Friday, 1 May 2015

Chicago Addick flies in to offer AFCB some Rival Lines

Rival Lines
Match Preview: Charlton v AFCB
Blogger Interview: Chicago Addick

Twitter @ChicagoAddick

You didn't expect me to have a quiet week when the Cherries have secured promotion did you. No, well with a final chance to squeeze in another Rival Lines with a Charlton blogger before we depart the Championship. Chicago Addick has been kind enough to spare Cherry Chimes a few moments of his time from his Bermuda hide away to let us glean a greater insight into Charlton Athletic. 

CC: What will you remember most about Charlton's 2014-15 season?

CA: The early promise under Bob Peeters, playing some of the best passing football I have seen in 40 years. The realisation that Peeters was useless tactically and after we got found out, he became clearly out of his depth. The utter derision that Guy Luzon’s appointment was met with after having the wool pulled over our eyes. The utter helplessness as we dropped down the table. The realisation that Luzon was actually his own man, a decent coach, played a simple game and got the best out of the players. Been quote a topsy-turvy season!

CC: Did you think that the teams that came up from League One last season made the Championship a tougher division?

CA: Very much. Wolves were always going to do well. I rate Jackett very highly. I also thought Brentford would adjust well, so that leaves Rotherham who became the league’s only ‘minnows’ if I can call them that. I always thought one or two of the ‘bigger’ clubs would struggle. Although how bad Fulham, Brighton and especially Wigan were surprised me.

CC: Do Charlton fans need to feel a common bond with their manager like they did with Chris Powell and Alan Curbishley?

CA: Yes. I think part of the tough adjustment we have had under our new owner and his network philosophy is that the club’s fans and owners and management was always pretty connected, and that is no longer the case. The game has changed of course and it is hard to form a connection with four managers in less than a year, but Addicks’ will always point to the club’s most successful times and the relationship they had with those managers – Jimmy Seed, Lennie Lawrence, Alan Curbishley & Chris Powell. It would be nice to have that again, but I can’t see it.

CC: Can you see qualities in Guy Luzon that you like?

CA: I think so. He got off to such a bad start that the initial rapport was exceptionally frosty. I still question his career and how he has got himself his jobs, but on face value he has instilled a stronger mentality playing players in their right position and using their best attributes. He simplifies things and is a straight talker. I doubt if The Valley will ever be serenading him from the rafters, but in tough circumstances he has stood up well. His second season at Standard was a disaster though, although mostly undone by the owner (our owner) selling his best players from under him. This summer is very important and Addicks’ will watch on carefully.

CC: Are there any early rumours of players that Charlton might bid for over the summer or are you more concerned with losing any of your players?

CA: Wikipedia Standard Liege, Sint Truiden, Upjest or Carl Zeiss Jena and help yourself! Seriously I sincerely hope that the management have learnt their lesson that The Championship is beyond 90 per cent of the network cast offs. The club need to sign players better than what we have be they from Belgium, Britain or elsewhere. Our immediate concern is who will stay? Yoni Buyens and Frederic Bulot will probably go back to Standard, then there are others out of contract. Most fans will be praying that Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Igor Vetokele and Joe Gomez stay and the club builds on what we have now, and not dismantles it. The summer will no doubt be as rocky a road as it has been since Roland Duchatelet took over.

CC: Sixty points is only six less than AFCB had last season when they were 10th so are Charlton not far off being a top six side?

CA: Probably only a couple of players as it stands. A big striker (that French bloke you’ve got will do), a commanding central midfielder who can grab a goal and a centre-half would probably have us competing for top six.

CC: Guy Luzon talked of a lack of quality after Charlton's last game against Birmingham but do you see that some of the Addicks' players have improved this season?

CA: Very few of them were around last season. Out of those that was is young Callum Harriott, but he has gone backwards and has had injury problems. Your old favourite Rhoys Wiggins has missed the bulk of the season to injury too. Morgan Fox has steadily improved at left back in Wiggins’ place and Joe Gomez has come into the first team at 17-years old and looks as if he has 300 appearances! The biggest improvement has been from Jordan Cousins, now playing in central midfield with Luzon, after Peeters insisted on playing him out wide.

AFCB have clinched promotion but is the game against Charlton more worrying for you now knowing that the title is still a possibility for the Cherries or do you believe it will give the Addicks more of a reason to play well and try and deny the Cherries something they want.

The last few games have been a struggle as Luzon tries to get them up for games that frankly don’t matter. Our last four games have been against other teams with nothing to play for, so I sincerely hope that AFCB bring the best out of us. I am personally glad you are already up, which takes the pressure of the day. My hope is that we turn up and not just roll over. Especially as I fly in from Bermuda Saturday morning just for the game. Congratulations to you and all Bournemouth fans and I look forward to being part of a great day out on Saturday.

CC: That has to be one of the biggest exile journey's to make - Bermuda to The Valley! How about that AFCB fans and Charlton aren't even going up. That's dedication and while I know Chicago Addick can't make every home match you won't find many more informed followers of the Addicks - some great answers. You can read more views on Charlton at Chicago Addicks' website.

Sadly, AFCB did not quite come out top in the football league ground awards but were highly recommended. They can rip the pitch up now I suppose as undersopil heating is a requirement of the Premier League!

Cherry Chimes' May Newsletter is out today and features the top stories from the blog in April to recall how AFCB reached the top flight. Stories include 90 minutes away from the Premier League and Fairy tales really do come true.

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