Friday, October 05, 2007
Ready for the Tyking
The latest round of as many games as you can play in a month finishes tomorrow with the visit to The Valley of Barnsley. Our second consecutive Yorkshire club meeting pits us against a team doing very well, and currently lying fourth in the league, just three points behind Charlton.
Barnsley have a side of relatively new players brought together in the summer in much the same fashion as Charlton. Defender Dennis Souza and Anderson De Silva, borrowed from Everton for the last month, have rekindled the Brazilian theme evident from their last (only) sojourn in the Premiership, and in a multi-national dressing room they have been joined by Peruvian Miguel Mostto, Dane Kim Christensen, Germans Heinz Muller and Dominik Werling, Dutchman Marciano van Homoet and last season's Hungarian signing Istvan Ferenczi. Up against Charlton’s French, Portuguese, and Chinese players, we really do have a league (made up) of nations on show tomorrow!
A bruised, battered, and undoubtedly tired home team will be looking to extend their unbeaten league run to eight games (my, Stoke does seem like an awful long time ago…). Alan Pardew will need to make at least one change from the side that won at Hull in midweek; out goes the suspended Lloyd Sam, and I fully expect him to be replaced by the now back-in-favour Jerome Thomas. Another alternative is to play Darren Ambrose, but he probably hasn’t recovered from the hamstring injury he picked up at Luton ten days ago.
Obviously, other changes could happen if players are unfit, or in need of a rest; Chris Powell received a head injury on Tuesday night, but will hopefully be fit. If not, we may well see Semedo move to left back, and Therry Racon brought in to midfield. ZiZi also had a knock, and Racon could be on standby to replace him too. Mills, Bougherra and Fortune all went for down for treatment toward the end of the previous game, and that will keep Moutaouakil, Sodje, and McCarthy interested up until kick off time. Luke Varney has done brilliantly since returning from injury, but he has shown signs of tiredness recently (bearing in mind he missed most of pre-season), so maybe now is the time to give Toddy a start, and keep Varney for the late action?
This is the team I think Alan Pardew may send out, barring any last minute injuries –
Subs from Randolph, Moutaouakil, McCarthy, Sodje, Sinclair, Racon, Varney, McLeod.
Pedro45 is quietly confident for this match, which, bearing in mind recent predictions is not a good thing. I do think that one team will soon get an absolute thumping from our attacking play, and it could be this weekend. Mind you, after the recent battering, and with Barnsley having the worst disciplinary record on this division so far this season, we may be advised not to start taking the mickey? I’m going for an outstanding 4-0 win, but don’t be surprised if we get beat by the only goal of the game!
My one-to-watch for this match is that man Jerome Thomas. JT needs to perform, and show he is back in the right frame of mind. Undoubtedly blessed with great skill, and talent, he needs to direct it where it can cause the most damage. He must improve on his crossing (he now has someone who will score from headers if he puts in good ball!), be direct in his running, and get to the by-line and use the correct foot to cross with at every opportunity.
As with most games over recent weeks, a win could take Charlton to the top of the league and extend the gap between the top two and the chasing pack; a defeat will bring some clubs back into contention. We have the added bonus of Pards not winning the manager of the month award, so there is no millstone round our necks…
We must triumph; we will be victorious!
Come on you reds!