Sunday, 21 October 2012

You Get What You Pay For?

Charlton Athletic 0 - Barnsley 1.

Charlton Athletic as a business made a decision that was essentially found to be a flop yesterday.

The (approx) 11,000 Season Ticket holders were joined by another 15,000 who were keen enough to show up on a cut price ticket, only to be instructed exactly why they're probably better off spending their time elsewhere on a Saturday.

It was a fantastic achievement by the club to fill the ground but as ever, the end product was poor.
I don't imagine many of those 'floating' supporters would have suddenly become die hard Addicks on the strength of yesterdays performance.

Having said all that, I don't give two hoots about the Johnny Come Lately bunch.
They show up for a Fiver every now and again, make the place look busy, then return to their regular Saturdays at Bluewater or Homebase.

I'm more concerned about the rest of us who'll be at the Valley regardless of how the team are performing, or indeed, (shudder), what division.

Barnsley were the better side yesterday.

Had Charlton managed to get anything from the game, it would have been a robbery.
The midfield looked week and there was little spark or enthusiasm about Charlton's play.

The crowd may as well have stayed at home.
Perhaps the watering down of the regulars with the many thousands of day trippers had an effect but even the Upper North were rarely in full voice.

The majority of the noise being made was coming from the visitors section.
They must have been amazed.

"We're playing Charlton.
At the Valley.
They've got their biggest crowd of the season.
Why are they all chewing toffees?"

A dull first half ended with local Olympic hero Gemma Gibbons being interviewed on the pitch.
The poor girl was made to lie through her teeth by proclaiming she had 'enjoyed' the first half.

The second half was more of the same with just a few changes of personnel.
Razak, who I thought had played well, was withdrawn so that Jackson could come into midfield and BWP came on up front instead of Hollands, again in midfield.

The two forwards made us look more like a 'home' team but nothing really changed.

Barnsley scored a peach of a goal.
Green made a fly weight attempt at a challenge and suddenly the ball was in the back of the net.

Charlton never really looked much like scoring, especially when the referee started to break down our attacks.
He became quite infuriating.

I'm not pretending that Charlton weren't fouling as the team certainly were.
What was very annoying was the man in black became eagle eyed when it was a player in red who was making the errant challenge but suddenly resembled Stevie Wonder when the reds were on the receiving end.

Charlton gave away needless free kicks when players were so angry at not getting what they certainly deserved, they then made poor challenges themselves within seconds.

At times, it really did seem as if the ref had a bet on to see how many players he could wind up.
He certainly wound up everyone near me.

It wasn't the officials fault that Charlton were 1-0 down though.
The players have to hold their hands up and claim responsibility for that.
Poor play allied to very little enthusiasm just didn't cut it.

Towards the end of the game, Fuller went off injured and as Pritchard had earlier arrived in place of Green, all 3 subs had already been used.

Oddly, when down to 10 men, Charlton enjoyed their best period of the game.

A goal mouth scramble ended with Barnsley keeping the ball out but many in the ground felt sure the ball had gone extremely close to crossing the line.
It was impossible to tell from my angle but of course the Wishful Thinking attitude had me and everyone around claiming a goal!

What was not open to debate was the way Chris Solly was clattered as he pulled his foot back to shoot on goal.
Stevie Wonder was quite close to the action and very theatrically motioned that the defender had won the ball.
He may well have done but he had to go through Solly to get there, from behind.

We all know it would have been a penalty up the other end and we'd have been cursing our player for making such a ridiculous challenge in the penalty area.

Barnsley got away with one there.

The game ended with a whimper, we all trudged out safe in the knowledge it'll be much easier to get to the toilets and buy a half time drink next time.

Other than lamenting Charlton's dire performance, there was only one talking point after the game.

Depending upon where your seat was, people were either 100% sure 'it was a pen' or said that it certainly looked like one but they'd have to see it again on the highlights to be sure.

Well done BBC Football League Show!
What a useless bunch of (polite editing) Wallys.

Of course, the one incident we all desperately wanted clearing up wasn't even mentioned.


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