Sunday, August 27, 2006

Wanderers jinx given the elbow at last

Darren Bent's well taken goals and Scott Carson's superb display between the sticks are the main reasons that we find ourselves off of the foot of the table today, but credit must also be given to Iain Dowie for delivering both a victory and a clean sheet for the first time in his Charlton career.

It was also an eventful afternoon for referee Mike Dean, who gave two penalties, issued two red cards, and should really have issued two more if the law had been obeyed to it's letter. Davies was a flurry of elbows all afternoon but Hreidarsson was foolish to get involved in retribution. Upon viewing the replays I think a sending off was probably the correct decision but if Davies hadn't have gone on to get his own marching orders, a debating point this morning would surely have been whether the Bolton player should have even been on the field by the time HH decided to dispense his own justice. The referee clearly missed the first incident between the same two players, and it was a stroke of fortune for Davies that Hermann decided to just get on with the game rather than roll around on the floor as if he had been shot.

Both of the penalties were harsh. There may have been contact between Diouf and Faye but there was certainly nothing which should have constituted a foul. When you view the replay from the camera in the East stand, the way that Diouf falls over without even bending or twisting his body is quite embarrassing really. Scott Carson was on hand to ensure that he did not profit from his theatrics and he was on his feet in a flash in order to clear the rebound, where lesser keepers may have still been laying on the floor congratulating themselves. We have a real gem in this lad, and we should be pushing Liverpool immediately in order to agree a fee and make the deal permanent in January. The last minute save from Idan Tal was just further evidence of his alertness and agility.

Our penalty was also a soft decision, and I'm inclined to agree with Allardyce that there may have been a subconscious decision from the referee to level things up. I can't imagine he would have given that if both sides had 11 men and he hadn't just given a debatable penalty at the other end. Still, he gave it, and Darren Bent did what he does best. The second goal was the first real combination that we have seen from the two front men this term and it was indeed refreshing to see the ball hit the back of the net, and a partnership beginning to form.

It wasn't all good news though, there were times yesterday when I was screaming at our defenders for leaving wide open spaces, particularly down our left, and Stelios in particular could have had a couple of goals on another day. There are obviously defensive frailties in the side at the moment and the loss of Hermann for the next three games isn't going to make it any easier for Dowie to get those errors ironed out.

Both of the debutants did ok. Traore was guilty of one of two positional blunders, but those will surely become less frequent once he is more familiar with the rest of his back four. Reid did not look as out of shape as I had expected him to, and he even sprinted on one occasion! We have quite a lot of height in the side now that Traore and Faye are included, and Reid's delivery of the ball from set pieces will no doubt be valuable to us this year.

An international break means that we don't play again until the 9th of September, and hopefully by the time that match comes around Bolanos will be cleared to play, and Thomas/Gibbs will be a little closer to recovering from their injuries. Isn't it amazing how much brighter things look after obtaining three points?


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