one of the best home performances of the season when we beat Aston Villa 3-0. A certain Francis Jeffers was being touted as the new messiah - that was obviously before he got on the guest list at The Venue.
I watched an appalling game one afternoon in the pub against Southampton and a fortunate 2-0 win away at Grimsby proved that we had still not got going. We were drawn at home in the next round of the Carling Cup to Palace and I found a visit home to watch the match irresistible. I wasn’t to make that mistake again (unfortunately!).
Our first home defeat came at the end of October and it was then Curbs changed the formation to 4-5-1, this was to become the most talked about topic of the season amongst fans.
I remember watching BBC’s Live Text (oh I hate that thing) and after being 3-0 up desperate to see the ‘R’ come up next to score-line after Spurs had pulled 2 goals back. But this was the start of better things to come.
Norwich were dispatched with ease before we lost to Man U, I got up at 6am for this one and then eventual runaway Champs Chelsea.
My own highlight of the season was Rommedahl’s last minute winner in the next game. Oh how we will remember that
I was then back at home for the Fulham game and another win and things were looking good although my memories of that game were of the giant Bouba Diop.
We had a good Christmas and then excellent wins over Birmingham and Everton were joined by progress in the FA Cup.
I was back again for the Liverpool game and they put on a true European Champions performance and 2-1 didn’t tell the true story. Mor, Mor, Mor….
Then, for me the most disappointing result of the season – losing to Leicester in the Cup. How predictable are we? Cup flops, end of season slumps. All rather tiresome.
Nevertheless we bounced back pretty well and after the wonderful victory over Tottenham there were whispers of European football but the cracks were appearing. Rarely had we played to our full potential, often scraping results and relying on opponent’s poor performances and our stifling way of play to grind out points. We were susceptible to letting in goals and we, once again, lacked fire -power up front and despite his critics, when Bartlett got injured we had no one to play the lone striker and Curbs wasn’t prepared to change it.
After the Tottenham game we had a wonderful opportunity to gain another 9 points (which would have got us 7th) with home games against West Brom and Man City and an away game against struggling Pompey. We got 1 and let in 10 goals. Game over.
I took my son to the Bolton game, it was his first ever match and it will stay in our memories for longer than most of the other people at the game.
Four games without a goal followed and the season was dragging its feet but we still had the pudding to come. We all looked at the fixtures last summer and thought it and sure enough it happened. Jon Fortune will be as fondly remembered in Sandwell as he will in SE7. Sha-la-la-la-la-la.
Luke Young won the supporters player of the year and he got my vote and I was proud to witness his England debut on Saturday.
In the Palace game Dean Kiely again proved that he is a very good goalkeeper but will we find out next season if Stephan Anderson is better?
El-Camel was our least well known signing but became a hit, Konchesky re-endeared himself to the fans with some inspiring performances when all around him were totally uninspiring.
Fish and Fortune are not good enough for the Premiership. I like Perry but he had a stop start season not helped by his mysterious disappearance at the outset.
I’m a big fan of HH and he is, in my mind, captain material, unlike Matt Holland who needs to offer us more than just being effectual. Murphy at times was woeful but at other times outstanding. I think he found the transition quite difficult, as did Rommedahl. I believe in Dennis though and it’s not unusual for foreign players to improve greatly in their 2nd Premiership season.
The find of the season of course was Jerome Thomas, he doesn’t know how to celebrate a goal but he is an old fashioned winger with tricks and that is what people pay money to watch. We hope Lloyd Sam follows suit.
Kish had a good season and his big heart and work rate appeals to us all but he should not be a first team player. Bryan Hughes scored more goals than most of the midfield put together but I sense he was one of those players who only made the team in the last few games because he was in the manager’s spotlight. Fail.
I am one of those people that felt Euell did not get a fair shout last season, but clearly his days are numbered as are Franny Jeffers. Shame it never worked out because I think he can score goals and we are short on that commodity.
JJ was also in the spotlight and it looked liked he passed. Curbs knows best of course and it will be interesting to see what he does with Kevin Lisbie. Shaun Bartlett is the latest in a long line of forwards at the club who can’t score a tap in but he was our best striker last season and finished top scorer.
Right, where’s that juicy bit on transfer gossip?
Send us victorious
Chicago has had the cross of St George draped over it this weekend with fans from home and ex-pats from all around the US descending on the windy city. Despite its size you don't often hear English accents around Downtown but even this afternoon wandering down Michigan Avenue English voices and football kits of all denominations joined the tourists peering up at the skyscrapers.
On Saturday Soldier Field became home-field as the Americans call it for the afternoon as English fans made themselves seen and heard.
The obligatory flags hung from every corner apart from one side of the pitch where ESPN had them removed before the start of the game. The locals hugely disappointed by last years awful Man U v Bayern Munich friendly this time saw what a football game was all about, with English fans making up the majority in the impressive stadium.
Both national anthems were sung with gusto, and pleasingly there was not one boo of the 'Star Spangled Banner'
. English fans were in fine voice giving fine renditions of songs like: "Are you Scotland in disguise?"
The Chicagoans looked confused and shocked by the amount of English supporters in the stadium but they also played their part in what was a good natured party atmosphere.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable day with the added bonus in the 76th minute of seeing the introduction of Luke Young for his debut in an England shirt. With the injury situation not good for Sven, we have to be hopeful that the player of the year starts against Colombia in New York on Tuesday.
I admit to bias but I don't see Glen Johnson being a better option at right back than Young, Josh Wolff was a constant menace to the Chelsea full back. Despite one mistake when he gave the ball away, he did get back to make amends mind, Luke did what he had to do confidently and well for the time he was on.
As for the game itself, Kieran Richardson had a dream debut scoring from a free kick in 4 minutes and again just before half-time finishing off a sweeping move. Disappointingly the hard playing surface ended his game early as it did for Sol Campbell, who looked very rusty in his first game back after injury.
I thought Carrick and Jenas were both disappointing but Joe Cole was a livewire throughout until he was replaced by Defoe. With Alan Smith often playing deep Andy Johnson was often left up front chasing shadows and didn't get a chance to take a tumble in the box to earn himself a penalty.
Calamity James was once again a disaster zone, he flapped at a free kick in the first half from America's most well known player Landon Donovan and even with the late consolation he made a hash of Fulham's Chicago born Bocanegra's effort knocking it into Dempsey's path to score. That lost me a bet that did!
I've not seen England play live for years and it was good to feel that sense of belonging again as I'm sure many of the other ex-pats did too. I have even today been thinking about a trip to Germany next year.
Finally, if you are reading this, hello to the Charlton fan, originally from Eltham but now living in Ann Arbor
in Michigan who was as thrilled as I was to meet another Charlton fan 4,000 miles from home. Oh and David, nice flag.
Others that were there: USSoccer.com
; The Fire Alarm
; Chicago Tribune
; Chicago Sun Times
.Click on pictures to enlarge.
Lock up your daughters the English are coming
While Luke Young trained with his fellow England squad members in the shadow of the Sears Tower (once the tallest building in the world) the Chicago Tribune
today wrote an hilarious article giving warning to what to expect from the 5,000 travelling English fans expected to descend on the city this weekend.
Entitled How to embrace your inner hooligan
, this is how we are perceived:
1. THE WARDROBE
All the people running around with red crosses on their clothing Saturday at Soldier Field are not necessarily medics. The flag of St. George, England's national emblem since 1277, resembles the symbol for the international organization that cares for the sick and the emblem of choice for English fans afflicted with the football bug. The red crosses come out in full force whenever the national team plays - on flags, shirts, coats, backpacks, skin - "It's a flag-waving experience,"
said Rob Maul, a sports reporter for the London Times
The shirt of choice figures to be the red England road jersey, just one piece of clothing in what will look like an Umbro warehouse. The typical fan's costume? "A team jersey, with sneakers and jeans and probably a good number of people with their faces painted,"
predicted David Asquith, president of Umbro USA. "Soccer's very tribal in England."
2. THE SONGS
If watching soccer indeed compares to a religious experience for many English fans, you might say the event comes complete with hymns sung throughout the match. After a traditional opening rendition of "God Save The Queen,"
the impromptu concert in the stands that lasts throughout the game might take several different directions.It can turn patriotic: "England till I die, I'm England till I die, I know I am, I'm sure I am, I'm England till I die,"
is an old stand-by.
It can wax poetic, "Oh England the fans, the fans are calling, from the Yorkshire Dales to old London Town, red, white and blue, the colors we keep flying, oh, England, England, we love you so."
Or it can simply go for ribald laughs, specific for players on the national team. In a city that brought the world "The Super Bowl Shuffle,"
the complaints should be few.
3. THE INTENSITY
No Americans should be startled by boos that could follow the "Star Spangled Banner,"
Saturday any more than they should be by cheers after a goal. "That's just the way it is,"
Maul said. "Nothing personal. They're just passionate."
That is to say that fans at English football matches are such that an athlete such as Ron Artest (Basketball player banned after wading into the crowd to fight them!) might not be suspended for going into the stands during a game as much as pitied. As a writer once put it in the Daily Telegraph, "If manners maketh the man, many English football fans would remain locked in permanent puberty."
Conditions have improved, however, in the 20 years since visiting Liverpool fans attacked fans of the Italian team Juventus in Belgium, causing a wall to collapse and killing 39.
And since 1989 when hooligans (that will please Liverpool fans!) rioted at a game in Sheffield and left 96 dead. Still, most descriptions of a typical English football fan sounds like a rabid (Chicago) Bears fan on steroids.
4. THE PRE-GAME FARE
Somebody calling himself "BigSoccer,"
from Camden, England, on an English national team message board offered this food for thought on the American sporting tradition of tailgating. "Why the [expletive] does anyone have to pay [for parking] for the privilege of sitting around a car park with a bunch of fat Yank weirdoes in beards listening to country music and shouting things like "Woooooo-hooooooo!!!!!!"In England, most soccer stadiums sit too close to housing areas to have large parking lots, so they come up with an alternative to tailgating. "It's called a pub,"
Chicago Fire CEO/President John Guppy said.
5. THE KNOWLEDGE
Boos cascaded Soldier Field last July after Manchester United and Bayern Munich battled to a 0-0 tie. Of course they did. "In England, a draw is just as fascinating as a victory but Americans don't know anything about the game. They think, 'What's the point in having a draw?'"
English fans understand nuances often lost on American spectators, much the way a hit-and-run will excite a baseball purist but bore a Brit. Some English fans Saturday might rise to cheer soccer subtleties such as a heavy tackle or taking a corner kick while the Americans around them will look on, seeing a different game. "You always hear the bad thing about soccer is no scoring,"
Guppy said. "Well, a 3-2 game in soccer is like a 21-14 game in the NFL."
Guppy compared the extended buildup to scoring a goal to a "long courtship before you're married."
Funny eh? I will be back tomorrow or Sunday with my take on the English invasion of the Windy City
TV guide - look away now!
One of the great things about living in America is that I see a lot of what you see at home on television first. Its been a big week here on the box, with season finale's all over the place. I, of course am not a spoil-sport so if you don't want to know the winner of American Idol
, do not click here
If you are smitten by America's Next Top Model
, then don't click here
and if you are glued to Desperate Housewifes
then please avoid this
at all costs.
What about my favourite, 24?
The final hour was on Monday, if you don't want to know what happened in the last 60 minutes don't click on this
now if you don't want to know who Donald Trump's 3rd Apprentice is. She, sorry they were chosen last week to work under the Donald and his amazing toupee.
We also now have the winner of Sylvester Stallone's The Contender
but you don't want to know that
do you? Or the achingly awful
and his chosen one!
But it does work both ways. Gordon Ramsey's Hells Kitchen
started on Monday
. No, I don't want to know thank you!
And I couldn't get out of the office because I was too busy. Bollocks....
I have fond memories of Liverpool in Europe in the late 70's and early 80's. Congratulations Liverpool, Kings of Europe once again.
Golota knocked out in 53 seconds!
Now if boxing is one of the easiest sports to fix then Lamon Brewster did not get the message. Clearly this was a very one-sided contest but I'd have imagined that Don King may have wanted the first heavyweight title fight in Chicago
to last a bit longer than 53 seconds.
In that time local lad Andrew Golota went down three times. "I understand why the ref had to stop the fight, but I wanted to continue. I cannot believe this happens to me every decade (referring to when Lennox Lewis stopped him previously), maybe its time for me to think about leaving boxing."
Er, so do I Andrew.
The audience just stood in silence and in fact many people only arrived in time to see the big fight and at $100 a ticket would have been very pissed off. We however saw the two fights before (there were 8 altogether) including an excellent WBC light heavyweight contest between Poland's Tomasz Adamek and Australian Paul Briggs. Many thousands in the 20,000 crowd were 2nd generation Poles from Chicago, the city has more Polish people in it than anywhere else in the world other than Poland and they roared their man onto a points victory.
We were lucky to be in a box and I had an excellent night and even won a few dollars, it just ended a bit suddenly, but not as sudden as it was for Golota.
Luke Young coming to Chicago
I was getting a bit despondent about next weeks USA v England game at Soldier Field. Even the 4th XI were dropping out but today's announcement that Luke Young
has been called into Sven's depleted squad has given me a lift.
As I have mentioned before myself, one Aussie and 8 Yanks have tickets for the friendly, the game is centre piece in a mate's birthday celebrations and as players dropped out right and left I felt responsible! "What you mean even Gary Neville's not coming too?"
I've had it all week.
But, wait Luke Young will be there and I so hope he get's on because I will be there to witness his debut in my Charlton shirt. There was also news tonight that David Beckham
may play too, after being told he will miss Real Madrid's last game of the season due to suspension. That will certainly cheer the 40,000 Chicagoans expected to attend.
By the way, I promised to announce the US squad and here it is. Only Man City's Claudio Reyna and Preston's Eddie Lewis are absent for manager Bruce Arena.
Goalkeepers: Marcus Hahnemann (Reading), Kasey Keller (Borussia Moenchengladbach), Zach Thornton (Chicago Fire)
Defenders: Gregg Berhalter (Energie Cottbus), Carlos Bocanegra (Fulham), Steve Cherundolo (Hannover 96), Cory Gibbs (Feyenoord), Oguchi Onyewu (Standard de Liege), Greg Vanney (FC Dallas)
Midfielders: Bobby Convey (Reading), Clint Dempsey (New England Revolution), Landon Donovan (Los Angeles Galaxy), Pablo Mastroeni (Colorado Rapids), John O'Brien (ADO Den Haag), Steve Ralston (New England Revolution), Clyde Simms (D.C. United)
Forwards: Conor Casey (FSV Mainz), Eddie Johnson (FC Dallas), Brian McBride (Fulham)
Cubs and gloves
Phew, its been a long week. Every day in the office, it's all a bit of a drag really.
I did have an extended lunch today mind and had a couple of pints watching the season's first cross city baseball game in a bar. We would call Chicago Cubs
v Chicago White Sox
a local derby but the locals prefer the southside v northside showdown. In fact one of today's papers describes it as "the World Series for a city that can't win a real one."
) The World series that only involves American teams is bad enough but one that only involves teams from Chicago? Come on.
The Sox Southsiders easily beat the Northside Cubs this afternoon 5-1
and despite what the papers say the White Sox are the current best team in the country, sorry world. The Cubs, who I have chosen for reasons other than the fact that they are winners obviously, I'm a Charlton fan after all, are hopeless hopefuls and this is with 130 odd games left of the season.
I plan a quiet weekend. I have woken up with too many really bad hangovers recently and I'm thinking I just can't do it anymore.
Tomorrow morning I will take my place at Gingers Ale House
for breakfast and some strong coffee to watch the FA Cup Final
. I have backed Arsenal (and AC Milan in the Champions League, both picked at the semi-final stage) but to be honest I'm just hoping for a good game because we have seen some dire finals in recent years. There is no love lost and both teams are unusually trophy-less so you never know.
Then sandwiched in between some painting (walls not canvas) I have been invited to the WBO Heavyweight Championship
fight at the United Center on Saturday night. I don't know an awful lot about boxing and amateur boxing dinners is the extent of my experience, so this will be my first professional bout.
The current champion Lamon Brewster takes on Andrew Golota
(both pictured above with promoter Don King
) in what is the first world title fight in Chicago for 24 years and it has caught the locals imagination even though the names are not as famous as Sonny Liston, Floyd Patterson, Rocky Marciano, Joe Louis and Jack Dempsey who have all fought heavyweight world titles here.
Brewster is from the adjoining state of Indiana and Polish born Golota lives in Chicago adding extra spice
. It will be Golota's 4th challenge for the title, he was beaten by Mike Tyson in 2000."Both men don't move much and both can be hit. We know about Brewster's incredible resolve. Although he's fighting on Golota's turf, he'll be well-represented by his fans from nearby Indiana and should be motivated. Golota's at home, he's the favorite and Brewster's got a chin of granite. A recipe for disaster for Golota in what HAS to be his last shot at the title? Don't think so, Golota by split decision in a brawl."
) Sounds like a nice evening, better not wear my best jacket, don't want to get blood on it!
Umm, I've just re-read this and it doesn't seem that quiet of a weekend does it? Better get home then, have some dinner and go to bed.
Before I go though, a couple of new things on the left hand side there. Casino Avenue
led me to savekyliesboobs.co.uk
a great idea for a great charity and a great gal
. And a new photo, the towering 100-story John Hancock building on Michigan Avenue to replace my previous one taken out of my old apartment window.
I have also linked to the hapless but loveable Chicago Cubs
as it is well and truly hot-dog and drinking season at Wrigley.
Hornchurch FC RIP
While my West Ham mates dust off their Cardiff
road maps, a little word about their other team Hornchurch FC
. On Monday of this week Hornchurch FC became no more. They have ceased trading and subsequently the Company was placed into Liquidation. However they will be born again as Hornchurch Football Club (2005) - the team will be called AFC Hornchurch.
Before the end of the season the Urchins finally took the 10 point hit to enter administration which they had been staving off all season but it was another nail in the coffin after they chased the dream. Earlier in the season they were sprinting away with the Conference South league whilst paying big money (by league standards let alone Conference South) to amongst others Darren Caskey, Jamie Stuart, Adam Locke, Paul McCarthy and Wayne Purser, all too good for this level. Manager Garry Hill was rumoured to be on a locked in 2-year contract worth £200,000.
I actually saw them play this season, on one of my trips home, and it was just after their backers Coldseal Windows, or more specifically Karl Williams pulled the plug and announced he was bankrupt. Interestingly at that point, Garry Hill was still there, and in the bar up until 10 minutes after kick-off. He didn't care because he was paid his 200 grand up front! Alright if you can get it! He has long since gone, no doubt happy in the knowledge that he is not a creditor.
The new club has received the consent of the FA and the Essex FA to play football within the pyramid as AFC Hornchurch. The Club will be advised as to what League it will be placed in after Thursday 19 May by the FA. (more
AFC (why are all new teams called AFC?) Hornchurch have applied for a place in Ryman Division One, which is two down from their current status but the decision is fully in the hands of the FA, and they may end up as low as the Essex Intermedate league, which is three further levels down from the Ryman Div 1.
Sad days for Urchin fans but watch my mates apply for their Hammers season tickets again if they win on bank holiday Monday!
Why I hate Palarse
There has always been some debate by Addicks as to why we hate Palace so much. It is obviously true that some of us don't identify with this destestation of the Glaziers and although younger fans have probably been handed down the rivarly, older fans have their own reasons.
I grew up in Catford and at school as a Charlton fan I considered our rivarly to be with Millwall because I had mates who supported them but both me and my Millwall pals hated Palace. Apart from the usual United, Liverpool and Arsenal fans in the playground, the kids like me who actually used to go to games either supported the Lions, West Ham or Charlton.
Palace fans used to come and go with the seasons, depending on how they were doing. The media always had a soft spot for Palace (and still do!
) and that used to annoy the hell out of me and my Millwall mates - the back pages and tv used salivate over the team of the 80's, Malcolm Allison, Terry Venables, Vince Hilaire and it was laughable. Back then we considered ourselves real fans not kids from surburbia who wore a stripey kit around Bromley and thought they were hard.
They had so many reasons to be disliked back then - Alan Mullery, Jim Cannon, Billy Gilbert, the fact they changed their kit every year
, their smart-arsed passionless glory boy fans. Remember that last game of the season when they played, was it Burnley, and had to win to go up and 50,000 odd crammed into Selhurst? Made me laugh that did.
This was summed up perfectly yesterday when I met a bloke who works in my office. He used to live in Bermuda but grew up in England and announced he was a Palace fan. A wry smile passed over my lips as I said to him, "you must of had a dismal weekend then?"
He looked at me and said "why was that then?"
Yep, sums them up. You find a Charlton fan around the world
who didn't know what happened Sunday.
When I was a kid they were an annoyance more than anything else but that all changed after we moved to Selhurst and please don't ever let me hear another Palace fan say that they "did us a favour."
Anyway their day will come when Noades decides to boot them out of their dump of a ground and sells it or it gets into such a state of disrepair that it is no longer considered acceptable for League football. Maybe the Conference will take pity.
Lets wallow in the gloating before we start dissection
I decided to go for a long walk yesterday morning, unable to face the BBC Commentary or the BBC Videprinter. My mate, Chris rung me and amongst a barrage of noise he told me: "We're 1-0 up, Hughes scored."
But then it was silence as I mooched around Chicago checking my phone more times than is normal
Then my brother who was unable to go to the game because he was at work text me: "Is it still 2-2?"
he asked. Why you asking me for, I live 4,000 miles away I thought. Then the phone rang, It was Chris, breathless and sounding exhausted. "2-2 son,"
he said. "Are they down or not?"
I asked impatiently."Oh yes!"
he said. Then I was passed to my Dad and we shouted at each other above the noise for a couple of minutes and that was that.
I got home, as happy as if we had won the Champions League and proud that for once my team did what they were asked off. And although a 6-0 win would have been nice, the way it came about was much more painful for the stripey annoying twats.
I have read a couple of differing opinions today. On one side some fans are disappointed that we have lost these atmosphere charged two games and on the other it is good riddance to bad rubbish to a side whose supporters, chairman and shit-hole of a ground deserve to be back to where they belong. By the amount of messages from other clubs' fans on the Netaddicks board
it looks like they are sure to receive a warm welcome!
If Andrew "he loves the club"
Johnson leaves along with Routledge then this side (as they were for most of last season) is ordinary and unlike 4 years ago when they stayed up on the last day of the season, they could follow Bradford, Franchise FC, Forest, Wednesday and Barnsley down and down.
Anyway enough of them, lets worry about us but today is not the day to dissect our season, we all know we finished the season abysmally and some of our 'better' performances were turgid to say the least. Major surgery is needed and we will have plenty of time to discuss that amongst ourselves now the season is over. Remember the name John Hartson though!
Finally, my thoughts are with Kevin Lisbie. I may not be his biggest fan but no one deserves this misfortune and I hope he makes a speedy recovery from this rare condition
Palarse home. What was the score? 2-2
1st chorus2nd chorus
Sha-la-la la-la-la-la-la! *clap* *clap!*
Sha-la-la la-la-la-la-la! *clap* *clap!*
Sha-la-la la-la-la-la-la! *clap* *clap!*All together
We've gone and sent the scummers down!
Put opinions behind us and cheer them on
I'm sitting at home on the eve of the Palace game tomorrow now wishing that I was going. In Sky's wisdom they are not showing our game therefore it won't be carried here, so I will be left with a choice of the internet, watching the other games and hoping for updates or taking some sleeping tablets and staying comatosed through the whole thing!
I think Bartlett will start tomorrow, even though he has only had 45 minutes of reserve football after being out for 5 weeks and I would like us to revert back to playing our previous lucky charm Dennis Rommedahl along with Jerome Thomas in place of Hughes and JJ.
Curbs was quoted as saying today that he "always thought Palace did us a favour by taking us in,"
and maybe that was the view of the players at the time but others will know that Ron Noades did not do it for the love.
Lennie Lawrence clearly has less happy memories of our rental: "It was supposed to be a pioneering, ground-sharing scheme initially but Palace were the landlords and we were the tenants. A lot of the fans would not accept it and that stirred up the rivalry. There has never been any love lost between the clubs, but you could say there is an added edge to the derby now."
The one certain fact is that Charlton fans need to unite tomorrow and put opinions of Curbs, our tactics and our form to one side and get behind the players from the off as if this game is a cup final. Remember we all have that one special bond. We are all Addicks, they are in our hearts and we would have it no other way.
Come on you Reds.
Glory, glory Man Utd
The bits I listened to on the radio sounded like the Ressies got well beaten by a superior Man U reserves tonight in the play-off between the North and South Premier Reserve champions. The recently named Addicks young player of the year Lloyd Sam kept up the hope towards the end but we were eventually beaten 4-2
United's 2nd XI contained a scattering of young overseas players whilst we welcomed back Jerome Thomas and Shaun Bartlett from injury. Bartlett was withdrawn at half-time, probably because of his fitness and not because he will play on Sunday.
10,000+ were expected but the crowd of 7,102 seemed to include a fair amount of United fans judging by the cheers that greeted their goals. Inspector Sands
was there as well.
I am currently listening to 5 Live
and United fans all over the world are burning their heavily endorsed bras and their season ticket applications. The whole thing is very interesting. I remember Chelsea fans being up in arms when a certain Russian rolled into town and sent Ken Bates packing. Where are those people now?Malcolm Glazer
is a hard nosed businessman who will not lose a wink of sleep tonight knowing that fans are burning effigies of him outside Old Trafford.
He now has control of 70% of the shares and what was previously his debt now belongs to MU PLC, unlike Mr Abramovich who just brought cash in suitcases to Stamford Bridge.
Will we really see the demise of Manchester United? Fans are ringing in talking of administration, which I think is a slightly knee-jerking. The next couple of weeks will be very interesting indeed with talk of a whole new board being in place shortly. Sir Alex Ferguson will be considering his position very carefully I'd imagine.
Don't think this will only affect glory, glory Man Utd though. It won't, Glazer's bespectacled eyes are all over the Premiership TV rights and if United can break with the Premier League collective agreement and negotiate on their own then it will have a devastating effect on smaller clubs such as us.
Finally before I go home I would like to add my goodbye's to someone British football will be well rid off
and someone who got on Sunday everything he deserved
England tour squad announced
Sven-Goran Eriksson has announced his squad
for the tour of the USA including the game here in Chicago. 12 players have now pulled out of the game at Soldier Field including the big pulls such as Owen, Beckham, Gerrard, Lampard, Ferdinand and Rooney. So we are left with a bean pole
, a Judas
and the Palace penalty getter
The full squad is as follows:
Green (Norwich), Carson (Liverpool), James (Manchester City) Campbell (Arsenal), Upson (Birmingham), Brown (Manchester United), G Neville (Manchester United), A Cole (Arsenal), P Neville (Manchester United), Johnson (Chelsea), Jenas (Newcastle), Downing (Middlesbrough), Beckham (Real Madrid), Carrick (Tottenham), J Cole (Chelsea), Hargreaves (Bayern Munich) Wright-Phillips (Manchester City), Smith (Manchester United), Owen (Real Madrid), Crouch (Southampton), A Johnson (Crystal Palace), Defoe (Tottenham).
The American 'roster' is due to be announced next week.
New signing imminent
I have heard from a very good source (mate whose brother-in-law is a pro footballer and best pals with a Charlton player) that we are on the verge of announcing a new signing.
I am told it will be a pretty spectacular name and it will break our transfer record. I know the names of the informants but have been sworn to secrecy.
Umm *taps fingers on desk inpatiently* please let it be Dennis Bergkamp
Dropping like flies
Rather unsurprisingly players are dropping out of England's friendly against USA here in Chicago
10 of us are going - 8 Yanks, 1 Aussie and me and the news that Wayne Rooney and Rio Ferdinand have joined Frank Lampard, John Terry, Owen Hargreaves, Michael Owen and David Beckham on the missing list will not help my wagers.
Sven today agreed to allow Rooney and Rio to rest after the season. The cheating Lampard has to have his foot sewn back on following that career threatening tackle from Jonathan Fortune and Terry is also planning surgery. The foreign league contingent have club commitments, at least for the first game of the tour in Chicago.
If Liverpool win the Champions League then it is expected that Steven Gerrard and Jamie Carragher will want to attend a tour of Liverpool, planned for 28 May, the same day as the game at Soldier Field.
Newcastle's Nicky Butt and Kieron Dyer are also struggling with injuries and are likely to be missing from the squad which will be named tomorrow.
This is not a rebel song....
It has been a number of years since I last saw U2
play live and me, Bono, The Edge, Larry and Adam have all aged some. In fact Bono is 45 today, and it is an astonishing 25 years since the release of Boy
Last night lacked something from my youthful memories of Hammersmith Palais, Wembley and a wet Milton Keynes Bowl even if the album How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb
is very retro. One thing for sure though is they still know how to put on a show.
The play-list was a mix of the nostalgia and the new which went against Bono's comments during the show that they "were only about the future."
Of course we had the normal Bono party political broadcasts. He wore a blindfold adorned with religious symbols during Bullet the Blue Sky
, shouted that "Jesus, Jew, Mohammed are one,"
told 30,000 fans to text their support to the Unite Against Poverty
organization - "we need a million Americans to register their support"
- and scrolled the words to the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights
on the huge TV screens. Very Bono-esque of course and we wouldn't have had it any other way!
We were told before the show started that the night was being filmed for a future DVD, this clearly accounted for the mass of camera's and according to some reviews
this did bring out the best of the band not seen so far on the American part of this tour.
Old classics like An Cat Dubh
and Electric Co
were mixed in with Vertigo
and City of Blinding Lights
early in the show. We also had crowd pleasers such as Beautiful Day
and New Year's Day
and the impressive backdrop was even more so during excellent renditions of Pride (In The Name Of Love), Where The Streets Have No Name
Cue the first break which lasted only a matter of minutes and a costume change for Bono who reappeared for Zoo Station
goose-stepping around the huge oval catwalk in a mock fascist uniform!
The final encore which was preceeded by continuos clapping and cheering began with All Because Of You
and ended, as it should, with the spine tingling 40
. However, my moment of the whole night was when a girl was pulled out of the audience and given a guitar and was asked for a request. She chose one of my all time favourite U2 numbers, Party Girl
. It took me back and showed my age but I didn't care.
All in all they were on stage for 2.5 hours, the crowd spanned the generations and the demographic (me being polite!) but were generally up for it. My only disappointment was the crappy Kings of Leon
support band. Even more disappointing knowing that Snow Patrol
, The Killers
and Franz Ferdinand
, all of whom I love, are sharing the responsibility on the European leg of the tour.
This was last night's play list (the 2nd of six they will play in Chicago). If you don't want to see it, look away now!
1) City Of Blinding Lights
2) Vertigo / Stories For Boys snippet
4) The Cry /Electric Co
5) An Cat Dubh
6) Into The Heart
7) Beautiful Day
8) New Year's Day
9) Miracle Drug
10) Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
11) Love And Peace Or Else
12) Sunday Bloody Sunday
13) Bullet The Blue Sky / When Johnny Marching Home / The Hands That Built America
14) Running To Stand Still
15) Pride (In The Name Of Love)
16) Where The Streets Have No Name
18) Zoo Station
19) The Fly
20) Mysterious Ways
21) All Because Of You
23) Party Girl
Season ends for Bulls
My Sunday play-off tickets were null and voided after the Washington Wizards
beat the Bulls 94-91
on Friday night to exit the play-offs. I sat at home and watched the pain unfold as Bulls failed to convert their superiority into points. Twice Chicago led by 10 points and in Charlton style, an inbound ball hit the not-paying-attention Chris Duhon on the back of the head to give Wizards a break-away match-winning 2 points with 30 seconds to go.
The defeat ends a memorable comeback season for the Bulls who at the beginning of December were 4-14. With both London born players Luol Deng and Ben Gordon being chosen in the NBA All-Rookie First Team
Scott Skiles young team look set to get better and better.
The Wizards got hammered on Sunday night by title favourites Miami Heat
in the first game of the 2nd Round. For the record the last 8 teams face up as follows:East
Miami Heat v Washington Wizards
Detroit Pistons v Indiana PacersWest
Phoenix Suns v Dallas Mavericks
San Antonio Spurs v Seattle Sonics
Champions away. What was the score? 0-1
There wasn't an ounce of self-belief amongst them but Charlton did not deserve to lose to the Premiership Champions today.
I woke early and watched it at home on television. I read that Sky's coverage was biased and Tony Dorigo the co-commentator on the pictures I saw was just as bad. Hey, it was Chelsea's day, dodgy penalty half a mile outside of the box, so what! Fuckers. Pisses me off with all their millions, buying the trophy they paraded around the pitch after.
We had some chances. Fortune in the first half, Holland in the second. Anderson looked assured, he made an excellent save from Cole and saved a penalty whereas Kiely very rarely even guesses right. The defence was more assured too. I have some hope.
The flip side was that Lisbie was absolute rubbish but we know that. Any Charlton fan who can't see that must have something nasty in their eye. Our forward passing was woeful and we looked like a team with one win in 13, 14 if you include that miserable Leicester match and now 4 games without a goal.
Oh well Palace next. This game has taken an age to roll round. Come on Charlton, we'll support you'll ever more....
The Election from Chicago #3
At last the Election made the television news today but for the wrong reason. Chicago's Michigan Avenue was shut for a while as police searched the area for possible bombs. The action followed small explosions earlier today outside the British Consulate in New York. The British Consulate in Chicago is housed in the Wrigley Building, just north of the bridge on North Michigan Avenue.
The explosion in Manhatten was headline news
on the major networks as voters at home are set to give Tony Blair
an historic 3rd term in office. Two grenades which exploded at 3.35am (0735 GMT) had been placed inside a cement flower box outside the front door of the building on 3rd Avenue at 51st Street, which houses the British Consulate.It is true the British Consulate is in that building, but I don't think anybody should jump to conclusions,"
New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg told reporters at the scene in midtown Manhattan.
After winning the first two games in a best of seven series the Chicago Bulls
have lost the next three games, including last nights when they were cruelly beaten in the final second 112-110
. They now face elimination from the play-offs in the American capital on Friday. I have tickets for Sunday's seventh and final game at the United Center but the Bulls have to win in Washington on Sunday for the game to go ahead.
Last night I missed the game on TV because I had to go to a wake. A good friend of mine here Dad passed away rather suddenly on Monday. It was first time I had ever been to wake and it was not nice. The body was laid out in a casket as people stood over him to pay their respects. The family are Italian, there were loads of people there and it was very emotional and sad.
Today is Cinco de Mayo
, which, like St Patricks Day, Chicagoans celebrate more than the natives. There are various festivals and parades around the city and after my recent Mexican trip I will go out tonight and have some tostaditas and one or two margarita's.
I have Friday and Monday off work, I can't do these long weeks, and will see if I am able to pull myself out of bed on Saturday morning at 6.45am to watch us play second fiddle to the Premiership Champions
The Election from Chicago #2
Apparently something big is happening back home on Thursday, no not the season ticket deadline
but the General Election, well not in the cocooned USA it is not. Still I have failed to see a single mention of it on the mainstream television channels, the local papers may have mentioned it once or twice, but no one took any notice so I think they got away with it.
I did see a great article in today's Daily Telegraph
which just about sums up the Americans view of the whole thing: "We admire the fact that your party leaders feel compelled to subject themselves to the rough-housing of daily press conferences and confrontations with - gasp - real voters. And the fact that the parties manage to get their messages across without spending hundreds of millions of dollars as their US counterparts do. We envy the fact you do it so quickly. While American campaigns drag on for nearly a year, yours are over in four weeks. In short, we could learn a lot from your elections, if only we were paying attention."
Man U home. What was the score? 0-4
An absolute bastard hangover prevented me from going to the pub to watch another pile of crap being served up at the Valley this afternoon.
It really is painful and I'm not even going to the matches. My mate phoned me after the game - in fact it was during the game as he left early, I had to tell him about Perry getting sent off - and after slagging them off for 5 minutes he then tried to convince me to come home for the Palace game. No way.
I was glad Anderson started and I hope his confidence is not completely shot next week. But it was another spineless 4-0 defeat, the 7th time we have let in four this season! We have now taken 8 points from a possible 36 and looking at the table the most galling thing for me is that we are still only 6 points behind 7th place. Depressing.
And depressing is the word. The Net Addicks board
is full of melancholy and can you blame us. Even Curbs has joined in: “It has been torturous. We have taken a lot of beatings and it is not good enough. I have been looking at as many players as I can in all areas. We will be looking at every area to try and strengthen for next season.”
So, hopefully we can at least look forward to a busy summer or is it just empty words to shift some season tickets? Whatever, Curbs seems intent on making some changes, I proposed a clear out
a couple of week's back and this will be a real test for the manager as he is feeling genuine pressure for perhaps the first time.
For someone who has been at the club for so long Curbs knows Charlton fans will expect nothing less than spilt blood, guts and 110% effort, pride and commitment in our final game of the season. A result on that Sunday will send Addicks home happy with a summer of exciting change ahead. I don't want to think about the alternative.
Reports from those that were there: The Times
; BBC Sport
; All Quiet