Saturday, 15 October 2011

Change it back Powell, it's not working!

I can't say 'I told you so' because I didn't predict the loss, what I did predict was that Stevenage are the perfect side for Charlton to lose their unbeaten run to. We just do not play well against the lesser sides. This has been the case for as long as I can remember.

I don't have an issue with losing, it was bound to happen sooner or later, in fact it probably should have happened against Tranmere last week but we got away with it. My problem is that we look a shadow of the side that started this season, and partly I think the problem is to do with Powell's player selection policy.

We started off the season with a consistent team selection, but as the weeks have gone on, Powell has made changes where they just were not needed, and it has upset the whole balance of the side. Whatever happened to not changing a winning team?

Chris Solly was dumped on the bench today. This is the thanks he gets for working his socks off in every game and actually being one of our most improved players this season. Leon Cort was brought in, most likely for 'tactical' reasons, but it didn't work. Morrison looked every bit the centre-back who had been pushed to right-back.

Scott Wagstaff may not have had the impact of late that he had in his first few games, but was he playing so badly that he needed to be replaced? I personally think not. The team was winning, he was a part of that, and his replacement (Danny Green) hardly set the world alight in his brief substitute appearances, so I find it odd that a change was made here. I could understand it more if his substitute appearances had been so great that he forced Powell to act.

Kermorgant did well in his first couple of games and grabbed a couple of goals, great, they were important ones too. I can see why Powell would want to give him a chance to start some games, he has probably earned that much, but Hayes adds so much more to the side than Kermorgant.

When Kermorgant is playing the ball goes long too much, we are a passing side, so hoof ball isn't going to work. Kermorgant doesn't have the ability that Hayes has to hold the ball and link up play, they are totally different players and I think Hayes is more suited to our style. Ok so Hayes isn't going to score 20 goals a season, Powell didn't buy him for that, his scoring record isn't great, but the job he does of supporting the midfield and bringing others into play is very under-rated.

We haven't been playing anywhere near the quality of football over the last few games, and it's no surprise that things have dropped off since Powell started tinkering with the side. We need to go back to basics, he needs to pick the team that got us this amazing points haul. Why is he messing with a winning formula?

I realise that some teams have worked us out a bit, and they know that a more physical approach yields better rewards, but it's not like we were losing, we were still managing to pick up the results. It's only two weeks since we beat Sheffield United at Bramall Lane, but since then we've had three totally different teams put out, and every one of them has struggled. In fact two of them have lost.

There is a worry that Powell is doing some damage to players confidence with his current selection policy. If they think they might be replaced for having one bad game, or making a bad decision, it will play on their minds and that will be reflected in their form on the pitch. We have to breed confidence in our players, and we were doing that. The same players were getting picked week after week and they delivered. We need that consistency and stability in the team, the changes are not working, it's time to change it back.

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