Sunday, 3 October 2010

A tale of two third level clubs

Charlton are one point off the play off places in the third division. They have placed ten league matches and have scored just twelve goals, letting in eleven.

Leamington are one point off the play off places in the third tier of the non-league system. They have played one more match than Charlton, and have two more points, but have only scored three more goals.

Admittedly, they are nine points off the relegation places whereas Charlton are only five. But to me that demonstrates the nature of League 1 this season where any team can beat any other team on the day.

The mood at the New Windmill Ground is sunny and optimistic. The manager is thought to be doing a good job. His new signings are praised. Admittedly, some fifty chronic moaners have decamped to Southam United: the Banbury Road outfit are now claiming to be the No.1 team in Warwickshire (a bit odd when you think about Nuneaton).

At The Valley the prevailing mood is one of doom and gloom. Many are calling for the manager's head. His new signings are described as mediocre.

How does one explain the difference, given that the objective performance of the two clubs is very similar at their levels? One can only put it down to expectations. Not so long ago Charlton was in the Premiership whilst Leamington had to re-form and fight their way up from the eight tier of the non-league system.

The average tenure of a manager is now something like 13/14 months. In my view this is ridiculous. It is too short a period to assess whether a manager is doing a good job or not, but at Leicester City three months is thought to be enough.

If one did replace Phil Parkinson, who would one get? How attractive is a League 1 club with no money to spend and a squad of players now largely chosen by the existing manager and supposedly mediocre, although I think they are just average third division players.

Like any manager, Phil Parkinson makes mistakes. I would have started Reid yesterday because he can really unsettle the opposition, particularly a team like Brentford who were initially short on confidence.

But we simply have to battle on. We will win some games and lose some and might just get a play-off place.


Anonymous said...

Wyn - balanced views as always. I have previously stated that the pessimism is misplaced but having been at brentford yesterday, I stand corrected. Change of manager is not the answer unless there is a credible alternative. A creative midfielder is an absolute must. When was the last time we had a decent pairing that worked in tandem up front - Hunt and Mendonca? Benson was non-existent. We looked better when abbott came on but we couldnt have looked any worse. I am shocked at how far we have fallen. 3 foul throws in one game - those out there yesterday should be ashamed at drawing their wages ... I hope Solly gets fit quickly cos Francis is poor beyond belief ...

Swedeaddick said...

Spot on Wyn!