After the Ipswich game I failed to write a review as I just didn't think I had anything insightful to say. Sure we won, but the manor of the game (which was quite acceptable in all honesty) failed to inspire me after what had gone before. I have been hugely disappointed with the performances this season. The excuses I've heard from Pardew have been both irrelevant in my view, and the same as those that he trotted out last season. My Dad's view, that I have utmost respect for, is that Pardew has had the worst of circumstances in which to work. I don't necessarily have a different view, but either way I am just fed up with the football on offer at Charlton at the moment.
To put this into perspective I have never made a decision about going to Charlton or renewing my season ticket. Right now I'm not sure I'd by another season ticket if I had to make the decision in the near future. I guess the Zabeel investment could change that, but it is a little frightening that I find myself feeling like this. I have, by the way, had a season ticket since 1989, and missed just two games since August 1988.
Yesterday I watched the Stoke v Spurs game on TV. From memory that is the first league game (not involving Charlton) I've watched on TV for over ten years. I'm sad to say I enjoyed it more than any of the Charlton games I've seen this season, and apart from the Coventry game in May, you'd have to go back to the Palace game in February for the last time I remember coming away from a game happy or satisfied. I pay entirely too much money (tickets, travel etc.) going to football for the levels of enjoyment I am experiencing right now.
Anyway, for all of the above reasons I failed to write a preview of the Cardiff game. What do you say when you honestly believe that you are supporting a team that is on the slide? I now don't believe much of what the club's PR machine say - I'm including Pardew's press conferences in this. I used to listen to all the Pardew interviews on Addicks Audio on the web site, but now I just can't be bothered, it is the same old rubbish made up of cliches, one liners, and excuses!
However, despite the lack of interest in the football, when my Dad suggested going to Cardiff I jumped at it. Not because I thought we'd get a result there but I am one of those sad fans that likes 'collecting' grounds and I haven't been to Ninian Park. The main reason for going, however, was to spend the day with my Dad. Strangely that is what got me into this in the first place, and something tells me that it will be enough to keep me going. Heaven forbid we should find another hobby to share because right now if we did it could be curtains for Charlton.
For those that haven't been to Ninian Park it is not a very nice ground, and the view is terrible. To be fair the new stadium that is well on it's way to being build looks fantastic, all be it just like all the other new stadiums (Southampton, Leicester, Derby et al).
By the time we got there I had already had a nice day, and wasn't all that bothered about the result and I expected us to struggle. I couldn't have been more wrong. Despite the rubbish view, I felt that the first ten/fifteen minutes were as good as I've seen for a while. Bouazza had a could of chances, Ambrose put in some good crosses, and Varney missed a great chance. In his defence he did slip just before he got to the ball, but he fluffed it. A few minutes later we were a goal down. We had, after Varney's chance, started to defend deeper and deeper. I had a bad view, but this could well have been that Cardiff raised their game slightly.
After the goal you could see the players lose confidence. I felt that Craine showed, again, why he shouldn't be playing at right back. It took the Cardiff left back that first ten minutes to work out that Craine couldn't cross and then Ambrose was marked out of the game. The wingers switched over, but you really need an overlapping full back, and we didn't have one.
By half time I was just glad to only be one behind. Semedo came on and I thought this would increase our chances. It was not to be. I was convinced it was a penalty, and that Semedo was the last defender. The ITV Championship program showed me that it was outside of the box, and Hudson was coming across. I can't blame the referee as I got it wrong myself. I also think it is harsh to blame Semedo as he was playing right back and the ball was in the middle. I'm not sure if it should have been Hudson or Primus, but it doesn't really matter does it?
Before the free kick was taken my Dad remarked that the wall was so rubbish that if he hits it at the wall it will go in. How can these players be unable to make a wall that can stop a shot going straight through it. This was game over. Hudson was unlucky to be sent off. Again the TV showed that he didn't touch Bothroyd. This makes me understand why my Dad has sympathy for Pardew. What is he supposed to say? Neither of the players should have been sent off. I'm not sure it would have made much difference to the result. I doubt that Semedo would have been in the wall and stopped the second goal, and I doubt that we would have come back from 2-0 if we'd had thirteen men, never mind eleven.
We stopped off on the way home for fish and chips. So, a nice day out, sunny weather, good company, a bit of exercise and some fresh air.
Shame about the football.
Up the Addicks!