Sunday, September 10, 2006

Positive spin

Chelsea 2 Charlton Athletic 1

Charlton lost to the Premiership champions, as realistically expected, but there were quite a few positives to come out of the game from Iain Dowie's and the fans perspective.

In goal, Scott Carson is quickly estanblishing himself as not only a fans favourite, but one of the top goalkeepers in the country. Consecutive penalty saves have been heroic, and he has made a number of other excellent and crucial saves too. Personally, I doubt if any of Charlton's custodians of recent times (Kiely, Andersen, Myrhe) would have done any better, even on their best form, than Carson so far this season.

A debut for Souleymane Diawara went fairly well; never the easiest of games, coming up against £50 million strike duo Shevchenko and Drogba, he acquitted himself with honours until forced off after injury early in the second half. Hopefully, the knock will not prevent him playing this Saturday, as other areas of the defence are looking increasingly short on numbers (with Young and Traore also showing signs of injury at Stamford Bridge, and with Sorondo and Fortune already out, coupled with Hreidersson's suspension...).

Amady Faye had another decent game, and once more looked more accomplished when he moved back to central defence. He may be needed there again if we have no other fit defenders next week! He is gradually settling in and starting to impose himself on games, which is just what Charlton need in midfield.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink scored his first goal for the club, and although his celebration was understandably muted, he must be very happy inside to get off the mark. He is getting a good understanding with Darren Bent, and this can only help the team longer term.

Dennis Rommedahl came into the team as a first half substitute (for the calf strain victim Andy Reid), and showed that his international form can be brought into play for the Addicks. He really should be a fixture in the team if he is on this sort of form!

Iain Dowie's tactics are also worthy of note; so often in the recent past, games against "big" teams have been examples of keeping the score down, but Dowie doesn't seem to be afraid to attack if it means some sort of result may be gained (hence the win versus Bolton last week). Other bloggers have long since exalted the view that a win and a defeat is better than two draws, and Dowie seems to have that attitude as well.

Charlton now have a week to get players fit again, and the visitors to The Valley next week are high flying Portsmouth. Pompey, currently second behind Manchester United in the Premiership table, haven't conceded a goal yet this season, so it will be another tough match, but certainly one that Charlton can hope for some sort of result.

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