Frank Arnesen revealed that he has been keeping tabs on the progress of Saturday's opponents Charlton Athletic since his friend and countryman Allan Simonsen made a shock switch to the Valley in 1982.
The Danish international and 1977 European Footballer of the Year joined Charlton - then in the old Division Two - from Barcelona and scored nine goals in just 17 appearances.
Just over two years later the club hit probably its lowest point when financial problems forced them to depart the Valley and embark on a five-year groundshare with Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.
It wasn't all gloom as promotion to the then Division One was gained during this period and the quest for a return to the Valley was gathering momentum. Via a short stint at Upton Park a return home was achieved in December 1992, marked with with a single goal victory over Portsmouth. The Valley and the team have since grown together under the direction of Alan Curbishley and his board.
Our Sporting Director noted from afar just how far the now established Premiership club have come in such a short space of time.
"When you come here you get a lot more inside information about teams like Charlton, but I first heard about them was years ago when they signed Allan Simonsen from Barcelona.
"Of course, you follow Charlton from then, when one of your friends played there. They have had their ups and downs over the years, but have become a very good team in the Premier League.
"It is tremendous, when you recall the problems they had with playing away from the Valley, and they are doing very well."
It has been suggested in some quarters that Charlton are enduring a stutter in their progress this season with some big investments not paying instant dividends. Frank counters this theory by pointing out that it could be simply that expectations are greater following the capture of players like Danny Murphy and Dennis Rommedahl - the latter from his old club PSV Eindhoven.
The aforementioned duo have been in and out of the starting X1 as Curbishley seeks a winning formula.
"When you go in and take bigger players like Murphy and Rommedahl, then maybe expectations are bigger. Perhaps if you go back and look at other players they have signed, it has possibly been the same, with them being in and out of the team until they were fully settled.
"Now the focus is more on Charlton because they have invested more money and the players they have signed have bigger names. The expectation is straight away they will take the team onto a higher level.
"I have always said all players must have the chance to adapt - even an English player moving to another club in England.
"Charlton are alright though, they are in the middle of the table just one point behind us - hopefully four after Saturday - but they are not doing badly."