Charlton went down at home to Ipswich today for the fourth season in a row, but the margin of defeat was bigger and replicated recent 0-3 defeats at The Valley. Johann Berg Gudmundsson tweeted, 'Gutted about today. Not good enough from all of us.'
Charlton have slipped to 21st, on the same number of points as Bristol City and MK Dons, but behind them on goal difference. Rotherham United are just one point behind, as are Huddersfield.
I don't think we played that badly today, but the difference between the two sides was that Ipswich created more chances and took them clinically. When we had a half chance, we tended to dither. Also, the Ipswich keeper made three good saves late in the game.
Simon Makienok is arguably the most useless player in a Charlton shirt since Karim Bagheri. At least Bagheri made only one appearance as a substitute, in the rain at Ipswich, when he managed to make contact with the ball once.
For a tall guy, Makienok has considerable difficulty in dealing with high balls. He seems unable to jump, although quite why I don't know. Vaz Te looked quite useful, at least he put in some shots.
Things started to go wrong for us when the skipper had to be taken off early in the game with an apparent facial injury. Jackson was replaced by Solly with Tareiq Holmes-Dennis adopting a position on the left. Holmes-Dennis had a good game throughout, as did Lookman.
Striker Daryl Murphy scored twice as the Tractors extended their unbeaten run to six Championship games. The Republic of Ireland international headed Mick McCarthy's side ahead from close range after a goalmouth scramble. This followed a corner and once again showed our vulnerability at set pieces and our difficulty in clearing our lines. Having seen the goal on television, it was evident that there was a foul just before it was scored with a Charlton player (Solly?) receiving a hand in the face.
I was concerned that Ipswich would score a second before the break, making it difficult for us to get back into the game. This is what happened as Freddie Sears fired in the second in first-half stoppage time for his first goal in 12 games before Murphy slotted in the visitors' third to put the game beyond reach.
Charlton did not give up and Dean Gerken twice saved from Ricardo Vaz Te late on as Charlton went close. Substitute Reza Ghoochannejhad also headed just wide from Chris Solly's pin-point cross in stoppage time but by then Ipswich's victory was already assured.
Ipswich did display a professional level of cynicism, their players falling to the floor in agony when Charlton broke away on the attack and then making a miraculous recovery. We didn't get any favours from the referee who had not got over breaking his bottle of hair restorer in the dressing room before the game.
The early start gave me a journey down in an over crowded train full of Brummies, a number of whom had already had a few drinks. I normally buy my Voice of the Valley off one of the elves or gnomes, but today I got it from Rick Everitt himself, and on the rare occasions I do that we always get hammered.
I was expecting to encounter a line of jobsworths ready to search my bag when I got in the ground, but there was no sign of the enhanced security.
Jonathan Acworth was active before the game button holing supporters. He is having a meeting at Greenwich tomorrow at which a potential investor will be unveiled, but apparently you need to take £20 along for a meal beforehand. According to one report, he is in touch with Darren Pitcher which is just what we want.
The 'two per cent' protest received solid support from the Covered End and I would say from about a quarter to a third of the fans in my part of the East Stand. This makes the point that concern extends beyond two per cent of supporters.
At least I won £50 on Valley Gold which will cover my travel costs and leave something over for a 'celebration' drink.
Some people are now saying that Henderson is no better than Pope, but the first and third goals were the fault of the defence in front of him. He was caught unawares by the second goal, but in some ways it was a lucky goal. One of the problems yesterday was in central defence. Sarr is a liability, but Bauer was below his usual standard. Fox is not good enough and got withdrawn after receiving a yellow card. Holmes-Dennis was required to play in three different positions, but the talented youngster adapted well.
Diarra was another player below his usual standard. Losing Jackson early on was a blow and I think that it affected the confidence of the side for a while. Cousins wasn't that prominent. Gudmundsson criticised himself, but he put himself about and delivered one precision free kick we were unlucky not to score from.
Not only can Makienok not overcome Earth gravity, he doesn't position himself properly when there is an attack. Lookman offered pace and penetration and deservedly got Man of the Match in the lounges. It's not so long ago that the youngster was playing park football. Hopefully, someone gave him a lift home or he had enough money for a minicab as it would be awkward taking the trophy home on the bus.
Vaz Te was written off as a useless signing by many fans, but I thought that our game improved when he came on. Solly played well most of the time. Reza made a real effort, but couldn't turn things around.