Bullied ( again !)

We just keep getting bullied and outplayed by every team. Tonight it was a physical athletic Bolton who took their turn to beat us up.

We’ve haven’t got enough or indeed any physicality in the team. How we miss even dear old Darren Pratley. There is no leadership or heart to the team. Yes sure they keep trying hard but we just get overrun and bullied by stronger, bigger and more physical teams.

To be fair, I thought that in the end our recruitment in the window was OK but it evidently wasn’t, our defence and midfield are just chronically weak. Special mention tonight should go to Adam Mathews who I have always thought was a decent player but he has been poor this season and tonight he was shockingly bad showing Bolton’s best player inside twice to let him score the 1st and set up the 3rd goal too.

Opposition managers keep spouting this nonsense about Nigel having an embarrassment of riches to choose from. I’d like to understand who it is they are referring to because pretty much every player looks either poor, weak or unfit or a combination of all three.

Thomas has to sack Nigel but whoever comes in is going to have a difficult job because we just aren’t very good and the playing squad is full of mediocre players even at the lowly level of League 1

We are in for a very difficult season. In the January window we will need to find some big tough leaders particularly in defence. We have become the archetypal Southern softie team in a division where being physical is essential

Entertaining at The Valley

Sometimes when you look at twitter its difficult to believe that we all watch the same game. I actually thought it was pretty even and it wouldn’t have been a travesty if we had won. If you look at the bare stats, we both had the same number of shots, they had more possession 55% to 45% but we had 11 corners to their 4. Admittedly Marquis missed an open goal but he does that every season. I thought it was thoroughly entertaining. Watson’s pass for CBT’s cross for the 2nd goal was exquisite and Jason Pearce was a warrior and had to cover for Soare who was very poor. Its always difficult to understand why some players like Pearce, Watson and dear old Pratley can play 90 minutes twice a week but Harry Arter, CBT, Ben Purrington, DJ, Inniss etc can’t manage a whole 90 minutes in any game.

I don’t normally bother commenting about the twitter messages to Thomas but some of our ’supporters’ are complete morons. To send Thomas abusive messages is just unbelievable. The bloke is subsidising our fun and passion at the rate of c £10m a year and he is trying his hardest. Some of the comments are disgusting.

I, for one, am very grateful to Thomas that I’ve got a football team to watch.

Time for Johnnie

Football management can be tough and short. I suspect that Nigel’s reign might fall into that category. There is no doubt that the delays in summer recruitment have caused problems and the inability to recruit a goalscorer to support Stockley may well prove to be the worst mistake of all.

While we were dominant, we should have scored 3 or 4 goals in the first half yesterday, but apart from Elliott Lee who obviously knows where the goal is – however much Davison, Washington and CBT tried very hard they never looked like scoring despite creating some excellent chances. Oh how we could do with a Glen Murray, a Billy Sharp or dare I say it a Lyle Taylor.

Saturdays game is likely to prove the watershed for Nigel. I have no insight into Thomas’s decision making process but my experience of working with Americans in business is that they don’t tend to be patient when things are going wrong.

If it were my decision, assuming another loss or draw on Saturday which seems highly likely , I would give JJ , supported by Jason, his first management opportunity.

Ex players, such as Firmani, Bailey, Curbs & Gritt, Curbs, Powell and Bowyer have all done well in the job and on the whole, supporters are a bit more tolerant ( only a bit !) when the team hits a bad spell.

Obviously I hope we win on Saturday and I will be cheering on the lads as usual. I don’t believe in booing or negative chanting, but if the result goes the wrong way, I’d be happy to see JJ given the chance.

How long does Nigel get ?

Given how poor we have been all season, todays result was totally predictable.

To be fair to Nigel, I thought the transfer window recruitment was decent but it was definitely too slow and doesn’t seem to have helped the team very much. We remain sorely lacking in the goal scoring department. I like Stockley but our game has become far too predictable with the hoof ball. Adkins either has to play a traditional 442 with Stockley supported by Leko, Washington or Lee OR he has to drop Stockley to the bench to force the team to play football on the floor. I think on balance that he has to drop Stockley and use him as a weapon from the bench until the team remember how to play football.

Hopefully, given the volume of midfielders we have recruited that somewhere in there we can get a decent partnership going.

Anyway, how many games does Nigel get before Thomas feels it necessary to pull the plug. My money would be on 10 games and unless we win a couple of the next 3, then Nigel’s time is likely to be up.

Given the funds committed by the owner so far, a position in the bottom 4 after 10 games would be inconceivable and unacceptable for all of us

Charlton underdogs at Wycombe

It sums up our last 15 years really doesnt it ?

This is no reflection on Thomas Sandgaard who is really trying to turn round our club with both money and honest interaction with the fans.

But how on earth did we end up with a situation where 4th division Brentford are in the Premier League, Palace remain firmly there, Watford and Fulham yoyo between the Prem and the Championship and even Millwall are firmly established in the Championship. Meanwhile, we are 5th from bottom of the 3rd division and are the underdogs to get a result at recently non league Wycombe whose maximum ground capacity is 10,000. It is just ridiculous and stems from many years of bad ownership.

I want to be optimistic about our chances of getting a result today but the way we have been playing suggests otherwise. Perhaps the fact that over 25% of the crowd will be away fans supporting Charlton will help the players find both their motivation and talent.

Dark days indeed. Lets hope we upset the odds and overcome mighty Wycombe.


Terrible Tactics from Nigel

Nigel, Nigel, Nigel – why on earth would you play only 2 men in midfield, particularly when it consists of a 36 year old and a lightweight playmaker. I often think that the only real decision a football manager has to make is what system to play. In this division its a physical battle that you have to match before anything else. Choosing to play 424 and surrender the midfield to a tough battled hardened ex 4th division team was just stupid.

We were completely bullied, outnumbered and outplayed by little Cheltenham whose whole team cost less than one of Jayden Stockley’s legs. I watched the Bolton v Burton game the other night and short of decapitating an opposition player every other kind of physical assault was deemed OK by the referee. Depressingly, thats the division we are in and Nigel needs to wake up and smell the coffee while he is walking round the training ground.

We are going to get roughed up every week and the likes of Kirk ( very disappointing so far) , DJ and Morgan have got to find more strength to cope with it.

Im not really sure where the heart of the team is going to come from. Even the centre halves look weak. We can only hope that Harry Arter is fit and up for a battle. I really don’t know if Dobson is good enough but in the absence of any other battling energetic midfielder, he has to play.

If we continue to play like we did today – a team of strangers who don’t understand the system they are trying to play and aren’t up for a battle, its going to be a very difficult season indeed

Bright Window

My mate told me to stop being so negative so this one is for you Jerry ! On the whole, I think we’ve had a very good window -signing young players like Lavelle, DJ, Kirk and Stockley to long term contracts is good business and helps to build the core for the future. The jury is still out on Dobson( outstanding last night) and Clare but they are also young and have shown enough to suggest that they will be good squad players and should continue to improve. Arter is a bit of a risk given his form over the last season but he and Lee should provide valuable experience and craft at this level. Lee’s goal last night was a peach and shows what he can do.

Famewo and Leko are young players who can play at Championship level and are likely to stay if we manage promotion. If we can get the best out of Albie together with the reinforcements the midfield looks decent with a few options up front. On top of that we’ve got some very promising youngsters with Davison, Elerewe, Clayden, Barker, Henry, Vennings and Burstow – lots to look forward to.

I enjoy reading “Charlton Life” but some of the moaning is OTT! – We all know that we remain a bit weak in the left back area but the recruitment has been very sensible ( if frustratingly slow) and I trust Adkins judgement on that , maybe an out of contract player will appear and if not he will find a way to deal with it.

Ive no idea whether we’ve got enough to mount a challenge but it will be up to Adkins, JJ and Jason Euell to find the best system and team to give it the best shot.

Anyway, the future’s bright, the future’s Charlton.