Tuesday 15 March 2022

'Kent Derby' brings more gloom to The Valley

 In his latest post the Chicago Addick captures well the pall of gloom and the nervousness that hangs over The Valley ahead of this evening's so-called 'Kent Derby' against Gillingham.

Confidence is an important ingredient in football and Charlton can't find a win or even score a goal from open play.   Under their new manager Gillingham have won a couple of matches and have moved towards the middle of the form table while Charlton remained rooted to the bottom.

All this has provided a field day for the many Charlton fans who seem to derive their greatest football pleasure from being negative and pessimistic about the team they support.   If I felt as negative as they did, I think I would think stay away.  As it is, the negativity and high expectation of the fans lead me to think that might be the right thing to do.

Now, of course, they have a point.  Many of them put it down to persistence with a 3-5-2 formation, but are the players there for a 4-4-2?   Do the players care very much anyway?  Good performances in training crumble once they get on the pitch for a game, although that could be confidence again.

One can imagine the Gillingham manager's team talk: 'Push them hard from the kick off.  They will concede a silly free kick in a promising position.   MacGillivray will stay rooted to his line while the defence lack height and will be at sixes and sevens (although watch out for Stockley).  You will get a free header and they will be chasing the game with their heads down.'

Calling for the head of JJ now is a waste of time as we would have difficulty in getting a good replacement, quite apart from the cost.  His position should be reviewed at the end of the season before making any signings.  

If we are relegated, we will need a different kind of manager.   League 2 football is closer to non-league with a reliance on hoofball and a penchant for head tennis in midfield.

One bright spot tonight could be the return of Conor Washington to the starting line up.  He has an ability to get in behind defences and could even score himself.

I think we will get a useful home point.  Bear in mind that six of the teams below us have far worse goal differences, itself worth a place in the table.

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