........was of course last Saturday in spite of some mistakenly thinking that the minor league competition known as the Premiership, which begins again next weekend, is really the main event.
Arriving at the Valley on Saturday for our first game against Bournemouth it felt like there had never been a close season and certainly no World Cup. That there has been a lot going on at Charlton in the past few weeks soon became evident when we took our seats. What was virtually a new team was introduced to the crowd (and in one or two cases, probably, to one another) whilst the giant electronic scoreboard was turned off, a cost cutting measure whilst the club awaits a sponsor.
As for the game itself, a goal midway through the half from Akpo Sodje (one of the few survivors from last season) was enough to secure three points. A pretty harsh sending-off of midfield anchorman Jose Semedo meant that Charlton played the last 30 minutes a man short. Bournemouth used the one-man advantage to press forward but they offered little threat and in the end we saw out the match comfortably. Tonight I fear we may assume the role of Goliath when we travel to League 2 Shrewsbury for the first round of the Carling Cup. Embarrassing cup defeats have become something of a habit in recent years and tonight's draw has the potential to be the latest. Still if the worst comes to the worst the manager has the opportunity to argue that we can now concentrate on the League.
Meanwhile story of the week has to come from the Southampton vs. Plymouth game. Southampton advised the Plynouth Herald newspaper that they could not allow one of their photographers into the ground. Undaunted the paper asked local cartoonist and Plymouth fan Chris Robinson to capture some of the highlights of the game for their readers. The excellent results left compare favourably with the 'real' Roy of the Rovers item that leads this post. I'd like to think this is a trend that could catch on. The speech bubble in the crowd is a particularly nice touch.