Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Hot and Bothered

Charlton Athletic 4 West Ham United 0

Wow. What a game. What a result!

I spent all day Saturday moping around, anxious, nervous, you name it - would the game be shown on Thai TV tonight or would I have to bite my nails and get someone to text me the scoreline?

It didn't help that my wife got the time wrong; thinking it was coming up to ten pm, we made our way back to our room, only to find the Fulham Manyoo game still had half an hour to run. And then, after more tense moments, with just fifteen minutes to go before kick off ESPN announced that they would show the game from The Valley and not Liverpool instead - this probably displeased most people in Thailand except me!

It is very strange watching your team on TV from abroad when you are used to seeing them live. The atmosphere is totally different for a start, and you lay on the bed or sit on a sofa with your feet up.

I cheered when Ambrose knocked home the first goal; cheered when Thomas stroked home the second, after I had mentally been imploring him to do exactly what he did; I screamed when Dazza hit home the third goal; in the second half, I was more restrained, only waking the wife three times - when Hasselbaink hit the post, when Thomas clipped home the final goal, and when Zhi headed against the bar in the last minute. It was an emphatic scoreline that fully reflected the play from both sides. Fully deserved, although maybe a better team would have pulled a goal or two back.

Curbishley did what Curbs always did - spoke to Merv, chatted to Peacock; swapped players around; didn't take anychances or risks - would Pardew have sent out that side for the second half being three down? No... and there is the difference.

The atmosphere was muted on the TV I watched, with commentary very laid back - contrary to reports of those who were there. The studio guests (Steve McMahon and Gerry Armstrong among them) all thought either West Ham or a draw were likely results, no doubt pandering to the local bookies!

"What does this mean then?" asked my wife after the game - nothing I said unless we do it all over again next week against Watford.

The confidence was apparent, the effort immense, and Pardew really does now have the belief in the team that we can go out and play and get decent results each week. The Spanish trip does seem to have helped, even if Reid and Young were a little naughty! Is it enough to get us out of the mire? Who knows, but this is a great start to the run in.

I'm going to be in the same boat next week (metaphorically) in trying to see the Watford vs Charlton game on Thai TV, and I doubt my luck will hold two weeks running. If any of the south-east Asia based Addicks know which channel the game will be on, I'd appreciate a comment (Cheers!).

It's bad news about Charlton on TV next Saturday as ESPN has Arsenal v REading and Star has Newcastle v Boro. The South African channels that are also available aren't carrying our game either.

Where in Thailand are you? Email me at steve@pineapplephuket.com if you're in Phuket.
So i hope espn heard your request and full filled it to perfection.Your team also pleased your eyes.

you were lucky to watch your match from Thai.But many Thai viewers were disappointed on seeing the liverpool match who also scored 4 goals.
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