Friday, 26 August 2022

Last Minute Dot Com

Tomorrow sees the Addicks face a tough test away to Wycombe where manager, Gareth Ainsworth, has massively over achieved in the last few seasons. 

Success on the pitch has led to success off it where the car park now regularly sells out! A cheap shot but last season's infamous reference to that by the Bucks club was a bit odd.

Ainsworth's teams may not be pretty on the eye and the term gamesmanship can justifiably be levelled at them but the end results cannot be ignored. They remain many people's favourites to return to the Championship.

Like last Saturday's opponents, Cambridge, they will be well organised and will press us throughout. Their physical approach means that we won't get a moment's rest.

The 1-1 draw with the U's clearly showed a need to have another plan in place when teams approach the game the way did. The were well organised right down to having us attack the Covered End in the first half. 

We need to be solid at the back and I really hope that Lavelle comes in for Inniss who worries me and not just in respect of a dodgy pass in our own third. He was lucky to stay on the pitch last week as a wandering arm caught a Cambridge player in the face.

After his scintillating display against Plymouth, Rak-Sakyi looked a bit jaded last weekend. Hopefully, he will be fully recovered for tomorrow. We need his attacking intent.

Garner may decide to stick with Morgan and I guess overall he's earned some loyalty but he didn't have a great game last week and his set  pieces were mostly awful and a waste. A similar display tomorrow and Payne really ought to replace him at half time.

I'm still struggling to understand the approach to this transfer window. Most notable has been the apparent lack of effort to sign a striker. A clear need given 3 left last season and to no one's surprise Chuks is injured again and then again!

Despite having not spent any money on transfer fees it seems we need to off load some players before we can consider getting another player in. When one considers the money for Burstow and Pope, this doesn't bode well.

Gilbey, JFC, DJ and Mac may all need to go. The case with Mac is bizarre and the decision to let AMB go out on loan looks naive especially, if Wollacott misses games for the world cup.

Sandgaard made promises at season's end about having a good transfer window and being better prepared. We have recruited reasonably well but here we are looking desperate to recruit and to off load.

All this against a back drop of cost cutting and increased prices in many areas. At a time of the worst financial situation we've faced for many a year Sandgaard has inflated costs.

It's not just tickets prices which were already too high. The cost to fans of catering is obscene too. £6.10 for pint of Heineken! Really? This is the East Stand terrace, not a night club or high end West End bar!

It all leads me to wonder if Sandgaard has any kind of plan or strategy in respect of almost any area of the club. Phrases like "Premier League ready" get bandied about but there's little evidence of it day to day. In any case, what does that actually mean? 

The only relevance of "Premier League ready" will be on the pitch having got promoted out of the Championship!

Sandgaard must have known he was going to lose money when buying Charlton. Since then he's shown himself to be pretty ignorant as to how much much it would cost him and that he oughtn't to expect to simply break even never mind make a profit!

If he fails to invest properly in the team or doesn't strike it lucky in the next few days, the team's early season promise will evaporate. Then he really will have a problem because a low to mid table Charlton team won't be attracting the level of support he needs.

It's especially true with the current ticket prices and arrangements. The catering most can take or leave but the cost of access to games is key.

The other influencing factor will of course be that for midweek games fans can simply pay their £10 and watch from home. The could be a family or 3 to 4 fans together. A massive hit on matchday revenue.

There you have it. Sandgaard has some big decisions to make and he needs to listens to fans and others with relevant experience. History has shown he tends not to do that. 

He has under a week to effectively save this season. At a minimum, I hope he gives Garner the support he needs. I doubt he will but I can hope.

Come On You Reds!  

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