Saturday, January 06, 2007

Honeymoon Over for Pardew

Nottingham Forest 2
Charlton Athletic 0

Well, there goes the FA Cup dream for another twelve months. This result also keeps Charlton well and truly in the spotlight, as this will be perceived as one of the shock results of the round. Deep down inside though, many Charlton fans will know that this just wasn't a giant-killing act at all.

Charlton were not just poor; according to reports on radio and TV, they were (and I quote) "inept", "woeful", "without commitment", and "embarassing". That is without the Match of the Day pundits chiming in with their three-penneth worth.

For the first goal (above), Ambrose let the full back run (he'd obviously forgotten about Tuesday night when he did exactly the same thing for Hoyte's goal...), and his cross was turned in easily by the unmarked Agogo. Traore had vanished from the pitch at this point apparently; maybe we should get the Torchwood team to investigate as Djimi is prone to the odd mid-game disappearance?

Holt headed the second four minutes later (left), just after Fortune had hit his own bar, when he was left unmarked once more. Come on, spot the Charlton defender marking any of the three Forest players in the picture? Whether Troare had re-appeared by this point, I'm not too sure, although that does look a bit like him lurking in the background trying not to mark anyone. Both goals came within minutes of Faye going off to be replaced by Diawara, with El Karkouri moving to right back, and Kishishev shifting into the holding midfield role.

The team is so poor now, that I think it's about time I did my annual report on the squad - mainly those that played a part today. Pards, I hope this helps you with your decision on who stays or goes this month and at the end of the season.

The great thing about today for Scott was, he didn't play today! Liverpool didn't give him permission to play for us in the cup, as they thought they might need him in May (when his loan is up) if they make the cup final. The likelihood is that Arsenal will win at Anfield later today, and he can forget about winning any medals for this season apart from possibly the Charlton Player of the year one.

Premiership class.

Sometimes good, sometimes terrible, you just cannot predict how El Karkouri will play. He does try each match, but sometimes you wonder if he has too many languages talking to him in that big Borat brain of his. Why he continues to whack free kicks into walls or upper teirs of stands I just don't know. His defending is OK usually, though he does take chances all over the pitch. Too slow for a full back, and he doesn't overlap enough to help the team, his best position is central defence, where he can do a reasonable job. It would be interesting to see him play for a while in central midfield and put some tackles in, though the only time that was tried a couple of years back he got sent off for jumping two-footed at Zoltan Gera.

Not Premiership class.

Jon Fortune is not a Premiership player. He has worked hard at Charlton, and is a reasonable squad player, but his lack of regular playing time recently has left him short of match fitness, and when he comes into the team, he looks lost and bereft of ideas. His only pass is to whomp it forward forty yards to a forward, and then the pressure comes back on the defence again. Fortune is short on pace at the top level, and that has to be his biggest weakness. Apparently other "top" clubs have been interested in him over recent seasons - Villa being one - and I think the time is now right for Jon to move on and play his football elsewhere.

Not Premiership class.

When I first saw Diawara play (at Fulham), he reminded me of Richard Rufus. Strong, big, black, quick, athletic. So what has gone wrong? He just doesn't seem to speak the same language as the rest of the squad (literally, even though Traore, El Karkouri, and Faye are fluent in French too), and looks lost at times on the pitch. Apparently he has not yet acclimatised to the pace of Premiership football; well, Souley, how long will it take? 'Cos if you wait any longer we won't be in the Premiership. If he can get it together and play as well as he looks like he should, then the boy has a chance. If he is just here for the cash, then he might as well go now so we can spend the dosh (even if it's just his salary) on someone else.

Probably not Premiership class.

Kish has stayed on long enough now; his contract has almost finished and he isn't good enough to hack it with the big boys any longer. He has insufficient pace at full back, and needs two touches when playing in midfield, and he just doesn't get that opportunity any more. Time to move on.

Not Premiership class.

Matty is a whole hearted trier. He was once club captain, but that was stripped from him in order to keep Luke-Warm happy. He is one of the few leaders at the club. If only Matty had the legs that he had five years ago...he does always try, unlike some of his team-mates, but sadly that just isn't enough these days, especially when he has such a lack of support in the middle of the park. Well respected though he is, his time at The Valley is coming to an end, especially if by some miracle Charlton do beat the drop. On a very good salary, the problem will be off-loading him to someone in the south-east of England area (his wife has a horse riding business in Suffolk and he won't move far away from that...) who will pay him enough money for a couple of years (Ipswich and Norwich no longer being able too...).

Once Premiership class, but not anymore.

What can you say about Amady Faye these days? When he joined, his heart seemed to be in the club and he put in good performances against West Ham and Bolton when asked to play in central defence in a ten-man team. He also did reasonably well in midfield, his favoured position early in the season. Since then though, he has got worse and worse, and his performances recently have been quite literally embarassing. Maybe it's the cold weather that he doesn't like?
Lasted a mere 25 minutes today before being withdrawn; it may have been injury or illness related (as it was when he got tugged against Liverpool); why is he bothering? Not a Charlton "sort of player"; he lacks effort, commitment, passion, skill, and endeavour.

Not Premiership class.

If Darren Ambrose does have a telepathic link to Darren Bent, then his knee must be hurting at present! Maybe that goes some way to determining why he just fails to shine very often. Capable of blinding goals (remember Man Utd?), he gives the ball away too much, and concedes too many fouls when trying to win it back. That is, if he bothers trying to win it back. Cuts inside onto his right foot every time when playing wide left, his crosses are almost never met by Charlton heads. He is now a poor mans version of James Milner. Still young, but has failed to get any better over about three seasons now, and his Premiership time is just about up.

Not Premiership class.

I think I've made it clear on this blog that I am a fan of Rommedahl. But we all have limits. Blinding pace and good skill are one thing, but if you seem incapable of putting them to good effect then they are worthless. We get so little end result from Dennis that he becomes a luxury. When he sprints through the middle as he did against Villa and almost wins penalties (getting the defender sent off) we love him. When he whinges and lets short passes roll into touch he is a waste of space and not worth the ink on the teamsheet. He obviously cannot play through the middle alongside a target man as some call for, as that is one role he must have tried in the past without success (mustn't it?). The sad thing is that if we sold him to Chelsea or Arsenal, he would be fantastic and score fifteen goals a season. One day I hope he will score at The Valley for Charlton, but I doubt it now...

Not Premiership class.

Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy. The fanfare that heralded his arrival was muted by stories of dressing room unrest created by Gerel, and the general laziness by which Charlton fans percieve his play in recent years. Nothing has shown us fans that we were wrong. he doesn't work; whinges when the ball isn't given to him; and berates other players if his passes aren't made to look good even if they are poor. Maybe we should just play him against teams that start with the letters C and H, as his only goals for us have been against Chelsea and Chesterfield. No wonder he had a habit of scoring against Charlton!

Not Premiership class.

We paid £2,000,000 to Everton for Marcus Bent.


Not Premiership class.

Lloyd Sam: Given ten minutes today, and almost changed the game single handedly. It cannot be long before Pards starts to pick him from the start, as our other wide players are just not doing it at present. I just hope that the manager doesn't go and buy players who will play in front of him, because he is one breath of fresh air in a season that stinks.

Premiership class.

Tommy Myhre, Darren Bent and Djimi Traore are all Premiership class obviously.

Tommy because if he isn't, he wouldn't have played for Everton and Sunderland in the Premiership back in years gone by.

Dazza because he is fantastic and gets most of our goals when we are all those adjectives that the TV and radio call us.

Djimi because he has a Champions League medal - honest! - so he must be. No it's true, It really is. You can't just go on performances for Charlton. Over 100 games for Liverpool tell you he is. Really! Ask any Liverpool fan as they are leaving Anfield tonight...

It's not worth rating big Hermann, Luke-warm, either of the Uruguayans, the fantastic little Oirish fella, the Yank who hasn't played, or any of the youngsters, as who knows if and when we might see any of them in the first team again (if ever).

Pards mate - we are rubbish all over the park. Please start to speed up the wheeling and dealing during this January transfer window, because if you don't, not only will be be down before Easter, but we won't have a prayer of getting back up again with most of this lot.

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