Sunday, February 22, 2009

Little Point

Barnsley 0 Charlton Athletic 0

Like many others, I chose to listen to this game via CAFCTV, so cannot comment too discerningly about finer aspects of the match. Suffice to say that a draw was a little disappointing, especially as Charlton finished much the stronger of the two sides.

Phil Parkinson chose, not surprisingly, to keep the same starting eleven that won against Plymouth the previous week, with Svetislav Todorov replacing the suspended Deon Burton on the bench.

The online commentary was not the best, but a quiet first half was only enlivened by shots from Mifsud for Barnsley and Mark Hudson for the Addciks - Hudson’s shot being well saved. The second half initially saw Barnsley become stronger, with a couple of efforts going wide or straight at Rob Elliott in the Charlton goal, but then for the last 15 or 20 minutes, it was pretty much all Charlton. In this period, Therry Racon, Nicky Bailey, Chris Dickson, and Tresor Kandol all saw plenty of the ball according to the commentator (though he was getting some players mixed up regularly…), and all had efforts saved by Muller, Barnsley’s German keeper.

It was rather strange that Parky chose not to make any substitutions (for the first time since he took over at The Valley), especially as he did have attacking options in the form of Todorov, Lloyd Sam and Jonjo Shelvey. However, as he rightly pointed out afterwards, all the midfield have scored for Charlton recently, and they do also fight in every match. Far too many times in the past we have seen un-necessary substitutions unbalance a team, so I have some understanding of what Parky was hoping to see as an outcome here.

This was also the first time Charlton had gained an away point for eight matches, so at least we have ended that barren run. It was also good news that no cautions were picked up at all, especially as one or two players are getting close to serving further suspensions...

Sadly, the single point won may not be enough in this long season, especially as other results did not seem to fall as expected. My own opinion is that other results should not be looked at too closely, as it is up to the Addicks to win games, win points, and get themselves into a position where other teams results do not really matter.

Usually, over a season, 50 points is considered to be enough to avoid relegation, but the consensus seems to be that this season slightly less may suffice. With that in mind, it is entirely feasible for Charlton to pick up another twenty-two points from the 39 still on offer (anything between six wins and four draws, to seven wins and a draw, to eight wins…), but in order to do this, the team will have to maximise the return from matches against the clubs that are nearer the bottom of the table than the top. If we do get to 48 points, we might stay up...

While today, the day after the event, this point won has no immediate bearing, come the middle of May, it could just be the one that keeps Charlton alive as a Championship club…

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