Saturday, 1 November 2008

Should I Stay Or Should I Go Now?

In his programme notes Pardew wrote that, while he could not dictate the outcome of this afternoon’s game, he “can dictate the mood in the dressing room”. Well, unless he’s a bloody good comedian he can’t even do that. There is little point in writing a detailed match report. After this latest shambles there is only one question and that is whether the manager stays or goes. On today’s evidence, plus what went on against Bristol City and Burnley – Ipswich too by all accounts, although I wasn’t there – he has some explaining to do to justify why he should keep his job, apart from the cost of sacking him. He’s pretty much lost the fans and the players are giving no indication that they want to play for him. There’s something obviously rotten in the state of SE7 and it has to change because at the moment we’re on a downward spiral.

I think everyone was surprised by the starting line-up. We had been led to believe that Gray would be absent for a while for family reasons, reasons which presumably affected his training of late. He lasted 90 minutes but I can’t remember a meaningful contribution from him. Ambrose we are led to believe is lined up for a swap for Ipswich’s Campo. Bailey is out of form and struggling and Wright is still finding his feet at this level. And Varney looks like he needs a rest. Yet they all played. Bailey and Wright in central midfield, Ambrose and Sam out wide, and Gray and Varney up front. Todorov and Dickson on the bench.

The lack of cohesion in midfield meant very little service to two front men short of confidence. Any team that plays Darren Moore looks set up to be comfortable against a side that hoofs the ball forward to two not especially big strikers. But that’s what we did, including too often from Weaver. More from the programme notes on the Burnley game: “I made a couple of changes at half-time and the response was instant”. Kind of begs the question what were you doing with the formation in the first half.

The cause was not exactly helped by conceding after a minute or so, with a set-piece half-cleared but Macken having all the time he needed from around the edge of the area to pick his spot. Another set piece, another shot, Weaver saved but Macken buried the rebound. And from a corner a headed third. After that it was game over. We scored in the second half but there was no real suggestion of a comeback.

For what it’s worth the half-time change in this game was Bouazza for Sam, with Bouazza going on to provide a second-half performance that epitomised why he should not be considered: a few runs with the intent of producing a Bouazza shot and then total indifference when switched to the left when Dickson came on for Wright, with Varney moving out wide right (where he did look more comfortable and made a few things happen, including getting the free kick for our goal) and Ambrose moving into the centre. We looked more cohesive after that but by then the game was lost and Barnsley were not exactly exerting themselves. Oh, and Dickson looked like a pale imitation of the enthusiastic and exciting player of a year ago.

We have had a lot of games in a short space of time and have been looking to players who might not yet be up to playing two a week. But everything that Pardew has tried in terms of starting X1s has not worked. Making changes at half-time is a poor substitute for getting it right from the start. And when we did that, against Bristol, we fell apart once we went behind. The team quite frankly doesn’t know what it is doing collectively and the responsibility for that has to fall on the manager’s shoulders.

Poxy, wet and cold day. Barnsley weren’t very good, but like all the teams we have played recently they didn’t have to be. There are no positives to take from the game. And I can’t for the life of me think why I’m writing this – or why anyone should bother to read it.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the report, I used to be a
season ticket holder but now live on the Isle of Wight and get to see very few Charlton games, so rely on bloggers to get a fans view. Spent the cold wet afternoon supporting my local team, East Cowes Vics in Wessex League Div 1 - they were thrashed 4-0 by Fawley

Anonymous said...

Their third goal. I could see Darren Moore was standing in an offside position as the free kick was being taken. "Step up" I shouted with all the years of experiences gained in the lower divisions of the Orpington & Bromley District Sunday Football League.
So they all steps backwards and played him onside.
It's not difficult really.

Anonymous said...

Dear BA, Thanks for the posts , it acts as a sort of therapy to read the thoughts of a fellow sufferer.
I think we have gone past the time for being critical of the decisions made- we are in a sinking ship and we need to start all pulling together and bailling the water out fast.
Forget the skill, style whatever we need 11 fighters now.

Anonymous said...

I think the quality of the squad is good in relation to the rest of the division. So why have things gone so badly awry?

Barnsley knocked it around well at times. So did we. But both teams only did this in the middle of the pitch where is doesn't hurt. They did all their damage on the bread butter basic of set pieces.

Tom Watt commented that you can't manufacture confidence like a new free kick routine. So Pards can't manufacture confidence. But neither does he seem to organise his team well either.

The team selection and tinkering have all been done to death. None of us see any logic in most of it.

So exactly what does Pards do for CAFC any more?

It might be expensive to sack him. But what will relegation cost us?. This isn't a minor blip. Its been going on since February.

I wish he'd do the decent thing and sod off. But he won't - he'll wait for ther pay off.

Pmebury Addick

Anonymous said...

I couldn't make the game today for work reasons so gave my season ticket to my bro'n law to go instead, he doesn't follow football but still is a very astute person.
When I asked about the general performance he said from the player's warm up session on the pitch prior to the game starting that he could tell that something is very wrong with charlton or at least the players on the pitch. I asked why and the reply was that the Barnsley players appeared organised.professional and motivated whilst charlton players did not seem at all interested almost like they did not want to be on the pitch.
Now this is coming from someone who did not even know which side was charlton until the first goal went in and saw the bigscreen tv to see charlton were losing.
So by conclusion my bro'n law assessed by body language that something is very wrong with CAFC.
I too am very sad with what we have become in a space of 22 months and i was so very pleased when pardew came onboard. However what course do we choose to take now Captain?