Bowing to the inevitable

Back from Frankfurt last night and, to be honest, quite surprised that Darren was still with us. I've kept up-to-date with developments whilst I have been away on the various blogger sites and Charlton Life, and was even beginning to hold a faint hope (misguided, I know !) that he might stay. Every newspaper report just seemed to be a copy of another, so I wasn't entirely convinced he was going.

And then I log-on this morning to Forever Charlton ... crap, he has left ... and as expected by the media, to the Spuds. Can't say I am overjoyed by this. If he was to go, I had hoped it would be to a better team. Unless they sell, he may find himself on the bench quite a lot, definitely not something he is used to. I hope not, because he deserves far more than that.

At least we stuck to our guns and got a great price for him. A lot of (jealous) fans from other clubs (particularly Palaaaarse) were telling us that we had blown our chances by not selling in January and if we were relegated we would be in such a state of weakness that we would have to sell at a far lower price ... yeah, course we did!!

And respect to Darren for not moving just for the sake of money ... the Hamsters would have been a far worse move despite the salary you would have obtained.

You go with our best wishes Darren and leave us with a lot of great memories. Just make sure, when you get re-sold again, it is to a team that is more admired.

I wonder how the Spuds fans will react. They have been all over our sites shouting that Bent is over-valued and they do not need him. Same on their own Rivals site. In fact, the spat that they had on Frankie's place was one of the funniest things I have seen this year. I wonder if they will now go back and say how brilliant Darren is ... ;-)

I asssume Pards will be happy as he will hopefully now be a given a share of the money for the transfer chest. Whilst Pards appreciated the value of Darren, I think he had his eye on him leaving from day one. Remembering his comments during the January transfer window, he knew that he needed more funds in order to re-build the team, and if it hadn't been for the fact that Darren was injured at the time, he may well have gone then.

Oh well ... on to another era ... and it seems to involve a lot of younger players. Semedo looks an interesting prospect although he hasn't been able to guarantee a first-team spot at his previous club. I intended to give a summary of my thoughts on the current squad, but found that it had been done far more competently than I could have done by New York Addick.

Just noticed in Addicks Premiership Diary that Mattie has signed a further one year contract. I'm pleased with that as I am sure he can still do a good job for us for one more season.

Read Users' Comments ( 0 )

Another day ...

... another rumour. Apparently Rafa thinks that Darren's valuation is too high. And according to the Guardian , Varney is now prepared to accept a reduced offer of £16 million in the next 7 days from Spuds. Much as we would all love him to stay, the signs are very clear that he will be going. I'm not convinced that White Hart Lane is the right destination for him. Apart from the fact that I don't really want him there, I do not see how he will fit in with their current line-up unless they sell someone.

Again, if we believe the rumours, they may be selling, as Defoe has been mentioned on a number of occasions as the player to move out. Berbatov and Bent with Keane behind them sounds very strong, but it may still not be enough to take them to the next level. Perhaps Berbatov will go, but having spoken to some Spuds fans, this would not go down well, and in their mind would prove that Spuds do not really believe they can make the next jump up.

As far as I know, the transfer window does not close until August 31st, so there is still a lot that may happen. If Darren is going, then the sooner the better, so that we can take advantage and get some more new players in.

On a separate subject, it was my wedding anniversary yesterday and we went to the Chapter 2 restaurant in Blackheath. Excellent service with good food and a great wine list. Prices are not that bad considering the location and I recommend it to anyone in the area. It is our 3rd visit in the last couple of years and we will be returning again.

I've been working from home most of this week (apart from Monday, more of which below) but will be back in my Frankfurt office again next week. Being someone who has to travel a lot on business (26 countries in the last year on top of my usual stints in Frankfurt!), this is when I really value the Charlton blogs and sites such as Charlton Life enabling me to keep up with what is happening. I know there are quite a few others that travel frequently and, of course, there are many ex-pats in various parts of the world including some with excellent blogs. Keep up the good work - I really enjoy reading these when I get the chance.

As to Monday of this week, I had to visit a client in Stoke-on-Trent. Buying an advance ticket some weeks ago from Virgin trains, it cost £184! And to make matters worse, my train on the way back was cancelled due to 'operational dificulties', which meant that the next train was completely packed and I had to stand all the way back to Euston - scandalous!

Have a good weekend.

Read Users' Comments ( 0 )

Welling v Charlton

Just been to Park View Road and purchased tickets for the game on 11th July, £10 terraces.

They inform me that there are still plenty of tickets left for the terraces but seating in the stand expected to sell out fairly quickly.

Hope to see plenty of Charlton as usual in the pub next door, Guy Earl of Warwick.

It will be interesting to see who turns out for us on the field, and perhaps just as interesting to see who will not be there!

C'mon you Reds!

Read Users' Comments ( 0 )

Mou are ya?

Yassin Moutaouakil - interesting buy although I haven't a clue how to pronounce his surname. Seems to be very well rated and a number of clubs such as Lazio, Barca, Celtic, Everton etc have apparently been after him. You have to wonder why he signed for a Championship club but I like the way he has explained this on the official site.

"Many clubs tried to sign me but Charlton did a good job convincing me that this is the best move for me. The media in France have been critical of my decision to move to England because, as captain of the U21s, they want me to stay and play in France. But I chose Charlton because I feel that this is an ambitious club and I believe that I will progress well under the manager here. Charlton have shown great interest in me, for which I am very grateful, and after the discussions I had with the club I wanted to be a part of this project. I did not want to sign for a club just because they are a big name, or for the colour of their shirt. The most important thing for me is the trust and the confidence that I have in this club. It is going to be a difficult season but it is essential that we get back to the Premier League next season for the club and its supporters. And I believe we will do it with this team and this manager."

And he scored against England in an U-19 match a couple of years ago!

And I cannot leave today's posting without adding my belated thanks to Kish. It's a pity that he has left us for Leicester as I believe he could have done a good job for us next season. Yes, I know the usual complaints that he often lost the ball and he could create problems for the team, but for me he was the perfect example of the things we love in a Charlton player, full of honesty and commitment. He will definitely get a good reception when he returns.

On the non-Charlton front, I listened to the new Editors album yesterday over on Myspace - it is excellent and as good as the first album - well recommended.

My wedding anniversary today and among the presents from my wife, a superb CD 'The Best of Asian Dub Foundation' - if you don't know this band, visit their website and check them out.

Will be going down to Park View Road later today and getting tickets for the Welling v. Charlton game - hopefully not yet sold out!

My condolences to Charlton North Downs on the death of his mum - also a new blogger this year although he started a couple of months before me. I feel privileged to be part of the Charlton blog world and long may he and his fellow bloggers continue.

Read Users' Comments ( 1 )

Points total

Interesting to recall how many of us felt when we last returned to the Premiership - it was incredible to go up and then the fixture list came out and reality dawned. It looked tough!

And yet, year by year, we lost a lot of the fear - games that previously seemed unwinnable suddenly appeared to be worth a point or maybe three. We started to believe that we belonged at that level. So relegation should hold no fear - we were until recently an established Premiership club, so what's the problem?

And yet, when I look at the next fixture list, I start to think, well actually it's not that easy at this level either. Sure, I know that Colchester were there or thereabouts all of last season, and if they can do it, we certainly can ... but it's certainly not a foregone conclusion that we will be at the top.

Looking at the first 5 games:
Scunthorpe at home - they will be on the crest of a wave, promoted last year, playing attractive football according to the reports, and are bound to come at us seeking a notable first scalp.
Stoke away - certainly not a walkover.
Wednesday at home - not that easy.
Palaaarse away - local derby, who knows.
Colchester away - very hard to beat on their own ground last season.

If I'm honest, I still think we will get quite a few points from that lot, but ... famous last words and all that!

After 5 games last season, Cardiff led the way with 13 points, followed by Norwich, Palaaarse, Brum and Wolves all on 10 points. However, Sunderland were 2nd to bottom and Derby 19th which shows how much it can change. By the end of the season, no team had lost less than 11 games, so a bad run certainly won't finish anyone off.

If we have 20 ponts on the board after 10 games, then based on last season we would be well placed. Only Cardiff managed to exceed that figure ... however, it is also worth pointing out that Cardiff didn't go up and ended up in mid-table mediocrity.

Well, after writing that lot, I at least know where I stand now - we will finish ..... CHAMPIONS!

Read Users' Comments ( 2 )


So here we go again... the rumour mill seems to be buzzing since Darren turned down the Hamsters with Spuds still being his likely destination. Can't say I will be too happy if he goes to White Hart Lane, plus the transfer funds being quoted are lower than expected - still it is all paper talk, so take it with a pinch of salt.

Chelsea and Arsenal also being mentioned ... I don't see Chelski as a good move but if Henry moves on then the Gooners may be an interesting place for Dazza to end up in. But for the moment, let's all take heart that he is still an Addick - you never know, we can still dream he will be with us next year.

Excellent piece in 'From the Hill to the Valley' on why we don't like Palace. The only extract that I would contend with is that for many of us, our hatred towards Palaaarse goes back a long way before ground-sharing. I remember as a kid in Cherry Orchard Estate in Charlton that whilst we obviously did not like the Spanners, the animosity towards Palace was always much more. Maybe because we did not consider them as true South East London, whereas, despite never liking them, at least Millwall were part of the local area.

As a separate rumour, Simes the Orange One seems to have us in his sights as his next court case - hopefully this will be the one that he finally loses.

On a quick visit to Bluewater yesterday, it would seem that our support is still in clear view despite relegation. Lots of kids and adults wearing the ubiquitous Chelski, ManU, Arse topes, but at least a dozen Charlton shirts being proudly displayed. At least we can say we are the most popular team outside the Premiership!

Read Users' Comments ( 0 )

Charlton Athletic

So we are back in the Championship. It's a strange feeling - I still don't know how I really feel about it. Back in December/January, most of us were resigned to it, but Pards got us in a position wherein we felt we might escape ... which perhaps made the ultimate relegation even tougher.

Perhaps the release of the fixtures list this week has made it sink in properly now. Scunthorpe at home first game! I'm actually looking forward to it - being a long-standing supporter of Charlton means I have memories of the old 2nd and 3rd division days and despite our moans and complaints at the time, we did have a lot of fun. A higher percentage of our crowd followed us away and games at home were always noisy.

But who am I kidding - the fact is that even then we always wanted to be in the top division. And I am using rose-tinted spectacles if I say that everything was perfect in those days. There were many occasions when the crowds were so low we had to wonder if we would survive.

So I can take another season outside the top level, but I hope we get back in May. There are a few new grounds to look forward to, and some old favourites re-surfacing. Pity that Blackpool and Scunthorpe away are in February but I still predict a good turn-out. Norwich away on Boxing Day is also a pain, but the lure of the pub by the river and Delia's pies should persuade a reasonable number to travel.

Will Darren Bent be with us in August? I guess not, but I am very pleased that he chose not to go to the Hamsters. They are already looking like a pseudo-Charlton outfit with Curbs, Day, Peacock, Spector, Konchesky, Parker, Bowyer, etc etc. They have even now planned a pre-season friendly at Welling United! What's next, a transfer request for Floyd and Harvey?

Read Users' Comments ( 1 )


New blog - if I get time it will be expanded

Read Users' Comments ( 0 )