Charlton Athletic. That's the name of our team. And we currently play in what's known as the Fizzies. Of course, that's not its real name, its just a term of abuse, because we really don't like where we are, so we make a joke of it.
We're a bit like an entrepreneur whose bad investments have all failed and as a consequence, he's falled on hard times. Having to sell his 20 room mansion in Bishops Avenue, he's now slumming it in a poky flat in Balham. And he doesn't like it either.
He, like ourselves, knows that he just doesn't belong in Balham, and to make matters worse he thinks he's surrounded by people that are not really as good as he is.
And, of course, these feelings work both ways. The same thing happened to my brother-in-law. A big city lawyer, he bought a house in the country. And at weekends he wanted to join the village Real Madrid fan club that played cards in the village bar. But no way. They were not going to accept this big fancy townie with all his money. And he had to play their game for months, convince them they had things in common and that, at heart, he was the same as them before they finally agreed to accept him at their table.
And its the same with us. Because if the truth be known, we just don't belong in this League. Its just something thats been forced upon us. And its really just not good enough for the likes of us. And the natives in those parts, the Colchester's, the Hull's, the Scunthorpe's, they're not stupid. They know what we're thinking. That they're all not good enough to be in the same League as us. That if we could, we just won't ask them round to our house at all.
So to them Charlton Athletic has a different meaning. They know we don't belong here either and to them we're a bit of a threat and that's why, when we do have to play them, they're determined as hell that, no way, are these upstart money bags from London going to get anything from them. And, as many out there can testify, nine times out of 10, we don't.
So as a consequence, when you look at our record against the bottom teams, its pretty bad.
Pardew put it in a nutshell after the weekends game, 'it was a real cup tie atmosphere and they treated it as a cup tie. They were totally focused and committed and made it really hard for us.'
Because, whatever we may think, these aren't just League games with three points available. To these teams, its a bit personal and its therefore ninety minutes of effort, committment and determination to prove that these money bag gits ain't no better than they are.
Just like my brother-in-law really, because when the cards came out, those villagers were equally as determined to prove they were as good or better than he was.
Just what Palarse are thinking about it all, we'll have to wait till Friday to find out .....