Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Appraise The Lord!

Charlton Athletic 0 Bristol City 2

I had my annual appraisal yesterday morning. I’m sure many of you readers have similar sort of thing where you work. I sat down with my boss and we talked about all the areas where I have done well in the past year; those parts of my job that haven’t gone quite as expected; what sort of lessons I can learn from mistakes and whether I would do anything different in similar circumstances should certain situations occur again - that sort of thing. It went OK I think, and was sobering. I have had a bad 2008 so far from a personal perspective and work has probably suffered as a result – my whole persona has been quite negative, and it was painful to respond with the reasons why, although I did to my boss.

I know the reasons for my negativity, and won’t bother laying them out here, but one area I didn’t mention to my Director was how much of an effect on me supporting Charlton has.

The game last night against Bristol City certainly didn’t help, and I know that I am writing this in a bit of a negative mood. Other blogs will have gone into detail about the match – suffice to say Charlton started well then shot themselves in the foot when Nicky Bailey was tackled deep in his own half but without a defence positioned and ready behind him. One-nil down. Andy Gray had already hit the post, and it was almost a shot a minute until we fell behind. After that, it just went from bad to worse. Heads dropped, and the half-time change of formation (from 4-2-3-1) to 4-4-2 just didn’t work. The visitors quickly scored again as Charlton looked ramshackle. Substitutions failed to lift much of the collective gloom. The boo-boys had their day…

So as I lay awake last night in an abject mood, I wondered if Alan Pardew has an appraisal? Players like Moutaouakil, Gray, Varney, and Weaver have all been at the club around a year – have they had a first annual appraisal? And if they did, what would Pards verdict be on them (and the “grandfather” comments from Pards boss, Richard Murray)?

With Pardew, as with my managerial role, the Company is looking for improvement and growth - financial and other. Pardew is now in charge of a club in 20th place in the Championship. This time last year, we were in or around second place I believe. When Pards took over, almost two years ago, we were in a higher division, though I do not blame him for the inevitable relegation that arrived. Financially, we have about six months left of the parachute payments; we have generated revenue from player sales, though none were Pardew’s buys sold at a profit (note – Iwelumo probably cost the £750k we got for him in signing on fees…). The remaining players will not generate much funds if they are sold. Crowds are lower, and quiet frankly the 21000 figure announced last night was a joke; City only brought around 1500 maximum, and I cannot believe that Charlton had 5000 walk-up customers for this game – it certainly didn’t look like it staring at the horde of empty seats on show. Quite frankly, if I was worried about my own appraisal, then Pardew should be ashamed. He would be getting the lowest possible grade rating from me, which would invoke the disciplinary process and a written warning. Sadly, I feel there is no improvement possible and the process of him leaving is already rolling (Join the Redvolution!).

As for the players:

Weaver has done enough to be a success; as with any ‘keeper, he will make the odd mistake which leads to a goal, but he has been cruelly exposed on occasions, none more so than by Bailey’s error last night. Rating - a B+…

Gray has had a tough year, but last night played well leading the line in the first 25 minutes. He held the ball up well, and was unlucky not to score when his turn and shot rolled onto the post. At other times in other games though, he is overpowered, short of pace, and lacking control. For what we paid for him, we need more return; I think it’s four goals from open play in about 30 matches – that’s Leaburn-esque! Rating – a B, but only just!

Varney has all the pace he could ever want; his work ethic is also excellent. Where Varney lacks is in his finishing, which does seem oh-so-tied up in confidence. When he is going well, he would have buried both Saturday’s chance and that which he fluffed last night too. When he is not scoring, he doesn’t create enough, and can run down blind alleys. It helps when the midfield have enough vision to pick him out with longer passes, but only if he runs the right angles. Maybe he is one who should have a rest and be the extra man brought on if/when we are losing or the runner we need for a breakaway if we are holding on to a lead (some chance!). His rating is a B, but he could easily slip up to an A or down to a C next year – it’s up to him…

As for Yassin Moutaouakil, where do you start. The most exciting attacking talent from full back seen at The Valley for many a year, but prone to make defensive mistakes that always seem to hurt the club. Pardew hasn’t treated him well, and when he plays OK as he did last night, you wonder why he doesn’t make the starting team more often. Yassin needs a winger in front of him to play off; last night he struggled when the wide men (Varney and Bouazza) were supporting Gray, but did much better when more balanced at 4-4-2 and Lloyd Sam on his wing. For home games, I think he is a must, but for some away games, he just cannot be relied upon, and a more defensive option should be tried if available. Rating - a B-, though not all his fault.

I could go on and appraise all the team, but quiet clearly that is Pardew’s (current) job; maybe he has admitted he will carry out some sort of review as he is once more threatening to drop players for Saturday who are not consistent, but then again, that is a managers’ job at whatever industry they work in.

What I do know is that if I, as a manager, failed to hold regular appraisals, then I would not be doing my job, and I would be called to task. Pardew now needs to decide if he is up to the task of fulfilling all of the Managers role at The Valley, or if the time has come for him to jump before he is pushed.

Join the Redvolution!

A very fair appraisal of last night's performance , Pedro.

I too thought we played exceptionally well until Bailey's costly mistake,especially Moots whose ego must have taken more than one knock this season.

I feel for you regarding your personal angst and sympathise entirely regarding your feelings after the match. This team will break my heart one day soon if Lady Luck's smiles & a bucketload more hard work ( and Darren Bent ! ) doesn't start to turn it around.

Keep the faith , mate.
hey youhave a charlton links bit could u add to there thx .I only started a few days ago and i havent hade many hitd so im tryin to spred da word!
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