Friday, 6 July 2007

Here We Go Again

As a relative novice to this blogging lark (good to see many others springing up too; Andy Hunt was right about the Addickted, and our version of sounding off is to write de facto protest letters - to be fair others' blogs are insightful and informative, I accept mine is usually little more than a rant) I'm finding out that you seem to end up with themes. You pick up on something early and then end up flogging it to death with each fresh development. So here we go again.

Todorov: Mixed reaction from the fans, signing could be said to smack of desparation (after failure to land Earnshaw, Roberts or Eastwood, maybe others). What does he say? "I like the way Alan Pardew's teams play. I saw his teams at Reading and at West Ham and liked their style. Charlton is a great club with great support and now I need to perform on the pitch. It won't be easy because it's a hard division and every game is important, but I'm looking forward to helping the club get back into the Premiership."

Word perfect. Welcome Svetoslav.

Weaver: Don't need to say anything about fans' immediate reaction, or my personal descent into ridicule hell that his arrival has occasioned. What does he say? "One minute we were talking about a testimonial and the next we weren't talking at all. I found that disheartening. I was told that the contract offered while Stuart Pearce was manager was no longer on the table and that I would have to basically go on trial for the new manager. I found that a bit of an insult, given that I played more than 30 games last season in the Premiership and cups. My agent Paul Stretford made it clear that I didn't want to leave City, where I had spent most of my adult life, but in the end it became clear it was time to move on. I will probably never again experience the special bond I have with City's fans and, for their sake, I hope the season is a great success. They deserve to see a winning team."

Nicky, I couldn't give a monkey's whether or not City's season is a success (actually I do, given that relegation by a record number of points for them is the only way I can regain the moral high ground in email exchanges with my City-supporting friend). And I don't want to hear about your love for another club.

At least one person has cottoned on to the need for some truth and reconciliation, with fans' director Ben Hayes saying: "Nicky is a pantomime villain and will probably end up a hero as soon as he has his first good game for us, He came back last season and had a good game. Nicky appeared to take the stick which came his way in good humour and I'm sure Charlton fans will get behind him quickly." Well said and well done.

I hope that the club picks up the reigns and posts an interview with Weaver on the official site asap. Just in case you're not up to it Nicky here's what to say: "I've had my say about the circumstances behind my leaving City. That's now done and over. Now I just want to justify the faith that Alan Pardew has shown in my and play my part in getting US promoted. My relations with Charlton fans have been interesting to say the least; we got off on the wrong foot! But that just showed how passionate they are about the club. It's up to me to win them over with my performances - and perhaps a little banter."

You don't have to mean it. For us fans it's enough to have our interests and views acknowledged. Once that's done we're more than happy to forgive and forget - and to cheer you to the rafters. So Nicky, get over it. And quick.

And in case anyone's wondering, yes there have been post-traumatic stress email exchanges. Here's what my Man City mate says about Our Nicky:

"Very mixed reaction (to the transfer) among City fans. He was as good as Isaksson last year and was unlucky to be dropped. Was thought to be close to making the England squad so on a free he's a steal. On the downside, he does like a pie and a pint, and goes on benders when things go against him. When he was dropped he went on a bender in Manchester until 3am, a night or two before a game. He'll be the best keeper in the fizzypop league next season."

Well, if Nicky's idea of a bender is staying out until 3am he's still got a lot to learn. I've no doubt Marcus Bent, if he's still around, will be willing to teach him.

More generally, I really hope Weaver proves to be what we need. But I admit I'm still confused and have doubts. If he's been brought in as number one goalkeeper (which on reflection I suppose he has been) is Randolph happy to wait? If he's been brought in as number two will he be content to sit on the bench after leaving Man City with a big chip on his shoulder? Or are they supposed to compete for the slot.

I do think that dealing with goalkeepers is different from dealing with other players. In most positions healthy competition for places is necessary. But for a keeper, when confidence is everything, I prefer having a clear number one. We have, after all, made a mess of this position before. Steve Brown's cameo at Villa Park was wonderful, but it was indicative of the fact that we didn't have a decent keeper once Sasha cracked up. Deano came in, sorted.

But Deano's demise in my view started when Anderson was clearly being groomed to take over. After his experiences for Ireland (years of being an unused back-up to Shay Given) he was not interested in being a number two - and competing for a place didn't seem to bring out the best in him. It was nobody's fault, with injuries playing a part, but we ended up cheesing off Deano, prompting Anderson to throw his toys out of the pram, and even alienating Myhre, who would have done a splending job for us this season.

My point is that having an undisputed number one goalkeeper seems best: for the keeper's confidence and for the defence in general (they get to know what the keeper does/does not like, how to compensate for problems etc). So is it Weaver or Randolph? I guess we'll have to wait to see, especially if they alternate during pre-season.


Hilltothevalley said...

My recollection of th Steve Brown cameo at Villa is that Sasha and Royce were injured and then of course Petterson got sent off. Many of the Addickted are of the opinion that Curbs loyalty to Sasha over Royce is part of the reason we went down. With regard to our recent keepers, i do not understand allowing Anderson to leave, I thought he was a decent keeper and would now be first choice. OK he was cheesed off at the time, but by now, being assured of the number one shirt, he would be happy enough. Weaver gets my vote, as long as Reidy keeps his pies to himself and Weaver continues to be able to play the role of the flying pig. As for Deano, he has obviously forgiven us, as he is often quoted as to how decent a club we are.

ChicagoAddick said...

Good post Blackheath. Interesting signing Weaver - Pards again showing that he is his own man - I am sure Murray was gritting his teeth again once Pards flagged him as a target, just like he did with Thatcher and probably spending 2 mill on Varney.

Pardew's self-belief was evident at Wet Spam and he did it there. The other thing of note about Pards squads is that he does love a striker - he had about 8 at Upton Park, so expect more coming in.

Anonymous said...

Some good points theere BA!
I was very disappointed we didn't get Earnshaw, & to a lesser extent, Eastwood, but I think Todorov will end up being a bit of a bargain. If he can stay fit, he is hungry, & maybe stepping down a level is what he needs to get his career back on track. He's done it at this level before, & could do it again!

I think Weaver will also prove to be a shrewd bit of business too!
Got a lot of games in the Prem' last season, & will have a point to prove, to us, & to the City heirachy. In the same interview you quoted, Weaver added: "Now I have got to get on with my new life. Alan Pardew made me feel extremely welcome and did in 15 minutes what City couldn't in six months."
I think he will be a pro' about it, & it won't be long before he is 'one of us'.
There is no question that he will be be No:1 this coming season. Randolph hasn't quite got enough experience yet, to command our team from the back. I think Pardew will put him in the Cup games though. I think Weaver will see this as a fresh start, & want to make up for lost time, what with his varying injuries, & playing competition.
I agree on the Deano front, as he has played really well for WBA, without the threat of another keeper being groomed. I think his main beef was with Curbishley more than the club