Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Brief Encounter

A shorter than usual preview for tonight’s game between Charlton and Reading, due to family commitments. Suffice to say that after two home defeats in a week, which have cemented Charton’s place at the foot of the division for the all time, there is little confidence going into the game. Reading are searching for the points that will bring them Premiership millions again, and I cannot see the Addicks being allowed to gain anything more than a bloody nose in his encounter.

Phil Parkinson is getting a lot of stick at the moment, even though his hands have been tied by the lot he was dealt with, bar a few loan deals. It was never going to be pretty, but the facts are that it is downright repulsive at this stage. Parky is, we are told, being judged on his whole managerial career by how he performs in these few months at Charlton’s helm, so to steam in to him now would be like kicking a man when down. I just hope that the remaining few games leave us with something to look forward to next year; some faint hope – is that too much?

His team for tonight will be pretty much the same I expect with just the odd change; he did say that maybe some youngsters will get a chance during the remainder of the season, and maybe Jonjo Shelvey will get another run tonight, but I cannot see any place for Josh Wright, or any of the youth set up. It’s possible I suppose that Grant Basey will replace Kelly Youga, especially after Youga’s 90 minute "holiday" on Saturday, but he’s hardly a youngster these days.

Another change could see the return of Chris Dickson to the squad, even if just to replace the equally redundant Youga-esqe-ish Svetislav Todorov on the bench. Apart from that, I’m sure it will be much of the same.

This is who I suspect Parky may pick –

Rob Elliott
Danny Butterfield
Mark Hudson
Darren Ward
Grant Basey
Tom Soares
Matt Spring
Therry Racon
Nicky Bailey
Tresor Kandol
Deon Burton

Subs from Randolph, Weaver, Moutaouakil, Youga, Holland, Wright, Shelvey, Ambrose, Zhi, Sam, Todorov, Dickson.

My one-to-watch is going to be Rob Elliott – this young keeper needs to be at his very best if Reading are not to run in a cricket score tonight (a five, or four, or six maybe?). He looks good, but is too often left exposed by a very shaky defence. I’m not sure how other past Charlton keepers would have fared with this bunch of players in front of them, but I do have a sneak feeling that some would have made more saves, even in losing teams. Still, he’s young, needs the experience, and we have nothing left to lose, so please play a blinder tonight Rob!

Pedro45 thinks that we are on a beating at the Mad-Stad; in the good ‘ole Premiership days, when we played any of Man Utd, Chelsea, Liverpool or Arsenal, I used a prediction barometer of taking a 4-0 beating in all the games as the norm, and we would either do better (which was a positive result) or worse (which was rare and negative). I have a similar feeling about this game, so I’m predicting a 4-0 reverse. If we get away with anything better, then I’ll be happy, but any worse, and Parky will not have had the helping hand from his old club that he wanted.

For those that are going or listening to CAFC TV, I hope you can enjoy some of the match; I’m tempted to get the head down, put on the flak jacket and helmet, and bury myself deep in a bunker somewhere (even at the in-laws...), ‘cos it could be messy.

Up the Addicks!

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