There was a downside to this glorious summer of football. A downside to the so called worst Netherlands side of all time dismantling the all-conquering Spain team, a downside to James, Hames or whatever he wants to be called Rodrigues scoring a goal that defied everything we thought we knew about life and a downside to David Luiz going AWOL and Germany thumping 7 (SEVEN) past Brazil. Football was never going to get any better. Life had reached its peak. The events of June 12 to July 13 had rendered the prospect of a 46 game Championship season, and having to carry on breathing without a World Cup to watch as a reward, horrendously unattractive. Not even Peter Beagrie telling us this is the most competitive league in the world every other day could fix this one.
So, instead, the 24 teams that take part in the world’s best second tier decided to make things interesting. Ten, if not twelve, teams will have realistic ambitions of promotion. Those who just missed out on promotion last season have all improved, while the sides that came down from the Premier League all boast impressive squads and will be looking to make an immediate return. Then, just like in Brazil, there’s a handful of dark horses who will be looking to cause an upset or two and break into the top six.
Down the other end of the table, those who struggled have either revamped their squad or vastly improved it, while those who gained promotion from League One all look in good shape and would easily have avoided relegation last season. In fact, where in previous seasons you might well have been able to predict a top eight and a bottom four, ordering the teams before this campaign gets under way is a difficult task. One crisis club aside, it’s all very much up for debate; an unpredictability that makes this Championship season genuinely as exciting as any before it.
What World Cup? (more…)
Regular readers of Chris Powell’s Flat Cap will know my admiration for former Addick Bradley Pritchard is bordering on obsessive. So obsessive, in fact, that giving up my Saturday to watch the diminutive Zimbabwean represent his new club, Leyton Orient, at Northampton Town in a pre-season friendly seemed genuinely appealing.
I write this not as a disgruntled fan who wasn’t able to get a ticket for Charlton’s season opener at Griffin Park, even though I am, but as one of many regular away game goers who are somewhat annoyed by Charlton’s ticketing policy. My view is one I’ve had for quite a while, but finally being the victim of how Charlton allocate away tickets has meant I’ve opted to write about it.
I am no better and certainly not superior to any other Addick. I’m not a better supporter of this club than any of those will be in attendance at Brentford in just over two weeks’ time. However, I do feel that I deserve to be there.
That’s not to say I want the ticket delivered to my door free of charge in a golden envelop, signed and sealed by Johnnie Jackson, as nice as that would be. But I do think my committed away travelling means I should be offered the right to purchase a ticket in the first instance. (more…)
20. Goals that cross the line via the underside of the crossbar are infinitely better than those that don’t
11. It’s possible to be a World Cup ‘find’ having been part of a €45m transfer 12 months earlier
That’s right, chaps. According to the expert pundits, largely Lee Dixon and Ian Wright, ITV have to offer, James Rodriguez has been the ‘find’ of this World Cup. Normally, a find is a player who plays in an obscure country and for an obscure nation, not one who has played in the Champions League, been involved in a multi-million pound transfer and plays for the nation ranked 8th in the world before the tournament got underway.
Not to belittle Rodriguez’s performance at the World Cup at all, which is absolutely outstanding and worthy as any other of winning the Golden Ball, but surely former pros who are paid to talk about football were aware that this lad from Monaco was quite good at kicking a ball around before June 2014? (more…)
To those in denial, the fact that the 2014 World Cup is over finally hit home when, upon opening their Twitter the morning after the night before, they realised that hashflags were no longer working. There were cries for them to be brought back; symbolic cries that really meant they wanted to enjoy the month long carnival of football all over again.
Alas, the best World Cup of our lifetime is over. But what made it so great?
Over the course of three blog posts, I’ll look at 32 things that made this World Cup the great spectacle it was. (more…)
Delete where appropriate: those stress free off-season months are over, which is a shame/bloody hell, domestic football is almost back, I can’t wait/the World Cup’s not over yet, give me a chance. Whatever your choice is, with pre-season well under way, it’s time to start worrying about Charlton’s fortunes once more.
And whilst the off-season and the start of pre-season has seen plenty of activity, not all of it welcome but a fair amount of it promising, there remains as many questions to be answered at the start of any other campaign. Here are ten of the more important ones that spring to my mind. (more…)