There’s a programme that ITV put out on a Sunday called the championship (judging by the presenter I guess it’s supposed to be about gaelic football or something similar) that ... wait for it, shows bits ‘n’ bobs of second division football. They should advertise that really because I couldn’t find any mention of it anywhere and (without sky sports) was wondering where I’d get my weekly three seconds of Charlton action from.
DERBY 0 – DONCASTER 1
Anyway, I was going to start of by welcoming Doncaster to the second division but they seem to have done that themselves ... well done Donny! Their match is one of the reasons I love propa football at this level, you don’t have to have billions or wait on line for the ‘big four’ to steamroller you each season, as Hull City supporters will surely tell you. I recently predicted that Derby would make the play offs whilst Doncaster left for the third a bit sharpish but I take that back. Based on this performance (and as most blokes will tell you, one swallow does not a wife make) it could well be the other way around ... and I really hope so. You’ve got Derby with their septic chairman talking about ‘global branding’. If that wasn’t enough to make you puke they have a scouse manager who clearly can’t dress himself (and now th’ve dropped a division they can’t afford to pay someone to do it for him – come on jewell I know it’s probably a while since you’ve been in court but surely your daughter, sister, wife, granny or someone could have helped?) and just to wrap it up taffy savage who, like someone like vinnie jones rather than the likes of Paul Ince, may be a whingeing dirty bastard but isn’t actually anywhere near as good as he thinks – or his ‘mates’ / ‘advisers’ tell him. Well I hope they go down! Not much chance I know but we can hope (remember Man City?). Anyway Doncaster turned up at ‘pride park’ and duly nicked the points with a solitary goal. It was a nice smart goal from a team which seems to want to play nice smart football and I again applaud you for that. The newly promoted Rovers could have won by more and although they looked a bit shaky at the back should have had a penalty when Stubbs fouled in the box during the first half.
So whilst, Doncaster were announcing themselves to the world (well those of us who care about second division football – and that mainly excludes the media), Charlton finished their pre-season build up with defeat of daffodil league one team Swansea. We’ve now played two home friendlies – against two foreign teams – and seen two sendings off – all with Danny Mills nowhere to be seen. Anyway I’m mildly optimistic and not just in that my ambitions lie in finishing seventh, which is fully achievable with the right wind. Things look like showing signs of promise if Pardew can get the right mix of youth (Youga, Jonjo et al) and experience (Weaver, Holland) which will form a good building block for the club. We maybe not at the level of Athletic Club of Bilbao who only sign players with a basque ‘connection’ (which some would argue approaches Jack Charlton’s approach to the Irish national team) but at least we can count at least four players in the starting line up on Saturday who got their first real chance at the Valley. Anyway, on with the round up where everyone, barring ourselves and Southampton, have thrown their hat firmly in the ring ...
BRUM 1 – SHEFF U 0
Two of the divisions more fancied sides met in the early kick off and I tipped Brum to run away with this league. However, any team that plays marcus bent (thanks for the money brady) ahead of Kevin Phillips should reevaluate their management process. Without going into his reasons for joining them from West Brom (I can see a good argument for both sides – not just money – and who knows which sides grass is greener?) Phillips came off the bench to do what he’s been doing for years – grabbing the half chance provided and turning it into points – even at 35years old.
BLACKPOOL 0 – BRISTOL C 1
What to say about this? Looked like a bag o’shite really and city shouldn’t kid themselves this will be any continuation of last season.
COVENTRY 2 – NORWICH 0
So the proud yellow canaries were beaten by the team from ghost town – shame L Ward struck a penalty before McKenzie converted a clintons morrisons cross – enough reason to have wanted an away win me thinks but unfortunately the win leaves the sky blues in second
croydon 0 – WATFORD 0
Whist the glaziers continue to finance the ‘boys’ from surrey at the same time as pumping millions into / taking millions out of (your choice) manu ... isn’t there some league rule about that which could get both sides kicked out? ... they continue to change their shirts to replicate greater teams than they ... witness the return o he old peru shirt they wore this weekend. Please someone tell them it doesn’t matter what shirt they wear, they’re still a bunch of nigels! Still Watford hit the bar and had one disallowed for offside so could have been better.
IPSWICH 1 – PRESTON 2
I’m told that Super Kevin Lisbie scored with his head in the second minute here ... yeah right! Still whatever he and Campo did or didn’t do, Preston took the points, partly due to a beautifully hit shot from outside of the box by their captain McKenna.
PLYMOUTH 2 – WOLVES 2
Twice the pilgrims lead and twice millwall mick’s boys came back – shame, shame, shame!
QPR 2 – BARNSLEY 1
So how much money can dowie waste ... well I thought it’d be hard to surpass his ‘achievements’ at Charlton but I’m sure he’ll raise the bar at Rangers – if he keeps his gob shut long enough to keep his job. Despite Barnsley taking the early lead, Hall (who hasn’t scored for two years) managed to stick two in and miss a penalty – not a bad outing fo him overall
SHEFF W 4 – BURNLEY 1
So they could have gone down on the last d of the season but here they start at the top thanks to two doubles from early leading scorers Tuday and Sodje – but it was only burnley
Meanwhile Forest drew 0-0 with Reading yesterday (hats off to the trees) completing the fixtures for the weekend. As you can see I’ve calculated the ‘real’ table here and will continue to keep it updated on as regular basis as I can ... starting with our first match next week against Watford ... until then Up the Addicks!!