Sunday, December 24, 2006

Where There's Hope!

Middlesboro 2 Charlton Athletic 0

I couldn't take this game - I drove down to my parents house in Dorset, and only turned on the TV at 4.40; ten minutes to go and Charlton were once again losing - 2-0 down to Boro. The final score was the same, and I watched as Les Reed gave a post-match interview. It was sad. He had played six defenders apparently. I haven't bothered looking to see who played; I haven't checked a website or read a paper. It was only from the end-of-game pictures from the Riverside that I know El Karkouri, Hreidersson, and Hughes played.

Reed went on to explain that the first goal was a result of the midfield losing the ball when moving forward, and the second, as a result of nobody closing down the scorer on the edge of the area. I didn't watch Match of the Day, so I don't know how accurate a reflection that is, but we fans can remember many similar goals so far this season.

At my fiance's parents house today, we didn't talk football - too depressing I said.

Tonight, we went to the local Somerset village candlelight carol service. I am not religious at all, and I have difficulty singing all those words that have God, Heaven, Lord, etc within, but it did get me thinking a lot. Once in Royal David's City; O Little Town of Bethlehem; Away in a Manger; Hark the Herald Angel Sing; Silent Night, those sort of carols...

One hymne had lots of messages about hope - I think it was O Come, All Ye Faithful.

My mind drifted to football thoughts. Maybe we should have hope where there is apparently none. I know that seems tough to understand, but as Charlton fans, we can only do that at any stage going into any game or season, now or at any point. We hope that we will win; we hope to have a good season. Without hope, we are lost.

Strangely, my phone vibrated at about 7.30, five minutes or so before the end of the carol service. I didn't bother looking immediately as it would have been rude in church and all that. We left at the end and walked to a house for a pre-Xmas drinks party; I checked my phone.

Was this a message from above? No; my only two icons are Derek Hales and Ian Botham.

But it was a text from Charlton -

Where there is hope...

The King is Dead; Long Live the King!

Les has gone; Pards has arrived.

Will he be the Saviour? I don't know. Many fellow bloggers have been calling for him to be brought in. They now have their Xmas present all wrapped up for them and delivered a day early.

I've backed Reed all the way, but recently it has been tough to watch. Is it all Reed's fault, or should the players take much of the blame? If Pardew has any nouse, he will still get rid of Traore, Faye, Hughes and Hasselbaink in the next couple of weeks, because if they wouldn't or couldn't play for Reed or Dowie, they ain't gonna do anything different for Pards.

I wish Les Reed well; he may be very upset at the moment, but the decision for him to go is in the best interests of the club and has now been made.

Welcome Alan Pardew; I don't know how this season will now turn out but at least we cannot blame the Board for not trying to make the most of it. I hope it works; we really are in desperate straights.

Alan Pardew - welcome to the bottom of the league. The only way is up!

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