Thursday, 12 April 2012

Happy Days

Carlisle - the home of Ken Dodd

Those Addicks travelling up to Carlisle will, of course, be happy as the team is top of the league. This is increased not only by our current position and the recent history of promotion success associated with Brunton Park but that Carlisle has just been voted the happiest place to live in England.

However, given this week's news of injuries to two of their players allied to a recent dip in form, the natives level of happiness will no doubt have dropped down a notch or two. Sadly for the Blues top scorer Lee Miller ( 14 league goals 2011-12 ) and Chris Chantler have both been ruled out for the season. As a result some United fans have written off the club's play-off chances. I'm sure the rest of the squad and manager, Greg Abbott won't have done.

Carlisle is the birthplace of the custard cream but it's a ginger nut in the form of Jordan Cook who'll pose the biggest threat on Saturday. Cook is on loan from Sunderland and has been their most impressive player in recent weeks.

I fully expect Carlisle to be up for it as one can't imagine they'll give up now having come so close. Not only that the other clubs around them still face some tough fixtures.

They have some experienced players on their books in the shape of Tony Caig ( remember him ), Graham Kavanagh and JP McGovern. Mind you they are mostly used in a coaching capacity these days but Kavanagh or JP may be called into service at some stage.

We have of course beaten United twice this season with a comfortable 4-0 in the league and an equally untroubled 2-0 win in the FA Cup with a weakened side that saw Jason Euell score probably his last ever goal for us. The league fixture saw goalkeeper Collin gift us the fourth goal.......a repeat of that at the weekend would be most welcome.

That counts for nothing on Saturday of course and we'll need to be at our best to overcome a decent side for whom Abbott has worked wonders in my view. A win would be great of course especially given how nervy our boys have been at home of late but a draw would be fine by me.

As ever one can't see Sir Chris making many changes. He may opt to bring back Wagstaff for N'Guessan and leave the rest of the side as it was against Walsall. I'd bring back Green if fit and have N'Guessan start ahead of BWP. In addition, I'd have Cook on the left with Hughes replacing Stephens to partner Jackson in midfield. 

Please, please, please can we have a decent ref ? God knows we're long overdue one. There must be one somewhere. What ever happened to Jurnal Singh ? He was one of my favourites as we always seemed to do well when he officiated our games. 

Good luck to all those Addicks making the very long trip up there. Let's hope the lads get the three points, play well and send you all home.............happy !

Come On You Reds !


  1. I agree with your comments about Jurnal Singh being one of the better Referees, but unfortunately he retired in 2010.I emailed the Football League after on of the game,s he refereed to say how good he was,and they returned an email thanking me for his praise, also his agent thanked me.

  2. I can't believe anyone would place Hughes and Jackson together in the center of a midfield 4.

    Our biggest weakness this season has been the middle of the park with Hollands, Hughes and Russell all proving incapable of playing good quality passing football. They all work hard and break up play but fall short if they ever have the ball at their feet. I am tired of people seemingly proud to watch our lads struggle and fail to dominate the midfield and celebrate their work ethic whilst ignoring their limitations.

    Stephens and Pritchard seem to have the ability to pass the ball to each other and spread it about aswell! They should be the guys put in the center. I do agree Jackson could prove very useful inside, but with Stephens or Pritchard, not Hughes.

    I would only ever take Hughes if the plan was to leave him there!

  3. Anon, I recall that when Hughes partnered Hollands in midfield earlier in the season, Danny was able to push on more and as a result he scored 4 times in 6 games. I don't see Hollands as a totally different type of player to Jackson and if Jackson were playing in his preferred central midfield position then I feel he would similarly score a few. After all wasn't he top scorer last season or the season before ? A pairing of Hughes and Jackson has not been tried so we don't know for sure but what I've highlighted suggests that it's not totally unfeasible.

  4. I agree with the comment about Hughes allowing Hollands to push on. Stephens may have some quality but he has been out of sorts since his return and we have failed to dominate midfield in any game for some time. JJ is wasted on the wing, lets bring him into the middle, maybe with Hughes or Pritchard. N'Guessan looked good last week and I'd opt for him up front with Kermit, with BWP on the bench.
    It's good to see a Charlton team with so many options!


  5. Hughes offers too little to be in a midfield 4. He could perhaps do a role infront of the back four in a 5 but if you play 4 you need two guys who can play football.

    Hollands scoring goals does not interest me. I have little time for players that score a few goals and do little else, if a midfield player scores 10, but provides none he is not as useful as one that scores 5 and provides 10. Midfielders who score goals are great, but not if it is harmful to a teams shape or passing abilities. The unit as a whole is more important than the one!

    I agree Jackson offers something in the middle we have yet to see, but he is strong, physical and defensively trained so you do not need a holding guy in there aswell ie Hughes. He could play with Pritchard or Stephens in a strong central midfield.

    As for Stephens looking out of sorts. How many times does he pick up the ball look for a pass and find no one offering themselves? At the start of the campaign he became frustrated after having no outlet. Put him with a passing midfield team mate, with wingers who offer themselves as outlets in addition to forwards like kermy and either bwp or danny up front who are comfortable on the ball and you have a very strong looking side.

    Just a final comment on Stephens. If a passing midfield player looks up and has no one offering him a simple outlet, no one showing themselves or coming short the fault lies in the team selection, tactics and players, not the passer. Next time you watch us play look how many options the man on the ball has that are simple easy passes in midfield. In football it is often the play off the ball that win games. Spectacular goals aside, its the movement, position and work of the guys off the ball that allows the player on it to develop, set up or finish the scoring opportunities