Sunday, March 08, 2009

Uno Dos Tres

Charlton Athletic 2 Watford 3

I don’t want to write to much about this further home defeat, as it would be (very) easy to be extremely critical of the team, manager, and board. Suffice to say that after leading at half-time, the side played a very average second half and capitulated once more.

If you ignore the first ten minutes, and the last five of the first half, Charlton actually played some decent football for half an hour. After starting very slowly, with Tresor Kandol, Lloyd Sam and Deon Burton returning to the starting line up, the Addicks settled and started to play well. It was then a surprise that Watford scored – a long punt from the keeper, helped on to the wing, and a short ball inside left Cowie an easy finish. For the first time in a while though, Charlton got back on terms quite quickly; Kandol finishing well after two defenders tackled themselves. Sure, it wasn’t a goal that Charlton created, but it was the first by a forward this year!

Burton then headed narrowly wide after a good cross from Sam, and then a corner was headed in by Kandol for his second of the match. His celebratory leaps, and somersaults (top pic) were fun; it’s just a pity we don’t see them that often!

Toward half time, hopes were high but Watford then came close to scoring, with Rob Elliott making a good save. I suppose the game changed for Watford when Smith went off injured, and bean-Pole (sorry) Rasiak came on toward the end of the half. With the half time break to explain the changed tactics, I think Charlton simply could not cope with two tall attackers in the second period. It was the worst I have seen Mark Hudson and Darren Ward play together, and both looked very uncomfortable throughout.

Rasiak was able to chest a ball down early in the half and swing his shot away past the un-moved Elliott, with the marking Youga a not-close-enough spectator, and from there, it was very one sided.

The winner came when Hudson failed to cut out a ball and the Hungary, sorry, hungry, Priskin chipped the ball over Elliott ten minutes from time.

Zheng Zhi did come on for the last 25 minutes, and it was good to see him back, but the rest were pretty poor.

The main problem as far as I could see, was that the defence is not "connected" to the midfield, and the midfield does not "connect" to the strikers - it's simple I suppose...

Danny Butterfield is no Graeme Murty; Youga had a nightmare all match, and didn’t seem to want to be there; the centre backs were awful; Nicky Bailey and Matt Spring were quiet, and Therry Racon and Sam only had fleeting moments of good play. Burton tried, as he always does, but his miss was crucial in the context of the match, and Kandol played for himself once he had the two goals in the bag and tried desperately hard for a hat-trick goal. Svetislav Todorov got a twenty minute run out (for Burton), but he was completely anonymous during his time on the pitch (I doubt he even broke sweat!).

It was very poor and the crowd knew what would happen well before the end; there wasn’t much anger, or abuse, just acceptance that we would lose, as the players knew too. We really are going down without a wimper it seems.

We now move on to two tough away games, if any single game is any tougher than others for Charlton. We probably won’t win, and it could be that if the side play as they did against Watford, we may get a real thumping.

Role on the cricket season…

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