Chicago Addick living in Bermuda
Tuesday 29 December 2009
  CAFC Team of the Decade - Part V Onto the midfield maestros then and plenty of good candidates. It is an area where Charlton managers have shopped well in the past 10 years, even Pardew who signed both Nicky Bailey and José Vítor Semedo. We began the decade with a midfield of Robinson, Newton, Kinsella and Stuart with Parker snapping at their heels. After promotion to the Premiership Radostin Kishishev and Claus Jenson were added. We end the decade with a midfield that cannot find a starting place for Therry Racon or Jonjo Shelvey, so in form are Nicky Bailey and Jose Semedo with Matt Spring proving to be an admirable alternative.

Plenty of worthy picks then but I have narrowed down my shortlist to the following:

Scott Parker (109, 18 subs, 10 goals)*
Claus Jensen (121, 10 subs, 17 goals)
Mark Kinsella (72, 4 goals)*
Matt Holland (182, 32 subs, 14 goals)
Danny Murphy (60, 4 subs, 9 goals)
José Vítor Semedo (64, 17 subs, 1 goal)
Nicky Bailey (72, 1 sub, 22 goals)
*This decade

In over 35 years of watching Charlton I have never seen a young player wear a red shirt as good as Scott Parker. It's simply a fact, whatever it was that turned his head at the end of 2003. All we know was the 23-year old's Charlton career was about to come to a shattering halt and with it our dreams of European football. What is also not up for any debate is that Parker's career was never the same after his spat with Curbishley, who justifiably put him on the transfer list following Chelsea's shall we say interest?

Only at the start of this season (his 3rd with West Ham) did he match the the total amount of games played for us during his young days at The Valley. That is six years between Chelsea, Newcastle and West Ham and on top of that he has only added two full England caps to the one he got when with us.

It's actually very sad. There was a lot of furore amongst Charlton fans, from me included, when he left, albeit for £10 million but when I watch the Hammers now I still feel an abundance of pride (and sadness) when I see him run from box to box like his life depends on it. I think the grieving has ended in regard to Scott Parker and I think we can all agree that he would walk into a CAFC Team of the Decade.

For many decades Claus Jensen was the kind of skilful player I'd never thought a Charlton team would have the luxury to include but the Dane gave us good service in our glory years, however perhaps 'Santa' saw the writing on the wall and moved onto Fulham in the summer of 2004. Jensen was never going to get his shorts too dirty but he used to stroke the ball around the park and had a wonderful range of passing. He could score goals too, 17 in total for us and many of them corkers. Jensen is now living back in Denmark after retiring due to injury and is writing music.

It is a real surprise to me that Matt Holland has unwittingly hung up his boots this season. If there was ever a model footballer, then it was Matt Holland who spent six years with us during the decade after signing from Ipswich in 2003. Considered too small by Arsenal and West Ham's academy he began his career at Bournemouth and amassed 642 appearances until he retired this summer after a 20-year career. Holland was Mr Reliable and his loyalty shone through some dark days as we crashed and burned down the leagues.

The vitriol I felt when Scott Parker left was nothing like I felt when Mr & Mrs Danny Murphy decided that The Valley wasn't Hollywood enough for them and decided to move upmarket for Tottenham's reserves in January 2006 after just 64 games. The signing of Murphy in August 2004 put me in some kind of parallel universe thinking we had made it. Signing Liverpool first team players (he played in 43 games the season before and also started for England)? Whatever next?

Murphy's first season though was a bit of a struggle although he did score against Spurs in our 2-0 win in March but it was the season after that he really excelled. That was until Joanna Taylor (aka Mrs Murphy) realised she wasn't get invited to many film premieres. Murphy was never a Charlton player in the true meaning of the word but a list of our best central midfielders from this decade would be remiss without him.

Mark Kinsella symbolised a Charlton team that burst into this decade. Curbs seemed to dally over his signature for ages but when he finally joined, the Irishman made an instant impact and just got better and better. Nonetheless Kins' best times for us playing were pre-2000 but he did lead us to our 2nd promotion in three years at end of the 1999/2000 season. The following season Kins was still first choice but Scott Parker was too good to keep out of the side and as Parker developed it was Kinsella's place that Curbishley decided to hand over to the youngster especially with him struggling with injuries.

Kinsella's departure to Villa was swift, although one felt rightly as it proved, that his Charlton career was not over there. He managed a full season for Villa after Curbs sold him for £750,000 in the summer of 2002 and then dropped down to the Championship with West Brom at the age of 31 but was still a Republic of Ireland regular. You cut Mark Kinsella in half and he bleeds Charlton and that is more than partly what this series is all about but Mark's place in my Team of the Decade has gone elsewhere.

I wanted to end my list with two from the current team as we end the decade with just 3 league defeats in the past 32 games. For a young man Semedo has spent time playing in Portugal, Italy and England and his calming imfluence and strong tackling has become a fixture in this season's Charlton side and his versatility was proven again at Griffin Park yesterday. A fit Semedo will play a very important role in the second half of our promotion campaign.

Now for reasons that are not difficult to understand the bulk of my Team of the Decade is going to represented by players that were with us in the first half of the 2000's but I am going to spring a surprise and select Nicky Bailey alongside Scott Parker as the central midfield pairing in my team.

Bailey's career says a lot about him as a person. Discarded by Fulham at 15, he started work in a local leisure centre, whilst turning out for Sutton United before moving up the non-league ladder to Barnet. Congruent to Kinsella when at Colchester, Bailey helped Barnet win the Conference title and then establish the Bees in League Two and as we found out earlier in the season he is still revered by their supporters.

This is Nicky Bailey's 2nd season at The Valley but he already has an aura around him that suggests he has been around a lot longer. Last season in a truly atrocious team he scored 13 goals from midfield and swept to the most one-sided player of the year title for donkeys. This season, with players around him who now share his desire, he has put in some truly magnificent performances leading the team with the captain's band around his arm from the front.

With another 9 goals already this season including the heavenly effort against Millwall, Bailey is easily the most potent goalscorer on the above list. He is also beginning to annoy opposing team's fans (Barnet aside) and in all manner of ways and that is always a very good sign. I don't know how long we can keep Bailey for, but already he has made a very big impression.

Chicago Addick CAFC Team of the Decade:
Goalkeeper - Dean Kiely
Right back - Luke Young
Left back - Chris Powell
Centre half - Richard Rufus
Centre half - Steve Brown
Left midfield - Graham Stuart
Right midfield - John Robinson
Centre midfield - Scott Parker
Centre midfield - Nicky Bailey

<< Home
About Me
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.
CAFC Links
  • Charlton Athletic FC
  • CAFC Player
  • Forever Charlton
  • CAFC Picks
  • CASC
  • City Addicks
  • Community Trust
  • Fans Forum
  • Charlton Life
  • / forum
  • Charlton Scrapbook
  • Addicks Downunder Forum
  • Fellow Addick Blogs
  • Addicks Diary
  • Doctor Kish
  • New York Addick
  • All Quiet in the East Stand
  • SE3 Addick
  • Jakartass
  • Charlton Athletic Online
  • Views from an Iberian Valley
  • Charlton North Downs
  • Blackheath Addicted
  • Drinking During the Game
  • Kings Hill Addick
  • A Red Divided
  • Deepest Darkest
  • All in a Day
  • Johnny73
  • Confidential Rick
  • Charlton Casual
  • Many Miles....
  • Croydon Addick
  • Stickleback
  • And Nothing Else Matters
  • Out in the rain
  • Hungry Ted
  • Bermuda - all 21 square miles of it
  • The Royal Gazette
  • Weather forecast
  • Discover Bermuda
  • Bermuda National Trust
  • Bermuda Blogroll
  • Bermuda Shorts
  • Jen in Bermuda
  • Daily London fix
  • Diamond Geezer
  • Onionbagblog
  • 853
  • The Cabbies Capital
  • A piece of my heart still in Chicago
  • Chicago Tribune
  • Chicago's 2016 Olympic bid
  • Chicago Bulls
  • Chicago Bears
  • Chicago Blackhawks
  • Chicago White Sox
  • Chicago Cubs
  • Chicago Fire
  • My Chicago stuff
  • Andersonville
  • Bucktown
  • Chinatown
  • Evanston
  • Gold Coast
  • Greektown & Little Italy
  • Lincoln Park
  • Lincoln Square
  • The Magnificent Mile
  • Old Town
  • Oak Park
  • River North
  • Roscoe Village
  • South Loop
  • Streeterville
  • Ukrainian Village
  • Wicker Park
  • Wrigleyville
  • Ten things to do with a child
  • My Bermuda exploring
  • Paget Parish
  • Southampton Parish
  • Town of St George
  • Ten things to do with a child
  • Travelogue
  • Atlanta
  • Bahamas
  • Beachy Head
  • Beaver Creek, Colorado
  • Bermuda
  • Buenos Aires
  • Californian Hwy 1
  • Charleston
  • Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Dubai
  • Eastbourne
  • Ft Lauderdale, Florida
  • Grand Canyon
  • Hiroshima
  • Honolulu
  • Houston, Texas
  • Kohler, Wisconsin
  • Kyoto
  • Lake Geneva, Wisconsin
  • Las Vegas
  • Lille, France
  • Los Angeles
  • Mexico
  • Miami Beach
  • Mt Fuji & Hakone, Japan
  • Munich
  • New Orleans
  • New York
  • Old San Juan, Puerto Rico
  • Oman
  • Orlando
  • Palm Springs & Joshua Natl Park
  • Park City, Utah
  • Reykjavik
  • Route 66 and Hoover Dam
  • San Francisco
  • San Diego
  • Santa Fe
  • Saugatuck, Michigan
  • Sedona, Arizona
  • Sonoma & Napa Valley
  • St Petersburg, FL
  • Taos, New Mexico
  • Tokyo
  • Uruguay
  • Washington DC
  • The good old days?
  • The men in charge Parts I
  • / II / III / IV / V
  • Carlisle (a) 1986
  • Luton (a) 1989
  • Sunderland (h) 1975
  • Stoke City (a) 1994
  • Crystal Palarse (a) 2000
  • Norwich City (h) 1987
  • Coventry City (a) 2001
  • Barnsley (h) 1985
  • Bristol City (a) 1994
  • West Brom (a) 1995
  • Hull City (h) 1976
  • Burnley (h) 1978
  • Nottingham Forest (a) 1989
  • Sheffield Wednesday (h) 1986
  • Ipswich Town (a) 1981
  • Birmingham City (a) 1993
  • Hereford United (a) 1989
  • Interesting stuff
  • We're not on the telly much but who is?
  • Football Pyramid
  • Football Ground Guide
  • The Political Economy of Football
  • The Fiver
  • London 2012
  • TV Cream
  • Nice cup of tea and a sit down
  • Banksy
    This is a Flickr badge showing public photos and videos from ChicagoAddick. Make your own badge here.
    And not so interesting
    Weblog Commenting and Trackback by Powered by Blogger
    EMail me
    Follow me on Twitter
  • ChicagoAddick
  • CAFC on Twitter
  • Archives
    June 2004 / July 2004 / August 2004 / September 2004 / October 2004 / November 2004 / December 2004 / January 2005 / February 2005 / March 2005 / April 2005 / May 2005 / June 2005 / July 2005 / August 2005 / September 2005 / October 2005 / November 2005 / December 2005 / January 2006 / February 2006 / March 2006 / April 2006 / May 2006 / June 2006 / July 2006 / August 2006 / September 2006 / October 2006 / November 2006 / December 2006 / January 2007 / February 2007 / March 2007 / April 2007 / May 2007 / June 2007 / July 2007 / August 2007 / September 2007 / October 2007 / November 2007 / December 2007 / January 2008 / February 2008 / March 2008 / April 2008 / May 2008 / June 2008 / July 2008 / August 2008 / September 2008 / October 2008 / November 2008 / December 2008 / January 2009 / February 2009 / March 2009 / April 2009 / May 2009 / June 2009 / July 2009 / August 2009 / September 2009 / October 2009 / November 2009 / December 2009 / January 2010 / February 2010 / March 2010 / April 2010 / May 2010 / June 2010 / July 2010 / August 2010 /