Friday, June 16, 2006

Brighter times are ahead

You could be forgiven for thinking that England had crashed out of the World Cup yesterday due to the amount of negativity broadcast across the internet this morning by our nations journalists, and whilst it is obvious to all that there are problems within the side at present, I’m trying to keep the faith and cling to the few positives we can draw from 2 lacklustre performances in Group B thus far.

We have two clean sheets, we have two wins, we are top of the group, Rooney is back, Lennon played well when he came on, Terry looks in commanding form, Gerrard’s found his shooting boots, and we have no players who are one booking away from missing a second round match due to FIFA’s decision to wipe the disciplinary slate clean once the group stage is complete.

I find it so much easier to be optimistic with England than I do when it comes to Charlton, and yes, I know there are plenty of negatives that I have just chosen not to mention but will it really do our chances any good if we dwell for too long on those negatives? Bottom line: Played 2, Won 2, Scored 3, Conceded 0.

One of England’s failing over the last few years has always been an inability to easily dispatch inferior sides who play negative and defensive football. Contrariwise, one of our strengths has been that we tend to raise our game as soon as the standard of opposition goes up. Perhaps this is due to the fact that our players are almost solely based within The Premiership, a league in which there aren’t really any teams that will play an entire match without the slightest intention of scoring against you. Trinidad were such a team in my opinion, a team who didn’t care for scoring goals and didn’t care for winning the game, they just wanted to keep a clean sheet.
It isn’t easy to steamroller a team intent with this kind of notion. People can harp on all they like about courage, organisation and safety-first strategy, but England were in a no win situation yesterday against opposition playing ‘the game of their lives’, so the fact that we did win is all that should matter in my opinion.

Brighter times are ahead. England’s first team have now chalked up 8 straight wins. Ok, we lost to Northern Ireland and Belarus, but we have also beaten Argentina on the last 2 occasions in which we have faced them. Lets have a bit of positive attitude from all who have the Three Lions in our hearts, and we’ll see where we go from there.

As for Charlton, things are still pretty quiet on the home front. Two longish term transfer saga’s are still in the offing. Jlloyd Samuel is again rumoured to be on his way back to the Valley for a shade under £1.5m, while the Sidwell story also continues to rumble on, the latest being these comments from their chief exec Nigel Howe:

“We've made it clear that Steve is not for sale. We have no intention of selling him whatsoever.

Whilst a lot of clubs have intimated that he has a 'talk clause' in his contract, they can talk to him as much as they like because he's not leaving.
We've had no official bid for him. It's all conjecture. It's about money. If I had an agent working for me I would want to get the best deal possible. I would do everything in my powers to do that. Footballers have short careers and want the best contract they can. But there's a fair price for everything.
We've had an on-going discussion with Steve's agent and we're confident we will agree terms, it's just a matter of fine tuning.”

But in the Reading Evening post, Sidwell doesn’t seem so sure about whether or not he’s staying…

“My agent had a meeting with Hammo (director of football Nicky Hammond) last week. We were offered a new deal and I will meet my agent to discuss that today.
I don’t think what Reading have offered is really what we’re looking for, though. It’s a platform to work from but I’m sure there is room for negotiation and improvement on that. I’m certainly not saying I would leave. It depends on the club and their ambition.
It is down to Reading. This contract has got to be the right one for me. I have told my agent that because I have a baby boy and a wife to look after.
If I can’t get what I could get somewhere else then I might have to look elsewhere. Reading say they have ambition and they have certainly been saying the right things, but we’ll see if they put their money where their mouth is and talk the talk.
Every player wants to be the best and play at the highest level possible.”

We should have signed him last summer really. He had just been named as the 3rd placed player in the CCC's Player of the year awards, and his contract was in its last months. A year down the line and his side are in the same league as ours, he has 3 years left to run on his current deal, and Reading fans who I know claim that he hasn't been the same player this term as he was last. The fee being talked about will have to be a minimum of £2.5 in order to activate the talk clause mentioned by Howe, but in reality the final figure will probably be a little more than that if we are to beat off competition from Everton.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

i hope we are not wasting much time on this guy, it is pretty clear he will talk to us with a view to getting his pay increased with Reading then stay with them. I have no problem with that - we would all do it but let's hope charlton are not going to let this drag for a couple of months then be left short just before the season starts as we have been before...kezman...flamini...

12:57 pm  
Blogger CharltonChris said...

I love the way he goes on about having a wife and a kid to support...

Try doing it on 17k a year mate rather than 17k per week, then perhaps people will smypathise with you a bit. He doesn't come across particularly well in that quote.

1:36 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Small point, but the yellow cards aren't wiped if players get a 2nd one in the Sweden game - they will miss the next round. However all players going into the next round will go in with a clean slate.

1:50 pm  
Blogger CharltonChris said...

If that's the case then I'd be inclined to rest Gerrard and have Carrick holding vs Sweden. At least it would take the shackles off of Lampard for a match.

3:37 pm  

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