Sunday, 1 February 2015

Charlton 1 - 1 Rotherham

I didn't go yesterday. I didn't have something else on - like a wedding or a party - I just didn't fancy it. It's the first time for over 30 years that I've chosen not to go to a home game. It wasn't something that I planned, and it wasn't a protest, I just woke up on Saturday morning and didn't want to watch us play.

I have had more engaging and less engaging times over the last 30 years. I have been obsessed about Charlton for much of that time and until the internet came along (with almost infinite stuff to read) I used to read everything that was written about our club.

In recent months I have found that I don't have the time to read all the blogs and the club website and all the threads on Charlton Life, but I've still read a lot. Strangely I haven't lost interest in reading about us, and I've started to write more here again. I just don't think the football on offer is sufficiently enjoyable to do the two hour round trip in the car and sit in the cold for two hours.

In my defense (if I need one) my Dad is away on holiday and my son (who has been coming since the start of the season) would rather do something else just at the moment.

I have always cherished the time I spend with my Dad and I make the trip longer by driving out of my way to pick him up on the way to The Valley so that we can chat in the car. I suspect that his absence was a major factor, but He has always spent about ten weeks away in the winter and I've never missed a game before.

Anyway I failed to do anything useful while we were playing. I watched Sky Sports News and kept up with the match thread on Charlton Life. It, actually, felt like an away game as this is what I normally do when we are away. I had been glad for two away games in succession as I'd been very disheartened after Brighton and the debacle that was described as an appointment process. Giving the job to the man that was boasting a month before that he was going to get it all seemed a little predictable. It wasn't helped by the club pretending that he stood out as the best candidate after getting twenty applications.

Anyway that's all water under the bridge. Talking of the bridges, missing the Charlton game meant that I was able to watch the 'Premier League Title Decider' early evening. Weirdly I really enjoyed the game. I would have preferred it had City won, but a draw was enough to keep the title interesting, and I'm not really a fan of either of these two sides.

This afternoon I watched the second half of Southampton v Swansea. Both sides reminded me of what we used to be a decade (or slightly more) ago. There are fine margins in football and had we just survived by the skin of our teeth in 2007 we might just have still been there now. Stoke managed to change their manager and stay up.  Even more water under the bridge.

I wasn't at the game and as most of you reading this probably were I'll not talk about it too much, save to say that I was surprised that we scored. Not terribly excited, which is another worrying fact, but of more concern was that I wasn't surprised, not disappointed, when we conceded.

In fairness it will take a few weeks for Luzon to instill his beliefs into the team and maybe we will learn not to sit back and invite pressure. I also think that Jackson is the spine of the team. Most clubs have a spine of goalkeeper, center half, Midfielder and striker. We have Jackson. When he doesn't play the team is a lot more that one eleventh short of it's best. If Luzon does get the chance to bring in another player or two, and if Jackson can stay fit and have a decent run in the side then I think we will get some wins and climb away from the bottom three.

Those new players are going to have to be the right characters though. For all their talent I don't think that Ben Haim or Bikey are the right characters. Chris Solly is a great footballer but he is not a leader of men, and the rest of the squad is either foreign and only here for one season or too young to be expected to take on the job of leading from the front. The foreign players are not used to the English game and until they have learned that they will be 'passengers' when it comes to getting stuck in and showing, by example, how to do so.

The rumors about players are not very reassuring. I would like to see someone of real quality on loan from the Premier League, or someone with decent Championship experience. I have little confidence that we will get either but we will know by the time I go to bed tomorrow.

With the way I feel at the moment I will be passing on the Norwich game, and will probably not bother with Brentford either. By then we will have played another three games and Luzon will have been in charge for five (or six) games (depending on if you include Watford without a work permit). We then have two away games, Wigan, where I went last season to see us lose with two late goals, and Derby where I would rip your arm off for a draw.

Then we face Huddersfield in front of a bumper crowd coming to see football for a fiver. However, on the bases that I am going to not turn up for three games when, with a season ticket, it is free it does question the value of watching the dross we've been serving up if you have to pay £5 for it!

That is a make or break game in my view. I will, no doubt, be there because my Dad will be back, but with the Terriers having Chris Powell in charge, and with a big crowd present a defeat could cause a riot. It's not as though it would be the first time fans had rioted against the mis-management of a club by M. Duchatelet.

In the meantime Mr Luzon, you have five games to earn our trust. Good luck with that!

Up the Addicks!