Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Seasonus horribilis, and yet...

If you were in any doubt, I have become more disillusioned and disinterested in Charlton Athletic this season than at anytime in the last 37 years. Sure, we have had worse footballing seasons and worse league lows, but a combination of factors have combined to really hack me off. The fact is I have been falling out of love with the club that has dominated my interests since I was 13.

The lack of pre-season investment was nothing new but the continued arrogance of Jiminez and Slater really got me. Our early-season injuries only served to re-emphasis the lack of investment and our difficulty in scoring goals underlined it. The icing on the cake in terms of the forced diet the club had been put on came through in the failure of our pitch which has lead to national embarrassment.

We then had the on-off takeover speculation and the glimpse of serious investment via Josh Harris. If that was too good to be true, at least Roland Duchatelet looks like he has removed any serious threat of Administration. However, his approach to the impending contractual disaster has been casual and he is courting disaster as a result. He has also failed to address the blatantly obvious squad deficiencies and is banking on contract threatened employees and reserves from his other clubs to preserve our Championship status. Cashing in on Stephens and Kermorgant may yet come back to cost him dearly. The much lauded extension of Powell's contract has yet to materialise and I reckon Chris is prepared to risk unemployment rather than settle for less than he deserves. Roland, this doesn't reflect well on you my son.

We remain in hot table bother and games in hand are notoriously unreliable when the season congests and relegation threatens. I am hugely surprised, therefore, that this rag-tag outfit continues to fight on in the Cup and show stubbornness in the League. I have been expecting a league tonking and a mini-capitulation for some time now as heads drop and towels are thrown-in. Instead, the spirit remains unbroken and they battle on. Say what you like about Powell but he remains defiant and they are standing with him.

For us, we have a very unlikely looking F A Cup 6th Round encounter against lower league opposition and the best chance of a proper Wembley appearance for 67 years. After a 5th Round away tie that was postponed on the morning of the match with fans en route, we then got a Monday night night replay with no televised game. The draw takes us back to Sheffield and what do the Numpties at the FA decide? Yes, move it to Midday on the Sunday which will rule out train travel and make it much harder for Charlton fans to travel when the other fixtures are relatively local affairs. Personally I have a sniff of making it now en route home from Edinburgh on the Saturday but I do wonder if the Gods are toying with us and we are about to get another kick in the teeth before the season finally collapses on us.  Saint Jude, hear my prayer.


Anonymous said...

Come on We have been taken out of certain, administration by Roland he is now the owner and has the right to do what he likes, Dale Stephens is not a great loss, lazy and prone to giving the ball away, Yann was never going to be a prolific scorer and was getting injury prone, we no actually look like we may score, I do agree that we must give Powell a contract now, but give the guy a chance at least until we see what he will invest in the summer, when we can bring in some players and if he will back us. We are in a much better state than whenthe others were in change, stop talking doom and gloom and be happy that we are in the Quarter Final and only 1 point behind Millwall with 3 games in hand

801912691 said...

Must admit the joy of following my local team for 40 years (including the years away from the Valley) has often posed similar thoughts - both my Daughters ask why they had to be brought up as Charlton fans. Now they both have Charton boyfriends and Saturday night moods are governed by a result much to the disgust of my football hating wife. The last couple of seasons I have thought about giving up the season ticket and joining a golf course (whilst attending the odd games of course)but the fact that we have had the same seats in the East stand since it was built means I keep renewing and the fact that I get to see mates in the ROD, Oak or Lib for a couple before each game also helps. The real reason of course is the occasional sheer unexplainable joy that comes with the Jacko goal against QPHAHAHA and then beating the Wendies to reach the 6th round. Both turned a 50+ bloke back into a jumping bean ball of uncontrolable elation on which I can feed until the next one. As such I will be renewing my season ticket next season come what may because there might not be much glory in being a lifelong Charlton fan but they are my (and my families)Charlton.

Cafca said...

It has been a very frustrating season but, after investing so many years in Charlton, would you really consider throwing in the towel?

A semi at Wembley would be a fantastic day out but I would happily give that up for survival (plus, the tie v Sheff Utd at Bramall is going to be a lot tougher than some appear to think).

I was also dismayed at the way Stephens & Kermit were allowed to leave but there have been positives too. Poyet is one example.

If we do survive, I think there are grounds for optimism & Duchatalet has form in turning potential into success.

Dave said...

Cafca - I never mentioned throwing in the towel. I'm no quitter. Just making the point that it's been a poor season and yet there is a flash in the pan.....

Anonymous said...

It's been a funny ol season, and no mistake guv"nor.

I mentally prepared myself during the close season, I knew this was going to be a tricky season and I honestly thought that we'd be in administration at some point during it, so, with the "glass half full" glasses.on, the season has been better than I'd hoped, a cup qtr final (at least) no administration and I still think that we will stay up.

The pitch is a disgrace, and admittedly a tad embarrassing, but the wettest winter in years could not have been foreseen. I find the CP contract issue to be the most disconcerting, but who truly knows what"s happening in the background.

There have been many times when I wished I'd been born in Highbury or Tottenham, instead of Samuel St in Woolwich but when I think of all the up"s and downs with Charlton, I truly wouldn't swap supporting Charlton for anyone else.

Chin up mate.


Dave said...

A Wembley appearance and leap-frogging Millwall will make all the difference.

kappacino said...

A proper Wembley appearance! Granted the full members cup isn't but the plsy off finsl surely is more proper appearance at Wembley than a semu final which is only held at this hallowed ground to payback the debt incurred in rebuilding the place. The only appearance that would be more proper than the playoff final would be a cup final.