Date:Thursday April 27 2006
Itís that time of the year again. A time usually used for the season to fade away, a time of reflection on the mediocrity of the performances on the pitch, a time to hope for better performances next year, a time when last year all our wishes were granted true.
You see, this end season certainly has a different feel about it. The fans are getting gradually more energetic, there is more energy in the air, the play-offs are looming. People want to go and watch Watford vs. Hull in order to generate momentum for a path to the premiership, not just because itís been the routine all season and in fact if thereís something else to do I might, because this game has no significance Ėas was the attitude last season. No. Not this year. This year, this match is the start of the Hornets streaming run into the premiership, there is something to look forward to once the season ends.
However, this is not the only action of this time of the season. This is the time of the season when we start to consider potential transfer targets, people who would normally be able to maintain us a decent position in the league. But this year, we consider players weíve heard of, people with reputations, people who will help us emulate the success of Wigan, and with any luck that of West Ham too (and hopefully not of Sunderland) in the premiership. There is now the assumption that players might actually want to come to the Vic. Something is happening here, and they want to be part of it.
Although this also means the time of the season when other teams start to look at our players, and as always Charlton are the team most linked with us. National newspapers have linked the Addicks with Marlon King but, as per usual, Charlton is pretty much the banker team that wonít buy from us. They are always linked, but never do. Recent examples would be Helguson, Cook and Robinson; all were linked with Charlton but went elsewhere. So, why are we always linked with Charlton? I feel it might be due to the similarity of the clubs. We are both London clubs (okay, strictly speaking we arenít, but close enough to be close enough for out players to move there with ease), and are quite small clubs. We donít have huge reputations, and we are both built around a warming culture, so one would assume our players would happily move there. Whereas in fact the closest our players have got to Charlton players in the last three seasons was in Chamberlainís testimonial pre-season (which is, admittedly, quite close).
Even though it is unlikely that Charlton will swoop for our players, we must be concerned of losing some of our players, especially if we donít reach the Promised Land. Obviously our biggest concern is King, and with Ash finding his shooting boots again and finding his way into the PFA Championship Team of the Year then there is every opportunity of someone making a bid for him -after all Walcott needs someone else who can speak English to accompany him at Arsenal. Many of our other players have also put in eye-catching performances this season, with DeMerit proving his athleticism and capability (will become more attractive if picked for USA), Doyley showing his top sportsman personality and ability to improve, and if teams are looking to build for the future they may even look at MacNamee or, our new found rock, Big Al.
WRITTEN BY STUART BROWN
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