Wednesday, 22 August 2012

The Perfect Storm...

 Dark clouds over The Valley but smiles inside!

I like to think of myself as a pretty good judge of character and it's been some considerable time since I have felt this proud of a Charlton team who look and act like they are giving their all for my club. As a football fan in this day and age you are made to feel a bit foolish and naive, not least of all embarrassed, in believing your players give a shit, but I'm happy to lay myself bare. I trust Chris Powell 100%. I can't love the man more and I can't be more proud of his charges.
Last night was a great example of why I know in my heart I could never give up on football. The Valley at night is pure magic. Ever since my Grandad introduced this game to me as a very young lad I have never tired of those magic moments that make you rise to your feet in utter delirium. I lost count of the times I stood to applaud the efforts of my team throughout the game. Charlton's return to the Championship has started with all the momentum and spirit that was generated in last seasons title winning season. Just how far can this group of players go?
Just like a perfect storm, Sir Chris has bought together a group of hungry young players and one or two older heads to guide them along. They have collided in the most dramatic fashion. Johnnie Jackson is as good a leader as I can recall since Kinsella.  
All across the park Charlton worked their socks off so I could go home happy. Leicester showed why they're one of the favourites to go up, particularly in the second half, but we got our noses in front and held on to the lead. BWP played his best game for the club and was my MOM, narrowly beating Morrison, who was an absolute rock. Effervescent Pritchard continues to rise and gain popularity with the Addicted. Hamer was always steady and assured. Holland and Stephens looked comfortable and confident in midfield. And then there was Yann. What more can be said about our French warrior? He will never again play for a football club that will take him to their hearts as the Addickted have.

Further positives for Charlton saw Ricardo Fuller paraded in front of the Valley faithful at half time. Signed on a years contract, he could well be a very handy acquisition. Moreover, it also serves to poor more cold water on the doom and gloom rumours that we're skint. 
There will be plenty of tough games ahead, starting with Hull this Saturday, but already Charlton have proved they can compete in this division. Where all this will end up I just don't know. But I intend to savour every single minute of it! 

Monday, 20 August 2012

3 Months On...

Blimey! Has it really been over 3 months since my last Charlton related post at the very end of last season? Actually, upon reflection, I shouldn't be entirely surprised. I do make a concerted effort to switch off from Charlton and enjoy the close season as much as possible. I definitely think we, the fans, deserve the summer break as much as the players. Even so, I have been randomly breaking out in spontaneous grins most of the summer as my mind flashes back to memories of an amazing campaign that will last with me forever.

Thankfully, there's been one or two decent sporting events to occupy my mind over the summer, and more than the odd tear shed in pride along the way, too. Following on from our stylish escape from League One, I feel pretty spoilt in a sporting sense this year.

Surely it would be too much to expect it to continue?

But even I couldn't escape the doom and gloom stories doing the rounds a month or so back about Charlton's financial backer allegedly pulling his money out of the club and leaving us skint. Some predicted administration whilst others were not so optimistic!!! I believe the facts as I see them, and whilst some very well respected supporters of this club (who, without question, have links within it) didn't sound too opptimistic that all was well, I also think there has been enough signs that there is a sensible long-term plan being stuck to. I have no desire to add to the debate here, only to say that my gut feeling is the rumours may well have some truth, but the situation may not be quite as catastrophic as some predicted. If SCP was forced to offload some of his bigger stars I'd have been really worried, but that's not the case just yet so I live in hope that new investors have been found, albeit short term and with considerably shallower pockets...possibly. 

I sadly missed the Orient cup game as I was sunning myself with the family on the Costa Blanca. I tried my hardest to follow it on Twitter but gave up in favour of my Mum's excellent 'matchday text service'. I was gutted. Not because we lost (no surprise), but my absence from The Valley was for only the 7th game in 18 years. Considering our recent demise in particular, I'm proud of my home attendance record. Hopefully I'll get to a few more away this season.

And so the real football started on Saturday and I, like all Addicks, would have bit your hand off for a point before the game. Full credit to the 1,600 or so Addicks who made the journey to Brum. So nearly rewarded with a win, they got right behind the players who had earned the right to play in the Championship. As much as it comes as a relief not to have to worry about results come the close season, I do miss those moments when a goal goes in and you find yourself dancing around in delight. In my case, I had a Hoover in my hand! It may well have been the first game, but my belly was already twisting nervously throughout the match. As my Mum said in a text just before kick-off...'here we go again'!

Unsurprisingly I can't wait to get down the Valley tomorrow night. See you down there!