Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Euell Inspires Charlton to Vital Win

Ok, so I'm being facetious, but there must have been gasps of disbelief around the Valley when the name of Jason Euell was uttered over the tannoy for the first time in months. Perhaps Curbs can forgive and forget after all?

Curbs swung the axe again, replacing the injured Fortune (who had been terrific until the Spurs game) and retaining the services of the underwhelming Hughes (but dropping Ambrose) to accommodate livewire Thomas. The replacement of Powell was perhaps no surprise, after all he isn't the future, but then again neither in all likelihood is Jonathan Spector.

It seems like we were a trifle fortunate to go ahead not only because Liverpool had bossed the game until then, but because the highlights showed Dudek didn't come anywhere near touching Bent. I've seen more physical contact at a monks and nuns 'singles night'. As for Young's goal, full credit to the defender for showing more attacking nous than the likes of Lisbie and Bartlett - I'd love to know what he screamed at Darren Bent to get him out of the way, "LUKEY'S BALLLLLLLLLLL"

Nonetheless we'll take it because I can't recall the last time we won a League penalty at home (a free New York Addick t-shirt to anyone who can remind me). After that we sounded pretty comfortable and with a bit of luck could have won by three or four. Given Marcus Bent hit the bar at Spurs, he's unlucky not to have three goals in four after hitting the woodwork again.

No-one ever said supporting Charlton was easy. I've been known to use statistics to help add some objectivity to an inherently subjective and emotive topic. However this season we continue to defy any rational attempt to make predictions, or if I'm frank truly assess if our cup is half-full or half-empty. Should we be optimistic because we are on course for 52 points? Or pessimistic because we're so inconsistent, and those early wins might have been an aberration? Should we be optimistic because we're six points from 6th, or pessimistic because we're seven points from 16th?

How do you explain why we can win our first five away games, and then fail to win any of the next six? And then how do you explain how we can limp through our first seven home games, only winning one, and then concede just one goal in the next six, winning four of them? I want us to win all our games of course, but it's better for business to win the home games - those season-ticket renewals forms will start hitting doormats in a couple of months.

I maintain the criticism of Curbs is valid. As I've reiterated before, we don't expect to win every game but the manner of a number of our defeats this season was unacceptable (Wigan, Man City, Everton, Villa, Blackburn x2) following on from a worrying trend from last season. No-one has ever suggested he's not a good manager, or has not been an overwhelming success for Charlton, but has merely questioned whether he was inflexible or had gone stale.

Either way, it really has been a peculiar season. I think the lack of draws (only 3 in 24) has not helped our schizophrenia - I hate draws (too much time spent in the US maybe?), but they at least keep you on an even keel.

Somewhat poetically, we played Liverpool at home last season exactly 38 games ago (a full season). That game was also midweek and the disappointing defeat that night really took the wind out of our sails, and frankly we never recovered. Let's hope the surprise win tonight has the opposite effect and hence let's see if we can build on this win against an equally inconsistent Man City.

We followed our home wins against Sunderland and West Ham with dire defeats against Wigan and Everton respectively, dashing hopes of fans who thought we had turned a corner. With the European Champions dispatched (it feels strange saying that, but let's say it proud), let's put our away form back on track as we lead towards the Brentford game, which I'm daring to describe as our most important game for years.

ps - Thanks to everyone for taking this blog past the crucial 20,000 hits mark since I put the counter on sometime in the Autumn of 2005 (that's 'the fall' to me and you). Admittedly about 6,000 of these are me checking to see how many people have hit the site but anyhow, it makes it all worthwhile.


At 11:13 PM, Blogger Chicago Addick said...

Think Fortune was injured NYA.

At 1:24 AM, Blogger col_the_3rd said...

Can't agree with you there, especially about the draws. If we drew a few more we would be up in the top half pushing for 6th place. however lets not have the glass half empty and let's live for the moment, we have just beaten Liverpool(again), the European champions and hopefully our season will not trail off like the others

At 1:25 AM, Blogger col_the_3rd said...

soory meant to say can't agrre with you more there

At 2:43 AM, Anonymous Richmond Addick said...

I was there..East Stand level with penalty area with a great was great,but was a VERY lucky penalty. Balanced by that we had 3 good chances 2nd half..and whilst Liverpool had plenty of possession, they never looked like scoring apart from the Myrhe 4-1 wouldn't have been unreasonable ;-)

Onward and upward..Curbshley IS STILL OUR MAN..for now..

At 3:29 AM, Blogger hartley said...

Well, yes, Powell is not the future. But Spector may be. He is young yet and apparently better than the other outside defensive youngsters we have.

And I still don't see Samuel moving from Aston Villa.

According to Mr. Brown, a former Addick defender commentating for BBC, Spector was man of the match. He was marking Cisse and completely shut him down -- so much so that Cisse move to the other side to have a go at Captain Luke.

At any rate, I was really excited at the outcome. But tomorrow is a new day and we need to get back to it. One game at a time. Next up is an away match Sunday to Manchester City.

Let's see if Curbs can continue to wisely rotate his squad, keep them fresh and make the necesssary tactical changes to win another road match. At this point, I would love to Jason Euell come off the bench and get on the pitch.

Go you Addicks!

At 3:39 AM, Blogger New York Addick said...

The problem with Spector's loan is that if he proves to be highly promising, then Man Utd will take him back in the summer, and if he doesn't then we won't want him anyway. The Smertin situation is a bit different given his age.

At 6:48 AM, Blogger Kappacino Kid said...

Spector had a good game but was "roasted" by Cisses pace - Powell would have been sizzled - however Cisse was crap once he got himse;lf into space, you can see why Rafa wants to off load him.

At 10:26 AM, Blogger colin from welling said...

Congrats on your hit rate NYA, long may it continue.

I've sussed it where Spector is concerned. As you might expect with a ManU player, with his back to goal, ball coming onto him where he can read the game he looks pretty comfortable. It's the ball past him he can't cope with.

I only remember that clown Cisse doing that once, in the second half, and he absolutely ruined him for pace.

Saying that, Spector - in particular his tackling - got stronger as the game went on and I think he had a much better game.

If Cisse was any good he would've tried pushing it past Spector early, seen he could go past him for fun and tortured him all evening but he didn't cos A, he's thick, and B, Liverpool turned up expecting to walk away with the points and we're complacent all round.

Expect retribution when we go up there in a couple of weeks but for now let's revel in a tremendous evening at Th Valley.

Up The Addicks!

At 7:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just hoping that all the talk about Curbs getting the England job doesn't upset what momentum we've been able to gather. Hopefully, we've had our slump for this year already, and we'll have a nice strong finish. As for Curbs, hard to believe he could land the England job without netting any silverware as a club manager first.

At 6:47 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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