Saturday, 2 October 2010

Parkies Boys Buzzed

We have been waiting for performances and results to match, but we did not expect that to materialise with the performance being poor and the result being unacceptable, against the bottom of the table team. Brentford, Tranmere and Dagenham & Redbridge - bottom of the table clubs, we cannot expect to get even a play off place if we do not take maximum points from clubs of this level.

As an advocate of Parkie, I have backed the manager since his original temporary appointment.  He now  has, for the first time, a team that he can truly call his own. Curbishley used to say that after 10 games you can judge how a season will go. We have reached that stage now and for a club for whom promotion is not only desirable but has a survival imperative, our current position, outside the top 6 and playing poorly is not acceptable.
Parkie talks of a geling period and without doubt, unless you are really lucky, a new team takes time to gel. Last season we were lucky and a relatively new team put together a series of record breaking results.  This season we have failed to find a cohesive team and formation. Detractors of Bailey, Burton and Sam may now be wondering just how wrong they may have been, certainly I would like some of the passion that Bailey showed and I never thought I would regret his departure.

I cannot say I am too keen on Parkies blasé attitude towards his sending to the stands and two match ban. How can the players be expected to show authority (however wrong the authority maybe) respect if the manager treats them with contempt. Instead of using the penalty decision to ensure a seat in the stands, Parkie should have been able to send out a team fired up and ready to take on the opposition and referee through the quality of their play and the desire to put a wrong right and send the fans home singing, not scowling.

We may have had a lot of poor decisions from the officials, however Parkie has focussed on this too much - poor decisions happen, as the author of Dr Kish has pointed out to me recently, we have also had decisions go for us, but we are fans and we have selective myopia. Parkie cannot influence referees decisions after they have been made, but instead of letting the players feel sorry of themselves, he needs to motivate players using every bad decision ever given against them - Right the wrong, don't bemoan the past.

I'm listening to Parkie on the radio and he is saying that the players did not come out for the first half with the right attitude, he says that the players have let "us" down, but for me the management team have let "us" down by allowing a team to come out with anything other than the right attitude. BBC London have criticised him for putting all the blame on the players and I have to say I feel that Parkie and his management team should be holding their hands up and taking a hefty level of responsibility.

Tuesday sees us appear on Sky for the second time and viewers will wonder what happened to the fight that they saw at Orient, not that many weeks ago but none will be wondering more than Charltons own fans. We have to play 6 regular players in the JPT and I expect Dailly to make his return for match practice. I would like to say we should rest players to protect them from injury prior to Plymouth, but in all honesty there is not a single player that I feel we would miss if he got injured for Plymouth.

If we had won today we would be sitting third a point outside the play offs, with the momentum behind us for Plymouth who lost at home today,instead we face the real prospect of facing league leaders Brighton in 2 weeks time on the back of a run of 3 defeats in a row, inc JPT.

I was not at Brentford today so I won't pontificate on what went wrong, however the gel period is over ten games is sufficient for 75% geling, so now is the time for Parkie to get it right and that is a comment from a friend, god knows what the Parkie haters are saying.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

Seasons comparison after MK Dons

Comparisons can be misleading, on the one hand if you follow the famous Dick Shephards same time last year comparison of the nine games so far things do not look too good.

Three wins down, two losses up and short of 9 goals, despite 4 new strikers since then. Of course, then we were on a record run that gave Parkie a record never achieved by a Charlton manager before. That form raised our expectations, but it soon petered out and after a difficult post Christmas period we held onto 4th and the rest is history.

Hopefully this season we are starting slow and our momentum will increase till we come up on the rails for promotion in May. Despite the moans and groans, and to be fair the performances that have left a bit to desire, when compared to the similar matches last season things are not too bad as we trail by only two points. Personally, I would expect us to beat a bottom of the table team on Saturday, which would put us back on par, followed by Plymouth when we should see the return of Christian Dailly. Of course, I am the eternal optimist and we could also be 6 points off par by the time Brighton come to play.

Girls, Girls, Girls

It's a while since I have written about Charltons Women or even on a wider scale womens football or an even wider scale women in sport. I think it maybe partly from the embarrassment last season of a few days after the defeat at the Den, sneaking back and watching Englands Women defeat Spains Women 1-0, on their victorious road to the world cup finals next year. I was ready over the next few days to answer anyone who had noticed me there with, "No you must be mistaken, I was in a gay bondage bar." Infinitely less embarrassing than being in the Den voluntarily not watching Charlton.

Although still criminally under exposed, women's sport in Britain, appears to be in the fullest of health. Women's Cricketers are on top of the world having won the 2009 world cup, the rugby team were beaten world cup finalists and the GB Hockey team picked up their first ever medal – a bronze – in the recent world cup.

I first watched womens football at the Valley, when the England team took on Croatia in a friendly, subsequently I watched a few Charlton Womens matches when they were played at the Valley, in fact I watched them before they were reincarnated from Croydon Ladies, at the Croydon sports arena. I habe a photo of me with Casey Stoney – current England player and former Charlton captain and the media darling when an anti Charlton spokesperson was being sought following the disbandment of the Ladies after male relegation.

Charltons women were initially run separately from the club set up and separate sponsors were sought for them and through Alan Mercer – "Merc" to his mates, , Footdown came forward. Latter it is alleged that pressure was put on Footdown to give up sponsorship so that the mens sponsors could be rolled over onto the women, so to speak!

But now its has gone a full circle, Paul Mortimers team play in a kit supplied by Macron but the design is different from the men's team and KRBS, have probably, decided that they have plunged too much money into the club and a fans company has picked up the womens shirts. Stephen King – hopefully not the author –has already been a sponsor of Casey through his company PHSC Plc. So now the gap between the Womens team and the Mens team is complete, different owner ship (the women's team is part of the community scheme), their own website, different league, different kit and different sponsors. It's a shame because I used to enjoy the Valley nights, singing for the diminutive Eartha Pond (when I say diminutive, I really mean bult like a brick outhouse).

A lot of people look at womens football and negatively compare it with the men's game. However to really appreciate the women's game you have to think of it as something to be viewed independently of any other sport. You don't compare five a side football with the eleven a side game and that is how you should look at the women's game.

Unfortunately, the successes of yester year are not being repeated by the current crop, they have played 5 games this season and lost all of their league games. The only positive being the one win in the cup against Millwall, this despite optimistic noises pre season. That said if you read the write ups we apparently have drawn against Keynsham Town.

I am hoping that at some stage the women do come back to the Valley and we see one or two matches, in the meantime I'll look forward to watching England in next years world cup hope in my heart and in the dressing room and no wags in sight … well only a few!!



Sunday, 26 September 2010

Jekyl and Hyde at the Valley

Blimey how can a side be so dominant one half and so poor th second. What did Parkie say at half time? We went from playing good football in the first half to playing at Dagenhams level, just hoofing the ball in the second.

We need to go up this season or we will have another staff turn around next season and each time we do that, we go down a level in staff on the pitch. in fact, come January if we are not competing then the trio of Semedo, Youga and Racon could be on there way.

We can't lose ppoints against teams like Tranmere and Dgenham if we are going to go up, especially if we take the lead, not once but three times with the third with only minutes to play.

Benson either needs to break his duck or have a spell on the bench,I htnk at the moment we have more strikers than number of goals scored by a striker. Its worrying that JohnStill has said we do not play to Bensons strengths, i don't think a 30 year old player is bought to change the way he plays.

The forwards are clearly suffering form a bit of confodence defecit, which means they are taking too long over shots on target, allowing defenders and keepers to get in there and block.

Tuesday see's the Dons come over,we thrashed them last year but I worry that this season will see them gain their revenge.