Thursday, January 31, 2008

God I hate the end of the Month

With memories of Tuesday nights great win still fresh in the mind, sad realities have come home on transfer deadline day, and Andy Reid has been sold to Sunderland.

The club has been on a tricky footing financially since relegation last May, and although the directors have dug deep, the offer of £4 million from Sunderland was just too good to turn down. Reiddy was a terrific player for us, and always gave 100%. He goes with my warmest wishes, and he will be welcome back at the Valley and pubs in the Greenwich area anytime.

Will his sale affect the promotion surge that Addicks fans have been hoping for, and which seemed to be starting on Tuesday? I'm not sure. I certainly hope not, but we have to remember that Reiddy hasn't played for the first team since mid-December, and last season he was absent all the way from January to the relegation at end of the season. We can all summise on the 4-5-1 formation, and how it could revolve around Reid, and the problem of fitting him into a 4-4-2 line up where his mobility was an issue, but hopefully, Pards sees others (Zheng, Ambrose, Thomas, Sam) as key and we will cope without him.
If he was fit and firing, I very much doubt Alan Pardew would have wanted to sell him (he didn't anyway, but couldn't stand in his way...). Although the Little Oirish fella started the season in outstanding form, slowly Championship teams can to understand that Charlton played nearly everything through him. We probably lost games because of Reid; remember the QPR game? After an awful first half, Pards took off Semedo and played Reid centrally in an effort to get him more space. It didn't work, and we lost. It wasn't Andy's fault; simply a tactical change that was wrong, as Pards admitted afterwards.

We are a different side now, having leaned to cope withthe physicality of this league, and I really think we can continue to win week in week out without him.
Another argument that we will need to replace him in the squad with a similar type of player of we do win promotion is irrelevant at this time in my opinion. Let's get up, then worry about how much wonga we have to spend (which won't be anywhere near the £50m we might get in TV payments) and who is around to buy.

The other thing we must appreciate is that this transfer is not like that of either Scott Parker or Danny Murphy. Both of those players wanted out; Reiddy didn't. However, similarly to those two transfer, they happeend on the last day of the window, and little option is available to buy player if one was out there and wanted.

Some of the money has already gone on Andy Gray anyway, so with losses etc, I doubt we have more than about half a million to spare if there was a player who interested Pards. Also, I'm not sure who or what sort of player we would want at present; sure we can go for a terrific, expensive, Premiership player, but the finances, we must remember, will not run to that, or possibly even one just on loan.

What Pards has immediately done is bring a variation to the club in Greg Halford. Halford played under Phil Parkinson at Colchester, and was the key during their rise up the leagues. Premiership Reading came knocking, and Greg joined them but he failed; a switch to Sunderland at the start of the season hasn't set Wearside alight either, so Halford is a player with something to prove after dropping down a level again. One thing he does bring to the table, and which Charlton fans will have witnessed in spades on Tuesday from Rory Delap, is a long throw. I believe he can lob the ball farther than Delap, so expect lots of bombs into the box aiming at Iwelumo, Gray, Bougherra and McCarthy at the end of games if we are not winning! Halford obviously knows Parky, and also Chris Iwelumo, so he won't be lonely.

The other crucial news this week is that of the injury to Chris Dickson that is likely to keep him out for most of the rest of the season. I don't know if the rumour that he injured himself dancing is true, or if it did in fact involve Lloyd Sam's shorts, but the club admit he did hurt his knee in a hotel reception area. I wish Dicko well and hope he can return before seasons end.

Lower down the pecking order, Aswad Thomas has joined Accrington Stanley (who are they?), and if he gets as good reports as the previous two club players who went there on loan (Randolph and Elliott) then Pards will be well-pleased.


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