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Southgate you’re the one

I really enjoyed that England performance today. Someone at UEFA should be feeling very proud of themselves at work tomorrow as the Nations League is looking like an innovative success.

Wembley was alive today and as far removed from a comotosed stadium watching a monotonous and meaningless friendly than you could get. It was great to see and hear how the crowd serenaded both Gareth Southgate and the players afterwards following a superb calendar year for the national team.

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Nahki Wells back with a bang

Bermuda caused a big upset last night by beating El Salvador 1-0 in a rain soaked National Stadium. Nahki Wells scored the 2nd half winner on his first appearance for his country in 3.5 years. El Salvador came into the CONCACAF Nations League Qualfying seeded 4 out of 34 countries and 110 places above Bermuda in the FIFA rankings.

The conditions were shocking but helped neutralize El Salvador’s technical superiority and after Wells, who is on loan at QPR from Burnley, headed in Reggie Lambe’s cross the Gombey Warriors hung on for a famous win.

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Lowest ever crowd

A bit like the classic Huddersfield 7-6 game many more people said they were at the Bradford City Full Members Cup game at Selhurst than were actually clicked through the gates.

For the longest time, 31 years to be precise, those official 817 people represented the lowest ever attendance to watch a professional first team Addicks home match in our history. Most of us thought that now back at The Valley we would never see a crowd that low again, but no one accounted for the idiots at EFL introducing the pointless Checkatrade Trophy, nor did we account for the curtain of comatosity that one Roland Duchatelet has brought.

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Euell to Wimbledon?

The chairmen of AFC Wimbledon, Shrewsbury Town and Swindon Town have all been busy today.

Dons’ chairman Erik Samuelson removed Neil Ardley from his role at Wimbledon after a hugely successful six years, the Shrews’ very own Roland (Wycherley) moved on John Askey after just five months in the role after he was given the difficult job of rebuilding the side that Paul Hurst built. Hurst was just sacked himself by Ipswich and one would thought he’d be favourite to head back to Shropshire.

Askey’s old team Macclesfield, who are marooned to the bottom of League Two, may offer a route back into management for Askey. Macclesfield have broken the mould of recent promoted National League teams, who have mostly flourished at the higher level, showing what a magnificent job Askey did at the Moss Rose.

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Mansfield Town 1 Charlton Athletic 1

I’m a bit old fashioned and would like us to take the FA Cup seriously and progress a bit, at least until the 3rd Round. In saying that I fully get why Bowyer made so many changes today, many of which were enforced on him.

There were 9 changes from the game at Walsall, and only 5 sat on the bench. Checkatrade hero Toby Stevenson and Taylor Maloney both began in a midfield five. Dillon Phillips got a chance in goal, but the biggest opportunity of all was for Nicky Ajose. Albie Morgan was on the bench that also saw the return of Billy Clarke after 11 months out.

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3 months

Is how long it is expected both Josh Cullen and Igor Vetokele will be out after both dislocated shoulders in the win at Walsall. Tuesday’s victory came with a heavy price. Cullen, on loan from West Ham, has been outstanding at the fulcrum of the midfield.

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Walsall 0 Charlton Athletic 2

Nice one. Another straightforward result. This time on the road at Walsall. A clean sheet always gives you a chance and once more the defence, changed from Saturday, was strong and robust, fielding any flurries of Walsall activity.

We started well and grabbed an early goal from the spot. It’s very noticeable that we are winning more penalties than we have for many a year. 5 minutes in. The penalty was won by Fosu and Taylor dispatched. That’s 8 penalties this season. Lyle has scored four, but has missed two. Fosu and young Stevenson have put one away each.

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