Saturday, 12 March 2011

Down the Football League we go!

Charlton slipped to 11th in League 1 after a 0-1 home defeat to Brentford. After a largely lacklustre first half, the second half was somewhat more interesting to watch, but the Addicks were unable to take any of their chances and the Bees made good use of a corner to score the winner in the 88th minute.

After a long absence, my wife accompanied me to today's game, although someone suggested that it was mental cruelty. She thought that the Addicks were very poor and it is impossible to disagree.

The game did not start well with Fry missing a simple ball. Racon then gave away a silly free kick. Fortunately Craig Woodman put it well wide. McCormack put in a good ball right across the pitch. Scott Wagstaff and Carl Jenkinson combined to win Charlton a corner.

Ross Worner had to make a good save from Bees striker Lewis Grabban after the ball had been given away once again by Charlton. The Brentford corner was headed away at the far post.

Wright-Phillips fed Nouble well. Racon put in a good shot which Lee had to push over the bar. Wagstaff burst through and shot over the angle of post and bar. Jenkinson won Charlton a corner and Semedo put in a shot that was just over.

A Brentford corner was dealt with well by the alert Llera. A Brentford corner was sloppily conceded. The Bees won a free kick in a dangerous position, but it was saved.

In the time added on Brentford were awarded a free kick and Christian Dailly was given a yellow card. Worner saved well from the free kick.

Half time: Addicks 0, Bees 0

Dailly had to be pulled off after the break and replaced by Fortune. Brentford took off Saunders and brought on former Addick Myles Weston.

Wright-Phillips turned provider for Racon, but although he had plenty of time to line up his shot he blasted over six minutes into the half.

A free kick led to Llera hitting the crossbar, how he managed to get a shot in at all in the mad scramble in front of goal is an interesting question. A Charlton corner led to a save and former Watford stopper Lee had to make a class save from Llera on the line.

Myles Weston received a yellow card for a foul on Jenkinson. Brentford took off Byrne and brought on Marcus Bean. In this period of the match Charlton were living dangerously and under pressure from the Bees.

Jenkinson had to come off and was replaced by Solly. Grabban was withdrawn in favour of Bignall by Brentford. Racon was replaced by Reid.

A Bees corner was caught by Racon. Brentford won two corners in succession and from the second Legge rose to head the ball in the net from Weston's effort. Four minutes were added on, but if Charlton were not going to score in 90 minute, they were not going to manage in 94.

Reflecting on the match, a draw would not have been an unfair result. Neither team was that inspiring. There have been the usual calls for Chris Powell to go, but if one thinks that an experienced manager would have done better, Nicky Forster has no more experience and is younger. The fact of the matter is that the players are simply not good enough and we need a major reconstruction in the summer.

Leamington also won away with a last minute goal at Evesham and have gone third in the Zamaretto Premiership.

Ivy the Terrible initially withheld the Silver Bone. However, having chewed on a bone overnight, she felt that a deserving recipient was once again Miguel Llera.

Match analysis

Ross Worner made some decent saves and I wouldn't fault him for the goal. But he is very hesitant about getting the ball out again once he has saved it which allow Brentford to assemble their defence. Chrsitian Dailly had a competent first half, I think that he may have strained a muscle when he made a defensive run from one end of the pitch to the other to prevent a one-on-one with Worner. Llera was one of the better players on the pitch and came close to scoring. Jenkinson was very capable in his preferred position of right back but had to be taken off because he picked up a knock. Fry was competent enough without being very impressive. Semedo made a few errors, but picked up as the match went on.
Racon weaved his way through on occasions, although he is not really a left winger. However, the final product was disappointing. Wagstaff put in some good runs, but again there was not enough final product. McCormack at least showed some commitment and effort even if there was not much finesse. Wright-Phillips had a few promising moments, but was not involved that much. Sometimes he seemed to be half asleep. Nouble was disappointing and at times didn't seem that interested. At times he seemed to be a less skilled version of Carlton Cole.
Fortune was competent in a ragged sort of way when he came on, although I am not sure where he was for the goal. Solly showed that he is a work in progress with some good interventions but also sending the ball high in the air in a moment of panic when he should have cleared it. Reid was hardly an impact player.

The officials generally did well and no Hiss of the Match has been awarded.


jack said...

Since watching Charlton in the
70's, there has been a gradual although sometimes bumpy improvement of the team from the dark days of the old
3rd division to Lennie Lawrence and the 1st division, back down again for the arrival of AC and those now distant days in the premiership. So all in all over the last 40 years most of my Charlton days have been watching a team on the up. Watching the team yesterday, I can't say all the players are bad, a number show a lot of promise, some are past their best and for some the 1st division will be as good as it gets. What we are not is a balanced team. I'm not sure CP has a lot of options, hence the inclusion of Nouble only joining the team the night before, so Nouble was always going slightly out of it.
Whatever way he plays our midfield it doesn't quite work. Semedo and McCormakc too similar in style. Racon not defensive enough or attacking enough to really make an effective partner ship with either.
Wagstaff not a natural winger, but hard working honest player, not sure where his best position is, and reid completely shot of confidence.
BWP is a quality poacher, he didn't get one decent ball yesterday.
Which sums up our problems, no proper wingers, no decent balls into the box, no decent attacking midfielder, no quality balls into the box.

Llera looked like our best bet going forward and a player who although he makes the occasional howler always looks committed and gives his all. And if the goal they scored might have been down to him I'd still go along with your award for commitment alone.

There's little point in arguing re past managers, but the team CP has inherited is poor, some of the players are not, but you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. I'm still hopeful with the return to fitness of Jackson, Beccone, the introduction of Parrett and Nouble we might see the glimer of new beginnings.

Its going to be a bumpy ride so I'm holding on to my hat and have renewed my ticket.

Anonymous said...

Three of the players you have mentioned are loan signings. I too would like to see a glimmer of new beginnings, but those players, bar Beccone, probably won't be at the Valley next season. We need funds from the board for at least four good quality experienced signings. Teenage loanees play a part, but are not good enough to get you out of this league alone. If we rely on teenagers we may as well blood our own over what remains of this season.

Jack said...

Agree with that, shame we couldn't have seen a decent centre back and midfielder bought during transfer window.
I'd be worried about using some of the academy players as if not quite up to it yet, wouldn't want them to get an adverse crowd reaction and loose confidence at an early stage. Still galling to see how well Parker plays in midfield and what could have been, I hope our midfielders watched him yesterday, and seen that a centre midfielder can actually play the ball forward and take the ball forward as well as defending well.

Sciurus Carolinensis Nemesis said...

One step forward two steps back.
The execrable Francis was finally dropped. SCP was perhaps unfortunate that 2 had to be replaced through injury but persisting with the inert Nouble while the electric quick Ecclestone was cooling his heels on the bench was bizarre. SCP had made things difficult for himself again by outting square pegs in round holes i.e. McCormack in a football shirt? baffles me, he's not a fraction of the player Racon is but gets in the side apparently because Racon is a better bet on the left than Kyel Reid?? The workings only of a mental collapse. Kyel Reid doesn't contribute enough it is true but he is ten times the left winger that Racon could be and Racon is twice the player McCormack will ever be and the team will only improve if they get to play in a consistent lineup in the roles they are best suited to. We are fortunate indeed that we have 48 points already because 1 from the last 21 is desparate and with declining numbers of fit bodies there can be no cause for optimism regarding improvement. Let's hope the precipitous decline is arrested even slightly and a top 20 finish can be salvaged. Now where did I put my season ticket renewal form? (hollow laugh)

Geoff said...

Regretably, the probable reason for our looking better than in preceding games was because Brentford did not press, unlike MK, Carlisle, Tranmere. Tranmere??!! So our non-connecting players had the time they usually don't have to think what to do.

Feel sorry for Sir CP in facing this problem. He must stay and be supported in getting half a new team in the summer, as well as hoping one or two academy players can step up in the next two seasons.

There are still some stoics around, though. Mike Rann, Premier of South Australia, and born in Blackfen, last weekend took to task a journalist who referred to Charlton as a "minnow" club, asking whether "this tosser" had never heard of the 1947 FA Cup final. Good on yer, mate!