Sunday, 3 March 2013

It doesn't get any better

I have to say that I felt really despondent after the 0-1 defeat by Burnley, to the extent that I delayed writing a preliminary report until this morning. I was disappointed by the Nottingham Forest result, but Forest were a much better team than Burnley. Indeed, the difference between us was really Charlie Austin who scored the winning goal.

Chris Powell changed things around for this match and it didn't really work. Admittedly, he had to change things around with Kermorgant suspended and Solly off sick. Dale Stephens was dropped, with some justification, and Button brought in for Hamer, again with some justification. However, it was the formula of three up front that didn't really work with Haynes uncertain about his positioning.

Once again, there was an almost complete lack of creativity with the midfield disappointing once again. We were often hesitant on the ball and too slow to it. The ball was also in the air far too much, particularly in the desperate closing minutes. I also don't think the condition of the pitch, which has deteriorated further, helps us very much. I know that both sides have to play on it, but I think that it discourages any attempt at flowing football on the ground.

After the game I heard some negative comments about Chris Powell on the lines of 'He hasn't got a clue' and 'I've had it with Powell.' One should always remember that any other manager would have to deal with the same bunch of players and Powell was reportedly prevented from bringing in all the signings he wanted over the summer.

Pessimists, always in abundance at Charlton, are already chalking up a loss at Peterborough on Tuesday. We have to remember that this is an away match, although the Posh have hit a streak of form. Hopefully, we will have Chris Solly back and we missed him yesterday as one of our few Championship quality players.

Match report

Arriving at Charlton Station, someone let off a very loud firework and the Boys in Blue set off in (moderately) hot pursuit and seemed to have got their man.

The sides changed ends at the start of the match, which always makes me uneasy. It meant that we weren't attacking the Covered End in the second half which is my preference. Burnley put the ball in the net after 11 minutes, but it was ruled offside. Wilson turned provider for Fuller, but his header missed. Lee Grant in the Burnley goal punched the ball out from a Jackson corner and then made a good save from a header from Fuller. Another Charlton corner was unproductive. Jackson was not far opff within an effort. An error by Morrison gave the visitors a corner. Fuller had to go off for treatment.

A Burnley corner led to an effort that was way off. The referee refused to give anything for what looked like a back pass to Burnley's keeper and this led to the move which created their goal. We had been giving Burnley too much space and Austin found plenty to power the ball into the top corner of the net from 30 yards out leaving Button with no chance.

HT: Addicks 0, Clarets 1

Charlton won a corner in the first minute of the half but it led to an eventual save. The hapless referee managed to fall over, giving some light relief. Burnley won a cheap corner. Wilson combined with Fuller but a Charlton corner was all that resulted. This led to a second and the move petered out in a throw in. A Charlton free kick was put over by Cort.

With the game entering the final third, Obika and Dervitte were taken off and Green and Harriott brought on. Wilson was held back by Austin who received a yellow card. Haynes won Charlton a corner which was caught. Lafferty received a yellow card for a foul on Fuller. Green won Charlton a corner, followed by a second. From a half clearance, Morrison found himself behind the defence but put the ball just wide. Another Charlton corner led to Morrison missing an open goal at the back post. The cynical fouling continued with Vokes, who had just come on, receiving a yellow card.

Charlton started an aerial bombardment as the minutes ticked down, but this artillery fire was unproductive. Fans kept shouting 'get it in the box', i.e., hoof it, but it would have been more productive to play the ball along the ground. Five minutes added on created no real chances, although Paterson got a yellow card.

Match analysis

Ivy the Terrible has awarded the Silver Bone to Lawrie Wilson who showed real skill and determination, made some good runs forward and kept the ball on the ground. Button spilled the ball once, so he has something of the same problem as Hamer. He wasn't tested that much, but was perfectly competent. Whether he is any better than Hamer is doubtful, but it was worth a try. Morrison squandered two good chances to score and did make some errors. Cort was solid and caused Burnley some problems when he switched to the centre forward role late in the game. Wiggins got forward well and showed his pace, but was often isolated when he did so. Made an excellent last ditch tackle on Austin. Dervite was an improvement on last week and his withdrawal was for tactical reasons. Pritchard really struggled to make an impression and when he did get in a good position he failed to take advantage. Difficult to say whether he should have been wider or narrower, but he looked out of his depth. Jackson lacked pace and his set pieces failed to deliver. Some were calling for him to be taken off. Obika really made little impression and does not look like any improvement on Wright-Phillips. Haynes looked uncomfortable in his initial position and contributed more when the formation changed. Fuller tried his best but never really got in a decent shot on goal. Green did manage to play the ball on the ground and did make use of his long throws. That it led nowhere was not his fault. Harriott looked lively when he came on and showed some skill. He is definitely showing promise.

Juneau the Soccer Cat awarded the Hiss of the Match to Burnley's Martin Paterson who clearly had a very high opinion of himself as he charged around the pitch and then engaged in a cynical foul in time added on.


Blumorrisman said...

Agree with your fine summary, particularly the need to stop lumping high balls forward (and especially when Yann isn't even playing) and keep it on the mud. My one additional suggestion would be that while Hamer/Button is hard to call, the latter's distribution was certainly an improvement yesterday.

Brackley Addick said...

The pitch cannot be used as an excuse. Forest played some really good stuff on it so it can be done if
A. Your players are skillful enough and
B. You manager has told you to play that way.

At the moment we just seem to have no idea and would rather rely on the hoof it and hope approach than doing anything half near creative. Plus we cannot seem to string two passes together.

jack said...

Didn't like the set up from the start. I like Pritchard but he is not a right winger, and plays his best as one of a midfield five. Hayes is certainly noleft winger and also looked out of place. Green has had afew bad games but does know his job and it was no surprise when he came he created more width and we started to have a few chances. Not sure what Wagstaff has done wrong but would have liked to have seen him on the left. Perhaps SCP felt with 5 in midfield we were toonegative last week leading to tooo much pressur eon Yann and his sending off. But we don't need to win by more than a goal, we can be patient score the odd goal and win. 433 just didn't work, hopefully he'll find the magic formula soon. Why do we always play like this when we have a bigger crowd :(

briany said...

I do not know how much freedom Chris Powell has but I cannot see the point of bringing in a loan striker when we so desperately need a strong midfielder who can win the ball and use it. The back line was strong again today but they are being put under too much pressure by what is basically a midfield who are just not good enough for this division.

Wyn Grant said...

By the way, the attendance was a bit suspect even though there were lots of comps and Burnley brought around a thousand.