Charlton gave a convincing answer to the moaners today by thumping third placed Milton Keynes Dons 5-1 at The Valley. I did not take notes as usual, but I felt that a victory on that scale justified temporarily ending the suspension of this blog.
After gifting MK Dons an early goal, the Addicks fought back with skill and determination, although the strong wind blowing agsinst them made their task difficult in the first half. Their passing was fluent and each of the goals was well taken. There could well have been more but for the Dons keeper.
Much reading off of the recent form of the two teams has taken place in the last few days, leading to predictions of an away win despite Charlton's strong form at The Valley. Paradoxically, this may have helped us as Dons gave the impression that they thought this would be an easy three points. Those who favour Paul Ince as a manager might reflect on their frequent resort to fouling and arguing with the referee. Might this be a tradition carried over from Manchester United? No one wonder the yellow card was flourished regularly against them.
There's a reluctance to give Parky credit for anything that goes right but playing Mooney up front with Burton worked well, as did having Bailey in the centre and Racon on the wing.
Charlton consolidated their second place in the league, and are now three points ahead of MK Dons and Colchester who drew at home against Exeter, but still lag behind in the much vaunted form table.
It was interesting to read how the negativists have attempted to construct a narrative about this result. It has been pointed out that it is only one result and that is true. Nevertheless, it was important to beat one of the other automatic promotion claimants convincingly and Parkinson must have got something right to have us three points clear in 2nd place.
Another view is that we were lucky and the match could have easily gone the other way. If it hadn't been for Youga's clearance off the line and Dailly's apparent handball, we could have gone 0-2 behind and it would have been a very different story. The referee thought that Dailly was pushed and it was a change to have a referee who didn't feel that he had to prove that he wasn't a 'homer' by giving every marginal decision to the opposition.
Ivy the Terrible has awarded the Silver Bone to David Mooney who remarked this was something they did not have at Reading. He made a difference up front showing pace, skill and determination. Phil Parkinson's most controversial selection was Carl Ikeme. Many Addicks feel that a former Academy player should always be given the nod over a loan player. But Parky sees Randolph in training every week and knows about his attitude. Ikeme was off his line for the MK goal, but made one good save. Sodje had a good game and took his goal well. Dailly was reliable as ever, even if he did have to use his hand at one crucial point. Youga was not at his best, but made a vital clearance off the line. Richardson was at fault for the first goal and eventually had to be withdrawn. I did wonder if he was one hundred per cent fit. Semedo was a little subdued and not at his very best. Bailey had a much improved match and although his goal was straightforward, it was well taken. Sam had a good game, rarely lasting all 90 minutes. I thought that his goal was the best in the match and should be considered for goal of the season. He also provided two assists. Racon was more effective in his new position. Burton had some nice touches and took his goal well. Basey showed that he is a reliable and competent substitute when he came on. McKenize showed again that he can cause the opposition trouble. The loan signing of Sodje Major caused some controversy among fans before the game. But loan signings are the name of the game at this level. He looked very strong and had good pace. This is all part of the preparation for Burton's op.
Juneau the Soccer Cat gave the Hiss of the Match to MK Dons captain Aaron Wilbraham. He was constantly arguing with the referee, all the way to the tunnel at half time. He was lucky not to get booked. Juneau wishes to point out that her name is not Juno. As an all American cat, she is named after the capital of Alaska, although she is not a fan of Sarah Palin and her own home state is, of course, Maine.
Crowd rating The franchisees were very noisy, although they soon stopped their chants of 'Northwich Victoria'. The Addickted were able to out chant the Bletchley boys and Parky thanked them for their continuing support after Charlton had gone behind.