Well, that's that then.
I do hope that Doncaster are a really good footballing team because if they are not we are truly rubbish.
They passed the ball around us all night. They looked (or we made them look) like Manchester United. Some of the free flowing football was sublime. It reminded me of us in the first half of last season. Sadly, for them, they seemed to lack that cutting edge like we did in those, now memorable, days of being in the top two of the Championship.
I guess we need to acknowledge that Doncaster have been on a magnificent run which would give them confidence, and I doubt it helped our cause that we actually started the game with five central midfielders and a centre forward that looked every bit the non-league footballer that he was just half a dozen starts (for us) ago.
I am angry and I am upset, and for that reason I am probably not going to be looking for positives like I have been trying to do in the last couple of weeks. I must point out though that the obvious, as already mentioned by Dave Peeps is that Parkinson's results do not stand up to any kind of scrunity. Despite the fact that he has a reputation for signing decent players that go on to improve, he has actually only signed two players on permanent terms for us, Matthew Spring, for whom the jury is still out, and Dion Burton who can't possibly be expected to improve much as he is already 32 years old. All the other players are loans, and they are unlikely to stay if we manage the miracle of staying up, never mind if we are relegated. So we have blown another small fortune on someone elses players in the second half of the season without managing the desired success.
When Pardew left the league table looked a little like this:
Pos Team Pld GD Pts
16 Barnsley 18 -4 21
18 Blackpool 18 -7 21
19 Norwich 18 -5 20
20 Southampton 18 -10 19
21 Watford 18 -4 18
22 Charlton 18 -10 16
23 Doncaster 18 -15 13
24 N. Forest 18 -13 12
Now after Parkinson has been in charge for 17 games (one less than Pardew managed) it looks like this:
Pos Team Pld GD Pts --- Pts and GD change during Parkinson's reign
14 Doncaster 35 -9 46 --- 33 +6
18 N. Forest 36 -12 40 --- 28 +3
19 Watford 34 -6 39 --- 21 -2
20 Barnsley 34 -12 39 --- 18 -8
21 Blackpool 36 -15 39 --- 18 -8
22 Southampton 35 -15 37 --- 18 -5
23 Norwich 36 -9 36 --- 16 -4
24 Charlton 35 -22 27 --- 11 -12
I think that says it all really.
Clearly we have not all played the same number of games in that period, but there is no doubt that Parkinson's reign is an unmitigated disaster - even when you take into account my terrible formatting. Believe me it was all set out nicely when I had finished before I published it!
Where do we go from here? I don't know. Parkinson has now been given enough games that he cannot better Pardew's last 18 games with his first 18; he has been given support in the transfer market; he has had the January transfer window; he has been allowed to bring in a total of six loan players, along with two permanent signings. That's a total of 8 players and tonight we started with five central midfielders.
Relegation is bad enough, but we will almost certainly finish bottom. How much worse can it get? Sadly I fear the next few months may just provide the answer to that question.
Up the Addicks!