Chicago Addick living in Bermuda
Thursday 29 July 2004
  Tough it out I was so pleased that, that stuck up tw*t Rupert Lowe felt it necessary to come out and have a dig at us the other day. Whoah, we're scared. Bigger club, my harris. I will come onto the bigger club thing another day.

It's about time little Charlton ruffled a few feathers. It's always us who gets the rough end of the stick and I thought Curbs handled it pretty well too. Now lets not stop there. Lets get our man.

It may be a sideways move in some ways, but Beattie would be a hero down at the Valley, playing regulary in a style of football that he wants, getting wide service from a player of Rommedahl's undoubted talented wing play, playing for a future England manager which can only do his career good, competing for a European place and he will not even have to move house.

He is clearly unsettled and his agent is looking for a payday, and there is no smoke without fire. So unless he wants to stay at the mighty Southampton, alongside such wonderful signings as Peter Crouch and Kenwyne Jones (precisely), then come on Charlton, toughen up, lets show them who is the bigger club. 
  Come in no.7 your time is up I'm one of those people that thinks about stuff too much. I analyse, counter analyse and then analyse once more in case I've not read enough into it the first time. Normally this is a fault of mine, but sometimes I think I do it for the right reason's. One of those occasions is when the squad numbers come out. I take great stock in the squad numbers and believe that the best players should be numbered 1-11, I'm a bit old fashioned like that.

So why is Chris Powell still no.3? What about the Herminator? Why is Graham Stuart still no.4? Apart from the fact we have sold most of our midfield. And please god, what an earth is Kishishev doing in the no.7 shirt? Now, when I think of the no.7, I think of Colin Powell, Robert Lee, Kevin Keegan, Kenny Daglish and even Scott Parker, who will probably be wearing no.84 on his back at Chelski this season. But Radostin Kishishev? Pleeeese.  

Another anomoly is why Paul Rachbuka is no.13, nothing against the boy, just seems strange. I fully understand why Rommedahl has chosen his clearly favoured no.19, but I see a silver lining. No.16 is free and waiting, I can see it now - it's being held up by our record signing, he's standing by the tunnel, camera's are flashing and he's going get us a sackful of goals. James Beattie. Watch this space.
  The Windy City Please don't get me confused with someone who gives a toss about politics, I waver from being vaguely interested to being completely bored and skeptical about the whole thing.

However living in the land of Uncle Sam in election year it is pretty damn hard not to take notice. It's all over the Media (TV adverts as well) and appears unnannounced in most conversations, particulary when most American people tend to have a viewpoint, a vocal one at that, on the subject.

So with decision day less than 100 days away (believe me that is close in American political terms) I thought I would show some interest (even though I cannot vote) and tune into a bit of the Democratic Convention in Boston. The word around the state of Illinois is that the Democrats have unearthed a gem in Barack Obama who should walk away with the race for the Senate here.

But on Tuesday night he showed his true potential with an uplifting key note address hynoptising a scarily estatic audience in Boston, home of Democratic Presidential Candidate John Kerry, with a message of Uniting the States and not dividing them. (more

Obama's father was a goat herder in Africa who won a scholarship to study in America. His white mother was raised in Kansas by a couple who built a good life with educations they obtained through the GI Bill and a home they got with a federal loan.

Obama, 42, would become the Senate's only black member, and only the fifth black senator in history, if elected this fall. Harvard educated, Obama is a state senator who teaches law at the University of Chicago and seems to be in a one horse race in the State of Illinois as the Republicans are currently without a candidate after the disgraced Jack Ryan stepped aside. (more

Now around these parts the P(resident) word is already being banded about and after his speech on Tuesday night his personal website's number of hits skyrocketed from 15 per second Tuesday afternoon to 355 per second that night! Now, I know jack, but when I was watching the baby faced state lawmaker the other night on TV, his presence and his words even made me think that I was watching the one day future President of the United States of America.

Monday 26 July 2004
  Man U 0 Bayern Munich 0 (Bayern won 4-2 on pens) It was almost like a secret. The big 'soccer' game in town had garnered very little air time and newspaper column inches over the weekend that it was pretty much word of mouth that brought thousands of people walking along the lake front on Sunday afternoon towards Soldier Field. I was amongst them, men, women & children all dressed in their favourite football tops (a real eclectic mix) that did make me feel very homesick, but that is where the comparison ended.

Over 58,000 people sat quietly through a very dour 0-0 pre-season kick about between two supposed giants of world football, and no it definetely has not changed my opinion of friendlies.

Once again I was disappointed with the organisation inside and out of the marvellously asthetic Soldier Field, we like thousands of others were wondering around the ground minutes before kick off trying to find entrances and in our case the box office which turned out to be a picnic table with an old lady sitting behind it!

The game was delayed so we took our seats high up in the sky just before the teams kicked off. The view was amazing, but looking around the United side there were very few familiar faces which must have been a huge disappointment to the hordes of United Yankie 'fans' who were dressed in van Nistelroy, Giggs, Howard, Scholes and Ronaldo shirts. Only Roy Keane playing as a sweeper, debutant Alan Smith and David Bellion were recognisable although Bayern did start with Kahn, Hargreaves, Ballack, Makaay and Ze Roberto.

Very few chances were made during the entire 90 minutes and the game was at best boring. The Germans had the better of the first period as they should of done but 7 half time substitutions allowed United to get more into the game in the 2nd half with local Chicago lad Jonathan Spector impressing in defence.

It was a real shame because this was a great opportunity to impress on the local people the virtues of the beautiful game and in my opinion was a huge chance wasted. In fact the Champions World Series sponsors might have something to say about the C team that Sir Alex Ferguson put out and the whole lack lustiness of the affair. The majority of the 58,000 people paying between $45-$150 for a ticket showed their dissatisfaction towards the end, when not being used the 0-0 draws in the traditional US sports, started booing and whistling.

Hence a rather obviously unplanned penalty shoot out and with Alan Smith and late subsititute John O'Shea failing, the Germans ran out 4-2 'winners.'

I must share with you a conversation that two American's were having behind us during the first half, when one said to the other that he did not understand this clock thing. "Why is the clock counting up?" and his mate equally bemused replied " And the clock is not stopping when the ball goes out of play. That's not fair."

Oh dear, I think it will take more than a gentle afternoon kick about for the world's game to be embraced by the Yanks.


Bayern Munich: Kahn – Görlitz, Linke (Demichelis 46), Kuffour, Rau (Kovac 46) – Hargreaves (Frings 46), Ballack, Deisler (Scholl 46), Salihamidzic (Trochowski 46) – Zé Roberto (Santa Cruz 46), Makaay (Hashemian 46)

Manchester United: Carroll – Eagles (O'Shea 69), Spector, McShane, Bardsley – Djordic (Jones 69), Richardson (Chadwick 81), Keane, Djemba-Djemba – Smith, Bellion

Attendance: 58,121
Saturday 24 July 2004
  Champions World Series My mate Chris has told me that he has received my season ticket. I wonder how many times I will get to use it? Think I will celebrate by wearing my top tomorrow at the Man U v Bayern Munich game which is being played at the wonderfully impressive Soldier Field - home to the Chicago Bears.

Once you have read the posting below you will be aware of my feelings towards friendlies, particulary those tagged with The Champions World Series and not involving my beloved Addicks, however I'm rather starved of some real footie and there are a lot of us going so it should be fun. A report will follow.
  Bah friendlies I gave up watching pre-season friendlies a long time ago for the following reasons:

a) I  object to paying good money for what is basically a kick about.
b) They play with your expectations. I have seen us win every friendly at a cantor, only then for us to lose the first 6 games when it really mattered. Equally I have watched us get stuffed by all and sundry and then go unbeaten for our first 10 league matches.
c) We never play anyone decent.

This pre-season has so far only underlined my feelings. Beating Welling 8-0 should be a given, Kishishev is only going to score a 35 yarder on the training pitch or in China and being 2-0 up and losing 3-2? Show me a surprised Addick!

Our next game is tomorrow against Guangzhou Sunray Cove who it turns out are a reserve team! Good old Charlton, we play all the top sides in pre-season. And like the other night it seems that Guangzhou will be looking for volunteers to make the numbers up as they haven't got enough players. Oh well, it's only a friendly. Come on you Reds.
Friday 23 July 2004
  Selling club?? I awoke this morning to a text from a mate of mine telling me that Claus Jenson had been sold to Fulham for 1.25m. What's going on? Ok, if Santa only had a year left on his contract and had made it clear he didn't want to renew it then fair enough. Cash him in. But when did he tell Curbs this? This morning? Why hasn't Curbs made sure he had a replacement in place before he let him go? And what a paltry fee for a player who played in the last European Championships and World Cup for his country and clocked up 133 Premiership appearance in 4 years.

If Charlton ever had a luxury player it was Claus Jenson. He was a bit shy when it came to tackling and would often be invisible in games against your Bolton's and Leicester's, but on a big stage he used to shine. He scored many a brilliant free kick and other than Di Canio was the only person in the club who could take a corner.

I'm going to miss the bald headed one, he always had a smile on his face and there was nothing better than watching the Dane surge into dangerous areas, drop his shoulder and take on opposing players. He was something different to every other player in the squad and now he's gone.

So, what other potential 'targets' have been sold elsewhere today? Oh, only the three. Cahill to the ticking bomb that is Everton, Radzinski to Fulham and Parlour to Middlesbrough. This on top of the 20 year old French prospect Mathieu Flamini to Arsenal yesterday.

I don't want to press my well worn panic button just yet - although I really would be p1ssed if Carrick went to Palarce - but I am slightly concerned that whilst Curbs and the boys are sweltering behind the Chinese Wall we are losing out and it wouldn't be the first time - just ask Chelsea.

Wednesday 21 July 2004
  Frustrated from Chicago Phew, I have finally got myself back into some kind of routine after spending the past two weeks going backwards and forwards across the Atlantic. My bloody laptop is giving me untold grief so I have not been keeping this as up to date as I would have liked, which is very frustrating as loads of Charlton stuff has been going on and my mind is full of all kinds of crap which I would like to share with you good folk.

And then I find out that Blogger have changed all the bleedin 'Create Posts' formats. Wonderful! Let me suss them out and I will get right back to you. 
Wednesday 7 July 2004
  33/1 the field Now this is a grim subject but I am willing to take bets on the next Charlton player to be crocked. Bit like first goalscorer with a twist of a knee! Now roll up, roll up:

K Lisbie 7/2; S Bartlett 4/1; L Young 5/1; J Thomas 10/1; C Cole 20/1; 33/1 the field.

Lisbie is the favourite because he always looks good in the parade ring and runs well in blinkers, but is prone to falling at the first hurdle. Cole gets in as an outside bet (he's still a CAFC player until someone tells us different) because he has proved himself more than reliable at being caught with no protection - shin pads etc.

Anyway, you get the sketch. What is it with our lot? Rowett has become the 6th player in recent years to be forced to retire from the game early. According to club insiders Rowett was knackered when we bought him and as far as I can see he never collected a 'serious' injury whilst playing his 13 games for us, so this was an ongoing knee injury - great that is what we pay medical staff for.

I must admit to quite liking Rowett in the games I saw him (wore his shorts a bit tight mind) but unfortunately for him he will go down in the same Hall of Fame as Gary Poole and not the one reserved for Mendonca and Rufus. 
Monday 5 July 2004
  Playing catch up Thankfully I was on a plane for most of July 1st so was unable to waste my day logging into websites, tuning into radio stations, flicking through Sky or texting everyone I know for the slightest ounce of news. What a typical anti-climax eh?

So what has happened in the last few days or so? Kezman signed for Chelsea, like he's gonna get a game there? As expected Brian Hughes signs for us on a Bosman. Rommedahl puts pen to paper. By the way last week I was talking drunkenly to a Danish bloke (equally as drunk but seemed to know his footie) and he was raving about Stephan Anderson & said that Rommedahl was like sh1t of a shovel (translated from Danish for our South London readers).

Transfer rumours abound including James Beattie (mentioned here 3 weeks ago!), Marc Overmars, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink (I don't think so), Thomas Gravesen, Patrick Kluivert (earns about a million pound a week!), Tim Cahill with JJ to the Spanners, Scott Parker on loan, Jeremie Aliadiere from Arsenal on a season long loan - I may have made that up, but I like the sound of that one.

The new fixtures came out. Palace at home last game of the season. Shame it wasn't in February then we could have put the tossers down. Sky have obviously made a dreadful mistake and got us confused with someone else and have us down for 7 live games before Christmas - expect an announcement from Sky Sports soon.

The squad are back in pre-season training. Mark Fish slagged off by South African media after a woeful display against Ghana in a WC Qualifier decides to quit International football (again).

Greece won Euro 2004. Christ, whatever next? Millwall in the Cup Final? Don't make me laugh.  
  The things I worry about #1 Back in the Windy City after a hectic weekend in London. Heavy drinking is a sure fire way to avoid jet lag it has to be said.

I have been thinking about a lot of stuff in the last week, these are some of the things that have crossed my mind:

1) Why are Americans so stupid? For example I have a St George on my office door (yes I have an office, don't have a clue why, but this accent of mine gets you everywhere) mainly because when I joined I noticed that everyone else in the office has the Stars & Stripes on his or her cube or office - this goes back to 9/11 when they stuck the American flag on everything in a show of Patriotism. So, my office had nothing on it, I was new and I like to make an impression so I printed off the English flag and put it up.

Well in the past 8 months it has been cause for quite some debate. The most popular assumption is that it is the first aid room (red cross you see?), but I have also had it called the Swiss flag, European flag (?!), Danish flag and the Swedish Flag (I know, not an inch of red or white on it!). Plus many, many puzzled faces. Not one person - American person that is - has managed to call it correctly. Mostly I get told that they thought the English flag was that one with the red, blue & white crosses on?

Early last week I had a client in to see me - Johnny big b0ll0cks, thought he knew it all (he was quite switched on to be fair), we spent 30 minutes together, me mainly joining him in listening to the sound of his voice. Then we got up to leave for lunch and I saw him glance at my flag "Are you Swiss then?" he said.

2) Where do all these Henman fans come from? Do they know how stupid they look? Our Timmy does not lose because he is crap, he loses out of sheer embarrassment. I think the All England Club should consider flattening Henman Hill because they cause more embarrassment to sports fans than our English football supporters on tour!

3) I saw some of the weekend papers at home and there was mention of a Channel 4 doc earlier in the week called Little Lady Fauntleroy. Now let me tell you that that James Harries kid used to scare the bloody beejezus out of me. I remember watching this so called "child prodigy" on Wogan in the early 90's and I used to worry what the planet had done wrong to have him born onto it. Well apparently James is now a ditzy blonde called Lauren after being convinced by his fcuked up parents that he should have a "gender reassignment" operation! Now, I thought Americans were mad! 
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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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