When I last saw the team play at Wycombe, they put in a workmanlike 'job done' performance. The consensus on the two following home games seems to be that we were awful. I am therefore 'looking forward' to tomorrow to see how just bad we are.
Wisely, Parky has not hit the panic button. Sodje will certainly come in for the hapless Llera which means that we will move above the level of agricultural clearances of an uncertain direction from defence. If Sodje can keep his cool, he is a real asset to the team.
There is also a real possibility that his brother may return, although apparently the discussions with the Owls are complicated. I think that he adds a physical presence to the team which can be useful.
Although Mooney had a poor game on Monday, I would keep faith with him tomorrow, despite the suggestions by the commentators on Monday that there was some personal tension between him and Burton.
I think that Parky made a mistake in taking Burton off on Monday. It all smacked of a desperate last throw of the dice. I hope that people have at last got the message that Dickson is not the answer. Before he came to us he was playing at the third level of the non-league, the same level as Leamington. Sgt. Mark Bellingham bangs them in the cells during the week and bangs them in the goal when he is off duty, but I wouldn't sign him at Charlton.
My general view is that we only have a few players who are of real promotion challenging quality and in any one match some of those are injured (Youga is a real and continuing loss) and others don't turn up on the night (Bailey's petulance on Monday). Sam gets a lot of stick, but he is often double marked which should open up space we can take advantage of elsewhere.
I am far from convinced that the experiment with Shelvey wandering lonely as a cloud is generally working and I think we expect too much of the still developing youngster. Think Andy Murray a few years ago. Whether replacing him with the showboater Racon is the answer is a moot point, but, as other bloggers have argued, we need to start with Bailey out left. At least he stays there. Wagtsaff is still too much of a work in progress to start.
The footballing omens this week have not been good. My meeting with Kentish Man at Charing Cross on Wednesday evening was awkward as, having suggested the rendez vous so he could come straight off a train from his Kent village, he then complained it was 'too close to home' (i.e., Charlton) and we might be spotted by an Addick. I don't think we were, as we secreted ourselves in a nearby bar, but all I got out of it was a bill for his train fare.
Last night I was dining at All Souls and found myself sitting for dessert next to a specialist on 14th century music from Amsterdam University. I don't know anything about 14th century music, so given that I am writing a book with someone from Amsterdam on European football, I turned the conversation to that and my enjoyment of the superb port was disturbed by a diatribe about football hooligans.
I haven't checked the tide tables for Deptford Creek, but I am confident that the Addicks will turn things around tomorrow and win 2-0 (Mooney, Sodje). We are a League 1 team playing League 1 football, but I think we are capable of beating Tranmere at home.