Sunday, 11 October 2009

Charlton 0 - 0 Oldham

I thought I'd wait until this morning as I was just way to angry yesterday. Now that I look back I'm not sure quite what I was angry about.

Oldham came with a game plan and as the game went on they became more and more obsessed with not conceding a goal. I can't really complain about that, after all we have done that in the past, and it is the responsibility of the 'better' team to break down their opponents. I suspect that after the start we've had, and the press coverage we've been afforded there are a lot of sides that will be happy with a 0-0 at The Valley.

If you have real aspirations of finishing top two you need to be looking to win at The Valley. However, if you are happy to accept a playoff place then a draw at The Valley (and Elland Road for that matter) must be considered a good result.

So why was I so angry? Well, I felt that this was a game that we needed to win; I felt that this was a game that, on the day, we should have won; and it is definitely two points dropped.

I know we have had a shortage of quality upfront, but for me, yesterday was the straw that broke the camel's back for Izale McLeod. Granted he scored a goal against Exeter, but it was a rebound when the goalkeeper pushed it into his feet and was on the floor, six yards out. He did score against Barnet, but it was a rubbish shot (I was right behind him) and without the lucky deflection would never have gone in. Yesterday, however, he missed two chances that would have made a massive difference to our season. They were terrible misses. An open goal with a simple header and he missed the target then a gift of a ball from Racon for a one on one with the 'keeper all over the place and he screwed it wide.

Here, I'll say it, no one else seems to want to. Izale McLeod is not a goal scorer. He has fantastic pace, although he often has no idea how to use it, but the truth is that he is just not good enough in front of goal to ever be considered a professional striker. I can't help wondering how many divisions we would have to fall through for him to be good enough. The true answer must be irrelevant. If he cannot hit the target with the 'keeper off his line from six yards I guess it doesn't matter who the opposition are. I suspect that he could play in his garden on his own and still miss sitters from six yards out.

That is why I'm so angry. I'm angry that we paid £1.15m for a player that isn't good enough for the third division. I'm angry that we're paying the donkey hundreds of thousands of pounds a year when we are in real financial trouble. Worst of all, however, Parkinson is praising him for now having a good attitude. For such a limited player on such massive wages I cannot see any justification for his attitude not always being fantastic. I'm no footballer at all, but you just cannot grasp how good my attitude would be if I was given a contract on several thousand pounds a week to work part-time (by comparison to normal working hours) playing football.

I begin to wonder what world these footballers think they live in.

Anyway rant over, and I have probably been a bit over the top, but as I thought Tuna was by far the better of the two on Tuesday night and McLeod has failed to hit the target from good positions in two games in our recent run that, had he scored, would have turned draws into wins I am ready to condemn him to the scrap heap as far as Charlton are concerned. Maybe we should put him out on loan to a Sunday under 9 side. I suspect he would still not know when and where to make his runs, and he would probably still miss open goals, but at least he would be out of sight for us Charlton fans.

McKenzie, on the other hand looked like he has a lot to offer. With our shortage upfront I think we are going to have to rely on him in the coming weeks.

On the whole we failed to perform and didn't lose. We are still without Semedo, and Sam and Richardson were clearly not fully fit. Sadly it is clear that we have been found out. A suggestion by a controversial commenter on the email list called for us to make a change for this very reason before we played Colchester. With three league games without a goal and now just one win in six it is becoming difficult to deny his foresight.

Without a win soon the debate about our start will open again. Did Parkinson build a side and system that got us off to a flying start, or were the players at his disposal going to win those games in spite of, rather then because of, his management.

I'm still keen to give Parkinson the benefit of doubt, but the start we've had has built up expectation that makes one win in six just not good enough. Next up Huddersfield, who thrashed Exeter 4-0 yesterday, and are still on the hunt for a top two finish. Assuming they don't come to grind out a 0-0 we will have to be prepared properly or we could lose our unbeaten home record, and probably second place in the division.

Just a quick mention for Oldham. They really did make it difficult for us yesterday and if they are a good example of what's to come we really are going to have to raise our game if we are going to win automatic promotion.

Over to you Parkinson?

Up the Addicks!


Anonymous said...

Well said KHA

McLeod clearly isn't good enough for us and should be loaned out. I must admit I thought McKenzie made a difference for the short while he was on. Parkinson seems to have a fixation in playing the same squad even when some are not necessarily fit enough and I believe this will be our downfall over the next 2 months. Shelvey looked poor yesterday and shouldn't be guaranteed an automatic place in the team, he must earn it like everyone else.

If we slip to mid-table by Christmas with poor performances then Parkinson will probably go.

Phil said...

Totally agree KHA and your comments are not OTT in any way. The guy's awful and looked as if he'd never played football before. His air shot was an indication of things to come. He made his name in tier 4 and that's the level he needs to sink to before he scores, hopefully, he'll not be taking us with him.
I was close to walking out when he missed the open goal yesterday. No CAFC player has ever made me feel like that before !

Anonymous said...

Some players from a lower division make it and some don’t. He won’t. You can see that. We have a history of strikers who continue to play well after their sell by date because the manager thinks they make a lot of effort or some such rubbish. With only two recognized proven strikers –both of whom are terribly injury prone - we cannot afford to rely on another Lisbie or Leaburn.

I can also understand why PP does not want to play youngsters such as Tuna who although i thought he improved from a decidedly shaky start- looked very naive against Barnet the other night.

I can also understand why PP wants to keep a settled side even if there are injuries. We do not have the backup that’s why. This is the team, He knows that the best winning formula is one where a team plays together week in week out. If you can do that and they gel you are well on your way to doing something half decent – they develop a knowledge about each other and the trainers strategy. Trouble is as injuries and heavier winter pitches start to take their toll reserves are required that can slot into that formula and its not easy and in our case not possible as we do not have the experience and talent that is required in reserve. I know its obvious and its that simple.

ChicagoAddick said...

"No CAFC player has ever made me feel like that before!"

Pleeeeease, how long you been going? Players need backing not slating, something PP is doing that Pardew didn't, and Curbs wasn't particularly good at. Don't get me wrong, I agree that his goal on Tuesday was very lucky, but I still think he has a place as an impact player but except at 1.15m and about 6k a week, it ain't good enough but it is the cards we have been dealt.

Be interested to see/hear more about McKenzie and it is time for PP to rethink his strategy.

Wyn Grant said...

Thank goodness we do have a largely settled side. It's a great improvement on Pardew's tinkerman strategy.

Kings Hill Addick said...

I agree with what you're saying CA but he has really struggled and we cannot have a striker that needs so many chances to score as we don't create enough chances.

I have nothing against the guy personally, he didn't decide his transfer fee and we can hardly blame him for wanting a high salary, but I have completely lost faith in his ability.

I geuinely hope that he proves me wrong, but I just can't see it now and I worry that we are losing points when he fluffs chances at crucial times in games.

On a slightly seperate note he is a great goal scorer on FIFA 10 on the PS3. ;-)

Marco. said...

Unfortunately, I fear that McLeod is becoming that unfortunate character, the scapegoat.
He didn't decide he was worth 1.5 million - we paid a fortune for him when to my memory, there wasn't anyone else bidding for him.
Like Luke Varney, if we'd got him for £100,000 we wouldn't expect so much and perhaps he would be playing without carrying the piano of expectation on his back.
Like Lisbie,Varney, Leaburn and Rommedal,- McLeod is suffering from the general moaning before he makes a mistake which doubles in volume when he actually makes one.
I agree that Izale has probably had enough chances to show what he can do but to his credit, he keeps popping up in positions in order to miss the chances! He doesn't hide.
I'm as guilty as the next man when it comes to groaning. Despite that, I truly want Izale to succeed every time he pulls on a Charlton shirt.
Let's encourage him.

sm said...

Difficult although it is to believe McLeod has scored lots of goals before. It is also noteworthy how many of our strikers manage to start scoring again once they leave the club. Aside from the formation - will someone tell the wingers that 4-5-1 is only an attacking formation when they get forward - one wonders what they are doing in coaching.

Anonymous said...

On Saturday, how many times was the ball played into the opposition box when there was only one Charlton player there? I counted 12.

Anonymous said...

Jonjon Shelvey is in fact 38 years of age - discuss..?