I can only hope that some time in the not-to-distant future, when we're languishing in mid-table mediocrity in League One, struggling to get a foothold in another tough, uncompromising division Duchatelet has woefully underestimated, that him and the embarrassingly naïve Meire both eventually reflect on evenings like last night with deep regret. If ever there was a lamentable sign of the times, this was it.
Bolton Wanderers, a financial shambles of a club that's very future is in serious question, should have been easy fodder, even for us. Players unpaid again, bottom of the league, lowest goal scorers...etc You might imagine their players would be demotivated and demoralized. In reality, they looked far hungrier than our rudderless, worn-out, threadbare squad.
The game lacked quality all over the pitch. It was a poor example of a football match from two sides facing down the barrel of a gun.
Despite the unexpected surprise of a first minute goal and another on 26 mins, Charlton failed to take any form of control and with a mixture of truly embarrassing defending, poor decision making and tired passing, it was only a matter of time before Bolton got back in the game. Lookman's brace almost forgotten as the team trudged off, heads down, at half time. The Valley faithful struggling to hold back their anger.
Apparently there was 12,294 inside The Valley last night. My best guess would be nearer 8,000. The image above was taken 10 mins before kick off. I know the club must include season ticket holders who, for whatever reason, don't attend, but a 'true' figure of attendance should be printed as well, if only to embarrass the breathtakingly ridiculous Target 20,000 that Meire will undoubtedly persist with. I shake my head every time I think about it. Laughable!
Duchatelet's immense stubbornness and Meire's naivity is killing this great club. I feel angry, but not in a way that wants to fight. It's a feeling that I've had enough. I'm fed up with feeling so negative about something I have given everything to for years and years. It's not good for you to feel that way.
Thankfully, I miss the next two home games as I'm away with the family over Christmas and New Year. I can count on two hands the total of home games I've missed in the last two decades, but it will be the first time in 21 years I have missed back-to-back games. At this point, I see it as a blessing: an enforced hiatus, if you will. My only regret is Duchatelet already has my money as a season ticket holder, so despite my empty seat, and my boy's next to me, Roland and Katrien will not care.
But that's what comes when generating a level of income is more important than ambition.
By the time I return I fully expect us to be cut well adrift in the bottom three, and....Fraeye to have been appointed full time. Lets not kid ourselves, Fraeye is going nowhere despite the poor results. Charlton's lack of managerial direction, ability and experience the very reason we're in this mess.