Monday 15 August 2011

Are the U's sustainable?

After beating the second placed team in the admittedly provisional table on Saturday, the Addicks now face fourth placed Colchester United away tomorrow. The U's started the season with a storming 4-2 win at Preston, then scored another three at Wycombe in the Carling Cup midweek only to be knocked out on penalties. They then managed a 1-1 draw in the league at home to the Chairboys on Saturday.

Limited resources are one of their constraints, although that may be more of a problem later in the season as injuries and suspensions take their toll. Their new stadium is often far from full and owner Robbie Cowling has stated that he is building a 'sustainable' club. This does not mean green turf on the roof and a wind turbine by each corner flag but involves cutting the playing budget.

No surprise, then, that Four Four Two forecasts mid-table mediocrity for the U's, while The Times plumps for relegation. They do have a fight back capability, though: they gained 21 points from losing positions last season.

Former Norwich striker Ian Henderson is seen as a key player. Tom Eastman was brought in from Ipswich and Michael Rose from Swindon to strengthen the back line in a team that can be defensively suspect and liable to concede penalties. The U's will be without winger Ashley Vincent who scored the only goal on Saturday but was then stretchered off with a knee injury. Michail Antonio has been brought in from Reading on a month's loan as cover. He is a direct, attacking player.

Boss John Ward stepped up from assistant manager after Aidy Boothroyd left. He is something of a journeyman manager in the lower divisions, having seen service at six different clubs. Fans are sceptical about him and some doubt whether he will last the season.

The betting odds suggest that this could go one of three ways. I think we are more likely to win (by the odd goal) than lose, but I will opt for a 2-2 draw.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Robbie Cowling is doing the right thing by adjusting the budget - I think the club will be better off for it in the long term (5 years at least).

Saturday's result showed me one thing that we will get goals - we should have been 3-0 up and out of sight except the Wycombe goal led something of a charmed life with the crossbar coming to their rescue twice before they got their penalty to level the score. Charlton back line beware - there is plenty of pace up top. I'm sure Powell has had the video footage from the Preston game and that's all I'll say for now...