Sunday, 3 March 2013

Not Quite There.

Charlton Athletic - Burnley 1.

Another disappointing afternoon at the Valley.

Burnley were no great shakes and the game had 0-0 written all over it, as they say in pundit land.

Unfortunately, the team from the North West managed to produce the one piece of sublime skill that was on show all game, just a few moments before Half Time.

Charlie Austin really is a decent player and his rasping long shot was just the kind of Roy of the Rovers style screamer we all dreamt of scoring, when we first started playing.

From our seats in the East stand, we had the perfect view as it accelerated off his boot, leaving goalkeeper Button without any chance.

Up until the Burnley goal, Charlton had tried hard but nothing had come off.

Burnley had tried equally hard but other than getting the ball in the net, (long after a flag had been raised for offside), both teams had been playing out one of those encounters when you wished you hadn't made the decision to stop buying programmes as there was little to engross you on the pitch.

Once Burnley scored, the game became an example of Park the Bus.

For most of the second half, Burnley didn't even keep a player up front as they defended and defended against a tide of one way traffic.
At times, Charlton had 7 players in attack in a rather adventurous formation but the equaliser never arrived.

I'm sorry to have to report that while the effort could not be questioned, Charlton just didn't have the ability to unpick a defence who managed to block everything.

The tubby referee was particularly fussy and didn't help our cause one iota, slowing down and breaking up our attacks due to the opposition being breathed on or a Charlton player running what could be described as, "a bit close" to one of theirs but in the end, we just weren't good enough.

Losing to Burnley felt much worse than losing to Forest.
Forest were a class above us and it felt like an achievement to keep them to 2 goals, while also playing with only ten men.

Burnley were poor - but still able to exit the Valley with a fully merited 3 points.

I'm fully aware that Charlton Athletic as a business really didn't have any kind of funds to give Chris Powell last Summer, **when we could and should have been looking to push on from outclassing everyone else in League One.

While leaving the Valley yesterday, Crispy and I agreed that now we really are paying the price for not bringing in the 3 or 4 Championship quality players we need to succeed in this division.

I have nothing but admiration for our current squad - but in general they are just players who were good enough to win League One, (with ease). Now we do need a little extra to advance in the Championship.

Hopefully, the current crop will be good enough to maintain our Championship status and then maybe someone will find a bit of change behind the sofa in the close season, to finally get things going.

I'd just like to add one final thought.

I admit, I'm a huge fan of the boo.
I love a good boo at football.

What needs clarification at this point is I love a good boo at the officials when they've ballsed it up.

I'm most certainly not a fan of booing our own side, purely because they haven't manage to score some goals.

Booing your own team smacks of that 'entitlement' aspect of Modern Football that I hate.

Yesterday, nobody could question how hard our players were trying.
They would dearly love to have been 14 - 0 up at Half Time but obviously, this didn't happen.

Does anybody really think that players being told they're lazy and useless, (usually by some half drunk, out of breath, out of condition idiot in a too tight replica shirt), is going to improve their performance?

Those 'fans' who jeered the team off at Half Time need to take a good, hard, long look at themselves - then they can sod off and watch Crystal Palace.

After all, they're doing well at the moment, so their players obviously try harder, right?


Bob Miller said...

Good post Marco. While Charlton won League One, running away, I never got the feeling they were ever what one would call a dominant team, they simply used to win. The same manager, with many of the same players this year, employing the same strategies, is just managing to lose far too many times. Is Chris Powell a good manager? I don't think this season will prove it one way or the other as he tries to mould a difficult bunch into something positive. Give those four or five quality additions you mention, would definitely change the script dramatically. said...

I think our mate Pete is partly to blame for the Burnley goal, because it happen the VERY SECOND he got up to go to the gents. In fact, his departing form completely obsured the goal from my sight, so I appreciate reading your description of it (even if I wish most vehemently that the goal had never happened).
Thanks for your considered perspective on the game, as ever.