Chicago Addick living in Bermuda
Monday 31 January 2005
  Leicester at home Isn't it great that despite modern technology The FA still rely on two old pro's (in todays case Peter Reid & Mark Lawrenson) to pull numbered balls out of a bag? I watched it live today on Sky Sports as we were given another excellent draw at home to Leicester City in the 5th Round of the FA Cup.

A home draw against lower league opposition, avoiding the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Man Utd gives us a wonderful opportunity to progress to the last 8. The game will be played on either the 19th/20th February.

It looks like the last day of the transfer window is going to pass with us a player short. The popular Graham Stuart moved today to Norwich City on a free transfer until the end of the season. Stuart's contract ran out in the summer at The Valley so it enables him the opportunity to play first team football and achieve a contract extension at Carrow Road and I'm sure whichever division The Canaries are in next year he has a couple of more season's in him yet.

His first team chances this season have been limited but he has been giving it all in the reserves, scoring 6 goals and he leaves us with mine and I'm sure every supporters best wishes.
  Yeovil home in the Cup. What was the score? 3-2 In between donating money to the on-track bookies at Lingfield Park on Saturday afternoon I was skipping in and out of the bar to keep a check on the score at The Valley. 1-1 at half-time and then soon after I was raising my beer to a Francis Jeffers goal.

Later, after emptying my wallet even further, I came back in to catch that Yeovil had scored and I'd presumed equalised again but then found out that in between my watching some old nag with my money on his nose stumble round the course, Shaun Bartlett had scored so in fact we were winning 3-2.

I had a feeling there would be goals in the game - The Glovers had already scored 80 League & Cup goals - and with plenty of 2nd half minutes remaining I was a bit twitchy but finally a text from a mate around about 4.55pm was the call for another round of beers to celebrate our first 5th Round appearance for some years.

It wasn't until I saw the highlights today that I realised it was a fine line between a win and a shock but looking over the reports, it was heartening that once again our superior skill, fitness and play was enough to overcome an obviously impressive Yeovil side and their supporters.

The crowd of almost 23,000 was a pleasant surprise and any concerns about potential trouble were mainly unfounded. It was a sign of how far we have come when at the end of the match Addicks' fans applauded Yeovil and their vast away support - clearly the biggest since we have been back at The Valley - of the pitch.

Reports from those that were there: The Observer;; Addicks Diary; Yeovil Town FC.
Friday 28 January 2005
  It's our house, so lets make it our party The Valley may well have the 'Sold Out' signs up for Tuesday's Liverpool game but it looks as if we will be overrun with Yeovil fans at the Cup game on Saturday. There are reports of many Glovers' fans having tickets in home areas which will be a distraction we will not need. I am sure causing trouble is not on the agenda for Yeovil fans but we have seen the cocktail of away fans in home areas, a tense game with a lot at stake and a passionate crowd go awry before.

Let's hope the game passes off with a party atmosphere but with us having the cake and eating it at the end of the match.

I wonder if Curbs will go for a 4-4-2 formation, I hope he does and includes Jeffers up front with Bartlett, foresaking Hughes to the bench.

As mentioned before I'm on a stag weekend so won't be attending and I know there are numerous reasons why others won't be as well but I do find it slightly discouraging that despite the importance that we all put on the Cup the interest watching us progressing into the last 16 is neglible.

Kevin Lisbie showed his, ahem, passion in Monday's night reserve match against Leicester by getting sent off after retaliating to a challenge by Leicester's Alan Sheehan. The chances of the club getting the suspension overturned appear somewhat slight a bit like my patience with him.

Neil McCafferty is the lastest player to go out on loan to get some experience away from The Valley in an effort to prove to the Charlton management that he has a future as a first team player. Rushden & Diamonds are the recipent of the Republic of Ireland youth International described by their caretaker manager Barry Hunter as "not the biggest boy but he is a very good footballer in central midfield who will put his foot in." Here is more insight on the move from Wyn Grant.

The transfer window, which has proved a non-event for many managers, is running out and it seems likely now that Curbs will keep his hands in his pockets if the right players are not available for the right prices. However I do suspect there might be a last gasp bid to tempt Nottm Forest with a bid for Michael Dawson.

Lets hope everyone going tomorrow is in full voice, because you know they will be. Come on, it's a big game, lets give the boys the support they deserve after recent performances.

Come on you Addicks.
Wednesday 26 January 2005
  Busy, busy, busy Today marks the beginning of a busy month or so. I fly out of O'Hare tonight and arrive back in London tomorrow morning. The weekend I am on a stag, for which I am the best man. Either side of the stag I will cram in as much as possible as is normal on my forays back to London.

On Tuesday I will be at The Valley tracking down Inspector Sands to collect my pint after I voted 601 times for him in The Best of Blogs of Awards. I admit I did vote for Mistress Matisse's Journal 646 times though, sorry Inspector!

The day after I arrive back, my mate Chris and some others appear in Chicago for the Superbowl weekend. I personally don't get over-excited about such trivial things - although the half-time entertainment is normally worth watching - but it will be great to have the boys here.

I'm expecting another visitor & some London workmates here later in the month plus I have a couple of out of town work trips planned before I fly back to London at the end of February for Stuart & Sam's wedding.

I then have to be back in Chicago for the 4th March because that is when I close on my loft, so somehow that will all be going on around me during the next 5 weeks but it does seem a mightily less painful & cheaper exercise to buy a place here than it is back in the UK.

Right, I need to go and find my passport.
Saturday 22 January 2005
  Everton away. What was the score? 1-0
Wow, what a fantastic result today. Why the snow was falling outside of my apartment - there has been over a foot in the past 24 hours and it is still coming - the Addicks put in a wonderful display to defeat Everton 1-0 thanks to a 25-yard half volley from Matt Holland, yes you remember him, the quietly effective one.

As expected Curbs opted to revert to the 4-5-1 formation on the road with Konchesky being rewarded for his renewed rigour in recent substitute appearances by starting instead of the Romm who didn't feature at all. Evertonian Bryan Hughes continued in midfield for the 3rd consecutive week.

We dictated play for long periods, crucially at the beginning of the match with the midfield, led by Murphy, showing more initiative than the Graveson-less Everton one. And then the expected deluge of chances for the Toffeemen towards the end of the game were dealt with superbly by a back four hinged by the excellent Dean Kiely.

As a nice bonus, if you ever don't mind Palarse winning then it was today against Spurs and this result combined with Liverpool's defeat earlier and Norwich's amazing comeback at home to Middlesbrough means that we are in 7th place, level on points with our next Premiership opponents Liverpool and Boro. And then there is a nice bit of daylight between us and that awfully big club Spurs below us.

Just over a year ago we also came away from Goodison Park 1-0 victors, this without the "unsettled" Scott Parker and we ended the evening in 4th place, and well you know the rest....

So will it be different this time around? What will Curbs do to stop the players nipping down to the travel agents once 40 points has been reached? Has he got a striker and a defender stuffed up his sleeve that he will deliver us with just over a week of the transfer deadline left? Will anyone leave?

I don't know, but what I do know is that continuing to see us in the upper echelons of the Premiership table says a lot about Alan Curbishley and it says a lot about his early detractors. I cup my hand over my ear as I type.

And finally, happy birthday Sam. I hope you enjoyed it up there.

Reports from those that were there: ITV Sport; Sunday Telegraph; BBC Sport; All Quiet.
Tuesday 18 January 2005
  A day of night nurse, lofts & potential makeovers I'm at home today with a stinking cold courtesy of those martyrs in my office who insist on coming into work looking like death warmed up then further insisting on telling us how ill they feel whilst coughing, sneezing and generally breathing in a confined and air-conditioned space. Yeh, thanks for that.

I have a couple of very busy days at work Wednesday and Thursday so I'm hoping a quiet day stuffed full of cold & flu tablets, night nurse and daytime television will sort me out.

It's nice to know that the Merseyside Police read What was the score? and duly obliged by not interfering with our game against Liverpool whilst I'm back in London in a couple of weeks (thanks Ken for the news) but it wouldn't have mattered anyway because I have just seen that Burnley beat them 1-0 thanks to what was described as a comical own goal. Another Premiership team bite the dust, which excuse me if I'm getting ahead myself, has to be good news for us.

Whilst in my sick bed this morning I managed to agree on a price for the loft that I mentioned before. The seller came down quite a substantial amount in the end because I'm able to close quickly. The price also includes an underground heated car parking space which can be worth as much as $30,000 in the city! I don't have a car but it provides good rental opportunities.

I like the idea of a loft, it is a good space with huge ceilings and some great raw features and offers plenty of potential. And it will be nice to have my own place after living in 3 rented apartments in just over a year.

I'm weighing up the idea of giving What was the score? a makeover. Maybe it's the time of year because I've noticed fellow bloggers saying the same, so I will have a look around at some templates and see what is out there and maybe soon we will have a new look.
Saturday 15 January 2005
  Birmingham home. What was the score? 3-1
It was a frustrating morning trying to follow the game on the web. The BBC Sport Live Scores page and text commentary was really slow and pretty much useless and the Sky Sports site continued it's recent annoying sluggishness. I did however work out that we were 3-1 ahead before I had to rush off to meet my real estate agent feeling reasonably confident with a two-goal cushion.

And then a little later, I got a text from my mate Chris, which said simply: "we were sexy," which was all I needed to know.

I later spoke to him to get a match summary and he pretty much echoed the reports, telling me that the switch to 4-4-2 was the catalyst with Jeffers playing a prime role. "Franny was very sharp, he's so desperate to play and do well," said Curbs after the game (more).

Desperate the 'fox in the box' maybe but his contributions to goals this week and last will add confidence to Jeffers who will wonder like we do tonight if Curbs will start with two strikers next week up at Goodison.

I wouldn't mind seeing the 2nd & 3rd goals they sounded a bit, well sexy and, oh go on then I'll take a look at da, da, da, da El Karkouri's as well!

Last weekend I found out that the pay-per-view channel that my cable has suddenly picked up (I'm still assuming for free) showed live two FA Cup games and today at 9am the Tottenham v Chelsea game was on, so I'm hoping there might be some kind of highlights programme. Da, da, da, da....

Reports from those that were there:; All Quiet; Addicks Diary; The Observer.
Friday 14 January 2005
  Bushisms For Christmas I received the 2005 desk calendar entitled Bushisms, which if were made up would be funny but as they are actually true quotes, it is rather scary.

These are the last three days entries:

Wednesday 12 January
"I glance at the headlines just to kind of get a flavor for what's moving. I rarely read the stories, and get briefed by people who are (sic) probably read the news themselves."
Washington DC, Sept 21, 2003

Thursday 13 January
"We're concerned about AIDS inside our White House - make no mistake about it."
Washington DC, Feb 2, 2001

Friday 14 January
"First, let me make it very clear, poor people aren't necessarily killers. Just because you happen to be not rich doesn't mean you're willing to kill."
Washington DC, May 19, 2003

Remember next time you meet someone who has graduated from both Yale and Harvard Universities not to be too impressed.
  Bits & pieces The dry January is not going too well. Apart from my indiscretion on Friday, I failed again on Monday night at dinner with an old London colleague of mine (was a nice drop of Pinot Noir mind) and again last night when I was at the United Center to watch the revitalised Chicago Bulls hammer Philadelphia 76ers 110-78.

My the Bulls were on fire last night. And for the first time I really heard the over-expectant and success-starved Chicago crowd get behind them, especially after they passed the 100-point mark with fully 6 minutes left. It was exhibition stuff after that.

I have stepped up my look for a loft. I have seen about 15 or so now and am going back to one I liked tomorrow evening. Just need to get the price I want and then maybe I will go for it. It will be nice to own my own place, I have never been a renter and despite the ease of it, I don't like the fact that I have nothing to show for my monthly outlay.

The weather is all over the place at the moment. Yesterday I walked back from lunch - I went for a curry, it's not the same, I don't care what they say - and it was like a spring day. Last night it bucketed down and today it snowed. Then the forecast for tomorrow is freezing - about -13 oC. Jeez.

I have been considering purchasing Tivo, which seemed to disappear at home but is thriving here. There is so much toot on telly that when something is on worth watching, like my favourite programme in the whole world, 24, I want to make sure I don't miss it and Tivo sounds just the job but guess I should really be sensible and wait until I decide what to do about moving.

One of my resolutions, well more promises to myself than resolutions was to see more movies this year. Last weekend I went and saw Sideways with some friends and it was great. It was rich with both humour and characters with a nice touch of cringe and if you enjoy the subtleties of wine then this film is a must.

One of the things I really miss from being at home is playing 5-a-side. I used to play every Monday and loved it. The competitiveness, the heart racing, the fun, it was great. Well, after not playing for over a year I get my first game here on Sunday morning (9am, ridiculous time) and am really looking forward to it although I know my fitness is terrible. In fact I have just popped out to get some shin pads as they are mandatory in the US. And what colour (sorry color) do the team play in that I've joined. Yep, Red. Brilliant!

Nothing going on in the transfer market as far as Charlton are concerned but I was mightily pissed off today when I read on the Daily Bulletin that they are considering moving the Liverpool game to the Wednesday. Bastards, I purposely chose to fly back to Chicago on the Wednesday so I could squeeze the game in. Can't believe it, come on the Burnley!
Monday 10 January 2005
  Chalk and cheese
You gotta love 'em haven't you? Both are Charlton legends in different ways but how different can you get?

Paulo has found himself in trouble with the Italian Football Federation after he gave the above gesture, known locally as a 'Roman Salute,' following Lazio's derby win over Roma. It is widely acknowledged that dear old Paulo is a self-confessed admirer of former Italian dictator Benito Mussolini and amongst his large collection of tattoo's has the word 'dux', the latin term from which Mussolini styled himself Duce (leader), on his arm.

The 'celebration' was warmly welcomed by Lazio's Ultra's (more) and by Alessandra Mussolini, the dictator's granddaughter: "How nice that Roman salute was. It delighted me so much," she said. "I shall write him a thank-you note."

Italian Centre-left politician Enzo Foschi was not so keen: "That salute gives legitimacy to fascism, a murderous and tyrannical ideology. I take my cap off to Di Canio the footballer, but Di Canio the fascist is a disgrace."

Meanwhile Richard Rufus plans to give all of the money raised at both his testimonial dinner in 2003 and then his retirement dinner last year to charity. A school for disabled youngsters, a cancer charity, a church group and a charity conducting research into sickle-cell anaemia will all benefit. Top man. "The more I thought about it, the more I was convinced it was the right
thing to do,"
said the Roof.

I like to keep an eye out on what ex-Addicks are upto and I spotted in the news recently a return into management for Steve Thompson. Rambo, who was a massive player for me in our promotion to the old Division One, has taken over at the League's bottom club Cambridge United. He previously managed quite successfully Lincoln and Southend United.

He lost his first two games in charge but they got a creditable draw on Saturday away at Bristol Rovers.
  Banana skin II We were drawn last out of the hat today and were given a home tie with Yeovil in the 4th Round of the FA Cup. So, another repeat performance of a no-win game, with the away fans singing the place out! Only this time our opponents are top of the table and I'm sure the vultures of the press and television will be gathering. However we have to consider it a game that we can use as a stepping stone into the last 16. Did we play Yeovil in 1947?

No doubt one of the live TV games will be at St Mary's where Southampton's Harry Redknapp 'welcomes' Portsmouth! This is one of four all Premiership clashes - three if Exeter beat Man U in their replay.
Sunday 9 January 2005
  The Chicago Sun Times Building

This is the view South out of my apartment. The building used to belong to the Chicago Sun Times newspaper until sold to a certain Mr Donald Trump in 2001. It has been vacant in recent months after the newspaper staff moved to another office, however since Christmas activity has started on the demolition of what is arguably the ugliest building in a city known for it's soaring and elegant architecture.

Donald's plan is to turn the site into the 1,125 feet, 92 story Trump Chicago International Hotel & Tower (see artists impression). The building, that will have a unique asymmetric shape giving it a different appearance from each angle, will contain 300 luxury condominiums, a five-star hotel, a 60,000 square foot health club & spa plus retail and office space. The condos will be priced between $0.5m to $8m and supposedly 40% are already pre-sold!

Prior to 9/11 the building was supposed to be bigger with plans for approximately 150 stories. It will now be the 4th highest building in Chicago behind The Sears Tower, The Aon Center (where I work) and The John Hancock Center. Chicago will become the only City in the world with 5 buildings excess of 1,000 feet, firmly putting the home of the skyscraper back on the map.

I almost certainly won't be here to see it's progress (it's not due to be finished until 2007) but in the meantime I will snap a few photos as my view gradually changes. I'm not sure if they are going to knock the building down piece by piece or implode it. I'm hoping it's the latter because I'd like to see that. For the moment though the site is becoming an eye-sore, there was flooding in the building this week and last week it caught fire.

The building came to National prominence when Chicagoan Bill Rancic was chosen as the first 'Apprentice' last year and was put in charge of development project.
Saturday 8 January 2005
  Rochdale home in the Cup. What was the score? 4-1 For once a banana skin was carefully avoided this afternoon as we swept past plucky Rochdale and into the 4th Round draw. Not that I will see them but it will be nice not to be on the back pages of tomorrow's newspapers for once, that pleasure this season rests with Man U, of all people and Man City. Aston Villa, Norwich & Palarse were also put out at the expense of Championship sides and there were a couple of other scares too.

I followed the coverage on the BBC Vidiprinter, and it was reassuring to see us get an early goal to settle the nerves and then a third not long after their 20-goal striker Gary Holt had given me a wobble when he pulled one back just after the break.

Great credit to Bryan Hughes who could not have grabbed his chance any better unlike the unfortunate Euell who didn't appear for the 2nd half because of a toe injury. What is it with us and toes?

Reading some of the reports, it is abundantly clear that Jeffers is not suited to the lone striker role but he did seem desperate to impress the close to 14,000 cr0wd of which 2,500 were down from Spotland.

Anyhow, I'm pleased that is over. I am due to be back in London for the 4th Round weekend but will be on a stag but intend to hang around until after the Liverpool game on the Tuesday night.

Reports from those that were there: BBC Sport; The Observer; Sporting Life; Addicks Diary.
Friday 7 January 2005
  Crewe accept only offer for Ashton Answer me honestly. Does 2 pints of Boddington's in a quasi English pub called The Elephant & Castle in downtown Chicago count? I was with my boss, he wanted to talk to me and after he deliberated over a London Pride or an ESB, he chose a Boddies and it would have been a darn right disgrace to Queen & Country if I asked for a diet Coke, wouldn't it? Oh well, I almost did a week.

The snow has started to freeze, we had about 8 inches on Wednesday and Thursday and the warmer weather over the weekend will just bring slush. It was cold this morning mind, about -6 oC and that's before the wind chill kicks in. I gave my 180's a debut today, they may look silly but they reet keep your ears warm!

Its the Cup tomorrow, it should be one of the most anticipated days of the season but for Addicks it has become a real drag. I'm not looking forward to it. Whatever happened to games like Colchester (1984, I thought the away end was going to collapse) and, and.... well there aren't many are there?

Norwich have had a £2m bid for Dean Ashton excepted by Crewe. According to Dario Gradio that is the only written offer they have received. His record speaks for itself as the most consistent goalscorer outside of the Premiership. Surely if Curbs wanted him, he would come to us given the choice, wouldn't he?

According to the South London Press though, he has his sights set on Bernardo Corradi and a central defender, nothing from the lips of man himself though.

Finally, it was pleasing to see Paulo Di Canio, now 38, enjoy himself in the Rome derby yesterday. Following a verbal attack on his opposite number Francesco Totti, "if I was to discuss with him the Middle East situation he would probably think I was referring to a position on the pitch." (more) He then went onto score a volley and set one up in the 3-1 win over Roma.

For those of you going tomorrow, I sincerely hope it's not too painful.
Wednesday 5 January 2005
  Yid, doh, doh, doh!
An FA spokesman after the game absolved the linesman of any responsibility for the apparently mistaken decision not to award a goal to Spurs after a shot from the halfway line crossed the goal line by at least a metre.

"The shot came in from an unusual distance and as such caught the linesman out of position forcing him to race back towards the goal as the play developed", explained the spokesman, "As he ran, the United scarf he was wearing under his shirt came loose and fluttered up intohis face obscuring his view and preventing him from making the call. It was just one of those things."

In response to further questions from the Press the spokesman explained: "If they don't already have a United tattoo most officials on game day try to wear a scarf or a replica shirt under their regulation kit to show their support for the worlds greatest club. The linesman in thiscase had chosen to wear a United scarf, a common choice that is in keeping with FA guidelines."

"The root cause of the problem lies not with the linesman but with the players and management of Tottenham Hotspur Football Club who broke one the most important unwritten rules of the English FA: They placed a shot on target at Old Trafford. Martin Jol is new to this country and perhaps he s not yet familiar with some of our finer traditions. Fortunately if he doesn't yet understand that for the greater good of the game visiting teams, by tradition, are not expected to try to score at Old Trafford then our officials are in a position to help Mr Jol makethat cultural adjustment."

Chuckling to himself the FA spokesman added "The goal had to be disallowed to avoid us descending down a slippery slope that would be bad for the national game. It's a fine line the officials have to walk. If they award a goal this week, next week someone might expect a penalty or ask that Van Nistleroy be booked for diving. Can you imagine? That would just never do. No no no. Shocking, just the thought of it."
  Corradi to Charlton? The first concrete evidence that we are in discussions with a player can be found on Italian International striker Bernardo Corradi is the player's name. Corradi was signed from Lazio in the summer and is not playing under coach Claudio Ranieri as much as he had hoped.

'It's true, Charlton are interested," the Valencia player's agent Moreno Roggi said. Knowing Curbishley as we do, a 6 month loan sounds more likely but it sounds like other Premiership & Serie A clubs are in the hunt too.

Elsewhere some of the tabloids are saying that Forest have slapped a £6m price tag on Michael Dawson - it's Andy Reid all over again. You would think that the Forest board might want to bring in some money and let Mick Harford try to improve the desperate times at the City Ground?

Stoke City's Oatcake had their fans telling us that we were due to sign ex Arsenal player John Halls. My Stokie mate also talks very highly of him. One for the future, can play in a number of positions and I would imagine an old pal of Jerome Thomas. It has some potential this one.
Tuesday 4 January 2005
  Thank you Thank you to the reader who came by What was the score? via Forever Charlton about an hour or so ago because they were my 20,000th visitor.

What was the score? began life one Sunday night in June after Zinedine Zidane broke English hearts in Lisbon but What was the score? was never going to be about England. It was going to be about America and my new life that I had began here in Chicago in November 2003.

It would share my pains, my laughs, my thoughts, my dreams, and my yearning for the people that I miss and the wonderful football team I have spent 30 years following through (very) thick and thin.

6 months and 142 posts later and it has become a great source of enjoyment, help and satisfaction to me.

A massive thank you to everyone that visits What was the score? wherever and whoever you are. You are all very welcome, even the Palarse fan because that is what makes me proud to be an Addick!

Thanks again and come back soon.
Chicago Addick
  Blackburn away. What was the score? 0-1 "Perhaps I should have changed it - maybe I got it wrong today." Curbs yesterday.

"We'll try to rest people when we can, so there will be at least a few changes in store." Mervyn Day last week.

Oh well, it was dire wasn't it? We started well, Thomas & Romm looking menacing and then we finished with a flurry (which was the least they could have done for the 350 freezing Addicks up at Ewood Park) but throughout the game I had to put up with listening to Brett Angel talking crap on BBC London Radio. What an earth does he know about Charlton? And as I sat listening to him answering questions after the game, during which time he said he hadn't seen us play all season, I was wondering who gave a flying fuck about his opinions.

Brett Angel. I ask you? And he kept calling us Bolton!

"Everyone's tired now, I think even the fans were today." Yeah, and skint and probably in trouble with their other halves and considerably poorer than you Curbs.

Pity about the in-growing toe nail because JJ sounded lost on his own up front, a position that must have been completely alien to him especially considering the Finn started out as a wide man.

A shake up for Saturday please, none of this we are going to field our strongest side rubbish. Let's pick our best, fittest and motivated side.

We have scored two goals from open play in 9. How much do we need a forward?

Reports from those that were there: Addicks Diary; The Sun; Net Addicks.
Sunday 2 January 2005
  The transfer window is open, let's shop Two days without a drink, only 29 to go. I have attempted dry January's for a number of years now, occasionally achieving it but normally failing and typically moving the posts midway through the month to make exceptions like red wine or overseas drinking or Friday nights. We will see how it goes.

Today I had some pals round for a diet coke to watch the Chicago Bears v Green Bay Packers game. This is what the MidWesterners call a local derby. The two cities are by American terms in close proximity - 174 miles apart - and due to the transient nature of Wisconsinites (there are many in Chicago) the game produces real rivalry. But the game went true to form with the Packers routing the Bears 31-14 and so for the 4th season running Chicago's grid-iron fans' season ends before they go back to work after the festive period.

I had a great sleep last night, this despite me spending the evening watching Jerry Springer Uncut on Pay Per View which suddenly appeared on one of my cable channels last night. I don't think I was that drunk the night before that I got home and ordered it, so I will be checking my bill closely this month.

The Jerry Springer Show unedited version (the housewives afternoon show must take some doing to provide 30 minutes of censored American tea-time television) was disturbing and violent. There sure are some fucked up people in this country.

Anyhow, where I was leading to with this, is that in my new found state of sober and alertness I thought I would have a think about the transfer window.

It has been noticable to me at least that we have been paired with very few players unlike the summer when we were linked to anyone and everyone. I think Curbs and the club have tried very hard to play down expectations after clearly struggling to sign players in pre-season for various reasons until the late arrivals of Jeffers and Murphy.

£3m is considered to be our budget, I think Richard Murray may let Curbs have a bit more even if we hold on to Jason Euell, which I certainly hope we do. If a player leaves it will be Konchesky. Hence the sudden improvement in attitude and form. I reckon he might form part of Harry Redknapp's regeneration at Southampton.

So, what areas is Curbs looking to strengthen? At full back we are fine but in the middle we are thin. Rufus, Rowett and Turner went and only El Camel came in. Fortune is not good enough consistently and Feesh and Perry are getting older. I believe Curbs' priority is a young centre half, who can also turn his hand to full back as well, come on we only sign players who can play in more than one position! Michael Dawson is a clear target but it might not leave us enough in the kitty for anyone else. I wonder if we can snatch Robert Huth for a pro-longed loan? Or there are the (maybe) cheaper than Dawson options of Brighton's Daniel Harding, Sheffield United's Phil Jagielka, Cardiff's Daniel Gabbidon or the already forgotten Spurs new boy Calum Davenport?

One player we are being linked with (again) is Andy Reid but do we really need another wide man? We have Thomas, Rommedahl and Sam in the wings (no pun intended). To coin a Curbsism, does he improve on what we have already? I think Palarse's Wayne Routledge is better and more proven. Our trouble in midfield is that we have a lot of similar players. What we don't have is a tough and tumble mixster who can score goals. Oh for Thomas Graveson. More realistic options are Steve Sidwell and Jason Koumas.

If you are allowed to have two priorities then clearly it is a goalscorer. Remember one of them, or him? None of us are deluded enough to think we can go out and buy a trusted 20 goal a season man, the 26 year-old £6.5m James Beattie has only once scored 20+ in a season.

So, we are left with a gamble overseas or a gamble from the Championship. It is apparent to me, so I assume it is also to Curbs that what we don't possess amongst our numerous strikers is one that can play up front on his own. Cue Dean Ashton who would suit the role perfectly. Ipswich's improving financial stability and league position means that Darren Bent will be even harder to lever away from Portman Road whilst Birmingham seem to be first in line for Robbie Blake, who quite franky is a bit of a journeyman.

What will you give me for John Hartson? Or Shola Ameobi? And be honest can you really image us signing an Argentinian?

One thing for certain though is a goalkeeper. Curbs collects them like women collect shoes!
Saturday 1 January 2005
  Arsenal home. What was the score? 1-3 I don't quite know how I feel about today's game. Up and until Van Persie's third goal I thought we more than matched Arsenal with the contest quite evenly balanced, you know, us in a Ford Focus and them in a Rolls Royce kind of way.

Whilst the Arse were not at the top of their game, they still won a lot of second ball and 3 goals from 5 shots on target explained their obvious quality despite for once Henry not scoring - he has scored more Premiership goals against us than any other.

Talal El Karkouri's free kick alone was worth me getting out of bed this morning with a bastard headache. And at half-time I sat amongst a number of Arsenal fans feeling a lot better. I was also thinking to myself that for once it was us who had scored on the brink of half-time and not them because both Arsenal and Man U have a horrible habit of netting just before or after the break against us.

Of course 3 minutes into the 2nd half I was cursing my bloody self for being so cocky. Curbs and others are saying the goal was offside but I couldn't tell from the television and neither was it mentioned by the commentators so that was news to me when I read the reports later.

Yesterday I called for a more cavalier style and Dennis Rommedahl duly obliged in the opening minutes because he started on fire and we did create some good opportunites in the first period but for the umpteenth time recently we failed to take any of them from open play.

As for individual performances, I thought Bartlett did admirably well up front, him and his team mates are beginning to master the formation a lot better than they were a month ago but he still doesn't look like he's got a goal in him. HH was again outstanding as was new hero and top goalscorer (that tells a sorry tale doesn't it?) El Camel.

Thomas looked tired and I think he should be rested on Monday. Rommedahl should be perservered with like Murphy was. He gave Ashley Cole a couple of scares today. Kish was again so often wasteful in possession and at times is a car wreck waiting to happen. As for Matt Holland, how many other people are getting fed up of him being quietly effective? That would be fine in the church mouse 5-a-sides but I want to see more from him.

Reports from those that were there:; BBC Sport; Sky Sports; All Quiet.
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.
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