It's strange how different people have different views of the same things. Politics, economics, women and, of course, football. Last night we lost to Bristol City. The general feeling on the blogs today is that we are rubbish and we might as well give up.
Maybe I'm still trying too hard to feel happy about everything, but you know what? I don't feel at all demoralised about the game. We have already established that for the first 25 minutes we were on top. The fact that the result, and the last 60 minutes, were a disappointment takes some of the shine off that first 25 minutes.
I don't remember the last time I have been so pleased, and dare I say it impressed, with the way we played. We were decent at Cardiff on Saturday, but this was a different class. Without pointing the finger, Andy Gray missed the target from eight yards; Bouazza wasted several chances by shooting from just too far away, Ambrose forced the keeper into a great save from distance; Luke Varney had a couple of decent shots that would, on another day, have gone in; and their keeper made a reflection save from a close range header.
We never looked in any trouble. I have now come to accept that the strikers in this division are going to miss (fail to score) many more chances that we have become accustomed to. Jason Euell (in his pomp), Darren Bent, JJ and even Shaun Bartlett hit the target much more that the lot we have now, but we are in a different division, and we are in a different league when it comes to money.
I was convinced that it was only a matter of time before our first goal came-. Bristol City had started defending deeper and deeper, and they only left the strikers upfront to chase down our defenders as we were, frankly, taking the micky out of them. Moo2 was outstanding, both Primus and Creaney looked solid (to be fair, in different circumstances, they could have been playing together in the Premier League, so they should), Ambrose looked like he was having one of his better days, and I've never seen Andy Gray run so much.
Then Nicky Bailey, who I think will be a big player for us, was caught in possession. My first instinct was to blame him, but there was little he could have done with the ball, and he tried to take it round a player when he should have passed it - back if necessary. Suddenly it was three on two, and we understandably failed to win that one.
Once the goal went in Bailey seemed to shrink in stature (understandably) and, not unlike Saturday, the heads dropped. We chased the game for the rest of the first half, but having got a goal in front City seemed to grow in confidence as our's ebbed away.
The second half we started in the vain hope of getting an early equaliser, and by attacking so aggressively we conceded another one on the break. Game over.
After the second goal went in the players knew (just as the restless fans did) that we were going to lose. Confidence is such a fragile thing, and we have failed to win a game from a position of two goals down in the second half so few times that it is understandable that we as good as gave up. There was still a lot of effort, but the team just lost shape. Pardew made some changes to take off players that were not having their best game - also to rest them for Saturday, no doubt, and it got no better.
Ok we lost, but we beat Ipswich at home a couple of weeks ago and we didn't once look like we did in the first 25 minutes last night. My determination to be happy about all things Charlton maybe affecting my view, but I would, personally, love to see us go at Burnely on Saturday in the same way we did yesterday. Sadly, due to Pardew's inability to field the same formation/style two games in a run makes that unlikely. The criticism he has suffered will probably play it's part in that also.
However, I can honestly say that despite the result (which was not really that much of a shock) I enjoyed the game last night. I cannot wait for Saturday.
Up the Addicks!