Monday 11 August 2008

Championship Round-Up

Thousands of smug Charlton fans back at work this morning and ready to engage in the Monday morning "how did your lot do?" ritual. It will be better next week once the glory boys from the Premier League can also join in, but let's enjoy it for what it was.

All of the reports and blogs have been pretty consistent in what they saw against the Swans and whilst we got the job done, I don't think anyone is crowing just yet about our chances this season. Watford away on Saturday looked a hard task last week but with their lack-lustre draw at Palace and a mood in their camp akin to ours of late, this is possibly a game we can travel to with some optimism. Again, like us, their home form was indifferent last year and we have managed good draws there in the last couple of visits, so I don't see any reason why we can't get another. Hameur Bouazza will be gagging to get on and show his old club what they are missing.

Speaking of Palace, Paddy McCarthy had a mixed debut and one of his clearances had to be saved by Julian Speroni to the horror of the assembled Glaziers. In terms of the McCarthy v Hudson debate on the internet during the Summer, a definate case of 1-0 to Charlton.

It was interesting to note that the three promoted sides were pitted against Reading, Derby and ourselves. If you had been told they would manage a win, a draw and a defeat amongst them I don't think there would have been many punters with a correct tri-cast. Derby's shock home defeat by Doncaster had Paul Jewell sweating in front of the cameras and he looked like he was going to be sick. He had a new team on show but will still have been extremely disappointed not to have arrested last years losing ways. Reading's draw at Forest was obviously a better performance but I thought the Royals might have started with a bang.

I was a bit miffed to see Brum sneak a last gasp Kevin Phillips winner but I expect Sheffield United to compete all season, so it might look like a more favourable result in the months to come. Bristol City's 1-0 win at Blackpool was another decent result and there will be a similar feel-good factor in Bristol today.

Ipswich were surprise losers at home to PNE and East Anglian rivals Norwich also went down at Coventry. Chris Coleman was not satisfied with the Coventry performance, however, and thought Norwich deserved something from the game.

At what I believe will be the bottom end of the table, Cardiff ambled past a poor Southampton team and Sheffield Wednesday pulled out a performance and a result to match Doncaster Rovers', by thumping fancied Burnley 4-1.

Good to see today that Mark Robson has not been out of work long. His old Spurs pal Mark Stimson has had him appointed as first team coach at Gillingham to extend the Charlton-Gills connections. On this basis we can probably expect a loan signing or two to follow down to the Priestfield in due course.

I will be going to the Yeovil Cup game tomorrow when, I too would like to see the bulk of the side play again. However, unlike some fellow Bloggers, I just can't see it. Weaver could be rested for Elliot; Grant Basey can expect a start either in place of Youga or Thomas; Moutaoukil could come back in, if not being kept for Watford; Scott Wagstaff and Josh Wright could feature and it's the perfect match for Stuart Fleetwood and Chris Dickson to get some Valley playing time.

I have learnt not to expect anything from the League Cup, so have no expectations as to the result. If we get through it's another opportunity to develop the youngsters and if we go out there will be no further early season distraction to the business of the Championship.

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