Monday, May 04, 2009

End of Season Tweet

Charlton Athletic 4 Norwich City 2 

The last game of the season, and a relaxed Charlton easily put paid to any lingering hopes that Norwich may survive in the Championship, knocking in four relatively easy goals.  The unchanged Addicks simply passed their way through the Norwich midfield, and created chance after chance.

Lloyd Sam beat his marker and floated over a lovely cross for Nicky Bailey to head home the first goal after just nine minutes (top pic), and soon it was 2-0. This time, Deon Burton knocked home the rebound after Therry Racon’s shot had been parried by the ‘keeper. Racon had taken a  pass from Sam, and then been allowed to turn inside the box thanks to Sam’s intelligent run which drew men away from Racon. Two goal leads are not enough for Charlton these days, so after half an hour, Charlton scored a third. Again it was Burton who had the last touch, this time poking in Bailey’s driven cross (below pic). Norwich were abject, and even though they were briefly buoyed by news from Home Park with the scores level, but as soon as Charlton took control they looked a well beaten side.

Too their credit, they did make a tactical switch, taking off one of their poorest defender and bringing on another forward, but the ex-Dartford youngster McDonald made little overall difference (so any Dartford fans prevented from buying tickets to the game didn’t miss much!).

Just before half-time, Norwich did score from a corner headed back from the far post and flicked home by Lee. If there was to be an improbable comeback, it had started off at the right time.  Sadly for the Canaries, Burton quickly completed his hat-trick early in the second half, turning home after excellent play on the right once more by Sam. With news that Barnsley were winning, the gallows humour came to the fore, but it took until ten minutes from time for the yellow clad supporters to truly accept their fate.  By then, they had scored another goal – direct from a free kick by Clingan – and also forced Rob Elliott into a couple of good saves. 

Zheng Zhi came off to a standing ovation; not because he had a good game here but due to his being the best player at the club, and this almost certain to be his last appearance. Sam also made way, with youngsters Scott Wagstaff and Tamer Tuna coming on, and the last ten minutes were very open. The industrious Jonjo Shelvey hit the bar, and Wagstaff had a couple of breaks where he may have done better with more experience; Tuna also came close to opening his Addicks account.

The best of the youngsters on show though was Chris Solly; Solly had been introduced just after Charlton took the lead, after Darren Ward was taken out and injured at a free kick. Ward’s last Charlton action was to wave goodbye from a stretcher, and with Kelly Youga moving to centre back, you did worry that Charlton may not have enough height at the back to cope. Thankfully, Solly put in an excellent debut performance, and prevented many crosses coming in, which took some pressure off the makeshift centre of defence. Equally adept, and prefers, the right back slot, maybe this is one position where Charlton do not need to seek a summer replacement?

The players all did a kind of lap-of-honour at the end, acknowledging the applause from all three home stands; some players were obviously waving goodbye, as they will be off to pastures new in the summer. It was a strange end to a season. After the way the midfield played in such a relaxed and authoritative mood, you would have expected Charlton to be mid-table at least; the fact that we are bottom of the league, with only 39 points highlights the mess the club got itself into last Autumn.

It is difficult to look forward with so many question marks hanging over the playing staff and management, but I hope that decisions over who is to lead our League One campaign and which players are necessary (both from within the existing staff and outside…) is made quickly. With player contracts ending in four weeks time, many who are available and set to be on offer for no transfer fee will be up for grabs on a first come, first served basis.  Charlton need to make sure that they get a good chance of poaching some of the better, cheaper, options, and that means deciding who is to be manager in the next week.

After-game Bartram’s banter suggested that Parkinson may or may not be back at the training ground in July; without a long list of who else is available, conversation revolved around the Redvolution that might see Paulo Di Canio offered a lead coaching role. The long term view that Zola will end up at Chelsea, and that Di Canio could replace him at Upton Park in a couple of years is still feasible. I’m sure if he did a decent job at The Valley we would not mind him switching if such an offer was made.

Until these dreams come true, we might have to make do with what we have; I just hope it’s the right choice.

That’s the end of Pedro45’s previews, reviews, and comment for another season. I’ll blog throughoutthe next few months  when there is something worthy of my comments, so until then, enjoy the summer, and make sure you renew your season ticket at the earliest possibility!

Up the Addicks!

Labels: ,

Thanks Pedro, I enjoyed reading that and your other entries throughout the season. The subject matter may have been bitter, but you've always provided enough Cranberry sauce to make it palatable!

Pembury Addick
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Enter your email address below to subscribe to Charlton Athletic Online!

powered by Bloglet
Sports Business Directory - BTS Local
Custom Search