Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Back To Reality...

The sound of my alarm ringing at 6am this morning signalled the end of my Christmas break, albeit part self-imposed as my work levels enticed me back to work earlier than planned. No complaints though, it has been a real pleasure watching my two kids bounce off the walls for the last 4-5 days, the highlight of which was my 4 year old son's insistence on constantly wearing a full Spiderman costume that comes complete with bulging muscle padding.

My dearest wife keeps telling me that I'm looking old and my confidence took a further blow yesterday when I went out to run off the Christmas dinner. It felt like I was running in treacle. I'm only 37, but I definately need a break from peanuts, chocolate, volovants, turkey sandwiches and alcohol. It won't be long before I feel like a gazelle once again, but the bags under my eyes may take a bit more TLC!

Santa bought me a ticket for the Tottenham game, albeit in with the Glory Boys of Spurs. I just never had a chance to get to the Valley to grab a ticket in the Charlton end so I'll have to settle for hiding my colours and refrain from joining in with 'Valley Floyd Road' when it rings out from the packed away end at The Lane. My numerous Spurs supporting friends and family will be very keen to keep in close contact on the day, no doubt.

At least being in work gave me the opportunity to dust off my laptop and check over all that I'd missed in the last few days. I'll avoid checking my bank balance for a few days more: what I don't know can't hurt me.

Like many others, I made a futile journey to The Valley on Boxing Day. No sooner had I pulled up at my regular parking spot did a fellow Addick knock on my window to tell me of the postponement. I wasn't surprised: I spent most of the journey down checking my phone, fully expecting bad news. Considering a family get-together around my Mum's had been part-tailored to account for my absence until 4ish, it was more than a tad frustrating (although it was probably a blessing as my Mum would have been neglecting dinner in favour of following the Addicks progress on the internet!). I couldn't help but feel sorry for the Southampton supporters I spoke to in McDonalds. The club may well have good reason to claim referee and scapegoat, Andy D'Urso, was wrong to have called off the game at such short notice, but I can't help but wonder if Charlton's stubborn determination to ensure the game went ahead - especially in light of the news that the postponement may have cost the club in excess of 60K, of which had already been budgeted - may well have played a significant part. All in all, an untidy affair from which the greater loss would have been felt by the common supporter, once again.

Only consolation for my wasted journey to SE7 was a music compilation CD I'd thrown together of my unofficial 'best of' David Axlerod. For those in the know, Axelrod is a drummer/composer dating back to the early 60's who was best known for experimental, highly atmospheric, almost film-score-like drum-based funk. For those not in the know, I urge you to give it a go.

So with no intention of enduring the truly awful away end at the Withdean Stadium for the second year running, Sunday's postponing meant a Christmas break without football. I can't recall the last time that happened. Incidentally, having spent yesterday visiting friends in Brighton (by coincidence, a stones throw from the Withdean) I urge any travelling Addicks to wear waterproofs head-to-toe if the drizzling, misty rain continues down on the South Coast. You know the sort of rain I mean, where you become soaked to the skin before you even realise it's raining! I'll be keeping my fingers crossed for a result of any description, but I'm not confident.

With a tough game at Colchester this Saturday, the next two games could well set the tone for the new year. Charlton must deliver.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Banana Skin...

If there is ever such thing as a down side to a lengthy unbeaten run, it's the knowledge that the longer the run continues, the harder the fall will be when it inevitably comes to an end.

This game had banana-skin written all over it. Typical Charlton...we've fallen foul of that banana-skin many times in the past!

As disappointed as I am in completely wasting 5 hours of my life in what rates as one of the dullest afternoons of football witnessing one of the worst Addicks performance that I can recall, I will try and avoid getting too carried away. For the last 11 odd games Charlton have given us hope that we may be in the shake-up come the season end: I'm not about to ignore the excellent hard work of the last couple of months after today's horror show. Today is a fixture to forget, and hope and pray that come the end of the season it doesn't come back to haunt us. Time will tell.

But today there is no defence. Not one single player in red turned up. A team on a good run may be able to carry a couple of players having an off day, but not 14. Truly awful! Parky must find out why, but excuses appear thin on the ground.

The question is how well the team can recover and push on again. With another fixture on Tuesday, Parky doesn't have long to lift his battle-weary charges.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

The Ego Has Landed...

So, the man with the biggest ego in football has somehow landed a contract for 5 years at Newcastle! God help them! Quite how he does it I don't know, but I can safely predict his interview patter is clearly far better than his team talks.

It certainly looks like the post is not a popular one with seemingly universal surprise and amazement at this appointment. He'll be on an up-hill battle from the off.

Thankfully, I see no need to watch Match Of The Day these days so I'll not have to endure Pardew's smug face blaming everyone else but himself when things go wrong (and they sure as hell will) but taking all the credit with that annoying grin when things go well.

Oh, and watch out for the new round If there's one thing I do admire Pardew for, it's his obvious love for a good quality timepiece. All those sackings have paid off in some way, at least.

As Charlton began slipping dangerously down the Championship, I completely lost faith and respect for Pardew when he wrote a piece in the Charlton matchday programme (following a heavy home defeat from a team I can't quite recall at this moment) 'reassuring' us all that he wasn't about to leave us despite our worryingly poor form. I've never read such a disgraceful piece of writing that clearly attempted to distancing himself from Charlton's descent down the league, which, as we all know only too painfully, lead to relegation. Thankfully, as he wrote that piece with his head firmly stuck up his own back-side, he was unaware that Mr. Murray was sharpening the knife and printing off his P45. Good riddance!

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Hungry Ted - A 12 Month Retrospective...

Normally - such is my patience for such things - anything that involves 'signing up' or 'registering as a user' pretty much counts me out, so it still surprises me to this day that I overcome the hassle of doing so to create this Hungry Ted blog exactly 12 months ago today. I've long since enjoyed the written word and I'm certainly not without opinion (as I keep getting told by my Father-in-Law), but my life as a 'blogger' started out as one of those completely spontaneous moments born out of one of those afternoons where I had nothing much better to do.

On the whole, I've really enjoyed the creative experience of having a blog.

I very rarely look back over my ramblings (why would I?), but last night I flicked briefly over my 50 odd posts and if I'm bluntly honest, it was an odd experience. As a seasoned Addick I shouldn't have been surprised really, but the ever-changing moods ranging from optimism, delirium, frustration, disappointment and anger was very strange to read back and quite tough to do so on occasions (particularly the 'Dark Clouds Leads To Fair Weather Blogging' in February). If nothing else, it's made me realise why my missus has long since given up trying to understand my Addick-related mood-swings and how hard it must be to put up with them with seemingly never ending tolerance.

There are plenty of fellow Charlton bloggers offering numerous angles on all-things-Addicks and it's a tad difficult to set yourself apart when commenting on one subject (with the exception of Cometh the Haddock, perhaps). Despite the all-to-familiar low moments (where genuine emotion takes over, I guess) I have attempted to keep things positive, light-hearted, honest and all without trying too hard to force out a post for the sake of it. I have purposefully avoided match reports, not least of all as I figure that the majority of people who read my posts will have attended the games anyway and don't need me to state once again what they saw for themselves.

Ironically, if I could direct you to read just one of my posts then it would be one that is not related to Charlton at all. Towards the end of May I wrote 'My World Cup Memories - Part One, Spain 82' and of anything I've written, it is that post that I take some great personal pride in as I felt I got the emotion of what I wanted to say over completely.

It goes without saying that the one post I quite literally dream of writing is one that will sum up how I feel following a promotion. My fingers are poised, my mind has already got it mapped out!

Rather predictably, I will end this post by thanking anyone who has bothered to read anything I've written in the last 12 months, and more so, those who have taken the time to comment. It is greatly appreciated.

Onwards and upwards to a more prosperous 2011.....Come on you Addicks!!!!!