Charlton have one of the smallest and least experienced squads in the Championship. Last night that squad was hampered by injuries to several key players but still managed to emerge victorious against a plucky Bolton side that had a typical physical edge to it. That isn’t to suggest they were dirty, just that there were lots of niggling fouls that last night’s ref should have done more about.
Newly installed Bolton boss Lennon labelled us “ perennial Championship strugglers “ and that of course is total nonsense. In my many years of supporting the Addicks we have rarely struggled and whilst not frequently troubling the top of the table, I’ve not seen us in the third tier in more than a handful of seasons.
Possibly the seeds for the delusions of grandeur from Lennon have been sown by chairman, Phil Gartside. Back in the Allardyce era when the Trotters were enjoying Premiership football, Gartside was rarely out of the media. He had plenty to say, most notably about establishing a Premiership 2. Should Bolton drop to League 1 this season I wonder if Gartside will still be so keen on the idea !
Given the players available I thought pre-match that we’d do well to emerge with a point. In addition, Saturday’s results and performances from both teams did little to suggest an Addicks win. The lads do like to surprise us though and dug deep to bag all 3 points.
The opening minutes were end to end stuff and it looked as though there were plenty of goals to be had for both sides. However, there was little end product for either side despite some promising moves mostly involving the impressive Chung-yong as far as Bolton were concerned.
It was a real surprise when George demonstrated no small amount of skill to give us the lead. He scored the goal he always looked like scoring – heavy on the irony there !
Tucadean went down far too easily and I thought he was doing his best to blow a golden opportunity for himself. However, the way he took his goal and the assist for Jackson’s goal reminded us all of the potential he showed when netting against the Rams earlier in the season.
A few extra hours down the gym will certainly aid George because you need to be strong at this level.
Once again the defence did well with Bikey and TBH showing what a great partnership they are and how good their understanding is. I note that Wiggins is getting some unwarranted stick in some quarters. I am led to believe he wasn’t great at Bournemouth on Saturday and perhaps that influences the views of some. However, I believe that Solly didn’t cover himself in glory either but he didn’t attract a lot of criticism.
Feeney went off because he was getting no joy down our left and Davies, his replacement, played in a more central role I noted.
Someone else attracting complaints from a few around me was Cousins. I can’t believe that some folk don’t appreciate that he is playing out of position. He’s the footballing equivalent of Dennis Waterman not writing the theme tune, singing the theme tune etc. but taking corners, playing on the left, on the right, there’s little that’s not asked of young Jordan.
I don’t see him complain or ask for a rest like that Liverpool’s Stirling. Buyens had a better game last night and sadly picked up a fifth yellow. The one good thing that ought to come out of that is Jordan moving inside. I hope he grabs the opportunity to impress Big Bob on Friday.
Skip also did well and broke up many attacks and got in some vital blocks. His contributions are so often overlooked.
Last night’s result eases the pressure on Friday’s trip to the Cottage where a point will represent a good return given their recent upturn in fortunes following the sacking of the hapless McGath.