Saturday, April 28, 2007


They say that a second marriage is a triumph of hope over experience, and agreeing to attend a Board-subsidised Charlton away game might be similarly described.

I don't think anyone agreed with my suggestion that the extra-large Charlton following might actually jeopardise our chances rather than boost them. We'll never know for example if Carson's uncharacteristic error, or Thatcher's untimely tackles, or the generally shambolic defensive performance was due to 'trying too hard', but with the exception of a five-minute spell after our gifted goal, the team didn't rise to the occasion (again).

At least West Ham's impressive victory ensures we cannot already be relegated by the time Spurs come to The Valley, but we will probably need three points just to retain a tiny hope of survival. As any decent football fan knows, the Premier League's decision not to deduct points from West Ham is an outrage, but if we finish 19th it makes no difference to us. Indeed, given the choice between battling for promotion next season against Wigan or West Ham for example, I would choose the former so perhaps it will ultimately work to our benefit.

Relegation will not be the consequence of taking only 3 points from our last 5 games. In truth the writing was on the wall last season, and certainly on the opening day of this campaign, when we were comprehensively outplayed by the aforementioned Hammers. And whilst the sums involved in organising 'Operation Ewood' were hardly extravagant, in truth today's fixture might have been meaningless if far greater amounts had not been spurned by the Board on the likes of Marcus Bent or Djimi Traore, the salary of Andrew Mills, or on a clearly malfunctioning youth academy that churns out well-adjusted teenagers instead of footballers.

However let's face it, for a club like Charlton, relegation was an inevitable outcome eventually. If one accepts that we probably began every season with a typical 4/1 chance of being relegated, then there was only a 21% chance that we would begin our eight consecutive Premiership season in 07/08. It was only possible to punch above our weight for so long before we risked getting knocked out.

So whilst lessons need to be learned, it need not be cause for despair. Most Charlton fans didn't begin supporting the club in the top-tier, and after all we've only spent 12 of the past 50 seasons there. Indeed, we probably ought to be surprised that the dream lasted this long, and when one considers that the upwardly-mobile likes of Bolton have been in the Championship more recently than us, I still trust our Board enough to ensure it will be just another chapter in our proud history, not the final one. In the meantime, let's just be grateful that we don't support Leeds who now have no hope, whilst we still cling to a slight one.


At 11:07 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

true....but cant stop thinking of those two points robbed of us by that idiot graham poll!
i wouldnt be suprised if thats what takes us down!
its gonna be a very long summer and if we dont bounce straight back we could be there for a long time :(
its hard to watch...

At 11:23 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i only read this blog for the economics articles and dont know much about football but it seems to me that the curbishly chap is doing a super job at west ham and might keep them up. seems a shame charlton never considered offering him a job

At 11:50 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

2 points stolen v Fulham. A fantastic goal scored by a player who had got away with assault PLUS a defender playing handball in the area v the Arse. A blatent penalty not given for a handball inside the area but a free kick given outside V watford........... All clubs have bad calls against them to complain about. Ultimately we have been undone by a lack of quality and strength in depth.
we will come back stronger for a spell in the championship- hopefully with less prima donna lard arses and with some young, never say die believers who will fight as they won't have become jaded by the cosseted life of the premiership.

At 5:48 AM, Anonymous Bob Miller said...

I generally don't care for anonymous comments, as I prefer those who will stand up and be coutned, but the one just above has sufficient merit where I would say amen!

At 5:49 AM, Anonymous Bob Miller said...

Make that "counted" sorry for the typo!

At 8:13 AM, Anonymous Paul May said...

I was at least half in sympathy with your view that Operation Ewood might be a mistake.

At 11:22 AM, Anonymous Estu24 said...

Whether Operation Ewood was a mistake or not, the club would do it again for sure. While desperately trying to keep the club up, the board are also playing politics with the fans - I don't particularly agree with your comment re: most fans did not join the club when we were in the Premiership. the board will do anything to try to hang on to these fickle 'fans'.

Whatever the case. Next year it will be called Operation Molineux for the 1st leg of the playoff semi-final.

At 12:00 PM, Anonymous Hammertime said...

Hi Addick

Yes, it is who you think it is. Just wanted to point you and other Addicks to the direction of this excellent article by Martin Samuel on the Tevez affiar. Be interested to hear your thoughts. Best of luck in the fight to stay up, I'd really, really like us both to be safe but sadly don't see that happening.


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