Tuesday 2 January 2024


Oxford arrived at The Valley following 2-3 defeat at home on Friday to Derby after having been 2-0 up as they conceded goals in the 81st and 86th minute. Sounds familiar and very much the sort of thing that of late we do on a regular basis.

In addition, like us they have several injuries. That's where the similarities end. Their recently appointed manager, Des Buckingham, changed their system for yesterday's game. The team had one day to run through that. Having been well coached with the message clearly getting through Oxford overcame the early set back, demonstrated resilience and emerged victorious.

Over the festive period our manager has changed virtually nothing as he has selected pretty much the same starting eleven despite a disastrous run of results and performances. 

All that aside during the festive period you'd expect a manager to rotate the players even if you're on a good run. We have a largely young and inexperienced squad but Mickey didn't think it was wise to do so.

Appleton hasn't seen fit to try a different formation or select one of our better players in Louie Watson whilst continuing to select Fraser, one of the worst.

His post match interviews offer little to no insight in to what his thinking or rationale is. Mind you, if you get asked the weak questions the manager was subject to yesterday it's hardly surprising.

Again, like Friday, he chose to have a dig at the fans whilst failing to acknowledge his part in yet another loss as a result of another late goal. No recognition that despite how good a strike it was someone really ought to have closed it down and denied the opportunity.

However, it's apparently, us fans need to have some perspective! Really?

The absence of Alfie May yesterday was entirely predictable since Appleton opted to play him on Friday when the striker was carrying an injury and was a real doubt less than 24 hours before kick off. I know we're short on strikers but that was as naive as it was daft. May isn't the type of player to rest up or give less than 100% so aggravating the injury was always going to happen.

I thought Appleton was already drinking in the last chance saloon but it seems that he can carry on imbibing there ad infinitum. I'm not sure how much more Appleton has to do to get the boot.

He is without doubt the most tactically inept, passionless and uninspiring manager we've ever had. When one considers some of our most recent managers that tells you everything. Holden may not have been everyone's cup of tea but at least he got the club and engaged with its fanbase. Appleton doesn't even try to do that!

I know some will say we can't keep sacking managers even though that is largely down to a failed recruitment process. However, I'd wager that almost anyone with a modicum of common sense and managerial ability would do a better job. 

Jason Pearce is unproven but I'd fancy him to motivate and deliver some pride and passion in to this squad and restore a bit of hope.  

As I've said before Andy Scott has a lot to answer for but continues to keep a low profile. He will be forced to comment soon and we can look forward to a carefully scripted interview as he tries to wash his hands of all responsibility.

It's hard to see where the next win will come from as we head closer to relegation. Appleton remaining in situ certainly won't help. 

Clueless manager, clueless owners.

New year, same old Charlton!


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