Friday, January 05, 2007

A Bit Parky

Some more positive news emanated from the club this morning with the confirmation that Phil Parkinson will be assistant manager to Alan Pardew (funny how the old structure has disappeared without explanation isn't it?). Given that he was earmarked as a potential candidate for the main post just seven months ago, this has to be a promising hire despite his troubling time at Hull.

The quote from Pards implied it might just be a short-term measure but if we could keep these two young and hungry guys in charge in the event of relegation to the Championship, I would be very confident that we'd mount a strong promotion campaign.

Meanwhile, it's difficult to get too excited about the FA Cup these days, the big clubs have certainly seen to that one beginning with Manchester United's shameful withdrawal from the 2000 competition.

It's a shame really. I'm probably not alone in having the FA Cup central to many of my fondest footballing memories as a kid, particularly the great finals of 1979, 1981 and 1983. The excitement would begin with Bob Wilson aboard the team buses and finish with the lifting of the trophy at Wembley (Wembley? - Ed).

Can you imagine poor old Bob getting access to the team bus these days? "Rio, you must be excited about reaching the FA Cup Final." "Not really to be honest, the gaffer's only promised us a hundred grand if we win it."

And as if the competition hadn't already lost its lustre, our tame departure from the Carling Cup at the last-eight stage has left such a bad taste that I'm struggling to pick myself up and prepare for another sure-to-be-disappointing cup run. Although the Carling Cup is seen as the second-tier competition, from Charlton's perspective the prize is really the same ie. European qualification, and yet it's an easier trophy to lift. Ok, we'd have drawn Chelsea and probably gone out anyway but a two-legged tussle with the faltering Blues would have been a welcome distraction to the tiresome Premiership campaign if nothing else. Thanks again Les.

Anyhow drawing away to the two-time European champions Nottingham Forest is a reminder of how the mighty have fallen, and should serve as a useful reminder of the importance of maintaining stability if relegation insues for us. Although they will see Saturday as an opportunity to earn a Premiership scalp, they should not present a difficult obstacle for us. Moreover, despite their position towards the top of the First Division, the impressive City Ground does not have any of the claustrophobia of some other lower-league grounds.

Thanks to the FA, we are without both of our right-backs which is likely to see Kish play in defence. There's probably a case for resting Carson in goal but otherwise a relatively unchanged side is likely unless Pards takes the (understandable) viewpoint that a Cup exit would not be much to lose sleep over.

Derek 'Killer' Hales (KillerWatch© -£551) has predicted a 1-0 win at 13/2 (which the club helpfully point out is equivalent to six-and-a-half times your stake). I can understand his logic for once but I am willing to predict a more comfortable win for the Addicks. NY Addick predicts Nottingham Forest 1 (Holt), Charlton 3 (Bent M, Hasselbaink, Rommedahl)


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