Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Press Conference Audio

Better late than never, here is the audio recording from Tuesday's press conference recorded directly from Sky Sports News.

The file is approximately 16 minutes long, and the size is a shade over 5mb.

Exodus continues apace...

So the club bids farewell to Perry and Bothroyd within 24 hours of new manager Iain Dowie taking the reins. I can understand the release of Bothroyd, he never really had the necessary skill to make it in the Premiership and the odd powerful free-kick aside, he didn't do much for Charlton during his year at the club.

Perry is a little more difficult to understand. He's a player who many have called our most consistent centre back over the last couple of seasons and although his age is against him, he's certainly a decent option to have in the squad. I can't imagine that his wages are particularly high in comparison with what others are earning, and his departure leaves us lacking in defensive options right now. Obviously Dowie is going to bring his own centre backs into the club but wouldn't it be prudent to get them signed before releasing what we already have?

With Sorondo (who Dowie knows well from his Palace days) notoriously injury prone and El Karkouri seemingly unlikely to return from his loan spell in Qatar, HH and Fortune are just about all we have left in the middle of the back four. Gibbs is a full back, the youth players aren't up to it yet, and if Luke Young really is off to East London then shouldn't we all be a little bit worried right now?

The situation is similar at the other end of the pitch aswell. JJ, Bartlett and Jeffers leaving the club is all well and good, but they are leaving behind only the two Bent's and Lisbie. Once again, I'm sure that players are on the shortlist in order to replace what we have let go, but players were on the shortlist at this stage last summer as well and it turned out that deals we thought were in the bag hit late snags and didn't go through.
I got fed up of Curbishley constantly telling us that he was trying to spend money all summer but couldn't because other clubs wouldn't let their players go without first signing replacements. We've gone the other way, and released five of our squad players before getting the relevant staff in place to cover their positions.

It could be argued of course that last year we had the biggest squad we've had in ages and all Dowie's doing is in fact trimming it back down to size, I'd just feel a bit more comfortable if he'd given the outgoing players rolling week-to-week contracts until the new guys were in. If they were being given free transfers anyway, it wouldn't matter that other clubs could come in and pick them up at anytime they pleased. Another few weeks on the payroll wouldn’t have crippled us.

In other news, I finally renewed my season ticket yesterday through fear that there were less than 24 hours to go until the deadline, but this morning the club have extended that deadline until midnight on Friday 2nd June. They claim that there has been a real surge in re-applications over the last couple of days.

Simon Jordan has continued to give interviews to anyone who will sit there and listen to him, whilst last night the official site claimed that Charlton were ready fight fire with fire in the High Court, claiming that Jordan's antics yesterday were nothing more than a "sad and pathetic publicity stunt".
Dowie himself allegedly spoke to Simon Jordan after leaving Palace and told him face to face that he was going to meet with Charlton representatives about the Valley vacancy. Surely that fact would seem to support the claims that Peter Varney made last night. If dramatic effect wasn't an issue, why didn't Jordan say his piece to Dowie before he even had an interview?

With regards to the audio feed from yesterday's press conference, I haven't forgotten, I've just been lazy. Apologies for that, and it will be up early tomorrow morning I promise.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Jordan hits back in Dowie row

"To say it has all kicked off this afternoon on Sky Sports news would be putting it mildly!" - SSN Presenter Jim White

What a classic last hour of television it has been, Jordan has just completed a telephone interview with Sky Sports News in which he let rip about Dowie's alleged "misrepresentation".

The Palace supremo claims that he released Dowie from his contract with the Glaziers and dissolved a £1m compensation clause because Dowie's reasons for leaving the club were personal rather than footballing. Now, upon hearing about his appointment at Charlton, he has attempted to serve Dowie with a writ for 'fraudulent statements'.

I don't know too much about the employment laws, but from what I read in the papers Dowie said something about needing a new challenge as well as needing to see more of his children up North. Surely if a contract is mutually dissolved between two parties, then that is their business. It's not like we approached Dowie while he was still under contract with Palace and persuaded him to leave their club in favour of ours. We apparently didn't even make contact with him until the day after he left the Championship outfit.

I thought that employees out of contract have the right to move to any company that they like, so long as an illegal approach hasn't been made by the second club. Like I said, I don't know a lot about the law governing this kind of thing, but it's shaping up to be a very interesting story.

The Sky Sports News interview is absolutely classic stuff, and well worth a click if you didn't catch it live. Download it here.

Dowie swings into SE7

Well the speculation is finally over, and now we know that Ian Dowie is indeed our new manager, and that he is set to lead a four man management team comprising of himself, former Addick Mark Robson, another former Charlton man Les Reed, and ex-agent Andrew Mills.

The first impressions I got from Dowie's press conference were good if I'm honest. The gathered media seemed more intent on talking about what affect his appointment would have on Simon Jordan rather than on Charlton, but Dowie consistently batted those questions aside and talked well about what his plans are for Charlton. He claimed that the first contact he had with the club was a phone call that he received the day after he announced that he was leaving Crystal palace, and he also stated that he doesn't understand what relevance it has that he is joining us from the Glaziers as opposed to any other club in the league.

He's right aswell. It doesn't matter who he has managed or what he has done in the past, he is our manager now and because of the kind of club we are he is likely to remain out manager for a good few years, so let's not even get started on the 'Palace reject' rubbish that I'm sure certain Addicks will be thinking right about now.

He's obviously an intelligent feller, renowned for producing super-fit teams, able to handle the media, and I'm going to give him my total support from this point onwards.

As for the rest of the coaching team I think it's a good move to get Les Reed back to SE7. His name has been linked with a return in the past, and we certainly used to play good football when he was head coach.
Mills, I don't know anything about whatsoever (other than the fact that he was the reason behind the Cory Gibbs deal, and is apparently in the market for both Sidwell and Routlege aswell), so I'll refrain from further comment at this point.

I recorded the audio from the press conference that was broadcast live on Sky Sports News in full, so I'll look for a way to upload that tonight, and it should be available for download on CA by this time tomorrow at the very latest.


Edit - Simon Jordan's first reaction to the news is up on All Quiet, well worth a look!

Friday, May 26, 2006

Three out today, Three in Tuesday

The big news out of SE7 today comes in the shape of Richard Murray's announcement that the new manager (and his 2 coaches) are set to be named in a press conference at The Valley on Tuesday 12pm.
Varney also revealed that the club had interviewed over 20 candidates for the post during the course of the last month.

Also announced by the club today is the fact that Bartlett, Johansson, and Jeffers have not been offered new deals, and have left the club with immediate effect. £8.25m worth of signings walking out of the door, and all on free transfers. Alright in truth none of us expected them to be around next season, but I find it hard to believe that we couldn't find a CCC club over the last few months that would have been willing to take a gamble on one of those lads, even at a knockdown price of something like £400,000.

Best of luck in the future to Johansson and Bartlett. Although neither player is up to the task anymore we have to remember what they did throughout their careers at Charlton, not just what they've done over the last few months of it. Jeffers is just a waste of space and I couldn't care less where he goes next. What a complete waste of money he has been throughout his career. Almost £15m has been spent on the jug-eared Fox in the box, and now it looks as though he will never live up to the billing he had in his youth. Still, who cares? He isn’t our problem any more.

So, time marches onwards towards Tuesday and the first press conference from our new manager. I'll certainly be taking a break from work at Midday and switching the telly in the canteen over to Sky Sports News. Lets all keep our fingers crossed until then and hope that the diligence and dignity shown by the club throughout the recruitment process will result in the right man getting the job.

To be honest, I still don't have a clue who the right man is, and I doubt any of us will until this time next year at the very least…

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Another one bites the dust

The process of recruiting a new manager has taken another twist this afternoon as Preston Chairman Derek Shaw speaks out to claim that Davies will not be filling the Valley vacancy.

"I have been informed by Charlton that they are going to 'move on'.
Charlton will not be pursuing Billy Davies any more and said they would like to thank PNE for our co-operation and apologise for any disruption to our club."

I was at work when this news broke, and the bringer of bad news to my desk claimed that Davies had turned us down. I'm mightily glad to get home and read that the opposite is true because having 2 'up and coming' managers (Davies and Taylor) come to an interview and promptly reject the move might well have sent a subliminal to other managers yet to be approached. A kind of 'well both of them have already turned it down, perhaps they know something that I dont' message.

That's also twice now that the odds on a particular manager have absolutely crashed over the space of a 24 hours period, and then the crash has been proved unmerited. It looks to me like the few quid I put on Burley when he was 100-1 on Betfair (in the week of the Taylor interview) now looks a rather sound investment. New York Addick fancies him, anyway...

Parkinson is another name that refuses to go away, but after his murmurings of discontent over the fact that our first approach to Colchester was turned down, are we really the sort of club that would nip in and make a sneaky second approach to the same club, so soon after being rejected the first time? I don't think we are, but I wish that we were.

As I write this, the odds on the new man are:

Iain Dowie - 8/15
Phil Parkinson - 5/1
Sammy Lee - 8/1
Mick McCarthy - 20/1
Martin Allen - 32/1
Billy Davies - 40/1
George Burley - 40/1
Martin O'Neill - 110/1

In an ideal world my wish list from that little lot would be topped by the deep thinking man-motivator Martin O'Neill. In reality though, I would expect that one of those top two will be in place before too long. I wouldn't bet on it though, not any more.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Davies on Charlton talks

Just in case you haven't seen it, this is from BBC Sport -

"I went and had a very good long meeting with Charlton. The discussions went great. From those discussions there's a lot to consider - the place, the type of club, the money to be spent - lots to think over.

"I found Charlton to be very good people, very, very good people. It's now just a matter of looking at the whole picture and making the right decision." - Billy Davies

What a contrast to Peter Taylor who walked out of the interview and promptly ruled himself out of the running. It sounds to me like he's already made his decision, and now it's just a question of how his family feel about a move South. With Dowie's interview allegedly taking place tomorrow morning, the club could well be in a position to make an official announcement as soon as the weekend...

Sunday, May 21, 2006

The Charlton Skypecasts

Most of the readers who frequent Cynic Athletic do so via links from Forever Charlton, so I'd assume that most of you reading this would have seen the message that Dave Roberts posted last week regarding the first Charlton Skypecast.

It was scheduled for last Sunday at 1pm and due to last for 1 hour, with the main topic of conversation being who would end up becoming our new manager. I was at work until late morning so I only managed to log on in time to catch the last half an hour, but when I logged in only myself and Dave were online.

I doubt that the reason for this was lack of interest from readers, but more likely the fact that some of the more casual internet users perhaps aren't familiar with Skype, don't know how to get it, and don't really know what it does. If you do know what Skype is, apologies for wasting your time with this article! if you don't know what Skype is, read on...

Skype is essentially a programme which allows you to speak to another internet user anywhere in the world, at any time of day, and totally free of charge. The programme is quick to download, easy to install, and very user friendly once you have it installed. Essentially it's just like being on the phone with someone. They can hear you through their PC speakers, and you can hear them through yours.

A Skypecast is like a conference call. Up to 100 people can be involved in the same conversation at the same time, and the idea is that eventually we could have a weekly Skypecast set up on Forever Charlton (perhaps on a Sunday evening) where Charlton fans from all over the globe can get together and discuss the weeks events at the club, and debate with each other the key issues facing Charlton and it's fans. Occasionally there may be a special guest from the club invited into these Skypecasts for an interview, and on these occasions the person who has set up the call has the ability to mute everyone except the interviewer and the interviewee. Once the interview is completed, the mute will be removed and the floor will be opened up for all Charlton fans to have their say.

That's the theory anyway.

I’m guessing that for the first few Skypecasts there won't be too many people involved, but the longer it goes on the bigger this can become, and hopefully in time the Charlton Skypecast will be packed every weekend with fans who want to share their opinions with other Addicks.

In order to use Skype you will first need to purchase a microphone which can be plugged into the back of your PC. These microphones don't have to be expensive, and can cost as little as a quid. Next you will need to go here and actually download the programme itself. Once you have done that, double click the setup icon, and the programme’s installer will tell you what you need to do next in order to get it all working.

The next step will be to wait for a Skypecast to begin (times will be published on Forever Charlton), simply click the link, the programme will launch by itself and it's as simple as that. You will be able to chat about whatever subject is currently being discussed, or change the direction of the conversation and bring up a Charlton related topic that you want to talk about.

Help for getting started with Skype can be found here, or if you can't find what you're looking for there, drop me an email (link is in the sidebar) and I'll do my best to help.


Edit (9:24am) - Just a quick update on the manager situation. Although Billy Davies (set for an interview tomorrow) is still favourite, Dowie's odds have dropped to 15/8 overnight...

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The saga continues

"Every day I've thought about it, thinking that my heart is not in it. My heart is staying with Hull City."Peter Taylor

If your heart wasn't in it, why did you bother estranging your chairman and alienating your supporters by claiming that you wanted to hear what we had to offer in the first place? Something smells a little off about this in my opinion. You don’t turn up for an interview if you have no interest in the job.
I reckon he either wasn't happy with whatever financial package was offered, or perhaps Charlton told him that we wouldn't allow our manager to remain as England U21 boss at the same time as managing us. Whatever his reasons, he's ruled himself out now.

The guy with the next shortest odds is Billy Davies, manager of beaten Play-Off semi finalists Preston. He's essentially evens on Betfair and he's a guy I don't know too much about. That frightens me a little bit.

Here is his management record to date courtesy of soccerbase.
(Click to enlarge)

Mick McCarthy remains second favourite if you believe the bookmakers (surely no one really wants him in charge), and third in the running is Palace manager Iain Dowie. If the next manager has to come from these three men then Dowie would be my first choice. It would almost be worth offering him the job just to see the look on Simon Jordan's face! I'd certainly read his column that week...

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Taylor link now official...

Hull have now officially confirmed that Charlton have shortlisted Peter Taylor, and made an official approach. The speculation has been around for days, but until now I was yet to see a meaningful quote.

This from the Hull Daily Mail...

"I am aware that Peter is on the shortlist at Charlton and that they intend to interview him. I have accepted that fact and it's now up to Charlton to make contact with Peter. I imagine that will happen soon and it will therefore depend on the talks between the two parties.
The speculation was getting a little bit high and therefore they rang me to say Peter was a name they had on their shortlist, I then gave them permission to contact Peter." - Hull chairman Adam Pearson

I suspect the club will be a little disappointed that Pearson has revealed this to the media. Especially after all of their claims that no names would be revealed until the manager is offically named by the club.

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Turning down Europe

So, we have a chance to be involved in next season's UEFA cup...

Our fair play rating of 9.3 throughout the course of this season has seen us win England's fair play league, and now we go into the hat with 10 other teams from across the continent, and on the 4th June, two of us will be drawn out of the hat and given entry to the first qualifying rounds of the UEFA cup.

11 teams in the hat, 2 are drawn. That's just under a 20% chance of European football at The Valley next season.

'The next level' for Charlton is widely perceived as being qualification for Europe, but there are right ways and wrong ways of achieving that goal. The right way would be to perform to a consistent standard through a 38 match league campaign and qualify for the competition on merit. The wrong way is to slip in via the back door, be it either through the Intertoto Cup, or through the Fair Play League.

Without meaning to sound too negative, I don't believe we have a strong enough squad to cope with a European jaunt next year. My mind goes back to the Ipswich side who qualified for the UEFA Cup through their league position, and then got relegated the next season. We have enough on our plates at the moment with the change of management, the subsequent changes that are bound to occur within the squad and preparing for what could well be our toughest Premiership campaign so far. Not to mention the fact that if we get drawn out of the hat, our season will be prolonged by three weeks, which will have to become 4 or 5 weeks in truth as the players will need to train and re-establish their fitness ahead of the qualifying round which take place in less than a months time.

I've always dreamed of watching Charlton in Europe, but I honestly hope that we don't get drawn out of the hat on this occasion. It might well be one distraction too many in the season of uncertainty which is coming. If we do get this back door ticket up to 'the next level', do we have the opportunity of turning it down?

On another note, the odds on Peter Taylor becoming our next manager have been slashed yet again after he claimed 'All I know about this is that I am told that I am on their short list.'
He is currently 8/11 on Paddy Power, and 4/5 on Betfair.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Riverside Revisited (Part 2)

Here is the final video I took up at The Riverside. Once again, apologies for the time that it has taken to upload it but this one is almost 10 minutes long and fully 300MB in size, so it took about 5 hours to upload!

In my opinion this is the best of the videos that I have posted. It begins 10 minutes before kick off and runs literally up until the referee blows his whistle for the start of the match, encompassing the ticker tape parade as the teams come on to the pitch as well as the teams being read out over the tannoy system.

For those of you who can't sit still for 10 minutes, highlights of this clip (in my opinion) are the directors walking along the front of the stand (30 seconds), a superb rendition of The Valley Floyd Road (1 min 30 seconds), and the teams coming out (6 minutes 15 seconds). Skip to whichever part interests you.

Definitely worth a click even if you weren't in the ground that day. It was some atmosphere, and this is a video I will be keeping forever.

Monday, May 08, 2006


Eriksson explains his decision to take Walcott to Germany -

"I've seen him perhaps three times in training. (At Arsenal training) on Saturday I saw him play 11 against 11 on a half pitch.
You can see how good the technique is because space is very small. And I saw him do some finishing." BBC Sport

Oh, you've seen him 'do' some finishing have you Sven? Well, that's just brilliant...

What an absolutely ludicrous situation this is. The Premiership's top English goalscorer has been overlooked in favour of a child who hasn't even played a minute's football in this league. In fact, I think his last first team action was against Queens Park Rangers whilst he was still playing for Southampton.

Bent has taken it the news like the gentleman that he is, but inside he must be seething. What more can the man do? He has plowed a lone furrow up front for an average Premiership outfit for the vast majority of this campaign, and yet he has still scored more league goals than Wonderkid Wayne.

Bent's comments from the official site -

“I got the phone call this morning, telling me I wasn't in the squad, and obviously it was very disappointing for me. I could perhaps have handled not being in the main squad, but not being on standby as well was quite hard to take and understand.

It's difficult to take but maybe I've got to score more goals next season, I've still got plenty of years left on my Charlton contract.
The fans have always been 100 per cent behind me and I'm sure I'll carry on scoring in front of them."

If this kid takes the World Cup by Storm, it will go down as a stroke of incredible good luck for Sven Goran Eriksson. It can't possibly be foresight on his part can it, he hasn't even seen the kid play and he openly admits that fact. What an absolute joke.

Time to turn the page

It's an odd amalgamation of emotions for Charlton fans at the moment. We're disheartened by our recent run of results, we're sorry to see Curbishley go, we're unsure about what the future holds, and yet still as far as I'm concerned, the future can't come quickly enough.

Manchester United slammed the door shut on our 2005/06 without so much as whimper from the XI representing SE7 today, and quite frankly our performance was nothing short of embarrassing. I don't know how many prospective managers were watching us today but however many there were, I'd be willing to wager that they made the same decision that I did, and that was to turn it off at half time and tune in to the wonderful second half scenes at Highbury instead.

I am not a fair weather supporter, I am not a Johnny-come-lately, and I don't mean to sound like an arse, but quite frankly I'm a bit fed up. We barely even showed up this afternoon and although the players motivation levels might not be at an all time high right now, I don't think there is any excuse for playing as poorly as we did. It was supposed to be Curbishley's farewell, his send off from the fans, and perhaps with a little bit of luck, the match where he finally manages to record a victory over Manchester United but we didn't even look like we belonged in the same division as them in truth. Incidentally it was our 11th defeat in our last 13 trips to the North West of England.

I didn't really expect us to get anything from the game, but something that I do expect from my team is a bit of pride in the shirt, and a bit of belief in their hearts. We were beaten before we even kicked a ball this afternoon, and at least five of them were already on their respective beaches. It just wasn't good enough.
I feel like Curbishley deserved better from the team today, and the fans aren't the only ones who have been let down.

We now have approximately 11 weeks until our next competitive fixture, and we have a huge amount to get done in that time. Lisbie, Bartlett, Holland, Hughes, Bothroyd, and Johansson should all be shown the door in my opinion, and their replacements will have to be players coming from clubs below us in the league table. We don't need any more Danny Murphy's or Francis Jeffers' arriving in SE7 with the attitude that they are doing Charlton a favour by even signing for us. We want players who will be viewing a move to Charlton as a dream, as an opportunity to prove that they can make it in The Premiership.

What Wigan have done this season is concrete evidence that if you have a side full of players with something to prove, they will more than likely go on and prove it. They aren't a great side but they play together well and thus they have become more than the sum of their parts. That is what we need to engender again, that camaraderie and spirit which came as standard when the side was full of players like Brown, Kinsella, Robinson and Parker.
Of course, it isn't as easy as all that. In order to clear out all of the dead wood cluttering up the training ground there needs to be other clubs interested in buying what we have on offer. How many of the six players I mentioned do you think would be willing to move down a division in order to play football? Maybe Lisbie and Johansson, but I think the rest of them are just too comfortable at Charlton and would be content to carry on as squad players until retirement (or the end of their contracts) comes.

My sentiments when it comes to the choosing of a new manager haven't changed really. He needs to fulfill the same criteria as the signings that we will make this summer (the whole dream move thing mentioned above), and he needs to (in my opinion) have a bit more personality that Curbishley. That isn't a criticism of Curbs by the way; it's just that I've just felt like I've known what he was going to say before he had even said it for the last 12 months. I'd like someone who dictates from the touchline a bit more, and someone who isn't afraid to drop a big player when it is obvious that he isn't pulling his weight. After Alan announced his decision to resign I wrote that night that my first choice would be Boothroyd from Watford, and my second would be Parkinson from Colchester. Since then, Colchester have won promotion to the CCC, and Watford have given Palace a royal spanking at Selhurst in the play-off semi final first leg. I suppose that Parkinson would still come if we called for him, but Boothroyd might just want to stick around with Watford if they make it through their play-off minefield and into the Premiership.

Paul Jewell up at Wigan is another man who I would like to see down here. I've already sung Wigan's praises once in this article and I certainly think that Jewell could do a job for us. Would he view Charlton as a step up though? That statement would have been ludicrous 18 months ago, and surely that fact just goes to show what an incredible job he has done at Wigan. If we could persuade him, I would definitely approve.

So, our final league position is 13th, and our final points tally is 47. When you consider that 15 of those of those points were already in the bag after only 6 games it just goes to show that the second half of 05/06 has been one big anticlimax. No away wins for 7 months is abysmal, and the way that we play football on the road will have to be looked at long and hard by the incoming management team if we truly have ambitions of becoming an established top-half Premiership outfit.

Anyway, 2005/06 is over now, and we need to draw a line under it.

Last word on the season goes to Alan Curbishley. Most of what needs to be said has already been published on various other Charlton blogs, so I won't repeat it. I've certainly criticised his decisions and his policies this season, but I've never forgotten where we have come from as a club, and for the wonderful journey that the last 15 years have been, I offer Alan my eternal gratitude.
What we have to realise though is that he has gone now, and it's over. Finished. We have to put all of the nostalgia for the good old days and sadness at his resignation out of our heads now, and open up all the doors and windows at The Valley in order to allow the fresh air to circulate. 'The Curbishley Years' is a book we all know and love, but now it's time to shelve it in preparation for what's coming next.

We will be a new club come August, and it's time to throw our collective weight behind whoever is coming in. There is a big job for him to do, and if all of us are pulling in the same direction then it's going to be much easier for him to accomplish it.

Onwards and Upwards. Come on you Addicks.

Friday, May 05, 2006

United Preview

Curbishley's Charlton reign comes to an end at Old Trafford on Sunday. Ironically, the home ground of the only manager who has been in charge of a Premiership club for longer than Alan has, and also the home ground of the Premiership club against which Alan has his worst record.
Still, we look to be taking a full-ish complement of away travellers up there, and Sue Townsend's final act as supporters director has been to get a couple of thousand "Thanks Curbs" banners printed, which will all be waved aloft at the final whistle as a token of the supporters' appreciation for what Curbishley has achieved with Charlton during his tenure.

It's not really about the result or the performance on Sunday of course, but a defeat would mean that Alan will have lost five of his last six games in charge of The Addicks. The announcement he made on the pitch before the Blackburn game will mean that the wider media probably won't even notice that fact, but Charlton fans certainly will; and the fact that we have capitulated once again after threatening a top half finish just goes to show what a rebuilding job the new gaffer will have to undertake this summer. Curbishley is a hero and he will rightly leave with his head held high, but you cannot deny that the squad doesn't look particularly healthy right now and he certainly has to take part of the blame for that.

Team news courtesy of BBC Sport confirms that Luke Young misses the game along with Thomas, M Bent and Jay Bothroyd, while Hreidarsson completes his three match ban. From United's point of view both Ronaldo and Saha are facing late tests, while Wonderkid Wayne will watch from the stands.

My guess is that a number of the players on show tomorrow will be making their last appearances for their respective clubs. It's been widely touted that Ruud Van Nistelrooy is off to foreign climes in the close season, while from our point of view I'd imagine that at least 3-4 of the XI that start this weekend will be on their way out of SE7 by August.

To be honest, I just want this game out of the way now so that I can collect my thoughts ahead of what promises to be a huge summer, both for Charlton and for England.

Cynic Athletic's Prediction - 3-1 Defeat (V.Nistelrooy 2, Park, Bent)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Riverside Revisited

I remember promising that I would eventually find a place to host the video clips I took while a part of Operation Riverside. A little bit overdue I'll admit, but when some of the files are almost 250MB in size it's not quite so easy to find somewhere that will host them for free. Anyway, better late than never.

Kings Cross - This one is just a short one I took whilst we were waiting on the platform in London. Unfortunately I wasn't able to capture just how many Charlton fans were at the station due to the fact that I didn't want to lose my place in the queue! (38 seconds)

Concourse - Taken about 25 mins before the kick off on the concourse inside the ground. (1 minute 38 Seconds)

Concourse 2 - Another short clip taken pre match (12 seconds)

Warming Up - Fans warm up their voices at the same time as the players warm up out on the pitch. This clip starts out on the concourse, and when the singing dies down I decide to enter the stadium and take a little look around. (5 mins)

Inside the Ground - This one is purely inside the stadium, about 10 mins prior to kick off (2 mins)

If you were up at The Riverside, you may well see your face on either the concourse, or the warming up videos.

There is also one more video to come and its the longest one (and the best one). Unfortunately, I haven't got the time to upload it this morning so there will probably be a Riverside Revisited Part 2 up on the site at some point within the next few days.
The final video is taken from the stands a couple of mins before kick off, while the players are walking out onto the pitch. The masses of ticker tape thrown into the air looks brilliant, so stay tuned for that one.

Edit - I'm on a 2.5 Meg Broadband connection here and the videos all run fine. I'm not sure how well they would run on a dial-up, or a slower broadband connection. You can't actually download these videos to view in media player, you will need to download the Google Video Player in order to download and store them. Just click the link on the video page - CynAth