Following what seemed an unthinkable set of results that have been achieved since the Norwich game, we are well and truly in mid-table obscurity. Normally these last few fixtures would be viewed as an opportunity to blood some youngsters and plan for next season.
However, the volatile nature of our players contracts and several being loans dictates otherwise. Luzon can’t be sure if he himself will be in SE7 at the start of next season let alone anyone else !
If we can hold onto the better players and even, dare I say, add one or two then we’d have a good shout at promotion next term. Whether Roly is of a mind to spend more is open to question. He seems to take the view that we should largely be developing our own players.
As much as promotion is what we should be all about a part of me thinks we’re better off not being a part of “ the best league in the world “ ( this is the league that has failed to provide even one quarter finalist for the Champions League – perhaps they just don’t pay them enough ! ).
The constant changing of dates and kick off times would seriously pee me off. Add to that the inevitable increase in season ticket prices as well as the ludicrous prices for away tickets ( my lad’s friend, a Saints fan, tells me an away ticket for the Chelsea game was £55 – it was live on Sky !!! ).
On top of all that you can add regular beatings from most teams and patronising comments from the “ TV experts “ who in so doing show themselves to be ignorant of clubs like ours rather than add any value.
I think that those of us who so badly misjudged Luzon can continue to eat humble pie with seemingly every game. It’d be harsh to blame him for last Saturday’s defeat to Rovers when his team defends that.
However, he does get credit for having the nous to determine that there was little point in playing the ball on the deck at Blackpool. Get it up there was the aim and you can’t say it didn’t work.
My initial fear that players wouldn’t respond to him were misplaced as they seem to have taken to him very well. That includes those we were led to believe had an axe to grind.
Sadly for us Addicks the Championship season doesn’t run March to March or we’d be right up there. Whilst Luzon’s achievements to date don’t quite match those of Riga’s he has done a job that is almost as impressive.
I know as a supporter I’ve rarely felt so low as I did at the time of his appointment. Happily a lot has changed since and Valley visits have again become the joy they ought to be !
It’s a shame that we’ve had to endure such awful early and mid-season periods for the last two campaigns.
On to Saturday then and we entertain a Reading team that is bound for Wembley next month. Will this prove a distraction ? Not if last week’s opponents are anything to go by. One assumes their players will be pushing for a starting place in the semi.
I expect us to be a match for them though and if we can avoid the errors that marred our last home performance then it should be a cracking game. If there are three goals then it’s odd on we’ll come away with the points.
As for our starting eleven again it’s a tough one to call. I think I’d prefer Bulot to Eagles as he offers us natural left sided play. Happy with either Buyens or Diarra starting. I know Church is up against his old team but leave aside the sentimentality and if fit, Igor should start.
The expense of the Wembley trip may stop a few Royals from travelling but it would be good if we can have a good home turn out especially with the fixtures running out fast. Hopefully that will see a more upbeat atmosphere than the one which greeted the players last Saturday.
Come On You Reds !