Monday 5 September 2022

Night Follows Day

I guess the only surprise greater than our loss on Saturday was that we took an early lead. A lead so early, that few of us can recall the last time we went ahead so quickly.

It was a false dawn and Bolton were back on level terms within a few minutes. Just before half time and the Trotters had established lead that they went on to extend in the second period.

It was perhaps an entirely predictable result given the manner of the closing of the transfer window on Thursday. Certainly Garner will have been deflated by events and it must be hard to hide that from the team who themselves one would think, will have been as disappointed as the fans.

Post match and Garner was refreshingly honest in his assessment of the game and the Addicks prospects for the season.

One has to feel for Garner, the latest Charlton manager not to be supported by Sandgaard. He must feel acutely let down and in luring him to the Valley, the owner must have given him certain assurances regarding the squad that he sought to assemble.

Early on it did seem as though the gaffer was getting that but on reflection, especially when considering no fee was paid for any new recruit, it wasn't unequivocal. 

I can't believe that Garner wouldn't have wanted to add another striker for some time. Surely, it would have been one that was more suited to his system than the unfortunate Stockley.

The skipper's run of failing to score from open play continues and whilst being captain and with no other realistic alternative, his place team in the team looks secure. Under any other circumstances he would probably be dropped but that remains unlikely. How long that goes on for is anyone's guess but I can't see things changing anytime soon.

As we've seen off the pitch, no one's job is secure at the Valley and Garner's comments won't have helped his own position. Add to that Steve Gallen, who I'd not be surprised to see carry the can for the lacklustre end to the window.

One wonders what has happened to our recruitment process that so recently gave us some absolute gems and has us all wondering how Gallen repeatedly managed to pull rabbits from the hat. 

Perhaps it's simply that previously he was very much entrusted to get on with the job with minimal interference. Gallen was unencumbered by someone who had little to no experience of football although had overseen a team of 80 people and was superb at analysing data albeit in a totally different sector.

Who knows if Garner and Gallen will see out the season. Sadly, it's not hard to imagine them both gone before season's end. They would be two more names to add to Sandgaard's list of casualties.

Such is the owner's drive to reduce costs via the shedding of players whilst trimming the squad that Garner has somehow to motivate players like JFC, DJ and Macca as all three seemingly were set to go even if just on loan. DJ's was a very last minute collapse we believe.

What of our owner now? The man who loves the limelight and the adulation has gone very quiet. He's almost invisible on Twitter to the point where we no longer even see the " Boom " every time we score. 

The last few months have seen an increase in prices in many areas of the club as part of the closing the gap measures between profit and loss. A number of fans were happy to tolerate that, presumably in the hope that money would be invested in the team. That clearly hasn't been the case.

This, allied to the usual crass comments about learning from the mistakes of previous transfer windows and the off field removal of loyal and long standing staff, have further destroyed the remaining loyalty and credibility that Sandgaard had.

It has become clear to even the most ardent of Sandgaard loyalists that his words won't be backed up by actions. It really would seem that he is preparing to sell. To be honest, I wouldn't be disappointed if he  did. He'd be the latest in a long line of football club owners who've misjudged how expensive and difficult it is to run one.

In the meantime, Garner has a week to try and rejuvenate the troops ahead of Saturday's game at home to an Exeter City team that has made a pretty good start to the season and sit in 7th place. 

At least until January, the Addicks will pray for fewer injuries and that somehow, Aneke can at least get a few minutes on the pitch whilst the youngsters can produce some magic. I don't envy him the task and he needs all the support that we can give him because apparently, he won't get it from above!


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