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Saboteur

27 April 2014

Charlton 1 Blackburn 3

For a while there, I felt I might have over-reacted. The unlikely recovery and win at Hillsborough on Monday, and the news that the club has applied for planning permission to completely renew the pitch, bringing in new-fangled doohickeys like undersoil heating and something called "drainage" (no, me neither) led me to believe that all is not lost. Basically, unless Charlton lose both their remaining games they should be safe, and that'll surely never happen.

But then Chris Powell went on TalkSport, the station that has to shave five times a day, and gave what I think is the fullest account yet of his experience of this season. Clearly, there are still contractual restraints on what he can say about Roland Duchatelet, but what he could say - and what he didn't - told a fascinating, angrifying story.

If you reassemble his comments into chronological order, it's like a descent into hell from the paradise of just two years ago. The first season in the Cham astonished everyone. Finishing ninth, Powell saw that this was one of those tides in the affairs of men which, taken at the flood, leads on to ... a £2 million pound cut in his budget. Powell said he told the owners that with that budget they could expect a bottom-six finish.

So a season of purgatory began. The owners left him alone, with a barely adequate team and a totally inadequate pitch. But at least they left him alone. League results were OK, not great, but Charlton put together a cup run. A cup run! Even Danny Murphy realised how unheard-of that is.

But then January: lasciate ogni speranza voi che entrate. 

Here's what Powell wanted to say::
[it was t]he slough of unamiable liars, bog of stupidities, malevolent stupidities, and stupidities, the soil living pus, full of vermin, dead maggots begetting live maggots, slum owners, usurers squeezing crab-lice, pandars to authority, pets-de-loup, sitting on piles of stone books, obscuring the texts with philology, hiding them under their persons, the air without refuge of silence, the drift of lice, teething, and above it the mouthing of orators, the arse-belching of preachers. -
 
But, for legal reasons, he can't say those things. He allowed himself a moment of triumph to comment that Jose Riga isn't playing the Standard players either: "So, I was right". And you could tell that there had been "discussions" about this.

Essentially, nothing here contradicted my belief that Duchatelet was set on sacking Powell as soon as he reasonably could. He wanted to toss aside one of the most promising managers in the country, and eventually did.

So, to return to today's match. It was a performance typical of the season: a good commanding start, playing better than the opposition but lacking a finish. Blackburn scored with their first chance. It looked like Hamer should have saved it, and he clearly thought he should. And then the usual descent into incoherence. A missed penalty was at least a new way of avoiding scoring and while Sordell's goal was taken and finished with the air of a man with a point to make, Blackburn always looked like they could score another if they had to. 

Thanks to other results, with this defeat Charlton have probably secured their place in the Championship next season. But it felt like we'd been relegated. On the last day of every season television cameras have two favourite subjects: a young supporter, in tears as football teaches him or her how cruel life can be; and an old geezer staring blankly into the middle distance, numb.Yesterday, a week early, that was me. 

The slough of unamiable liars, bog of stupidities, malevolent stupidities, and stupidities, the soil living pus, full of vermin, dead maggots begetting live maggots, slum owners, usurers squeezing crab-lice, pandars to authori pets-de-loup, sitting on piles of stone books, obscuring the texts with philology, hiding them under their persons, the air without refuge of silence, the drift of lice, teething, and above it the mouthing of orators, the arse-belching of preachers. - See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/19839#sthash.rjNaiX6z.dpuf
The slough of unamiable liars, bog of stupidities, malevolent stupidities, and stupidities, the soil living pus, full of vermin, dead maggots begetting live maggots, slum owners, usurers squeezing crab-lice, pandars to authori pets-de-loup, sitting on piles of stone books, obscuring the texts with philology, hiding them under their persons, the air without refuge of silence, the drift of lice, teething, and above it the mouthing of orators, the arse-belching of preachers. - See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/19839#sthash.rjNaiX6z.dpuf
The slough of unamiable liars, bog of stupidities, malevolent stupidities, and stupidities, the soil living pus, full of vermin, dead maggots begetting live maggots, slum owners, usurers squeezing crab-lice, pandars to authori pets-de-loup, sitting on piles of stone books, obscuring the texts with philology, hiding them under their persons, the air without refuge of silence, the drift of lice, teething, and above it the mouthing of orators, the arse-belching of preachers. - See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/19839#sthash.rjNaiX6z.dpuf
The slough of unamiable liars, bog of stupidities, malevolent stupidities, and stupidities, the soil living pus, full of vermin, dead maggots begetting live maggots, slum owners, usurers squeezing crab-lice, pandars to authori pets-de-loup, sitting on piles of stone books, obscuring the texts with philology, hiding them under their persons, the air without refuge of silence, the drift of lice, teething, and above it the mouthing of orators, the arse-belching of preachers. - See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/19839#sthash.rjNaiX6z.dpuf
The slough of unamiable liars, bog of stupidities, malevolent stupidities, and stupidities, the soil living pus, full of vermin, dead maggots begetting live maggots, slum owners, usurers squeezing crab-lice, pandars to authori pets-de-loup, sitting on piles of stone books, obscuring the texts with philology, hiding them under their persons, the air without refuge of silence, the drift of lice, teething, and above it the mouthing of orators, the arse-belching of preachers. - See more at: http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/19839#sthash.rjNaiX6z.dpuf

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