What were the club thinking when they told the Home Office that Christian Bolanos was a 'left winger'? Everybody knows that you would have to be an out-and-out South American right winger to remain in the UK, as General Pinochet would have told him (and he was even injured).
So perhaps our most exciting pre-season transfer has fallen through, though the news of the signing of Souleymane Diawara for five million Euros has softened the blow somewhat. Not only is he another player with a daft first name (we could well begin a game this season with a back four called Osei, Gonzalo, Souleymane and Djimi), but he is more importantly a big strong centre-back who might just shore up a defence that only looked somewhat solid when compatriot Amdy Faye moved into it on Saturday. Not surprisingly I've never seen Diawara play but there's every chance my next New York taxi driver will be from Senegal so I'll ask him for his views.
In fairness, despite the Bolanos disappointment, the club has probably exceeded expectations on the transfer front with a day or so still to go. That elusive creative midfielder is still notable by his absence although based upon the early promising signs from Andy Reid, he could well be used in a fairly central free role since he is clearly too slow to be a genuine wideman.
It seems likely that Jason Euell will be heading to Middlesbrough meanwhile, and a rather unhappy period in his career will thus come to an end. This is a strange one if you think about it; Curbs confirmed that Charlton rejected an Aug 2005 bid of £2.5m from Crystal Palace, who were then managed by.....Iain Dowie. Euell meanwhile has hardly played since, Dowie has since become his manager anyhow and has now decided he doesn't rate him after all. It does make you wonder whether managers really do know an awful lot about the players they try to sign.
The signing of Euell for a club record in 2001 was classic top-of-the-market stuff, and whilst he pitched in with some useful goals, he was never good enough either as a striker nor a midfielder to justify the price tag, even in those heady days. However his Charlton career was marred by personal tragedy, and despite his failings as a player, he always gave 100% and we should wish him well.