Monday 22 October 2018

In the pink !

A fantastic performance on Saturday saw the Addicks return to winning ways in addition to stemming the flow of goals conceded. That this was achieved against an in form Barnsley team speaks volumes.

I don’t think anyone had a bad game. The return of Bielek shored up the back four. An improved display for Dijksteel allied to Pearce being restored to his preferred side really made a difference.

Added to that Steer put in a more assured display with a couple of good saves and on occasion, excellent distribution.

Grant’s excellent finish following a sublime pass from Ward was very much against the run of play. The first half was an even affair and in truth the Addicks would have welcomed the half time break.

The first 45 minutes made it clear that referee Linington had not improved since his last time at The Valley. Mind you with the sun in his eyes ( not an excuse he could have for the Posh game ! ) it’s no surprise. On several occasions he had his hand shading his eyes from the bright orb in the sky !

It did make me wonder why referees don’t follow the example of keepers and wear a cap ( ok, I know this means exercising a degree of common sense ! ). I’m sure The Valley in mid-November can’t be the only occasion that this is an issue so why would it not be part of their kit they take to every game ?

The second half saw Barnsley reduced to just one shot on target pretty much such was the excellent work from the team. The second effectively finished the game but you can never say never with the Addicks !

A third was disallowed for reasons known only to the man from the Isle of Wight but it failed to lessen the celebratory atmosphere in S.E. 7 !

On to tomorrow night and the most one dimensional manager in league football brings his Oxford team to The Valley. It’s something of a surprise as most of us thought he’d have gone by now so bad has been the Yellows start to the season.

A number of fans seem happy following a run of two scoreless draws and a win over the bottom club, Plymouth. However, some of the natives have been restless with most seeing through the verbiage and endless excuses of our former manager. However,

A couple of fans recently observed “ No evident style of play, no clear strategy to score because Robbo is a tactical numpty “ and “ Honestly, I’ve seen bowls of porridge with more tactical acumen “ !!

Of course, we know this all too well having witnessed it at first hand.

It we fail to beat Oxford tomorrow it’ll only be down the goalkeeping excellence of Simon Eastwood, a dodgy refereeing decision, some horrendous mistake or poor play from ourselves.

Lee Bowyer should be confident of a win although he’ll no doubt be up to the wee hours trying to second guess what formation Crafty Karl will deploy !

In the event of another defeat for Oxford no doubt Robinson will dig deep into the book of excuses. This season he has added the home ground having an effect on the lads. The three sides isn’t helping apparently.

Jon Obika is out for the season and so won’t be playing. Ricky Holmes missed out on Saturday but I don’t know the extent of his injury. Carruthers is finding his fitness and feet after a spell on the sidelines.

Oxford are unlikely to be adventurous and Robinson would probably take another 0-0 right now. He’ll have half an eye on a smash and grab.

Hopefully he’ll leave pointless with The Addicks cementing the good work done on Saturday.

Finally, tomorrow’s match is part of Lyle Taylor’s Go Pink campaign and let’s hope it is successful in raising more money towards this very worthwhile cause.

Come On You Reds !

Sunday 7 October 2018

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Elton John famously sang I guess that's why they call it the blues perhaps inspired by a Coventry victory over Watford. Who knows but Charlton fans knew that feeling after yesterday's game.

A third successive game saw us left the pitch with less than we should. I could say deserved but perhaps that's not entirely true unless we're having that bad a run in terms of luck.

We all know that we have a good squad of players. We all know that is a squad without much cover and for us to stand any real chance of promotion this season we need minimal suspensions and injuries. Of late both have hit us hard.

The defence is really under pressure at the moment. The full back position is possibly the weakest area of all. It may be that Bowyer was somewhat naive to continue with the same back four that conceded 4 goals on Tuesday.

Solly having to play at left back weakens the team and Dijksteel doesn't look totally comfrotable at full back. Might we have done better to keep Solly in his preferred position and play Sarr at left back ? Pratley or Bielek could have played at centre half. 

Solly was aforded a vast amount of time and space on the left and regularly picked out vy the Charlton midfield mostly Reeves who supplied some exquisite passes. Solly's lack of a decent left foot resulted in him time and again cutting back onto his right or not quite doing enough with the best efforts his left peg could muster.

In addition to that Solly was left devoid of support when receiving the ball. It was disappointing that it wasn't until the second half that this was rectified when Fosu was sent out to help him. 

Ultimately Charlton were made to pay for failing to take their chances. It was surprising that the game was scoreless at the end of the first 45 minutes and that it would need a spot kick to open it up.

Taylor had a great game yesterday and was brave enough to step up to pentalty duties exactly two weeks after he had one saved at the exact same goal. He did have some help from Coventry's Kelly who indicated to keeper Burge that Lyle was going to put the kick to his left. In the end Charlton's number 9 put it to the goalie's right.

The second half followed much the same pattern as the first with the Addicks failing to take their chances. That's not to say that City didn't have opportunities to score of their own. They did and they could have scored before they did.

Mark Robins deserves a lot of credit for keeping his team in the game and with a squad that I believe was missing a few key players. Prior to the match he had identified the problems of our defence and the absence of Page in particular. It's probably no coincidence that their main attacking threat came down our right hand side where the less experienced Dijksteel was operating.

Bowyer and his troops have greatly exceeded expectation to date. It is to be hoped that this is very much a blip.

Next week's break offers a chance to regroup and maybe get a couple back from injury. Let's hope they make the most of it.

In the meantime we have a meaningless Checkatrade nonsense fixture. At least it gives an opportunity for a run out for some fringe players. Let's pray we don't have add another page to the current chapter of current injuries!

Monday 1 October 2018

Good Game !

A theme is emerging.........

On Saturday we played the Hatters and on Tuesday we are away again this time to the Iron. At home next Saturday we play Coventry and although it's no Detroit, it is closely associated with cars ( especially Willie Carr ! ).

Clearly we're in the midst of a set of fixtures inspired by Waddington's famous game of Monopoly and its tokens ( I mean the original ones not the more modern ones which are a nonsense - change isn't good !! ).

Portsmouth must be up soon maybe followed by Northampton and Blackburn ( Rovers ) in the cup. If we get Millwall, you'll know we've moved on to Cluedo tokens !

I always felt that Saturday's game against Luton was going to be a tough one and in view of the way events panned out, like just about everyone else I was more than happy with the point.

Chris Solly chose a good time to renew scoring. They do seem to be worth waiting for don't they ?

Bowyer was right not to risk Ward and Grant by not having them in the starting eleven with tomorrow's night's game in mind.

Whether Fosu would have replaced one of the midfielders who played so well against Plymouth
is unclear. I guess Ward's injury solved that problem.

We did dominate for long periods against the Hatters albeit not as much as the Plymouth game. We do need to score more when we are on top.

Following the game from afar was a nervy affair. If we can go two or three goals up it would help with the nerves.

The Iron will pose difficult opponents. After a dire start to the season manager Nick Daws was sacked and replaced by Stuart McCall. 

McCall has overseen a real upturn. Accepting that their have been many draws the team remains unbeaten under McCall. 

The Addicks do have a record of ending unbeaten runs and they'll need to be at their very best if they are to repeat that tomorrow.

Former Addick Lee Novak is amongst the ranks of Iron players. I don't think we saw the best of him when he was with us and I hope that doesn't start tomorrow !