Friday, December 15, 2006

Valley of Hope?

Liverpool have not conceded a goal in their last five games; Liverpool have won their last two games 4-0. Charlton lost their last game 5-1. What hope do we have of getting a result tomorrow? Probably none, but any result against the top teams - Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, or Liverpool - is unexpected, especially this season.

It's up to us, the fans, skipper Luke Young (left) and the rest of the team, plus the coaching staff, to believe that we can get out of trouble. Tomorrow will not make or break our season - we don't really expect anything from this game, so why get upset if (when) we do lose. Sure, none of us want to see Charlton thrashed, humiliated, outplayed, embarassed even, although all of those are possibilities at The Valley Saturday lunchtime.

One positive this week was the return to the clunb of Mark Kinsella, in the Development Coach role - the third man everyone was getting excited about after Dowie went and Reed and Robson were promoted. If 1% of Kinsella's drive, passion, effort, stamina and skill run of on the team tomorrow, we will be a better side.

Against a Liverpool team really in form, the papers tell us that Stephen Gerrard has a personal score to settle against Les Reed. Stevie really dissed Les in his World Cup book, and the media have jumped on this. It seems that everyone is really having a go at Charlton this year and putting us down at every opportunity; maybe we should re-employ Curbishley's PR guru?

News also includes the fact that Reed and Robson have now signed contracts; I don't have much opinion on this as it's only time (management and directors, plus legal-folk) that would have prevented the autographs being given earlier. Any move for Pardew (for instance) would have undermined Reed hugely, and this is not what the Board want to do. I find it funny that fans are calling for Reed to "return to coaching, because that's what he's good at" when actually that is what his job is! He is not a manager; he is not a manager at our club. We have management to do that; Reed does the coaching. The anomaly is that because he has to stand up in front of the cameras and media, then he is perceived as a "manager".

Reed does pick the team though, and this is the side I think he will put out tomorrow barring injuries (to Reid and Kish) -

Thomas Myrhe
Luke Young
Talal El Karkouri
Souleymane Diawara
Hermann Hreidersson
Amady Faye
Radostin Kishishev (Hughes)
Andy Reid (Holland)
Dennis Rommedahl
Lloyd Sam
Darren Bent

Subs from Anderson, Sankofa, Fortune, Ashton, Hasselbaink, Bent (M), Thomas.

Scott Carson cannot play aginst his "own" side, so has to sit this one out, and I cannot see too many other changes from the Spurs game, with only Dennis coming in for Hughes, unless the midfield injury curse has struck again.

My one-to-watch tomorrow is once again Andy Reid. If he's fit (and the doubt is that he hasn't recovered from the calf injury he got at Spurs) then we must hope he can go on controlling games to the best of his ability from midfield. Without him, Charlton are a poorer team.

Pedro45's score forecast is not a pretty sight; I always used to say (when asked what the score would be against any of the "big" teams") that we would lose 4-0, and anything better would be a good result. I think many Charlton fans are thinking the same about the game tomorrow - 4-0 sounds about right, and so that's what my money is on. Anything better, and we will probably be grateful. Hopefully the team will have a different view and will repeat last seasons magnificent heroics and win once more against Liverpool.

Up the Addicks!

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