Thursday, 1 December 2016

Doing your homework

When you really research a subject in depth and can talk about it with absolute authority, you can make a compelling and powerful argument. Amid all the claim and counter-claim in the battle between Duchatelet and Meire and the protesting supporters of Charlton Athletic, much of the debate has lacked facts, evidence and authority.

Hats off then to the producers of the four part 'Getting to know the Network." In the first two parts they have reached parts others have been unable to.

My fellow blogger Hungry Ted covers it perfectly here....

You can't argue with facts from the horse's mouth or plain evidence and they have managed both. Please listen......

Jimmy Stone - tikabowson - you have a chapter to yourself in Airman Brown's next best-seller.....

Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Meire & Duchatelet exposed

The eminent WW1 historian, Clive Harris, talks about the conclusion to the war as a series of stunning and decisive battlefield victories which saw us climb out of the mud of Flanders and roll Jerry back.

The analogy here is not dissimilar to the stunning series of victories the Clubs protesting supporters have scored against Roland Duchatelet and the Vichy Regime of Katrien Meire. A decisive victory has yet to come but it can't be far off after today's email revelations....

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/football/article-3985700/Charlton-owner-Roland-Duchatelet-dictated-team-selection-tried-explain-concept-4-4-2-formation-former-manager-Chris-Powell.html

This piece in the Mail reveals damning emails that expose the truth of Duchatelet's interference with Chris Powell's team selection and tactics within days of ownership. It also joins the dots on the Thomas Driesen affair and shows, yet again, that Katrien Meire has continued to lie in an effort deny the truth.

Anyone with a shred of personal integrity would have walked by now let alone have been deserving of the sack multiple times over. You have to wonder if perhaps Meire is actually related to Duchatelet. That's about the only plausible explanation for why he continues to let her crucify the business that was once Charlton Athletic as she washes away his investment in our club.

The club's response? "We dont comment on private emails." The equivalent of the bang-to-rights criminal's "no comment." Surely, there can be no Charlton fans left still defending the indefensible?

Tuesday, 29 November 2016

Karl Robinson - Duchatelet's No.8

It may have taken a week, but Karl Robinson was finally confirmed as our latest Manager yesterday. He travelled to Bristol last Tuesday to watch Kevin Nugent get a five goal performance out of his temporary charges and it was strange that Nugent was left in charge on Saturday whilst Robinson took a seat in the Directors Box. Did they want to risk avoiding him start with a defeat I wonder?

In any event he was revealed to the SLP in an unusual press conference where he was interviewed alone standing in the West Stand. All very low key but maybe that was deliberate after the embarrassing fawning over previous managers whose tenure was short-lived and consequently damning for Meire. It may also be a sign that new Comms Manager, Tom Rubashow, has managed to avoid the high risk of Meire putting her size tens in it once again.

I was impressed with the enthusiasm Robinson displayed and by the commitment of his language towards ensuring his players understand the importance of the shirt. He would also appear to be genuinely impressed to be at a club with significantly more pedigree than MK Dons. I wasn't miffed either at his comment about the need for "unity" between the fans and the club's employees. It is what we need to succeed but therein lies the issue when the Owner's true ambitions fall short of what the fans and the clubs employees actually want to see.

I was left with just one big disappointment and that was the hard-to-believe comment that Robinson asked Chris O'Loughlin to stay on and not return to Belgium (or the Congo). I have to believe that O'Loughlin was actually Duchatelet's first choice or that he was deployed as a spy-in-the-camp as he learnt the ropes for future elevation. If O'Loughlin was a first choice when he was redeployed two weeks ago, it may well be that they changed their mind and went for another English-League-experienced managerial appointment when the cynical fan-base rumbled their intentions, and that accepting Congo Chris as a number two was effectively a condition of employment for Robinson. They may have agreed to save Robinson's face by allowing him to bring in his own man additionally. That would mean too many cooks in my view so I would expect the unfortunate Kevin Nugent, as a minimum, to be exiting stage-left in short order.

Robinson may have had a limited non-league playing career but his managerial record at MK Dons is admirable and they have largely punched above their weight under him. That's precisely what Duchatelet needs him to do in order to stem the protests, win-back some of the fans and make the club more saleable. Whether he can do that with a limited depth squad and the sale of Lookman in January looks a tall order but perhaps he will get some of the proceeds to strengthen our Achilles' Midfield? He first needs to get one over his former club - not always an easy task.

Monday, 28 November 2016

Charlton Athletic 1 v Sheffield United 1

This was the fifth home match in all competitions that I have missed this season. I planned a weekend in Amsterdam with my wife for her birthday which was a no-brainer given the state of Charlton Athletic Football Club. I have to say that I didn't even think about the match during the afternoon and it was early evening before I learnt that we had sneaked another undeserved point via a another late, late goal, the sixth time we have done it this season. As we know, these things have a habit of evening themselves out over a season so we can expect to lose points in similar fashion. Millwall to score two late goals to snatch a draw next month?

Anyway, I was pleased to see that those who care enough to do something about the predicament we are in were out protesting again and that we managed to stop the match once more with a hail of rubber taxis. It would appear that some of the fans we have who are pre-disposed to Duchatelet but can't bring themselves to protest, because they think the nature or the protests aren't direct enough for their liking or that they think it's all Rick Everett's doing, are now becoming quite aggressive and threatening via the internet. Internet warriors - how pathetic? I believe some were also more directly disrespectful and anti at the match. This is a sad state of affairs given many of those don't support the regime and aren't doing anything themselves to fight Duchatelet but pontificating and telling others what they should be doing or not doing.

I am sure CARD will reflect on this but we have to ask ourselves what are we prepared to tolerate? I have been asking myself this question for a long time as any regular readers will know. I am simply not prepared to tolerate an absentee owner who has delegated his control and all practical management to an incompetent like Meire who has actively alienated the fanbase, shrunk the fabric of the club, seen us relegated, sacked seven managers so far and doesn't even know when she's telling lies because she tells them so often. The direction of the club is still trending downward and we are very obviously becoming a feeder club which is content to operate small-time and rely upon player sales to make up the running losses or even turn a small profit. 

What that means is that the match-day football will inevitably lack funding, ambition and long-term planning. That is exactly what we are now clearly witnessing and which is why the quality of the team is poor, why we have no continuity of management and why we are driving our fans away. Having missed five homes so far this season I see we have another uninspiring home game against MK Dons on Saturday in the Cup - sub-4000 anyone? It may be Karl Robinson's first full game in charge and against the side he took down with us last season but it's not one I can muster any enthusiasm for and I wonder how far I am away from packing it in altogether.

I hear rumours of potential buyers and Non-Disclosure Agreements and I read in the Standard tonight that the Saudi's are interested in buying a few London clubs that they would actively invest in and who could help them to establish clubs they own in the fledging domestic league. I am sure it could get worse than Duchatelet but it could also be so much better and it's a risk I would jump at. 

Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Bristol Rovers 1 v Charlton Athletic 5

A second shock result in succession. Kevin Nugent couldn't have done more since stepping in as Caretaker but with uncanny timing, the Regime moved to appoint Karl Robinson last night.

Robinson was at the match and reportedly told one fan that we needed to "stick together and stop the protests from Saturday." Incredibly naive if true. His press conference should be interesting because even network appointee Jose Riga was wise enough to avoid that pitfall.

Five different scorers last night suggests that Nugent's approach differed considerably from Slade. He was far more positive with his game plan, played two upfront and carried the game to our hosts. Just what those still watching have been crying out for for weeks.

Sheffield United will be backed by 3000 noisy Yorkies when they arrive on Saturday and Robinson faces a baptism of fire. The home stands will again be depressingly empty in spite of planned protests and the reaction of our players to Robinson's appointment will be very obvious.

Very little sympathy for Robinson at this point, which seems harsh, but he can't say he didn't know what he was letting himslef in for. "Here for the pay-off, you're only here for the pay-off" is surely only a matter of time.

Sunday, 20 November 2016

Charlton Athletic 2 v Port Vale 0

Birthday celebrations for two family members saw me decide to give this one a miss. I fancied Port Vale so the turn of events was a bit of a welcome surprise. 

Following the debacle at Swindon and the dismissal of Slade on Tuesday, I was expecting another half-hearted performance which wouldn't be enough to beat high-flying Vale. The loss of Ricky Holmes for a couple of months was added bad news and the rumour was Magennis would also miss out due to injury. 

As it was, Big Mag started and it was he who rose to backward-head home a fine cross from Morgan Fox after half-an-hour. It was Fox again as the provider before half-time feeding Nicky Ajose who stroked home the second. I wouldn't be at all surprised if someone comes in for Fox at the end of the season. After the break Vale put us under more pressure and despite having more possession and more attempts on goal, they couldn't get onto the scoresheet.

Kevin Nugent's press conference after the game was a thinly disguised pitch for the job, claiming Slade had laid the foundations and that it would be a great job for someone, if not him. Karl Robinson, meanwhile, has emerged as a possible candidate and he'd be free to take the job having been sacked recently by MK Dons. The job's a poisoned chalice but there are no shortage of Desperadoes who need to get another shot in order to possibly re-ignite their careers. Money talks and if they negotiate a good enough exit package, then why not.

The win lifts us to 14th and takes some of the pressure off. However, this has been a two-steps-forward-one-step-back season, so I expect we will falter at Brizzle Rovers on Tuesday or maybe at home to Sheffield United on Saturday.

The official gate of 8900-odd has been laughed-off by those I have spoken to who went. Conventional wisdom suggests the actual figure was much closer to 6,000. I think this is the new benchmark and Meire might do well to start a Target 10,000 committee because that's more realistic given where we find ourselves. How depressing.

Thursday, 17 November 2016

Meire stumbles on

Forty hours after a delayed announcement about Russell Slade's sacking, we are no nearer knowing who his replacement will be. However, a statement on the Official Site now tells us that Chris O'Loughlin, the former first team Coach at St, Truiden has been appointed to support Kevin Nugent who will act as Caretaker Manager until they can sort out who will actually succeed Slade.

What a mess, or should I say, what another mess. Why sack Slade on a Tuesday evening, three full days after the dismal defeat at Swindon Town if you haven't already found a successor? If Swindon was the straw that broke the camel's back, you might have expected an announcement on Saturday after the game as we have had in the past and an understandably delay (of a few hours at least) whilst they interviewed thirty-odd applicants and decided on the bloke already employed by Duchatelet.

Instead, it begins to look like they took the decision to sack Slade but their plans to announce a successor quickly unravelled. News of Slade's sacking was announced by CARD because it took Charlton about four hours to put it on their website. The Club blamed technology but there were plenty of other ways to make the communication to the press and the supporters even if their website was down, which I don't believe. Despite their ongoing incompetence, it looks more like there was a hitch somewhere in their planning which lead to a short and terse statement of fact late on Tuesday evening that said there would be no further comment until they were ready to announce the new Manager. Clearly they don't feel able to take that decision today so we get the interim announcement about Nugent, Clark and O'Loughlin.

So, what next? The press and the bookies are suggesting names based on who is available in the market but most of those are established managers or those whose careers can't withstand another set-back. They are likely to be expensive, want long term contracts and assurances about transfer budgets and managerial independence, none of which will appeal to Duchatelet or Meire. 

I am then left wondering whether O'Loughlin is their preferred choice but that they are struggling to take the decision because they fear the backlash. Perhaps they now want to make it look like they have actually taken some time to look at the market to justify saying there wasn't anyone they fancied before appointing the soft option? Maybe they leave Nugent in charge for a week or two and then justify O'Loughlin? Today's announcement a half-way step?

As supporters we can't really win here because if they do appoint another established British Manager, it will be a sign that they are considering the longer term and a sellout may be kicked into the long grass. Having said that, my money is still very much on Duchatelet's man.

Whatever happens, my big pre-season bet on relegation is looking better. Holmes and Magennis are out for a couple of weeks and we face 4th, 5th and 6th with chaos ruling. Remember that horrendous sequence last season as Fraye fell when Colchester, Huddersfield and Hull humiliated us in successive matches? Deja-vu?