Saturday, 7 January 2012

Next... Fulham away

I'm not going to do a full preview of this game as it's late on Friday evening and chances are that no-one will read it now and even if they do they will have read a few others.

However, I do have a few things to say about them and our chances tomorrow. I have an abnormal hatred of Fulham for reasons that I've discussed before, but as we've fallen so far in the last five years my interest in these other teams has been lost in my obsession to get out of this division and return to a level where the club can be sustainable in the long term.

Not that this means I don't hate Fulham any more, I just don't have the energy to show it in quite the same way.

I'm also acutely aware that their budgets in terms of wages and player transfers should ensure that we just cannot compete with them if they have any reveal interest in winning this game.

For that reason I'm going tomorrow and I suspect that unless we are very close to getting something, or we are cheated in some way, I will not feel angry or disappointed if we lose. Clearly I don't want to get hammered, but any result that sees us lose by less than fee goals and I will be perfectly happy with the day out.

Having said that I am not expecting to be impressed with the stadium. I know we are not in the same league as Man Utd, but The Valley is as impressive as all but the top football grounds England has to offer, and very few can put it to shame.

I also, suddenly, realise that I don't have as much anger towards our former players as I used to have. When Danny Murphy left us for Spurs I understood it as they are (and always were) a bigger club than Charlton. I suspect that Murphy came to us as he thought he was more likely to play, and this was, probably, the main reason he was willing to leave Liverpool. However, I was still angry about it as it was such a bad time for us - the news came through after 11:45pm on the last day of the transfer window. Maybe he realised with us that he'd rather be a big club than be playing regularly - especially as Curbishley had dropped him. As it happens, he was correct to fear that he wouldn't be able to hold down a place at Spurs, and he moved on to Fulham, where he has contributed to a European cup run that culminated in a final, and he hasn't been in a team fighting relegation every season.

Maybe if he'd joined Fulham before Spurs he would have ended up with us and we would now be in the Premier League and Fulham would be in the third division. I know this sounds fanciful, but I honestly believe that if we'd won that Fulham game at The Valley, when they equalised from a free kick that should have gone the other way, we would have stayed up.

It's all in the past now, but I no longer harbour any bad feeling towards Murphy, and I actually consider it to have been a privilege to watch him, and others like him, play in a Charlton shirt during what I fear will be the only golden era I will see at The Valley in my lifetime. So, tomorrow, I'd take a draw right now. I don't think we'll get close, but there is no point is accepting anything less right now, and even though I expect us to beaten easily, stranger things have happened.

Up the Addicks!

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