Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Bougherra and Brighton (briefly)

Another weekend, another victory but the shine was taken off with the announcement of probable futher departees. As I write this, it only seems a matter of time before Madjid joins West Brom for around £2million, a £500,000 loss on what we paid for him.

Boogie was probably our best defender but I don't think he is irreplacable. Martin Cranie (touch wood) is on his way and will provide versatility along the backline, with rumours Coventry's Elliott Ward, who worked with Pards at the Hammers, may join him. If likely captain Hudson continues his commanding pre-season form, our defence, with youth on its side, may be suprisingly effective.

It is the principle of Boogie leaving that is frusturating. After being promised a tilt at promotion, players are packing their bags and the optimism has drained, although I refuse to be too downbeat until I know all the facts and the eventual make-up of our squad. Possible futher exits that could actually affect us would include Thomas, Zheng, Ambrose (though Olympic duty and and injury may scupper the last two). Ones that wouldn't make a whole lot of difference would include Faye (except for his wages) and the forgotten man, Dean Sinclair. Bouazza/Etherington and a defensive midfielder would be nice in return.

Quickly on to Brighton. By all accounts a good display with the only dissapointment being that we didn't bang more in. JT was dominant and scouts will have been impressed, while Racon and Shelvey further boosted their claims for a date with Swansea after a cultured central midfield display.

Roll on August 9, whoever Tom, Dick, or Youga pulls on the Addicks strip.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Robson Bids Farewell

Charlton coach and former player Mark Robson has ended his association with the Addicks and decided to go solo. Whether a new coach is appointed in his place remains to be seen. I never quite knew what Robson's specific role was but he seemed to be a valued member of staff working his way up from the youth domain to to the first team and even as assistant manager during Les Reed's ill fated reign.

The official site credits him with the emergence of Sam, Arter and Basey as well as the now departed Jamal Campbell-Ryce (Barnsley) and Premier League newbie Michael Turner (Hull). Robson may have wanted to leave but you cannot help thinking that it was also a cost cutting measure. Whatever the reason, goodbye Robbo.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Ode To Tangoman

It would appear that Simon Jordan, my fellow Croydonian, is sick to the backteeth of the finance-led world of football and will sell Crystal Palace when he receives a suitable offer. The John Bostock affair looks to have finally tipped the mobile phone tycoon over the edge and before long he will have severed his ties with the beautiful game.

Mr Jordan has not been too kind about the Addicks over the years. He would not win a popularity contest down at the Valley and his fracas with our former chairman Richard Murray has gone down in folklore, but the orange one, as much as it pains me to say it, does talk sense. His observations on the role of football agents and the tribunal system are echoed by many and when he does finally hang up his sunglasses, the entertainment and honesty factor of English football will suffer as a result.

I may not like you Mr Jordan but I shall miss you.

A New Season Beckons

With our quest for Championship promotion beginning in just under three weeks time, there is much debate about how the campaign will turn out. There have been frequent departures from The Valley but little in the way of arrivals.

Messrs Bent and Iwelumo have followed Sankofa, Gibbs, Powell, Monteiro, Smith (and hopefully Faye) out of the exit door and as yet only former Eagle Mark Hudson and Cardiff reject Stuart Fleetwood have seen fit to don the new Charlton shirt.

Rumours are rife with Matthew Etherington - who Pardew seemed to bring the best out of at West Ham, Krisztián Tímár - the Plymouth defender culpable for destroying the knees of Svetoslav Todorov and Izale McLeod - and Bolton's Icelandic hitman Heidar Helguson all linked.

The first two are possible, rather than probable, but with the plethora of strikers already on the books (despite Bent and Iwelumo leaving) the Helguson story seems a little wide of the mark, even though AP has a penchant for acquiring forwards.

If we can obtain a couple of defenders, even with the likley loss of Bougherra and possibly Fortune to Preston, that area seems solid. Hudson looks strong and hopefully Youga, Semedo, Basey and Moutaouakil can come of age.

One midfielder may also suffice if Zheng cames back from smoggy Beijing reinvigorated, Shelvey, Wright and Racon step up to the plate and Ambrose, Thomas and Sam become more consistent (we can only dream). The arrival of an experienced 'keeper to support Weaver and Elliot would not come as a shock either.