Monday, 29 March 2010
How bizarre! This season is getting harder and harder to fathom. We drop to 5th despite a very decent point away from home, and yet more than a passing glance at the League One table indicates we are in an excellent position to make a strike for the second automatic promotion place: bizarrely, the best position we’ve been in for some months. With 8 games to go in the regular season, it looks like a lottery will decide who accompanies the hugely impressive Norwich back to the Championship automatically. Recent form may suggest Millwall, but to continue their equally impressive run until the end of the season is a big ask, meaning any form of slip up will undoubtedly leave things wide open for any of the 5 or 6 teams below the top two. It really could be anyone!
And all this potential excitement set against a back-drop of recent disappointments, feelings of frustration and that all-to-typical sense of impending Charlton self-destruction. Recent fan criticism of the team, leading to less than ideal goal celebratory gestures and public managerial laments, can’t be a good sign, surely? And yet, the unity of the players appears strong, as displayed on Saturday after going a goal down in a fortress-like stadium. Perhaps we’ve all got it wrong. Perhaps this is an Addicks side that are on the verge of ‘nipping over the finishing line’ in the most dramatic fashion possible. Perhaps not! The trouble is, I don’t really know what to expect anymore. As I’ve stated a number of times in previous posts, I have been left hugely disappointed in the last couple of months by the lack of a matchday sense of a promotion push in progress. Things have felt a little too 'mid-table' for my liking. But, when I allow myself to dream, I don’t have to stretch my imagination too far to see a glorious finish.
This weekend could prove immensely important for the Addicks (forgive me for stating the obvious). We face a crossroads: one route will carry on towards automatic promotion, and the other route will attempt to ensure a Play-Off place. In other words, we could be cautious on Saturday and consider it more important not to lose, or we could go to MK Dons searching for a win. I hope it’s the latter. Victory on Saturday would set things up very nicely for Monday’s tricky home game V’s Carlisle. And when it comes to putting runs together, I would argue that now is the absolutely right time to kick in to gear. I touched on Millwall’s great form earlier, and as impressive as it’s been, I do wonder, and obviously hope, that they have peaked too early and run out of stream. As tight as the division is, any side capable of putting a winning streak together could find themselves in charge of their own destiny quicker than I would have predicted a month back. Once again, how bizarre!
On the emotive subject of the current crop of loan players, and the question marks over their desire to succeed with Charlton, I don’t have any great concerns. Actually, I’m inclined to be more concerned about the incentives of those individuals who may be contracted to the club at present, but know only-to-well that they are unlikely to be here next season. None the less, what better incentive all round than the prospect of glorious promotion success on their CV or, perhaps better still, from a personal perspective, the chance to grace the home of football in a Play-Off Final in front of 60,000 plus fans.
I bought a lottery ticket Saturday, which proved unsuccessful. Tomorrow, I will head to The Valley to renew my season ticket, which is perhaps the greatest lottery of them all!
Come on you Addicks!