Remote Control

Great to use a Clash title for this post but it almost seemed that I was controlling the game remotely last night!

Over in Frankfurt this week so I was kept up to date by texts from my son in the Covered End.

I said to him before the game that we would win 4-3 ... typical that I was not there to put a bet on ... the odds must have been terrific!

My texts:
20.05 - enjoy the 4-3 win
20.39 - in response to Todorov scoring, 6 more goals to go!
20.47 - ZZ scores, c'mon Charlton China
21.18 - Stockport score, 4-3 is still on
21.31 - Stockport score again, no surprise
21.32 - Stockport score, noooooo!
21.40 - Charlton score, now annoyed that I didn't get the bet on
21.54 - 4-3, wondering if the bookies will accept that I had predicted the score ;-)

Well so far this season, I've seen 2 games, listened to one on the radio, watched one on TV, and now followed one by text!

Roll on Saturday ... can't wait to get to Selhurst ... may be quite a few goals!!!

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Fans won the game

Listening to BBC London on the way back from the match, the reporter made a telling comment. Although the fans had every right to be aggrieved about the first half, they still cheered the team on as they came out for the second 45 minutes. And in his opinion ... which I fully agree with ... the fans carried Charlton all the way through the 2nd half and were at their loudest for some time.

The team were rightfully booed off after the 1st half - a display of such ineptitude it was hard to believe that Charlton had spent so much time in the Premiership in the last few years. I thought we had got rid of all the prima donnas that don't give a stuff, but for 45 minutes it looked like we had another lot left - we could have been 3 or 4 down to be honest.

Not a single player distinguished himself in the first half, yet it was a different team in the 2nd half, not just because Thatcher and Bent were replaced by Zheng and Todorov. It appears that Thatcher received a knock but I am not convinced about him so far this season - he does not have the commanding presence that was so important for us previously - hopefully it will return. Marcus receives his first bad report from me this season, totally inadequate and my son and I even surmised that he may have faked an injury at half time just to get out of the game - probably untrue but it gave that impression.

I have just seen the 2nd half goals on TV and all 3 were wonderful. Chris Iwelumo is so strong that he is going to give many defences untold problems this season - once he has a chance to partner with Varney, we may see a wealth of goals from this Charlton team.

Reidy was fantastic in the 2nd half, following on from his great display for Ireland during the week. We have an excellent captain!

Still very difficult to make a decision on Weaver ... after 3 games I don't think he had yet been tested so we wait and see. Paddy had again a very poor game and seems afraid to receive the ball. I had assumed that Magic would have a stormer against his old team but it didn't materialise ... although a couple of runs into the Wednesday area showed what he is capable of ... and has not yet delivered. Fortune was OK but nothing special. With Moo2 out, defence is going to remain a problem area.

From my perspective, Zheng transformed the game when he appeared at the start of the 2nd half ... we are going to see great things from the Chinese captain at this level ... very capable and set up one of the goals. Semedo is a strange player ... there is no doubt that he brings a lot to the game and is very important to our structure, yet you never really see him doing too much ... not usual in this day and age of player histrionics. Like Zheng, a capable and important acquisition.

Jerome looked good but he may need to cut down on some of the show-boating - of course we enjoy it, but at this level, there will be a few players willing to cut him down to size.

Unlike others, I was not too impressed with Toddy ... I still think he goes to ground too much.

Which brings us again to the enigma that is Ambrose. I seem to say this in every report but he is the most frustrating player ever. At times, moments of sublime skill and confidence, and in the next an error of such extreme that you want to scream him off the pitch. Will the real Darren Ambrose please stand up!!!

After 45 minutes I was dreading going to Selhurst next week ... now I cannot wait ... bring on the Palaaaarse.

As a side note did anyone notice the comment from Reg in the programme that we are seeking planning consent for a state-of-the-art training complex on Heath Farm (by the way, where is it?). Is this the end of Sparrows Lane? ... I guess the land in New Eltham must be worth a fortune.

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I think most of us would have been happy to come away with a point before the start of this game, and at one stage that looked on the cards ... even maybe 3 points.

But the injury to Moo2 gave the Potters an opportunity to break through an unsettled defence and later to grab the winner.

I was a little surprised at the start of the game to see that Fortune had been given a place instead of Paddy but circumstances would prove this to be a good move ... albeit ruined by the injury to Moo2.

Stoke had most of the first half with Charlton only coming into the game in the final third of the half.

Nicky Weaver once again had relatively little to do most of the game so it's still difficult to assess how good he will be for us ... one thing I am not too happy about is the way he punches balls out rather than catching them but that may well have been due to the wet conditions rather than anything else.

Magic is not yet doing what we expected of him and it is another case of wait and see before we can make any real comment. Fortune had a fairly decent game, but Ben Thatcher does not seem to be having the best of seasons ... all too often his clearances were only half-hearted and went straight to a Stoke player.

Our best player, Moo2, had to be replaced early in the 2nd half to a rather rash tackle ... which did not even earn a yellow card for Stoke ... and Charlton fell apart for a while. In fact, I was not altogether convinced with Paddy when he came on ... he has the potential but needs to settle down in this team.

Semedo once again had a game where he does a job but does not stand out too much ... very different to Ambrose who plays the same type of game every match, either getting stuck in or non-existent - he needs to be available for a complete game!

Reidy had a good game being involved in most things including taking the free kick which led to our goal ... claimed by Fortune due to a deflection. But as with Thatcher, there are too many occasions where Reidy's passes go astray.

Lloyd Sam looked good and was a real threat but only lasted the 1st half to be replaced by Jerome Thomas when the players came out for the 2nd half ... Jerome looked OK but I am not convinced that the change was right.

Pards had obviously decided to change tactics at half-time and bring in some height in the form of Iwelumo ... Izzy was the one to suffer and to be honest that probably made sense for this particular game.

Marcus had a capable game up-front but I feel he should definitely have scored - if he is to reach his own target of 20+ goals this season he has more to do ... but as previously stated in other posts, he is a different player to last year and that is a real plus.

I know we need time to bed in all the new players but in my opinion next Saturday is a must-win. Sheff Wed at home is not a game for which we can consider even a draw if we want to be up there at the end of the season.

It's definitely far too early to panic ... Sunderland were near the bottom for a few weeks last year ... but improvements must be evident as the weeks go by to prove that we do have the squad that can take us back up.

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Marcus re-vitalised

I must admit that I do not enjoy listening to games on the radio ... but I should be thankful that I at least have that option unlike many of the overseas Charlton who now have no way of listening to the game.

The first half made it sound as if we were being overrun by Swindon, but Stevie Brown put it into context when he rightfully pointed out that the wind had a lot to do with the way the game was going.

In fact, by the sound of it in the 2nd half, we could possibly have scored a couple more.

Weaver appeared to have very little to do in goal ... and one of the only notable comments made about him by the commentary team was that he is growing a Hales-like beard!

In defence, Fortune seemed ok, but Steve Brown again made a very good comment in that Fortune has now been around a long time and it is about time he took on more responsibility with leading the team.

Magic had a better game than Saturday and Moo2 once again showed us that he is an excellent prospect for the season. It is probably unfair to make a comment based on listening to the radio, but it seemed like Chrissy Powell was not on top form at all last night.

In midfield, Reidy had another good game, whilst Ambrose proved to be his normal enigmatic self, in the first half almost non-existent and then getting more involved later on.

Llloyd Sam sounded very active and as I mentioned in earlier posts, I hope that this will finally be his season to break through. Difficult to assess Semedo's impact on the game ... it seems like he does all the right things without being too noticeable.

Up-front, Izzy sounded like a big threat once again particularly in the 2nd half.

But I should save my main praise for ... Marcus Bent !!!

I never expected to be saying that this season. He was fully involved, unselfish, committed himself to the team and ... well ... looks like a great asset for us this season. It's almost like having a new player.

Keep it up Benty !!!

Roll on Saturday ... unfortunately I cannot make it so hope I have a chance to watch the game on TV.

The next major milestone is Monday ... please let there be tickets left for the Palaaaarse game !!!

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Sometimes I should listen to my head not my heart. In my post yesterday I stated:

But to be honest, with the Irons really up for it (and 2000 of them in the Jimmy Seed stand), and with a brand new Charlton team getting to know each other, it may be be a draw.

And then I decided to be positive and predicted a 3-1 win. No wonder I'm not a betting man!

It wasn't the greatest of displays by Charlton but there are some positives to come out of this. Moo2 looked excellent and could be quite an exciting prospect this season. Reidy never stopped running and although he didn't get it right a couple of times ... and perhaps should have scored ... he definitely looked a real danger.

Lloyd Sam seems like he may finally be able to break into the team on a regular basis but he needs to work on his crosses - a number of runs were wasted due to his inability to get the ball across into the area ... a feat that was managed very capably by Izzy when he came on. OK, it was only a short time Izzy was on the pitch but I believe he will cause a lot of teams problems this year ... a very tricky and fast player.

Marcus Bent gave a capable display ... but let's be honest ... so he should at this level. He should have finished with more than one goal and I was disappointed at the way he went to ground a couple of times ... the refs at this level are just not going to listen. Toddy was perhaps even more guilty of going down too often.

Semedo didn't show too much yesterday but by all accounts he will do so once he has settled so let's wait and see.

It was great to see ZZ on the pitch before the game and he will definitely bring some strength to the middle.

Perhaps the main concern from yesterday was the defence ... as mentioned above Moo2 was great but it wasn't the best of displays by Magic and Ben, although Paddy looked reasonably good. Weaver had very little to do so not much to say on him as yet, but he must have been pleased by the reaction he got from the Covered End.

Ambrose sometimes flatters to deceive ... a few good touches but overall not enough - he is capable of far more and we need to see it.

The linesmen and ref were awful - I thought we had the worst of it in the Premiership but logically I suppose they must be the best - the standards at this level were appalling. No yellow cards when a few should have been given to Scunny players, and then Iwelumo picks one up late on - I didn't see the tackle too closely so don't know if it warranted a card but the goalkeeper definitely milked it and stayed down far longer than needed.

As the Inspector put it last night, we can and WILL get better - Scunthorpe will not.

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Charlton in Europe

Been quite a gap since the last post due to holiday and commitments at work. However, first day of the new season so a good day to re-start!

Holidaying in Vilamoura in the Algarve, we had to make sure that we spent a couple of nights at the only Charlton theme pub in Continental Europe (run by Algarveaddick). If you happen to be in the Algarve make sure you visit. It's in Albufeira and you can find the address on their website Floyds Bar. We stayed in Vilamoura and the taxis had no problem in finding it.

Quiz night is particularly good and you will find Perry and Karen to be terrific company. The interior of the bar is packed with Charlton memorabilia so take a camera ... there a couple of reasonable restaurants very close by the bar.
So ... on to today ... who will be in the lineup.
In goal would seem to obvious with Nicky Weaver, and defense seems pretty clear with Paddy, Moo2, Thatcher and Magic.
Midfield likely to include Semedo, Reid, Ambrose and Thomas.
Upfront we almost seem to have an embarrassment of riches for this level, but I expect Toddy and Bent to start. I'd rather it hadn't been Bent but that seems to be Pard's thoughts at the moment.
As to the result, if Varney had been fit I would have gone for 4-1. But to be honest, with the Irons really up for it (and 2000 of them in the Jimmy Seed stand), and with a brand new Charlton team getting to know each other, it may be be a draw.
However, I like to be positive. I am sure there will be goals in the game and we should have plenty of goal-scoring subs, so will go for 3-1.

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