Thursday, August 24, 2006

No attacking ideas, no points

If a team is beaten in it’s mind, then it’s going to get beaten on the pitch as well. With about 20 minutes to go last night I turned to my mate and commented that we were playing as if we were already 4-0 down, the side didn’t look like they believed there was a way back into the match, so the fact that we went on to concede another 2 late goals was hardly a surprise to any of us up in the attic of the Covered End. Indeed, if not for the sturdy Charlton woodwork and the accomplished shot-stopping of Scott Carson, tonight could have been utterly embarrassing.

United were good, there are no doubts about that, but they didn’t have to work nearly as hard as they should have done in order to claim all three points from us. Faye, Holland and Hughes were just chasing ghosts around the middle of the park for almost the entire second half, and Dowie now has less than a week to bring in a player to create things and orchestrate the midfield. 26 year-old Steed Malbranque from Fulham would be my first choice in that regard. Coleman has told the man that he won’t play for Fulham again even if he is fit, and if the fee is as little as £2.5m (the same amount we paid for M. Bent), we should definitely take a punt on him.

The baiting of Ronaldo kind of dried up once it became evident that he was the best player on the pitch by a country mile, and the defence struggled to cope with surging runs from the United midfield all evening. It was almost comical in the 80th minute when the ball came to Saha, only for both of the defenders we had between him and the goal to instinctively go running towards Ronaldo instead of attacking the ball. Saha can’t have believed his luck, and he simply turned and smashed the ball into the corner without even having to evade a challenge.

On another day we could have had a penalty or two at the beginning of the first half, but it’s worrying that we are yet to score a goal from open play, and even more worrying that we don’t look likely to score a goal from open play. There was no verve or creativity in this performance, and the chances that fell our way were a result of shoddy United defending rather than a nicely weighted through ball or perfect cross.

Dowie cited post-match that his plans for the fixture were thrown into disarray with the late injuries to Sorondo and Reid, but that doesn’t qualify as a legitimate excuse to me. Sorondo allegedly fractured a bone in his back during the West Ham game, and was in pain towards the end of that match. That was four days ago, so it doesn’t qualify as a late injury. Reid hasn’t been fully fit since he joined the club so plans to start him in place of the woefully ineffective Brian Hughes, although tactically sound, were never going happen this early in the season. I also found Dowie’s comments about the goalkeeping situation rather interesting. His quote, “We have two number ones at this club, and I hold Thomas in high regard, but Scott has just got the nod at the moment” must not have gone down particularly well in the Andersen household.

Anyway, two games played, 6 conceded, and bottom of the league. The start to this season could not have been much worse, and things need to be sorted out quickly. If you include the pre-season friendlies, Dowie hasn’t managed to deliver a clean sheet in any of the 9 games in which he has managed us. The Bolton fixture is huge now, and we must avoid defeat at all costs.

7 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

traore didn't even play !!

9:14 am  
Blogger CharltonChris said...

Yeah, I was talking about midfielders, and I meant Faye.

They do look a bit alike :-)

9:22 am  
Blogger Jimi said...

Very bleak lads, very bleak.

I know it was Man U...

I know it's only two games in...

But I'm not feeling very good, even about Bolton on Saturday. The performance was patchy at best, against a United side that pretty much stayed in third gear. For all JFH's bluster I thought he was rubbish, Amady Faye had a mixed one, Bryan Hughes is jank-no question. Ambrose looked bright but lightweight and it was the same old Ideas Club in the final third...

Having lost Jensen, Di Canio, Parker, that stain Danny Murphy and Alexei Smertin in the last few years our football has suffered unbelievably...we need a bit of quality...

The only team to have played two and not got a point

Trying to be positive, but the weather is terrible as well...

Oh well, a performance and a win (or just a win) against the trotters at the weekend and I'll be dancing a jig around The Gypsy Moth, saying 'UEFA Cup contenders' to anyone who'll listen...

11:08 am  
Anonymous Rocco said...

Shocking performance and shocking attitude. What do our players bing to the team?? OK, HH gives us aggression, Young gives us leadership, Bent gives us goals, JFH some movement, Ambrose SOME attacking threat, Rom gives us pace and attacking threat (when he's played). Now, what does El K, Hughes, Holland, M Bent bring to the squad? NOTHING! The jury is out on Faye and Traore but early opinion would suggest that they are unlikely to be Charlton greats either. We are a squad of journeymen. We should be signing the best players from the championship who actually want to play for us and see Charlton as a move up...not sideways.

The jury is out on Dowie too. What did he do to change the attitudes of the lazy finger pointing players when they had decided to give up at 1-0 down??? Nothing.

12:53 pm  
Anonymous oxo_addick said...

Look on the bright side. We started last season's campaign very well, then the wheels came off a bit. It's just that we've started this season without the wheels, and once they're fixed on and the trackings done we'll be on a roll and heading up the table.

1:46 pm  
Blogger CharltonChris said...

Lets not finger-point and overreact too much though lads.

That was possibly the most fluent and fluid I have seen united in the last 5 years, and they didn't even have a full side out.

I'm sure they will dominate much better sides that us this season..

2:18 pm  
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