Monday, March 15, 2010


Millwall 4 Charlton Athletic 0

Even typing that score-line hurts, and mentally I simply haven’t wanted to write about the game, or read any reports, or watch the goals on TV either, much like other Addicks I suspect.

What seemed like a close game up till half time was turned by first a goal just before the break by ex-Addick Darren Ward – heading home unmarked from a corner in the 44th minute – and later by three goals in a torrid 8-minute spell toward the end of the match. The first of this batch of goals was scored into his own net by Christian Dailly, and much like the Colchester game where the match seemed to turn on an own goal, Charlton simply capitulated afterwards, allowing Morison to score twice.

It is easy to cast dispersions on the players and management who are ultimately responsible for the score-line, but that will not get the club anywhere this season; only a resounding positive response over the remaining ten matches will dull the memory of this thrashing to our near neighbours.

For some time I have been worried about the side not being able to up their collective game when it mattered and yet again the par for the team was simply not good enough. Individually, the players did not do too badly I believe, yet collectively and tactically, they were found very wanting. We do not have a player who is scoring goals for fun, as many other teams near the top of this league do, so we need the team to spread that responsibility; clearly that is not happening as several key and important players have to go back quite some way to find their name in the goal-scoring column. Similarly, the goals conceded stats show that we are bereft of clean sheets in all but two (home) games since early December – Brighton was the last away game where we failed to concede.

While the management may try to take some of the blame for this most recent performance, questions are being asked if they are now strong enough to see the season through while under pressure – both on and off the pitch. Phil Parkinson has tinkered with his team in an effort to find the right balance, but it is still very evident to supporters that we (and Parky) are not there yet. The problems with full backs aside, our forward line lacks confidence, and the midfield is being swapped and changed with every game; isn’t it about time that we (or more importantly someone at the club) knew what our best team was?

Rather than pick out any individual player – as they should all be asking themselves what they ultimately want from the back end of this season – we need to move on, pick ourselves up, dust ourselves down, and convince ourselves that the next ten games are there to be won, and that anything less will see the club in severe danger of failing to get out of this division at the first time of asking. We are told that the players are capable enough, now is the time to start proving this. Failure will hurt not only the club, but the players too, as many are unlikely to get a similar wage packet to that which they have now playing in League One next year.

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