Tuesday, 31 August 2010

Poker Patience Rewarded

Well done Murray & Parks in staying the course to the 23rd hour.
D & R were playing a chancy game themselves in holding out for the best deal but so were we, though maybe Murray & Parks knew that D &G wanted the money as much as we wanted the man.
On paper Benson sounds like a the kind of player we need. A reasoable goalscoring record at a lower club & division and something to prove and capaitalise upon in the twilight of his career. Let's hope he can come somewhere close to emulating Mendonca.
Though he has some height I am a little concerned about a suggestion that he is lightweight; it would be good if that concern is unfounded.
Do not have a view on Anyinsah but the recruitiment of another winger is interesting (especially if you consider that Martin might be better suited to playing on the flank regardless of his own preference).
The Fortune deal is a good one providing we get some reward and he is not sent out on loan only to return for a protracted period on the bench.
Fortune may have provided the option to recoup some money for Liera in the transfer market to fund other signings. However, it seems that this will not occur and in any case though Doherty has been solid I felt that Liera was unlucky to be dropped after the Orient game.
It seems Mambo may go out on loan when Fortune returns; my plea is that this promising youngster is not sidelined and forgotten.

Friday, 20 August 2010

The Parasites (and Shelvey)

Sooner we get these agent parasites out of the game the better, even if Parky and Millwall seem satisfied at the fees paid last season.
Good old Pards has relentlessly piled on the transfers, loans (and fees) for our rich mates down at Soton. If we cannot get the buggers out then at least trim their fees.
Of course, it is difficult for common sense to prevail when the top Premiership clubs and their paymasters condone the situation and continue to stoke up the fees.
They may just be doing that all the way to the grave. No doubt the Liverpool saga will continue and eventually be settled but I bet there are a few wobbly knees there at the moment.
Whilst on that subject, with the change of management and the pressure on the new manager for results, what is the likelihood of Shelvey being given much of an opportunity in the near future,
I hope he is, but is it possible that he will be farmed out on loan to some lowly Premiership club. If he finishes up at Wigan, apart from the money, he may begin to regret things.

Saturday, 14 August 2010

Committed Addicks Pass the Test

Cannot add much to the other excellent blog reports and am peering through a haze of contentment after a late night return up the Peterborough line last night.
The 100% commitment on the night was great in the face of another 10 man trial. The true grit and 50/50 challenges were evident (apart from a few notable exceptions but let's not be a damp squib). At last a performance on the box that may sour some on to watching us again and even paying some money at the turnstiles.
Though the squad is undeniably thin, my initial panic about forthcoming games that struck after Dailly was sent off was quelled by the solid performances of Lierra and Doherty and the knowledge that Mambo is there in the background to stake his claim.
Francis could maybe fulfill a role in the centre back position, though his marking on the night was a bit suspect. Martin and Abbot ran their socks off and McCormack impressed me again, I think he will a more than adequate replacemeent for Bailley apart from maybe being a regular goalscorer, though he has made a good start.
I was sceptical about Wagstaffe and still veer in that direction though after a relatively anonymous start you have to hand it to him for his goal and work to set up Solly. Maybe this will add to his confidence and spur him on to more consistent performances.
Apart from his duff corners, Spring had a cultured game and never stopped running. As others have noted, his grey locks have mysteriously disappeared and he looked even slimmer and never stopped running. I felt he was underrated and his record st CAFC was as much to do with lack of opportunity and the role he was given rather than lack of ability. It looked as if he was on good mutual terms with all the CAF team and coaching staff at the end.

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

Learning Curve Pain

A tactically selected team with youth / reserve players ahead of the Orient game provided a predictable result, even if the manner of throwing away a 3 goal league left a bitter taste.
However, Abbot and Martin are off the mark and several young players have been blooded in a fiery cup encounter.
It's part of an early learning curve and one best got out of the way in an insignificant cup match.
The opportunity was taken to assess the likes of Stavrinou (prob. like Tuna needs more time), Racon (who should have been motivated after smarting for not being selected on Saturday), Smart and Martin who looks like a regular selection once fit.
Had we been thumped 0-4, I would be a worried person today but this game and the result should be viewed as a training exercise with some distinct positives.
A decent draw or win at Orient will assign it to the long forgotten.
However, a better result will be highly desitable, if unlikely, in the FA Cup)
(Pretty dispicable admission, especially after the histrionics by the Bournemouth player, that Samedo's foul was not that bad).

Sunday, 8 August 2010

A Lennie Lawrence type Occasion

As Parks and Breaker said, this was certainly a fresh start.
After some trepidation at seeing a totally changed line-up, it was in the end a quite an exhilarating performance which added considerable interest among us watching pundits in the East Stand, once we could recognise who was who.
The occasion reminded me of a previous opening game when Lennie Lawrence presented us with Shipley, Pender, Pearson, and (Mark) Reid and we went on to win promotion to the old First Division. Well just maybe?!
The crowd (though maybe overstated by missing season ticket holders) stood up well with the covered end and East stand looking almost up to capacity.
Parks and his talent spotters have come up with what looks to be a real set of good value acquisitions. My general view for what its worth:
Elliot: solid and not afraid today to come out and pick balls out of the air, not always his strength;
Solly: Got stuck in and provided a solid performance;
Doherty; seemed a little suspect at time, but not a bad debut;
Dailly: usual impeccable self, leads by example;
Jackson; a really good buy with a sweet left foot; maybe exposed by lack of speed at left back, but left side of midfield beckons;
Midfield and Upfront:
Wagstaff: average, did not look up to it today; hoping it’s a one-off aberration;
Samedo: generally fairly quiet and competent, bad luck on sending off; looked harsh;
McCormack: 100% effort, looked to be one of our best acquisitions. Apart from his goal scoring credentials, will fill in well for Bailey;
Reid: great ball skills and always a potential match winner. Howevber, can be frustrating when he tries to overdo it (a la Sam). Our group have fears that if he continues to ignore Abbnoot when in good striking positions we may have another Hales / Flanagan show!!
Abbott: not that effective on the day and jury out; but perhaps overkeen to make his mark. Looks to hav e good ball skills and not afraid to get into the action. Lacked a decent service from the wings, especially Reid who does follow the adage “pass to me and I’ll go through on my own”!)
Sodge: Known limitations but took his goal well and seemed to be more up for it, we need him to be sharp enough to score the kind of goal he got at Yeovil
Looked good when he came on, but gave the impression of being p****d off at the end for not being picked. Did he have a niggling injury or was it tactical. His inclusion over Wagstaff would have added some creativity;
Martin: Looked determined to make his mark, perhaps lightweight but looks really skilful and might just have the creativity we are looking for to set up Abbot.
Looking at the number of clubs he has played for after his early promise at Man United, CAFC could just be his saviour;
Francis: A late sub but looked an absolute powerhouse. He looked like (and appeared to have the same qualities as Herman HreiĆ°arsson, a real “Herminator 2!.
Though Solly played so well he is going to get serious competition from this giant.
So; we seem to be well set up for having a go at the division, especially if we can supplement the front line over the next couple of weeks.
A final bright light on the horizon was the anti-climax at Southampton which provided some balance for the disappointment of Samedo’s departure.

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Moving in Right Direction: but still work to do

Park's signings look sound given the financial situation. I have not been able to view them as yet and am reliant on others for assessments.
General view seems to be that the new midfielders look up to doing a job, but creativity is deependent on Racon. At the beginning of last season I would have thought fine, but his stuttering form from mid-season suggest we need another signing, but this seems unlikely.
Abbot looks a good acquisition for his experience and cunning (Chicago compares him to a fit Todderov)and Reid is an excellent buy based on last season's form and his outing at Watford.
Park's has been trying to augment his talents with another signing to support Abbot as though Tuna will come good he needs time to mature and develop phisically. There seem to be a few irons in the fire so lets hope we get the right one!
I anticipated Doherty being a sound addition though reports from Watford suggest he was prone to error and lacked match fitness. Mambo will come good (a great prospect) and I feel that he can get there sooner than perhaps the club thinks.
For all his detractors, a back four which included Fortune (if he were signed) plus Dailly, Mambo, and Liera would have provided a more than adequate central back four. If Liera were sold to obtain much needed revenue then the signing of Doherty makes more sense.
I feel confident that Parks will find a goalkeeper though I noted that my nephew was impressed with our young reserve keeper at Bedford.
Finally, good luck to Grant Basey. The decision to release him was said to be solely based on hois wages, though I feel the club though impressed with his his overall talent noted several important lapses in concentration and his lack of speed to cover left back (though he preferred playing centre back). Lets hope Youga has recovered and quickly comes into contention.
What is unfortunate is that the club's financial position prevented it from offering a contract that would have enabled it to recoup some transfer money at a later stage, and balance the books further in respect of Valley Gold investment.