Thursday, October 30, 2008

The Redvolution Starts Soon!

So here we go – the real McCoy: Our day of Destiny. One more game, and it just has to come to pass. It’s is just Barnsley that stands between Alan Pardew, and the Redvolution. Chin up eh, Al?

Now don’t get me wrong, I would love Charlton to win this match, as I want them to win every single game that they play. But enough is enough, and I believe that this will be Alan Pardew’s last game in charge of the Addicks.

If Charlton do not secure a win, even a dodgy own-goal victory like the last time we won three points about a month ago, then the Board must do the right thing for Charlton.

Looking back over the years, the Board of Directors have always followed that principle; to do what is right for the club at that time – when it was time for Alan Curbishley to make a go of it on his own, Richard Murray stood up and told Steve Gritt the news; when Curbs said he wanted just one more season, our Chairman said that was not in the Club's interests, and an amicable parting of the ways came about; when Dowie and Reed made a pigs ear of our last Premiership season, they were quickly shown the door; when Zabeel offered to buy the Club, the Board said it was in the best interests of the club and made a recommendation, sadly which didn’t come to fruition.

A defeat, or even a draw, on Saturday, and the Board should do what is right for the Club, once more, and relieve Pards of his duties. They have absolutely no other choice. A win may postpone the inevitable for another week or two (after two more away games, which could be pointless), but the writing is definitely starting to appear on the pay-off cheque.

I know it will cost the club money, but no more so than that which is starting to be lost through falling gates, falling merchandise sales, and lack of season ticket uptake, all a result of the managers tinkering and failure to pick a team to do a job.

I know that we have to find a replacement, and quickly, but with managerial experience available from within the club (Parkinson and Gritt for instance), why that cannot suffice until a permanent replacement is found I do not know? It is my opinion that whoever is placed in charge can do no worse (and probably a whole lot better) than Pardew is currently. Anyway, it shouldn’t take too much to get a few other managers interested in awakening this sleeping giant? And there are plenty out there who are not currently drawing a wage in pounds, shillings and pence…or even Euros! And sometimes, yes sometimes, the caretaker manager comes up trumps and carries on permanently and does a very good job - a certain Mr Lawrence comes to mind...

So who is it that can save the managers door nameplate from being unscrewed this week? Well, Nicky Weaver is sure to be in goal – Weaves saved a penaltyn (left), and possibly Pardew’s ass on Tuesday night, even though he apparently took some stick at half-time for daring to let a goal in.

Then there is skipper Mark Hudson, he’ll be on the pitch and fighting to keep Barnsley (and ex-team-mate Jon Macken) at bay. I expect Yassin Moutaouakil to get another home start, even though he was substituted at Ipswich by Jose Semedo, who did well. I think Martin Crainie is almost certain to play alongside Hudson, especially as Linvoy Primus is carrying a slight injury.

Whether Pards trusts Kelly Youga, who played at Ipswich, or Grant Basey, who played last weekend against Burnley, at left back is a close call, though I think Basey is better suited to home games, and can cause plenty of problems for the opposition with his free kicks and corners.

The midfield will certainly contain Suffolk goalscorer Nicky Bailey, but who else plays is very open to option; alongside Bailey we could see either stalwart Matt Holland, or the youngster half his age – Jonjo Shelvey - fresh from England U-17 duty. Then again, we could see Semedo step in and play the holding role he did so well last season if Pardew wants to free up the rest of the midfield to attack, or even last weekends debutant, Josh Wright. Out wide, you can probably pick any two from three of Lloyd Sam, Hameur Bouazza, and Darren Ambrose.

As with the midfield, Pards is not short of choice when it comes to the forward line either. Luke Varney didn’t miss a chance on Tuesday, thankfully, but demons may be creeping into him, as it is a while since he last scored. Andy Gray could be back after family illness, but I wouldn’t count on that, while Svetislav Todorov is far less effective starting than coming on as a second half substitute. Then we have the enigmas that are Chris Dickson and Izale McLeod who could start, be on the bench, or be left out completely depending on Pards mood.

I’d like to say that this is what we like about Pards, the inconsistency of his rotation policy, but I cannot; it is ridiculous the way he tinkers with his team and fails miserably to get anything like the right blend on the pitch from the off.

This is the eleven I would pick if I were Pardew and I had one more match to save my job –

Nicky Weaver
Yassin Moutaouakil
Mark Hudson
Martin Crainie
Grant Basey
Lloyd Sam
Nicky Bailey
Matt Holland
Hameur Bouazza
Luke Varney
Andy Gray
(or Todorov if Gray is not available)

Subs from – Elliott, Semedo, Primus, Youga, Shelvey, Wright, Ambrose, Todorov, Dickson, McLeod.

One game, and it has come down to Barnsley at home; will they roll over and let Pardew seek out that victory? I doubt it, they are as desperate for points as Charlton are, but did win their first away game of the season at Doncaster in midweek (where have I heard that before I wonder…).

They are no great shakes as a team, but do have individual players who could thwart the home team. Jamal Campbell-Ryce is an ex-Addick who would love to light up The Valley with his undoubted skill, while Muller in goal is a tough nut to crack when on form.

Putting aside my thoughts on Pardew, I really am not that confident about getting a result on Saturday anyway! Pedro45 is going to forecast another 1-1- draw, with the boo’s ringing out once more and all those kids who have come to the game to shout and scream at the top of their high-pitched voices going home disappointed. I would love the efforts of the team that Pardew picks to be enough to win over some of these youngsters as future Addicks fans, but unless the team can win, and win well, then they will all revert to being Chelsea, or Arsenal, or Manchester United, or Liverpool fans come Monday morning (or until they have seen Match of the Day and not heard Charlton mentioned…).

My one-to-watch for the second week running is going to be Alan Pardew. I’ll be watching him, and so will most of you, especially if his (possibly last) Addicks starting side fails to get on top during the initial phase of the match, even when he phones a friend (left). We have the players to go out and beat the Barnsley’s of this league, but getting the right players out there on the pitch, in the right formation, and mentally prepared to win games for themselves, the management, the directors, and the fans seems to be beyond Pardew’s capability at present. I hope for his sake I am wrong, but I truly do not believe it.

I get absolutely no pleasure from wanting the manager to be removed from the heart of the club I love, but sometimes these things are for the best.

A win and we can smile and hope that our luck has changed, and that we are going to start climbing the league table at last; a draw or a defeat, and all those that have joined the Redvolution will be baying for one thing – we just need the Board to be listening.

Come on you Reds!

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I meet my partner 6 years ago and he supports spurs (not that he admits that to too many people at the moment) and he has done since he was 7.

I decided to pick a team to support for life too and Charlton was the team I picked. I have enjoyed reading this post thanks.
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