It isn't just a game ....
.... it's more complicated than that.
Mr. Snag, a frequent reader of Jakartass, has written that he is perhaps more interested in the blogger than the blog. To which, I can only reply: Le blog, c'est moi
Jakartass is interested in the big wide world out there and I rarely wander through the internal pastures of nostalgia. We arrive from our past and are. Still, there are occasional times - about one post in nine
actually - when reference has to be made here to Charlton Athletic which I have supported for nigh on fifty years and this is one of those times.
Tonight, at 10pm Indonesia time, Charlton take on West Ham
, a match that will be shown live on ESPN. So what, you might say; two teams locked on 20 points deep in the relegation zone and only 11 games to play. It'll be nervy, mistakes will probably be made and at least one, if not both, is almost certain to be playing in what is euphemistically called the Championship next season. Sure, you might also say, Jakartass is Addickted but why prattle on about it?
Because this just happens to be one of those fixtures where there are bound to be conflicting emotions, and not just because TV isn't interested in football clubs that aren't in the 'élite'. (But will my subscription to satellite TV be worth renewing?)
Last season, Alan Curbishley was Charlton's manager and, after 15 years, he left
on the last day of last season. At that time Alan Pardew was manager of West Ham having brought them back up into the Premiership and he was about to lead them into the FA Cup Final.
All Londoners with long enough memories have a fondness for West Ham, which lies in the north east of the city across the River Thames from Charlton. In 1966 Bobby Moore, captain of West Ham was also captain of the England team that won the World Cup. In that team were Martin Peters and Geoff Hurst, also of West Ham, and it was Hurst who scored the goals, including a hat trick in the final. (In that same team were the Charlton brothers, Bobby and Jackie; unfortunately they never played for London clubs.)
This season has been a roller coaster for both clubs. Alan Pardew was sacked as manager of West Ham by the new owner, an Icelandic biscuit manufacturer. Charlton meanwhile fired two managers, neither of whom having endeared themselves to the Charlton faithful or, seemingly, the players. And both clubs have had dreadful seasons with players not giving of their wholehearted best. Maybe their best isn't good enough anyway, but we Londoners do appreciate guts and a willingness to fight for a cause and to try and overcome adversity.
It's our ingrained blitz mentality, of having fought off invading forces. Our (fore) fathers fought wars for the likes of us.
So what makes this match so special? Well, Alan Pardew is now the manager of Charlton, a club he played for in the early days of Curb's reign. And Curbs is now the manager of West Ham, a club he played for before he ended up playing for Charlton. His assistant, as he was when Curbs was at Charlton, is Mervyn Day who remains a West Ham goalkeeping legend. And legendary Charlton winger and formerly Curbs assistant manager at Charlton, is Keith Peacock who is now Curbs assistant manager at West Ham. Except he was recruited by Alan Pardew while he was still manager there.
Then there are a few players who have connections with both clubs. On West Ham's books are Lee Bowyer and Paul Konchesky, two former Charlton youth team graduates, former Addick Shawn Newton, Carlton Cole loaned to Charlton by Chelsea a couple of seasons ago and Jonathon Spector, an American, who spent last season at the Valley on loan from Manchester United, none of whom were actually signed by Alan Curbishley and in the case of the first three were transferred by him away from the Valley..
Whereas both Alans hope that neither side gets relegated, my only hope is that Charlton stay up. If I don't blog again for a few days, you'll know that we lost the match and that I've taken to my bed with a raging sulk.SUNDAY FOOT(BALL)NOTEAddicks 'ammer Hammers
4 - 0Manager Alan Pardew said: "It wasn't about me or Curbs, it was about the two clubs and our performance today was outstanding."Matt Holland said it all when he came into the dressing room and said that's the standard that we need every week."We produced defensively and we were disciplined. The players have set a high standard today and from now on they will be judged against that.”