Monday, 1 March 2010

Where we are

I thought that this contribution to the Glynne Jones from a lister was worth reproducing (with some editing):

For what it's worth I think the last few seasons have produced quite the sense of frustration amongst the fans. None of us can quite believe just how wrong things have gone, and it doesn't feel that we've bottomed out even now. Having worked so hard - fans, board, manager, players - over 30 years to produce a club to be proud of, it's hard to even begin to understand how we find ourselves struggling to maintain a challenge to get out of the third division just 3 years on from being an established Premier League club.

Our expectations are disproportionately high, our confidence is extremely brittle and every setback feels like a knockout blow. That we lost in the week after a few draws really isn't the end of the world when you win the next game, and as the weekend's results proved there's still a whole lot to play for. In truth we can't expect these players, these third divisionplayers, to be anywhere near the standard we became accustomed to, or indeed as consistent as we were under Curbs.

We've also all got our views on how things should be done to make it better, off the pitch, on the pitch. I think we could all do with a sense of perspective and context though. It's interesting that very few people were prepared to state promotion was their prediction on at the start of the season, nor nail their colours to Parkinson's mast. Yet now we sit in 3rd place, in touch with the automatic promotion places and firmly in a play off spot, we're all having a go at Parky for not running away with the league.

The reality is that our full strength first XI is a match for anyone in this division, but loss of form, injuries or suspensions exposes a squad that is otherwise pretty ordinary. We can all argue the toss about whether Semedo should be in the side or not, that's part of healthy football debate. Hard truth is that most of the team would pick themselves because there's not a lot behind them.

One of the things I was proudest of at Charlton was that going a goal down would galvanise the supporters and we'd sing all the more. Now we get moans and booing. It's produced in response to what's happened at the club, I accept that, but I would echo Richard Hunt's sentiments that as supporters right now all we can really do is to unite, get behind the team and stop sniping at each other and anything that doesn't go our way.

Let's all go to our happy place.


Anonymous said...

A well written piece, and yes we can still get promoted. However as faithful supporter since the seventies I feel based on current league position and based on support we have and past history we are currently underperforming. My expectations are mid-top championship side. Now for every peak there is a trough, and perhaps we are paying for our Curbishly era. However, at the begining of this season we were playing some great football, we have somehow manged to come down to the level of the rest of the teams in this division, and I for one am not happy about this. When I watch Charlton away I seem to find myself more proud to be a Charlton fan and show this vocally, but at home when I'm watching third rate football and paying £25 for the privelage, I find myself getting aggrevated and being negative about my team. I would love to be more positive, but while we are playing as badly as we do, however fragile the team may be I for one will be a useless twelth man.

Anonymous said...

Its funny when I was about 10 or 11in the late 60's we used to get a lift to Charlton by a family friend in his fifties, who had supported Charlton for 30 years or more (including all that time in the old first division , the FA Cup finals etc ) and went every Saturday and when I was about 13 or 14 he suddenly decided he didn't want to go anymore, pretty much when we went down to the third division for the first time.At that age, I couldn't understand why that man who had been going for so long suddenly stopped.
Here I am in my early 50's and I have been going home & away for nearly 40 years and I feel that I have become him !!
I haven't given up yet , but I fear that if I stop now that will be it . It becomes a habit , I guess

Muttleycafc said...

I disagree with you Wyn that the team is full of League 1 players but think it will be if we don't go up. I think the team is 90% championship standard which should be enough to get us promoted.

It is frustrating when the side was playing some champagne football earlier this term to see them finding the League 1 level in recent months. Maybe this is because teams have sussed out that you have to get in our faces and not give us time on the ball and maybe it is because confidence has dropped and the team are making the wrong choices on too regular a basis. Maybe it is a bit of both!

As the weather improves and the pitches come back to passing sides, the form may come back to us. I would certainly have settled for our current League postion at the beginning of the season as I have been a Charlton fan long enough to know that it is the wrong time to be in the top two!! We need to regain the form the team has proven they are capable of and go on a little run and we will be up there again.

I think the team is as balanced as it has been this season with Reid and Jackson on the left side but we need to see Reid playing like he did against Yeovil and Southend where he was terrific and not like he did against Brighton where he was worse than terrible.

If we pose questions from both flanks, we will be harder to defend against and the goals will start to flow again. The Orient game was a case in point where the opponents merely had to stop Sam as threat from the left side was non existent. This has been the case in other games and Parky is clearly working to rectify this. The ingredients are there but previous seasons have knocked the optimism out of us to a degree so every defeat does feel like the end of the world.

I think we want to be positive and a good win against Stockport on Saturday could light the fuse. Let's see.....and hope!

Jack said...

A good piece and some excellent replies, we have playerss who can pass the ball, injuries and boggy pitches haven't suited our style of play, lets hope for some sun, the return of Youga, the right balance in the middle of midfield (still not sute myself who's best in the centre - bailey/racon/semedo?).
And some confidence up front.
And a crowd behind the team...

Anonymous said...

Cannot agree that we were playing that good football at the start of the season but we did get the results.Better pitches as spring arrives will help but we must finish the season strongly unlike the previous 16years