Monday, 31 May 2010

Back Four Candidate?

Wonder if Palace wish to part with McCarthy to reduce the wage bill given their current predicament.
They would prob. like a transfer fee, but will anyone really want to pay anything significant, (even though the Palarse web site puts him at only 27 years (which I find surprising!)?
I was a never wild about McCarthy but with Sodge gone and Liera with us, if Dailly stays (keep fingers crossed) he may find the prospect of playing alongside McCarthy less daunting than the other options.
However, even without a fee I suspect McCarthy would cherish a nice fat signing-on fee, which I assume we could not provide?

Tuesday, 25 May 2010

Substance Rather than Style

The ex pat Dubai member of the CAFCPICKS 'Management Team' wondered how many of the Blackpool side had pink (red or green) iridescent boots adorning their pampered feet during their triumphs when he joined the chorus of approval and congratulations for their side.
He praised their use of scant resources implying it was a real 'belt and braces' / 'back to the wall' season with the management side and team really getting down to brass tacks and cutting out the flash crap!
Our success next year must be based on both players and culture that is commensurate with Blackpool's success. It's great we have a top class training ground and a flash team coach but success will be built on players who give 100% to the cause, get stuck in week after week taking the good with the bad without creating havoc and tensions on the training pitch if they are not selected.
Those kind of players may not be the most talented but they are professional and give there all.
In recent years, players like Gary Nelson was a good journeyman pro, not without talent but someone who exploited the talent he had to the maximum by sheer hard graft.
When Lennie Lawrence took us back to the top division there were other players like that in his side (e.g. Pender, Pearson, Melrose, Thompson,and Shipley) and before that players like Phil Warman and Peter Reeves.
You could go on but they are the kind of player (plus a goal scorer) that we need.
Going way back, when we were in desparate need of top quality strikers we were fortunate enough to see the likes of Firmani come back from Italy, and some may even recall the short term bargain basement acquisition of Cliff Holton. He was at the end of his career and probably the wrong side of 30 but he knew where the goal was and never flinched from a 50/50 ball no matter who the defender was. He was also built like a centre forward: height, weight and solid muscle: no lightweight as in more recent years.
So as our man from Dubai said, Blackpool did it their way and how many of their players had pink (red or green ) iridescent shining boots in the process.
Let's take off the cosmetic coatings and get back to basics to get out of this division with players who are not over pampered but see an opportunity to get to the top and put the required effort and commitment to make it happen.

Saturday, 22 May 2010

Romance wins in the end!

As today's play-off game had approached, like a vast majority of fans (other than those from the Premier League) I was fully behind Blackpool hoping for a fairy tale ending.
There was a degree of sadism at the prospect of the 'big' clubs going there in the depth of winter with the wind and rain lashing in from the Irish Sea on a quagmire of a pitch and getting their 5 star Yves St Lauren track suits mud splattered in the car park.
However, once I had learnt of the rumoured £250K transfer windfall from a Cardiff win, I am afraid to say that my heart took back seat and I switched my allegiances to Cardiff with the prospect of bolstering our bank account.
Well, it's transpired that the result is yet another significant setback for us this season.
Yet, once I put the financial implications behind me, I have to say how really pleased I am for Blackpool.
Half of the town showed up and enjoyed an exciting open game (in true Charlton Wembley play-off style). Let's hope a proportion of them turn up to boost Blackpool's dismal gates.
The 'Stan Matthews' Cup Final was even before my time but naturally I've seen all the film clips and romance of the occassion, and subsequently seen many a good player emerge after an apprenticeship at Blackpool. Indeed, though not in the same class as some players of old, Hoolahan has done a good job at Norwich and I made several entries on CAFCPICKs in previous seasons on the merit of buying him (when we had some money). I still beleive he would have provided the creative element we have missed.
So good luck to Blackpoool; may they confound the sceptics by staying up more then one season, and take a few scalps in the process.

Friday, 21 May 2010

Oh well, the first news confirms the departures of Leon McKenzie (has not played, total waste of money), Matt Spring (if we could have negotiated a decent contract, I would have kept him to stand in for Bailey when/if he leaves: should have been given more of a chance), Chris Dickson (big fee gamble, but total waste), Dean Sinclair (did not make the grade) and Jack Clark (cannot comment).

Thursday, 20 May 2010


May to July time: we are normally speculating on who might come in to bolster our chances next season. For all the reasons we know about this year it's different.
There is doubt about whether we can hold on financially at all, let alone going into the marketplace for players. Add to that the prospect of administration and it's time for the valium (or whatever you choose as your alternative!).
Rumours about the Valley's future adds to the woe, though I would be absolutely shocked if its future is in doubt in the short term. If it is, and we lose the Valley then I think many of the faithful will disappear for good, we got through the Selhurst Park venture but further doubt about the Valley would be a bridge too far.
"Deepest Darkest" has provided an interesting analysis of his understanding of the the contractual situation. I go along with his general conclusions, with some exceptions.
To most fans' surprise, I would give Spring another year. Surely his salary cannot be one of the big ones, and he is a player who I think has given his all; when he has been given a chance. That has not been very often and by all accounts he has not caused rumblings on the training ground as a result.
Bailey is likely to be on his way and Spring could drop into that roll. For those who follow CAFCPICKS, I have said on a number of occassions throughout the season that in my view Bailey has been overrated for his contribution. OK, I accept he has scored goals but his overall contribution, periodic mistakes and the ebb in his form in the last half of the season has been plain to see. Unless, he has been really carrying an injury that explains it, I would cash in if we still can.
Racon wwas in great form at the beginning of the season and I was an advocate for him when many were not. However, his form has declined disastrously and only in the final play-off game when he came on late did he look the genuine article. He has got us into a lot of trouble in recent games, the most obvious example being the Swindon away league game when his error ultimately provided then with the opportunity to score. So regrettably, if the price is right then he may also have to be sacrified.
Like Deepest Darkest, I hope we can afford Richardson and Dailly, and that they want to stay, though I could see Millwall and others being interested in the latter, along with Bailey.
I have grave fears about Youga. Our attacking capabilities have never really recovered since his injury as we depended so much on the attacking side of his game. It seems a very long time that he has been out wothout any reports on major improvement in his condition, and stories about him being on the continent trying to find a way back. I really hope that that the injury has not finished his career but I am beginning to worry: let's hope we hear some good news.
My entries on CAFCPICKS have consistently voiced concern about dependenc upon Liera who is prone to major mistakes and also makes us one dimensional in going forward with his long hikes upfield. With Sodje's future uncertain (and even if they and Dailly stay) now is the time to be brave and let Mambo graduate to the first team squad at least. He looked a major find at Barnet last pre-season and his loan spell can only have built on that; and importantly he is keen to get on with the job. In the long term I think he could also be a highlky saleab le asset
Finally, changing the subject slightly I supported the anti Olympics development in Greenwich Park (and at Woolwich) on the grounds that the £40-£50M cost was totally unjustified, would leave no legacy, would cause incredible disruption and cost in the local community and prevent both locals and tourists from benefitting form our great Royal Park, which is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Add to that the building of a 20,000 + stadium which will be ripped down immediately after the events.
I am surprised we could not in some way have got some direct income from the games. With voices getting louder about needing to make financial economies at the games in this new age of austerity then perhaps now must the time for a rapid re-visit.
It would not have caused much disruption to the Valley to have staged the shooting events scheduled for Woolwich. I have no idea how big a horse jumping course has to be but could CAFC have done something on that as well. (I can hear Paddy Powell groaning at the prospect from here!!)
I expect a suimmer holiday break may bring back some optiomism and smiles?

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

The Way it used to be!

On a tense visit to the Valley the other evening for our play-off final (great disappointment) I remembered how it used to be when entering via the Sam Bartram turnstiles.
Back in 1958 for the penulitmate game of the season against Blackburn Rovers (another great promotion anti-climax) about a half dozen of us (all around 9 years of age) used to cycle from Catford to Charlton and park our bicycles in a back garden off the track leading to the turnstiles for 6 old pence: those were the days. I wonder what has happened to those guys I hope they are well ( I think Jim Collins used to join the clan and probably Maurice Gubbins from Longhill Road and maybe Alan Breeze, and Ray Lambert, Phil Sanderson and Alan Brind from Torridon Road School days. If any of you are out there pay us a call.
Those were the days when parents were not afraid to let their children get out and take their chances, and kids wanted to do just that and get some fresh air and exercise, an all together much healthier environment. OK, traffic was less then but we still used our sense to negotiate the back douibles which is still possible today.
Unfortunately, the balance has gone too far the other way and kids are just not getting enough exercise and independence these days (and, Christ, they are all armchair supporters with no local patriotism in footaball!)
I read today a great article on Eddie Firmani a real Charlton great of the late 1950's / 1960's: they don't make them like that today!!
OK: that's the end of an inital new post in a spare moment that I have. Perhaps I will continue in due course, as the mood takes me.

Much Delayed!!

Have still not got around to devloping this (my first) blog. It would be good to progress and there has bene a lot of water under the bridge since my first effort (inc. beloved Charlton's missing out on promotion this year).
Perhaps with a little more time progress can be made, subject to thios posting effort beiong a success!