A week in time
A week in Bermuda with my son and it has been fantastic. Not a minutes rest, we've run around the island creating all sorts of good memories and havoc leaving no time to blog. My son's highlight of driving a speedboat may well be surpassed tomorrow when he goes to play with the dolphins. We are here until Friday night when we sadly head home.
Let's face it, there is little or no Charlton activity to report on with just 12 days to go until the start of the season. Incredible isn't it and what a mess we find ourselves in. By all accounts the pre-season friendlies at best have been uninspiring with the management surprising most of us by using a couple of the games to put out inexperienced and youthful sides. I would have thought every minute of each game needed to be used to find a starting line up and some cohesion.
While players slowly drift to pastures new as we wait on death row for some kind of saviour it amazes me that the quadruplet of Bailey, Sam, Shelvey and Racon still remain, this despite each name being accompanied by summer rumours, the most believable one being Bailey to Middlesbrough depending on the takeover situation.
With Matt Holland still training with Colchester, but yet to feature in a game, Jon Fortune on trial at Sheffield United, Moutaouakil trying out for Portsmouth, Andy Gray's medical into it's second week up at Oakwell and with bids tabled for both Dickson and Fleetwood by Gillingham and Exeter respectively the bloke who does the squad numbers in the club shop will soon be the next to face redundancy.
By all accounts Fortune would like to stay but like anyone who needs to feed family and pay a mortgage, he'd like to know what his next pay cheque is going to say, if he gets one at all. This remember is the man who turned down Premiership bound Stoke two years ago and is due a deserved testimonial. Bailey's loyalty is there for all to see by checking his appearance record.... Middlesborough would be his 4th club in 4 seasons.
With a reasonably healthy squad, Dean Sinclair aside (yeh, I know) plus Martin Christensen (the best winger you have never seen) busy spending his 5k a week in Lyngby the line up's in friendlies have already looked patched together. Wagstaff has been playing full back, Tuna in midfield and Basey, Youga, Semedo, Spring and A Trialist have all joined either Llera or Mambo at centre-half at some point in games. Yado Mambo was considered not good enough for the reserves last season but seems likely to start at home to Wycombe. Let us just hope that the bloke who irons the numbers on the shirts put's a 5 on Mambo's shirt before he leaves.
Meanwhile Parky remains in his office, the one he apparently cleared in May. He is still under contract and don't we know it, unlike No. 2 Mark Kinsella who isn't. Culpable or not for our plight, Kins' love of the club runs as deep as the 9,024 who have bought a season ticket. Everyone I know well has yet to renew.
I recently in my holiday mood have started to feel pangs of sympathy for Parkinson however. Others have said the same, and it cannot be easy working in a darkroom with a very muddled heirarchy above you and a tunnel ahead with no exit, just a list of fixtures. To his credit I have not heard him once wallow in self-pity, something his predecessor often did. One of today's Sunday's declared that Curbs will come back to the club if Peter Varney's "proposed takeover"
happens. Maybe we can entice Richard Rufus out of the Ministry too.
We have the mouth-watering prospect of Ipswich Town and Roy Keane gracing us with their presence at The Valley on Tuesday. Parkinson will surely put out his 'strongest' team but I suspect Bournemouth on Saturday will appeal to more Addicks, a game I hope to be at too. My only Charlton, you make me happy when skies are (very) grey.