Saturday, 3 November 2012

Can we have a re-think please?

We were taught a real lesson today.  Middlesbrough came to The Valley with an impressive record.  In fact they had won five of their last seven games.  It was easy to see why.  Mowbray's side played with a confidence and style that us Addicks could only dream of right now.  But more importantly they had an aura of positivity about them.

It's becoming clear that if we want to kick on in this league, we are going to have to seriously reconsider our approach.  Whilst I understand caution, I'm certain that our current strategy is doing us more harm than good.  I don't think damage limitation exercises are going to keep us in this division.

Looking up the table it seems obvious to me that 'having a go' at teams is where the benefits lie.  Those teams that are bold enough to take the risks are flourishing, whilst those that have a more negative approach are finding life that much more difficult.  This is especially evident when looking at our home form and results.

I think the reason our home form is so terrible is because we are not being adventurous enough.  I've always felt that a home team should have the impetus, should take advantage of the conditions and drive the game. Unfortunately we just do not do that.  Too often we are chasing the game instead of dictating it.

Away from home our form is significantly better.  This does not surprise me however.  The standard strategy for an away team is to soak  up the pressure, keep the home side out for as long as possible, and hope to nick a goal at the earliest opportunity.  The way Powell sets out his side does that very well, but it's not a tactic that I can see working well as the home side.  There has to be a more positive approach.

Currently it is only our away form keeping us out of the bottom three.  In fact, if there was a league table which was based on home form only, we would be in the bottom two, four points adrift of the safety zone.  On the flip-side, if we were to look at a table based on away form only, we would be in the top ten.  In my opinion this clearly highlights a huge issue.

We have reached a point in the season where we have to start making some bold decisions.  Would it be such a huge gamble to instruct the team to take our home games by the scruff of the neck and really go for it?  I think not.  Two points from a possible eighteen at home proves that a complete re-think is necessary.  It remains to be seen whether change is forthcoming, but what is there to lose?

Cardiff's away form isn't special, in fact they have lost three of their last four on the road.  Now is the perfect time for us to make changes.  Let the team off the leash a bit so they can show us what they've got.  Let's start laying siege to opposition's goals BEFORE we go one behind.  I want to stop saving our best performances for when we are a goal down (today was an exception to that rule obviously).

This Charlton side does have the necessary qualities to stay in the division, I just don't think they are being utilised properly right now.


  1. The problem is clearly in midfield. By having a go at teams we haven't got the legs to get back when we lose the ball and hence look a light touch. I can see why Powell has put Dervite and Pritchard in to give us some protection and legs but sadly both alongside the rest of the midfield are short at this level. Ironically we looked better when we went to 3 at the back but conceding a stupid long ball goal within mins and the damage was done. One last word on positivity - it can start from the stands. I can't believe some of the crap being spouted where I sat in the East Stand yesterday. Idiots calling for powell's head, not able to identify players, formation changes - even when we went a goal up there was negativity. We have a role to play in helping turn it around - create the environment where the confidence returns not one that takes any adventure out of the players

    1. It's not just the midfield, though it is definitely a major issue. We have suffered recently with poor finishing. Yesterday were the first signs of the defence beginning to creak, though I hope it was just an off say as generally our back four have been solid.

  2. Judging by some of the life sapping negative morons near me I think the team would benefit from playing behind closed doors.

    Boro were more clinical than most but I think Barnsley were more dominant in terms of possession. I am struggling to find teams who we are clearly better than in this league.

    Posh, Sheff Wed, Bristol City, Millwall (possibly) - but it's all to tight.

    Our injuries are not helping but I think the extra pace, guile and in particular defensive abilities of the teams that we are now facing, is making us work hard to compensate . It is clear that this is not enough at this level and will make us prone to injuries and strains.

    The players who are comfortable at this level are:


    The others are hardworking, good players but who are hanging on to the opposition rather than dominating them.

  3. I would agree that Boro did well by taking their chances, and in the end the score line was a little flattering in the end. That said, our second half performance was wZy below standard.

    I can't disagree that we desperately need to add a few Championship quality players to the team as it is clear, a number of our players just aren't up to it.

    1. Unfortunately it just shows how important kermorgant and wiggins are to us. If anyone said to me at the start of the season name 2 players you dont want long term injured it would be those 2! We also had no investment over the summer. Its a poor league! Thats proved by Hudderfield and Palace being in the top 6

    2. Both are big losses and I don't think Powell has dealt with those losses effectively enough. But I firmly believe our main problem is our lack of ambition on the pitch rather than a personnel issue

  4. It's not lack of ambition or effort , but we lack the midfield craft to keep the ball and we lack movement and attacking ideas.Stephens , we should have taken the Villa offer and used the money to strengthen. We cannot play 442 as we lack the central midfield drive. SCP deserves support, but the Boards lack of investment in the summer allied to injuries makes this now a survival season