It was helpful of today's Gruaniad to list all the players released by premiership clubs, including our own eight. As we all know we need another goalkeeper (either the seasoned pro to sit on the bench or a number one if Pards feels Randolph is not ready). So I thought it was worth a look to see if someone suitable is available for nothing (wages aside).
First up Richard Wright (possible), Jerzy Dudek (unlikely), Pavel Srnicek (maybe), but then I froze. Blind panic and cold sweats followed. No, it couldn't happen. Pards wouldn't do this to me. But there it was in black and white. Manchester City have released Nicky Weaver.
Now I have absolutely no reason to believe that Pardew would consider Weaver as an option. But can I just put in a plea for him not to consider it for a second. All true Addicks will be against Weaver, even though revenge for his antics in their jammy 1-0 win has been delivered (air kicks and especially Jensen's 40-yard deflection). But I have other reasons.
In a previous rambling I outlined how Charlton scarred my adolescence by signing Harry Cripps (nothing against Harry, it was all to do with years of arguments with Millwall fans). In recent years there have been lively email exchanges with a friend who is a Man City fan (there are now a few of them involved). These involve me attempting to be reasonable and trying to burst their 'we're a big club' nonsense. Weaver has featured more than once as an example of how they may have a lot of fans but still have a dreadful team. If we were to sign Weaver there just isn't a hole big enough.
So farewell and best wishes to El Karkouri. We all know his best moment. And farewell and ... well, let's just leave it at farewell Kevin Lisbie. He wasn't the worst Charlton forward I've seen, but he's been one of the most frustrating. Suffice to say: Darren Bent, two seasons, hatful of great moments; Lisbie, 12 years, one good afternoon.
The loan signing of Sahar from Chelsea looks good but leaves me as confused as ever about our forward line. Are Varney and Iwelumo intended to be first choice? Is Marcus Bent staying? Are the rumours about Ellington true (saw one report saying Jason Roberts has said 'no' to us) or does Sahar rule out paying money for another forward? As things stand we have Varney, Iwelumo, Bent, Dickson, Walker and Sahar. Let's be honest about it. I've never seen five of the six play so can hardly comment on a best possible combination.
Of the non-goalkeeping premiership releases the name to stand out is of course Claus Jensen. Would he want to come back? Does he still have a little desire left? And will he be demanding a decent signing-on fee? Perhaps most important, could we accommodate Jensen and Andy Reid? The chances of both being fit at the same time are of course slim (pun intended). Other names of interest include Shaun Newton (can't see the point in trying to get him back) and Chris Powell (hope he finds somewhere if he's still looking to play).
Midfield seems to be up next. Mullins still seems to be a target, but reports that Birmingham might want Amdy Faye and that we are looking at their Neil Danns suggest a possible swap.
Decided against updating my starting XI as I'm sure there are more changes to come soon. Just remember Pards: don't touch Weaver with a barge-pole.