There was a moment not long after City scored that pretty much summed up yesterdays inept performance for me. There were countless similar examples, but this one stood because it was right in front of the East Stand, just below where I sit. Johnnie Jackson, so often our talismanic leader stood just inside our half with the ball, a yard from the touchline. Just 3 or 4 yards deeper stood Harry Lennon. Johnnie looked up, shaped to pass forward, thought better of it, glanced sideways, then backwards, and under no pressure whatsoever, gently rolled the ball to Lennon.
At that point, I slumped in my seat and held my head...
There he was, a player with hundreds of league games under his belt and a legendary, well-earned reputation of driving Charlton on in times of need, passing the buck all-to-easily to a young lad with a handful of league games. Lennon was in an almost identical position to the skipper but was far less equipped to make something happen. Guess what? Harry lumped the ball up field towards Makienok and unsurprisingly possession was lost.
But Johnnie completed his pass, right? Can't blame him can we? Well, yes I do. I blame him for not taking responsibility. I blame him for choosing to offload the ball rather than try and force something. I blame him for not showing balls to take a chance. Jesus! Look what it's come to...me, one of Johnnie's biggest fans, having a dig at our skipper!
He's not alone. Pick out one Charlton player yesterday willing to gamble to make something happen?
Sometimes you need to stare failure in the face and embrace it as your biggest challenge. Yesterday we didn't just fail to rise to the challenge, we never even bothered taking it on.
And while I'm at it, I don't think we should interpret the 'Support The Team' mantra to mean we cannot offer individual criticism of players, the manager or his tactics either. I think that fact is lost on some fans if the fallout post-match is anything to go by.
Don't confuse honest and justifiable criticism with 'being negative' which 'will see us relegated' apparently! No...players not trying hard enough will see us relegated.
There is a right and wrong way to express your feelings, of course, and cheering young Fox off the pitch or sarcastically cheering a Makienok header is never going to help anyone. To use Meire's restaurant analogy, if you went out for a meal would you repeatedly put up with shit food just because you loved the restaurant? No, of course not, you'd complain to the chef.
If there was one Charlton player who can say they was happy with their performance then I'd be even more disappointed than I feel now.
And worst of all, Bristol City were rubbish!
As Meire's early January panic buys sat on the bench for 90mins, one of Karel Fraeye's main targets, playmaker Lee Tomlin, won the game for the visitors. As Mr. Duchatelet's network of coaches scour Europe to uncover hidden talent ready to fit seamlessly into Charlton's Championship team, good young players of Anglo-Saxon descent continue to slip under the radar. Players like Freeman, formally of Stevenage (heard of them Katrien?) who's passing and vision stood out for me in a very poor game.
Yesterdays' performance had all the hallmarks of the darkest days of messrs. Peeters, Luzon and Fraeye. Riga's new manager bounce deflated already.
One positive that deserves a mention was the billboard poster that appeared near the roundabout of Bugsby's Way and Anchor & Hope Lane. A throwback to the Back to The Valley campaign, it was a great move by CARD. Quite whether Meire will see it from her Ivory Tower is unclear, but even if she does, I doubt she'll give a shit. At the moment the club seem more intent on combating the protests rather than making any attempt to build bridges and heal wounds. I make it nearly two months since we last had a direct address from C.E.O to us
Charlton hit rock bottom in every respect yesterday, but thankfully at the time of writing this the BBC league table that appears on the side of my blog had not updated to show us in 24th place. On to Cardiff next week. It's the hope that kills you...