Chicago Addick living in Bermuda
Swansea 1 Charlton 1
A very fine result if we ignore what goes on around us, or should I say above us. I made a pact a few weeks back to avoid the other results and did so again today, although a little birdie told me it weren't too clever.
I listened in to the bloke with a lisp on CAFC TV
. The first half we held our own without being very ambitious and went a goal down just before half-time, following an error by Murty, who was later injured.
In the 2nd half though we gave it a bloody good go, yes Bailey got a fortunate equaliser via a deflection but if you don't shoot, you don't score. Shelvey excelled and had a great shot saved, Dickson was annoying the hell out of them, and then Bailey hit the angle of the bar and post before bloody Ambrose missed a golden opportunity one on one to put us in front towards the end. Both sides could have won it late on and I found myself clapping the computer at the final whistle.
This is miles better. One game at a time. Keep the faith.
Whose to blame for Darlo's plight?
Sad to see Darlington go into administration
this week, sad to see any club go into administration to be honest. The Quakers were having a good season as well but their hopes of ending 17-long years in the 4th tier took a nosedive with the implementation of a 10 point deduction. The local council are getting blamed for not acting quick enough to the board's spirited plans for a hotel and leisure complex next to the stadium.
To fans though, it was the much heralded move from their beloved Feethams
(right) to what is now called the Darlington Arena
that began their downfall. Talk about over-ambitious. Darlo only ever averaged a little less than 4,000 so what possessed George Reynolds
to build a 25,000 all-seater stadium on the edge of town no one knows except the ex-con.
In fact poor access to the soulless £20 million stadium actually means that 15,000 of those seats can't be used anyway, and forget the hotel but sadly local fans have not been flooding to this historic town spawned by the Quaker movement just pointedly 10 miles west of Middlesbrough. This season's average crowd is just 2,900.
Fans blame Reynolds for most of this. Although when he was parading Faustino Asprilla as a new signing and suggesting Paul Gasgoigne was next (neither actually signed) I'm assuming his stock was high, however Reynolds who named the new stadium after himself (I always have an issue with that, it's certainly a dose of megalomania) then ran the club into administration just 6 months after moving into their new stadium in December 2003.
Various tycoons have taken over at the club since, with George Houghton being the latest and the 'former property tycoon' claims they are losing £54,000 a week and are £4 million in the hole with the bank. Houghton, who owns the stadium
points to the lack of planning agreement to develop land around the stadium as to the clubs failure, meantime Darlo fans will point to the day Reynolds ripped the soul out of their dear old club when they moved out of the Feethams, which then sat empty until demolished in 2006
"It's the best birthday present I could wish for - I failed my theory driving test this morning, so this wasn't a bad way to cheer me up!"
Looks like all of our birthday's have come at once. Two and and a half years could have been longer, but remember Scott Parker signed a 5-year one, and that meant diddly squat. JonJo signing this morning is a great boost to the club and credit must go to Damian Matthew and all the academy staff and Steve Gritt who have nurtured and encouraged the 17-year old.
Shelvey hasn't seen much first team action recently, perhaps by design, although he has been on the bench. From his own comments about featuring in a 4-4-1-1 formation I still expect that he will be very important to our survival hopes as we go into the final 2 months of the season."All in all, we haven't had too much good news at Charlton lately, and this is certainly great for the club. "
- Richard Murray (more
Will he, won't he?
17 years old today, happy birthday JonJo. Our youngest ever first team player and our youngest ever goalscorer and according to those in the know, a very decent professional contract awaits him in Phil Parkinson's office today as he reaches the age when he can finally sign one. The wolves are clearly at the door, and one day when he's bossing Manchester United's midfield and captaining England, no one will be prouder than us Addicks. But in the meantime JonJo, just sign on the dotted line and help us rise like a phoenix. You will forever be loved and cherished.
Please take time out to peruse the new Charlton Fans Forum website
(link added on the right too). The 10 members are the recently brought together group of Addicks representing season ticket holders, overseas fans and a CADSA member, and are now responsible for the communication between the club's board and the wider fanbase.
The new website will post all minutes and discussions between the Fans Forum and the club as well as being a central resource for questions from supporters.Richard Murray and Derek Chappell will attend the next joint meeting
, which will be on Thursday this week. At this meeting the members of the Forum plan to discuss a communique drafted and presented to the board at the end of January. If you have not seen it, then click here
Whatever you may think of these questions, I for one thing it has too much of an aggressive stance, what is clear is that a lot of thought and time has gone into a real life document (not just swagger) put together by people that care and one that is demanding of some answers not just spin from Murray and Chappell.
I'll be interested to see what comes out of this Thursday's meeting.
The James Moody Quartet
We saw jazz legend James Moody
perform live on Saturday as part of the Bermuda Festival
and he was pretty awesome actually. My knowledge of jazz is limited to say the least but to watch 83-year old Moody rouse and inspire a packed audience was something else.
Moody and his quartet consisting of legendary trumpeter Randy Brecker
, pianist David Hazeltine
, bassist Todd Coolman
and drummer Dennis Mackrel
were fantastic to watch close up. One of those nights when one goes to a concert with no pre-conceived ideas, but comes home and goes straight onto iTunes.
Friday night we found ourselves wrapped up in some salsa classes at Elbow Beach's Veranda Bar
. We were there with some friends for the curry night, so fortunately I had stuffed myself with enough lamb korma and chicken madras to restrict my salsa activity to just staring at those that either hadn't got their excuses in quick enough like I, or were actually there to strut their stuff.
T'Barnsley 0 Charlton 0
Yeh I know a points not enough but I take some encouragement from those Addicks that were at Oakwell who described a battling draw and a real team performance, ending in a standing ovation at the end, certainly we haven't heard that many times this season. I listened to the CAFC TV commentary (sorry how flipping awful was that commentator?) and we put on a spirited performance, especially 2nd half and refreshingly it was them not us who were wasting time and hanging on for a draw at the end.
Good also to to see an unchanged line up, this is now finally Parkinson's team. Elliot, Murty, Ward, Racon, Soares, Spring, Dickson and Kandol have all been introduced to the first team by him, so perhaps we're right to judge him now? The task is near impossible but we have some building blocks in place whether its an escape tunnel this season or a promotion fortress for next.
The 2008 Gellies™
Yep, roll out the red shower curtain, wrap yourselves in your favourite towel and slip on those sexy Manolo Blahnik fluffy slippers it is time for Chicago Addick's
annual Shower Gellies™
. My very important rant on why the world's hotels don't bother putting a little bottle of shower gel in your room, or if they do expect you to make it last a whole week.
Okay, before you shut down your computer, please let me introduce you to The 2008 Gellies™ - Chicago Addick's Annual Shower Gel Oscars."You want more what?" The you can whistle for it award
Winner: Ritz Carlton, San Juan, Puerto RicoFor a hotel group that prides itself on service, they bloody sucked on the shower gel front. Seen more pork at a Jewish wedding.An dishonourable mention to: Fontainebleu, Miami Beach
A cracking hotel, only re-opened a few months but has serious teething problems. If you wanted a bottle of 2000 Cristal, then no problems at all. A bit body wash, nah, no flippin' chance.
The I have seen more shower gel in Guantanamo Bay
No sign of any shower gel at this waterfront hotel, just some ropey old soap and a shower cap.
Very disappointed in my old Chicago haunt. Despite the credit crunch The Fairmont had a brand new lobby, a sexed up bar and a re-designed sushi restaurant, obviously the shower gel budget was cut.Shower Gel heaven award It's probably my age that put me off the hard house music pumping out in the lobby and the over trendiness of the rooms, but I loved the retro shampoo and shower gel and plenty of it too.
A very close 2nd: Stein Eriksen, Deer Valley, Utah
To be honest one could have drowned in Molton Brown here, but it just didn't have the quirkiness of The Standard.
Ode to Barnsley
T'Barnsley always held a fond affection in my heart. There was that stunning comeback on a chilly early spring afternoon in 1985
when I was just one of 3,832 to see us overturn a 3-0 deficit to win 5-3, and then I was one of several hundred trying to keep warm on a bloody freezing high away terrace at Oakwell in 1992 by doing the conga. We lost, we were rubbish but hey one week later we were returning to The Valley, so no one cared.
Then there are the brass bands for which Barnsley is almost as famous as it's chop. Plus for a small town they for some unknown reason have spawned an awful lot of sportsmen - Darren Gough, Dickie Bird, Martyn Moxon, Geoff Horsfield, Mick McCarthy and David Hirst to name a few.
Anyway enough. Barnsley turned all sour for me in the 45 minutes of tripe dished up by us in November at The Valley, a game I was at, and a game that will take a lot more red wine to diminish the memory off.
Red wine, or maybe a little Oakwell result on Saturday. The game is huge isn't it? Back to back wins for the first time for about a hundred years will do wonders for our slim chances. If we have any chance our task tomorrow is that straight forward.
As I am sure the other bloggers will tell you it has been truly hard to write anything inspiring or positive about Charlton in recent months. I see that the Inspector has taken some compassionate leave
and many other Addick blogs have become silent recently.
Football fans are born hopeful, no more than us Addicks, and I'm looking for any chink of light that I can through this season of darkness. Dicko and Kandol? Racon? ZZ back? Bailey? Tom Soares for another month? Good on those off up the M1 tomorrow, I doff my hat to you all. I'll dig a bottle of red out just in case.
Nolan, Nuttall & BDL
Courtesy of this thread
started by ex-scribe Rick Everitt on Charlton Life
news reaches me that the Mercury
have made long time Addick reporter Kevin Nolan redundant. The Mercury part of the Millwall biased South London Press
long became a free sheet but ex-boxer Kevin still managed to be inspired to write some memorable match reports. Him and fellow Addick commentator Rob Kelly have both left with immediate effect.
My Mum knew Kevin well from her job at Hither Green Hospital and she always had a funny story about him as do many other Addicks who have had the pleasure of his company, particularly at away games or on one of his Valley tours.
I long gave up reading the Mercury for obvious reasons but it used to be the highlight of a Sunday lunch around at my parents in Catford to catch up with Addick news (pre-internet of course) and Nolan's passionate and piquant game reports, particularly those away from home that were written like a man that truly bled Addick red.
Apparently Kevin will take his pen to Greenwich Time
, a freebie council ran free sheet.
Viewed it seems more favourably is the departure of pitchside announcer Peter Nuttall
. His rah, rah ranting's did not especially rock my boat and I know some regulars allowed themselves to get wound up by his plastic delivery, but many I suspect didn't care. However I am very pleased to see big Dave Lockwood take on the role, and by all accounts Saturday was far more, shall we say 'old Charlton.' Come on Dave, you've got something to write on your blog now!
Back to 'normal'
219, 908, 1028, 921, 852, 922. Hotel room numbers and my homes for the past 16 days. A tiring but enjoyable journey taking in Miami Beach twice, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Puerto Rico and how I miss being a complete stranger in a big city.
In retrospect we should have stayed in Puerto Rico longer, I loved what we saw of this old and new Latin island, and wished we could have explored it more fully. Back in Bermuda this morning, the weather is slightly dreary but I still have a desk and a computer, which is a good thing.
Being off the island for some time had got me in a scrutinising mood and, probably the completely wrong attitude, but I kept thinking that I honestly don't believe I'll ever settle in Bermuda, settle in that I will accept my life here as 'normal.' Funny word 'normal' I know but living on a 21-sq. mile island surrounded by coral reefs is not what I got old believing is normal.
Yes, I know I am lucky to be able to live and work here for a period of my life cocooned in a tropical offshore bubble away from what is a deepening recession in the US and the UK, although I personally reckon Bermuda's obtuse attitude to worldwide affairs will come to bite them on the arse at some point.
I can only hope that in time I can supress my consternation at the many things that wind me up here, spending more time off-island will help but it's almost impossible to compartmentalise work and home as they overlap at every corner, even though we have made some very good friends.
But with scrutiny comes discernment and I tell myself every day, if you don't push yourself, and take opportunities when presented, then one lives not knowing what could have been. I'd rather know.
A quiet week in store back home, I'm hoping to catch up on a few Oscar nominees
and was seriously thinking of a detox - someone told me about the maple syrup, lemon juice, cayenne pepper and hot water one. Lose a pound a day, probably through vomiting. I'll think about it.
Charlton 2 Plymouth Argyle 0
Whatever it is that takes your fancy on Valentines Day.... bunch of roses, a candelit dinner, a singing card, naughty undies, you can't beat three old fashioned points wrapped in a red, red robin's bow.
I've read a lot this week about Plymouth, and was hoping they were to become prime candidates to join the merry relegation party and it sure sounds like they have the credentials. If we hadn't have won today mind, then the fat lady was definitely knocking out our final chorus.
Well done lads, I was in El Yunque Rainforest
for the majority of the game, but was chuffed to bits when I got back to check the computer to see that we'd swept to 3 points. By all accounts we looked like a team today, one swallow does not make a summer, but this Addick is certainly feeling the love on Valentines Day. Come on you reds.
To my Valentine, love from ?
Roses are red
Violets are blue
We know you are pants
But tonight, for once
Let the Addicks rule xx
Roundabout lunchtime here in Puerto Rico (I won't rub your noses in it and tell you I'm sat by the pool) but we're not long back from a breathtaking morning of flying through the mountain forests on zip lines.
Zip lining or Canopy Tours
as they are called here and in Costa Rica was an exhalting experience, gliding on cables sat in harnessess a 100 feet up and flying through a jungle of palm trees and African tulips. We journeyed through about 10 platforms of differing heights, lengths and speeds and fine fun it was too, the only scary bit being the drive there and back from our hotel!
We're staying near the airport in a place called Carolina
, in the north east of the country and about 10 minutes from the beautiful and historic old town of Viejo San Juan. We spent yesterday afternoon and evening there strolling the blue cobblestone streets of the 500-year old colonial town with it's two forts proudly protecting a vibrantly colourful and historical oasis from the Atlantic Ocean.
It's been an auspicious start to our short holiday.
On a little recess from my conference, earlier I had to do a 5-minute presentation to an audience of 450, it seemed like 60 minutes as opposed to 5, but it's now done and although I have further meetings and panels to partake in we are now on a downward slide. In fact after last night's sensible bedtime of midnight I might just sink a few tonight and get a bit messy.The Fontainebleau
mind you has had some teething problems, not least with the fire alarm going off at regular intervals, including the middle of last night as I lie there going over my presentation in my head whilst in bed. Tomorrow afternoon the conference officially ends and then we fly to Puerto Rico until Sunday.
Movie recommendations please
Just back from the cinema, I was itching to see a movie as going to the cinema is right up there, top 5, of the things I miss most about living in Bermuda, and before my Bermudian readers start ringing in to complain, yes I know there are four cinemas on the island, but, well we’ll just leave it there.
It’s Oscar season and from Christmas to now, it has been in past years a time when I actively seek to see almost every major nominated film that during the year I’ve have missed.
Do you know how many Oscar
nominated movies I have seen this past year? Three. The Dark Knight on a tiny weenie screen on an airplane, Kung Fu Panda (which I thought was better than The Dark Knight) and Vicky Cristina Barcelona. A rubbish return, so by hook or by crook within the next 2 weeks I will try to see a few more so I can at least point, cheer or sneer at the television when those little statues are handed out on the 22nd February.
We saw The Wrestler
this afternoon, in which the almost forgotten Mickey Rourke was truly amazing playing a washed up professional wrestler who had lost everything except his fans.
Other films on my list, and as it will be impossible to see anywhere near all of these I’m looking for recommendations, are:
~The Curious Case of Benjamin Button
~Man on Wire
~The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas
Just arrived in Miami on the red eye from Los Angeles. The 4 hr, 35 min flight seemed to go pretty quick, so I must have got some kind of kippage. My girlfriend joins me in a couple of hours from Bermuda, the lucky thing is here to relax, spa and shop whilst I work until Wednesday.
Nonetheless that does give me a couple of hours to play with the gadgets in the room (like this Apple Mac) and explore the hotel which looks on first impressions to be incredible. The Fontainebleau
hotel originally opened in a blaze of glory in 1954 and was a famous stalwart on Miami Beach's Collins Avenue and stars in James Bond's Goldfinger
. It closed in 2006 for a huge makeover and only recently re-opened in December with the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show
, one of the models I think I just saw walking around downstairs with little on and looking like she had a good night.
The Los Angeles leg of my tour ended with a lazy afternoon hanging around Melrose Avenue looking for assorted gifts. I missed most of the rain when I was out walking, although they did get a few downpours. "The trouble with Los Angeles,"
I was told by three seperate people "is that they don't know how to drive in the rain."
Well, whatever but they certainly all come out to drive judging by the traffic, which was diabolical. I spent an arm and two legs in taxis and I really should have hired a car but didn't even consider it.
I can never make my mind up about LA but it always carries a real threat of adventure. I feel a lot better being in Miami though, I enjoyed last weekend here and I'm looking forward to seeing what other happenings I can excavate this week.
I'm not sure there will be many Addicks of a certain age mourning the death of Michael Gliksten today. The OS announced that the former chairman passed away
in hospital this morning aged 70 after a long struggle with cancer.
I only remember him as chairman from my very young days but elders never had a good word to say about him or his father Stanley, who between them never invested in or had the foresight or apparent desire that Stanley's brother Albert did before them to take the club forward. In fact rather ironically during Michael Gliksten governance Charlton Athletic suffered a long slow death.
Under Albert Gliksten's leadership Charlton became one of the biggest clubs in the country before and during the war years. He appointed legend Jimmy Seed as manager in 1933, oversaw our rise through the divisions and play in consecutive FA Cup Finals.
However the 3rd generation Gliksten always appeared a reluctant owner and he had many other business interests away from the club, which he only appeared to bleed dry to support property and farming activities in Australia and South Africa. Eventually it all came to head of course in a complicated financial arrangement meaning Gliksten still owed The Valley and led to the club he and his family was supposed to have cared for escaping bankruptcy by minutes in 1984 and then being forced to leave our spiritual home a year later.
Meanwhile after all that gloom, we can all enjoy our weekends as tomorrow's game against Cardiff has been postponed
due to the London weather. The first Saturday without a league defeat since November.... come on look on the bright side!
The iconic Golden Gate Bridge was once again shrouded in low cloud cover this afternoon and the resultant rain somehow means my flight to LA will be over an hour late even though the sun is shining now.
I'm having trouble keeping my eyes open as I'm so tired although this morning I cleverly worked in a lie in into my schedule. Thing was I slept like a baby and woke feeling great and jumped out of bed to open the curtains to make the most of my Coit Tower
view but was met with darkness. The time was 4.50am, my brain being tricked by the four hour time difference! Bugger.
24 hours in Chicago was enough for me to realise how much I miss the city, even though the weather was absolutely freezing, they have been absolutely battered by snow and ice this winter but everything was running like clockwork even though the temperature was minus 17c when I landed on Tuesday morning at O'Hare without a coat.
It had been 7 months since I left but it was like I'd never been away, without any doubt a large chunk of my heart will always belong in Chicago.
I'm in San Francisco now, also just for 24 hours. I leave for a work meeting shortly and then have another night out which my Samsonite suitcase for eye bags and jar of Haywards pickles for liver could certainly do without. My preparation for this trip couldn't have been any worse with my practice group leader in from New York for the two days before I left for Miami. Two days and two very, very late nights.
I actually *crossing fingers* might have a fair bit of spare time on Friday in Los Angeles to catch up on a) some sleep and b) the world before taking the red-eye back to Miami Friday night. Then Saturday to chill before work starts in earnest on Sunday.
Bristol City 2 Charlton 1
As expected yesterday's game passed me by but there was no particular surprise or angst from me when I checked the Official Site
after the game.
If our relegation from the Premier League seemed like a slow cancerous death, then this time it has been more like a drive by shooting. Our collapse is a tragedy and whilst Bill Shakespeare may have made a good book out of it, even he would have struggled to come up with a hopeful ending.
They say a week is a long time in football and seven days after beating Palarse and grabbing a lifeline, two games later we are just left with straws.
The game followed a now typical pattern of a reasonably good first half and a goal, but then we *delete where appllcable: i) gave up ii) weren't good enough or iii) collapsed under the weight of pressure.... and conceded goals.
What time I have had to look into the game I've seen a number of fans make comment about the CAFCTV commentator Phil Parry pointing fingers at many of the players atittudes. Now I'm not aware of BBC's Parry being a fan so his honest summarisation must just have been from a professional viewpoint, but that is a damming verdict on our sorry team and manager.
Moots was one of those picked on by Parry, as was Ambrose. I wasn't there obviously but is it any wonder Moots doesn't give a shit? How would you feel if your last two bosses treated you with such contempt?
The first leg of my trip is coming to an end, I just saw a couple of mates off at Miami Airport who hope United Airlines will get them into Heathrow tomorrow morning, when BA said they couldn't because of the incredible and unprecedented weather back at home
I leave for Chicago early in the morning and am desperatly hoping that the weather there does not impair my journey as I'm meeting three of my best friends for lunch before the work clock starts ticking.
We've spent the whole weekend in the warmth of South Beach walks along Ocean Drive and Collins Avenue interrupted by frequent stops in pubs. It was another fun weekend and the Superbowl
yesterday once again was cracking spectacle with the Pittsburgh Steelers beating underdogs Arizona Cardinals 27-23, the winning touch down coming with 30 seconds on the clock.
It was a great game and like last year another a great advertisement for the sport outside of the U.S. I was supporting the Cardinals because of their underdog tags and there little known Chicago beginnings
pre-1959 but it wasn't to be.
Tomorrow our game appears to still be on in Bristol. I will be pretty much oblivious to the goings on, a kind of Charlton general anaesthetic which I reckon is no bad thing at the moment.
The official transfer deadline passed today with no additions, although it's apparent to me that 'emergency loans' can be signed to cover a bad migraine, so others may well follow Trebor Kandol and Darren Ward
into The Valley.
I got a text earlier about a rumour saying Watford's Jay DeMerit was joining for £300,000 (proving it's believability rating I suspect). For me it was a shame it didn't happen purely for the reason that two of the guys I used to play football with in Chicago are two of DeMerit's best mates. I've asked for inside info anyhow to see if the rumour had any element of truth in it.