Thursday 6 May 2021

Nigel Adkins Q & A

I was fortunate to be one of the people attending last night's Q&A session with Nigel Adkins.

It was a thoroughly enjoyable hour and a half in which the manager spoke quite open and honestly about all things Charlton.

In respect of specific questions about specific players he was as clear as he could without breaking the confidence or trust of those players much as one would hope and expect.

I was keen like many others to know why Chuks isn't starting and playing more games. Adkins was clear that he would like to start and play him more but there are reasons that he doesn't. It obvious that like all fans he sees Chuks as a great player at this level. It would seem that Aneke himself lacks confidence in his physical ability to play for long periods. I'm sure it's something that he is being helped with if so.

There's little point or need for me to go into too much detail about the session as it will be covered better elsewhere no doubt by people with better recall than myself.

Overall it was great to hear from the man himself and learn some more of his background, experience and football philosophy.

I found it all encouraging and feel reassured that Adkins is his own man who has a clear vision of what he wants to achieve and how. 

As one might expect his thoughts and views appear very much aligned with Thomas's and that alone is reassuring.

Whatever the outcome of Sunday's final League One games I think we can look forward to a bright and interesting future.

Come On You Reds!


Monday 3 May 2021

All But Over

The fat lady is about to start singing and almost definitely will following Saturday's 1-1 draw at Accrington.

It was absolutely dreadful with the first half especially being a wretched watch. Sadly, there have been so many like that this season. Watching games at home means it's so tempting to walk away from them although I've always stuck it out to the end. 

Often it's been the football equivalent of Dr Who as you're virtually watching from behind the sofa.

Worryingly in our last 3 games we seem to have lost our way. Once we lost DJ from the team we have appeared to be incapable of adjusting. 

Adkins has clearly inherited this squad but nevertheless can't be excused from criticism in respect of formations and  team selection.

Gunter underlined how much better Matthews is than him. The midfield showed that Shinnie deserves a start ahead of most of them yet only got a couple of minutes.

Why we apparently decided to match Stanley's approach to the game is a mystery to me. Adkins often speaks of the need to only worry about how we play but Saturday wasn't like that.

We have players more than capable of playing a decent passing game. Against Accrington it was crying out for us to get the ball on the floor and stop banging long high balls over all the place.

Our best striker and probably best player, Chuks again didn't start. Why? Further to that why can't he play alongside Stockley?

At half time clearly changes were needed. Yet we didn't make a change until the hour mark. Aneke's impact was immediate and underlined how foolhardy it is not to play him more.

I am so bored of reading how Chuks can't play for 90 minutes. He had done so this season and if I recall correctly played nearly 90 minutes in two successive games. This season is probably the fittest he's been but he's ended up playing so little!

If you read my blog ahead of the game you'll know that what I've written isn't born out of hindsight.

As ever with Charlton the season is effectively over but not completely. The club still has to tease with the feint hope of still making the play-offs. Mind you if we did one seriously can't envisage us being more than cannon fodder for whoever we play.

It is a shame because we are capable of putting out a decent starting eleven who, if correctly set up, would be more than a match for most teams in this league. Sadly, we are often too far removed from being so.

It has been an awful season in the wider world and on the pitch but thankfully better off it with the arrival of Thomas. If he hadn't taken over then I dread to think where we would be and how we would feel about our future.

There's a lot of work to do during the summer and Steve Gallen and co will need to be on their best game and pull some rabbits out of many hats! A silver lining of a potential defeat on Tuesday would be an earlier start to working on next season and clarity of where we'll be.