Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Double Deal

Although unconfirmed as yet by the club, it seems we have now acquired the services of both Danny Green from the Daggers and Dale Stephens from Oldham Athletic.

Green seems a really good prospect and is well thought of by John Still.  Green plays down the right wing, has a great cross a good shot and by all accounts a nice long throw.  I just hope that Powell can get the best out of him as John Still has managed to.  Let's not forget that we already have Paul Benson who was apparently Daggers best player before we bought him.  So far we haven't seen anything like the form that he discovered at Dagenham.

Seems that little is known of Dale Stephens.  I've scoured the web trying to find some details but there is precious little.  I guess it's going to be a suck it and see situation.  I do know that he is a midfielder, I do know that he is believed to be a good passer of the ball and I do know that he scored 9 goals in 34 starts last season.
I'm guessing we are done with midfielders now, and it should also give the green light for Semedo to make his exit.  Although many will miss him, I think it's the right decision for everybody.  As much as you couldn't fault him for effort, I always felt that he looked like he was playing out of position.  He wasn't a natural holding midfielder, but he gave his all every time he was picked.  Who could ask for more?  I would rather he didn't end up at Palace though...

Hopefully we'll see a couple of centre-backs sign soon.  With the midfield complete and Hayes bolstering our strike force, this is an area that needs some immediate attention.  Our defence was a shambles at times last year, and no disrespect to Doc and Dailly, but we need some fresher and faster legs.

Monday, 27 June 2011

Busy Month

A month away at this time of the football season would usually yield very little info other than paper talk and speculation.  Ordinarily there are few deals done because many players and managers are on holiday and nothing is generally finalised until the first week of July.  This year however, I return from my annual jaunt around places nobody has really heard of to find that there is much to catch up on.  I'll save you full commentary of all the gossip and news however and will just pass a few comments on particular areas of interest.

When we brought in Danny Hollands after virtually the last kick of the season, I was hoping that this was going to be a sign of things to come in terms of quality of transfer targets.  Sadly, this hasn't proven to be the case.  The latest arrivals of Alonso and Evina and Hayes don't really get the juices flowing.  Alonso has hardly settled at a club since leaving Real Sociedad where he made only 104 appearances in almost 10 years.  Wherever he has been he has struggled to hold down a starting position, not really something that fills me with too much confidence I'm afraid.  Evina did pretty well at Oldham apparently, and they did want to keep him, but he fancied a trip back to London, and that's probably a large part of the reason we were able to pick him up.  Hayes, although did OK at Scunthorpe, it didn't really work out for him at Preston.  Maybe the Championship is above his true level, maybe he needs the right partner, or maybe his Scunthorpe form was a fluke.  It remains to be seen, but he is by no means a prolific striker.

As well as players in, we've had a couple of leave as well.  The least surprising was Carl Jenkinson's move to Arsenal.  I still find it a puzzle to be honest.  Clearly the architect was Phil Parkinson, but he didn't make any appearances under Parky and therefore you have to wonder why that actually was.  He had no first team opportunities until Powell took the reins yet Parky felt that he was worth recommending to Arsene Wenger as a hot prospect for Arsenal.  I can't help wondering why if Parky rates him so highly, why the hell he never played him.  Still, we got a bit of cash for him, and actually you can't really miss what you haven't had.  He only made a handful of appearances for the Addicks after all.

Racon is the another one who found his way out of The Valley, and if I'm totally honest I'm not disappointed.  Therry was one of those frustrating players to watch, at times he could move the ball really well and get into some good positions and at others he was found to be lightweight and unable to pick out a pass.  Ultimately, there was no consistency there, and although there sometimes looked like promise, he mostly flattered to deceive.

Away from matters on the pitch the most interesting Charlton related 'gossip' I've read came from a fellow blogger; New York Addick.  His article CAFC: The Movie which I'm sure you've all read (if you haven't I suggest you do, yes even those of you who had a quick glance and thought "phew that's a bit long" and swiftly moved on to other news), really hit a few nerves with me.  Having been associated with the press for many years before my retirement I sometimes come across interesting information about all number of things.  I have managed to glean a certain amount of info on both footballing and other matters regarding our current owners which relates quite well to the article written by NYA.  I did write a long reply on his article but somehow it disappeared into the ether between typing the Word Verification and logging in to my account to post the comment.  I was pretty miffed at this happening and couldn't bring myself to start over as it was quite a piece, maybe it's something that I will revisit in the future, or maybe it was fate telling me to let it lie for now.  That said, I know there is more than meets the eye with this matter, and it will be interesting to see if anything more unfolds during the tenure of our current owners.

I would finally like to say a huge thanks to all the Charlton bloggers.  Rather than having to come back and catch up on info via news website and other media, I just need to visit the blog pages of all of you that have been active during my absence.  You saved me an awful chore and gave me plenty of enjoyment as I read your articles over the last 24 hours, so keep up the good work!