Date: 22nd May 2017 at 7:23pm
Written by:

On Sunday the Valley hosted Sidemen FC vs YouTube Allstars. As expected, this event was very popular last year and the organisers were trusting its popularity to be a sell-out at this South-East London stadium. Charlton have allocated the entire stadium for this event and it was not a disappointment. The Valley holds 28,000 plus all seater ground and is the home of Charlton Athletic FC. Needless to say, the event was sold out.

It was really refreshing to see the ground packed for this charity event with best part of the support coming from young fans who wanted to see these celebrities strut their footballing skills and bring entertaining value to the Valley that made the whole experience a fun day out.

There really was a strange feel about this event that saw the terraces full with hardly any seats vacant. I don`t want to take away the tremendous achievement these events portray, but it does bring home to many of us old timers how things used to be. Charlton Athletic and the Valley have a long history that has been tested to the limits. Events such as we witnessed on Sunday bring home the importance of why this club has a place in the community and we should not allow a few agitators destroy its very existence.

I have no wish to keep on repeating myself, but I read something today that brought home to me that we are still at war with Roland Duchatelet. I would have thought by now last season`s unrest would have been put on the back burner and the club, the team, supporters and journalists would have had enough of writing and hearing the same garbage that should be in the dustbin. Sadly I have learned that this is not going to change sometime soon.

While I`m on what has been constantly a pain in the neck, I`m turning my writing to the subject of our closest rivals, Millwall. It pains me to congratulate them on winning the play-offs against Bradford City at Wembley by the slender margin of one-nil. But then again I`m biased.

We should be grateful that the Lions have gone but things could have been so much different. We have to cast our minds back to the game at the Valley when a perfectly placed goal was disallowed by the referee which would have put their season in a total different framework.
Football is unpredictable enough. The Lions did what the Addicks were predicted to achieve before a ball was even kicked. But somehow we allowed all the problems in the club to interfere with progress on the pitch and our season went down the drain. It is very hard to infuse belief once the air is filled with chants and systematic throwing of objects aimed to disrupt players` concentration, which I believe, played a massive part in the Addicks` season.

Many will say the players we had were not good enough. I disagree. Players are only as good as the coaching they receive. Training at a high standard again is only achievable if we retain the same trainer throughout the season which was something we failed to do. Changing managers has a great bearing on progress. Slade had his way of doing things at training. His reign lasted only 16 games in. Along comes Karl Robinson whose methods had the team at sixes and sevens which showed in the poor results into his tenure. Lose too many games in the first quarter of the season and straight away heads will drop and performances will suffer. Slade undoubtedly was responsible for the low key start.

The season`s outcome belongs to our managers who had the team`s progress in their hands but failed to bring together the right formula to compete at the level expected from them. This coming season belongs to Robinson. The team is his 100% and any slip up he will have to answer to. Bringing in new players would be great, but being prepared to go with what we have which is more likely. Also it is imperative to keep key players like Ricky Holmes who unfortunately is still on Sheffield`s Utd radar, but the club insists he is not going anywhere. I truly hope so as past lessons must be heeded if the Addicks are going to compete for the Championship.