Saturday, December 16, 2006

Simply Despair

Charlton Athletic 0
Liverpool 3

This is going to be a tough season - the media are on our backs; Match of The Day think we are rubbish; no one seems to care about Charlton anymore. It is arguable if the players do too.

Without heart, without hope, where do Charlton go from here?

Let's face it - we fans really didn't expect much from this game, and that's exactly what we got - zero! From the moment that Traore lunged forward with his leg at head height in Pennant's direction, blood was on Pennant's face , and the writing was on the wall. I'm not sure what Thomas Myrhe was trying to do with the resultant penalty kick, but a drive straight down the middle was enough to beat him.

Over the next twenty minutes or so, Liverpool could have wracked up half a dozen more - Traore atoned by clearing off the line (above), and Kuyt and Bellamy missed when very well placed. It was very one way.

The midfield offered no protection at all to the back line, and were guilty of regularly giving the ball away and increasing the pressure. Faye was abysmal, and it was an error in hindsight to play him if he was suffering from a virus. Holland ran around but couldn't get involved. Reid was wide and passed well, but didn't see enough of the ball. Rommedahl tried, but again, he had little quality to do anything with.

Up front, Darren Bent was shackled, and Hasselbaink was just so slow he looked ponderous. If he put as much effort into playing the game as he did moaning at team-mates, he would be fantastic!

The defence tried to cope, but failed without support, and the passing from El Karkouri was attrocious - just lump it forward and start all over again...

It didn't help that Reid went off injured at half time, and Faye and Young didn't last much longer before also being withdrawn with injury.

The only chances of note fell to Hreidersson in the first half, when he volleyed over an open goal after Reid's shot had been turned aside; and to Ambrose (on for Reid), who did the same after a great cross from Rommedahl found him at the back post. The two other subs - Hughes and Diawara failed to make too much difference to proceedings.

Liverpool just continued to squander chances, with Kuyt coming closest when hitting the post, until late on Bellamy's offside run failed to wake the linesman from his slumber and he swung the ball home.

One of Steven Gerrard's privileges after being given the Freedom of the borough of Knowsley is that he is allowed to drive his sheep down the main street of his home town. Sadly, two minutes from time he was given the freedom on the edge of the penalty area to look up, and curl a delightful ball into the top corner of the Charlton net.

Three nil - it could have been thirteen!

This is about as low as it gets for Charlton; the expectation and grim reality is that the team now need a minimum of four points from the next two games - away at Boro and at home to Fulham after Xmas. There is a real possibility that we could be bottom on Xmas day, and you know what they say when that happens - there is no way out.

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