I go away for two weeks and what happens? We go out of the Carling Darling Cup - good. We draw with Oldham, and lose to Huddersfield - entirely predictable, although the paucity of the performance at Huddersfield is a worry.
We sign three players in one day, and not before time says I. Anyinsah is the only surprise in the pack, as no mention of him had surfaced, even though he appears to have spent the last two weeks training with us. Oh for someone to peer through the railings at Sparrows lane, notebook on hand, like some misguided train spotter! With 11 goals for Carlisle last season, this looks like a good signing. Not sure whther he is going to be the impact substitution for Wagstaff, or the other way round, although I suspect it may well be the latter.
The chase for Benson ends with him signing, but I must confess to being a little concerned about this one. We have acquired a journeyman unproven at this level, remind anyone of McLeod? Parkinson obviously rates him highly to have continued the pursuit for as long as he did, but with precisely zero goals to his name thus far this season, the jury will remain out for a while. One thing that has not been mentioned in all this, is that Steve Tilson, the manager at Southend when Benson was looking to join them, told him that if the Shrimpers got promoted to the third division, then he would not be offering Benson a deal. They did, and he didn't. He rated him in the fourth tier but no higher, so all to prove.
Oh, and welcome back Fortune, albeit only until the end of December, but a useful addition nevertheless. I would also be sorry, but not surprised to see Racon head off to Greece as has been reported by Sky Sports. I suspect he needs a higher grade of football to shine, than that on offer at The Valley at present. Not sure he will get it at Panionios, but at least he would be playing in the top tier, which I suspect would be a better opportunity for him to shine. His parting gift? To propel Charlton into the next round of a cup that I care even less about than the Carling Darling.
We are still short on playing staff in depth though, with 22 senior pros, 23 if you count Smart, but with Youga injured, and Racon likely to go, that still leaves us short by about two or three. For me, we need a senior goalkeeper to back up Elliot, and now, most fundamentally, a creative central midfielder, probably on a loan. Solve that one, and I would be confident of a run at the playoffs again. Without it, a season of mid table anonymity beckons.
As for the Paint Pot Trophy, I genuinely don't care, and Pardew out at Southampton? I am just staggered at how football continues to celebrate and reward failure. Fair play to the Saints though for realising it sooner rather than later. The ego has landed with a bump, a bump no doubt softened by another seven digit severance payment.
Contract End 2011
Anyinsah (Contract length not known)
Jackson (Contract length not known)
Reid (Contract length not known)
Worner (Contract length not known)
Contract End 2012
Fortune (Dec 31st 2010)
Fry (Jan 4th 2011)
Martin (May 31st 2011)
First Pro Contract