Yesterday's away fans enjoying some pre-protest refreshment.
Addicks were spread far and wide yesterday as protests took place in both S.E. 7 and Belgium. This led to the protests being highlighted to an even greater extent. Clearly Roly had some idea of it and his now apparent paranoia is well demonstrated by the way the lads were dealt with.
Ejected from the stadium, attempts were made to take names etc and plain clothes police arrested them. They were of course released as no lawyer with their salt could successfully prosecute people for displaying a non-offensive banner in the context of a peaceful protest ( even if you are the CEO of a football club ).
If Roly was there yesterday then he missed the opportunity to invite the fans up to his box and have a chat. That would have been one way to deal with it but he doesn't like to meet customers so that was never really going to happen. As we know Roly leaves others like Katrien to face the flack.
Back in S.E. 7 we witnessed a better attacking performance but we were undone again by our defensive frailties. Yann, of course, had a great game yesterday and rather like our fellow Addicks in Belgium made his point very well. Two goals and an assist in an excellent all round performance. Sadly I doubt we'll see Yann at The Valley as a player again.
This was a fairly decent game for a change overlooking our awful defence. Big Mak was largely disappointing in the first half as he again failed to chase down enough or show any kind of fight to win the ball. As I've remarked before he should be scaring the s**t of defenders as he bears down on them but he's a relative pussy cat most of the time.
Thankfully Mak had a much better second half and showed greater determination and won more headers and generally got more involved.
Yaya was great and had a really fine game clearly as the hat-trick shows. I hope he stays fit as it'll be good to see more of him before we down.
Aside from a couple of decent saves I thought Henderson was poor yesterday. He showed little urgency when distributing the ball even when we were behind and I feel he's lost the air of authority he had last season. He wouldn't have been my choice of skipper yesterday aside from the fact that goalies should never been captains.
Prior to kick off and Solly was presented with a trophy to mark his 200 appearances for the club. As ever the club got this wrong, This was done around 2.45pm when there were few people in the ground. Chris wasn't playing so why not do immediately before kick off when The Valley was pretty full.
Talking of poor decisions, how bad was the ref ? He punished us for any push but Reading's holding and pushing and time wasting largely went unpenalised.
Reading's time wasting was ultimately to work in their favour as following our equaliser they decided they might try and get another goal and the winner came in the 93rd minute. Had the ref done his job then they might have been a player or two light or there wouldn't have been all that time to add on had they sped up.
However, all that aside if you defend like we did then you'll not win a game even if you do score 3 !
We were down some time ago of course but this result still feels like a kick in the teeth and we didn't deserve to lose.
For the umpteenth time this season we lost to a team that aren't that great and I've not seen a really good team at The Valley this season. Another reason why this relegation is so unnecessary. I keep hearing how The Championship is a difficult league to get out of but if you're well organised with some experienced half decent players and a manager to match then it's possible.
If we overlook Hull and Burnley with their Prem money and one or two better quality players then we can see teams like Brighton, Derby, Ipswich and even Preston for evidence of this and how you can give yourself at least half a chance.
What a mess of a season. I'd love to know why our injuries are so bad. How is it that our players are out for so long and frequently the initial diagnosis like most of our shots seems to be wide of the mark ? All teams get them of course but our players are out for so long or fail to return in good condition. We've hardly seen Igor in the last 12 to 14 months for example.
It's one major part of what's gone wrong and it always seems to be our better players that are injured and not the ones we wouldn't miss.
I've been resigned to League One for some time but what concerns me more is when this torment will end and we can fully focus once again on our team. Let's hope we don't have to wait too long.