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.