Thursday, November 06, 2008

Change We Need!

Now where have we heard that heading said before? Was it a few weeks back when Alan Pardew vowed to give some youngsters a game? Or was it a couple of weeks later when he said we needed experienced heads on the pitch in these grim times?

Maybe it was last January, just prior to when he got Cook, Sinclair, and Halford in on loan, or maybe it was when he waved the loan players all goodbye at various times not long afterwards.

If Pards did say those words, at any stage, never could they be more true than now: Change is needed at The Valley, but rather than on the pitch, it is the manager who should be changed. Alan Pardew, you should leave the club.

Now I know that Pards is meeting with one section of the supporters club tonight (provided he doesn’t get late advice from the solicitors that it would be better not to attend, as happened during the Zabeel on-off deal weeks with Chappell and Murray), and it would not surprise me one iota to hear from that meeting that he had issued a rallying cry; but where else can he go, but to offer upward hope? The club is in such dire straits on the pitch that Pardew will get a huge verbal abuse tonight. He will have to sit there and hope that whoever chairs the meeting offers him some protection, but I do hope that the fans majority view – which is that he should leave Charlton, and evident on at least two website polls this week – is allowed to be put across for him to answer directly.

Pardew will no doubt be prepared, and maybe if he made as much effort in preparing his team for a game each week, we wouldn’t be in such a low league position!

I cannot support any theory that Pards is just three games away from being a hero (provided we win them all…); quite frankly, we will be lucky to win three games in the remainder of 2008 based on what we have seen recently on the field of play.

No, it is time for him to go, and if he will not resign (and I would not if I were him by the way…), then the Board must act accordingly and do the right thing.

I ought to point out that I have nothing against the man personally, and I do hope that the meeting this evening is conducted properly and he is given the chance to speak – even if it is just to give fans the chance to hear him and listen to any explanation of why things are so bad.

It is my stated opinion, and has been for some weeks now, that he is not the man who should be in charge of picking the team at The Valley, and the Club and the manager are better off going their separate ways.

However, it does look likely that Pardew will still be in charge this weekend, and as such, I want to preview the game as best I can.

Pardew’s wish for any proposed loan signings have so far failed to materialised; whether this is due to negotiations taking longer than envisaged or if the Board are not willing to release the funds that would be necessary is unclear. What is sure is that Darren Powell – who played for the reserves in midweek - is not the answer, or even the question!

So Pardew merely has that enormous squad that he has had all season from which to choose. If only he had a loan signing or two, at least it would make picking the team easier as they would have to play.

The likelihood is that just one of the current loan signings – Martin Crainie - will get a start this Saturday at Plymouth, although after Pards blamed last weeks defeat on the loss of Linvoy Primus through injury, our old, ex-player, on loan, may get a look in if he has recovered.

The other certainties, as named by Pardew a couple of weeks ago are Nicky Weaver in goal, plus Mark Hudson, and Nicky Bailey.

So the rest of the team that Pards will need to choose from are:

Right Back – Yassin Moutaouakil or Jose Semedo; well, Yassin has done OK but without making any big splashes since he got back in the side, maybe that is him simply concentrating on cutting out any defensive errors? I’d stick with this Frenchman.

Left Back – Straight choice between Kelly Youga, Grant Basey or Semedo; I’d pick the Frenchman again, as he is a better defender which is what we need away from home. Some of Basey’s defensive play last week was awful, though he does offer more going forwards than Youga. Close one…

Right Wing and Left Wing – Lloyd Sam, Luke Varney, Hameur Bouazza, and Darren Ambrose are all playing for just two positions. Of course, the formation will go some way to deciding where Ambie plays, but I suspect that the 4-2-3-1 may get another start, and as such, Varney and Bouazza will get the nod out wide.

Central Midfield – If Pardew does go for this formation, then Ambrose will slot in behind the front man, and behind him, we can expect to see Matt Holland get the chance ahead of Josh Wright. Josh hasn’t done much wrong (although he is very raw) but Pards intimated last week that he needs more experience, and that can just mean Holland in midfield. Semedo would be good, but that experiment (which worked) last season seems to have been completely dropped…and JonJo Shelvey seems to be behind Wright in the current pecking order as far as Pards is concerned, though I’m not sure why?

Striker – If only we had one eh?!? Well, if Varney plays out wide, then it will be Andy Gray up front again, if his personal issues are resolved enough for him to travel, or we could be looking at another trial where we play Dickson, McLeod, or Todorov (who had a nice rest last weekend!). Mind you, if Toddy gets a go then I think Varney will be pushed up, with Ambie out wide, and Toddy in the hole. Pardee has lots of choicy!

This is the team I think he might start with –

Nicky Weaver

Yassin Moutaouakil
Mark Hudson
Martin Crainie

Kelly Youga
Matt Holland
Nicky Bailey
Darren Ambrose
Hameur Bouazza
Luke Varney
Andy Gray

Subs from – Elliott, Primus, Semedo, Basey, Wright, Shelvey, Sam, Dickson, McLeod, Todorov.

Sadly, as the T-shirts aren’t ready yet, Pedro45 will not be making the long trip to Devon this weekend, but as I predict a score forecast of another defeat – this time 2-0 – then I won’t be sorry. Even with the best Addicks side possible taking the field of play, without firm leadership, I cannot see any upturn in results. The sooner Pardew leaves, the sooner we can start to think positively about winning a game or two!

While Plymouth had a decent season last year before falling away toward the end (that seems familiar!), they were thought to have a weaker squad this season. That seemed to be evident from early results, but recently they have picked up, and did win five out of seven games. They then lost last weekend so will be hoping to bounce back. Without Ebanks-Blake; without Halmosi, they shouldn’t be feared, but then again, Charlton are petrified of anybody these days it seems.

My one-to-watch this week is going to be Mark Hudson; Gawd knows what he is thinking after joing a few months back. We need his leadership on the pitch as we are not getting enough off it. Oh, and maybe he can point out to Varney where the goal is?

I want Charlton to win, but I know that will only delay the inevitable for another ten days or so. With no Charlton fan expecting any points from the Plymouth or Birmingham games, I would rather lose if it meant confirming Pardew’s fate. If the Board will not make that judgement call soon, then I hope that we can at least get the odd-point here and there, because when a new manager takes over (and we will need one at some point this winter), he will need everything that we have in the pot if we are to survive relegation this season.

The Redvolution is now – it is change we need!

Up the Addicks!

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It just isn't that difficult .
All he needs to do is drop Ambrose and play a sensible 4-4-2 every week with basically the same players and we will climb the table.
So long as Ambrose plays, we will continue to lose because he saps the heart from the team.
The situation is clear. We cannot defend with the current side and perhaps need to include more attacking players to hope that one will be lucky enough to his the net (inside of course!). Although I have made clear the line up I feel will be selected, I would like to see this kind of formation:

5-2-3 changing to 3-4-3 on attack.

Weaver; Basey, Youga (or Primus if fit), Hudson, Crainie, Moutaouakil; Semedo, Bailey; Bouazza, Gray, Varney

Whilst Moutaoukil and Basey can operate as wing backs, Semedo will hold midfield. Also, Varney can play wide right and have Sam as a replacement later to impact the game more. Anyone could replace Gray if he is not doing it.

It is only an idea but surely we need to find the right formation for our players rather than stick with the same and failing.

Let's hope for a change soon!!
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