A new dawn
The smell of a new season. Hang on, deep breath.... mmm smells good. Curbs has done what a lot of us were asking for, we have some new faces, the 1,000 or so fans travelling to Wearside tomorrow will have some different names on the back of their replica shirts. Ok, we still have some of the old names too but what is without a doubt our best ever squad, brims with quality and depth.
That new found depth will be tested in the opening game of the season as 6 players are ruled out due to injury or suspension - Spector, Holland, Fortune, El Kak, Kiely and Sorondo.
This is a big season for a number of players - Murphy, Jeffers, Holland, Rommedahl, Anderson, Sam.
Bent, Ambrose, Sorondo and Spector will be looking to endear themselves to the Addicks faithful quickly. And the player I think that will dictate a lot of our games and ultimately our season will be Alexei Smertin. After 4 clubs in 4 seasons, he will fit in quickly and hopefully we will see his obvious class and confidence starting at 3pm tomorrow.
I think Curbs would have played 4-5-1 at the Stadium of Light without injuries having an influence. I expect to see this team tomorrow: Anderson; Young, Perry, HH, Powell; Ambrose, Smertin, Murphy, Hughes, Rommedahl; Bent.
Its also a big season for us, the fans. The nature of our support has changed, fact. Some of us remember the bad old days, some of us long for those days again (the atmosphere and spirit if not the league position), some only go back as far as Sunderland play-off final, whilst others have jumped on the bandwagon more recently. One thing is for sure though and that is we are all Charlton fans. We are in it together. It is a love affair for life.
To those supporters travelling up to Sunderland tomorrow, this could be a new dawn, its a long way to go to come back without a croaky voice, get behind the boys, they deserve nothing less.
Come on you Addicks.