Monday, January 29, 2007

Magic Boogie-man Arrives at The Valley

The third player to arrive at The Valley in this January transfer window is yet another footballer carrying plenty of fanfare and excitement. Whereas Zheng Zi came to Charlton with a whole bunch of Chinese media-men in tow, and Ben Thatcher with a bad reputation, Madjid Bougherra was signed yesterday from Sheffield Wednesday with a few bad vibes from the selling club (who obviously didn't want him to go) and a reputation for dazzling play.

The YouTube compilations unearthed and placed on a couple of other blogs (thanks NYA and Wyn!) show us that we have a player who seems unafraid to show his skill anywhere on the pitch. If Talal El Karkouri can do the odd overhead kick, drag back, and dummy, then this guy can do all that and much more in nearly every game!

My only doubt was that in some of the games where we saw these tremendously skillful clips, the scoreline showed the Wednesday were losing!

He does have great interceptory skills, can read a game, is quick, strong, and is very skillful. The best part though is that he loves to run the ball out of defence at every opportunity; I don't mean in the Bobby Moore/Rio Ferdinand sort of way, strolling forward, before rolling the ball off to a midfield colleague. No, he thunders out of defence at full pace, running with the ball, plays it into the forwards and then carries on hoping for a return pass! If he plays with Jimmy-Floyd or Marcus, we should regularly expect him to be the farthest forward player in the team on any number of occcasions!

He certainly hasn't got an easy start to life in the Premiership, with his first three matches away at Bolton and Manchester United, and at home to Chelsea. It may therefore be rather unfair to judge him on these games, if indeed he does get to start or play a significant part.

This is a good signing though, and along with Thatcher, shows the sort of player that Pardew is looking for. If there is no other activity in this trasfer window, then Charlton will have come out of it OK - offloading Andersen, and Traore, with the possibility of Thomas Myrhe going back to Norway too, and bringing in three players on less total salaries.

Pardew was interviewed by Sky at the weekend (when picking up the performance of the week trophy) and he did say that we would expect to play the rest of the season with the players we have got, clearly indicating that Darren Bent was not going anywhere (Pleeeeease!). Now the Boogie-man has arrived, does he have any other tricks up his sleeve, and if so, how is he going to balance the books?

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