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Cup of Char

Order Zolpidem Uk Nice to be back isn’t it? Especially when it finishes Addicts 2 Addicks 0. As a rule, pre-seasons are meant to be tolerated, liked at most but not fully enjoyed. This one was one of the most liked I can remember for a while. Dare I say I actually enjoyed it? Although not to the point where I’ve written much about it… Obviously, it’s the first one of a rigourous pre-season campaign, and when you have two teams of 11 per half you can’t really get a grip on how they’re going to turn out later. Our opponents today have only been training for a week, and don’t have the most settled of squads either. Some things did initially strike me though. Firstly, how much has Jon Main bulked up? He almost now looks as big as DK (I said “almost”), and he certainly didn’t seem to get knocked off the ball quite as easily. He did look like he was limping a little bit in the second half though. The triallists didn’t look too shabby, for the most part. Liked the look of Fraser Franks, Michael Noone (who I suggested on WDON didn’t look like a triallist, and I meant that in a good way), and Ed Harris. Only one really who I think looks a bit out of sorts was the Korean guy, Tae Hun Kim, and I wouldn’t be entirely surprised to see him gone already. As for the newbies we’ve signed, Christian Jolley is raw. Very raw. He’s somebody who I think will benefit from a year of training, though one fears that a serious injury will rob him of his main attribute at the moment. Nwokeji did fine, until he got stretchered off (cue rolled eyeballs), though he was walking around afterwards and said to an enquiring SW19 reader that he was back in a couple of days. Lee Minshull (I will get his name right) to be honest looks a bit of a lump. He’s somebody I think will either come good and be that dominant powerhouse that TB thinks he will be, or he’ll go back to surveying this time next year. Deserved his goal after heading on the bar some minutes earlier though.

Yakubu looks solid, and I don’t just mean physically. Vocal as well, you could hear him in the press box. Blackman? In the beginning, maybe it was the heat or over-excitement, or simply trying too hard to impress, if it was a league game he would have got the yellow card pretty early on. Once he settled down though, he looked a decent player, and that run for Minshull’s goal would be replayed over and over again if it was a league match. We did seem to tire a bit towards the end of the first half, passes went astray, that kind of thing. Again, because of the sort of game it was it didn’t really matter. We have another 4 weeks of tuning ourselves up, forming the squad and giving everyone premature and false optimism. But let’s face it – the 90 minutes today has been more enjoyable than just about every game from March onwards.


Plus points: We won. Clean sheet. Signs of a promising unit. Fitness. Nobody disgraced themselves. Decent crowd (was it really 1400 odd?).

Minus points: Nwokeji and Blackman injured. Risk of the Derek Duncan Syndrome*

* – condition attributed to players who performed well in pre-season then failed to do anything in the season proper.

The referee’s a…: Come on, it’s a pre-season friendly.

Them: Decent turnout by them, although it’s not the longest journey. They don’t seem very happy, and in all honesty even with their hurredly put-together squad, I would have expected better from them. Second half especially. There were the planned discussions about the loan signings for the season afterwards, and it looks like a deal has been agreed. We’ll be sending the players to the Valley on Monday.

Point to ponder: Suppose really the only question is – is the standard of triallists we’ve got in the best we’ve ever had in the AFCW era? Even though we had about eight listed, we still managed to look something resembling a cohesive unit. If you were to take even the second half side and just kept them together throughout the season, I doubt if we’d go down…

Meet the manager: No, not the formal one. To be honest, these have to be strange for people like TB to do after the first PSF, because you don’t want to get carried away but also you don’t want to do the result an injustice. Anyway, here he is:

TB speaks about Charlton

Draw your own conclusions. Somehow, I think doing post-match interviews at this time of year are pointless – what really can he say that isn’t stating the bleeding obvious?

Truth is stranger than fiction: (1) The heat. Must have been close to 90F out there. The sight of DK losing about 3 stone in sweat alone at half time gives you some idea of how hot it was. Of course, when the temperature reaches nearer 30F in January, we’ll all complain about that. (2) Utah Saints over the PA before the game. Cue early 90s mental flashback, when we were going to somebody else’s ground to put two goals past Charlton…

Anything else? It’s pre-season for your editor, so no there isn’t.

So, was it worth it? Yeah, not bad. Don’t worry, another eight of these sorts of contests to go.

In a nutshell: Roll on the new season?