Sunday, 28 August 2016

Addicks 1 ( Harlem Globe ) Trotters 1

The ironically named Too Tall ( seen here on the left ) wouldn't get into the Bolton team.

Phil Parkinson and Lawrie Wilson rightly received warm welcomes upon their return to The Valley. Sadly, Lawrie didn't get on the pitch but as he's not a strapping 6ft plus player with a tendency for the rough stuff it was always unlikely.

Parky has set up his current team to be very physical whilst adding some niggly fouls into the mix. When that plays out in front of an incompetent referee as per yesterday you'll understand perhaps why Bolton have had a good start to the season. 

The Trotters, rather like the turn out from their fans, were disappointing. Proctor in particular was awful and he was lucky to stay on as long as he did. I'll be surprised if the Lancashire team are still up the top come the end of the season.

I had expected a bigger turn out from Bolton Fans given their good start, size of club and the relatively easy trip to London on a bank holiday weekend.

The Addicks had the better of the first half and certainly did not deserve to lose the game overall. 

Skip was withdrawn midway through the first half and in all honesty probably shouldn't have been risked especially with a two week break from league action coming up. His replacement gave a portent of the later rather baffling substitutions that Mr Slade was to make. 

Don't get me wrong it was good to see Bauer return ( I'm a big fan ) but to so disrupt the team and not to make a positive and attacking sub was a mistake I believe.

Konsa moved to right back and Solly into midfield to accommodate the German. Konsa and Solly both did well in their new positions but round pegs in round holes please ! Ultimately Konsa will probably feel he could've done better in the lead up to their goal and one feels that Solly almost certainly would've done.

Konsa at right back also meant that we had little threat on the right as on several occasions players were unable to release the ball out to where one would expect Solly to have been. No criticism of the young man intended just further proof that it wasn't the best decision to have him there.

The sub also served to highlight our dearth of quality and numbers in midfield. That aside I fail to understand why Lookman didn't come on at that point. Sadly, we weren't to see Charlton's finest until the 65th minute after he seemingly spending 10 minutes getting prepped to come on !

Why aren't players ready to get on the pitch asap ? That needs addressing. If we still have Lookman after the transfer window closes then he must be used from the start. Yesterday was reminiscent of the way Curbs used John Barnes who typically came on when we were behind and chasing the game,

Lookman's arrival immediately resulted in the Addicks carrying a greater threat that until that point was seemingly only coming from the ever impressive Holmes. He worked his socks off. 

One final sub to make then and with Ajose hardly having a touch all game against the giants and with the inevitable balls being banged into the box we took off Magennis. Why ? Even if he was injured and standing one leg ( I'm not aware he was ) then at least he carried a nuisance factor.

Hanlon was lively and effective. Again one wonders why he didn't come on earlier and why we persisted with Ajose. Mr Slade had to work out how to get the best out of him. I suspect a decent midfielder with an eye for a good forward pass is the answer so let's hope that player arrives soon !

We still witnessed a lot of long balls out from the back yesterday but the defenders did at least get feed by Rudd a bit more than previously. However, our players seem slow to react and never get into enough space when we do. 

It's basic stuff.......more space equals more time ! It really is that easy and something we need to address.  

No league game next Saturday means more chance to rest and recover for a number of players, More importantly Mr Slade can focus on new recruits. Getting that right and holding on to Lookman and Bauer are critical to us having any chance of a return to the Championship.

Tuesday sees the totally devalued Johnstones Paint - Checkatrade or somesuch Trophy game. The attendance ought to rival those of the Full Members Cup from our days in exile. It really has become devalued and I'm two Prem U23 teams to contest the final. Should that scenario come to pass then one can probably expect another low in terms of attendance for a Wembley final.

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