Chicago Addick living in Bermuda
Monday 28 February 2005
  Middlesbrough away. What was the score? 2-2 Just seen today's highlights on MOD2 and Deano clearly won us a point but it was disappointing to see us drop two after being ahead with 4 minutes left although Mike Riley did add a further 6 minutes of injury time.

Bartlett did handle and Riggott was offside but the stats - 18 shots on target by 'Boro, 2 for us - tell a story. So, a determined display and a good point against a good side, which hopefully means we can move on from here as we approach an historically pants final quarter of the season.

Another plus point today was Shaun Bartlett's fifth goal in seven games - a true clinical strikers' finish. Maybe the rumours that Mateja Kezman will join us a year later than intended by Curbs is spurring the South African on? I sure would like to believe this first proper crumb of summer transfer gossip.

Jeffers was back on the bench, which will quieten the 'Curbs and Franny bust-up stories', until next time anyway and it was good to see Perry join El Camel at the back with Fortune missing out on the 16.

Bed now, more on a fun weekend later after I get back to the Windy City on Tuesday evening.

Reports from those that were there:; Daily Telegraph; BBC Sport; Sporting Life
Wednesday 23 February 2005
  Unaccustomed as I am.... This evening I fly back to London for the 2nd time this month, this time for the wedding for which I am best man. The wedding is on Friday, down in the New Forest and I am set for a weekend clocking up the miles. I fly back next Tuesday and no, The Riverside Stadium is unfortunately not on my route map, although by all accounts it is snowing quite hard up there.

I will use the flight to prepare my speech, which currently is in scribbles and doodles on a back of a napkin and get some shut-eye.

I spend a lot of time at airports. Not because I have become a plane spotter you understand just because I get a lot of planes. In fact earlier this week I was at O'Hare Airport after flying back from St Louis and whilst wondering around there I felt compelled to ask this question: "Why do people dress for plane journeys like they surely would never dress anywhere else?"

Men, women, kids, they all dress terribly. Shorts, cut-downs, flip-flops, big stupid hats, t-shirts with far-flung holiday destinations on them (normally Hawaii), tracksuits, oversized basketball tops, flowery shirts, big fuck off trainers, ridiculous sunglasses.... I saw them all and the weather in Chicago was -2C.

People used to dress up for airplane journeys didn't they? Now they look like they are taking the rubbish down to the tip or they're preparing for Halloween or something. And this is not just an American thing, oh no. At Heathrow, when I was there earlier in the month I'd never seen so many fat arses tucked into tracksuit bottoms.

What are these people thinking when they open their wardrobes in the morning? "Right, I have a flight to catch, so let me wear this old faded Hard Rock, Jamaica t-shirt I bought in 1982! That will look the part."

No more, I am going to recommend that the immigration authorities make a new rule. In the future anyone dressing up like Timmy Mallet will not be allowed on an airplane! 
Sunday 20 February 2005
  Cup? What cup? Plenty of beer with two old work mates from London last night helped me over my Cup angst and this was followed by a good run out this morning playing 5-a-side, even though we got hammered.

Fortunately I don't see the back pages of the Sunday morning newspapers here which will make my period of mourning less. But at least we weren't the only ones as it was quite a weekend for the underdog, nevertheless with teams such as Burnley, Nottm Forest, Brentford and Sheffield United all in the hat for the Quarter-Finals it doesn't make our defeat feel any better but of course replays could change all that and the four teams above might still read Blackburn, Tottenham, Southampton and Arsenal.

I was quick to throw my toys out of the pram yesterday about Curbs tactics, he was clearly out thought by his opposite number and seemed helpless to do anything from the touchline to change our performance but he was very honest afterwards and as anyone who reads What was the score? regularly will know, I will not be joining the imbecile party and start screaming ridiculously for his head.

Right enough of staring at my navel, there are some interesting news items in the world of football today.

Firstly ex Spuds manager Jacques Santini has finally let it out of the bag why he left White Hart Lane. "They promised me a big apartment on the beach and I found myself 200m from the sea with a view of my neighbours," (more). Clearly he had never been to Tottenham before.

Those nice people on the board at Newcastle are doing their best for public relations again. Despite Sir Bobby Robson now happily ensconced at home with his pipe and slippers, deputy chairman Douglas Hall still feels the need to have a go. "We had to get rid of him, he would have got us relegated, there's nothing more certain, we were going down," (more). I bow to Mr Hall's superior knowledge of football that relegation is a certainty after 4 games.

Football trouble reared it's ugly this weekend with 33 arrests after the Everton v Man U game yesterday. The BBC are getting blamed because they insisted that the game kick off at 5.30pm whilst there were different excuses at the Old Firm derby today. The game kicked off before the pubs opened but it still led to 30 arrests, 12 for "religious prejudice," (more). Maybe a couple of pints may have helped cool that situation?

And finally the Beckham's are nearer to their own little 5-a-side team, which clearly won't be sponsored by Mensa or Durex. Baby Cruz was born in Madrid today weighing in at 7lb. It was a nice touch by Vics & Becks to call their 3rd son something Spanish but maybe one of his teammates should have told them that it is a girls name! 
Saturday 19 February 2005
  Leicester home in the cup. What was the score? 1-2 Fcuking rubbish. How many times do we have to choke in the FA Cup? Sounds like we were terrible and got all we deserved, nothing.

Why did Curbishley play with just Bartlett up front? Leicester are 28 places behind us in the league and we are home and he plays one up front with Jeffers not even on the bench. And why did Fortune, who fell over for the first goal just like Euell did for the 2nd, come in for Perry? So bloody frustrating. Once again an excellent opportunity to progress to the later stages of the FA Cup is beyond us because we self-destruct. What more could you ask for? Rochdale, Yeovil and Leicester at home and with Sheffield United, Brentford, Bolton already in the hat for the last 8. Sickening.

It wasn't until Thomas was introduced at half-time that we showed any kind of invention. Leicester fully deserved their win according to Charlie Nicholas on Soccer Saturday. I was stuck with him because the poxy BBC online commentary didn't work again.

And I've just read All Quiet it sounds like the fans didn't offer much support either. I'm bloody pissed off and it's ruined my day.

Reports from those that were there: All Quiet; BBC Sport;; Addicks Diary
Friday 18 February 2005
  Cup fever I've seen Charlton play Leicester a number of times over the years but unfortunately I won't be adding to it tomorrow and with the TV companies not impressed with the draw I will be left to follow our continued quest for Cup success on the radio and internet.

A couple of Leicester games stick in my mind. Away in January 1984 on TV when Sweaty Balmer equalised after a long period of severe pressure only for them to take the lead again from the kick off and we had hardly finished screaming the first chorus of "You're not singing anymore." A real high followed with a swift low for all Addicks at Filbert Street that day.

Then there was the end of season game at Upton Park when the Foxes came in their droves expecting their side to beat us and sweep to automatic promotion. There were thousands of confident and cocky Leicester fans there that day, many more than will be at the Valley tomorrow but they didn't get a sniff as we won 2-0 and very enjoyable it was too.

It doesn't seem long ago that Leicester (and Derby) were the two sides that teams like us hoped to emulate as they spent 5 seasons in the Premiership before dropping out in 2001/02. They came back of course but with massive financial implications. We all know now which team others want to follow but the lesson and the dangers are there for us all to see.

Tomorrow's a game that gives me pangs of home-sickness. It's huge, and it sounds like Cup fever has finally caught on in SE7 as the club are estimating a crowd of over 25,000, the capacity reduced due to Leicester having part of the East Stand.

Curbs has a full squad to choose from, with only the suspended Lisbie missing. Will he revert to the previously trusted FA Cup formation and play 4-4-2 with Hughes in for Kish, and Jeffers joining Bartlett up front? Will he start Rommedahl after his excellent performance at Newcastle with Thomas trussed to the bench? I for one hope he keeps Perry in with El Camel at the back.

It's Saturday, it's 3pm, it's the FA Cup, it's what I miss, Come on you Addicks. 
  Not pretzels again?
I was reading Casino Avenue's 'my favourite crisps' this morning and it got me all nostalgic but not necessarily for my youth but just for home.

Because the Americans love pretzels. They are everywhere and before I arrived I was a bit partial myself but only as part of a calorie controlled diet that also included pork scratchings, Walkers crisps, KP roasted peanuts, chipsticks and Bombay mix.

But here you will not find Walkers or KP roasted peanuts or pork scratchings and as for bombay mix.... pah, no fcuking chance. It's just pretzels or pecans and normally smothered in chocolate or deep fried and as big as the Isle of Man!

All you get on a plane are pretzels, all sandwich shops sell alongside sandwiches are pretzels, oh and poxy doritos - cheese, oh and cheesier flavour. Cinema's sell pretzels, sports stadiums sell pretzels. No salt & vinegar, cheese & onion, smokey bacon, roast chicken, nothing. Pretzels or Doritos. You would have thought that in the land of opportunity there would be untold choice in the snack stakes wouldn't you? But no, pretzels it is, boring pretzels.

And I see from the Walkers website that there are now Greek kebab flavour. Heaven in a bag. There is now obviously no need to ever leave the pub.

Get Gary Lineker and his big ears over here now because there is a gap in the market. The Yanks would love Walkers. Huge flaming steak with fries flavour. Just the job. 
Thursday 17 February 2005
  5-a-side the American way A few weeks ago I started playing 5-a-side. A mate of mine entered a team into an indoor league and we play every Sunday morning. It's fun and gets my heart racing. I've never been one for the gym, although I've tried but I get so much more out of running around a pitch playing a team sport.

I used to play every Monday at home and up until the other week I had not played since October 2003 so I was a bit rusty but I've still got it, if you know what I mean!

But, in American 5-a-side (at least the one we play anyway) there are differences. Firstly the league is co-ed, i.e. mixed. I found that a bit weird at first until some fucking bird took me out late in the 2nd week and bloody damaged my elbow. She was a looker though so I was probably looking for a bit of bodily contact!

Then the goalkeepers can't handle the ball, which after playing and watching for 30-odd years is kind of hard. It's a natural reaction to put your hands up when you are in between the sticks. In my first spell in goal I gave away two penalties - I did save both though! The goals are hockey goals and are tiny and lastly we play 3 halfs, or thirds I suppose you call it, of 15 minutes each.

Our team is called the Chicago Caretakers (don't ask me why, cos I don't know) and we have played 5 games and won 3 and lost 2 (one of which I missed). We are currently 4th in the table out of 8 and play the league leaders on Sunday. The season ends in good American style with 2 weekends of play-offs.

We have a proper ref and in fact there is a website with written reports of each game. Now this is the funny bit. This was last week's write up. If you watch Soccer AM, or you live in North America then you will realise that the 'Pilgrims' features are cringingly accurate.

"Hello Sports Monsters, It is time for the weekly review. The Sunday morning started of with Degenerates taking over Team Thor by 7-1. The Degenerates never left a doubt about their victory and remain on the third seat. When everybody thought the game will end in a tied Red Devils scored the winning goal in the match against McKinsey and got the three points to their account. The Chicagoland Caretakers scored seven times and Atzteca just three in the third match this day. With the third lose in the third game Atzteca stays at the end of the standings. With a three games winning streak and 40 scored goals team ZS-FC remain on the peak position. The Caregivers never really had a chance in this game."

I will keep you updated of our progress. 
Thursday 10 February 2005
  Time to name the stands In my mind the Centenary Season has been a damp squib so far. The official website dedicates a section to it but it hasn't been updated or added to for a while. In fact only 13 news items have been inked by the website staff regarding the 100 year celebration since April 2004 including a report on an obviously slow day for news, of a bloke living in Bexleyheath called Tony Blair who bought the Centenary shirt.

Ah, the Centenary shirt. You will not find my name on the list of people that have purchased the 2nd biggest selling replica kit in the clubs history (according to the club shop). Joma with a glorious opportunity to design something collectable have given us a white stripe with 1905 - 2005 on it. Tonnes of imagination there!

According to most people I speak too, the shirt is also very poor quality with the colour fading and the letters peeling off. This is not a shirt that will stand the test of time, either in memory nor in condition unlike the sorry supporters that bought it of course.

Then there was the Centenary Calendar which the club were obviously so desperate to get out that it pretty much runs out before the proper anniversery of the Centenary on June 9th.

The programme, which admittadly I don't get to see very often, does devote a couple of pages to the Greatest Games in 100 years. I love these trips down memory lane and as I have said on here before we are lucky to have wonderful sources such as Peter Burrows, Colin Cameron and all the other old heroes who must have so much to tell. Why aren't the club using them more?

The only memorable thing to come out of the Centenary season so far is the Bartram Statue. Paid for mostly by the fans and in particular a gentleman called David Smith, the statue which is being sculptered by Anthony Hawken (above) will be a lasting tribute to the great man. It will be unveiled on June 9th, the clubs 100 year birthday, by Sam's daughter Moira.

So what more can the club do to raise awareness of the wonderful and incident packed history of our club? Well, I have an idea. Surely after more than 12 years back at The Valley it is time to give the stands proper names. After fan power brought back to life the Jimmy Seed Stand and the Bartram Gates I would like us to ditch the North, East and West monikers as it's bloody boring and unoriginal.

In fact upon investigation very few clubs actually have names for their stands and stick with the four points of a compass. There are a few titled after benefactors such as the Matthew Harding Stand (remember him?), the Jack Walker Stand and the Doug Ellis Stand.

And some clubs stick with tradition like Arsenal who still have the Clock End and the North Bank and Chelsea who have the Shed Stand. Our club of course steadfastly denies to confuse the North Stand with the Covered End, a name met with blank stares these days from anyone under 20 years old.

West Ham have the Bobby Moore Stand, Burnley the Jimmy Mcllroy Stand and Preston the Tom Finney Stand, but there are surprisingly not many tributes, especially so at the sterile, sponsored new stadia's. So come on lets be different and after 100 years of fine history lets remember some of the people that helped make Charlton Athletic.

Lets name each end, each lounge and each turnstile after a Charlton legend. Ok, we can start with the stands but what with the proposed expansion of The Valley and 2005 being a very special year, it would be a fantastic idea for the Centenary season.

My, this is the kind of thing the Supporters' Representative Director should be doing, making a difference not shaking buckets for poxy decorative gates. The bloody club can cough up for that!

Ok, I'm not going to suggest on here who I think but surely some of the following (and others) deserve to be recognised as part of the history of our club: Derek Ufton; Keith Peacock; Derek Hales; Stuart Leary; Eddie Firmani; Richard Rufus; Johnny Summers; Richard Murray; Alan Curbishley?

What do you think? I would be interested to hear your views.
  Superbowl XXXIV
Superbowl XXXIV was a drunken haze to be honest. We got into the pub to secure seats at 3pm and the game didn't start until 5.30pm and of course lasts for about 10 hours, so we were pretty hammered by the end but we did win $300 on 'the squares' - I won't bore you with the rules but it pretty much paid for our day.

For the record New England Patriots won for the 3rd time in 4 years and took the Superbowl back to Boston to join the Baseball 'world series' that the Red Socks won last summer.

The game was a lot closer than expected with Patriots, led by quarterback Tom Brady (above) beating Philadelphia Eagles 24-21 in Jackonsville. At just 27 Brady is clearly the most sought after athlete in the U.S. at the moment.

So, with the NHL still postponed due to a dispute between players and owners, that leaves the NBA to get all the media attention until Baseball opening day in April. Go Bulls!
Wednesday 9 February 2005
  Great night for Sam and 10,426 others I listened to the snore draw tonight on the radio at work. Why, oh why do we perservere with these friendlies? What does Sven learn by playing Beckham and Gerrard for 83 minutes, Owen for the full 90 and giving Johnson a run out on the wing for 20?

Great credit to the Dutch side for breaking with tradition and wearing a black and white kit instead of their famous orange. Both countries were backing the anti-racism campaign Stand Up Speak Up. As well as Holland, Portugal and Russia also used the black and white kits in their games tonight to show their resistance to racism. What about the Spanish then?

Still no mention of the U20's match last night - must have been in 10,426 people's imagination but what a great feeling to witness one of our own score for the national team. Lets hope we see that in the senior squad one day soon.

Wow, 400 Man Utd fans protested 'noisily' outside Old Trafford tonight against the proposed take-over by the American Malcolm Glazer. A fan was quoted on the Radio 5 Live as saying: "I don't think the club should be owned by a Yank, it should be owned by the real supporters in Manchester." Um, 400 people out of the millions of fans they are supposed to have! What a joke, give me the Valley Party anyday.
Tuesday 8 February 2005
  Sticking with the spots.... Mid-life problems over, for now. Yep, as you can see after having an identity crisis I have left What was the score? untouched apart from a little tidy up, the addition of a photograph taken outside of my apartment window the other night and selling out to Google Ads. A powerful laptop called Everton anyone?

Both Casino Avenue and The King of Sweden recently flirted with giving their Blogs a makeover and just like them What was the score? has decided that it chose right the first time. In fact my two favourite other Blog designs were the ones used by The Inspector and Riscardo but that wouldn't be right because they have their very own personalities stamped on their site just like I do on here.

So, there you go. I suppose I will just have to go out and buy a little sports car instead!
Saturday 5 February 2005
  Newcastle away. What was the score? 1-1 An excellent point gained today to bounce back with after the disappointment of Tuesday. Not for the first time our system and our effort frustrated the home side and their supporters and Dennis' goal sounded a real peach.

We have taken some real drubbings at St James' Park in recent years so I was very happy with a point today and would have gladly taken that before kick off.

We had a couple of chances to snatch it in the 2nd half and maybe should have but we also had to defend well to keep the Magpies at bay. Of course the media are more interested in the 'Souness under pressure' story after the loyal hard done by United fans booed everyone and anything, so once again we never get the credit our performance deserved.

We have a week's rest now, which hopefully will enable us to get Fortune (calf), Thomas (ill), Hughes (hamstring) and Fish (twisted ankle) fit - all four managed to get injured during the last 24 hours! Not sure what happened to Jeffers or why Lisbie made the bench ahead of him particularly as he now faces a suspension.

Reports from those that were there: Daily Telegraph;; BBC Sport.
Friday 4 February 2005
  "We don't understand a word you're saying" The folks in the office always say that after I've been in London for a while or had friends in town or people from London in the office they can't understand a word I say afterwards because I starting talking like them, well I mean me! Well me naturally anyhow, i.e. speaking quicker, using London slang, swearing more and saying things like lift instead of elevator and crisps instead of chips!

Well after next week they won't have a fucking scoobies what I'll be saying because after arriving back in Chicago on Wednesday night following a week at home including a drunken stag weekend, a couple of mates followed me in yesterday and are spending the weekend with me. Should be a laugh, although the highlight of the weekend is the Superbowl on Sunday. I'm still not taken by American Football. Come on lets face it, if God wanted us to pick the ball up he would have put handles on it, wouldn't he?

Anyway the pubs calling, I need to show these boys the sights. Expect a full blown Superbowl report on here soon plus my thoughts on our game at Newcastle tomorrow. One of my pals staying with me Chris, is an Addick too so I won't be the only one in the Windy City thinking about the goings on 4,000 miles away.

Come on you Reds.
  Mid-Life crisis I am currently going through a mid-life blog crisis and playing with all kinds of alternative designs. There are zillions to choose from but most are either too funky, too ghastly or just plain shite so I may end up staying with the same (sorry Jakartass).

However, in the meantime please bear with me whilst I have a little makeover moment and normal service with all the links and stuff will be resumed soon.

Come on you Addicks.
Thursday 3 February 2005
  Liverpool home. What was the score? 1-2 I think the 2nd half proved that the Addicks have been over-achieving in the Premiership with the resources available to us whilst the once mighty Liverpool have been well and truly under-achieving. My brother turned to me after 5 minutes of the 2nd half and said "If we can just weather this storm, we will be alright!". Well the storm lasted for about 45 minutes didn't it?

I couldn't knock Curbs over the substitutions. Thomas once again struggled against top quality opposition although this was not helped by him being switched to the other flank. Young was in desperate need of some cover against the rampaging John Arne Riise although Kish, in my opinion, was more often a hindrance not a help.

Euell replacing Hughes was a must as we needed to, at that point in the game, assert some kind of attacking strategy because they were camped in our half and reverting to a 4-4-2 at 1-1 with Jeffers joining Bartlett up front had to be applauded, alas we soon found ourselves behind.

Whilst mentioning Euell, I for one was pleased that we showed some muscle and sent that twat Jordan and his big gob slithering away with a fly in his ear after Palarse's £2.75m bid for him, however he was totally crap when he came on on Tuesday night. It was a big stage to prove something but he contributed nowt.

The first half was very enjoyable with Murphy and Konchesky outstanding. Murphy looked knackered at the end of game because he gave every ounce of effort against his old club. He seemed pretty sheepish though after putting a peach of a corner onto Bartlett's head for our goal after being given a standing ovation by the Scousers. It was pleasing to see Bartlett score again, just days after signing a years extension to his contract and well deserved it was too after his recent lonesome performances.

Despite riding our luck and with the help of some great saves by Deano, it was fucking annoying that a mistake by Hughes led to their equaliser. No doubt Mor, Mor, Mor, Morientes will score a few more like that mind!

After the equaliser we again had illusions of defensive grandeur and thought we could just sit back and soak up the pressure - when will they learn? And despite Curbs efforts to change the tide, Liverpool just got better and better and lets face it were pretty awesome at times.

Oh well, we must move on, it's a big month ahead starting with Newcastle tomorrow. Hopefully the 1,000 or so Addicks making the trip don't suffer with vertigo because they will be sitting a long way up at St James. The same team me thinks but with Kishishev replacing Hughes.

Reports from others that were there: BBC Sport; The Times; All Quiet; The Guardian.
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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