Wednesday, March 31, 2004


Well, despite this, Spurs are set to continue their doomed chase for Curbs as their new manager, according to today's Independent.

Spurs will not be able to bid for Curbishley until the end of the season as he has signed a new deal at The Valley and is also hoping to take his club to a Champions' League place next season. But if Charlton fail then Tottenham may have a realistic chance. (more)

Except, of course, that Spurs haven't had a realistic chance of getting into Europe for years and years, and who would you rather deal with for money - Richard Murray or Daniel Levy? Still, let them pursue their futile chase. It's funny. Anyway, this has nothing to do with my £20 on Claudio Ranieri taking over at Spurs in the summer, of course.

Sky's relentless arseing around with our Liverpool game is over - it's Easter Monday after all, giving us 12 days to get tickets. Having been hunting around for travel arrangements, it proves that Rupert Murdoch is not only Satan's representative on earth, he probably also has shares in Virgin Trains.

Monday, March 29, 2004

Curbs for England part 172

"While international management it totally different to managing a club side, it still remains basically all about just one thing — man- management" (more)

The Voice Of London Football (TM) Tony Gale pushes his claim for Alan Curbishley to be included in the England set-up in The Sun. Whatever did happen for the plan to get Curbishley involved with England?

Saturday, March 27, 2004

Good old

Hmmm. Strange banner ad on Netaddicks... "Since Parker put pen to paper for Chelsea... more than 107,665 people have come back to BT. Maybe the grass isn't greener." I'm not totally sure what this is meant to mean, but it also appears on Chelsea's site too. Ah well, that's for you.

Charlton 1-2 Aston Villa

Charlton 1-2 Aston Villa
Reports: BBC Sport, CAFC, Sky Sports, Ananova, The Observer, Independent on Sunday, Sunday Times, News of the World, Wyn Grant, The Guardian, The Times, The Sun, Daily Mirror.
Dear oh dear. Instead of the break in Spain, how about a couple of days in bracing Skegness? Anything but what produced the sorry, sloppy performance today. At least we still can hope for 1) Newcastle and Liverpool to lose tomorrow (oh yeah) and 2) a place in the Fair Play league - which Paul Konchesky put at risk by rising to Lee Hendrie's wind-ups in the dying minutes.

Where to start? Well, we were crap from the start, with a barrage of Villa attacks penetrating our poor defence. Instead of playing Chris Powell from the start, Paul Konchesky got to prove why he isn't the answer to England's left-back problem. But if they started off well, after 10 minutes, it could have been 3-1 to us. Carlton Cole's header was our first chance - our first decent ball! - of the match, and he scored. Five minutes in. Dreamland? Suddenly, Holland hit the post, and after that Luke Young, of all people, fired just wide. Champions League? We weren't having a laugh.

Except we took our temporary dominance, and Villa - who have become a hard-working, tough nut to crack under David O'Leary - for granted. The under-rated Darius Vassell equalised, and by half time it was becoming a stereotypical "great game for neutrals", meaning it was turbulent as anything for the us - and the opposition.

Except the second half stopped being a thriller against Villa. It became a bag of shite instead. Ex-Charlton trainee Jloyd Samuel got his chance to ram the boos straight up the home fans' arses when he fired home Villa's second goal after a Gareth Barry cross - a chance he took with glee, gloating in front of the Covered End and East Stand.

Naturally, just as half the East Stand started to go home, things livened up. With Shaun Bartlett and Jonatan Johansson coming on for a Radostin Kishishev and a poor Paolo Di Canio, and Chris Powell replacing Jason Euell, who played as if he'd had a skinful before the game (his woeful day culminating in his shorts falling down after 70 minutes), we looked a bit more secure. Powell did well at left-back (as pointed out in a comment below) - could we pull off a comeback?

Perhaps not. Konchesky got involved in needless fisticuffs with the provocative Hendrie as 90 minutes approached, but as Jonatan Johansson fell in a melee in Villa's box, a penalty was called. With Di Canio and Euell gone, it was down to Claus Jensen to take the penalty. He took it nervously, and it fired into the top of the Jimmy Seed Stand.

No matter - we didn't deserve a point from this debacle, and we'd better hope Newcastle and Liverpool screw up tomorrow. With no game next weekend, we'll probably return to the fray from the safety of mid-table - perhaps we'll perform better without the pressure. Perhaps.

Boos rang out at the end of the game - to the fury of one of my (few) vocal neighbours in the East Stand. Thankfully, she never heard me let out a brief boo at the final whistle. Was she right to be so angry? Please let me know in the comments box.

East Stand depature watch: The first fainthearts left seven minutes from the end, and the gangways were rammed when we had our 90th minute penalty. Loyal supporters? Don't make me laugh.

Cash flow

I forgot to mention Charlton's half-yearly results yesterday - a slight dip into the red caused by reassessing the value of a single player, who is now worth £1 million less. I wonder who it is? Is it the unsold Konchesky, or the crocked Rowett?

Before Villa

Before looking at today's Villa game, just a final thought about Liverpool - I'm in a job where I get to see the Press Association newswire a lot. Yesterday they put out a feature predicting the results of Liverpool's final games - with the conclusion that the Scousers would miss out on fourth place. Funny, because they ran a similar feature on Monday, predicting they would take fourth (with Newcastle fifth and us sixth). Has so much turned on the Uefa Cup exit? Oh, come on. Incidentally, they called our game as 1-1 both times.

Well, excuse me for feeling a shade pessimistic about today's visit of the Villa - they've a load of players coming back from injury, we're set to have hamstrung Herman Hreidarsson out - meaning we can enjoy the rare sight of Chris Powell meandering around at his own, unique pace. I think Chris Powell is a god of a man, I really do, but he's off the pace now - against Nottingham Forest reserves the other week he was wretched, and all over the place. He could definitely do a job in Division One - but even he knows his time in the Premiership is up. That said, he'll probably get a rare goal today and do his jack-in-the-box thing until last orders. Villa tore us apart in Birmingham at the start of the season - we've got to hold firm this time. Prediction? Ah, sod it, 2-0 to us.

Away from The Valley, yesterday's Independent had a great piece on Claudio Ranieri and Chelsea. My thoughts? He'll be the next Spurs boss - and will end up taking Spotty Parker there with him.

Thursday, March 25, 2004

European tours

Damn, and arse - Liverpool out of the UEFA Cup, meaning 'Oullier's boys won't have anything else to distract them. But the whims of Sky Sports may mean we'll still have to settle for a midweek trip to Anfield instead of an Easter Monday extravaganza, sadly. Newcastle, however, are still in there, and still ready to take their eye off the ball...

Let's not be beastly about the...

Pete Winkleman, the man who is in the process of "saving" Franchise FC from the administrators, is many things, most of them not very nice. But he was something very rare last night - a football club boss who was pleased to see 1,000 Millwall fans turn up at his ground last night. The man who helped rip Wimbledon out of south London to football-mad Milton Keynes was rewarded with a crowd of 3,037 (only 88 more than AFC Wimbledon's last home league game) at the National Hockey Stadium to see his shabby little side get beaten 1-0 by the Spanners. A third of the crowd were away fans, kindly helping fund his MK Lepers venture, which is brought to you in association with Asda. Well, at least they've got one thing in common - no-one likes them, and they don't care either.

While in the Football League, click here to hear the latest results from Onionbagblog. Speakers on, and not work-friendly.

Tuesday, March 23, 2004

Diving from the moral high ground

You can picture the scene when the young Laurent Robert was at school, can't you? Let's say the young man had had a little accident in his underpants, and all the kids were laughing and pointing at him. "Ewww! You stink, you dirty horrible little...", they shout at him. "It's not my fault!", claimed the little Laurent. "It's my mum's fault, because she's not here to wipe my bum for me!" Which is apt, because the cheating little sod's just come out with something similar about Saturday night's antics at St James's Park.

"The penalty was given by the referee, not me. It was the referee's decision. At Spurs last week we maybe could have had a penalty when Aaron Hughes was fouled and also Craig Bellamy. This week was our turn I think." (more)

Not, "yes, I cheated, because there's huge pressure on my club to earn £20m in Champions League moolah or my aged boss will be sacked," which is the truth, and perfectly understandable if you think about it. I expect Liverpool players are going to have a bizarre sense of balance over the next few weeks. Instead, it's a kind of "look, the boys from the special school got away with it last week, and now it's my turn!" Which makes everyone feel better. I wonder if Saint Bobby will have a few words in Laurent's shell-like, as promised? Can't see it, can you?

Last night's antics at Elland Road were in much the same vein. Of course, I doubt Alan Smith would have been so smug if it was Shaun Wright-Phillips who took a tumble in the Leeds penalty area, and condemned Leeds to relegation and a nice ground-share at Oakwell.

With so much hanging in the balance now, and the FA's refusal to use video evidence, I'm waiting for the first team to sue another (or a named player) because one of their number has cheated their way to a penalty, thus deriving a possibly unfair result and enormous financial gain at the end of the season. After all, if you'd just lost out on £20m because some little tosser had taken a dive, wouldn't you be tempted to seek some redress?

Welcome to All Quiet In The East Stand

Welcome, for the first time, to All Quiet In The East Stand, the Charlton weblog which likes to stay to the end of the match, thank you very much. I'm Inspector Sands, a silly name I adopted to stop people on my other site, Casino Avenue, guessing who I was. (Half of them know, anyway.) Yes, anonymity is the mark of the coward, but that's my problem and not yours.

I started Casino Avenue - the kind of moaning, whining weblog which gives the internet a bad name - just under a year ago and gradually started to include more and more Charlton content. The first game featured on the site was the 6-1 defeat to Leeds. Oops. During the Scott Parker transfer saga in January, the football stuff began to crowd everything else out. Either that, or people were being directed to my site to look for Charlton stuff, only to have to search through some cranky rant about the council. So from now on, the match reports will appear on both sites, but the bulk of the Charlton stuff's going to be on here only, unless I can make it interesting to non-football fans. Which, you'll agree, might be a struggle. So from now on, this is the main place for Charlton moans, groans and bad jokes.

A little bit about myself - I'm not yet 30 and I live pretty close to The Valley. I'm from a Charlton-supporting family, and I remember being taken up onto the east terrace when I was four or five by my grandparents. But it skipped a generation in my parents, and I didn't really get the bug until I moved to Charlton and started going regularly in autumn 1999. Yes, I know, I'm a Johnny-come-lately, but you'll just have to deal with it. Someone has to own up to it around here.

That's it for now - I'm not sure how this will evolve and develop, I sometimes go to AFC Wimbledon and I might stick a few words about them up from time to time for a bit of variety. But hopefully you'll enjoy reading and contributing to this - I don't want to end up writing all of this! - and I'm not going to make too much of an arse of myself. Come on you Addicks!