Sunday, February 05, 2006

Jerms leave Charlton Unwell

Tottenham Hotspur 3 Charlton Athletic 1

Outfought. Outplayed. Out-skilled. Once Jermain Defoe had opened the scoring within the first fifteen minutes, you could tell it wouldn't be Charlton's game. A second goal, that had been coming a long, long time, by Jermaine Jenas, just before half time, and the final Spurs goal, and second from Defoe, which came just 46 seconds into the second half, killed the game as a contest.

Jerome Thomas (above) did pull one back for Charlton with twenty minutes remaining, but much huffing and puffing failed to bring any further reward. Thomas's goal was his third against Spurs, and his fifth in total for Charlton.

As expected, Kishishev played instead of the injured Holland, but the side started as 4-5-1 with Marcus Bent out wide right. Charlton started slowly, as usual, and with just Darren Bent up front, the ball kept coming back at the Charlton defence incessantly. Once Defoe scored, after jinking in the area and having his shot deflect off Luke Young over Thomas Myrhe, Marcus was moved up front with Darren, and the 4-4-2 formation worked better. There was still little invention though, and from the good amount of posession, the ball was continually knocked around between Smertin, Kishishev and Ambrose, then back to a defender, before being lumped forward and lost.

Eventually, Jenas made a break from midfield, was fed by Keane and the covering Powell couldn't stop the shot going in that made it two-nil.

Marcus Bent was unlucky just before half-time - his great volley cannoning back from the crossbar after being set up by Darren.

Half-time per-talks can work wonders, but just as Charlton needed to get out of the blocks quickly, Spurs made it three-nil. Defoe was found all too easily and nipped the ball over Myrhe. Young tried to keep the ball out but failed on the line.

Charlton did play better after that, but a weakened Spurs team (Lennon and Tainio both going off injured) held firm. Jerome Thomas cut in from the left wing to fire a shot in at the near post with twenty minutes left, but Charlton failed to create much after that until the match was in injury time. Then, Hreidersson found himself with a free header eight yards out from a free kick, but Robinson saved well.

A poor result from the Addicks perspective, at a ground where Charlton usually do well, it does not bode well for the midweek game against Liverpool.

The drop in morale that the club felt when Scott Parker left seems to have resurfaced now that Danny Murphy has left in similar circumstances, and disquiet is resounding from the message-boards, through to the stands and board-room, and no doubt to the dressing room too.

Charlton look rudderless. The players in the side are certainly trying, running hard, putting in the tackles, competing, but it's just not clicking. It is up to the management to deal with this situation immediately, as the club is most defintely not yet out of trouble this season. With the players lacking confidence (Young especially...), and certain unrest remaining (Euell making waves again...), we need a leader to take hold and bring us out of this malaise. If Curbs is that man, let him step forth now - there is certainly no player or other coach at the club currently that seems to have the necessary instinct to drive the team onwards.

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