Tuesday, July 22, 2008


When leaving Charlton to return to Reading, Sam Sodje was quoted as saying: " I've had a good experience with Charlton, playing week in and week out . . . I came here to help get Charlton promoted so I'm disappointed we didn't achieve that, but I'm a local lad and to play for my local team has been a really good thing for me."

Quotes from athletes tend, of course, to be fake and self-serving; to provide vapid sentiment and insincere praise. But there is something to be said for even attempting to give supporters a reason to like you and, further, there is something about what Sodje said (or is said to have said) upon departure that cuts against the cynicism that many of Pards new acquisitions last season brought to the Valley. Charlton appeared inundated with mercenaries last year and, according to most commentary, this led to listless, heartless performances on the pitch. Thus, if there was one player of the lot to bring back on board, it would appear to be the one who, at least in public comments, stressed some type of passion, some measure of emotional attachment to the performance of the squad. And that player would be Sodje.

According to local reports today, Reading's manager, Steve Coppell, has told Sodje that he might be better served as an employee of another club. That report, hopefully, is enough to peak Charlton's interest a second time. The lack of any cover at center half, the apparent lack of value that Sodje has for Reading in the Championship, the familiarity of those at the Valley with the player, and the (relatively) small amount of compensation that would be needed to insure that Reading did not take a loss on the transaction (Sodje arrived with 350,000 quid going back to Brentford in July of '06) would seem to make this an obvious move for Charlton.

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