Friday, 5 February 2010

Hall of fame

I gained the somewhat unwelcome accolade of being placed in the CAFC Picks Hall of Fame for January on the basis of predicting that Charlton would pick up only 7 points during the month. Given the quality of the team, I think that they are performing much as one would expect.

With Charlton reduced to nine men, Swindon managed a 2-2 draw at The Valley. They then went on to beat Leeds 3-0. Looking at the form table, and this particular construction of reality has a lot of followers among Charlton fans, it might therefore seem that there is only possible result tomorrow, a win for Swindon by at least two goals.

I am not going to attempt a detailed match preview, as that has already been done well by Pedro on Charlton Athletic Online. I am not sure, however, that I agree with him about dropping Burton in favour of a Mooney-Sodje (A) pairing. Admittedly particularly if you think penalties don't count (but that still have to be scored, not least against Millwall), Burton's scoring record is not impressive. However, I do think he brings other things to the team such as neat lay offs and an ability, sometimes at least, to hold up the ball.

Pedro reasonably makes the point that three teams come away disappointed from the play offs (although not necessarily in vital cash terms if one makes the final). They are a lottery. However, given my hope at the beginning of the season was that we might just make the No.6 slot, our league position is still well ahead of my expectations.

Although all the signs point to a comfortable win for the home side at the County Ground, bad (or good) form never continues for ever. I would be surprised and delighted if we won at Swindon, but I think that our role as draw specialists may continue and I am going for another 1-1 (Reid).


Anonymous said...

Agree with you on the Deon point, I think Deon's role is not really as an out-and-out goalscorer anyway and he provides more ammunition for whoever he partners than he ever receives. Moreover I don't think he has been missing sitters every game, indeed as a team we have managed to carve out very few opportunities for our strikers to convert. Ruud Van Nistelrooy he ain't but there has been no evidence to suggest to me that either Akpo or Mooney are more clinical (or better all-round players) than Burton.

The temptation to believe tinkering with team selection is the solution for a team playing with low confidence is one we would do well to avoid, and probably what sealed Super Al's demise.
The rarely-played striker of course has the benefit of a mystical glow which Dickson, Akpo and McKenzie all currently bask in. We should not let this glow cloud our judgement or tint our spectacles to a shade of rose.

The introduction of Reid now, along with a rested Sam should be enough to create opportunities for our strikers, one of whom has to be Burton simply because he is the most capable at the club.

Anonymous said...

Is Burton the most capable though? Doesn't Akpo perform much the same role in holding the ball up? Doesn't Mooney give us something else that no other striker at the club does (channel runs)? Who knows! I don't, but I hope Parky does. I do think that we need to play our best players, or which Sam, Basey, and Mooney would be in my team ahead of Wagstaff, Solly and Burton at present...each to their own though!


Ketts said...

Don't worry Wyn, you're not alone! I made the 7 points Hall Of Fame too, as did Charlton Casual(Marco).

Suspect Parky will snd out an unchanged team tomorrow.

Anonymous said...

Burton doesn't just hold the ball up, he wins balls other strikers wouldn't, his passing, flick-ons and headers and all-round awareness are good, and he is much more mobile and subtle in his play than Akpo (going on what we have seen of him so far).

Mooney does run channels but he is painfully slow and yet paradoxically perenially offside.

Anonymous said...

I know Burton has his 'fan club' but I am certainly not one of them.
He has missed many sitters (as do others) but he is no doubt our best Non scoring striker!!!!

Anonymous said...

akpo couldn't hold up an old lady.

Saying that, Burton's not much better. Maybe we shouldnt play with a target man and then maybe we would stop hoofing it up whenever we have the ball