Friday, March 30, 2007

Jewell in Denial

It’s seems like ages since Charlton last played (winning against Newcastle - left), and the busy next few weeks will seem completely different from the just two-games-in-March period the players and fans have just been through.

So how have Charlton come out of the quiet period?

Certainly full of confidence; all around the club the atmosphere is terrific and there seems to be a real belief that the team can pull itself out of the shocking situation it has found itself in.

Injuries have been a worry, and I think that we have been extremely lucky that we haven’t had to play much recently, as that would have stretched resources to almost breaking point. On the plus side, Luke Young is now fit, and so is Madjid Bougherra, plus Jerome Thomas seems to have got over his niggles. On the down side, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is hamstrung, and Andy Reid is definitely out for the season after hamstring surgery. In the middle we have both Bents – Darren is treading very carefully at present and hoping that his bad knee will last the majority of every game; he is too important to the team to rest, so it all has to happen in the first hour please lads! Marcus is another with hamstring problems, and I doubt he’ll be risked after one days training as he was against Newcastle, as for him to stay fit for less than half an hour is pointless. Hermann Hreidarsson is another with knee trouble, and he seems OK for a while, but Hermann may find two games in four days too much. Ben Thatcher should also be back to full fitness after knee niggles. The extent of Alexandre Song’s injury, which forced him off the field against the Geordies, is a mystery – hopefully he is now fit again too. Darren Ambrose should also be fit to return.

The club have so many players out on loan (nine) that any major influx of injuries or suspensions would be catastrophic; I doubt that, now the transfer window has closed for Football League clubs, players can be recalled from their loan periods, so we are left with what we have got.

And so to Wigan; I couldn’t resist the heading, as manager Paul Jewell has pleaded not guilty to another case of abusing a referee. Anyone who saw the Arsenal versus Wigan game last month will know that he had a point about the referee, but you cannot it seems say so even when the whole world (barring the FA…) agrees with you these days. Wigan have been on a decent run, which followed a very poor run (eight defeats on the trot); they are solid and can hit you on the break, and Charlton will do well to play it quite tight in the opening stages.

Charlton, however, will be looking for maximum points once more in a home game, and this is the team that I think manager Alan Pardew will send out to gain the win –

Scott Carson
Luke Young
Talal El Karkouri
Hermann Hreidarsson
Ben Thatcher
Alexandre Song
Matt Holland
Jerome Thomas
Darren Ambrose
Zheng Zhi
Darren Bent

Subs from – Randolph, Diawara, Sankofa, Bougharra, Faye, Hughes, Rommedahl, Lisbie, Bent (M).

The proposed line up is obviously dependent on Song being fit, and the plan to use Zhi in the forward role supporting Dazza that he did so well in the second half against the Magpies. If Song is not fit, then central midfield options are limited, and Amdy Faye is the only viable replacement.

With a sell-out crowd (in the home sections at least), the atmosphere should be electric once more at The Valley. The Killer flag will be doing the rounds again (I understand in the reverse direction to the Newcastle game, so starting at the south end of the West stand, so that it is still up and visible in the East Stand when the players come out) and that seemed to get everyone involved (even if just to push it off your head!). The crowd have really become the 12th player in 2007, and long may it continue; the days of being out-sung in home games have fast disappeared, and nobody goes to sleep at The Valley anymore – even the West Stand fans sing and clap these days! It has got so good that the bloke behind me has stopped slagging any of the players off (before kick off at least!).

My one-to-watch this week is going to be Darren Bent; hopefully after a little rest away from the England squad he will be fit and well, and raring to go. If we can get 75 minutes of Dazza magic in each game, then that may be enough to save us come May.

Pedro45’s score prediction should be a home win; a tight game but with so much confidence, a victory all the same. However, every time I say I think we will win, we don’t, and when I think we’ll lose, we win! Then again, sometimes I do get it right, so I’ll predict a 2-1 win, that will have us all on the edge of our seats and with no nails left to eat Easter eggs with.

Come on you reds!

Labels: , ,

Love the title Pedro (wish I'd thought of it though!) It'll be a tough one tomorrow but we've got the character.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Enter your email address below to subscribe to Charlton Athletic Online!

powered by Bloglet
Sports Business Directory - BTS Local
Custom Search