OK, I know we are all feeling miserable and angry this morning because of the Hartlepool result so I thought I’d take my mate’s advice and be Mr Positive for a change.
Firstly, lets be frank, regardless of who is the manager, what the tactics are , the current bunch of players are just not good enough to get promoted from League 1. The bright spell we had under JJ was when they were all operating at 120% effort and since they can’t keep that up, we are back to the results you get when they are just playing normally. The basic problem is lack of leadership on the pitch, particularly in the middle of the park. One George Dobson is not enough, we need two and the combinations of Lee, Gilbey and Morgan are just too lightweight. We need a Cullen or a Kinsella or a (young) Pratley to bully the midfield with him. Inniss, Pearce and Stockley also play with heart but whether through age or injury they aren’t always available. There is much work to be done in the Summer, but tough, uncompromising, brave leaders are required all over the pitch. This is the 3rd division, we have to play like Stoke or Millwall to get out of it.
However, lets think past the 1st team, now that so many of the U23 and U18 games are on Charlton TV, I’ve had a chance to watch our youngsters more. OK, I accept that there is a world of difference between the first team and these levels, but we really do have some great talent coming through. Apart from Burstow, Elewere and Henry there are many others who look like they might step up. Charlie Barker for one is a player in the Stuart Pearce mould who takes no prisoners and would have converted the ‘Pool winger into the stand last night. Lucas Ness at centre half is solid, tough and looks every bit a 3rd division centre half to me. In the U18’s Kanu is the obvious one having scored 30 goals this season , but Jason Adigun and several of the others look very handy. MIles Leaburn is coming through and scoring goals in the higher age groups. I haven’t seen the U16 games but apparently that group is even better than the U18s and U23’s. Pretty much every week all 3 teams win their matches and in the case of the U18’s they often score 5 or 6 goals.
So on this morning of misery, lets firstly plan to get out of this awful division next year and then we can look forward to a cavalry of home grown talent appearing over the horizon.