Sunday, 4 January 2015

Charlton Apathetic...

I got back from a family Christmas holiday in Lanzarote in the early hours of Saturday morning, and if I'm honest, I could have well done without a trip to the Valley yesterday. Trading sunshine and 22 degrees of heat for grey skies, rain and freezing temperatures done little to lift my spirits. None the less, as always, I took my seat at the Valley hoping that the 'magic of the cup' would efface my apathetic mood. I should have known better. It was obvious even before Blackburn scored their opening goal after just 4 minutes that Charlton were not up for it.

I've been watching football long enough to recognise an inharmonious team, and it's my view that Charlton's current problems run deeper than a dip in form, tired legs and a growing injury list. Sometimes there's just no hiding the obvious and from the outset Charlton looked worryingly disinterested and not so much disorganized but rather a team not convinced by the system they were being asked to play. The body language of the players spoke volumes at times as they looked to quickly shift blame for each individual mistake. Our talismanic leader, Johnnie Jackson, looked the most frustrated as if he knew he had been thrown into battle surrounded by players who didn't care as much as they should have. I felt sorry for him; he deserves better. We all do.

Gudmundsson's brilliant free-kick equaliser on 55 mins was the only plus of a woeful performance. We celebrated the goal whilst quietly fearing a replay as I doubt anyone really felt we would kick on for the winner. Unsurprisingly, just 4 minutes later Blackburn got their winner and hit cruise control for the remainder of the game. At times the manor in which Blackburn passed the ball around uncontested was nothing short of embarrassing and yet it evoked no reaction from Charlton whatsoever.

Charlton accepted defeat far too easily. I can't accept that.

In the league our form is more relegation than promotion and we are now worryingly closer to the bottom 3 than the play-off places. I'm looking down nervously rather than up and I resent that after such a promising start to the season when Peeters new-look Charlton filled us all with hope.

We are a poor reflection of the team that started the season so brightly. Why? Yes we are short of squad  numbers, but you might have thought that would have created a siege mentality rather than a group of men who look like they would much rather be somewhere else.

Speculation that Big Bob has lost (or is losing) the dressing room gathers momentum and yesterday's performance has done little to quell those rumours. Why that would be the case I just don't know, but Big Bob strikes me as a man who hasn't quite grasped when to speak and when to keep his thoughts to himself. His press conferences lay testament to that. Perhaps his style of man-management might be rubbing one too many players up the wrong way. Who knows?

Of course, I could have read this all wrong, and God knows I hope so. Maybe yesterday was simply a very bad day at the office and come Monday morning the players will be focused on putting it right against Brighton. Nothing would give me greater pleasure if I'm left feeling that I might have over-exaggerated the extent of the problems come 5pm next Saturday.

Above all else I want to believe that when a player puts on a Charlton shirt he does so with a desire to fight tooth and nail for my club. That never happened yesterday. It needs to happen against Brighton or I will begin to brace myself for a very nervy end to the season.

No comments:

Post a Comment