Sunday, August 11, 2013

twenty four hours later........

I honestly thought we would be pumped up and raring to go yesterday. An opening day defeat needed redressing, a natural high after midweek cup success, the first Valley league match of the season, all the ingredients were there, but we were poor. Poorer than poor at times.

I remember Solly turning and winning the ball on the touchline in front of the dugouts, I remember Gower making a solid and powerful tackle to thwart a Boro attack, two positives from ninety minutes. I remember plenty more, Kermorgant spending most the game on the deck, Morrison playing the ball sideways, backwards and always looking so uncomfortable, and I remember Sordell doing, well nothing really.

This was supposed to be the light at the end of the tunnel after a very tough week, I hadn't managed to get to the 4-0 drubbing of  Oxford United in the League Cup as I was stuck at work, no, this was my release of a week's worth of pent up aggression and disappointment. I boarded my train back to London Bridge in a far worse state that I had arrived in. We had been beaten by a team no better than ourselves, and a team that really didn't look like they wanted it that much either. And I had paid good money to feel this depressed.

The goal that won it for the visitors was soft, but more worryingly the build up had been equally soft. Poor clearances combined with a lack of communication, the third Saturday in succession that poor defending has been penalised.

And it's hard to see why. The defence is the one area that has been strengthened. Dervite has shown he's more than able at this level, Morrison, Cort, Wood and the full backs have all also proved themselves in the second tier, but we are playing like a team very low on confidence of their own ability, and this on the second week of the season!

The midfield is no better. Jackson started but obviously wasn't anywhere near ready only managing to last the first forty five. Why did the gaffer take this gamble? Is he not trusting enough of the rest of his squad? Stephens came on and showed a couple of moments of the promise he could posses but generally was as poor as Gower alongside him in the middle. Harriott ran at everyone but never knew what to do with the ball once beating his man while Danny Green just looked out of his depth.

Up front Kermorgant did his usual falling down and moaning when it wasn't going his way, his relationship with Sordell was non existent as if they'd only learnt each others names a few days ago. Oh hang on.....

Simon Church came on for Sordell and quite frankly couldn't have been less effective than the Bolton man if he'd tried. He ran a lot, chased lost causes but offered little in the great scheme of things.

Sure enough, as is the Charlton way of waiting until it's almost beyond us before having a go, a goal down and seventy five gone on the clock we had a little rally, a tiny little spell of pressure culminating in Green finding an opportunity but he took far too long to compose himself and wasted it. Just as we got this momentum Powell then made a double substitution and quashed it as quickly as it started. Lawrie Wilson came on alongside Church, you'd have to say looking at the player that married life agrees with him.

And so it fizzled out. As a spectacle it was abysmal, the world and it's dog are busy saying don't panic, we're only two games in but really, where do you see the improvement coming from? Harsh I may be but I think we are in for a much tougher ride this season than we were the last.

Sordell is on loan from a team in the same division, where will his loyalties lay? Church wasn't wanted by Reading, or Birmingham who gave him a trial, in fact a week before the season started he wasn't wanted by anyone. Now there is talk of resigning someone we didn't really want ourselves anymore in May. If I was Fuller I know exactly what I'd say to any job offer. It's hard to lay blame at the boss, he can only do his best but I do wonder how long even his infectious smile can keep geeing up a group of despondent footballers.

The post match beer at London Bridge really didn't promise much jollity. Even though the talk was diverted away from the match, the previous week's events fashioned forlorn conversation. Little did we know a group of lads and lasses from Wigan would befriend us. Drunk long before we met them, hat appreciation was the initial key and from then on we had our very own northern fan club. We certainly got the chance to finish the day with an unexpected good laugh.

In London, obviously, for today's Charity Shield match at Wembley, we asked one lad what his plans were for match day. His reply? "Avoiding the police." Top lad.

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