Having finished lower than the previous season for seven consecutive seasons, the law of averages say Charlton Athletic are a due a decent one especially since signing Danny Green from Dagenham.
It's the silly season in football - do you love it or hate it?
Hate it with a passion. As a kid, the football season drawing its curtains signalled sporting utopia, (what felt like) months upon months of other sports finally getting a look in without being clouded by tribal influence; from David Gower’s off-stump repeatedly being skittled whilst not playing a shot, to absorbing track battles with Coe, Ovett and Cram. Even Wimbledon in the absence of football became relatively appealing (before the ‘come on Tim’ nonsense of course).
Now though, football continues to dominate the summer months as much as the winter, with action replaced with speculation as Sky Sports flashes the Breaking News banner every time a player tweets from his sunbed in Dubai.
This summer what are you hoping to read every time you check your club news each morning?
That the idiot who started the ridiculous Football Rumours website has seen the light and closed it down. Forget gun crime, this is right up there as the biggest scourge on society; I’m astounded the Daily Mail hasn’t launched a campaign. It gives nut nuts, fantasists and wannabe comedians a platform to offload their rubbish, lapped up by the naive and the deranged to re-circulate invented twoddle as fact. What would be refreshing would be for virtually every lower league’s club page to say ‘we’re skint, we’re unlikely to sign any decent players, and hopefully our best player won’t throw a strop and want out’.
What do you inevitably end up reading instead?
That Lionel Messi wants to sign for Exeter as his brother is doing a degree in Environmental studies at Exeter University, and that Charlton are set to sign Sky Walker from West Midlands League club FC Star Warsall.
Got much cash in the kitty?
The top Premier League clubs now carry an annual wage bill in excess of £150m, while Charlton’s for the forthcoming season will be between £3-£4m. It’s the equivalent of what Sheikh Mansour will tip a toilet attendant. So in big picture terms not a bean, but at League One level we are currently one of the more financially sound, thanks to the unknown ‘Mysterons’ who for whatever reason are putting a bit of dollar into the club.
Hulking midfielder? Tricky winger? Big b*stard defender? What types of players would you like to sign this summer?
We’ve brought in around a dozen new players so far which has generated much needed enthusiasm. Whether they are any good or not is seen as a mere technicality at this point as no one wants to dampen the mood. It looks as though we want to play our way out of this division, which is great but it needs to be coupled with an ingrained desire to fight our way out of it as well. Hopefully the new guys will bring that determination.
What types of player will you end up signing instead? An U21 Moldovan left back instead of Spanish international forward perhaps?
Danny Green signed from Dagenham has been hailed as the ‘David Beckham of League One’. Hopefully this is due to impressive crossing from wide positions and not because he is unintelligent, covered in tattoos and wants to call his daughter Wagamama Tullips.
Who wants to leave the club and what's your attitude towards them?
Our turnover of players seems to be growing year by year since our fall from the Premier League. I think you become a bit more pragmatic in the lower divisions. You appreciate from a club view how difficult a tight budget is to manage, whilst from a players' view you're a bit more accepting that it’s a short career. If they get the chance to progress or earn a bit more then fair enough. If we manage to offload the useless lump then there is no real sense of joy as the chances are you’ll replace them with yet another useless lump.
Who has been the biggest tosser of this transfer window?
The clubs and managers who will no doubt bleat when the FA Cup comes around about how much football is played, yet are more than happy to take their ‘brand’ in the close season to all four corners of the globe just because there is a few quid in it.
Reckon you'll be stronger or weaker next season?
Very confident we’re going to have a decent season. Having finished lower than the previous season for seven consecutive seasons, the law of averages say we are a due a decent one and there is little stand-out quality in the division this season. Hopefully the 12/1 e/w on winning the league will result with a rare trip to Prada rather than Primark for a change.
Any other news?
News International and corruption has completely dominated the front page headlines this summer, sadly relegating to the small print the sensational and absurd revelation that Bjorn Borg is a lifelong Charlton fan. Bizarre.
What has been the best ever bit of business your club did in the transfer window?
In recent years, the signing of Darren Bent for £2.5m, scoring bags of goals and then moving on for £16.5m. Class act was Darren, seems a lifetime ago already that we had players of that calibre.
And the worst?
Virtually every signing that Iain Dowie or Alan Pardew were involved with. Hopefully when the courts are done with the phone-tapping saga they can move on to Crimes Against Football and this incompetent duo will finally get their comeuppance.
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