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Posts from the ‘Parky’ Category

Managerial Addicks

Phil Parkinson’s recent appointment at Sunderland and Gary Rowett’s move to our south-east London neighbours got me thinking of other Charlton connections currently in managerial positions around the leagues.

We all admire Parky, who quietly and almost successfully attempted to rebuild the damage caused by his old mate Alan Pardew with a millionth of the budget. But even the Roman’s would have had difficulty rebuilding the destruction Pardew left behind. The Spiv’s moved him on and replaced him with a certain Chris Powell, and the rest was history. Powell is now part of the England coaching set-up.

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He’s only 5ft 3

A big day for Chris Solly, one of our most popular players in what has been a topsy turvey last decade for the club. Solly’s debut was as a substitute in the last game of our wretched Championship relegation season in 2008/9.

That team and the one the next season never really gelled with me as we missed out in the play-offs under Phil Parkinson. Yet youngsters like Solly, Scott Wagstaff and Jonjo Shelvey were little specks of light in a dark tunnel that Chris Powell drove us out of at full speed.

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Shrewsbury Town 1 Charlton Athletic 0

We just weren’t good enough were we?..

Charlton ended the season how they started it back in August. Short on options, quality and goals. Lee Bowyer and Johnnie Jackson brought back togetherness, spirit and pride, but they had no way to address the continuous issues that Roland Duchatelet has besieged every single manager or head coach that has taken the team since the old bastard walked into our lives.

Shrewsbury over-powered us, roughed us up and played to a style that they have perfected under one manager for almost two seasons. We can bemoan that their goalscorer should have been sent off, and we were refused a blatant penalty, but the best team won over two games.

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Keeps signs

The goalkeeper spot has been a summer priority and it was a surprise that so few names had been mentioned in dispatches. Dillon Phillips has appeared not have grasped the opportunity during pre-season and an experienced ‘keeper became a necessity. Ben Amos was linked with us a few days ago, and signed on a season long loan this morning from Bolton.

I personally would have liked to have seen a permanent signing but there are a whole raft of young or out of favour keepers around and a loan was always more likely. The last negotiations came down to how much we would have to contribute to Amos’ hefty salary that he negotiated for himself when he joined Wanderers from Man U on a free in 2015.

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New head coach bounce

“He’s met the players, he’s had some chats and they are well aware of how he wants to play as well, so we tried that in the first-half.” – Damian Matthew

So Guy Luzon has his work permit, and the Israeli officially becomes the Addicks 24th manager in it’s colourful history.

At the end of the day he will get my support, because wanting the team to be successful is the only way I know. Life and in particular being a Charlton fan is complicated and draining enough without wishing ill of something that has been part of me for 40 years.

When football fans set off for games it is not to support the owner, or the CEO, it is to support a collection of footballers wearing a shirt, representing a club in a community that they have an emotional connection with, and that will be no different on Saturday.
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Good on Parky

Riveting wasn’t it? The battle to finish 4th. I nearly wet myself when Newcastle got a free-kick in Arsenal’s half with a couple minutes to go….

More exciting and relevant to us Addicks was Yeovil’s first ever promotion to the 2nd tier. Gary Johnson, who was mentioned in dispatches for the Charlton job post Parky only re-joined the Glovers in January last year. He kept them up and then took them to promotion today, 10-years after he brought them into the league. Welcome to The Championship Yeovil, lets hope it doesn’t rain on our trip down there next season!
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Local hero

Next Sunday’s Capital One Cup Final doesn’t only have fans from Bradford and Swansea excited, but around these parts Bermudians are eagerly anticipating the game too.

The reason for that? 22-year old Bermudian born striker Nahki Wells, who left the island in 2010 in attempt to make it as a professional footballer in England. Wells paid for himself to attend the then brand new Richmond International Academic and Soccer Academy in Headingley, near Leeds where ex-pros Mark Ellis and John Hendrie are heavily involved.

Whilst there he had a season with the Academies affiliated non-league team Eccleshill United in the Northern Counties East League (6 levels lower than Bradford City in the pyramid) and after a couple of trials he ended up at the unlikely outpost of Carlisle United. I have spent time in both Carlisle and Bermuda and they’re unlikely to ever be twinned.
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Kings of Leon

Yado Mambo will be a bit peeved I would suspect after Charlton signed centre half Leon Cort on a season-long loan from Burnley this morning. Mambo impressed against Reading in the week and was on the bench at Gigg Lane on Saturday but there may still be reservations about his ability to do a long stint in the first team, definitely I’d be worried if an injury to, say, Taylor and a suspension for Morrison resulted in Mambo and Doherty lining up in the first team together. Mambo needs a break-out year though and I think Powell will have him higher up his list of plans than Doherty as the season progresses.

I was surprised at how old Leon Cort was (he’s 31) and he’s had some clubs but has played mostly at a higher level, since he helped Hull to promotion from League One in 2004/5 anyway, and he’s also scored a fair few goals.

A striker has to the next port of call for Powell and there are plenty of rumours – take you pick from Crawley’s Matt Tubbs, Southampton’s Lee Barnard, Leicester’s Jeffrey Schlupp or Bury’s Ryan Lowe.
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Pointless in Rochdale

Rochdale 2 Charlton Athletic 0
Another defeat, this time to ruddy Rochdale in front of 2,589 people and whilst I really want to believe in Michael Slater and Tony Jimenez, I am fast losing the will to live. That is now an embarrassing 3 points from 33. A thoroughly depressing and horrible stat.
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Charlton Athletic 0 Brentford 1
I was ignorant to what was happening at The Valley on Saturday and frankly, I wish I still was. I did manage to switch my phone on as we rushed to get our Chicago connection at Miami just around the 88th minute of the game. Timing is everything.

I was very disappointed to see the starting line up. Too many out of form players, although Francis was dropped but there was not enough adventure or hope in the team. The top 6 is way beyond us now and spectacularly those chasing promotion all appear at the top of the form table whereas us and Oldham are stranded at rock bottom. Thank heavens for those first four, some would say fortunate, wins under Powell.
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What has changed?

Next Saturday I will get to see for myself Chris Powell’s new look team, but in the mean time I’m left to listen to the radio and witnesses and observe the results. 

So, forgetting the minor thing of results, what else has changed? Powell has signed BWP of course and added left back Bessone (have we ever had an Argentinian play a first team game before?). Fry’s loan has been extended until the middle of March and Akpo Sodje was moved onto Hibs.

Also significantly Alan McCormack has been preferred to Racon, although the Frenchmen impressed when he came on for him at Yeovil. It’ll be interesting to see if the boss reverts back to McCormack tomorrow. Powell has clearly tightened up a previously porous defence (12 goals conceded in 4 games) and by all accounts got our full-backs working higher up the pitch. Francis in particular has come in for some praise. Chris also appears to have gained favour with referees and linesmen, as for the first time in an age we have been on the receiving end of some very good officialdom fortune.

But, and Powell has been honest on this, we haven’t been playing anywhere near an expansive game and our performances are patchy, especially in the first half. The reason then for all of this? The same players mostly, but a different motivator and definitely a more patient crowd.

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New era arrives with a bang

Quite a day. Phil Parkinson was indeed a good bloke, decent and hard working but after yesterday evening the writing was on the wall and the difference between this week and last, is that the board could afford to pay him, Breacker and Kinsella off.

Let’s deal with the backroom staff first. It is sad to see Kinsella go, but as a coach, I don’t think he has anywhere near the qualities he had as a player. Very different skills of course. As for Breacker, well he was a Parkinson appointee and as in 99% of cases a new broom sweeps every corner of the room as it probably should have done two years ago. I wonder how long Phil Chapple will last when a new managerial team come in?

As for Parky, many Addicks will point to our league position, last season’s play-off finish and a 39% win rate, but despite the club’s ongoing financial situation, he’s still had one of League One’s largest budgets and free-reign and support in the transfer market from his chairman.

But for me and a growing band of other Addicks it was the dour style of play (and I mostly only get to listen to it on the radio), lack of ambition in games, especially at The Valley plus more and more glaringly obvious, Parky’s tactical limitations. Sadly too many times he has stood on the side lines and been out-thought by his fellow managers, some or most of whom, have a fraction of the resources that he has had.

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Parky and backroom staff sacked

Sky and the South London Press are reporting that Parky and the whole backroom staff have been sacked by the new board.

Some Addicks will be thrilled by that news. I’m not sure what kind of light this puts the new owners in after backing him just a couple of days ago. Nonetheless football is a cruel game and Parky, Breacker and Kinsella are now all jobless.

Who do you fancy to takeover?

UPDATE: Now official. Michael Slater: “The team has not won in the league since November and recent performances have simply not been good enough. Last night’s defeat convinced us as a board that change is required now we are still in the hunt for promotion, and that we must appoint a new manager to give us every chance of going up.”


Charlton Athletic 2 Swindon Town 4
The last time Swindon visited The Valley Addicks fans ended the evening distraught but with at least a sense of pride. There was no pride this evening, just despair.

From start to finish this was a woeful display. For the umpteenth time this season we were lacking in ideas and any kind of creativity. With our first meaningful attack Johnnie Jackson scored again, this time from a lucky deflection and we were fortunate to see the goal stand. TV replays showed a handball and an offiside. But it did and it was a great opportunity to push on.

But we didn’t, Swindon continued to dominate while we just launched long balls forward and the midfield ran around in circles trying to work out Parky’s 4-3-3 or 4-5-1 system and Swindon fully deserved their 41st minute equaliser.

At the break Michael Slater would have been hoping along with 14,000 others that Parky would demonstrate some managerial skills. He didn’t.

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Fight back

Colchester United 3 Charlton Athletic 3
I didn’t manage to get over to Colchester on Saturday (about an hour from where we were staying with friends), but sat in front of the BBC’s Football League Show last night to watch some highlights of what must have easily been the best game in the division yesterday and they gave us a couple of flipping minutes. They didn’t even show Benno’s disallowed goal. What a joke programme that is.

Anyway onto the game…. once again we just don’t have enough about us to dominate games against 11 or 10 players, a problem that both Brighton and Southampton don’t seem to have. However to come from behind 3 times showed a lot of character and it has been rare this season that Addicks have had cause to complain about lack of fight within the side. Whether come May this alone will be enough only time will tell.

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