Wednesday, 28 September 2016

The naive Boy Scout

When 'the Thomas Driesen Affair' broke in Voice of the Valley recently, I read the article with more amusement than shock. If I am honest I wasn't sure if the story was something of an exaggeration or even if the whole thing was not a spoof. 

However, all of the follow-up thus far has backed the veracity of the story and additional colour has been added from other quarters. How does a young man with no footballing background, no management experiencing and zero coaching knowledge come to have the ear of a billionaire as they play fantasy football for real? With Charlton Athletic, a club that has absorbed my waking thoughts and determined the timing of my holidays, other people's celebrations and caused me so many downs and ups in my life for forty years. Three times as long as Thomas Driesen has been an adult.

Then today, the somewhat naive Driesen's interview with the SLP makes for sobering reading. Pretty obvious from his naive and unguarded comments that he has been interviewed off-message from Duchatelet and unawares of Meire's expensive new PR representatives. You can read the article for yourself but I am going to ponder on a few things the Boy Scout has to say....

Talking about Chris Powell he said "because he got so many players to strengthen the team we just tried to give him as much information as possible about the players." Presumably he includes players like Loic Nego and Thuram Whatever-his-name-was? Two of a number foisted on us who were proven to be woefully out-of-their-depth. He then has the audacity to say about Powell that "of course they try to defend themselves when things don't work for them." I assume doubting Thomas couldn't imagine that his gushings over a particular player's stats might encourage the Shareholder to have words in Powell's shell-like about playing particular players that had been recommended as some of us know happened.

"I see all the games on a live stream." Sorry, I don't believe it. They are not all available to stream and like Roly Poly it's just a line that looks to cover up for the fact that they live in another country and rarely see us at all.

"Katrien and Roland have been getting wrong advice from people who gave them very good advice in the past, that’s the biggest problem we had. Everybody wants to blame the bad performances and bad players on them, but it’s not they who decided, they only followed the advice from other people." Ah! The SS defence. I wonder who he's talking about here - obviously not himself!

“Some things I read, like entire families who have been going to The Valley on Saturdays for 20-plus years and now don’t come any more, that’s what I think is sad. Fathers and sons who came every game together and now stay home. It’s because people say wrong things in the media – and its no surprise it’s people who have been sacked.” Ah! The disgruntled ex-employee line. Sorry Thomas but our fans haven't deserted in droves because of what the media have been told. It's because of the chronic mismanagement of the club, the ongoing and consistent alienation of the fan-base, the under-investment in the football team, depressing football and relegation. If you watch all the games on a live stream you might have a clue. As it is your reading of what's actually happened is about as good as your judgement of players.

In addition to telling us he's still "involved to the same degree as it's always been" (please God no) the killer line is his one about Roland Duchatelet. According to the Boy Scout, "he's not doing any experiment. it's just like in any other club." One day when you are a grown man Thomas you will realise how naive you sound and you will able to see for yourself what an absolute disaster Roland Duchaletet and Katrien Meire have been for Charlton Athletic Football Club. You will be able to tell your children that you played your part.


Si Jones said...

Slade said after 12 games we would know where we are. Maybe 12-14 would be fair but it's not looking good. Creative players Novak, Lookman, Holmes and Botaka need to start for Killers sake we've got enough ageing defensive midfielders to sit behind them. Don't like Charlton teams with a week underbelly that capitulate under pressure. attack is the only way out of this league, although promotion would see this group mullered in the championship.

Trevor Duncombe said...

One of the first gamss I saw at the Valley was when we beat Rochdale in the 3rd round of the FA cup in 1947 by 3 goals to 1. That result was the first game in the run up to our winning the cup.
Maybe this Saturday a victory against the same opponents will be the catalyst for another memorable season.
I think it will come good and Russell will prove to be our salvation.
Then we can forget about immature scouts and disinterested owners.

It's got to come good at some time.

Dave said...

Trevor - for me, sustainable improvement will only come once Duchatelet and his puppets are gone. Slade's just the latest manager being sold short.

Dave said...

Si - 60% draws suggest we have a League One team. A loss of confidence could see that turn into a relegation battle. No chance of a promotion because we are not good enough and would, as you say, see us mullered in the Championship.

David Walker said...

Draws are just a goal away from a defeat or a win, how to turn draws into wins is the question. Have we been unlucky to draw or lucky to draw, did our overall play deserve the win?
I've only been to one game this season, home to Northampton and we drew (no surprise there!), did we deserve to win.......that's a hard one and I would sit on the fence and say a draw was a fair result on this occasion.
We lack several things, an out and out goalscorer, Magennis will get goals but I can't see him being prolific, Ajose might come good if he get's the right service which brings me to the next thing we lack, the midfielder who can create a goalscoring chance with a clever pass, one who has the eye for that defence splitting pass, an attack minded midfielder. We also lack a leader, Jackson has played this role quite well over the years but age is taking it's toll on him and we need a talisman like Kermorgant was. We also need to get the defence sorted out and I'd like to see Teixeira back but rumours say he's finished at Charlton. Solly doesn't look as solid as he did, too many injuries have taken their toll.
All in all, we need to spend in January to strengthen these areas I've highlighted if we're to mount a serious challenge. I just hope we're still in a position to catch up!