Saturday, 5 August 2017

Charlton Athletic 1 v Bristol Rovers 0

I flew in from Toronto this morning after two superb weeks in Canada on holiday with the family. We were delayed a couple of hours and Air Canada managed to lose my case so we were well late as I pulled into Charlton after 3pm. That meant parking miles away and it was strange to walk around the ground whilst the match was in progress but we scored as I did so.

Whatsapp had informed me we had already lost Novak to a straight red early on so I was expecting the worse. One-nil is a decent result then, in the circumstances, but we drubbed the Pirates home and away last season and I suspect they may be one of the division's whipping boys this year. Still, you can only beat what's in front of you and we have done that.

I haven't blogged during the close season as I wanted a break and have been pleased not to spend so much time following not very much which has been a welcome relief. 

The club have got some things right during the close season; they persuaded Player-of-the-Year Ricky Holmes to stay and have resisted efforts thus far to cash in on Konsa. Robson has been officially flanked by Bowyer and Jackson and even Katrien Meire has managed to avoid any further major PR disasters by keeping quiet.

Karl Robinson has been keen to tell us about the new attitude amongst the players and his overall satisfaction with the squad he now has and expects us to challenge for promotion. The glass-half-full brigade have lapped it up and that has lead to the best feel-good factor since Meire was deployed.

However, I remain absolutely convinced that we cannot prosper under Duchatelet unless he has a Road-to-Damascus type conversion in terms of his game-plan and ambition for Charlton Athletic Football Club. It's still very much a damage limitation exercise for him and the last thing he wants is to be promoted to the Championship where his operating losses would gear-up to where they were two and three years ago. He will still cash in on Konsa in the near future because that will help balance the books this year, just as Lookman did last year. There are those who say promotion will make the club more saleable and attract a higher price but wouldn't we be in exactly the same position where Duchatelet's expectations would again outstrip reality?

Somewhere along the line he will sell because his heart's not in it and his network plan has failed. However, all the time he can 'wash his face' financially and keep Meire in relatively high-profile (and well paid) work, he can afford to remain in Sint Truiden and let her get on with following his current exit strategy, even if that takes longer than he would like.

I will continue to follow the club I have loved for 40 years but have steadfastly, if a little reluctantly, joined the 'not another penny' mutiny. If you are still going, then good luck to you but for me it's come to this.


Anonymous said...

Totally agree with your view on the regime Dave, which was why I was not at the Valley today. Unlike some who now think the regime have the club's best interests at heart this vinegar pissing customer has not been fooled by the few signings made by Robinson....There is still a long way to go before Charlton have a squad of the right size & ability to mount a serious promotion challenge. At least the team have got the season up and running today....let's see where we are in 45 games time - I reckon we'll do well to be in the play - off places.

Tony said...

Nice to have you back Dave.
You could always try PVR this Tuesday night if you fancy a change of scenery.

Dave said...

I plan on being there Tony 😀.

Dave said...

I plan on being there Tony 😀.

Anonymous said...

Good to have you back Dave. For me yesterday's game will go down in legend as we were playing with 10 men for 90 mins (including the add ons). The players will be able to use that experience to draw on for the rest of the season. Robinson has done exceptionally well to develop a team spirit we haven't seen for years. Fosu, Clarke and Da Silva were excellent (as was Holmes as usual) but the two CBs with Kashi and FC were a real defensive wall. Couldn't really judge the two main incidents from the upper Covered End, but from Sky highlights I'd say no goal and no red card.

On the negative side the ticket queues were chaotic. Mate of mine had his season ticket cheque cashed in May, but still hadn't received it by post, so had to queue and missed the first 20 mins..The hand dryers in upper Covered End weren't working - no real drama at all but indicative of cutbacks reminiscent of the latter days of Jiminez/Slater. Hear that the lower north experienced some similar logistical issues.

To end on a positive I thought the fans were outstanding.

Pembury Addick

Jay said...

"The glass-half-full brigade have lapped it up and that has lead to the best feel-good factor since Meire was deployed"

I prefer to be one of these as opposed to the glass half empty brigade who seem disappointed every time we win, show signs of improvement or put in a good performance

Dave said...

Jay - it's a fair point and I am not carping (honest). I want us to be as successful as the next person but the last three years have told us repeatedly that Duchatelet isn't geared for it, so it's very hard to see how we can achieve it. Every promotion we have achieved since Lennie's time has been on the back of reasonable investment. I don't think we have seen that this Summer and, as I said, I am far from convinced Duchatelet is that bothered about promotion given the additional operating loss he would need to cover. There are plenty who are pleased or at least not bothered if we lose and I understand that (and I have been ambivalent) but only because they believe it hastens the day it goes rather than because we enjoy seeing our club being beaten or humiliated.

Dave said...

PA - glad to see you are still here and as enthusiastic. Robinson said no goal and no sending-off although I thought the sending-off was an easier decision than the goal!