Saturday, 28 February 2009

Swansea 1 - 1 Charlton

It has been just over two weeks since I last posted anything to this blog. A lot has happened in that time. We have managed back to back clean sheets for the first time since September when we drew at Forest after winning 1-0 at Doncaster. Jonjo Shelvey has signed that contract that we (certainly I) feared he wouldn't. We have also seen the start of the rumours about who will be leaving if we go down. In this example it's Nicky Baily to WBA.

I found it hard enough reading about Bougherra leaving us to further his career with Wigan (no disrespect intended) but with the gap between us and safety looking unlikely to be bridged we are going to see more and more rumours about our best players leaving for clubs that we wouldn't have imagined three years ago.

I've always been an optimist, and have been looking at our performances in recent weeks and talking about how we just might make it. However, during that time all the teams in the relegation battle have managed results, and the gap to safety is now bigger than ever, and the games are running out.

Southampton have now managed back to back victories (something we've failed to do for almost fifteen months. Doncaster have literally left us for dust. Forest have gone from being a few points behind us to being a massive ten points in front of us with a win at Reading today. Plymouth were not exactly lucky only drawing with Sheff United last week, and they went and won at Wolves today.

Our draws at Barnsley and Swansea are very credible, but under the circumstances those two points must be viewed as not enough. I have been much more supportive of Phil Parkinson in recent weeks, but I can't help thinking that the time to save our season was that run of eight games during which time we managed just three points.

I hope that I am (and was) wrong, but I believe that the appointment of Parkinson for the remainder of the season was what condemned us to relegation. I fear that the time to save us was in November.

However, If we get relegated we will have a manager at the helm that knows the third division - although I'm sure that was the boast when Pardew was in charge when we entered the second division.

All in all, I am impressed with our performances over the last six games. The two defeats in that run we led and lost by the odd goal with only one fit centre half available. The fact that were in that situation is unforgivable, but never the less the players have looked up for the fight.

What the future holds is unknown, but I have to say that despite our performances (and results) of late I feel more resigned to third division football next season now that I have at any other time.

Still, two wins in the next two (home) games and it will all change again.

Up the Addicks!


Anonymous said...

Agree with everything you have put. What a shame that at a time we seem to be starting to turn a corner all the teams above us have started to win and are pulling further away. I really can't see any way back after today but I still cling to some small hope. I just pray our board have learnt their lesson and dont have another fire sale at the end of this season or things will just get worse again. We must keep hold of our better players for one year at least.

Daggs said...

The reality of the situation is, with the worst goal difference in the Div. we are effectively eleven points from safety! I can't see us making that up.
Anon makes THE most important point. We have to hold on to the players who have started to gel as a unit. Which won't be easy, as at least three are loans. If they go back, and those Charlton players who are showing a bit of (relative) form are sold. We may well find ourselves in a similar predicament in div. three.
Additionaly we have still failed to find ourselves a striker worth the name.

Barry (Wales) Addick said...

I was at the game yesterday - this is the first time I have watched Charlton for quite a few years. Swansea have a great passing game which was attractive to watch compared to our poor control, "route 1" style and although there seems to be some improvement, I cannot see how we can get out of this, so am resigned to League 1. The Radio Wales commentary claimed we frustrated Swansea but I felt frustrated by the play & commitment from us, although defence was great & midfield ok the lone strike force seemed lazy and ineffective (always looking for the easy free kick). However I do see some hope of a quick bounce back if Parky can build a team (similar to Swansea? Who huddled together at the start of the match and played with compassion, imagination and commitment) from a core that are willing to work for their pay and so are worthy to wear the shirt - slot in your favourite Charlton player - for me Matty Holland, who was fantastic for his 34 years and then made a point of appreciating (by mutual applause) the 600 odd away supporters who traveled to wonderful Wales.