What a win indeed! The required goal from Yann and what has to go down as substitution of the season by Sir Chris (who has come in for some reasonable criticism for changes made – and more often not made – during games). Splendid – and when you look at the table undoubtedly timely.
Talking of timely, I had to suffer last night the BBC’s failings. My French partner Suzanne and at least one other Addick recently spent a happy Saturday evening in the belief that we had beaten Birmingham at home, having relied on the Beeb site. Suzanne and I, having consumed the marinated goat and most of the St Joseph while glowing at the news of Kermorgant’s opener, followed the game on the laptop and ipads (here you can’t even get Radio Five Live properly as once they switch to live reports the service reverts to a rehash of previous items with regular reminders that ‘due to licensing restrictions this part of the service cannot be broadcast’). The gloom of their equaliser gave way to a mix of admiration and concern at the brave introduction of Haynes, then the euphoria of his immediate impact (especially with the note of Yann’s assist). After that it was a matter of trying to while away the minutes with an occasional nervous cigar on the balcony, anything to fast-forward my life. We made it to the beginning of stoppage time OK, then the BBC site went completely doolally. First it stopped updating, then reverted to pre-match comment (and not just for our game).
It took another 20 minutes of checking other sites and frantic calls back to the UK to confirm the outcome. Thanks BBC. Cutbacks there are a matter of concern, given that the Beeb is indeed a treasure to be safeguarded; but if they start screwing up Charlton coverage it’s a full-blown national disgrace. I know I should sign up for the Charlton player, but I just can’t stand listening to live commentary on our games. Tracking progress on a site still allows you to take a few minutes out, so I’m just a nervous wreck through the process. Having to listen to it going on unrelenting would lead to full breakdown.
Suzanne had been patiently waiting for confirmation, with a couple of bits of bread and something unspeakable. She had been (relatively) kind, selecting something called Comte, from the Jura region. I’ll admit that it didn’t smell too bad until you were close up and, given the circumstances, I was delighted to have to eat it. The first impression was not awful as the bread tasted good; but then that flavour was overpowered by a sort of slime, like someone had coated the bread in something off the street. Just really unpleasant. So, no change on that front – and no need to repeat the experiment for another year (or so).
It is a daft bloody league. We now sit squarely in mid-table, only eight points off a play-off spot (equivalent to those dropped in recent games, with the BBC having mentioned in its pre-match notes that we have conceded more goals in stoppage time than any other Championship side and are the only team not to have scored one). At the same time we are conceivably just four points above the relegation zone, were Peterborough to win their two games in hand on us (and others currently just above them pick up points with their one). I could never be really upset about someone giving Millwall a drubbing on their own patch (or anywhere for that matter), or indeed be pleased that Palace beat a team to keep them away from us. I just would feel more comfortable if three at the bottom just gave up.
Just a quick calculation shows how tight it is. Bristol City are bottom with 0.939 points per game, while Peterborough are effectively third-bottom with 1.065. In the Premiership QPR are bottom having mustered just 0.654 points per game and Reading third-bottom with 0.885. If Peterborough had that ratio in the Premiership, they would be 15th with a five-point cushion on the bottom three. In League One (remember that horrible place?) Portsmouth are bottom with only 0.697 points per game and Colchester third-bottom with 1.000; and in League Two the three bottom teams are all on 1.000.
There’s comfort in the fact that there should be sufficient bodies in the way of us and the bottom three and that, with 13 games left for us we are only a couple of wins from a points total that usually means safety. But if Peterborough were to just continue their current points-per-game ratio to the end they would amass 49 points (and it’s not unreasonable to expect teams in the final stages of a relegation fight to improve their ratios). As things stand, it is possible that the ‘50 points for safety’ rule will not apply (but I'll be happy if it does).
Let’s just win again on Saturday and put such idle speculation further behind us (I shall be there, assuming my 05.50 – French time – train on Saturday morning departs as planned and I am on it). This time around I am ready to promise that if we do win I shall drink some wine and consume a stonkingly large takeaway (and yes, I will probably do the same even if we don’t).