Thursday, July 12, 2007

Charlton Hit Seven

It's been a long time since Charlton scored seven goals in one day, and it is a mildly positive (albeit probably irrelevant) signal that the troubles of last season are behind us, and we are looking onward and hopefully upward.

There's little to conclude from Pardew's choices for the two games, except to note the continued playing presence of Thomas, Bent, and Diawara, and to welcome back the injury-hit Andy Reid. Nonetheless, it never does strikers any harm to bag a goal (or two) on your debut, so congrats to Messrs Varney and Iwelumo.

However the presence of Jody Morris (who played 66 minutes at Welling) suggests sadly that there might be more to his presence at The Valley than a kind offer from the club to keep him match fit.

Along with the likes of Kieron Dyer, Lee Bowyer and Craig Bellamy, he has forged an 'impressive' reputation for himself as unable to be trusted once away from the cosy confines of the training ground. However unlike the aforementioned trio, Morris has shown only rare signs of real untapped potential, and at 28-years old it's fair to assume surely that he is beyond redemption (at least in football terms); Paolo di Canio he ain't.

In fairness, players of their ilk have become popular media whipping boys, and are clearly not bright enough to realise it, and thus conduct their social lives more privately. One can only guess at how many similar incidents are miraculously sorted out with the help of an embarrassed club chairman, and a brown paper bag.

Then again, in how many six-figure earning roles would one still have a meaningful career if one was banned from driving, given 80 hours of community service and a 2-year suspended prison sentence? Alas as we all well know, football operates under its own rules but it's one thing for the club to offer rehabilitation and support to an existing employee (as Charlton once did with Bowyer), but quite another to entice a free agent with a new contract.

However, whilst we are all firmly aware that our central midfield is a problem area, but with £15.5m to be banked from the Darren Bent deal, offering Morris a deal would be real bottom-of-the-barrel stuff. As a result, I would be surprised (or horrified) if it was undertaken. The message it will send out to any of our aspiring Academy midfielders (already disgruntled at a lack of first team opportunities) would be far more damaging in the long-run, than any perceived benefit that Morris might provide in the present.


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