Tuesday, May 29, 2007

The Wrong Bent Signs

A friend sent this image to me with the "Bent Signs" headline; he had been sent it by an Arsenal supporter...Now we are Championship, and not Premier League, we are going to be the butt of lots of jokes.

Martin Jol certainly thinks so if he imagines he can prise Darren Bent away for a mere £10million!

Other jokers are -

Steve Bruce - reportedly willing to pay £1.8m for Big-Time-Charlie Jerome Thomas. Have you checked out the nite clubs and talent in Brum yet JT?

Radostin Kishishev - on the verge of joining Leicester, or Stoke...When you go down, you really go down!

Mr Justice Tugendhat - for keeping all the world waiting for decision on whether Iain Dowie "fraudulantly misrepresented" himself or not...how long do you need to know who was lying and who was telling the truth? Will Dowie still be invited to sit in as a pundit on BBC and/or Sky if he is found guilty?

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Friday, May 25, 2007

Hermann Munster joins the Adams Family

No surprise really, as the rumour has been well circulated in the press recently – Hermann Hreidarsson has left Charlton to join Portsmouth, where no doubt he will receive plenty of advice from Tony Adams, Harry Redknapp’s number two.

Where Redknapp plans to play the Icelander is questionable; he could be a back-up to Sol Campbell, or play alongside him if Stefanovich and Primus are no longer considered good enough. Alternatively, he could play left back, but that would call into question why ‘Arry did us a favour and took Djimi Traore (spit!) off our hands back in January. (Thanks by the way!)

Big Hermann was quite iconic at The Valley; always a better rampaging left back than centre half, he made quite an impression during the years he played in red. It is sad to see him go but he did have a clause in his contract allowing him to leave if the club was relegated. As he had been relegated on previous occasions with Wimbledon, Croydon, and Ipswich, it is no surprise he had this clause!

The signing of Cory Gibbs last summer looked to have signalled that Hermy was on his way out of the club whatever the status of the team, as they fill very similar roles. Hermann’s knee was becoming more and more of a concern, so it is probably best if Charlton and almost 33-year old Hreidarsson part company. With Gibbs yet to start for the first team, hopefully the big number three won’t be missed as much as some might think.

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Monday, May 21, 2007

The Strike Pair

Alan Pardew at last got the chance today to right one of Iain Dowie's cardinal sins - he bought a couple of forwards. This thereby went some way to repairing the shortage that Dowie failed to address at the end of last season (when he let five strikers leave the club and only bought one as a replacement). First through the door was 28-year-old Chris Iwelumo (left), a big tall centre forward who has been playing for Colchester for the last couple of years. Chris has scored a few goals in recent seasons, and formed a prolific partnership at Colchester with Jamie Cureton that almost got Colchester into the Championship play offs.
I have seen Chris play, and being honest, I wasn't that impressed. It was on TV last season (05/06) when he had been out injured but returned to lead the line. He seemed slow and lumbering to me, but maybe he wasn't match fit; he did score though, and maybe that's the point! He joins the club on a Bosman, and is reunited with Phil Parkinson who was his boss and signed him for Colchester. Parky will know exactly what drives him on, and if he does play regularly, he could hopefully form another prolific partnership with our other new signing, Luke Varney.
Varney joins the club from the conveyor belt of Crewe, for a couple of million quid. Hopefully he will be better than those other £2m players that Frankie Valley identified as always being useless in a Charlton shirt.
Varney, who is 24, also got as potful of goals in the lower leagues last year, and has the attributes of Darren Bent (pace, an eye for goal, and a great work ethic).
Varney was also wanted by quit a few other teams it seems, so Charlton do still have some pulling power, even now we are a Championship club.
It does seem that the signings will signal the departure of Darren Bent, but none of us really think Dazza will be at The Valley next year, barring a miracle.
Both the new players will probably be on significantly lower wages than others have recently been earning at the club, but I expect the bonus clauses in the contracts to both be considerable should they and the team do well.
Now we just have to wait to see who is next through the revolving door that is swinging wildly at the bottom of Floyd Road...more in or more out?

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Wednesday, May 16, 2007

...And the first to sign on the dotted line!

Is...Matt Holland.

Reports indicate that Matty has agreed to stay at Charlton for at least another year; whether this is either the club or the player exercising a contract extension clause, or Matt being offered and signing a new contract is unclear.

It doesn't matter too much though, as the important thing is he will be pulling on an Addicks shirt again in August.

Matt's displays for the second half of the season were generaly excellent. Always committed, he ran his socks off in much every game.

The fans were a little dismayed when he was rested over Easter (when he was playing well), but it is unlikely that this had too much impact on Charlton's relegation this season.

The 2006/2007 season statistics will show a first for Matt - he was booked more times this season than he scored goals (2 to 1). Bearing in mind that he has rarely been booked in his whole career, I guess that he won't be too proud of this fact!

If Darren Bent and Luke Young both leave The Valley this summer, as looks likely, then Matty may well find himself back as the club and team captain once more.

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Monday, May 14, 2007

First out of the Door...

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink

No real surprise, but our first released player is JFH. One poor year at Charlton, and a pretty hefty salary (£35k a week?) meant there was very little chance he would or could be kept on the Championship payroll, even if Charlton and Alan Pardew wanted to.

Gerel thinks he has a couple more years left playing top class football, but that is hard to imagine after the dross he served up at The Valley this year.

Our over-riding memories of Jimmy are not of him scoring Premiership goals for Charlton against former clubs - stroking home at Stamford Bridge and the mis-hit thump at home to Boro - but of a past-it forward with a massive back-side! Jimmy's shorts will go down in the annuls of Valley history as almost as big as Killers flag!

There were rumours that JFH was helping the youngsters at the club; I hope that is true because he did little to help the first team during Premiership matches.

Goodbye Jimmy. You will be a famous name in our Valley hall of fame, but for all the wrong reasons.

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Hope for the Future

Liverpool 2 Charlton Athletic 2

I wasn't there, didn't get a chance to listen on the radio (or internet), and haven't been able to watch Match of the Day yet, so I cannot make too valued a judgment on yesterdays great draw at Anfield.

Suffice to say that it was good to see that Matt Holland scored early on (left), and that Charlton held the lead for most of the game (around 75 minutes!). Liverpool did in fact equalise but Darren Bent then quickly restored the Addicks lead with possibly his last goal in a Charlton shirt (below).

Sadly, the obligatory home penalty levelled matters deep into injury time, and a share of the points was all that Alan Pardew could take away from the game.

Pardew was able to talk up the team afterwards, and a few more displays like this recently would undoubtedly have seen Charlton close to saving themselves from the drop.

Special mention must go to Darren Randolph, who made an excellent debut in goal according to reports, and to Lloyd Sam, who has brought a little enthusiasm back into the eleven, along with skill and effort.

Sadly, the team missed chances to win more comfortably, with Zheng Zhi failing when well placed once more; Song also missed a sitter apparently!

The season finishes though with a mere 34 points gained, and that is never (apart from one season in Premiership history) going to be enough to keep your dreams alive. I suppose it would be too much to ask the Premier League to demote West Ham for transfer irregularities, and also Sheffield United for taking them to court over the affair, so let's get used to where we will be playing football next year.

Moving forward then, a new signing in imminent according to Pards, although we at Charlton know not to count chickens before they've signed a contract and had the picture taken wearing the shirt. That new man could be Matt Jarvis of Gillingham, although there is much speculation that Scott Carson may be coaxed into signing too. Personally, I doubt if Carson would be happy with Championship football, or that the board could sanction between £4 and £6 million for his signature from Liverpool.

The club will hopefully move onwards, and with Pardew in charge, a new, preferably happy, era is upon us. I expect many of the clubs stalwart players to move on over the coming weeks, and for Pardew to replace those who leave with younger, more brighter prospects. We need a new Mark Kinsella, and new John Robinson, a new Dean Kiely, and a new Eddie Youds. The backbone is crucial for any successful team, and Randolph, Bougherra, Holland, and Marcus Bent just isn't strong enough on paper, even for the Championship (Compare to West Brom's mere play off team - Kiely, Davies, Koumas, Kamara/Phillips/Ellington!).

When 16500 of us bought season tickets for next year before the end of April, we knew that the club had to be relegated, then win promotion at the first attempt. Well, part one is complete, and now we want to see the second part of the deal handled well so that all 16500 of us fans get free Premiership season tickets in a couple of years time.

Let us all wish Alan Pardew success in finding those players who will represent Charlton in the red shirts next season, and re-new our love affair with the top division.

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Friday, May 11, 2007

The Last Dance...

Our final fling after seven seasons in the Premiership is an away game at Anfield. I’m sure some fans will take it as an opportunity to celebrate our relegation, much as we did back in 1990 at Old Trafford. A similar score (1-0 defeat) will be a good result.

We all, deep down, knew that things were looking bleak this season, especially after seven defeats in the first eight games (thanks Bolton by the way!). Spurs may have nailed the lid shut, but the coffin has been closed since Stead scored past Carson early in April...

Just as happened all those years ago, our opponents in the last game of the season have bigger and better things on their minds; not just a cup final against a Croydon-based team for the Scousers though. No, they are off to the Champions League final and a re-match with AC Milan.

Liverpool rested a lot of their team last week allowing Fulham the chance to get a win that kept them in the top league, so it will be interesting to see who Benitez puts out against us on Sunday. It may well be that his top stars need a game, as otherwise they would have gone three weeks between semi-final and final without breaking sweat.

Alan Pardew on the other hand has to decide who he should play – does he immediately look to the future and next season, or give a final game to many of those who won’t be hanging around for Championship football.

Definitely not playing is Scott Carson, who is not allowed under league rules to play against his contract holding team. This will allow either Darren Randolph to make his debut, or Thomas Myrhe to make a farewell in the goalkeepers shirt.

Also back and available will be Ben Thatcher, at left back, after his one game suspension through being sent off at Blackburn two weeks ago.

Apart from that, Pards has a pretty open book, barring niggly injuries to Hreidarsson, El Karkouri, Thomas, Darren Bent, Marcus Bent, etc.

This is the team I think our manager will send out before the Kop –

Darren Randolph
Luke Young
Talal El Karkouri
Souleymane Diawara
Ben Thatcher
Zheng Zhi
Alexandre Song
Matt Holland
Darren Ambrose
Marcus Bent
Darren Bent

Subs from – Myrhe, Hreidarsson, Faye, Hasselbaink, Thomas, Hughes, Lisbie, Sam.

I cannot see Rommerdahl being included after his media outburst, and would rather see Lloyd Sam out wide than any of the others who may jump ship in the near future.

My one-to-watch this Sunday will be Darren Bent; Dazza will be playing his last game for Charlton in my opinion. If he can sign off with a goal or three that would be fantastic. It would also add a few quid to his transfer value! He may well be playing against his next club too, so what better way to introduce himself to the Anfield regulars than by knocking the ball into the back of the net at the Kop end!

Pedro45’s score forecast is yet another defeat, I’ll go for 1-0 this time, in a repeat of our 1990 Old Trafford party. It would be lovely to go to Anfield and turn Liverpool over, but I don’t think that is possible, especially as the may have a few first-teamers out on the pitch.

We have had a very good seven years in the Premiership; lots of great games (Man Utd 3-3), glory days (Chelsea and Arsenal 4-2’s), fantastic players turning out for us (di Canio, Parker, Dazza, Deano, Murphy, etc etc), and against us (Keane, van Nistelrooy, Fowler, Owen, Shearer, Cole, Giggs, Gerrard, Henry, Vierra, etc etc), plus plenty of fun (too many times to mention!). It’s all over after Sunday, but the memories will linger on.

Next season, we will hanker after what we are missing, and it will be up to the club – management, fans, and players – to ensure that we get back to the top level so we can start to enjoy it all over again.

Come on the Darren's; Up the Addicks!

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Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Paint it Black

Charlton Athletic 0
Tottenham Hotspur 2

The inevitable finally happened at the Valley last night, as Charlton were relegated following the 2-0 home defeat to Spurs. It wasn’t just last night that condemned Charlton, but a season-long trail of error, both on and off the pitch.

Fingers can be pointed at the board, for appointing Iain Dowie as Head Coach; following that mistake with the doom-laden Les Reed being put in charge; and the much heralded overseas coaching structure that was quickly put back in the cupboard when Alan Pardew came in to steady the sinking ship.

On the pitch, the failure started with Djimi Traore (remember him?) getting sent off while Charlton were winning at West Ham on the opening day of the season, and finished with Jermain Defoe smashing in the final goal ten minutes from time last night. In between, we have seen abject losses to Wycombe, Liverpool, Middlesboro, and Forest, and poor displays at various times from Thomas, Rommedahl, Diawara, Hreidarsson, Faye, Young, Hughes, Ambrose, Song, Carson, Marcus Bent, and Hasselbaink, amongst others.

Quite simply, Charlton were not good enough to stay in the Premier League this season.

Last nights game saw Berbatov score after seven minutes, out-muscling and outpacing Luke Young to score past Carson with aplomb. Darren Bent tried his best and got free three times – twice going past Robinson but ending up on the goal-line, and with team-mates failing to get anything on target from his subsequent crosses. On the middle occasion, Bent fired wide left-footed when under pressure. Very little else caused the Spurs backline any problems. When Defoe scored the second, the crowd turned the match into a relegation party, and showed that at least some of the people present cared.

This morning, the realisation will set in, but it isn’t all bad news. BBC has reported that a possible takeover is on the cards – this may be a good thing or a bad thing? The days when takeovers seemed to want to asset strip clubs are past (I hope), and no new owners would get planning permission from Greenwich Council to build homes on The Valley anyway, even if Charlton did move elsewhere. Hopefully, if it does happen, then the new owners will put money into the club and build it back up to be a force once more.

Personally, I can look forward to four extra home game next year, plus the chance to see Charlton play away at two new clubs – Preston and Scunthorpe – which is great as new teams don’t come along too often these days. That would also take me up to 84 football league clubs that I have seen Charlton play away at!

Charlton have one remaining Premiership match to play – away at European Cup Finalists Liverpool. I’m sure they will put up some sort of fight, but wouldn’t it be nice to go down with a win!?!

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Monday, May 07, 2007

The Last Post

Not for me, but the trumpet strains of the first few bars have started at The Valley, prior to tonights game against Spurs.
Results over the weekend now make it all but impossible for Charlton to survive in the Premiership this season. 50 years after a similarly traumatic season that saw a change of management of a long period of solidity, the Addicks will go down once more. Hopefully, the future will hold a brighter option than on that occasion when it took another fifteen years to see Charlton leave the second tier, and then in the wrong direction!
Of course, wins tonight and on Sunday at Anfield would leave egg on this bloggers face, and I would love that to happen. But personally I will go along to The Valley tonight to wish a fond farewell to some players, and hopefully a quick return to the money-league in a years time with a new fresh looking squad.
All sixteen thousand plus Charlton supporters who have already bought season tickets would like nothing better than that!
This is the team I think Pardew will send out in the last home game of the season -
Scott Carson
Luke Young
Madjid Bougherra
Souleymane Diawara
Hermann Hreidarsson
Alexandre Song
Matt Holland
Zheng Zhi
Darren Ambrose
Dennis Rommedahl
Darren Bent

Subs from Randolph, Faye, Hughes, Lisbie, Hasselbaink, Thomas.
The starting eleven (and some of the subs) could, bar Bougherra, all realistically be making their last home appearances for Charlton. I expect some others will stay, but that will depend on how messrs Varney and Murray have added their sums up and what the real budget looks like for Championship football.
For Scott Carson, it will be the last time we see him in goal for us, as he will into be allowed to play against Liverpool (or hopefully Charlton!) next weekend.

Spurs still want to win each of their last three games to get as high up the league as they can, and also to ensure European qualification. After a brief challenge, I expect them to have a pretty easy night tonight.
Pedro45's score forecast is a resounding 4-1 defeat; I wish I could be optimistic, but I am more of a realist I'm afraid. I would love nothing more than Darren Bent to score a hattrick to make him to the top English scorer in the Premiership for the second season running (and add a few more quid to the transfer kitty), but even he must be starting to wonder what teams shirt he will pull on in August.

My ones to watch are all those who will be playing in front of the Valley faithful for the last time (in a home shirt):
Darren Bent - I will always remember the goals you scored, the effort you put in, how you played on when injured, and the loyalty you showed when all around (in the Premiership) jump ship at the first chance. You will always be welcome back at The Valley, and I can guarantee you will never be boo-ed.
Luke Young - Thanks for the effort, and for giving us quodos with the England call ups; what's that? Speak up Luke, we can't hear you! Was that a thank you for making you a half-decent player? No, thought not...

Scott Carson - Cheers Scotty; without you making a few saves, we would have been down ages ago. Good luck, and hopefully we can all come and watch you playing regularly for England in a couple of years time.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink - See ya Jimbo. I hope that the youngsters you have coached this season don't think they can play with a waistline as big as yours - do you have shares in shorts manufacturers?

Dennis Rommedahl - What a player! Any chance of home goal Dennis? It's your last chance you know...

And to the others, thanks for the good times, and I hope the fans of the next team that pays your salary finds they like you.

Come on you reds!

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Saturday, May 05, 2007

Peter Varney's End of Season Report

I can exclusively reveal Peter Varney's end of season report presented to the Board a couple of weeks back, and how he worked out his budget for next year…. or maybe this is just what I think is going to happen...

Scott Carson
What can one say about the Player of the Year? Scotty has had a great season, albeit marred by a couple of bloopers in recent games! So what..if we could buy him then we undoubtedly would, and Scott has indicated that he likes playing with his team-mates at Charlton. The problem is that he is contracted to Liverpool, and they would want to have a decent back-up to Pepe Reina. If Jerzy Dudek leaves Anfield as expected this summer, Carson is the obvious deputy goalkeeper. Will Scotty be happy with that? Probably not! Rumour has it he has been told he can leave Liverpool if he isn’t in the first team by Christmas, but even then a fee of over £6million would be required to gain his signature. As a Premiership club, I believe that Charlton would willingly part with this record fee, but as a Championship team, we just cannot splash out that sort of money. I guess there is a chance that he could come to us as part of a cash plus player deal for Darren Bent, but would Scott maintain his England squad place playing below the top tier? Sadly too many ifs and buts mean his last game for Charlton could be on Monday night. Pedro45 forecast; as the Bangles once sang: GOING BACK TO LIVERPOOL FOR NOTHING…Salary saving - £1,000,000

Thomas Myrhe
Tommy has been an excellent signing, and has given much sterling service to the team over the last couple of years. Initially a reserve, he slowly worked his way past Dean Kiely and Stephan Andersen to claim the number one goalie spot. Sadly for him, Scott Carson has usurped his position and Tommy is off, having already signed a deal with Viking Stavanger. Pedro45 forecast: GOING. Salary saving - £624,000.

Luke Young
The quiet Captain…too quiet! So quiet we didn’t know who it was! Strongly linked with West Ham at the end of last season, it was only an ankle injury that prevented Luke crossing the river once more. It would be a major surprise therefore if Lukey was to hang around once we do leave the Premiership. His return from injury has seen him get back near to his best form, but still short of the sort of displays that got him into the England team. If we stay up, he might just stay for one more year; if not, we can say goodbye. Pedro45 forecast: BYE-BYE. Salary saving - £1,300,000. TRANSFER INCOME - £2,000,000

Hermann Hreidarsson
Another who’s contract is coming to an end; will Hermann stay, or even be offered a new deal? I’m not sure. He is good enough to stay, but may have to take a pay cut to remain at The Valley. The suspect knees are not helping, and the longer Championship season may not help in that respect. It may just depend on how he feels, and what sort of other offers he gets from elsewhere. Charlton look to have enough cover at left back now, and also at centre back too; that may mean that the big Icelander has to go. He has been relegated from the Premiership four times (presuming Charlton go down), which puts him into the Neil Redfearn league, and he may well find someone like the play-off winner gives him a chance for a five-timer?
Pedro45 forecast: STAYS.

Talal El Karkouri
The Elk is the sort of player who may do well in the Championship – just about quick enough to deal with the forwards down there, and with enough skill and experience to cope physically. The Moroccan enigma may need to take a pay cut, although I doubt he is one of the higher earners at the club. If he stays, he could form the bedrock of our defence along with Souley Diawara. Pedro45 forecast: STAYS.
Ben Thatcher
The Smiling assassin only joined the club in January, and as he doesn’t seem to be on a very high wage (maybe £15k a week) I doubt that this would prevent him staying for a Championship season. The relegation clause in his contract would probably see his salary drop a few grand a week too. He is undoubtedly the first choice left back for Pardew, even when Hermann is fit. He does need to try to curb the reckless streak that we saw at Blackburn, and which has been seen notoriously prior to that, although maybe he is too long in the wood for that? Pedro45 forecast: STAYS. Salary saving - £156,000.

Darren Ambrose
If only Darren Ambrose was consistent!?! He has oodles of skill, a great understanding with Dazza, yet he goes AWOL for large parts of the season. Why? Maybe he lacks belief? Maybe a season playing out wide on a consistent basis in the Championship could be the making of him? That’s what I think Pardew will be thinking; add in a dozen goals and he could be the provider that we need to the next goal-scoring machine that we have in the number ten shirt. Pedro45 forecast: STAYS.

Dennis Rommedahl
Another huge enigma; searing pace, good skill, terrific crossing ability, but never when you want it. Rommers nearly left Charlton early last season, but a deal with St Petersburg fell through for some reason. I expect Dennis to finally leave the UK shores this summer, and head off to deepest continental Europe; we’ll probably come up against him in some future European competition (Anglo-Italian cup anyone?) and he’ll get a hat-trick against us! Rommers did score some memorable goals (none more so than that one in the 93rd minute in Croydon), but never hit the right side of the net at The Valley for some strange reason. If he had, and with a little regularity, he would be a hero rather than a lightweight zero. Pedro45 forecast: GOES. Salary saving - £1,144,000. TRANSFER INCOME - £750,000.

Alexandre Song Billong
It took me a while to see Song in the flesh, Charlton having signed him on loan in January. When I did, I was promised an exciting young player with bags of skill and loads of un-tapped talent. Arsenal supporters held a different view however, of a player who all too easily gave the ball away, and whose head dropped as a result. And sadly, that’s the player that I have witnessed over the last couple of months. He tries ever so hard, but simply passes the ball to the opposition too much for my liking, then gives away fouls trying to retrieve the ball. He is still young (19), so has the chance to learn and get better, but would a year in the Championship with Charlton be the right place for his footballing education? I don’t think so. He may not want that anyway, but simply by the fact that Arsenal have lent him out to us seems to indicate that he doesn’t have much future in North London either. We’ll probably next see him playing for a Turkish club in the UEFA cup in three or four years time…Pedro45 forecast: GOES. Salary saving £520,000.

Matt Holland
Matty tries his hardest every week, and I do think that Addicks fans respect him. Sadly, his knees no longer carry him as well as they once did, and he has slowed a little. Mr Clean has been booked twice this season, which says it all really. He may stay next year, as the Championship is about right for him. I hope so, as he could be the captain we need to hold the team together, and bring on younger, better players for following years. Pedro45 forecast: STAYS.

Jerome Thomas
I’ve never been a fan of JT; he has so much skill, so much self-belief, has pace, can cross the ball, but he just doesn’t cut it. A definite big-time Charlie, and always hanging around his more “famous” mates trying to lig it into night clubs on the back of their faces. I really don’t think he will want to play down one division, but if he did, he may come out of it a better player (and he might even learn to cross with his left foot!). If John Robinson had his skill, and if JT had Robbo’s passion, they would both have been tremendous players. I doubt many teams will take JT on (Fulham might…), and suspect he will disappear back into the twilight world of the Premiership reserves somewhere like Reading. Pedro45 forecast: GOES. Salary saving - £728,000. TRANSFER INCOME - £500,000.

Zheng Zhi
Sadly ZiZi has already indicated that he isn’t prepared to hang around England unless it’s in the top division. Highly rated by Pardew, Zhi hasn’t really attained the heights that he might had he finished off the good chances he had in games against Manchester City, Reading, and Everton. If two of those three had gone in, he would be rightly heralded as the saviour and Charlton would be a lot higher up the league and pretty safe! It still rankles that we don’t know his best position; but if he is to play just behind the front man, then he needs to be good enough to finish off opponents by scoring and creating on a regular basis (as Murphy did). He’ll probably play on Monday night as the game is going out live on TV, and several hundred million Chinese may tune in as a result. It could be his last outing in the red shirt of Charlton. Pedro45 forecast: GOES. Salary saving - £520,000.

Marcus Bent
Even when Big Benty was signed by Curbs 18 months or so ago, a few question marks were raised over why? A goal-scoring debut followed, but then we saw the start of the frustration that this player brings to the club with a series of niggling injuries preventing him attaining any consistency. Sometimes lazy looking, he really started to play well when Pards came to the club, and I can recall him haring across the pitch after the ball in consecutive matches, giving it everything! That was after he left his Girls Aloud singer bed-mate, and before he shacked up with Teddy’s racist left-overs. Now we are back to the Benty who lasts a mere half hour before needing a massage and eventual replacement (that’s right isn’t it Danni?). He could actually score plenty of times in the Championship, but I think he has a higher opinion of himself, and he may well be off to yet another club in the lower reaches of the Premiership who think he’ll do a job for them (Wigan, or Fulham for instance). Pedro45 forecast: GOES. Salary saving - £988,000. TRANSFER INCOME - £500,000.

Madjid Bougherra
The Magic man will need to conjure a performance from somewhere if he is to remain a Premiership player next season, Under contract, he’ll stay, but with a lower salary.
Pedro45 forecast: STAYS. Salary saving - £156,000.

Darren Bent
We love Dazza, and he quite likes us too! The man is very loyal, hence his staying at Ipswich for another season when we were desperate to buy him three years back, and Dazza has shown his loyalty to the Addicks by not rocking the boat when all around him are talking telephone numbers in salary and transfer fee. He may well have left in January had a knee injury not ruled him out for several weeks, and whatever division we play in next season, I believe Darren will be off to a top club. The simple fact is that other clubs are willing to pay him around £80,000 a week in wages and Charlton can never hope to emulate that sort of salary. The most important thing is that Charlton, and the board, get the right sort of fee for him, and that means big wonga! I think there is a clause that means Charlton will have to pay a percentage of any future transfer fee (over and above what Charlton paid) back to Ipswich; possibly up to 20%? In this case, Messrs Murray and Varney will need to negotiate a cheque with at least £16 million written on it. When you think of the TV money coming in to the Premiership clubs next season, this sort of fee is about right. It will also go a long way to off-setting the decrease in TV revenue Charlton will encounter. Darren will leave Charlton with my best wishes – he was a great player for us; never said a bad word about the club; played his heart out. He will not be booed when he returns to play at The Valley! I hope he goes onwards and upwards and wins England the World Cup!
Pedro45 forecast: GOES, SADLY. Salary saving - £1,560,000. TRANSFER INCOME - £14,000,000.

Darren Randolph
Without Scott Carson next season, will Darren be promoted to the number one jersey, or will the club buy in a first choice keeper? Tough question to answer. Darren has been working his way through the various Ireland squads, and into the full international set-up. This indicates that some respect him highly. He could be good enough, given the experience. A better option than Rob Elliott (judging from their time out on loan earlier this season), I wonder if Darren may be given that jersey for next year, and an older, wiser, reserve (someone like Thomas Myrhe or Dean Kiely for instance?) is bought just in case it doesn’t work out. The alternative is to buy a good keeper (Jerzy Dudek?) and for Darren to play back-up for another season.
Pedro45 forecast: STAYS.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
.JFH – what a player; not! Well, for us anyway. Richard Murray may have wanted to sign him years ago, and it’s a shame he didn’t. The 34-year-old really hasn’t been up to scratch this season, and with the odd injury thrown in just when Jimmy seemed to be coming right didn’t help. Two Premiership goals against former clubs, plus another couple versus Chesterfield just aren’t enough for someone on his wage, and we could have done just as well with (god forbid) Kevin Lisbie in the side on a regular basis. Pedro45 forecast: GOES. Salary saving - £1,820,000.
Radostin Kishishev
You either love him or hate him, but it is fair to say the Kish has worked his socks down to the ankles on Charlton’s behalf over the last five years. With Faye and Song filling the holding roles since Pardew arrived, Kish went out to try to save Leeds season (and possibly future), and with so many of the Bulgarian’s adventures, he failed valiantly. I think his contract is at an end, and it would seem that even a Championship Charlton would not consider a new extension, so we may well have seen the last of smooth Radi. Pedro45 forecast: GOES ON A FREE. Salary saving - £936,000.

Bryan Hughes
Our Scouser will probably stay, as nobody else will want him. He has always flattered against lower league opposition, and now he may well get a chance to do so every week. He’s not good enough out wide, and not skilful or consistent enough through the middle, Hughes unbalanced our side, whether in a 4-4-2 or 4-5-1 formation. I don’t like him, but I still think he will be around the Valley next year.
Pedro45 forecast: STAYS.

Lloyd Sam
Lots of superlatives for young Lloyd earlier in the season, next year will show if he is anywhere near the top drawer player he might become, or whether he was win way above his head. With Rommers and JT likely to go, Lloyd is one for a wide berth next year. Pedro45 forecast: STAYS.

Souleymane Diawara
The question here is whether the player wants to play in the Championship with Charlton; the club have intimated that relegation clause shave been written in to the new players contracts, but if Souley has to reduce his salary, will he want to jump ship? I hope not. He has shown that he has enough class to cope with most of what the Premiership has thrown in his general direction, and a summer learning English will undoubtedly help with team-mate communication. His only major problem has been the physical side of things when playing against certain clubs – Wigan for instance – but he is not the first defender who has found teams like them hard to cope with. I hope he stays, as a solid defence could means we have a chance of getting back up with the big boys at the first attempt, and if he goes, it will weaken us. I doubt another Premiership team would want to buy him, so the only option would be to go back to the French league; however, the good (Champions League) French teams are unlikely to want him as they hate paying decent wages…Pedro45 forecast: STAYS.

Jonathan Fortune
It could be like ships passing in the night, as Jon may haul Stoke up to the top league while Charlton fall down a division. If they go up, expect him to sign permanently; if not, he’ll be off to another Championship team I think. Pedro45 forecast: GOES. Salary saving - £624,000. TRANSFER INCOME - £500,000

Osei Sankofa
Back up right back; not on a high salary – has to stay. Pedro45 forecast: STAYS.

Nathan Ashton
Not good enough for the top two divisions; off to the lower reaches. Pedro45 forecast: GOES. Salary saving - £52,000. TRANSFER INCOME - £50,000.

Myles Weston
Another of our youngsters out on loan for a large part of the season; Pardew’s attitude in this respect has to be admired, and is so different to the Curbishley doctrine of better tucked up in bed with us than playing for someone else. Young Myles has potential, but it is tough to judge how far he could come at this stage. Give him another year…Pedro45 forecast: STAYS.

James Walker
Simlar to Ashton; never going to make it at The Valley, despite being young player of the year (and what does that tell you?!?) Might sign for Orient, or Northampton…
Pedro45 forecast: GOES. Salary saving - £104,000. TRANSFER INCOME - £50,000.

Rob Elliott
As mentioned, I think Darren Randolph is ahead of Elliott in the pecking order (although that could easily change over the summer, as it did last year), so Rob will need to bide his time. A season on the bench and in the reserves may loom. If that doesn’t suffice, then he could always try going out on loan again, or maybe find his natural level elsewhere if he hasn’t matured well enough.
Pedro45 forecast: STAYS.

Amdy Faye
Would anyone buy him? Maybe not. And certainly not for too much cash. If we are desperate to lower the wage bill, he’ll get a free; if not, he’ll be back.
Pedro45 forecast: STAYS. Salary saving - £156,000.

Cory Gibbs
Poor old Cory – a year on the sidelines, with just one reserve game under his belt, due to his knee injury. He has had further surgery, and it is hoped that he will be fit enough to start next pre-season. He has the pedigree to be a decent player, and if he can regain fitness, the Championship will be a good division to see just how good he really is. The option of him playing left-back or in the centre will help his chances of staying, as will the fact that nobody has seen him play for a year and they won’t want to buy a crock. However, if he has little chance of playing, Pardew will want him off the payroll as soon as possible. Pedro45 Forecast: STAYS

Rurik Gislason
Lots of hype, but no real show for it. Probably end up in Holland or Denmark, starring in Euro games on TV! Pedro45 forecast: GOES. Salary saving - £260,000. TRANSFER INCOME - £500,000.

Alistair John
Young Ali hasn’t really been close to the first team at Charlton, apart from a seat on the bench in an early league cup tie. As he hasn’t exactly set the world alight when playing on loan at Brighton or even Torquay, it seems doubtful that he has what it takes to make the grade in the higher echelons of the league structure.
Pedro45 forecast: GOES ON A FREEBIE. Salary saving - £52,000.

Kevin Lisbie
SKL – what a player!
Pedro45 forecast: STILL STAYS.

Andy Reid
We need the “Little Oirish Fella” to be at the Valley next year, and I think he will be. The only issue is whether he is fit enough to se out a whole season. It is likely that Alan Pardew could base our whole Championship season on Reidy, and we do know that he is good enough to see us up as Champions. The question, providing he is fit, is where do you play him? Obviously wasted out wide (as Spurs found to their detriment), he can be a luxury in a midfield two; his best play for Charlton was in the space behind Dazza, along with a couple of wide players, and two holding midfielders. That might not be good enough for the Championship though, and it remains to be seen if Andy has enough legs left to hack it regularly. Pedro45 forecast: MUST STAY!

Jani Tanska
One day we’ll see the next Sammi Hyppia in a Charlton first team shirt…one day.
Pedro45 forecast: STAYS.

Simon Walton
Pedro45 forecast: STAYS. Salary saving £156,000.

Kelly Youga
Kelly seems to have done a pretty good job on loan at Bradford, even though they have been relegated. He received a few glowing reports when playing at left back, but there must be questions over whether he is good enough for the Championship, and beyond. We will need decent reserves, and Youga may well fall into that category, if Ashton (for instance) isn’t considered good enough for deputy left back. Pedro45 forecast: LEAVES ON A FREE. Salary saving £100,000

Players in 2006/7 – 36
Players left for 2007/8 - 20

REDUCTION IN TV MONEY (£25,000,000 to £11,000,000) £14,000,000

Remaining Playing Squad
Goalkeepers: Randolph, Elliott
Full Backs: Thatcher, Sankofa
Centre Backs: El Karkouri, Hreidarsson, Bougherra, Diawara, Gibbs, Tanska
Central Midfielders: Holland, Hughes, Faye, Reid, Walton
Wide men: Ambrose, Sam, Weston
Forwards: Lisbie

Young players to add to squad – 2 (Wright and Arter)
Players required to be bought – Jarvis (Gillingham); Eastwood (Southend); Davies (Oxford), Experienced goalkeeper, two more strikers.
Transfer budget - £8,000,000

NB: All salary estimates are complete guesses – comments on my verdicts are welcome!

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