Wednesday, 28 April 2010

Jonjo Shelvey

I received a text from a friend (a Spurs fan) telling me that this was happening. It only took a few minutes on the iPhone to discover that the official web site was carrying the story.

I thought I'd wait until today to see if I found myself less angry/upset at the development. Sadly a poor night's sleep (stress with school issues) hasn't helped my mood.

I'm going to be as fair as I can be, but I'm not going to hold any punches. I have been trying to be very supportive of our efforts in recent weeks, but looking at this, in combination with a number of other factors, it is beginning to look like those ruining our club and I'm talking about the board and/or (almost certainly and) the manager have continued their recent record of f**king up big style.

I will try to go on to offer a balanced view, but the facts tend to speak for themselves. I'm not going to try to produce a great piece of writing (too emotional) but the facts as I see them (in no particular order) are:

  • Shelvey played in the first 12 games of the season, we won 7 drew 4 and lost 1. We scored 20 goals (of which he scored 2). Since the he has been dicked about on the bench or not even in the match day squad at all.
  • On the 5th September the club announced that Shelvey had signed a contract extension - he made 7 more appearances before being dropped. Since then (12 games in) he has started four of the 32 games.
  • One of the reasons given for Shelvey's decision to sign a contract when he was 17, and again his extension was that he wanted to learn and play first team football. I heard an interview with him where he was saying that he didn't want to be out of the first team like Bostock. Since he signed his contract extension he has started eleven of the 39 games we have played in the THIRD DIVISION!
  • Parkinson has failed to find a place in our side for a player that is now considered a prospect for Liverpool - I accept that this could have been a board decision.
  • I am not the only blogger that has been calling for his inclusion. There have been even more on the email list demanding the same. There are a few contributors to that list that have been following Shelvey's progress through the youth side who believe he has been wasted this season.
  • Last season Shelvey made 14 starts in a team that finished dead last in the second division
  • That makes a total of 30 stares in 90 games across the last two seasons. Hardly giving him a real chance to establish himself. They were the two worst seasons in recent history and he is one of the best propects we have had.
  • The fee for Shelvey is less than we paid for Andy Gray, Luke Varney, zz and £150k less than we paid for Izale McLeod. None of those players will ever get close to the Premier League. The Chinese captain couldn't even get into the Premier League on a free transfer. He is in the worst Celtic side for a generation.

And most condemning of all:

  • The football PR tell us that transfers take weeks to arrange. It has been four weeks today since the deadline for us to commit for a season ticket for next season. They must think we are completely stupid?
  • We are entering the most important phase of the season. Arguably the next month is the most important in the club's 105 year history. I know that sounds dramatic but another season in this division could well be the end of this club. In the playoffs you need a little spark of quality at just the right times. Look at our squad, who else has the potential to provide that? Er, er, er. Nope I can't think of any other player that has that either. Even if Shelvey is allowed to play in those games (which I doubt) he can't be expected to put his foot in when he has such a massive transfer on the horizon.

While I'm in the flow:

  • The board refused to invest in a new management team when Pardew left. It would cost too much money apparently. The board then failed to sell the club to a group of mugs that were even more stupid than the fans last summer and they had to put in £7m to bankroll the club this season.
  • The financial benefits of promotion this season are c. £3m. So just at the death we have decided again not to make an investment to see if we can make it happen. No we are flogging a player to a club, who's manager hasn't paid less than £7m for a player in his six years there, for £1.7m (this is from memory, so I don't need loads of comments with names of players that he has signed for less).
  • The board clearly have no idea what to do next. They have sold tickets for August 2010 through May 2011 in March 2010. They have sold our best (and only really saleable) player with two games (plus playoffs) to go in our most important season in a century.

If I hear, once again, that the club will be bought by wealthy people that are going to invest millions of pounds based on the f**king Olympics again I will scream. Chances are we will have been in Administration, and be plying our trade in the forth division with crowds of less than 5,000 by 2012.

As for Jonjo, well he goes with my best wishes. He has behaved in a very professional, and most importunately loyal, fashion. Sure he was probably lied to about how many games he was going to get, and he has been allowed to join a really big club, that is likely to offer him a great future, at a knock down price, but I have nothing buy praise for him.

Good luck Jonjo!

As for Charlton. It has been a long time since we haven't had a single player in our squad to get excited about watching. I'm looking at the squad list now and I'm desperate to find one. I'd love there to be a player that I can get enthusiastic about. I like Semedo. I like the way he plays and I like the job he does - despite it being the least creative. However, he's hardly exciting, and take him out of the squad and frankly I'm not sure I could give a toss about any of the rest. Sure they are Charlton players and I'll support them, but they're all journeymen players or well past their best.

After the pain that we fans have suffered, combined with the continued rubbish PR that we have heard from the club in recent years I hope that the board do lose all their money. My patience with them and their Muppet of a Manager has completely run out!

Up the Addicks!


Wyn Grant said...

Shelvey was dropped in part because of performances. I have not been impressed when he has come on as a sub. That may reflect the coaching he has received, But Liverpool will be able to realise that potential - or not. I think it's an open question whether he will make the grade at the top level. On balance seems a sensible decision to me if it means we can keep afloat a little longer.

Dave said...

KHA - have to same I agree with Wyn here. Shelvey hasn't done enough to keep his place when he's come back into the side. I think you are being harsh on some of those we have; Nicky Bailey has contributed far more this season in midfield and does have something extra. If you forget the hype, £1.7m isn't bad for an 18 year old with no Premier League experience. I suspect it may be a couple of years before Shelvey plays three games in-a-row for Liverpool.

Dave said...

KHA - have to same I agree with Wyn here. Shelvey hasn't done enough to keep his place when he's come back into the side. I think you are being harsh on some of those we have; Nicky Bailey has contributed far more this season in midfield and does have something extra. If you forget the hype, £1.7m isn't bad for an 18 year old with no Premier League experience. I suspect it may be a couple of years before Shelvey plays three games in-a-row for Liverpool.

Kings Hill Addick said...


I agree that he hasn't been outstanding playing the odd twenty minutes here and there out of position.

I also agree that being in the mess that we are in forces the club's hand.

However, we are only in the mess we are in because of the shocking decisions that have been made in the last three or four years.

Also, nothing justifies the fact that it looks, again, like we have been misled into buying season tickets only for an unpopular decision to be made almost immediately afterwards.


I agree that £1.7m is not a pittance, but it is not much more that we paid for McLeod. I know we have had some economic issues in that time, but I guess my anger is mainly at the fact that we have been allowed to be in this position in the first place.

As for Nicky Bailey, I agree he has contributed a lot this season, but he just doesn’t lift my spirits. He is a good third division player, but some of his antics (lying on the ground when he is clearly not injured) let him down and he has made no secret of the fact that he would be out the door if he got any kind of offer.

New York Addick said...

Hi KHA - it's funny how two bloggers who seem to agree on most CAFC-related things (based upon our pub conversation), can disagree so much on this particular topic.

I've never seen what the fuss is about with Shelvey. I'm old enough to have seen the likes of Paul Walsh, Paul Elliott and more latterly Lee Bowyer and Scott Parker come through, and frankly Shelvey is not remotely in any of their class (based upon what I've seen of course).

The fact that he's gone to a big club is not a function (yet) of Liverpool seeing something that Parkinson can't, but they've simply bought a cheap 'option' on his potential, equivalent to only about one afternoon's Anfield matchday ticket receipts.

And as I have suggested on my blog, it's possible that his value may fall rather than rise if he stays for another season.

You've really got to a true stand-out in League One (ie. the best player in the division) to justify the type of price tag some fans think he warranted, and he never impressed to anything like that degree this season.


ChicagoAddick said...

I get the impression that post has been building up KHA?

ChicagoAddick said...

Like Delph was last year NYA. He ran teams ragged by all accounts. Played 45 games, was in the PFA team, Leeds player of the year, Football league young player of the season and goal of the season. He was sold for over 4mill.... and hardly ever plays for Villa mind.

Kings Hill Addick said...


I think you are probably right. The fact that second place has become a 'Mission Impossible" combined with the, I believe irresponsible, early sale of one of our key players has caused me to look at where we are in relation to where we were.

I fully accept that the board have made mistakes, and that we all do so. However I was told by someone that claimed to have heard personally from Peter Varney that the board valued the club at £50m last summer which is why the take over fell through. Sure that valuation included The Valley, but the current board’s insistence that they were repaid in full for their loans as well as being paid a fee of c. £12m for the club (with all the club’s debts being taken on by the new owners) made any sale look greedy.

I’m not sure the club was worth £50m before the credit crunch when we were in the Premier League. To demand full repayment of loans when the club’s status had fallen was always going to scare off any potential new owners.

I also believe that the £7m put in, as grateful as I was at the time, was done more as an attempt to get the club promoted so that they could get more of their money back. Clearly this is purely speculation on my part but one has to wonder why a senior club employee (who must be aware of putting his foot in it as he is standing as a candidate for the current General Election) would so openly claim that those running the club have no idea what they are doing in an email to fans.

I don’t have the answers, but irrespective as to just how good Shelvey is it doesn’t look like good business selling him just before the playoffs. For a club that was willing to bring in Andy Gray, Lee Cook, Scott Sinclair, Tim Stokes, Greg Halford and Leroy Lita in an attempt to snatch promotion in 2008 it seems like a decision has been made to give up by selling Jonjo just four weeks before our season ends (assuming we make the Playoff final).

My other issue, which is, perhaps not logical, is that I have a lot more affection to players that are young and came through our youth set up. Sure we still have Lloyd Sam and Rob Elliot and Scott Wagstaff, Grant Basey and Chris Solly have been involved at times this season, but none of them had the excitement of Jonjo as we all knew he was destined for good (if not great) things. I think he will make it at Liverpool, I really hope he does, but at least it is a debate with him. With all due respect I don’t expect any of the others in that list to get close.

I know it was not easy ruining Charlton during the Premier League years, and to have survived as long as we did was fantastic, and I am not ungrateful for that. However, it is hard to see how we could have actually have done any worse than we have since Curbishley left, and the destruction of all that we had causes me to be both upset and angry. It doesn’t really matter who’d fault it is, the most important thing in my life (save for my family) has all but been killed and is left on a life support machine with insufficient money to keep the machine running.

Maybe I should have waited until the end of the season to have my rant, but the premature sale of my favourite player just set me off.