If I didn't know any better, I'd think Meire has been tapping away at her faulty abacus again (the same one that calculated that just 2% of us had the hump). One thing is for certain, if you exclude the 2,500 odd traveling Tractor Boys, then there was never 13,500 odd Addicks in the Valley on Saturday. I'd hazard a guess that it was well below 10k in the home areas, and with 10mins to go, I'd put that figure as low as 8k.
Sorry, Katrien, can you run through Target 20,000 again?
It was very disappointing to see Johann's comments in News Shopper this morning. If you've not seen them, they can be found here. Whether he misunderstood (or wasn't fully aware) of what the protest was for, my view is that it's an embarrassing reflection on Johann if he can honestly say that a peaceful protest staged in the 2nd minute of the game that lasted no more than a minute adversely effected his (or Charlton's) performance. It's certainly true that the stadium was drowning in a tsunami of apathy, but rather than criticise the fans for taking measures out of sheer desperation, how about looking up at the directors box for a change of attitude.
Might I also remind Johann that it is as much his job to produce a performance to lift the fans? We can' always rely on Johnnie...
Ironically, I didn't actually feel the protest had quite the effect I was anticipating. It was actually very difficult to make out the posters (see image above) and gauge it's impact, but one thing is for sure, it wasn't supported by many. The chap behind me, for example, put a very good case forward to support certain aspects of what Mr. Duchatelet was doing, although he did accept he needs to address his approach to the playing side of things and that Meire was woefully out of her depth and far too dismissive of genuine issues. Both of those points, by the way, form the bases of my concerns. Beyond that, we could be closer to a happy conclusion than you might think.
But sadly it's obvious that Mr. Duchatelet has no intention of picking a manager / head coach without whom there is already an established working relationship, and as such, I fully expect Fraeye to be given the job until the end of the season under the pretence that 'after a carefully considered search and detailed recruitment process, no suitable person has been found' followed by some ironic nonsense about 'stability during a difficult period'.
I like Fraeye; I think he speaks well and there is no question he's throwing his heart and soul into the job. I'll back him all day long for that. The big problem is, when wily old managers like Mick McCarthy roll into town with a team that is, on paper, no more impressive than ours, there is a high probability we'll get turned over. With all due respect, has Fraeye got the depth to his tactical nous to compete in the Championship long-term? Maybe a good addition to a back-room staff. Imagine him and a Mick McCarthy together and you're not far off, right?
Therefore, it appears we will continue to amble aimlessly, winning the odd game here and there, but will inevitably lose more. Mid-table is a distant dream at the moment. Once again, I am left hoping there are three teams worst than us come 5pm, Sat 7th May.
Nothing to suggest the apathy will lift any time soon then...