Chicago Addick living in Bermuda
Saturday 31 October 2009
  My Top Five - Scary Movies I like top 5's and with today being Halloween what better time to share with you my favourite scary movies.

1. The Shining
Released in 1980. A family with Jack Nicholson as Dad become the winter housesitters of a hotel in the mountains of Colorado. Nicholson's character Jack Torrance is writing a book but the isolated hotel's ghosts take hold of him and insanity takes over Torrance played magnificently by Nicholson whose face bursting through that door still sends shivers down my spine today.
Shelley Duvall and Danny Lloyd also starred.
Directed by Stanley Kubrick.
Adapted from a Stephen King novel.

2. The Omen
Released in 1976. Gregory Peck is the ambassador to the United States whose wife has a stillborn child. Without her knowledge he substitutes another baby as theirs. The son is called Damien and the family move to London when Robert Thorn (played by Peck) becomes the US ambassador. Thorn then finds out that the child is the son of Satan. Who can forget Damien riding around the house on is tricycle? This movie has an added spice for me because my brother played football in the 80's with Harvey Stephens. Did any parents name their son Damien after 1976?
Lee Remick, Patrick Troughton and Harvey Stephens also starred.
Directed by Richard Donner.

3. The Silence of the Lambs
Released in 1991. A young FBI cadet, Jodie Foster as Clarice Starling, has been sent to the Batlimore state hospital for the criminally insane to interview an inmate Dr. Hannibal Lecter, a brilliant, cunning but psychotic psychiatrist turned infamous psychopathic serial killer. A story of trust evolves as Starling gathers clues in the hunt for Buffalo Bill. Anthony Hopkins plays one of the most intimidating characters ever on the big screen.
Scott Glenn and Anthony Heald also starred.
Directed by Jonathan Demme.
Adapted from a Thomas Harris novel.

4. The Exorcist
Released in 1973. An actresses daughter (Regan played by Linda Blair) brutally changes both in the way she looks and the way she acts, with violent outbursts on everyone who comes in contact with her. Her worried mother gets in contact with a priest who comes to the conclusion that Regan is possessed and then attempts to save Regan from the demon inside her. Who can forget Regan impossibly rising up and down her bed and spitting out threats?
Ellen Burstyn and Max von Sydow also starred.
Directed by William Friedkin.
Adapted from a William Peter Blatty novel.

5. Carrie
Released in 1976. After being taunted and ridiculed by classmates following the unexpected timing of her first period, Carrie (played by Sissy Spacek) discovers the art of telekinetics. Roundly abused at home by her crazy mother she finally gets to go to the prom with a date. However a nasty trick gets played on Carrie and her date for the night and later at home her mother finds her in the bath covered with pig's blood (who can forget that scene). Events get even more tragic from here.
Piper Laurie, Amy Irving and John Travolta also starred.
Directed by Brian De Palma.
Adapted from a Stephen King novel.

Well that's my top 5 for this Halloween, what are yours? 
  Zero attacking threat Carlisle United 3 Charlton Athletic 1
Very disappointing, and from someone who was more than happy with the 4-5-1 line up, I was even more disappointed not to see Jonjo start and us revert to a formation that has offered us the most attacking threat and defensive security this season. Our form since Colchester United has not been promotion material simple as.

Our attacking threat garnered from a far better radio commentator was pretty much zero and it is obvious to me at least that Burton and McLeod lack any real danger when paired together. Sam seems to have gone right of the boil and it is now 6 league games since we have scored from open play and in my mind we're very lucky to remain in 2nd place, whilst above us Leeds sprint away.

After not one penalty in any of our games this season a tight first half brought two. On loan Ikeme, preferred to Randolph was unlucky with Ian Harte's after he saved his initial kick, and then Burton converted after he was fouled. All level at the break then but the hope that we would go on to dominate the second half underlyed our league positions because apart from one period in the 45 we never sounded likely.

With the home crowd raising the noise 35-year old Graham Kavanagh scored two long range crackers, one following an error by on-loan Omozusi, who by all accounts had a good first half. Nothing the keeper could do (although he has now let in nine in his last two appearances at Brunton Park!) nor generally the defence but our problems lie in attack and a cursory glance at the list of the league's top goalscorers tells you where we lack compared to our rivals.

There are other issues of course but before we 'got found out' we were scoring at will, but now we are not even creating good chances. McLeod back on the bench, start Mooney, give Burton his operation and put a hungry Jonjo back in the team.

Carlisle view: Sunday Sun.
Charlton view: Newshopper
Friday 30 October 2009
  How did I know? There I was yesterday calling for no more loans but how was I to know that crafty Parky had a right back hidden away in Sparrows Lane all week? Smuggled in under cloak and dagger Elliot Omozusi even played in the reserve friendly at home to Dagenham and Redbridge on Tuesday under the pseudonym A. Trialist.

Hackney born 20-year old Omozusi is a free agent after being released from Fulham, who still hold his registration and he has signed a month's contract as cover to injured pair Frazer Richardson and Chris Solly.

Omozusi's only real time in the spotlight was a sending off for Fulham as an 18-year old in the Premier League playing against Reading and he twice played against us last season (left) whilst racking up 24 appearances for Norwich on loan. However the loan arranged by Glenn Roeder was subsequently scratched under Bryan Gunn and Omozusi returned to Craven Cottage. He has spent trial period's with both Sheffield United and Peterborough before being found at Sparrows Lane.

Parky meanwhile, a man accused of not having a Plan B, has suddenly this week developed a Plan C and D to cater for a spate of injuries. Question is will he start both Ikeme and Omozusi tomorrow? I would be surprised.

It was also disclosed today that Richard Murray has given Parkinson some additional security and no doubt reward for our excellent start to the season, a third over by the end of this weekend, by giving him a year's contract extension to expire at the end of 2010/11. Well done Phil from someone who I admit was a long time antagonist. 
Thursday 29 October 2009
  To loan or not to loan I close my eyes for a minute and a mini injury crisis takes hold. The size of our squad means a mini crisis can easily be a maxi one and I nearly dropped a nappy at Parky's "we might get a loan in before Carlisle" comment today. Do we really need to do that?

I can't remember the terms of Moot2kil's loan deal but with him up there and Fleetwood and Dickson out west, the 'emergency' loan of Mooney and a potential right-back does appear to be ridiculous. Unfortunately Chris Solly's training ground knee injury means he's unable to step into Richardson's boots, who is struggling with a thigh injury picked up in Kent on Saturday. A big shame for Chris because from what I have seen, he'd have been more than able.

So what are our options if we are to avoid an outsider coming in? Youga could play there with Basey coming into the left-back slot. Semedo has played there, although that would take an awful lot away from our midfield and I wouldn't want to see that. Wagstaff played there in pre-season and perhaps even captain Nicky Bailey could slot in behind Sam. I think we have enough cover in the squad to patch over the injuries at right-back without going into the loan market.

The same could not be said in goal with Robbie Elliot being declared out for up to six weeks with a torn adductor muscle, done late in his MoM performance in Kent on Saturday. Elliot's form has been exceptional this season, when you consider his age and experience. I can't think of any errors that have cost us goals and in the bulk of the 14 league games played he has been called upon to make at least one outstanding and game altering save.

Robbie will be missed but I am pleased for Darren Randolph, who has waited for his chance. A year younger than Elliot, a couple of season's back Randolph appeared to be ahead of him in the pecking order making his debut a whole season earlier at Anfield and the Republic of Ireland U21 international has had more loan experience than his counterpart, although a bust-up at Hereford may have blighted his reputation.

Parky signed Karl Ikeme on Wednesday for 28 days from Wolves and the question is will his stay be as an understudy to Randolph or will he grab the tangerine shirt at Brunton Park on Saturday? His first team experience is not indifferent to Elliot or Randolph and for the first part of the last season Ikeme was actually Wolves' first choice goalie until he got injured. Weirdly like both Elliot and Randolph, Ikeme also played on loan at Accrington Stanley - don't they have any of their own goalkeepers?

So a few decisions for Parky who kept an unchanged team for the first 8 games, but now has to decide whether he brings back Shelvey into a 4-4-1-1 or keeps two up front and maybe starts with Dave Mooney with McLeod back on the bench in what I prefer playing a later impact role in games. Then who will play right-back if Richardson doesn't make the trip and who will start in goal at Brunton Park, a game by rights that should have been the last game of the season.

Oh and finally before I go to bed for half an hour, if you want a bloody good laugh read this Charlton Life thread with great banter from Northwich Victoria and Witton Albion fans. 
  White noise I brought my girls home yesterday afternoon from the hospital. The house that seemed very empty and serene the day before suddenly came to life but age has certainly brought more self-belief in handling small bundles of joy. She did well last night sleeping from 1 until 5am in her new room. Although when White Noise is playing on ones iPod instead of White Lies you know life has turned a sharp corner. I recommend Ocean Sounds by the way if you are looking for a recommendation.

I popped into Government House today to register the birth. The Bermudian authorities will issue the birth certificate but her Bermudian association ends there. Bermudians are very fussy to whom they give status to. Even a foreigner who marries a Bermudian has to wait 10 (Ten) years for citizenship and 7 of those years have to be lived on the island, with the last two concurrent. A divorce during that 10 years leaves the non-Bermudian legally with nothing. Being British gives you no advantages at all here, and although the local regiment would probably love to have her, our daughter will have no other privileges being born here apart from a pretty cool story to tell in the playground.

Perversely but not surprisingly Bermudians can apply for a UK passport at birth, get full United Kingdom and European citizenship immediately they get the passport and live, work, drive, vote and buy any property they wish.

So despite the fact that this island is actually governed by the British Government and the Governor and Commander in Chief resides down the road, we have to apply to the British Embassy in Washington DC for little-un's passport. Crazy. 
Tuesday 27 October 2009
  Live, twice in a week! Well I'm obviously pleased that the Northwich game is on the box. ITV will show the game on Sunday, November 8th, kick off 9.30am Bermuda time, although being terrestial might cause me problems here, I'll have to check.

That time kick off on a Sunday means a nightmare journey for travelling Addicks, and will certainly put people off. The trains I suspect are shocking and when doing my research the other day I found out that to add to the woes the Victoria Stadium isn't even in Northwich at all.

What it does mean is that probably for the first time since John Logie Baird got his junior meccano set, Charlton will be on live television twice in four days. Southampton in the Paint Pot is on Sky the evening of Wednesday 11th. Worth getting a licence for.

In fact 11/11, Remembrance Day, signals a national holiday in Bermuda, don't knock it per capita there were more Bermudians than any other nation fighting for the empire in WWII, so a free da.... oh I'm forgetting something aren't I
  New arrival An unsuspecting new Addick arrived in the world just after 5.30pm Bermuda time yesterday evening. Arabella Connie weighed in at 6lb, 11.5oz and is absolutely gorgeous and both daughter and Mum are doing very well.

My son (now 9) was born via a planned c-section, and without taking away how much of a serious operation that alone is, watching childbirth and the unforgiving pain before and the absolute joy after is a truly unforgettable experience. And lads, how flipping helpless do you feel?

As my blogging friend spotted the initials AC was not wholly unpremeditated. Pretty girl's names Charlton and Valley were disappointingly out-voted and, well she just doesn't look like a Prunella Phyllis (PP) and Augustina Porsche (AP) was never going to happen. 
Sunday 25 October 2009
  Victoria secret On the outskirts of Northwich just off the M6 is where the Addicks head on 1st Round Qualifying weekend, the first time we have started the FA Cup in November for 29 years.

Northwich Victoria were relegated last season from the Conference and began this season in the Conference North with a 10 point deduction after entering administration in May owing about £500,000 in unpaid bills but despite administration still hanging over them the Vics have only lost 3 league games all season and would be challenging for the play-off's if it wasn't for the -10 points.

The root of a lot of Northwich's financial problems has been their impressive new ground, which they moved into in 2005. The Victoria Stadium does include a covered terrace that was transported piecemeal from their old Drill Road stadium and according to the excellent Duncan Adams' ground guide the Victoria Stadium also includes an Italian restaurant and a piano bar! Addicks fans will probably occupy part of the Dane Bank Terrace.

I would have thought the telly maybe interested in covering our game (hopefully) but Paulton Rovers (the lowest ranked team left) at home to Norwich I'd expect will take top billing. Meanwhile Oldham v Leeds, Bristol Rovers v Southampton, Bromley v Colchester, a potential Millwall at home to AFC Wimbledon tie or a local east midlands derby between Stourbridge and Walsall will all be considered. 
Saturday 24 October 2009
  Er.... well.... yes.... a corner Gillingham 1 Charlton Athletic 1
A.... game.... where.... the.... pitch.... and.... our.... opponents.... didn't.... allow.... us.... to.... play.... to.... our.... best.... ability. Sorry I am just mimicking Emma the commentator on CAFC TV and Radio London.

Not sure if you've had the privilege but she talks like she is commentating on a game of crown bowls, a bloody boring one at that. Her manner is so listless and sluggish that she appears to be a good minute behind the play. I'm not expecting John Motson but someone who can relay proceedings in a more germane way would help. Oh and what happened to the first 15 minutes? Yeh, yeh what do I want for £3.99 a month?

When I was (a lot) younger I would listen in bed to Radio 5 as it was called then, close my eyes and imagine being at the game with the players running around before me. One doesn't have to be Mike Ingham but broadcasters need certain skills to bring the game alive from the radio and without Tony Hudd to fill in the long gaps of nothing, all we got was directions down the A2, Sam Sodjer and frankly a load of old drivel.

Anyway as usual Addick's at the game will give you far better colour than me on that performance but it was disappointing and a point was all we deserved despite taking the lead, albeit rather fortuitously from the wonderfully named Nutter but then we kicked ourselves in the balls by concededing again in the last 10 minutes.

Our front two sounded very sterile and Sam needs to refind the form that won him Player of the Month. Otherwise the Gills with a good home record on a poor and by all accounts small pitch prevented our midfield from gleaning out any inspiration and it became a bit of a slugfest. Dave Mooney made another impressive late appearance but personally I would have brought Shelvey on hoping for a moment of magic in front of a packed away end.

We have seen Plan B, it is, well a plan but I would hope that Parky reverts to Plan A next week at Carlisle. Let's see Shelvey back with Burton rested and Mooney up top with McLeod ready to come on from the bench.

Reports: Addicks Diary; Charlton Athletic Online; Charlton Casual; Doctor Kish; Drinking During the Game
Thursday 22 October 2009
  Injection Nope, no news before you ask. We are being about as late as a Network South Eastern train.

This week at work we have had the companies main board here, so it has been best behaviour and lot's of nodding but I think we passed. Last time they were here we lost someone if you know what I mean (it was before my time).

Evening's have been taken up with mindless chatter, baby books and Entourage. I want to be Ari Gold, surely the most scurrilous character ever to appear on television. Sheer genius. I have also had a complete blow up with my letting agent in Chicago, who inextricably has turned into the she-devil. She in turn is off the Christmas list and has one less client mug enough to pay her a lot of money to do bugger all.

Anyway back to things in hand. Today at the hospital a nurse recommended a medicinal injection to encourage labour, I have no idea what she meant but I am personally recommending a stinking hot chicken madras tonight for tea.

I notice that Phil Parkinson described our game on Saturday as being as big a derby as Millwall. Well I don't know about you but I would put the Gills just below Southend United and just above Watford in the derby stakes and a loooong way below Millwall and Palarse. You?

Anyway as Parky said Saturday in Chavingham has all the makings of a home game. The Chicago Addick family and friends will be well represented in north-east Kent while I sit on the sofa working out what a medicinal injection is and eating cold naan bread. 
Tuesday 20 October 2009
  PGA Grand Slam Bermuda comes under the golfing spotlight this week as it hosts the annual end of season PGA Grand Slam tournament contested by the year's winners of the four major championships, the Masters Tournament, the U.S. Open, The Open Championship and the PGA Championship. The prize fund is $1.35 million, of which by golfing standards only a paltry $600,000 goes to the winner, however for showing up each player is already guaranteed $200,000.

The tournament moved to Bermuda in 2007 and for the first two years it took place at the Mid Ocean Club, however this year it is moving to the newly renovated Port Royal Golf Course. Originally opened in 1970 this Robert Trent Jones course has been modernised to the tune of $14.5m and made more challenging in the process with fairways, greens and bunkers reshaped and holes altered but the very photographic 16th with swathes of turquoise sea lining every attempted shot remains (see photo top left).

With all due respect this year's challengers lack any real star appeal. Tiger was supposed to come to the island last year after winning the US Open but was injured. One can sadly only wonder how an appearance by Woods would be hijacked here by the Premier. Anyway this year's Grand Slam competitors are Argentinian Ángel 'El Pato' Cabrera (Masters winner), American's Lucas Glover (US Open), Stewart Cink (The Open) and South Korea's Y E Yang (PGA) and following yesterday's rain affected practice and pro-am competition the tournament starts in earnest later today.

Despite being beyond our baby countdown and having some work meetings that I have attend, I hope to at least pop along for a little while today or tomorrow as it's only 10 minutes from the house.

UPDATE: Wed 21st 5pm. Glover wins by 5 shots, Cabrera 2nd
Monday 19 October 2009
  Tony Jimenez So there you are waiting for a knight in shining armour and a bloke with a load of porn mags stuffed up one sleeve and a wad of cash up his other turns up. Then the next minute a cheeky cockney chappie appears at your knee doing his best impression of a Harry Enfield character with a range of You Tube video's proclaiming future players and a brown envelope of used twenties. What is a Charlton fan to do.

Dennis Wise has been seen many times at The Valley this season, probably secretly recording video of Izale McLeod, but more than likely just watching a game of football. He recently joined Chalfont St Peter to help out with "community initiatives" and has today been widely tipped to replace Sven Goran Eriksson as Notts County's Director of Football.

We know about Wise but what about his side-kick Tony Jimenez?

Of Spanish descent Jimenez was born in Brixton in 1965 and made his money in property development at home and particularly abroad in Spain and Dubai. A fluent Spanish speaker he spent a lot of time in Spain, particularly southern Spain where he helped build a North London based sports management and promotions company into a large concern citing many footballers and managers as clients. He was close to Juande Ramos and brokered the deal that saw Ramos move from Seville to Tottenham in October 2007.

Jimenez is an executive season ticket holder at Chelsea, considered to be one of the Blues more nouveaux fans and via connections he worked his way through a side door to become a bit-part of the new establishment within Abramovich's Stamford Bridge. He was already close to Gus Poyet and got to know Dennis Wise and the three of them were said to be a tight boys club.

Jimenez with his likeable manner, valuable social skills and impressive contact list became known in the game as one of it's best fixers. Players, managers, chairman, investors would all turn to him for advice. Mike Ashley became involved in Jimenez's close circle through his friendship with fellow property tycoon and ex-Spurs vice chairman Paul Kemsley and it is via Kemsley that Jimenez is also well associated with Sir Alan Sugar and Sir Philip Green. It sure is one well tangled web.

Recently before it was announced by Newcastle United that Jimenez had left the club, it was reported that Jimenez took Mike Ashley out to Dubai to meet serious potential buyers of the club but allegedly Ashley embarrassed himself and the deal fell flat. Following that episode Ashley and Jimenez's relationship became very strained, around the same time as Kevin Keegan was awarded £2m following a Premier League arbitration tribunal that offered a damning verdict on Ashley's regime at Newcastle.

It might be these potential Newcastle suitors that Jimenez is backing in any proposed takeover of Charlton and remember it was Jimenez who was said to be nurturing last year's Zabeel Investments bid.

If it is relevant at all, the question is do we want muck or brass? 
Sunday 18 October 2009
  David Sullivan "David Sullivan is ready to make a move to buy Charlton Athletic and not West Ham as he looks for a new home after quitting Birmingham. The multi-millionaire porn baron has his sights on The Valley for a deal to buy the League One high-fliers and turn them into a Premier League side."

Do we even want this to be true? What do you think to our potential owners being a porn baron or two? The story goes on to say that Sullivan may well recruit his long term business partner David Gold in any planned bid. Their combined wealth according to the the most recent Times Rich List is £750m.

Today's Sunday People story doesn't include any attributable quotes and since Sullivan and Gold announced their attentions to leave Birmingham City they have been connected to almost every club south of the Watford Gap.

Sullivan bought Birmingham in 1993 and his first decision was to install 23-year-old Karren Brady as managing director. Sullivan oversaw relegation to the 3rd tier but Barry Fry won them promotion in 1994/95. Those years with Fry, Brady and Sullivan brought comedic media attention but after Fry, Sullivan made a popular decision by bringing in City hero Trevor Francis. 5 years later Sullivan replaced Francis with Steve Bruce who finally took City into the Premiership 9 years after Sullivan bought the club and 16 years since they were last in the top flight.

One could argue (quite convincingly) that in the time Sullivan was chairman of Birmingham they were nowhere near as successful as Charlton under Murray. Nevertheless their is no argument as to the current positions of the two clubs.

I don't really want our community club to be associated with the porn industry, although Sullivan was becoming quite a part of the FA and Premier League establishment and in these times of dodgy club ownerships, Sullivan nor Gold would have trouble passing the fit and proper Football League test.

Do I live in a dreamworld where a good intentioned Charlton fan can buy into the club or a Saudi Prince looking for a long-term investment sweeps us of our feet? Probably, well almost certainly. Can David Sullivan lead us honourably back to the big time utilising the skills of Richard Murray? I'm not so sure. 
Saturday 17 October 2009
  The special one Charlton Athletic 2 Huddersfield Town 1
A normal Saturday morning in the Chicago Addick household then. My 9-month-pregnant-other-half did her yoga, I sat on the couch with a big cup of strong coffee, I listened to the football on the computer, Charlton won and returned to the top of the table and people from Liverpool were feeling sorry for themselves. Yep, d(ue) day passed like any other day with three points adding a nice little stimulus to the rest of the days activities and no visit to the hospital.

We have had some entertaining games with Huddersfield over the years, and today was no exception with Lee Clark's side playing an open game of football in stark contrast to Oldham last week. Starting 4-4-2 with Shelvey sitting out and McLeod starting we marked a goal up early when Sodje, in for Llera thumped a header into the net from a corner, but then we seemed to lose our way sounding jittery in defence and after a fair amount of pressure we conceded a dubious free-kick. Ex-Man U youth player Anthony Pilkington sweetly striking in the equaliser from 25-yards.

At half-time following a tannoy wedding proposal by Big Dave Lockwood (no, I believe he is already married), the radio guys were taking about the introduction of Mooney, but I got my personal wish when they announced Semedo had replaced the unfortunate Spring keeping the integrity of the 4-4-2 put strengthening the defensive side of our game and rekindling the partnership between the Portuguese and Racon. Phil Parkinson should be applauded for another big decision and instantly we were in front again after McLeod headed in from another set-piece following a Sodje flick-on and then the idiot took his shirt off leaving him one yellow from a suspension!

What followed was a game that swung up and down with some nervy moments but overall our football was crisper and brighter with Semedo pulling the strings. It was good to have him back. Wagstaff had another decent cameo and Dave Mooney made his debut, the 495th player to wear the mighty red shirt. Top until Monday at least.

Reports: Blackheath Addicted; Drinking During the Game; Addicks Diary; Kings Hill Addick; And Nothing Else Matters; Croydon Addick.
Quote: "That was our toughest home game without a doubt. I have to give Huddersfield credit. From a neutral's point of view, it must have been terrific to watch and they really had a go." - Phil Parkinson 
Friday 16 October 2009
  Full Mooney A new name might feature for the Addicks in tomorrow's game at home to Huddersfield. Dave Mooney (don't you think that has a good old fashioned centre-forward ring to it?) has joined on loan today until December 1st from Reading.

The word 'loan' has hardly been popular around SE7 these past couple of years, not since Scott Carson won player of the year anyhow. However due to Leon McKenzie being injured again, and Burton facing a hernia operation Parky used some of his old Reading contacts to move quickly to sign the 6' 2" striker on an 'emergency loan' and as New York Addick says hardly giving Izale McLeod a thumbs up, but it may put a rocket up his backside after being widely blamed for last week's loss of 2 points.

Irishman Mooney had a bit of a glittering early career in the Irish leagues with Longford, Cork City and Shamrock Rovers although he didn't appear to play many games his goal ratio was excellent. He then trod the well worn path of successful Irish League players to the Madjedski Stadium in August 2008 but was sent on loan to Norwich at the end of last season (he played at The Valley in the last game of the season). He has scored twice this season against Burton Albion for Reading in the League Cup in early August.

Said to have a decent touch I would imagine that Mooney would be considered by Parkinson as a short-term replacement for Burton, but also as a target man who could play in a front two.

The move for Mooney has made me realise that the club do not consider Chris Dickson the answer, as I believe we could recall him if Parkinson wanted to. Stuart Fleetwood is on a season-long loan at Exeter, so we have two strikers out on loan and are then enforced to bring one in on an 'emergency loan.' Rules is rules I suppose.

Games against Huddersfield Town remind me of various promotion challenges over the years. Back in 1980/81 we had two very tough games against the Yorkshiremen as we pipped them for promotion. In 1995/96 we were both battling for the play-offs and in our championship season I remember vividly watching the game at the McAlpine Stadium live on television at Christmas. We played superbly and won 2-1, this just a couple of days after beating Palarse at The Valley. After that game I knew deep down that we were on our way. Tomorrow's game has a very similar importance. 
Wednesday 14 October 2009
  Formation A quarter of the season gone and we can now look at the league table with some kind of certitude and would you adam and eve it, we are in 2nd place. Look.

Now a lot of people have suddenly become a bit pessimistic. If you believe trends then three league games without a goal is worrying. If Leeds' fans believe in trends then they may be worried also. They have hardly maintained their early season levels during the last four games either and one thing is for sure that this division is not going to be about just Leeds and Charlton, something some pundits were saying a couple of weeks ago.

For us it keeps coming back to our formation. A very pass and attack-minded 4-3-3 when we are in full flow or an uninspirational and tired looking 4-5-1 when we haven't got the enterprise or ability to break teams down or able to influence games. Yeh, yeh I know this is the 3rd Division and we should be stuffing all these teams, well no. There are some useful players and some clever managers in this league and we need to remember that.

Also if players are not 100% fit then don't play them. Wagstaff and Solly from the beginning last Saturday I think would have given us a more assured line-up. I don't want to see Parkinson get into a rut and persist with players or a formation. Teams will find us out and we'll lose the element of surprise even if nines times out of ten in footballing terms we have better players.

Undoubtedly Parkinson needs to work harder on the training field and during games (where I actually think he is weak) to conquer teams who set out to frustrate us, particularly at The Valley. But do we have an obvious forward partnership that will work or do we mentor and coach Jonjo better to play his role higher up the pitch. Whatever the solution I think the return of Semedo will help us enormously and hopefully we will see him on Saturday. 
Tuesday 13 October 2009
  My Bermuda - The Parish of Paget Paget Parish is located almost in the middle of the island and width ways stretches from the south shore to Hamilton Harbour and like all Bermuda's Parishes it covers 2.3 square miles or about 1500 acres.

As explained yesterday each Parish is named for Elizabethan aristrocats, Paget is named after Elizabethan patron, English peer and colonist William Paget, (1572-1629), the 4th Baron Paget de Beaudesert, born in Beaudesert, Warwickshire. He is buried at West Drayton in Middlesex.

Sandwiched between water Paget has many natural features including the harbour which is followed by the narrow and winding Harbour Road, the road on which we live and frankly a bit of a death trap. Just down the street from us is the Salt Kettle peninsula, which is a great source of beautiful peaceful walks. It is also home to a couple of tidy looking guest houses and has it's own ferry stop. Harbour Road heading east will take you into Hamilton but on the left before the Crow Lane roundabout is the countries National Trust headquarters at Waterville.

Built before 1735, Waterville is one of the oldest houses on Bermuda. It was home to seven generations of the prominent Trimingham family of department store fame, although sadly two years ago their flagship store on Front Street went inexplicably bust. Admission to the house is free and it contains many family heirlooms. The Bermuda Rose Society is also based here.

At this point of the island sports enthusiasts can play tennis at the Pomander Gate Tennis Club, but you will need to know a member or for sailors, the world's only desiginated 'Royal' Dinghy Club is situated at Mangroville as it has been since 1882. Again you will need to know a member to visit.

No membership required for Paget Marsh Nature Reserve but as I found out the reserve is not a day trip, or even a half day unless you are expecting to sit and read a novel. Nonetheless it is about 25 acres of unspoilt marshland and delightful palmetto and cedar trees. A twisting wooden boardwalk (left) runs through it and the area is, if you are that way inclined, ecologically and ornithologically interesting.

Less known is the Hungry Bay Nature Reserve, described as a mini Florida Everglades. I'm not sure, the swamps are one for the adventurous but cliff walks will open your eyes to some charming coastline and the old ruin of Hungry Bay Fort.

The biggest tourist attraction in Paget is the Botanical Gardens. A beautifully maintained and manicured park with collections of hibiscus and banyan trees. There is also an aviary, Japanese Zen Garden, a 17th century style English Parterre Garden, a 12th Century style Persian Garden, and a Tudor style Children's Maze Garden. The garden also incorporates Camden House, the Bermuda's Premier official home, although he doesn't actually live here. You can take the organised tour or just mosey around yourself but it is a very pretty spot. In peak season a cafe sells soup, sandwiches and drinks.

Within the Botanical Gardens is also Bermuda's first purpose built art museum called Masterworks. Created thanks to the efforts of local philanthropist Tom Butterfield, Masterworks opened in 2008 and hosts a wide variety of shows and events. If you are an art fiend, the Birdsey Studio is also nearby.

Near the Botanical Gardens is the island's only hospital, King Edward VII - a short run from our house, very handy in our current pregnant state and the various facilities employ 1,500 people.

The hospital is no hotel, believe me but one of the island's most celebrated hotels is in Paget at Elbow Beach. Still in need of a lot of upgrades to bring it up to the Mandarin Oriental standard, for which it's a part of, it's still more than decent and occupies an alluring beach-front position on the south shore. Elbow is also home to the Parishes best restaurant's. Lido is only open in the winter months and is a bit businessey but Sea Breeze out on the terrace is more casual. In the hotel itself I thoroughly recommend the food at the Seahorse Grill and then most popular of all of Elbow's eating establishments, Mickey's on the beach where the setting more than makes up for the average food. For a more traditional restaurant experience venture to Fourways Inn on Middle Road.

Further along the beach from Elbow is the fast becoming run down Coral Beach Club, slated to become a Four Seasons hotel but only a reality if finance, planning and disagreements over employment can be succumbed. The Horizons cottage colony across South Road makes up part of the development, which is still in use as is the golf course and the impeccibly set Splendido restaurant.

The other hotel in Paget is Newstead occupying a prime view over the Great Sound. Recently renovated the property includes a spa, tennis courts, an infinity pool (left) and the Beau Rivage restaurant. It has a deal with Belmont Golf Club and an in-house water shuttle whisks guests across the harbour. Friday night happy hour by the pool has become very popular this summer although not for me as I haven't made it down the road.

One of the Parishes nicest beaches is at Grape Bay off South Road. The US Consul General has a huge house here and holds an annual July 4th firework display. Near here on Middle Road is Paget Plaza, somewhat overstating a small string of shops including a Pharmacy and a late night burger place. Avoid the wahoo nuggets, I don't know which part of a wahoo they use, but it isn't fillet. A little further up Middle Road is Paget Post Office, possibly the smallest post office in the world.

Back across the Parish to the harbour, seven islands form part of Paget including Burnt Island, which we can see from our house and Hinson's Island. Hinson's has had an exciting history for a dot on the landscape. Once a Boer War prisoner of war camp and also the first air base for aircraft in Bermuda, it is now an exclusive residential island (pop: 50) only reachable by ferry.

The ferry service is excellent and how I normally commute to work. Salt Kettle, Hodson's and Lower Ferry (right) all have stops along the Paget side of the Great Sound and the 'pink route' ferry makes for a marvellous visitors tour of the harbour as well.

There is a lot to do in just 2.3 miles and for a different perspective sandwiched between the Atlantic Ocean and Hamilton Harbour you can just feel the sea air if not actually see the water by walking or running along the disused railway trail, acting as Paget's spine coursing through the middle of the Parish. 
Monday 12 October 2009
  Bermuda's Parishes, Villages and Municipalities Bermuda's 20.6 square miles is divided into nine Parishes, two Municipalities, one being the capital Hamilton and the other historic St George's, where Bermuda was first settled. Outside of these there are officially only two places big enough to be called Villages, Flatts and Somerset. There used to be a third but Tuckers Town, a forgotten community is now only home to a posh golf club, a new hotel and new homes that probably rely on huge offshore banking bonuses.

The Parish names are a fantastic reminder of Colonial history and each contain scents of what may have been 400 years ago. They are all named after Elizabethan aristrocats, merry gentlemen who were both wealthy and had a pursuit of overseas exploration. Rather precisely each Parish is exactly the same size at 2.3 square miles. I love factoids like that. Parishes were originally known as Tribes as the island was broken down into shares of ownership and ran like fiefdoms from back across the Atlantic Ocean.

And you guessed it I going to write about each and everyone of them as I discover them fully, starting tomorrow with my own Parish where we live, Paget. 
Sunday 11 October 2009
  Afternoon of frustration Charlton Athletic 0 Oldham Athletic 0
It sounded a thoroughly frustrating afternoon for the Addicks. A poor first half with Oldham comfortably breaking up our game by packing the midfield and forcing Jonjo back into the middle of the field leaving Burton isolated, equalling the biggest threat to Parkinson's 4-4-1-1 formation. Nevertheless in the 2nd half we were much better and one chance converted or the bar being an inch or two higher then we'd all be going to bed dreaming of 3 more points.

We will face plenty of other games like this one at home this season and if we are to succeed then we will have to learn to encounter organised, unimaginative and clinical sides. Teams and the ones with the better managers are working us out and the facts are that it's now three league games without a goal after we were so proficient in front of the net earlier in the season and close your ears, that is one win in six. Maybe time for some jiggling by Parky. Both Wagstaff and McKenzie sounded lively when they came on and McLeod got a lot of mentions but unfortunately mostly for the wrong reasons.

I will end with some plusses though. Another great attendance, it sounded like Youga had a stormer and despite Spring improving, Semedo appears ready to return.

Reports: Drinking During the Game; Blackheath Addicted; Kings Hill Addick; Charlton Casual; Addicks Diary.
In the papers: Independent
Saturday 10 October 2009
  Old adage An easy one for a Saturday morning. What does Bryan Robson, Tony Adams, Alan Shearer, David Platt, Chris Waddle, Ian Rush, Peter Shilton, Diego Maradona and John Barnes have in common? With over 700 caps between them they help prove the old adage that the best footballing brains do not make the best footballing managers and by no way is this list complete.

So why is that? Some would say the highest profile players don't need the grief and instability of managing after they hang up their boots. These days the majority seem to go into the media, even those with an IQ and personality of an armadillo. Or many ex-pro's simply walk off into the sunset of pro-am golf and property investing counting their huge wads of money. Many actually 'disappear' within coaching academies and honourably put something back into the game at a grassroots level but few players are willing to start a football management career at the lower end of the game.

Paul Ince did, although some would say the colour of his skin gave him no option. Steve Bruce, Sam Allardyce, Martin O'Neil and Nigel Clough all started at the bottom of the food chain and have successfully moved up the ladder but many have come a cropper working with players who will never be as good or football-intelligent as they were in their own playing days.

John Barnes yesterday (again) became the latest example. An absolute joy to watch with a ball at his feet, he only knew how to play the game one way but despite his footballing convictions, hard work and a huge rolodex of contacts Barnes found it impossible to relay his ideas to lesser footballing mortals. No one's fault, Roy Keane is having the same problem at Ipswich. Alan Shearer, the Messiah, oversaw one win at Newcastle. Keep an eye on Steve Staunton at bottom-placed Darlington and Chris Sutton at Lincoln for future hapless illustrations.

Come on we've all had our patience tested when you have to tell someone how to do something not twice but three or four times and footballers are no different but management skills are part learnt but part natural. Assuredness, tolerance and ability to learn will only become a skill if you are willing to open your mind to it, and for most fledgling managers that began when they played. How often do we hear of ex-players saying: "Oh I knew he'd make a good manager when I used to see him on the training pitch."

Some of the best career league managers were more of what I would call working class players , such as David Moyes and Sir Alex as opposed to those suffering from superstardom. There are some fine ex-players that have bucked trend. Kenny Daglish, Graeme Souness Gordon Strachan, Franz Beckenbauer, Johan Cruyff.... yeh not many Englishman I know.

The difference with those listed listed above is that they were all 'born' as football managers with the preverbial silver spoon in their mouths. Big budgets, hero worship and most important of all being able to work with very good players. Dwight Yorke said recently that Roy Keane would only be a success managing a national team, and for many ex-players, think Jürgen Klinsmann, Marco van Basten, Dunga and closer to home Mark Hughes and Stuart Pearce this for some reason became a much easier transition into management than the day to day grind of working for a club.

But then again John Barnes tried that too, without much success with Jamaica. Oh well for some maybe the natural god-given talent they were given comes to a grinding halt once the boots are hung up for the last time.
Friday 9 October 2009
  On board A couple of additions this week to the recently slimmed down Plc board. It was reported that lawyer and long-time club advisor Stuart Butler-Gallie has joined the newly reformed Plc board as a non-executive director. Charlton fan and Kings Hill based Vertex Law founding member Stuart's newer more defined role will help the club continue to move to a stable footing.

Then today the club announced slightly more exciting news (sorry Stuart) that Peter Varney has rejoined the club in the same non-executive capacity. The role 'non-executive' can conjure up all kinds of duties although one thing is for sure it will not be a full-time job, nonetheless I know as well as you that Peter lives, breathes and sleeps Charlton Athletic. He left his chief executive position at the end of the 2007/8 season handing over to Steve Waggott, citing the time was right to move on after 11 years at the club. He was linked to a chief executive role at Arsenal and I was surprised that he didn't get a high-profile CEO position. Maybe he didn't want one.

What we do know is that for the majority of this year Peter has spent an incredible amount of time working on behalf of the club in helping them find new or alternative investment. This work will continue but now under the chairmanship again of Richard Murray. I am very happy that Peter is officially back on board.

We were also told that Richard Hatter is replacing his father, Sir Maurice, on the plc board, and will continue to represent Sir Maurice's interests. Philanthrapist Sir Maurice (left) who was knighted 10 years ago is now 79, and his son is a trustee of his Dad's charity foundation. Sir Maurice has built a lot of wealth from his global electronic components business, and has I understand played more the role of benefactor and business advisor than daily board member.

So all good then as the club continues to underpin it's once much envied foundations. 
Tuesday 6 October 2009
  Momentum continues Charlton Athletic 4 Barnet 1
I gave the boat trip a swerve for various reasons this afternoon, to be honest being able to listen to the Paint Pot commentary wasn't actually one of them, however I did and the game passed stress-free didn't it? I think the score flattered us as Barnet always appeared to be in the game and forced plenty of corners but it was nice to come away from a game like this unusually unscathed.

Four goals, one each for McLeod and Tamer Tuna on his first start, a thunderbolt from Bailey (who honourably didn't celebrate his goal against his old club) and a fine finish from Scott Wagstaff plus plenty of plaudits for Chris Solly and Yado Mambo after he came on for the last 25 minutes.

The whole competition reminds me of the Full Members Cup, although tonight's game was slightly better attended than the early rounds at Selhurst. There's a ways to go yet before I'll get my Dad's mate to order the open top bus that took us to Wembley in 1987 mind but it is a nice distraction. The draw for the quarter finals is on Saturday and either Swindon Town, Norwich City, Hereford United, Leyton Orient, MK Dons, Northampton Town or Southampton await.

The momentum continues then and we put further distance between us and the memories of Colchester. I'm slightly concerned over reports that Burton, Richardson, Sam and Llera missed out due to injury, although Miguel had "a virus." Let's hope that there is some kind of stretched truths there and they will be okay for Saturday.

Reports: Drinking During the Game; Stickleback; Charlton Atheltic Online; Doctor Kish
  Deng fever Don't know if any of you lot popped along to the o2 tonight for a change of ball game but it hosted a pre-season exhibition NBA match between da Chicago Bulls and Utah Jazz. My old mate Luol Deng was making his comeback from a long-term stress fracture injury and almost 19,000 people watched him help the Bulls to an exciting 102-101 win.

Few sportsmen impress me with their intelligence and compassion but in the couple of times I have met the 6ft 9 inch softly spoken south-Londoner I have walked away noting his sincerity and warmth. Deng leads the GB Olympic challenge for 2012 and despite his hefty salary and growing fame he has put so much into the growth of the game in the UK. His return from injury will also hopefully propel the Bulls to a great NBA season, which begins in about a month. 
38 weeks pregnant and I have got cravings, yes me. The other night in the supermarket I looked into the freezer cabinet, and a packet of Findus Fish Fingers stared back. Next thing I know I am at the checkout with a box of fish fingers, a bag of frozen chips and a tin of mushy peas. Will that be all the lady asked. Oh yes.

Bloody gorgeous they were. I lay on the sofa afterwards looking and feeling like a tubby cheshire cat. There is something charming about mushy peas in a transport cafe kind of way. Opening the tin and seeing that green goo, I could paint a small spare room with that colour.

Apparently you can make mushy peas but it neccesitates stuff that one would never have in the kitchen cupboard such as bicarbonate of soda and why would you when Batchelors do such a fine job. As for the Findus fish fingers, flippin' sex on a stick and they are so adaptable I will have the remaining ones tonight in a sandwich with some mayo, lettuce and tomato. Scrumptious.
Monday 5 October 2009
  Nice Barnet If you were like me you'd have forgotten that we are back in the saddle tomorrow night. Our first venture into the Johnstones Paint Pot Trophy. Dave at Drinking During the Game goes of tangent superbly in this preview here.

Barnet are our opponents, who we've only ever played in cup competitions, the last time in 1995. We were a tier one team in those days and 4,400 came out early in the season, and at a fiver to get in I wonder if we will exceed that? Supporters' at least have the knowledge that we have to play a minimum of 6 first team regulars, which for us is quite easy to work out as only 13 players have started league games this season. So who would you leave out?

Surely it has to come down to who needs to rest. Shelvey, Burton, Sam, Racon, Bailey and Dailly must all come into this category. Sodje will now be in Abuja, the capital of Nigeria in preparation for their weekend's world cup qualifier against Mozambique. Yado Mambo played for the U18's on Saturday perhaps in readiness of a call up. Miguel Llera should start to allow the Spaniard to put last week's Colchester game behind him. Other options to start include Luke Holden, Leon McKenzie (if fit), Scott Wagstaff, Chris Solly, Grant Basey, Tamer Tuna and Izale McLeod.

No CAFC Player for me tomorrow as I am meant to be on a boat, weather permitting. Good luck to those going along for what will be the first of three consecutive home games. 
Saturday 3 October 2009
  Back on plan Leeds United 0 Charlton Athletic 0
Faith restored at a windy Elland Road this afternoon following an excellent Charlton performance deservedly coming back south with a point. Listening on the radio it was us who played the better quality football confidently moving the ball around while Leeds looked to hit it long for top scorer Jermaine Beckford.

Matt Spring was much improved against one of his former clubs and Sam Sodje in for Llera was a rock at the heart of the defence. Rob Elliot also stood very firm in the goal. For long periods of the game the 31,000 plus home crowd sounded anxious as I thought we controlled the game, particularly in midfield with the Jonjo and Burton duo playing together much more efficiently than on Tuesday night.

I will be interested to hear travelling Addicks' reactions to the game and the quality of this Leeds team, still unbeaten remember. With Bristol Rovers getting stuffed at on-song Norwich but with Colchester, Franchise and Swindon all winning the top of table below us has a more shrink wrapped look to it than in recent weeks.

Pride restored then and a great result to rebuild on at The Valley next week. One complaint.... what happened to CAFC Player at the end of the 1st half? This following on from the loss of commentary on Tuesday night.

Reports: Doctor Kish; Addicks Diary; Charlton Life.
Quote: "It's no good for us to resort to just bashing the ball up the pitch because that's not what we're all about, and when we got the opportunity to play in patches we did some good stuff." - Phil Parkinson 
Friday 2 October 2009
  Rio it is I can't begrudge Rio it's month in the sun but Chicago getting eliminated in the first round will take some time to digest. The IOC is of course a tight group of old white men with grudges, more so since most of them were found to be on the fiddle after the Salt Lake Olympics. Not even the most influential broadcaster or knowledgable Games observers could work out who was going to win the vote but the collective gasps around the Copenhagen auditorium said it all.

For the thousands in Daley Plaza (photo) and I had a couple of mates down there today, there was a look utter shock and embarrasment on their faces when Jacques Rogge made the announcement. Following it on the BBC the talk was of a typically impassioned speech from President Obama, but an even more heartfelt one from his wife Michelle. However it was said the rest of Chicago's final pitch was a bit flat. Sadly it will now be the word embarrasment that will be doing the political rounds in the United States amongst Obama's opponents.

The emotive vote was for Rio though and if it couldn't have been Chicago, then what better place to hold a party. Congratulations to them on what will be a sparkling two years of sport with the World Cup there in 2014. And think how cool London's closing ceremony in 2012 will be with the added spice of the Copacabana thrown in.

Tokyo's final presentation was unsurprisingly described as efficient whereas Madrid backed by the IOC political might of Juan Antonio Samaranch and with most of their venues already complete along with their experience of 4 years ago was obviously a fine bid, but when the likelihood of Europe hosting three Olympics on the spin is practically zero, those IOC members who voted for Madrid (28) over Chicago (18) in the first round wasted their vote.

After that it was Rio all the way as Tokyo dropped out in Round two and then in the final round Rio claimed more than twice the vote over the Spanish capital.

As for the Chicago 2016's bid it's chairman and my old boss Patrick Ryan and Chicago's mayor Richard Daley, 2020 is probably a stretch for them to consider another crack at hosting, especially if the unwritten rule of continent switching continues. Many Chicagoans will be happy this afternoon that their summer in 2016 will be unaffected but hopefully some of the bid's plans to modernise the city will continue. It is a sad day for Chicago but it ain't called the city of big shoulders for nothing. 
  To Elland back Over 30,000 are expected to be at Elland Road tomorrow, with Charlton only having failed to sell a few unrestricted corner yellow seats. It's to early for the game to be billed as a promotion decider but certainly it has been a while since we have been involved in a top of the table clash of this significance. Leeds meanwhile have had two years of pitting their wits against promotion rivals only to fall in the last furlong.

We come off a heavy midweek defeat which will either dent our confidence immeasurably or allow the players to breathe again, put things right and plan to start another good run of results. Parkinson's tactical ability has been questioned, and by me as well but we forget that it was he that put the foundations, formation and players in place during pre-season that sees us 2nd after 10 games at the start of October. The squad is tiny, we know that and particularly when it's compared to Leeds', who by all accounts have an injury crisis.

For me our injury crisis revolves around Semedo, still a doubt for tomorrow and a player the team and deployed system really miss. Tim Breacker talked after the Exeter game about how easy it was to replace one player in a system but I don't reckon in Spring as a defensive midfielder and I would rather Parky play Bailey in Semedo's position and put Wagstaff on the left side or revert to a midfield four with Bailey moving inside and Shelvey playing on the left.

What we do need to do is play to our strengths tomorrow, attacking quickly and neatly with Shelvey playing higher up the field to support Burton and Racon's partner, whoever that maybe doing all the mucking in to allow Racon to shine. Defensively I think it will be time for Llera and his cap to sit it out and play the ex-Leeds loanee Sodje alongside Dailly.

It is a big game.... remember Peter Shirtliff. 
Thursday 1 October 2009
  What they are saying about tomorrow's 2016 decision So while this week marked just 3 years until the London's 2012 Olympics tomorrow the IOC will decide which city will host the Summer Olympics in 2016. I will be 50 that year *picks head up of desk* so what better than to celebrate by being in the windy city that summer wherever our lives have taken us. Obviously I'm hugely partisan but if you are interested I have found the following non-biased guides to the four host cities: Chicago; Rio de Janeiro; Tokyo; Madrid. As well as some other bits and pieces.

The Wall Street Journal has put together a candidate guide written by their reporters locally in each city. They also have an interesting article on those against the games, particularly in Chicago where this group have been trying to make their voices heard. In Sports Illustrated mostly known for it's bikini issue and monotonous articles on baseball and NASCAR, they break the news that Barack Obama is a sports fan and give three reasons why each candidate city could win or lose.

Reuters says that the Rio bid is banking on "magical financial growth," this an interesting comment made by Brazilian President Luis Inacio Lula da Silva after Brazil recently cancelled several international swimming competitions they were due to hold because of a lack of money.

The Times suggests that one of the IOC's biggest sponsors McDonald's having their home in Chicago will help their cause. The Golden Arches were first seen in Illinois in 1955 in case you never knew. It also makes the point that Tokyo already have $4 billion banked to pay for the Games.

The BBC does it's normal bang-up job and have a 'blogger' on the scene amongst all the spin in Copenhagen. The BBC are also providing a Live Text service from Copenhagen starting tomorrow morning. With a business head on The Economist asks if staging the Olympics at all is such a great prize? By and large economists have found it hard to detect the benefits of past large sporting events.

Even the Daily Mail joins in with quite a decent preview but on the basis the newspaper walks around with a bag on it's head it irks me that they make Chicago the favourite. The Mirror write that Madrid have been trying to style themselves as the 'Hispanic bid' rather than European to avoid the unofficial view that the Games should alternate around the continents. The 2012 and 2014 Winter Olympics (Sochi, Russia) are in Europe.

Of course Obama's decision to attend the final presentations in Copenhagen tomorrow has caused most of America's right-wing loonies to make it a political issue, no more than Glenn Beck, America's very own Augusto Pinochet.

Opinion polls are hard to believe as most are done locally and tend to only attract people vehemently swayed positively or negatively but the best authority on the whole business of choosing Olympic venues is, who continually use a mathmatical model to analyse each bid on a whole range of unpredictable importances.'s current BidIndex, as they call it, has Rio ahead by just 0.2 index points.

Chicago's score is up to the highest it has ever been on the back of Obama's efforts to get to Copenhagen and projects the closest finish ever. Despite expert's opinions that both Toronto's and Paris' 2008 bid was superior, BidIndex predicted Beijing the winner.... it also predicted Paris for 2012....

I've probably bored you enough already but the IOC's September Evaluation Report of the four cities can be read here. Within the report they have Madrid and Rio as the most favoured with city residents and workers (85% each), Chicago with 67% and Tokyo with 56%. And finally what do Paddy Power say about tomorrow's betting? Well Chicago are 4/7, Rio 7/4, Madrid 8/1 and Tokyo 20/1. All will be revealed tomorrow.
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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