Saturday, 7 January 2017

Best Of Luck, Foxy...

Farewell, Morgan. Best of luck on your move.

Often a scapegoat for the disgruntled, frustrated fan, Fox got his fair share of stick, much of which, in my opinion, was harsh to say the least. I can't deny that I've slumped in my seat or shook my head more times than I can remember standing to applaud Fox in a game, but then again, I also recognise a lad who gave everything for a club he clearly cared about.

In that respect he is a loss to Charlton at a time when characters you can believe in are sadly lacking. One must also remember some of the bang-average or out-of-position players he regularly had to operate with on the left.

But the truth is, after a little over a century of Addick appearances, he definitely needed a change, and I really hope he makes a success of the move to Sheffield. Some people are already bracing themselves for a repeat of the 'Simon Francis' effect, and I for one wouldn't be surprised if Fox goes on to become something we never quite saw regularly enough at Charlton. The transfer fee, reported to be £700,000, would suggest there's something there. Time will tell if it proves to be good value to Charlton or Wednesday.

As a Charlton academy graduate departs before he reached his full potential with us (yet again), a West Ham academy left-back is bought in to replace him on a two-and-a-half year deal. I know nothing whatsoever about Lewis Page other than at the young age of 20 he's got well-kept hair and has managed to cover himself in tattoos already! He looks like the modern footballer, but can he play?

Robinson said of the new man "He's quick, likes to get forward and is a good crosser, I really like that in a full-back". Hard to imagine there's anyone out there who doesn't, Karl, to be fair. More proven quality additions are required if we are to believe there's genuine ambition to grab a Play-Off place. Either way, I remain completely apathetic about Charlton these days, and my wish remains for Duchatelet to go above anything else. With Fox gone, that leaves Jackson and Solly as the last men standing from better times. Times I deeply miss. I doubt for one minute this will bother Meire, who seems to be making it her priority to dilute what being 'Charlton' really means.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Goodbye & Good Luck, Ademola...

From the moment he burst on to the scene at Charlton he looked too good for us. No surprise then that Ademola Lookman has finally been sold. Uncle Rolly's pocket's are bulging once again, and coupled with the sale of JBG and Pope in the summer, Charlton's much-maligned owner has pretty much recouped the amount he paid for the club three years ago!
As encouraged as I should have been about an obvious talent, I never allowed myself to get excited or attached to Lookman, so I would be lying if I said I was disappointed he's gone. His departure was inevitable and under this current ownership it's hard enough to feel any attachment to the team, let alone when you know the young stars are only passing through once they break out of the academy.
But who can blame them for aiming higher? 
Whilst it is always tempting (and very easy) to stick the boot into Meire and Uncle Rolly, can they be criticised for this sale? £7.5m rising to 11m (according to reports) is far too much money to turn down regardless of who owns the club, and is it fair to stand in a young man's way when a Prem team comes knocking? Perhaps not, but the fundamental question here is how much of the sale fee will be reinvested into the squad. Given the undeniable lack of ambition to date and Uncle Rolly's recent comments (if they are to be believed) regarding promotion as being 'not essential', then I won't hold my breath, but this sale does provides the Regime with an opportunity to shake off some of the negative opinions regarding ambition, and perhaps most importantly, intent.

In this regard, the next few weeks could be hugely important for Charlton's short and long-term future.  
Unsurprisingly Katrien Meire managed to muddy the waters with contradictory comments on the OS. This time last year she sat on a sofa in that infamous seminar video proudly stating through her trademark grin that she hoped Charlton would cultivate the Premiership stars of the future. Today, she said “Our intention was not to sell Ademola, we are very sad to see him go and our long-term ambition is that we get ourselves into a position where our talented young players, even when there is interest from Premier League clubs, want to stay with us.” Hmm. It can't be both, Katrien. You need to make your mind up or you'll end up looking silly yet again.
In all, Lookman made 49 appearances for the Addicks, scoring 12 goals (which coincidentally is comparable to Lee Bowyer's spell with the Addicks). I wish the lad every success in the world at Everton, and hopefully England.
As news of this departure was announced, Richard Cawley reported that Charlton have signed Jake Forster Caskey to bolster our midfield. It will be Karl Robinson's first permanent signing, and hopefully the first of many new faces.