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Saboteur

21 March 2012

Charlton 3 Yeovil 0

This was what we needed. The game had Fyffes written all over it, with Yeovil currently in brilliant form and Charlton nerves still a bit shredded from that first half against Notts County.

And the team was looking different. Debutant Dany N'Guessan replaced Johnnie Jackson and Leon Cort (who actually had a brilliant game) was beside Michael Morrison in defence.

The most quoted statistic of the night was that N'Guessan makes a habit of scoring in his debut games and it only took 7 minutes this time. It was a bit fluky, to be honest: a speculative cross that somehow found its way into the net. But who cares? The one goal lead was good enough to last till halftime, despite Yeovil having more of the game. You could see why they've been doing so well, but they didn't get many chances.

Immediately before halftime they made a substitution (I don't think I've ever seen a substitution in  first half added time before) and made another at the start of the second half. Who's to say if that is what made the difference but the second half saw Charlton much more composed and in control. BWP had been impressive all evening with his running and effort and it was just reward for him to get goal no 21, which just about settled matters.

Yeovil didn't lie down, though, and that cost them the third goal, with their defence stretched and sliced apart on 90 minutes. It looked like an own goal to me, but it's been credited to Daryl Russell.

So, let's hope the blip is over. But let's also look at how bad it was. Here's the form table for the last eight league games (thanks to www.football365.com)
You need to click it to see it full-size but basically what it shows is that Charlton, after their worst run of results all season, are in fourth place,  and have been doing better than Huddersfield and Sheff U and no worse than Sheff W. Perhaps some people over-reacted (they know who they are).

Nine points ahead with eight games to go. A trip to Huddersfield is next. It's not a "must-win" game, but if Charlton do win, I think it will be time to start celebrating.


Club website report
Kevin Nolan

15 March 2012

The curse of a literal mind (3)

Tesco's Chief Executive in the UK has resigned, after disappointing Christmas sales were not helped by the chain's Price Drop campaign, according to this BBC report.

Where did they go wrong? An independent retail analyst identifies the problem. The campaign "didn't cut the mustard". How odd that the price of a condiment should cost a man his job.

11 March 2012

Charlton 2 Notts County 4

I'll keep this brief. A totally inexplicable shambles in the first half saw what used to be the league's best defence pulled apart by Notts County, who found they could score anytime they wanted to. Game over, surely. I want to go home.

The look on Keith Peacock's face as he returned after halftime suggested that Chris Powell's comments had been something to see, and for twenty minutes, which included two quick goals, the atmosphere at the ground was the best I can remember, as fans and the team began to believe a comeback might be possible.

But it was too much. All Notts County needed to do was defend their lead, waste some time, and foul Yann Kermorgant, all of which they did with great enthusiasm and the complicity of the referee.

I won't waste time trying to figure just why the first half was so bad, and I don't think anyone else should. What the team and the fans need to remember is the spirit of that opening to the second half. When the team plays like that, and the fans are behind them, we can get back to beating anybody.

07 March 2012

Charlton 0 Colchester 2

It's hard to work out what went wrong last night, apart from the second goal, of course. If Danny Baker still made compilation videos of goalkeeper errors, this would star on the next one. It's a frequent tactic to pass the ball back to Hamer to let him change the direction of play, but it went horribly wrong and, under pressure, his clearance bounced off Colchester's no 9 into the goal, and it was really all over with twenty minutes to go.

Until then, Charlton had been pretty much doing everything right, apart from the first goal, of course. Five minutes into the game Colchester's Wordsworth found himself in a bit of space on the left and took a beautifully place shot into the top right corner of the goal. Some blamed Hamer for that, but then, so I've heard today, some blame immigrants for Britain's obesity crisis. Let's just see Wordsworth's goal as a thing of beauty and try, if we can, to avoid poetry-based puns.

Apart from that, Charlton didn't really really put a foot wrong, apart from not scoring, of course. On another day, they'd have recovered from the opening goal and been leading at halftime by a goal or two. Perhaps they are tired; it's been a busy few weeks. And apparently the win at Bournemouth was undeserved, so this result was a touch of karma.

There was a sense of equanimity around the ground after the game. These things happen. We've seen this team use defeat to grow stronger, and we know they have the spirit to do that.

Elsewhere, Sheffield Utd lost again, helpfully, so the lead remains at 13 points. And in the "what if everyone wins every game?" table, Charlton are still 10 points or more above everyone else.

No links to other reports today. You don't want to read a lot of stuff about intimations of mortality, do you?

05 March 2012

What's happening in Lepe?

Charlton's reserve team, San Roque de Lepe, unfortunately lost at the weekend by 1-0 away at Linense. Neither of Charlton's loan players were involved, and the goal was "un penalti inexistente" that not even the home supporters saw. Eight bookings in the second half provoked a bitter report on the club's website.

Bad luck, then, Lepe, but perhaps you deserve it when one of your players is this short:


(70 cm, europhobes, is 2 feet 3 inches.)

03 March 2012

Artificial sweeteners are bad for you

Sometimes I wish I were a nutritionist. Partly because then my shape would be a terrific joke (but then, hairdressers tend to have really bad haircuts themselves) but mostly because I'd like to test out my theory that artificial sweeteners are bad for you. Worse than sugar.

It's a theory that's based on common sense, which is a bad scientific method, but which comes up with a counter-intuitive conclusion, which, equally superficially, makes me think it must be right. But here goes, and if you are a nutritionist let me know what you think.

I would think it's likely that when the body detects sweetness, it expects that a load of calorie-full carbohydrates is coming its way. And so it would make adjustments to prepare for that. This is where some knowledge would help, but let's just say that for example the sugar level of the blood is reduced by storing that sugar somewhere. I need to generalise this even further. Expecting more energy, the body stores its existing free energy in an energy store, a notional organ I'll call the battery. When the energy doesn't arrive, the body reclaims energy from the battery. Normally, energy is only drawn from the battery when it is needed, in response to exercise, perhaps. So now the body is acting as if it is expanding energy, when it isn't. And this causes a sense of lack: hunger. Which you don't get with real sugar (although, admittedly, it rots your teeth).

I've found some academic support for this theory. At the end of this news release from Bristol University we find this:
Although not covered by this particular experiment Dr Hans-Peter Kubis also explains how low or zero calorie drinks with artificial sweeteners do not necessarily provide the answer either. As people drink these, our subconscious expects a sugar and calorie laden treat, but on not ingesting these calories, people are more likely to over eat at the next opportunity to make up for the calories people were expecting to consume in the low-cal drink. This is not proven in humans, in fact there is a good argument for funding far more research in this area.
He attributes the effect to the subconscious, rather than physiology, but it seems there hasn't been much research. He's right to say there's a good argument for more research, and I wish I was in a position to do it. The answer in the meantime, of course, is to adjust your palate to need less sweetness, real or fake. Drink water.