Monday, December 18, 2006

A Quarter of Hope is Better than None

You know when you were younger, and maybe not so young, it was always a dream to be a player, and if you couldn't be a player, you wanted to be the manager; pick the team, decide tactics and all that. Well, who amongst us nowadays would want to be in Les Reed's shoes? OK, maybe Alan Pardew, but who amongst us? Not many I bet!

Down amongst the dead men at the base of the Premiership, life certainly ain't easy. All those jokers who applied for the managers job when Curbs left are probably now grateful that they didn't quite get past the polite no thank you letter stage. How would they like to be the one trying to explain another abysmal display by a bunch of footballers who wear our beloved shirts? How would they like to be the one that is slagged off on blogs and forums and message boards every other day? How would they like to be the one that every office in every part of the land is saying can't hack it?

Not me. And not you I expect.

Les Reed is the man in the hot seat, and it looks like he will be there for quite some time. The Board have done a fabulous job at Charlton, and we have to back their every decision - even on who is going to run the playing side of the club. OK, not every decision I suppose; when John Fryer decided to move the club to Croydon, we all got up and acted. It may have taken a few years to resolve, but we acted. And we got our club back to SE7. That's where this Board took over, and built and built the club. It wasn't overnight, but every season, we became better and bigger as a club. When results didn't go right, we knew that the new stand (East, West, North)was making it better for next season. When we slipped out of the Premiership the first time round, we knew that as long as the squad could be maintained, we would be back. The club grew.

After a few seasons in the Premiership, the onfield options became tougher, but the club was still growing, and it is now. Valley Express is important to the future. The plans for the corners of the ground and second tier of the east stand equally so.

We need to go on, and hopefully in the Premiership too. But that is the tough part.

Tuesday night sees a welcome diversion, but another chance to take the club forward. Charlton have never been in a League Cup quarter final before, and have as good a chance as they ever will of getting even further.

Wycombe are the visitors to The Valley, and I guess they will be underdogs. Deep down, though, they will feel it is a game they can win too, so Charlton need to be on their guard.

With injuries leading up to the busy Xmas period, Charlton will be dredging up anyone who is "fit" enough to play - no option to play a weakened team; we are pretty weak with our first team playing!

This is the side I think Les may give a run out tomorrow -

Scott Carson
Talal El Karkouri
Souleymane Diawara
Hermann Hreidersson
Nathan Ashton
Matt Holland
Bryan Hughes
Dennis Rommedahl
Darren Ambrose
Marcus Bent
Darren Bent

Subs from Myrhe, Sankofa, Faye and Kishishev (if better), Sam, Hasselbaink.

My one to watch is going to be Souleymane Diawara. Souley is becoming a bit of a favourite, even though he is prone to the odd mistake, especially against teams that play lots of high balls, which Wycombe may well do. Hopefully though, he can cope and show us that December weather can be coped with as long as he wears gloves!

Pedro45 has to be positive about the game this midweek - I forecast a 2-0 win. It may not be pretty; it may not be slick; but I think we will have a little too much for the lower league team.

The atmosphere, with several thousand Wanderers fans coming along, should be good. Charlton fans have generally stood behind the team over recent times, and made plenty of noise. Tomorrow night may be a step into the unknown, but it should be a very nice place to be; A place where anyone in charge of a football team wants to be - even Les, me or you.

Come on you reds!

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