Tuesday, 29 September 2015

Maidstone's success story

Maidstone United are currently 6th in the National League South, and they are also reporting financial success. Is this of any relevance to Charlton? Possibly not, but it is an area to which many people have moved from the home boroughs and in which support for Charlton has been quite strong: Maidstone United

Monday, 28 September 2015

Stevie Brown leaves the Dripping Pan

Former Addicks stalwart Steve Brown has resigned as manager of Lewes. He became manager on an interim basis in February and saved the Rooks from relegation. He then took the job permanently in the summer. However, Lewes have had one win in 11 league games and are in the relegation places in the Ryman Premier.

Lewes chairman Stuart Feller said that the resignation came out of the blue. Results had not been going their way, but they had been strengthening the squad. However, some think that Brown went before he was pushed.

It is also evident that he was unhappy with the reduced budget available to him: Steve Brown

Chief scout to quit

Charlton chief scout Phil Chapple is to leave for the wealthier pastures of Fulham: Chapple

In my view that is quite a serious setback. Phil has been our chief scout since 2007. There have been criticisms of our recruitment policy, but I wouldn't put that down to Phil, but rather to moonbeams emanating from Planet Duchatelet.

He was a doughty player for Charlton, if much criticised at the time. I remember his part in our famous 5-1 victory at Ispwich when Leaburn scored his one and only hat trick. Chapple was injured, but came on with a large bandage round his head.

The tractor drivers were so upset that one of them tried to start something in the car park afterwards, saying 'you should be ashamed of that shirt.' For me, it was an occasion for real pride.

Chapple then went to Peterborough where he was known as 'Chapple of Rest', but only because he had a long-term injury.

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Charlton ready to see off United swoop for Fox

With Luke Shaw out with a broken leg, Louis van Gaal is eyeing Morgan Fox as a possible replacement. But Charlton are ready to offer Fox a new contract to keep him at The Valley: Morgan Fox

Of course, being on a short list is not the same as being made an offer. It may be a long list of all the young left backs playing in England. Some fans think tjis was made up in the Mirror offices.

I know that for a lot of fans Fox is their favourite scapegoat player. I think he is a classic curate's egg: good in parts. He can be very good, but he also makes some silly errors which put us in trouble. In other words, he is a young player who is still developing, and we have a number of those in the first team.

Thinking about Fox bought me back to Paul Sturgess who was left back in the 1993-7 period. I have a framed picture of him with me in my study holding a very garish third shirt. He was the target of much moaning, although he did play a blinder in a cup game against Newcastle United. However, his career ended at Hereford United and Gravesend & Northfleet. I wonder what he is doing now. His Wikipedia entry is a stub, it has even less on it than mine.

Saturday, 26 September 2015

Five minutes of hope

Charlton kicked off at the Cardiff City stadium, reports Welsh Addick Deiniol Jones. The Addicks were under some early pressure. Pope had to palm away a shot. A corner was then conceded after five minutes. A header from Morrison that going in the net was cleared off the line by Cousins who appeared from nowhere. A second corner followed. Kenwyn Jones missed an open goal and put it in the side netting while the Charlton defence were at sixes and sevens.

Kenwyne Jones won a free kick for Cardiff 25-30 yards out. The Addicks were under the cosh. Charlton tried to work their way out of defence. The Bluebirds were enjoying a lot of space in midfield, putting the Addicks under pressure. They were too deep.

Charlton defended well as Cardiff threatened again with good work by Bauer. After good work by Cousins combining with Kashi Charlton’s first corner was won by Gudmundsson. Kenwyn Jones managed to head clear. The Addicks continued with some good pressure after Cardiff had been the dominant force for quarter of an hour. They looked nervous when Charlton attacked.

Nick Pope made a good save but the Bluebirds were offside anyway. Tony Watt had a half chance, but was unable to make use of it. For once he tried to be too unselfish, looking for Kashi.

Cardiff had a corner on 27 minutes in front of the Addickted. Fox jumped well. The ball went over the crossbar.

Good work by Kennedy found Cousins, but to no effect. A shot was blocked by Bauer after an error by Cousins.

Tony Watt looked as if he had the goal at his mercy but the keeper made a great save. It followed excellent work by Bergdich.

Sarr defended well. Cousins made a run, but was unable to find Tony Watt.

A Cardiff handball was discounted by the referee and Cardiff were given a corner. Pope punched clear. Mason dived and was given a yellow card for simulation as Pope came out of his goal. There were fears it could have been a penalty and a red card which would have meant game over. Fox gave Mason a mouthful.

One minute was added on. Charlton had survived and got into the game more after the opening period.

HT: Bluebirds 0, Addicks 0

Bergdich came off and Ahearne-Grant came on. Sarr got an early booking. The free kick was put inches wide of the Charlton left-hand post.

Ahearne-Grant opened the scoring after superb work by Watt.

The crowd claimed that there was a handball against Kashi, but the referee wasn’t having any.

Cardiff equalised through Mason on 52 minutes from the six yard box, although there was a suspicion that he controlled the ball with his hand. Solly made this point to the referee.

Cardiff won a corner on 56 minutes. It looked dangerous, but the shot was blocked. On 58 minutes McAleny replaced Kennedy.

A good move by Charlton involving Cousins ended in two saves by the keeper at the expense of a Charlton corner. A second corner followed. Fox kept the ball in after a Sarr header. Cardiff got possession back, but Solly dealt with the situation well.

Bauer conceded a corner on 66 minutes. Fox cleared with a good header.

Cardiff brought on Ameobi in place of Kenwyne Jones.

Cardiff won a corner off Cousins from a shot by Ameobi. Cardiff won another corner. Sarr blocked well, but Cardiff still had the ball. Noone replaced Pilkington.

Cardiff won another corner conceded by Solly and took the lead through a header from the unmarked Morrison. Charlton seemed to lose belief.

An attempt by McAleny on 84 minutes was high and wide.

Moussa came on in place of Kashi, a long awaited event.

Tony Watt had a free header, but put it wide.

Four minutes were added on. Charlton were not able to make use of them.

Wyn Grant adds: Possession was 51-49 in favour of Cardiff. Charlton had seven shots on target and Cardiff six. The Addicks are 17th.

In so far as one can tell anything from the short coverage allowed us by Channel 5, our defending for the equaliser looked woeful, no coordination in the defence. When we get a lead, we need to hang on to it.


Croeso! Yr wyf Deiniol Jones. Gefnogwr Cymru Charlton Athletic. OK, that's enough Welsh, ed.

Gudmundsson and Watt are the spearheads of Charlton's attack this afternoon, but there are fears that the Championship's No.1 dribbler is not fully fit. Solly also starts as captain, which is encouraging.

Charlton: Pope, Solly (c), Bauer, Sarr, Fox, Kennedy, Kashi, Cousins, Bergdich, Gudmundsson, Watt.

The thinness of the squad is revealed by the subs bench: Mitov, Lennon, Ba, McAleny, Moussa, Ahearne-Grant, Umerah. The latter is a Catford born youth graduate. A forward, in 2014/15 he scored 19 goals in 28 games for the U18s. He can also play rugby.

Croeso i Gaerdydd

All the focus in Wales today will be on the egg chasing at Twickenham rather than the big match between Cardiff City and Charlton, but for the Addickted it is important. Spirits have plummeted after the two poor home performances, when we should taken at least four points and really six, the defeat at Blackburn and the battering at Crystal Palace.

Criticism of Guy Luzon is intensifying. On Palace in particular, I would say that this was a match we were never going to win. Like it or not (and I certainly don't) Palace are a successful Premiership side.

I have my own personal issue with Palace. My father-in-law, a resident of Thornton Heath, was a Palace supporter and when my late wife asked if she could go to a match with him, he told her that girls don't go to football. Fortunately, she started work in Woolwich and became even more Addickted than me, once going to away matches I couldn't attend when her foot was broken.

If we had put out a stronger side at Selhurst, the margin of defeat could have been lower but we would have risked even more injuries and suspensions. The list the Sparrows Lane tea lady gave me the other day includes those carrying an injury, but it is still worryingly long. It reflects the fact that the squad isn't big enough.

I find Welsh a very difficult language and I am full of admiration for a friend who has learnt it well enough to lecture in it. My two nephews are fluent speakers and for the one who has stayed on the farm it is the language of everyday life. In places like Gaerdydd and Abertawe (Swansea), teenagers who have learnt it at school speak it in front of their parents who don't understand it.

Our record against the Bluebirds is not bad as we have lost one of eight games since 2007 (and we all remember the 5-4 victory and, yes, I was there). Last year we won 2-1. However Cardiff have lost only one of their last six home games (to high flying Hull). All of our goals against Cardiff last season were scored after the 74th minute.

Cardiff are currently 8th in the table, while Charlton have slumped to 16th. Both clubs have somewhat weird owners (see the interview with Roland in the CAS Trust magazine).

If Tony Watt plays, he may extend his record as the players who has attempted most dribbles in the Championship (33). He should try passing to another Charlton player.

Odds: Cardiff 19/20, Draw 12/5, Charlton 10/3. Forecast 3-1 to Cardiff, Charlton score in the 84th minute.

Thursday, 24 September 2015

A lost cause at Cardiff?

That's the view expressed on the CAS Trust website: More misery

Certainly if the list of injured or suspended players provided by the Sparrows Lane tea lady is correct, it doesn't look good.

They are: Henderson; Solly; Diarra; Fox; Watt; Carballos; Big Mac; Vetokele; Holmes-Dennis; Reza; Jackson; Moussa.

Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Luzon wants to keep Vetokele

Guy Luzon has said that he wants to keep Vetokele, but has heard of the Bolton interest, tweets Richard Cawley of the SLP.

The Addicks lost 4-1 at Palace, but the two penalty decisions were dodgy. Diarra was sent off on a second yelllow. Sarr scored for Charlton.

Fans unhappy with selection

Some fans have been expressing unhappiness about tonight's line up for the game at Selhurst Park. Among the more printable comments are 'It's a derby game and we put out the reserves' and 'Luzon is writing his own P45.'

Diarra, Solly and Cousins are all playing, while Pope has to be in goal. However, it is the forward line that has given most concern: Ahearne-Grant and Kennedy. The latter will find Palace a much tougher test than Peterborough.

Watt, Kashi, Gudmundsson and Bauer are all on the bench, but if we fall behind, they may not be able to turn things round.

Tough task at Selhurst

Apart from Hull, all of the Championship sides facing Premiership opposition in the League Cup last night were beaten. On their present form, it is difficult to see Charlton breaking that pattern at Selhurst Park tonight.

Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew is expected to rotate his line-up from the one beaten by Spurs on Sunday, with Joe Ledley and Connor Wickham in contention to start. Joel Ward (knee) and Marouane Chamakh (hamstring) are out while Scott Dann is a doubt with a calf problem. Pardew has targeted success in cup competitions and is expected to field a strong side.

Franck Moussa is expected to return to Guy Luzon's squad following a 10-month injury lay-off. Midfielder Cristian Ceballos and forward Simon Makienok are out injured. It will be interesting to see what side we put out. The real problem is deciding who to put up front.

The two sides have met in three seasons in the League Cup, with Palace eliminating Charlton on each occasion including in the third round in 2004-05. This is the first time the Addicks have played a Premier League side in the League Cup since October 2006, when they beat Bolton 1-0 in the third round.

Strange things can happen in football, but I am not too optimistic. On the other hand, I don't agree with those who say we will be slaughtered. 2-0 to Palace seems a likely result.

Odds: Crystal Palace 8/13, Draw 3/1, Charlton 5/1.

Tuesday, 22 September 2015

It was tough for me at Charlton, says Pardew

Alan Pardew has claimed that it was tough for him at Charlton, having to sell his best players and Darren Bent getting injured: Pardoo

However, the Palace boss displays his generous streak by emphasising that there are no hard feelings which is big of him: No hard feelings

Colchester ace Darren Ambrose puts the knife in and declares his support for Palace: I am a Palace man

While I've been away ...

It was a really hot day in the Isles of Scilly on Saturday and with some reluctance I went back to my hotel room at around 4.30 to hear the well-known words 'Charlton nil'. At first it was 1-0 and then before long it was 3-0.

You don't get Sunday papers on the islands and I am only just back off the sleeper from Penzance, so I haven't looked at any detailed analyses about another woeful performance. It's looking like a repeat of last season: a good start and a slide into a relegation struggle. However, I hope we won't go for the easy option of sacking the manager. Our greatest successes as a club have always come when we have stuck with a manager.

In the seasons we have had at this level since 1997/8 this our second equal worst points performance after eight games.

Incidentally, the World's Smallest Football League is in some difficulty, although there was a stream of football traffic going the other way for the Sunday morning match. However, neither the Garrison Gunners nor the Woolpack Wanderers is able to raise a full team of eleven for their matches.

Last year one match was abandoned when it was reported that the cows of a farmer player were on the road, but when the players turned up to recover them, the cows belonged to someone else. Another match had to be abandoned when a player's dog who had been tied to a piece of apparatus on the adjacent playground broke free and dragged it on to the pitch. Problems we don't have at Charlton.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Not good enough

Charlton went down 1-2 to Huddersfield at The Valley last night to give the visitors their first win of the season and it is difficult to complain about the result. We played less well than we did against Rotherham and Huddersfield were better than them.

We were disjointed and once again our play lacked urgency. We need to seize opportunities with a high tempo, rather than allowing the opposition time to get all their players behind the ball.

Huddersfield started the game at a brisk pace that seemed to put us on the back foot. A defensive error by Fox gave them the opportunity to advance and score an early goal. They followed with a second direct from a free kick. We were given some hope when we used a free kick to score, but the half time score line was the final one. In the second half, we were chasing the game increasingly frantically but to no effect.

Possession was 65-35 in our favour, but we were not able to make use of it. We did have four shots on target to their five, but only two corners compared with eight. The inability of the forwards to score is a real concern.

Rick Everitt has provided his analysis of the game, pointing out our inability to recover from having gone behind the last two games. However, he says that it is too early to panic yet: Question of resilience

Player ratings

Pope could possibly have done more to deal with the first goal, the second was a real cracker. His handling of the ball needs some work. Diarra was presumably on the bench because he was not fully fit. We certainly missed him. Sarr looked a bit uncertain as his replacement, although he seized the opportunity to score. Possibly because of the absence of Diarra, Bauer looked less impressive than usual. Solly was given a torrid time by Carayol who was surely man of the match. Why Middlesbrough have sent him out on loan, I don't know, shame we didn't get him. Fox seemed to lack confidence, although he often didn't have an outlet in front of him.

Ba was in a deep holding role, but was not very effective and was eventually substituted. Cousins is not suited to left midfield, he kept drifting out of position. Kashi was fluent, but sometimes found it difficult to find an outlet. Gudmundsson was subdued in the first half, but became more involved after half time.

Watt should stop trying to do everything himself, even his trickery can't outwit four or five opposition players, there are other players in the team. Makienok fluffed two chances to score which is a real worry.

Bergdich made an initial difference, but missed a chance to score. McAleny at least got into positions where he could make an attempt, even if he was off target. Vetokele made no impact when he came on.

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

No room for sentiment

There can be no room for sentiment as Charlton face Huddersfield at The Valley tonight. We need the three points. Chris Powell was a great servant of the club, but applauding him in the third minute would be a distraction. Any applause can be given when his name is read out before the game.

Charlton are unbeaten in four league games against the Terriers at The Valley (W2 D2, three clean sheets). This will be the 10th clash between the two teams in all competitions over the last four seasons (three wins apiece so far, with three draws).

Some people have argued that we played badly on Saturday. I thought that our passing was accurate and well thought out with good movement off the ball much of the time, although there could have been more tempo.

We let ourselves down in two respects. First, failing to focus after an unfair corner decision by the referee. Second, our finishing was unsatisfactory, with a high shots to goal ratio.

I would start Big Mak in place of Vetokele who was off form and possibly unfit.

Odds are: Charlton 27/20, Draw 9/4, Huddersfield 11/5.

Lost in translation

The book by Christian Koller and Fabian Brandle, Goal, a Cultural and Social History of Modern Football was originally published in German in 2002, but has now appeared in English in a revised and updated edition from The Catholic University of America Press.

It's a good read and I was pleased that space was devoted to Charlton's return to The Valley. The role of the Valley Party is duly acknowledged, while Voice of the Valley is described as the 'institutional voice' of the fans.

However, something seems to have been lost in translation. I was surprised to learn that 'Charlton lost its stadium in the 1980s because a young owner drove the club into the red through an unwise transfer.' I was also surprised to learn that the ground was covered in bleachers, something I missed somehow on the old East Terraces, and it was the plan to replace these with seats that upset 'the authorities with jurisdiction in the district of Greenwich.'

Elsewhere, I was amused to read that the French rugby team has been complaining about being billeted in Croydon. They are complaining about the lack of shopping opportunities and the general naffness of the area.

Monday, 14 September 2015

Conor McAleny in on loan

Charlton will have Everton forward Conor McAleny available after he signed a two month loan deal. He can play up front and as a wide man: McAleny.

He was on loan at Brentford and 'Besotted Brentford' has tweeted: 'Good move by CAFC. Decent player.'

Huddersfield hope to celebrate Powell's return

Huddersfield Town are looking to celebrate Chris Powell's return to The Valley with three points: Huddersfield

The Yorkshire Post are more guarded in their comments: 'Just over one year on from Chris Powell’s appointment, it’s a case of plus ca change for Huddersfield Town, who find themselves in a decidedly sticky situation at the bottom end of the table. The fixture list has been far from kind for Town this week, with Powell’s side following up a long trip to Cardiff with another epic midweek journey to face his former club Charlton.'

'Town are without a win in seven games this season and have scored just three goals in the league and all told, you have to go back 11 matches for their last competitive victory, a 1-0 win at the City Ground on April 11. The developments are all of the deeply worrying variety for Town and Powell, who has presided over just two wins in his last twenty matches in charge of the club. A victory at his former club this evening would be as big as any he has achieved in his Town tenure thus night. A truly big night for Huddersfield and Powell.'

Speaking after Saturday's defeat at Cardiff, Powell said: 'It's not the start to the season that we wanted but, to be fair, we've had to deal with a lot of players coming and going and we're trying to gel the team as quickly as possible.'

Huddersfield are currently second from bottom in both the league table and the form table.

Rogue Rickshaw running from Ramsgate

Ramsgate resident and Voice of the Valley editor Rick Everitt is running an independent coach to the Crystal Palace game for supporters from Thanet and West Kent. Leaving the benighted seaside resort at 4 p.m., the chara will call in at more up market Whitstable, fabulous Faversham and Maidstone among other intermediate stopping points.

The fare is £12 plus a 50p tip for the elves. The type of coach to be used has not been specified, but there are rumours of a 'heritage' vehicle. Details of the at seat beverage and snacks service are not yet available.

Given recent difficulties with coaches for home and away games, this is a welcome initiative. There are just nine places left at the time of writing, so it is clearly popular. To book go to: All aboard the Rickshaw

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Squeeze won't let Stevie Brown down

Rock group Squeeze, with their close Charlton associations, are now sponsoring the shirts of Lewes managed by ex Addick Steve Brown. Guitarist Glenn Tilbrook is a big Charlton fan and claims that Steve Brown is one of his heroes.

The Ryman Premier League outfit have not made the best of starts to the season after the budget was cut from £3k a week to £2k. However, chairman Stuart Fuller has said there was never a question about Brown's future: 'Steve's working very, very hard - he's a fantastic coach and one of the things I love about him is that you never hear him swear.'

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Feeling hard done by

Given our recent record against Rotherham at home, something of a bogey team for us, I should have expected a 1-1 draw, but I am left feeling hard done by. They are a poor side and we were clearly a class above them in football terms. But we were insufficiently clinical in finding the back of the net.

Their tactics were clearly to defend in depth and hit us on the counter attack. We played possession football and made some nice moves, but there was a lack of urgency as we probed the Rotherham defence. The inevitable happened and Rotherham went ahead just before half time after a soft free kick led to a corner disputed by the Covered End, justifiably so given that Lee Frecklington put the ball out. We didn't defend the corner well and we were 0-1 behind.

Patrick Bauer squared the score for us, with Big Mak providing the assist, and we continued to play well, but the goal eluded us. Indeed, it needed two superb saves by Nick Pope to keep us in the game. Even in five minutes added on, Rotherham could have scored as easily as us.

Possession was 64-36 in our favour and we had nine shots on target to their four. By my estimation most of them came from midfielders.

A bit ironic that the reproduction programme showed a wealth of extra trains after the match whereas what we got was a half hourly service and no special.

Player ratings

Pope delivered two superb saves, but he could have been more alert for the corner. He seemed to be immobile as the tap in came in. Everyone I have heard from thinks Diarra was man of the match. A stalwart in defence, he also got the ball forward well, and showed some moments of sublime skill. Bauer seized the opportunity to score and I wouldn't fault his defensive work. Solly was involved, but seemed a little off the pace at times. He was perhaps unsettled by the yellow card for dissent. Fox has come in for some criticism, his distribution sometimes let him down.

Kashi tried a speculative shot from distance, but this wasn't Peterborough. He looks comfortable with the ball. Cousins had two shots on goal early on. Gudmundsson had a number of near misses, one from a set piece. More involved in the second half. Ba has had better games.

The problem with the forwards was that they didn't link up very well. Vetokele was poor and rarely involved, I doubt whether he is fully fit. Watt made some good runs which unsettled the Rotherham defence and showed real skill, but sometimes he needs not to do it all himself.

Matienok made a difference when he came on, controlling the ball well for the assist for the goal. Bergdich wasn't on for long, but didn't make much of an impact.

Friday, 11 September 2015

Bogey team?

Charlton could secure a top six spot in the Championship if they beat Rotherham United tomorrow, while the Millers are looking for their first Championship win. If things do not go well, colourful manager Steve Evans could succumb to the curse of Charlton, although he has already been linked with the vacancy at Peterborough which is close to his family home.

Charlton have strikers Simon Makienok (knock), Tony Watt (calf) and Igor Vetokele (illness) back in their squad, although question remarks remain about whether they are fully fit. Midfielder Cristian Ceballos' ankle problem still keeps him out, as does Reza Ghoochannejhad's knee injury.

Rotherham are something of a bogey team for the Addicks. Charlton are without a win over Rotherham in seven attempts (D2 L5). Last year's game ended in a 1-1 draw. The Millers' last clean sheet at The Valley came in September 1961. They have conceded 21 goals in 11 games since then.

The Addicks have won three of their last four games at the Valley (L1), scoring twice in each victory. Rotherham are winless in their last seven league games on the road, losing five (D2). Former Charlton players with Rotherham are Richard Wood, Greg Halford and Frazer Richardson.

Odds: Charlton Evens, Draw 12/5, Rotherham 14/5. Rotherham are favourites to be relegated. Charlton's position has eased from being second favourites to seventh favourite for relegation.

Millers boosted by new arrivals

Rotherham United have been boosted by new signings ahead of their clash with Charlton at The Valley tomorrow. They have signed a new keeper and taken in two Norwich City midfielders on loan: New signings

Fans will have plenty of reading material at The Valley tomorrow. Voice of the Valley is bringing out a 40 page issue which works out at 5p a page. There are even some positive words about Guy Luzon from Kyle Andrews: New Voice. The CAS Trust will be distributing their free magazine.

The big question is how easy it will be to buy a programme. Last time I faced a long queue, a seller who had sold out and eventually bought one in the ground.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

Bauer kept playing with injured finger

Patrick Bauer has been one of the stars of Charlton's early season and he reveals how he played with a dislocated finger strapped up in the match against Hull City: Patrick Bauer

Rumours are circulating of an attacking midfielder coming in from the Premiership next week, but there is no confirmation from reliable sources.

Network goes for crowd funding

Kickrs.Net is bringing crowdfunding into football, allowing fans to 'invest' in players and hopefully get a return. This season's campaign is launching with network club Sint-Truiden. The club will use the platform to fund the acquisition of 18-year old Panagiotis Kynigopoulos, described 'as one of the hottest prospects in Grecian football.' Read more here: Hot prospect

Kickrs.Net states, 'Selling players for profit is one of the processes that allow clubs such as Sint-Truiden to remain sustainable.'

€103,175 has been raised so far from 289 investors. That's an average of €357 per investor or approximately £260.

Whether crowdfunding would be tried at The Valley, and what response it would receive, remains to be seen.

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Bring on Rotherham

In all the excitement about the Palace game, we must not forget that we have a league match against Rotherham on Saturday which is more important in the longer run. At the beginning of the season, it would have been billed by the pundits as a relegation six pointer. It is Rotherham who are mired in trouble, but that makes it more of a banana skin.

South-Eastern have excelled themselves by providing just a half hourly service from London Bridge to Charlton which terminates there. There are no services from the Dartford direction. Whether the 'special' to London Bridge will run after the game is unclear.

The presses at the Voice of the Valley have sprung into life again and Rick Everitt has promised a bumper 40 page issue for sale on Saturday.

Monday, 7 September 2015

George Tucudean returns

George Tucudean has had his contract at Steaua Bucharest cancelled. His contract at Charlton runs until 2016/17, so he will return to The Valley. Quite what role there would be for him is uncertain. Perhaps a loan could be arranged. In any event, it will push the wages budget even further above target.

Some fans have, however, argued that his presence could strengthen the bench.

Because this is an international loan, the situation is different from what I originally thought was the case. A source close to Sparrows Lane has clarified: 'When a player goes on international loan their contract with Charlton is cancelled and they are registered with the FA of the country they are going to play in. This means that under FIFA rules Steaua Bucharest cannot just cancel his contract and send him back to us outside of transfer window dates. He is still registered to them. With the consent of Charlton, Steaua could loan him on to another club but they would have to arrange it. The earliest he could in theory return to us to play would be in the January transfer window.'

Long queues at The Valley

Long queues are being reported at The Valley as fans seek to buy Palace tickets. Only three windows are open. Those trying to get through on the phone are having no success.

Fans have been waiting for over an hour and one report says that only 279 tickets are left.

The latest reports are that the queues have gone, but only 100 tickets are left, single seats and restricted views. No more seats will be released because of segregation.

All 2,889 seats have now been sold.

A frisson of excitement was created by the news that Franck Moussa is to pull on a Charlton shirt again after ten months on the sidelines.

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Gudmundsson going to Euro 16

At least one Charlton player will be taking part in Euro 16 next year. Johann Berg Gudmundsson played the 90 minutes as Iceland secured the point they needed to qualify.

The small nation is now ranked 23rd in the world above countries like France. Indeed, Iceland is one of the most dedicated football nations in the world: Football fanatics It has produced more than its share of football talent, including Hermann Hreidarsson for the Addicks. More here: Gudmundsson

Gudmundsson said in an interview after the game: 'This is the best feeling I have ever experienced in my whole life. We played very poorly today but I don't give a **** because we got the point that we needed and this is just wonderful.'

Club is over wage budget

Charlton chief executive Katrien Meire has confirmed what she had already told a fan on the train to Wolves: this summer's deal have pushed the club over its wage budget, which helps to explain the lack of last minute activity in the transfer window or of loan deals since.

One of the factors is that Charlton is still playing part of the wages of players who have been loaned out, e.g., Callum Harriott. Read more here: Budget bust

However, new deals are being negotiated for Morgan Fox and Nick Pope.

More revelations on Olympic Stadium

The Mail on Sunday has further revelations on the deal West Ham secured over the Olympic Stadium: Olympic Stadium

It appears that West Ham are paying an annual rent of around £2.5m while Manchester City pay £4m a year plus running costs for the former City of Manchester stadium. It also seems that the stadium is going to make very little money next year.

The Rickster rap

As it is a bit of a slow news weekend, I asked our Ramsgate correspondent to go past the Voice of the Valley headquarters and see if there was any activity. However, the workshop was silent and all that could be seen was a surly goblin guarding the entrance. However, bored with his task, the goblin suddenly pushed a button and the following tune blasted out of the speakers:

I is da Ricksta.

You gotta hear what I say

I is from down Ramsgate way


The Belgians have gotta go away

They can’t make Charlton pay

I’d have P. Varney back any day


Powell is my hero

I call his name with brio

All the rest are zeroes


Curbs did it his way

For a time we made hay

Then he went away


In the Voice we give it large

It costs less than a pack of marge

And we hate Nigel Farrage


I ain’t taking no yap

If you say this rap is crap

I will give youse a slap


I is da Ricksta

This is the Ricksta rap

Putting Charlton on the map

Saturday, 5 September 2015

Mikhail Kennedy scores for U-21s

Mikhail Kennedy scored for Northern Ireland Under 21s in their match with Scotland, but Scotland went on to win 2-1: Mikhail Kennedy

Thursday, 3 September 2015

Pennant deal off

Various media sources, most importantly the South London Press, are reporting that Charlton have decided not to offer a contract to Jermaine Pennant: Jermaine Pennant

Charlton's long transfer window search for a winger which also involved James Henry and Jodi Jones is thus at an end, although the loan system could always be used if necessary.

The news has been taken calmly by Charlton fans with the streets in SE7 remaining quiet. Indeed, some fans expressed a sense of relief that the deal was not going ahead.

Stephen Henderson has tweeted, 'It's been a great week of rehab. Finally seeing some light at the end of the tunnel.'

Tough task for Powell

Chris Powell has now been manager at Huddersfield Town for a year and according to this article from the Yorkshire Post he faces a tougher challenge than last year in keeping them out of relegation trouble: Chris Powell

Government rebuffs Olympic Stadium petition

The Government has issued a firm rebuttal of the online petition calling for a public inquiry into the terms on which West Ham were granted a tenancy of the Olympic Stadium, an issue on which the CAS Trust has been active: Olympic Stadium

The petition would require 100,000 signatures for it to debated in Parliament, although that would only be a 'Westminster Hall' debate.

The Government points out that the matter has already been considered under EU state aid rules, although that complaint could be reactivated by someone other than an individual.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Wales call up for Morgan Fox

Morgan Fox has been called up to the full Wales squad: Morgan Fox

Fox has been steadily improving his play, in particular showing more confidence going forward. The experience of being with the full Wales squad should help him to develop further.

Tuesday, 1 September 2015

Elliott Bennett bid

Charlton are interested in bringing Norwich winger Elliott Bennett in on loan: Elliott Bennett

The quest for a winger has been a feature of this transfer window with the valuation of James Henry by Wolves thought to be too high for a player with twelve months of his contract to run.

If Elliott Bennett does arrive, I will say 'Gordon Bennett'. Pennant still looks the most likely outcome.

Elliott Bennett: Career details