Thursday, 20 September 2012

Charlton seek traction

Ipswich warm up before their defeat against Wolves on Wednesday night

It's a relegation zone battle at Portman Road on Saturday with second from bottom Ipswich facing third from bottom Charlton. One of my best memories of an away game is at Ipswich when we beat them 5-1, including a Leaburn hattrick. One Tractors fan took such exception that he confronted me in the car park afterwards and said I should be ashamed to wear the Charlton shirt. Shame was not my predominant emotion.

On another occasion they beat us 2-0 in the pouring rain, only enlivened by the one appearance of our Iranian international as a substitute and one female supporter bringing a blow up doll of Andy Hunt. But then we also a had 1-0 victory when an excellent breakaway goal was scored by Super Kevin Lisbie.

There's no doubt that the transition from League 1 to the Championship has been a tough one for the Addicks. The game is played at a faster pace, passing is more accurate and defences are stronger (although not by that much). Resorting to the long ball is not the answer.

However, for those who would sack Chris Powell and follow the AFC Wimbledon route of advertising on the web for a new manager, I would urge caution. Powell did not get all the strengthening that the team needed over the summer. One narrative has five players waiting to sign contracts at The Valley with the plug pulled at the last minute.

To be fair most fans are not calling for Sir Chris's head but calling on him to 'sort it 'aht'. But that is easier said than done. Although I think there is much to be said for a Fuller start, he is probably not yet fully fit. Bradley Wright-Phillips has been working his socks off and Yann Kermorgant has shown that he can still pop up and score goals.

In fact the real problem is not up front but our inability to control the midfield. Bringing in Green certainly helped, but I would also start Kerkar who seems to have been lively against Derby.

It is also worth noting that the Massives, seen by many as certain promotion contenders, are not having it all their own way. A 3-0 defeat at Brighton was followed by a 1-3 defeat at home to Huddersfield last night.

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