First, and most importantly, may I wish you and yours a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2012. Thank you for taking the time out to read my ramblings. A special mention to all the other Charlton bloggers as well. May you all continue with this labour of love, as I enjoy reading you all, as I know many hundreds of Charlton fans do as well.
Nothing of any consequence should be read into last night's result. The reality was that Hamer left the referee with no choice but to send him off, and in return the lino flagged Smith's effort to put Orient two up as offside when it was not. After the sending off it was always likely to be backs to the wall, and so it proved, although Charlton looked by far the most likely to score in the final ten minutes. It could have been irrelevant, as Orient had created enough chances to be four or five to the good by that point. Much like last year, that game has gone, and we look forward to Brentford at home tomorrow, and Fulham away on Saturday.
Even before the fireworks had climaxed to such spectacular effect in central London, Charlton had already done one bit of business that I personally believe is a masterstroke. We exchange an out of favour Benson, for the division's fourth top scorer in the shape of Clarke. I really don't understand the negativity in some quarters to this one. What's not to like? I wish Benson all the best at Swindon, as he is a player I liked. He may have been limited, but he was wholehearted, and gave his all in a poor and misfiring Charlton team last season. A warm welcome to Clarke who joins on an eighteen month deal, and let's hope the only exchanges in the tunnel he has with Powell are high fives.
I do wonder whether any other Charlton business will occur during this transfer window. As Powell has pointed out, there is really no rush, as our status in the football pyramid means that we can still do business on a loan basis from 8th February until 24th March, even if any transfer targets are not concluded by the end of January. There are however some loose ends to be tied up in-house. Both Ephraim and Russell are due to return to their parent clubs after the Brentford game tomorrow. Will Powell want, or be be able to extend or make permanent either player's deal? Will Francis get a permanent deal at Bournemouth? And what of Davisson, as he is now out of contract. Has he done enough to be given an extended deal, or has he now gone? An update to the squad list is below.
Contract End - Dec 2011
Contract End - June 2012
Contract End - June 2013
Contract End - June 2014
First Professional Contract
Cort (May 31st 2012)
Ephraim (January 3rd 2012)
Russell (January 3rd 2012)