Monday, October 29, 2007

Power Rangers

That wasn’t really what we wanted, or expected, even following two previous defeats. Basically, the Rangers players wanted it more; they stifled out any early enthusiasm, rode their initial luck, and when presented with the opportunity to grab all three points, they took them - albeit at the third time of asking!

Alan Pardew has accepted some of the blame, and it did look obvious to me that the main problem during the second half was the lack of possession and protection centrally in front of our wobbly centre backs. I can see why Pards wanted Andy Reid to see more of the ball; he had a very quiet first half, and the close marking he got was a reflection of the influence he has on games when left to roam free. Sadly, taking off Semedo and bringing on Jerome Thomas simply gave the away team way too much open space to exploit.

Other reasons for the loss were the lack of confidence up front; just what has happened?

Sure, teams now know how to play against this revised Charlton team (that is still gelling and probably will be until May…) – press and close down the defence and midfield when they are in possession; attack the central defence when you have the ball; win second phase when defending. If you do those three things well, then Charlton have no chance!

But worryingly, Varney, Iwelumo, and McLeod really have all gone off the boil at once and none look like ever scoring again. Varney thrashed his left foot at a great opening midway through the first half (after a fantastic through ball from Lloyd Sam) and the ball sailed over the bar. Iwelumo messed up a fairly routine header shortly after (from Varney’s good run and cross), and McLeod did very little once he had come on for big Chris with a quarter of an hour to go.

The midfield worked hard but looked jaded, with only Semedo (in the first half) and Sam playing anywhere near their potential.

In defence, Sam Sodje did provide a better option than Bougherra, especially against man-mountain Mark Nygaard, but all together still looked far from sound. Jon Fortune gave away a (blatant) penalty (thankfully missed!) but did OK otherwise. The left back position was filled by debutant Grant Basey, who reminds me quite a lot of Anthony Barness – unhurried and calm. The Count did the simple things well, but was reluctant in going forward when that was what was needed. As for Danny Mills, he was great for an hour, but then lost all his composure after almost gifting Leigertwood a goal.

Rangers finally grabbed the points after Bolder knocked home unchallenged after Weaver failed to hold a cross under pressure from Nygaard.

At least the referee had a reasonable game for once!

I guess this will be a big week on the training pitch. With no midweek game and no internationals, Pardew will be making sure that the players know that the last week is not good enough , and if they cannot raise their play and standards, then they won’t be in the team for very much longer once the troop of experienced players start to get fit once more after injury.

Labels: ,

Comments: 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