Following Charlton Athletic has often made me think that I am part of one big giant social experiment.
Some greater sociological power watching over us. Like the time for no apparent reason when Derek Hales knocked his striking partner out during a game or when a European Footballer of Year was revealed on News at Ten as without-a-pot-to-pee-in Charlton’s new signing.
Being handed a piece of A4 paper telling us that we were leaving our ground of 69 years and to be the first club in the modern game to have to share a ground, with that lot as well! Then after an unlikely promotion to the countries top table, being forced into a play-off when for the first time in 100 years, it was deemed that the team normally considered safe from relegation, would for a change have to go into a play-off.
Surviving a heart stopping winner-takes-all game at the old Wembley and being made to watch 14 penalties including one from Shaun Newton!
Iain Dowie and Alan Pardew. Need I say more.
And finally the takeover by Roland Duchâtelet, who collects football clubs like you and I collect football programmes.
I was in hindsight very glad that I bore witness in the flesh to the 1st half of Saturday’s defeat to Ipswich, but at times I did find myself looking over my shoulder to see if it was all one big wind up.
Rarely in supporting the Addicks for 40 years have I seen players that I support ping a ball around the pitch which such pace and precision. It was a joy to watch as we closed opposing players down quickly and looked to get forward at every opportunity.
The catch of course is that we never looked liked scoring, which like 40 years ago, is still how teams win football matches.
After almost 4 months of the season, it could look as if we have reached a bit of a pass. A severe lack of goals, frustration at the owner not looking to build on what Bob and the players have achieved to date, and the undeniable fact that despite the pretty football and a hugely improved match day experience the club is struggling to get people into the The Valley.
In fact what did happen is that we lost a football match (the first at The Valley in 11 games this season) that we should have probably won, played very well, and created a lot of chances through both good teamwork and individual brilliance, and I think it’s time to remind ourselves of how far we have come in 12 months.
My goal for the season when we as a group of mates were discussing it during the summer was to enjoy myself again. Not only at games but because I don’t get to see many, also from listening to us play on the radio. Or when I can do neither, find a satisfaction in our performance in the aftermath of a game when I try to soak up as many opinions as possible to formulate my own sentiment. Mostly which I share on this Blog as I attempt to offer an assessment from afar.
I’m doing that now, and although following the Addicks has never been easy, there have been many worst points in our history. No doubt the next bombshell is around the corner, and perhaps he can be given the no. 9 shirt, but for the time being let’s enjoy it.
Come on you Addicks.