Monday, 5 January 2015

Charlton 1 - 2 Blackburn

I have to be honest and say that this result is hardly unexpected, nor, in truth, disappointing.

We have failed to progress in any Cup competition for nine years - save for last season, when the draw was very, very kind to us and even then we were knocked out by a team from the division below. We didn't play a team last season that finished above us in the league the season before so it has to be said that it was the draw that helped us last season.

In truth, I believe that we played out best team yesterday. We have a small squad and a number of injuries and at no point did I think we should have beaten a Blackburn side (squad) that was assembled at much greater cost than ours - and that we'd lost to just a couple of weeks ago.

Interestingly, I didn't think we played that badly. The unmarked header in the third minute set us up for a bit of a struggle, bearing in mind we do not score many goals and our top scorer was not playing. Having said that it has been a long time since we've scored many goals. Take out our League One Championship season (the third division) and we haven't been a high scoring team for well over a decade.

I have had a hectic weekend so I'm writing this after most other bloggers, and members of Charlton Life, have had their say. The general feeling is that we are in trouble and we will, soon, be falling into a relegation fight. I believe that our back bone is strong enough. We don't win enough games, but we are clearly tough to beat too. We have only lost five games all season, in the league, out of twenty-four played.

The current league position of those five teams (Ipswich have beaten us twice) is 1st, 2nd, 2nd, 9th and 17th - and only one of those games was at home. That doesn't look like a team that is heading for relegation to me.

If we were in the Premier League that would be like having lost at Chelsea, home and away to Man City, away to Swansea and away to WBA - the last one doesn't have the same relevance as 17th in the Championship is not 4th from bottom, but the three defeats being to the top two should offer some defence of our results.

We do draw too many games but, as obvious as it is, we didn't lose them, and we were only one goal away from winning them.

I think there is, sometimes, an issue with losing few games that the team becomes obsessed with not losing opposed to gambling/risking all to win.

It was only Boxing Day that we came from behind with ten men to batter Cardiff and almost win the game. We had good chances to score late goals against Millwall and Cardiff, and we have conceded late goals in several games to drop points.

I know luck doesn't mean everything, but we have conceded late goals and missed late chances in at least half a dozen games, jet we have only scored a late winner once - Wigan at home.

I'm not suggesting that we are unlucky to be out of the playoff places, but I don't believe that we are in a higher position that we deserve to be. The fact that we have picked up more points in the early part of the season is, to a small degree, irrelevant. Since we beat Reading on the 8th of November we have drawn four (two where we missed a sitter very late on and one where we conceded very late on) and two of those three defeats were to Ipswich who are currently on a run of 8 wins and three draws in 11 games - no shame there!

We need a lucky win, or a confidence boost from Tony Watt and/or players returning from injury - or a win against the run of play and we could be back in business. I'm not suggesting that we are going to climb the table, but I don't think we will be caught by anything like enough teams to leave us in any real trouble of going down.

After going a goal behind early I thought we dominated the game and created most of the chances (all be it nor clear cut) in the first half. The equaliser, even though it would be a stretch to say it had been coming, was not against the run of play. I am worried about Gudmundsson. He signed a two year deal and he keeps hitting the headlines. I'm not naive, I know that players like him come over to the Championship as a stepping stone to the Premier League, and I fear that he could be off in the sumner if he makes it clear he won't sign an extension.

After the equaliser we were, effectively, penalised as Church was treated for, what looked like cramp, and from a drop ball we didn't touch the ball again until we were picking it out of the net. It was not, terribly, professional, but we all have the odd bad day at the office.

The sending off for what looked like a very fair second yellow - even though I had missed the first one, effectively finished the game.

Gudmundsson, who was on a yellow was throwing himself into tackles and he needed to come off and that was that.

A defeat, but we were not humiliated, and we have such a small squad we didn't need the extra games that come with a cup run anyway.

I don't fell as encouraged a I did after we narrowly lost to Ipswich, nor as I did when we nearly beat Cardiff, but it isn't the first time we've gone out of a cup looking like we didn't really want to be in it in the first place.

Brighton next Saturday is a much bigger game and will, I believe, give a much better indication as to where we are in terms of the second half of the season we are going to have.

Up the Addicks!


oligab said...

Thank you Kings hill !
Just as I see it , most other bloggers seem ready to slash their wrists , this time last year we were bottom or their abouts and playing awful football, we have been unlucky in some of our recent games and do need our luck to turn and the confidence to come back , hopefully a good win on Saturday a few new faces and the glass is 1/2 full. again.

Chicago Addick said...

Welcome back KH.