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06 January 2013

Charlton 0 Huddersfield 1

I wasn't planning on attending Charlton's game on Saturday. Call me plastic all you like, but I'd come back at you with the riposte that only a fool would ignore history's habit of repeating itself, first as tragedy, then as farce, then as slightly amusing sitcom and finally as tedious soap. This was a poor episode of Eastenders.

"The magic of the F A Cup" hasn't existed in South East London for many years now. I don't know if anyone's done the statistical analysis - and with the sad death of Colin Cameron at Christmas, probably no-one ever will - but it wouldn't be surprising if Charlton were the worst team in F A Cup history, at least since 1947. And it's contagious: even our horrible neighbours in New Cross can't beat the curse. Improbably getting to the Final a few years ago, they then served up an insipid display that managed to unite the country in joy at a Manchester United victory.

Talking of insipid displays ...

I hadn't intended to go. But my plans for Saturday afternoon had suddenly fallen apart, somehow I'd got it into my head that tickets were only a tenner, and and wouldn't it be nice to sit in a different bit of the ground for a change, and how bad could it be? I soon found out the answers to all these questions, which I shall enumerate as follows:

1. Tickets were £15. Which isn't bad in the great scheme of things, but the chances of a Charlton cup match being worth £15 are much less than of it being worth £10. But it was too late by then to change my mind.

2. You've probably never heard or heard of "Robin and Wendy's Wet Weekends". It must be the most unappealing title in history of Radio 4 sitcoms, and it occasionally pops up on Radio 4 extra. It's written by, and stars, Kay Stonham who has an irritating high-pitched voice. Well, she, or someone improbably doing a first rate impression of her, was sitting behind me. Worse than that, she really has it in for Bradley Wright-Phillips, to the extent that she was happy when he was nowhere near the ball ("Where is he now?"), but even happier when he had it ("You watch - he'll mess this up!"). She was probably secretly upset when he was subbed off. I shall return to my regular seat next week with a new-found respect for my neighbours.

3. It was pretty bad. Once again, it struck me how last season's success was built on the stability of the team selection. Here, though, we had Jordan Cook, looking quite lively but not in sync with the players around him, and BWP clearly out of practice. Huddersfield got their goal fairly early on. They didn't have to do much after that, and didn't. Charlton should have, but didn't, until after they were down to 10 men, Dorian Dervite having been sent off for a blatant DOGSO foul after being easily turned and outpaced. I think that means Charlton have only two central defenders available for selection at the moment.

An afternoon to forget, mainly, then. The only consolations are these: there wasn't much on the telly yesterday, so I didn't miss anything there; and next year surely I won't be mug enough to expect anything better. I think what we all need now is a picture of Samantha Janus in the shower, and I just happen to have one.


pics on Sodahead

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