Saturday, 23 October 2010

Northern Heights

Well at 3-0 I was thinking that the next few days would see some respite for Parkinson, but at 3-3 depression had set in not only for two points lost but also for the groaning and moaning that would continue over the next seven days. I like Parkie, but I am getting to want him to go because I really find the negativity depressing. I am not saying its unfounded, I am not saying its unreasonable, its just depressing. So at 3-3, I decided that I would not wait around to hear a repeat of Shrewsbury. I cycled along the Ravensbourne behind Sainsbury at Bell Green and through Ladywell. Stopping, I checked my phone and wow, we had done it.

Now next time we need a goal, please nobody call me to go out cycling, that said I am intending tomorrow to get one of Boris's bikes from Victoria to Earls Court. (I did and cycled 10 miles there and back, according to sports tracker I did 83 mph - if only)

Anyway, back to the match. Its interesting that we would probably be happier if we had won 1-0 than 4-3. Of course, the 3-0 lead raised expectations and the loss of the lead simply raised further questions. There is nothing more disappointing than unfulfilled expectations. The problem for Parkie is that although we picked up a result that 78% of Charlton Lifers did not expect the second half capitulation is not glossed over by the three points, a number of lifers have taken the result despite, not because of Parkie.
Putting the result in context, last season we were beaten 3-1 in this furthest out post before Scotland. Only 4 of the squad on that day were in today's squad. Sam, Bailey, Burton and Youga were all in the starting line up and the consensus seems to be that they are better than their replacements, so any victory has to be seen as a great turnaround and a pretty decent result especially given what we saw last week.

Against equivalent matches last season we picked up 19 points and today we drew level with that total. The next 3 games generated 3 points last season, so we have all to play for against Wednesday, Peterborough and Swindon.

Now we are 3 points off automatics to go up and 6 points off automatics to go down, so today has finally been a good day, but the next week has a lot of work to be done to develop a momentum and move away from the momentum of a win every 3 games. A win against Wednesday and a draw against the other two would be a hell of a result, but not impossible.

Finally, away from football and Charlton, well done to Beth Tweddle who won gold in the World Gymnastics championship.

Monday, 18 October 2010

Monsoon over The Valley

Poor old Phil,it never rains but it pours and we have a storm of monsoon proportions over The Valley. If losing by 4 goals on Saturday was not bad enough or the increase in chatter on the message boards over his departure, one of his saving graces, the teams creative force is out not just for the visit to Carlisle but for the duration of the difficult sequence of matches that I pointed out previously.

I thought when Reid went down it was fairly innocuous, a bit like another left sided player a year or so ago – Kelly Youga. He is out for at least a month missing potentially, at least, Carlisle, Swindon, Peterborough and Sheffield Wednesday, plus the JPT and the FA Cup.

The Yeovil game will be the anniversary of Pardews departure, whilst reeds departure was following a poor performance in the league cup …. Omens ? I hope not and that by then the atmosphere and results have turned around.

I was going to write that Carlisle is a big test, but that's daft, every game now is a big test and Parkies selection will be important for this game as it will form the foundations of the recovery or decline.

For me the team for Saturday should be as follows:-


Francis Dailly Fortune Fry

Martin Semedo or McCormack Racon Jackson

Abbot Anyinsah

Worner, Semedo or McCormack, Wagstaff, Doherty, Benson, Sodje, Jenkinson

Its hard on Wagstaff our top scorer but I feel he is too one dimensional and better to come on in the second half when his pace can take the tired defence apart. Since his first game sending off, Semedo has not been the player he can be and Parkie needs to take the shackles off or bring in McCormack. Instead of having Martin or Wagstaff replace Reid, Jackson offers an option of solidity on the left hand side, strong crossing and a natural defender in Fry. Trying to work out the team for Saturday makes you really realise the paucity of our squad and we only have two injuries.

Its going to be a tough few weeks and Reids injury has done nothing to make it any easier, lets hope that the first test won't see Carlisle raining on our parade.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

The next four games – Parkies P45?

A good nights sleep can put things in perspective, sleep allows the brain to process events of the day. Sadly last nights sleep has done nothing to lift my mood following yesterday. Of course, having immersed myself in Charlton Life, instead of watching Strictly come dancing.", I am more negative than I was. Where I saw, at least in the first half, hope and optimism, now it is just a sadness. Mind you the sound of the membership of Charlton Life slitting their wrists is upsetting, in the extreme. In fact there are two noises coming from CL, the slitting of wrists and the crashing of draws, as they close and Season Tickets are locked inside, with the promise of never to see the light of day until Parkinson is removed.

I am and have been a Parkinson supporter or apologist, as some would say. I am sure that this will not be seen as a revelation to both of the readers of this blog, I have previously written of my support for him and as I wrote yesterday and earlier in the week, the next five games, including yesterday, are critical. To come out with less than 9 points, as a minimum would make this seasons target of promotion a huge mountain to climb.

The next few games may not just determine the fate of our promotion challenge but also the fate of our manager. There are already calls for Parkinson to walk, without receiving the contractual pay off, I don't agree with that but would hope that it would be negotiated on an monthly payment basis till the summer when the contract terminates.

What of the Parkinson tenure and its end, if this is to be such a situation. When Curbishley went, my feelings were of a job well done and a time to move on, the next level, which turned out to a few strata below where we were, with Dowie it was shock and confusion, Reed it was inevitable and maybe the closest to how I feel now and with Pardew well that was different. Pardew was arrogant, deflected blame, destroyed our club and to this day would not accept the troubles were his, the 5-2 home defeat by Sheffield United, a team we had accompanied as we left the premiership, was almost a blessed relief, as it forced the boards hand. Pardew left with a £1m in his pocket, Parkie will receive nothing in comparison.

My feelings if Parkinson were to go are very different from those that surround Pardew, who brought him to the club. I like Parkinson, I have met him and chatted with him, he is a thoroughly nice guy. I believe he is doing his best and by all accounts he works his butt off for the club. A former boss of mine once said he does not care how hard people work, he was only interested in results and for Parkinson, that boss is the crowd.

I have said it before, I believe that Parkinson has been dealt a bad hand, he has never had the money that the previously mentioned managers had, although Curbishley came from a similar foundation that included free Bumsteads and Nelsons. When he took over the management of the club he came with the baggage of being Pardews assistant and part of the team that had seen a decline from Premier to Championship, and a failure then to turn results to avoid relegation to where we are now, despite an improvement in performances. Many fans have never forgiven him for being part of Pardews team and others for being in charge of the relegation and that is understandable. I have seen him make tactical changes, some have worked some have not and to be honest he is probably no worse or better than half the managers at League level The key to any management role in football is managing players and if Parkinson is to survive he has to manage this lot now, he needs to get them fired up in the right way and they need to be getting results. Whether they are the best players ever to don a Charlton shirt (they are not) does not matter at this level they are capable of more than the results that they are showing currently and it is the managers job to realise this. In my opinion, Parkie has four games to generate this realisation – I hope he does.