Friday, 26 February 2021

'We all need to take responsibility' says Bowyer

Lee Bowyer has undertaken his pre-match interview with the SLP  and, not surprisingly, much of it is a statement of the obvious.   It is evident that sloppy defending and basic errors have to be stopped, but how do you secure that?   It's not Australian rules with coaches on the pitch.

Bowyer says that Charlton's play off hopes are still alive and he takes responsibility for recent poor performances, but thinks the players need to do the same:

I think that the chances of a play off place are now not good unless there is a major turn round in performances and form (plus a little luck with the woodwork and officials).   Promotion would be a concern because I do not think we are ready, nor would summer signings entirely solve the problem.

The Bowyer in or out debate ultimately becomes irrelevant because he will be here until the summer.  I just think too much emphasis is put on decision-making manager while careless mistakes by the players are discounted.

We know the problem, but what are the answers?

Benjy Nurick assesses Charlton's recent performances and form for the SLP:

Nurick says 'It's hard to say what the solutions are.'  At least he is more honest than the many would be managers on social media.

He notes: 'But while mistakes and bad luck are just about understandable, it’s the total lack of energy in the closing stages at The Valley on Tuesday that will leave supporters feeling let down.

It’s fair to wonder if this last week has been the most deflating for Charlton since Thomas Sandgaard’s takeover. Ignoring the long-term seasonal goals, ignoring the promotion battle, Lee Bowyer and his team have a huge task on their hands to breathe life back into this season and avoid a pedestrian final few months.'

Charlton fan swims in the Channel every day

Our latest Charlton Retro post features an interview 20 years ago with Charlton fan Charlie Connelly in which he talks about his memories of being a supporter.  The successful author and broadcaster now lives in Deal and swims in the English Channel every day, but is yet to meet Desmond from Deal:

Sandgaard: how I can help Charlton

Thomas Sandgaard talks about buying Charlton when it was 'days away from administration' and talks about the skills he has acquired in his careers that will help him to run the club successfully:

As Sandgaard has announced from Englwood Co. his company Zynex continues to prosper:

Various sources have stated that Sandgaard has declared his support for Lee Bowyer.   This is not the dreaded vote of confidence, it is a sign that he is not beset by the short termism that dominates English football and English life more generally.

If he decides he wants to replace Bowyer, he will have a better choice of available candidates at the end of the season.  The Covered End choir blog has reviewed available candidates and has suggested that most of them would not want to come to a League One club.

Thursday, 25 February 2021

Besieged boss says selection decisions are based on medical advice

One or two fans have been suggesting that Akin Famewo should be sent back to Norwich but he is in the squad for Saturday.

Besieged boss Lee Bowyer has defended his selection decisions, pointing out that he relies heavily on the medical advice of head physio Danny Murphy:

Please note that is not the Danny Murphy who used to play for Charlton; whose former wife slagged off Curbs in her column in The Times; and now delivers his verdict on Match of the Day in a droning monotone. 

Wednesday, 24 February 2021

Charlton Retro site launched

The one thing that has cheered me up during recent performances has been the presence of Curbs on Valley Pass, reminding us of happier days.   There have been great interviews with the likes of Steve Brown, Johnnie Robinson and Morts.   Super Kevin Lisbie will feature on Saturday.

This is therefore a good time to launch the new Charlton Retro site which will look back at the club's history, drawing on articles that I have written for Voice of the Valley (by permission of Rick Everitt) and on my blogs.

The first article is really an overview of Charlton's history, arguing that opportunities were not seized to make Charlton the Arsenal of South London in the period before and after the Second World War:

Tuesday, 23 February 2021

Gone for a Burton

Bottom club Burton Albion completed the double over Charlton with a 2-1 victory at The Valley tonight.  Charlton opened the scoring on 9 minutes through Stockley.

Charlton were controlling the game for the first 20 minutes, but I noted that Burton were getting back into it.  A lack of concentration at the back allowed Burton to equalise.

Charlton never really got into the game in the second half and after Burton scored their second goal they chased the game in a frantic and ineffective manner.  A series of substitutions made little or no difference.  As Curbs noted afterwards, Burton got stronger as the game went on.  If it hadn't been for Ben Amos, Charlton might have lost by a bigger margin.

Charlton's faint hope of  promotion has gone which is probably just as well as they would struggle to survive in the Championship.  The focus now has to be on rebuilding in the summer.

The best part of the evening was the interview with Morts beforehand and he said afterwards that Charlton should have got tighter to stop the two goals.

Bowyer said: 'We started well, the change of shape worked, the right personnel, our second goal was onside.  Our decision-making in the final third was not good enough.  I don't think we deserved to lose the game.  I said to the players, "I'm embarrassed."   I will take the blame.  We will move on and go again Saturday.'

Minto asked whether it was mental, physical or tactical.  Bowyer said that players can take their foot off the pedal, it happens too many times.   'In football, you have to be at it..  There are things I can't control, their finish or their final pass.'  Minto asked why the attacking substitutions didn't work.  Bowyer replied, 'They're [Burton are] solid, they are hard working honest lads.'   He added, 'Wrong decision at times, just taking care.'

Minto: 'Why it's not clicking?'.   Bowyer: 'We can't keep conceding and switching off, sloppy defending. How many times do you keep saying the same thing?   I've got to put this right.   I'm not making any excuses, we should have won tonight.  It's up to me now to try and put it right.'

Bowyer's remarks before the game were sadly prescient when he said that the players were a pleasure to watch in training and we had to take that into the game.   What was needed was to make the right decision at the right time, 'I can't control it.'

Morts commented, 'Blackpool will say "we know what we need to do on Saturday."'   Super Kevin Lisbie will join the Valley Pass team.

The match

Charlton had a chance to go ahead on two minutes when Purrington fed Oshilaja who put in a good cross, Stockley made a great leap but the keeper dived to the right to divert the ball on to the bar.

On eight minutes following good hold up play by DJ allowed Shinnie to do well and win Charlton a corner. Before the game Stockley said the first 10 minutes had not gone to plan in recent games, but he was able to put in a powerful header to make it 1-0.

After a move started by DJ, Millar won a free kick in a good position.  Shinnie's effort was a good one and he hit the crossbar.  If that had gone in, it would have been a very different game.

Oshilaja conceded an avoidable corner and Burton showed intent by putting the ball in the side netting. Following a throw in, Smith was allowed to waltz into the area unchallenged (admittedly he would be expected to be on the right) and former Aldershot Town ace Fondup was able to equalise.

Matthews headed away a free kick conceded by Oshilaja.  Purrington won Charlton a corner and there was good subsequent play on the left but no final product.

With Wallace going down, Rowe replaced him.   Watson conceded a free kick and Amos saved from Rowe.  Fed by Matthews a Stockley header came off the bar.  Oshilaja followed through and put the ball in the net, but an offside decision was given.

HT: 1-1

On 49 minutes there was a moment on real danger when Matthews played a loose ball.  On 52 minutes  Rowe had acres of space to power down the pitch and put in a ball that looped over Amos to make it 1-2.  After that Charlton were chasing the game and forgetting how to pass.

On 55 minutes DJ was taken off and Aneke came on, I was disappointed that he didn't start.  The best chance for Charlton in the half came on 62 minutes when Purrington drew a fingertip save from the keeper.   A Pearce header lacked the pace to trouble the keeper.

An effort from Hamer glanced off the bar and may have gone in if it hadn't been for a slight deflection from Millar.  Purrington and Pearce came off and Maatsen and Schwartz came on, but neither of them make a difference, particularly the Danish pastry.   Aneke won Charlton a corner but it was unproductive.

Charlton were becoming increasingly frenetic, exemplified by Millar shooting wildly over when he could have put the ball down on the ground in the area.

Amos made a good save from Rowe.  Smith replaced Watson but didn't get a touch.  Amos had to save from Rowe again in the five minutes added on.