New Blog - First Post
Good evening, And welcome to a new Charlton fans blog! I've been a season ticket holder since 1994 in the west lower & regularly go to away games as well.. So decided I may as well start up a little blog for bit of fun & express my views! ENJOY!
PORTSMOUTH AWAY 2/8/14
Fratton Park was the venue for Charlton's final friendly match of the 2014/15 Pre-Season calender. My last visit to Fratton park was in the Pardew era where Amdy Faye scored the winner in a 1-0 win ( I think our only away win of that season) & we all know what preceded to happen to the rest of that campaign! Well whats changed about Fratton Park itself... Well to the Charlton fans that attended last years friendly would've noticed a new roof on the away end.. I say new it has been there a number of years but we have not played them in the league since.
We arrived on the train from London just after 12, the ground a nice 10 minute walk away from the station.. Here's what greeted us.. Love the old school floodlights!
Managed to find a nice pub called the 'The Good Companion' a large pub served decent food good beer (cider on special offer ;-) ) and had the odd pool & games machines. Normally would like to chat to the home fans in the pub to discuss season expectations etc.. but being a friendly there were only a handful of home fans around all in one group so didn't have the chance. The pub was around a short 10 minute walk to the ground where the weather had turned into bright sunshine, better than the heavy rain forcasted, i felt out of place with my coat on!
One of my only gripes of the day was turning up to the away turnstiles for the Portsmouth stewards to send you round to the main stand to get a ticket. Why they cant sell you a ticket at the gate is beyond me. Maybe the turnstile operators pocket the cash for themselves then! Although the walk round to the main stand did give us an opportunity to see this infamous entrance to the main stand! Proper old school!
So the match itself. As we had been put on a detour to getting into the ground we missed the first 2 mins of the match (gutted) as we all now how lively friendlies can be. This was the view that welcomed us. A very authentic ground with lots of character & atmosphere reminds me a lot of Goodison park in a way that all the stands are different. So our last friendly before the big kick off in our London derby next weekend, what can we actually derive from a friendly? Well not much normally but being our last one before start of the season the main thing we learn is an idea big bobs first eleven.
Henderson now is the obvious choice in goal, the back four of Solly Bikey Ben Haim & Wiggins was a bit less obvious.. My reckoning is that Bob Peeters had Bikey & Ben Haim vying for the centre back role next to Morrison for next weeks game. Unlike the Peterborough game a few days before we went with a much more routine 4-4-2 formation with new signing Gudmundsson on one wing & Jordan Cousins in the unfamiliar role of left wing, with captain Jacko in the middle with workhorse Yoni Buyens partnering him. Up front was a little & large combo of Vetokele & Tucudean.
I wont give you a whole match report on the whole game.. Just little snippets on my views on it.
New signing Henderson seems a very good shot stopper and a very vocal keeper. Unfortunately the goal we conceded was due to his lack of command in the area for crosses, allowing an easy head across goal and an easy finish for ex Charlton midfielder Danny Hollands, of course it is very early days for Henderson in a Charlton shirt but that was my only negative of his performance. Little Side point but good to see Hollands doing well at a club now and settled after a few loan spells last season, although he is too good for league 2.
In defence Solly & Wiggins were their normal dependable selves. Bikey stood out for me, very commanding vocal with Ben Haim & Henderson and showed a good array of passing one which led to tucudean putting us 2-1 up. Ben Haim on the other hand seemed a bit shaky and less commanding, maybe due to the stick he was getting from the home fans, but his wayward passes and being out of position at times didn't inspire much confidence. So if my theory was correct i can see Bikey partnering Morrison at the heart of defence in West London next Saturday.
In midfield Johnnie Jackson & Yoni Buyens proved a decent pairing in the centre. Jackson was his usual assured self with solid passing and constantly getting forward to help nick a goal, Although a decent performance he was left to rue a poorly taken penalty, one which he had to fight Ben Haim to take! Yoni Buyens really stood out for me, his constant work rate & solid tackling is really what you like to see from a centre mid, he seems a perfect like for like replacement for Poyet. Unfortunately we didn't get to see much of new signing Gudmundsson on the wing, in my opinion the most exciting signing of the summer didn't really feature apart from a few runs down the wing & trickery..Which hopefully we will get to see a lot more of this season. Its a big shame how Jordan Cousins gets put out of position and isn't able to flourish as we saw him do a lot last season. He really isn't a winger. Maybe he was playing there due to knocks to Harriott & Moussa but its a shame how being pulled out of position we then miss his commanding midfield role of last season. He was however fouled quite a few times by the pompey players as he tried to cut inside.
Up front Vetokele was the real highlight of the game, his goal was a real net buster as he shimmied past a few defenders before unleashing an unstoppable strike into the top corner. He was a constant threat to the Portsmouth defence and in the second half a pacy run resulted him being brought down to win us a penalty which unfortunately wasn't dispatched. A promising performance which i hope brings us hope of things to come. His strike companion Tucudean had a very solid performance, finishing his goal very well into the bottom corner and winning his fair share of flick ons too, hopefully can be what we have missed with the absence of Yann the man.
With regards to the subs there wasn't much to say really as after the penalty the game petered out into a rather boring affair! After the game Big Bob made a point to the players of all of them coming over and applauding the 362 Addicks fans in attendance which was nice to see. Pictured here.
Home Fans - The Pompey fans although a friendly were there usual loud & proud selves! The familiar sounds of the cowbell and other instruments were played, although its quite odd how a lot of there songs don't have words in them - mainly a lot of clapping and humming... nevertheless still made a good noise. One of the instruments they had made a ambulance noise as the Charlton physio came on to see to our players which was quite funny! Although when a Pompey player ever received treatment there was no sign of the noise of an incoming ambulance! Hmmmm i wonder why ;-)
Away Fans - A good number of fans travelled down to the south coast 362 in attendance down a bit on last years friendly there but of course it was £1 entry then & £10 this time. Vocal in times and chants of Igooor for our new striker were the renditions! The usual array of Sebbos & Owens flag were portrayed along the spare seats, along with my newly washed flag!
Moment of the match - Has to be new Hitman (Hopefully) Igor Vetokele's screamer!
Moan of the match - Wouldn't say there was much to moan about... If you had to say anything it was a rather boring second half, but expected when there was many subs disrupting play
Overall a good day was had down on the South Coast and we look forward to the 2014/15 season. I'd say a very unpredictable season lies ahead due to the changes over the summer, but i cant see us struggling down the bottom end of the table (Fingers Crossed). As i say i hope you enjoy reading my new blog which I hope to write in every week. If I have done some bad punctuation and commas and capital letters in the wrong places i apologise if that kind of thing gets your goat! But as i say I'm not doing this too seriously just a bit of fun and to express my views as a well travelled Addick.
Anyway I leave you to next weeks match and the upcoming season a local trip for me to Brentford! Lets hope were on the brink of a successful campaign!
COME ON YOU REDS!