A home defeat! It’s been a while, but in all honesty, it doesn’t come as a surprise. It’s been on the cards for some time as we’ve teetered on the edge of games. Right from the off it felt like ‘one of those nights’ when every loose ball seem to fall to the opposition or 50-50 decisions seem to go against The Addicks. Added to the frustrations of bad individual decisions once again, the night was destined to be a disappointment. Of course, this is not by coincidence or bad luck entirely (or at all), and it is true that Orient thoroughly deserved the three points as their desire and effort was greater than ours: simple as that! Worryingly though, it’s beginning to look like when Bailey doesn’t play well, we don’t play well - a bit like Steven Gerrard at Liverpool. I’m a huge Semedo fan, but for the first time last night I wondered whether a player more comfortable with the football may take the pressure off Bailey a bit more in the middle of the park - perhaps a player like Matt Holland springs to mind, or a Matt Spring, perhaps! If Racon’s heads in the right place, perhaps he should be given another run? The trouble is, Semedo should be the man picking up the ball off the centre-backs with a view to feeding the more creative midfielders, but he hasn’t done that very well lately meaning Messrs. Dailly and Llera end up hoofing it forward too many times, by-passing the midfield with little end reward. A lack of left-sided balance is perhaps our biggest issue, especially as this would take the focus off of Sam and allow him a bit more freedom. Up front our problem is pace, which is not easily remedied if the personnel isn't available.
Good runs, or at least unbeaten runs, will come to an end (Norwich, Leeds and others are not exempt from this rule), and sometimes you have to take a step back to push forward again. That’s exactly what Charlton will have to do now and we’re more than capable. It's not like we're not use to knocks, after all. I have a work colleague who follows Leeds United and he's very concerned the FA Cup may have distracted his teams focus away from the league as he's seen Leeds slip away 'many times before'. But promotion is not won or lost in January, and nor does a bad performance make you a bad team overall. None the less, I have to go back as far as MK Don’s in mid-November for the last time I watched the Addicks with any real belief we could blow this division away. Games have been getting tighter and the frailties are more visible. Suspensions and injuries haven’t helped, but these are the cards you’re dealt so you have to deal with them. I have faith Phil Parkinson will do so.
Therefore, a calm and sensible response to this defeat is what’s required. Thankfully, we have a home game against Tranmere this Saturday, which represents a decent opportunity to get back to winning ways, especially with three tough away games looming directly after. In fact, I predict that two wins and two draws from our next 4 games, however tough a task that will be, would put us back on track to where I think we need to be to maintain an automatic promotion push.
By the way, I’m left footed, Mr. Parkinson!