Sunday, August 30, 2009

Tranmere and Transfers

The run goes on, bringing with it the best start to a Charlton season in history. I could not travel to Birkenhead myself but I have it on good authority that we were scintillating and in addition to the four goals that were accrued, a further two could have come had "stonewall" penalty appeals been given.

My informer also insisted that Sam was superb, Burton was brilliant but bar a few bits and pieces, Jonjo - like last week - was jaded. He even went as far as to suggest a couple of weeks out of the first eleven may benefit the precocious play-maker. I wouldn't entirely disagree.

Things are going well then. A hatful hit the net, another clean sheet was accumulated and Semedo (you know, he comes from Portugal, he.... doesn't like Millwall very much) notched his first Addicks goal. But will things remain this rosy come Tuesday.

With the takeover god knows where, fears that a few key components might be sold are still there and no concrete names have been mentioned in terms of arrivals. Parky is supposedly keen on a defender, a left-winger and another striker but time is running out. However, the man is now in the Charlton record books and I have faith he will pull something out of the hat.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

A look ahead to.....Tranmere

The next stop on Charlton's League One sojourn sees them head to Merseyside to take on former Addick John Barnes and his struggling Tranmere side. Rovers are in the lower section of the table having lost three of their opening four league matches and should present a good opportunity for another three points.

Barnes' men have failed to score in that trio of defeats and were comprehensively beaten 3-0 by Leeds last weekend, though they are unlikely to be the last team to suffer that fate.

The Whites have won twice this term though, 4-2 over Gillingham on day two of the season and 4-0 against Grimsby in the Carling Cup, so let's hope it's the non-scoring, not the free-scoring Tranmere we face on Saturday.

In addition, only Leeds had a better League One home record than Rovers last year and they did push Bolton in the cup midweek, so the encounter will not be as easy as it looks on paper. That said, if we control the midfield battle - as we ought to do against the majority of this division - the 100% winning record should remain intact.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Winning Habit

Well, well, well, the Charlton Athletic promotion assault couldn't have started any better could it. Four wins from four and the first half against Wycombe aside, exceptional performances haven't been forthcoming.

The latest triumph against Walsall on Saturday was deserved, though it was achieved more through determination than quality, emphasised by the hat-wearing Miguel Llera's scrambled goal. Parky's boys will have to improve technically, especially when they lock horns with the better sides such as Leeds, Millwall, Southend, Huddersfield and what is bound to be an improving Norwich but the penchant for winning is always a good one to have.

Burton has looked excellent in the initial weeks but the talented midfield we possess needs to enforce itself more. Racon and Shelvey looked pretty subdued at the weekend but should prosper as the campaign develops. At least that is the plan.

Elsewhere, Andy Gray has sealed his permanent switch to Barnsley, ending a frustrating year-and-a-half at the Valley. However, if the rumours of his wife's illness are true, the laboured performances he gave can be understood. I wish him well in what looks likely to be a relegation-threatened season in Yorkshire.

That leaves a 'target-man' to find. Tresor Kandol has been linked with a return and he would be a suitable back-up to deadly Deon. Should the deal happen though, the current Leeds man may not be able to mingle with Chris Dickson who appears set to join Gillingham. No doubt he'll find the net regularly under Mark Stimson. Oh what might have been.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Goodbye Cup, Hello Small

So as has become convention, the Addicks have exited the Carling Cup to lower league opposition. Disappointing it may be but there are bigger fish to fry - promotion, the play-offs at least, is the ultimate goal.

What Tuesday's defeat to Hereford showed, though, is while the Addicks premier players should curse a spell over many teams at our new level, the back-up needs to be bolstered, especially the fragile rearguard. According to BBC London, Youga and Semedo were given a torrid time in central-defence and the duo are probably not the answer should Dailly or Llera pick up injuries. Even if the veteran pair remain fully fit, an injection of pace at centre-half is a must.

Yet, the transfer talk has quietened with only the implausible Simeon Jackson/Chris Dickson switch doing the rounds. Dickson - on international duty during the Cup departure - is an untapped talent and I would much prefer Jackson and he in SE7, not just the Canadian forward.

Wade Small made his debut against the Bulls and by all accounts did very little. However, he is a winger, can't be on much wonger and seems like an acceptable acquisition.

Our League One campaign resumes against Hartlepool on Saturday, followed by a London derby at Orient on Tuesday. We are better than both but the Addicks road is never smooth. Parky should be looking at six points, four would be an adequate return.