Chicago Addick living in Bermuda
Tuesday, 31 May 2005
  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? 

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After living in Chicago for four and a half years, I moved to the beautiful if bewildering island of Bermuda in July 2008. This blog is about being an exiled and depressed Charlton Athletic fan and whatever else the day brings.
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