Addickted in Indonesia
I'm always grateful for those Charlton supporters who visit Jakartass expecting fulsome praise for our lads but then have to put up with my comments about Indonesian corrupt politicians (rather than British ones
). Having just reached my highest monthly total of 'unique' visitors ~ 3883, I trust that non-football fans of Jakartass - Hi, Carl
- will excuse a little self indulgence.
Certainly ESPN is doing that for me with tomorrow evening's game against London rivals West Ham
being broadcast live. And this will be the fifth game on the trot that I'll have watched.on the box in the past month, with only one defeat to mar the pleasure.
That defeat, by a rampant Arsenal, was an event to be shared this week by the mighty Italians, Juventus. In Charlton's case, it wasn't a disgrace and at least we are still in the Cup.
The mighty FA Cup competition is down to the last five. Having drawn 0 - 0 against Mifddlesborough in the quarterfinals just 11 days after having beaten them 2 - 1 in the league may yet be judged to have been a wasted opportunity, but not in the eyes of this viewer.
We played with fire and guts, the kind of determined performance which can only be achieved by a group of friends prepared to support each other. This was amply reinforced the last time out when Newcastle came and were made to look quite ordinary, apart from a stunning strike by one time Charlton star (and graduate of our youth academy) Scott Parker.
And tomorrow sees another graduate playing against us. That Paul Konchesky joined West Ham at the end of last season replacing Chris Powell is somewhat ironic. Paul always fancied himself as left back, a position Chrissie held for a number of years until being transferred from the Valley for free (which is seen as a bonus for loyal players). Chris, you see is now 36, an old man in footballing terms. Yet on returning to the Valley for the start of this season he has shown amazing pace and grace under pressure, and played most of the games.
He could yet be a valued member of Charlton's coaching staff but meantimes tomorrow he'll be up against another elder statesman of the game, Teddy Sheringham, who'll be celebrating his 40th birthday, but hopefully not a West Ham victory.
Teddy holding his Chris
What makes the whole affair piquant is that if Charlton can defeat Middlesborough in the replay of the Cup match, then our semi-final opponents will be West Ham.
And what makes me a little sad is that what could be our best ever season in will end in just over a month. Unless Darren Bent, currently the top English striker, and Luke Young, soon to be an automatic choice for defensive duties, are picked by Sven-Goran Eriksson for his last World Cup squad, in which case there'll be a few more matches to watch.
But what makes it just that little bit sadder is that I suspect ESPN are only showing Charlton matches because Alan Curbishley
is being talked about as the next England manager.Postscript
It was a 0 - 0 draw
if you really want to know. I thought it was an absorbing contest although it didn't get me jumping out of my seat and spilling my Bintang. I was intrigued by the commentary which seemed to be more about West Ham, newly re-arrived and doing OK, than Charlton, who've been doing it on fewer resources for a few more years.
At least the studio pundits here thought that Charlton deserved the draw for their gutsy defending. And so did I.