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[Archived] Charlton 0 Rovers 2

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In the last four matches the Rovers bandwagon, once so full of bounce and verve (“Champion’s League for sure lads, Spurs can’t win their run in games! Hughes is in the driving seat!”), has suddenly lurched to a grinding stop. It has been, as always, traumatic. Chests are being beaten, the fates maligned, and even, perhaps unsurprisingly, at least one voice on the board has started to wonder whether Hughes has “lost it”. I don’t know whether it’s fair to think in these terms. At the start of the season, as has often been said, we would have given a few right arms, and maybe a few legs (I’m sure AESF would have willingly sacrificed a politician or two) to the Gods of football, to Sepp Blatter if needs be, to sit at these dizzy heights come mid April.

But things still rankle. We certainly seem to have lacked the creativity to be where we are, instead subsisting upon hard work and, at varying point in the season, the capricious vision of Tugay and the weaseldry of Bellamy (Bob, I salute you!). Reid has been at times almost Gerrard-like, and it must make Savage sad to see himself so competently usurped as the heartbeat of the side, but still we need someone to grab the midfield by the throat and let us dominate, like at White Hart Lane over a month ago. Hopefully Tugay will return, without his invisible company, and one of Bentley (tidy yet unproductive) or Pedersen (absent when the ball is in motion), or even the promising Peter will suddenly spark and provide some support. Also Nelsen, the captain-elect, must wonder at what has happened to his back line in recent times. Confusion reigns where once it was calm. I cannot help but wonder if Mr.Saunders, now unemployed and at a loose end, has returned to rove the Ribbel Valley and slip GHB in our full backs' drinks. Like all the other 37 this game is vital: a win should secures sixth, a loss will make for a nervous ending to what has been a pleasantly comfortable season so far.

So, to Charlton then. They are a club that I myself have always quietly admired, due to the absence of any sort of pretension toward anything grand, and their ability to make you reach for adjectives like ‘plucky’ and ‘shrewd’. The board, players and manager appear to diligently focus upon the business of playing football and winning games. A nice change indeed from Birmingham’s biggest yet second largest (of a field of two) club. This industrious attitude is borne out by the players who have turned out in the red and white over the last few years; Matt Holland springs immediately to mind, as does Jensen and Chris Powell. While Jensen had certainly had flair as well (I am still unsure as to how Fulham managed to purchase him for so little in 2004), as did the likes of Di Canio in his short stay and the erratic Rommedahl, generally speaking Curbishley’s sides lack the players who provide the creative balls from midfield, much like us. Murphy’s vision fueled their early success this season but his slump in form and subsequent transfer to Tottenham (where he seems to be gainfully employed warming the bench) has robbed the team of impetus. Recent performances have been moderate, one win and two draws in the last five games, but judging by the comments of some fans (more of that later) the fare served up at the Valley has recently been dire to the point of distraction. Darren Bent has, by most suppoter's reckoning, provided the main ray of skillful sunshine over the past four months.

Anyhow, it seems to me that Charlton’s recent indifferent form has probably put an end to Curbs’ chances at becoming England manager (the FA never seemed that keen anyways). And to be fair while he has been solid and successful at getting the best out of a club with limited resources, you have to wonder whether he would carry his conservative tactics on to the national side. Sven was roundly beaten for that, and it would be sad to see the same treatment handed out again so soon. Better to be gallant and lose, than win dryly in this game.

‘Interesting’ Facts about Charlton

Distressingly, I found out in my research that “The Most Detestable Man Alive TM” Jim Davidson supports the Addicks. I now like them less.

There are fifteen places the length of England called Charlton, from Hampshire to Northumberland.

Athletic run youth academies in the US, South Africa, Spain and in London.

There is an elected fan that is on the board [see last question]

In the fifties the Valley used to be the biggest football ground in the league, pulling in over 70,000. When they returned to the ground in ‘92 after a stay at Selhurst Park (forced by the club going into administration in eight years before), the capacity was down to 8,000…

They have won 1 FA Cup in 1947 and the ‘war cup’ during WWII. I’m pretty sure their highest ever league placing in the top division is third. We can legitimately look down our noses at them. Ha.

They are called the Addicks because, in their founding days, the players used to get changed in the back of a local fish and chip shop, so were, for amusement rather than metaphor, dubbed the Haddocks. And this got corrupted, in that lovely not-quite-cockney (can you hear the Bow Bells across the Thames?) way to ‘Addicks’.

Um, to lighten things up I decided to look up a few jokes about, or including, haddocks. Luckily I only found one:

What has twelve legs, one eye and stinks of fish?

- Three blind mice and half a haddock.

Pretty rubbish, eh?

I did however find some names for marine themed musical numbers, the last of which I particularly enjoyed:

Cod This Be Love - Bob Marlin and The Whalers

You're Shrimply The Bass - Tuna Turbot

Fins Can Only Get Batter - B:Ream

Feel free to add your own…

The Questionnaire!

As Addicks fans appear to be a little thin on the ground in the Pacific Northwest of the US, I had to resort to posting on the Charlton Mad and NetAddicks. I received quite a few replies so decided just to use the two most comprehensive ones. Red is one ‘PassItToLeaburn’, while blue is ‘HenryIrving’

1. I was reading a while ago, and to be honest was a little suprised, that Athletic were looking to upgrade their stadium to 40k, a capacity larger than the likes of West Ham and Spurs (I hate Spurs.) Do you think you can fill it out? Where do you see the future taking Charlton, to 'big club' (horrible phrase) status? [it was a surprise because, in my ignorance, I assumed you had similar fan base to us]

The intention is to build the ground and support up to that level gradually. Bear in mind that the capacity was only 8k when we came home but we have successfully rebuilt our support to 18k ST holders and 10k+ members. Next stage will be to £32K by extending the East stand and building more high income generating boxes and corporate areas. Support isn't a static, fixed thing. It can and has grown and shrunk over the years for both sides. CAFC see the need to build the support and encourage more fans to attend more often.

Yep, it's true as a long term plan. It's in a couple of stages as well, so we're not leaping straight to 40k. I think the next stage of developmet is an extra tier on the East stand and takes us to around 32k. Currently we don't have the fan base or play the football to fill it, however the board have a histroy of good planning and making these things work so I'll trust their judgement. After all, it was only about 10 years ago that we had "Target 10,000", trying to push our average gate above 10k, now it's over 25k and would be higher if we had the capacity.

2. If you had a 5-a-side team from your current squad, who would you pick?

Myhre, Thomas, Romm, D Bent Kish

Myhre, Young, Powell, Thomas, Bent

3. What team do you hate more than any other, I mean you're right by the Hammers but the relationship seems cordial?

We don't have and don't need rivals. We set our own standards of achievement. Palace is a grudge match due to the ground sharing and Millwall are looked down on but we never play them. Neither cares about us or so they say.

For me personally, has to be Millwall, some may say Palace though.

4. If you had to pick an 11 a side combined Charlton/Rovers team who would be in it?

Bent and Bellemy up front

Whoever you have in central midfield as we don't have one.

Friedel is good.

Tough one, the only Charlton players I'd be too concerned about getting in there would be D Bent and Jerome Thomas, maybe Luke Young and Chrissy Powell as well.

5. We used to have Jay Bothroyd and, to be brutally honest, he was piggin' useless. Has anything changed?

He takes a great free kick. That's about it.

No, he's still a bit cack, great free kick taker though and his goals per minutes on the pitch ratio is pretty impressive!

6. Have you ever bought a less 'value for money' signing than Jeffers?

Jeffers has cost about 350k as his fee was based on appearences. His wages have been a waste as has his talent.

Again, pretty subjective, for me it was Neil Redfearn. He was only a million but that was a big chunk of our transfer budget at the time and he was supposed to be the man to keep us in the Prem. He was fat, lazy and useless (and we went down).

7. What's the verdict on your season so far?

It finished on Wednesday. We've stayed up again but after a fantastic start playing great football plus what for us is a good cup run whatever happens now will be an anti-climax.

It's not been easy to watch, that's for sure. A great start where we were playing some good expansive football and winning games. Then about 8 games in that went a bit wrong and we started losing, Curbs reverted to his tried and tested football, home form since Jan has been good (results wise - it's been awful to watch), away form has simply been awful. I think DBent and victories over lower league sides in the FA Cup have managed to mask a pretty shoddy season on the whole. I think we've a big rebuilding job to do in the summer or I fear a relegation battle ourselves next year.

8. Any good (or very bad) jokes about Athletic? At a stretch I will take jokes about haddocks. Make one up if you like smile.gif

Charlton fan goes into a bakers and asks for a loaf. Baker say "Brown bread or white?"Charlton fan replies "It doesn't matter, I've got my car outside". [i didn’t get this… anybody got a scooby?]

No, try the Palace board, they're a joke club!

9. Favourite all time Charlton player?

Mine is Matt Tees but most would go for Derk Hales.

For me, has to be Clive Mendonca (Kinsella and Chrissy Powell closely behind), I'm a bit young to remember Killer Hales, most a few years older than me would have given him as the answer I think.

10. Favorite Charlton player since the Premiership started (13 years....)?

The best player we've had in the Premiership is Scott Parker, wouldn't say he's my favourite after the way he left though! Mendonca was injury plagued once we hit the Premiership so in terms of Prem performances I'd have to say Chrissy Powell (still turning in great displays at 36!).

Kinsella would most likely win this poll although Mendonca and a few others would be in there as well.

11. Curbishley- time for a change for Charlton next season? Good enough for England?

No comment. See question 14 but Mark Bowen's name has been mentioned as his possible replacement.

Controversial one this! I think general opinion's split. IMHO, Curbs is and always will be a Charlton legend, however if he moves this summer I won't be crying into my pre-match pint. It may just be time for a change. Is he good enough for England? Probably not but if the manager's going to be English then I'd choose him over Allardyce or McClaren.

12. What your assessment of the Rovers- whippet wielding, pipe smoking, hovis eating, beard stroking, cap wearing northerners? A quality football team? Mere shysters who will return to the relegation battle-grind next season?

Good team that try to play attacking football with pace and aggression. The rest is just lazy stereotyping. You can do better than that. [is he admonishing me for stereotyping myself?]

I've probably not seen enough of you to give a knowledgeable opinion but really impressed with what I have seen of Rovers. I really rate Mark Hughes as a manager, any chance we could have him if Curbs goes?

13. Likely teams and score prediction?

I think the teams will be Charlton Athletic and Blackburn Rovers.

The score will be the same as the number of goals scored.

Curbs has been pretty unpredictable lately with his team selections, so this'll probably all change after this weekends games. My current guess would be Myrhe, Young (if fit), Hreidarsson, Sorondo, Powell, Holland, Hughes, Kishishev, Rommedahl, MBent, DBent. Most likely changes being Rommedahl for either Ambrose or Thomas and Sorondo for Perry. I think we'll lose 2-0.

14. What’s your opinion on the 'fan on the board' business that you have. Is it effective? An independent supporter organization at Rovers is interested in such things so might well like to know!

I think the person has an influence, if not power, and it is a mark of how the board value their fans that they continued it past the first ten years of the Valley Investment Plan when for a £1.1m investment investors could choose one of their own to sit on the board. As the club is generally well run some people doubt the need or value of the elected director. Others see it as an important means of communication and compliant and as a safeguard in case of bad times ahead. A supporters' trust that you seem to be saying you have at BRFC is a totally different matter And I should say that I'm going to be the next elected director so this is as unbiased as I can get. If the people at BRFC trust want to speak to me then it's ben@charltonfansdirector.co.uk

I'm not too sure to be honest, I think the present incumbent has been pretty quiet so if she's been making a difference, few people have heard about it. In principle, I think it's great that the fans have a say in the boardroom, I'm sure when Ben Hayes takes over in the summer he'll do a sterling job and we'll really see the benefit!

Prediction, and so forth

On paper this has draw written all over it, but Charlton are brittle in terms of confidence and have little to play for. Hopefully we can win this, but I’m not going to put my house on it….

Edited by joey_big_nose
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Good read!

Charlton 1

Rovers 3

Starting XI really SHOULD be:


Neill - Zurab - Nelsen - Gray    

Reid - Tugay - Savage - Peter    

    Pongolle - Bellamy

Edited by krislu
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Thats my lunchtime spent reading this preview, but thoroughly enjoyed it. Didn't get the joke by them.

Hoping the rest will let our players recharge their batteries, and a 3-2 win for the Rovers, with Freidel grabbing the winner in the 90th minute. (It could happen you know wink.gif )

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Friedel (6) 

Neill (7)- Zurab (4) - Nelsen  (5)- Gray (2)   

Reid (7)- Tugay (9)- Savage (6)- Peter (7) 

    Kuqi (7)- Bellamy (5 and comes of injured)

Kuqi double as MH backlash sees us with a clean sheet!


Are those your player ratings? If so I can't see a team that you seem to think will play so badly winning 2-0.

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Are those your player ratings? If so I can't see a team that you seem to think will play so badly winning 2-0.


Yes, ratings they are. Who ever said you had to play well to win. Kuqi does not play and has scored?

Chartlon Strikers to have a bad day at the office. We play bad for a change! but Charlton dont punish!!!!

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Friedel (6) 

Neill (7)- Zurab (4) - Nelsen  (5)- Gray (2)   


Yeah, but how could that keep clean sheet? I don't think players should get a 4, 5 and 2 if their team keeps a clean sheet. Their job is to keep goals out, so if no one scores they must have been alright.

Edited by Eddie
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I posted this in another thread but it wasn't really relevent...

How would people feel if Hughes put out a 451 against Charlton next week, in light of the poor performances by Bellamy's various partners in recent games? I was thinking summat like:


      Peter                                      Reid

                Savage          Tugay


        Gray    Zurab        Nelsen    Niell


Subs: Encks, Todd, Bentley, Pedersen, Kuqi/Dickov

Provided we don't defend deep and the midfielders make runs beyond the striker, it could be decent going forward.

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