League 1 is Rubbish

The last 2 games have been terrible. On both occasions at Morecambe and Shrewsbury, Charlton have tried to play possession football like a Championship team and the opposition have played to win through corners, long throw ins and free kicks. Both Morecambe and Shrewsbury were awful, but thats the Division we find ourselves in. We would have won both games if Stockley and Pearce ( or Inniss) had been playing. However other teams have key player injuries, Shrewsbury had lots of first team players missing through suspension and injury so they had more problems than us so they just stuck 7 players behind the ball and relied on set pieces and physicality. Morecambe’s goal from a corner Рgiven that McG never comes to collect Рwas entirely predictable. They were useless and MK Dons showed how bad they were with a 4-0 win there yesterday,

We have to learn how to compete at this level. In order to get out of this division we need to have 2 reliable physical centre halves and we need a goal scoring striker to work alongside Stockley and Washington. Davison is not the answer.

JJ made his first managerial mistake yesterday by playing Papa Soare instead of staying with Purrington. Although Gunter is hardly a fan favourite and he made a game changing mistake at Morecambe, he is vastly experIenced and should have played yesterday.

Who knows what is going on with Thomas but we need to acquire a goal scorer and a physical centre half to get out of this division

Thomas should appoint Jacko

I think its perfectly reasonable and sensible for Thomas to have a good look around potential new managers for Charlton and see who is available before making his decision.

However, having done that and on the basis that another Arsene Wenger or Alex Ferguson is unlikely to emerge, he should appoint Johnnie Jackson.

Those of us who have sat through decades of underachievement and serial misery will tell you that the vast majority of bright spells that have emerged have been ex players with a strong connection to the club. Eddie Firmani, Mike Bailey, Alan Curbishley, Steve Gritt, Chris Powell and Lee Bowyer. The only complete outsider was Andy Nelson whilst Lennie Lawrence had previously been Assistant Manager ( and is by the way a genius in the mould of a Wenger). Weve only had one failure who was Alan Pardew and he just wasn’t a very likeable individual.

So that’s 50 years summed up there- your Sports Analyst or the stats weirdos at Brentford will tell you that there is the strongest correlation between successfully playing for Charlton and successfully managing the club.

The connection with the crowd is worth several points in a season. We really really care for the team and players when Jacko is on the sideline. We will roar them on until we are hoarse. I certainly couldn’t raise that level of enthusiasm for an Adkins team or any number of other clowns we have had in recent years.

Thomas should ask for a copy of the video of when we played Cardiff at the Valley on a dark Tuesday night in the Championship. Cardiff were flying high in the division and we went 2-0 down after 10 minutes, it looked like it could be a cricket score. Johnnie Jackson inspired the crowd and he single handedly dragged the team back into the game scoring two before half time and we ended up winning 5-4.

Thomas – my advice is go watch that video and then appoint Jacko as Manager and watch us fly.

The Pressing Game

I think its good that Jacko already seems to have got all the different age group teams playing a similar game plan. In the first half yesterday at Orient we looked pretty good as we played high up the pitch press, press, pressing.

The only trouble with the pressing game ( well OK there is more than one trouble with it ), apart from the ever present danger of losing possession near your own goal – more of that later- is that everyone is knackered by the 2nd half. That seemed to be a regular issue when Adkins played that way. It happened again last night.

I certainly couldn’t claim any tactical knowledge, but it always seems to me that if you are going to play that way, it has to be in bursts of lets say 15 minutes when everyone presses before sitting normally for a while and having a rest. One of the other problems with it is that everyone starts to play like their lives depend upon doing everything quickly, it looks like one of those old comedy sketches when the film is speeded up. That means that passes are misplaced, shots and crosses are snatched at because in the pressing game apart from the pressing bit you are lured into doing every other part of the game at breakneck speed.

JJ made Albie skipper last night which was a nice touch. The problem was that Albie wanted to do absolutely everything, corners, freekicks, short passes, long passes ( frequently) Everything good that we did went through Albie, in fact, well, everything we did in the entire game went through Albie. Its really difficult to work out what to do with Albie. He is incredibly talented with the ball but his decision making is erratic. In a way, I would have liked to see him slow down, make lots of shorter passes and bring the other midfielders alive last night and not dominate every play himself. Aaron Henry, who has always been heralded as a fantastic prospect looked very ordinary as did Ben Dempsey.

In the end we were undone by a sloppy backpass from Albie and an even sloppier fall from Deji which on the balance of play was a fair result for the O’s.

Lets see how we adapt the press, press pressing game at Burton.