A Sad Addickshun
I've been a fan of Charlton Athletic
since I went to Charlton Manor Junior & Mixed Infants all those years ago. I actually went to my first match the year after I left, mainly because my parents thought I was finally big enough to get to The Valley on my own.
This I did every other Saturday when they played at home and on occasion I even went to watch them at various away games, mainly in the London area. But, hey, I've rabbitted on about ' my' club often enough before. So why now?
It may be that the (chicken)pox has got me down, but I've always muttered stuff like "mind over matter" when things don't go right, and tried to overcome situations by sleeping on them on the basis that they'd look trivial in the morning or by finding alternative paths. However, in recent weeks, I haven't felt comfortable in my support of my childhood home team.
We're not a glamour club, we're a family club and once, during our glory days of mid-table averageness in the English Premier League, we were dubbed everybody's favourite second team. That was when players seemed proud to wear the colours, as were the fans. The results recently haven't 'gone our way', but then it seems that their have been few players on the field prepared to give their all for the cause.
Since relegation a couple of seasons ago, a restructuring of the squad has had to be made, mainly to trim the EPL wage bill. This should have been the time for players from the Youth Academy to step up and make their mark. Some have, but then been loaned out to other clubs in lower divisions "to get experience". Perversely, players have come in on loan, generally to get match fit. Somehow this seems to have knocked the heart out of the club.
If local lads aren't allowed to perform in front of local fans, then the community base is of little value. Charlton is not a ManYoo or Chelsea, with untold millions to spend on salaries and ground improvements and theme-bars in foreign cities
, even though, like ManYoo, Charlton has now launched it's own TV station
. Unfortunately, with a dial-up connection, there's no way I'm going to sign up for match 'highlights'. Then again, recent results are so depressing that a regular in a forum (invitee only) connected with Dr. Kish's Clinic
, which offers "online therapy for the hopelessly Addickted", has suggested that he'd be happy enough if we dropped down another level into Tier 3.
And I think it was that comment, along with my recent computer malfunction, which lead to me to switch off. If the players and committed fans 'back home' couldn't be bothered to strive for better things, then why should I half a world away? I stopped archiving match previews and reports. I didn't want to read the manager suggesting that if the players showed the guts they'd shown for five minutes in the first half and eradicated those schoolboy mistakes they were prone to in the other eighty-five minutes, then things would be OK.
Well, maybe they are. Alan Pardew
, who's presided over the nigh on two year slump has now left - "by mutual consent", but after a 2-5 home drubbing
I'm still slowly recovering from the pox. I hope Charlton get on the mend a bit quicker.
It might, too, because there's another highly rated football manager who also once played for Charlton and, like Pardew, went on to manage West Ham. Alan Curbishley was probably the most successful manager Charlton ever had, and few had the send off he had
back in 2006. Can he restore our faith and renew our partisanship once again?
Will I again want to stay up on a Saturday night to watch the live teletext of events on the pitch? Or will I, like last night, mutter ho hum
and wander off to get my beauty sleep.
Who cares, eh?