Saturday, November 25, 2006

Marcus Bent in 'chasing back' sensation

Those of us that questioned the players' desire this week received a welcome surprise in the 68th minute when Marcus Bent chased back to tackle Nuno Valente and the ball fell nicely for Andy Reid whose cool finish completely changed the game. It was a fine example of how a small increase in workload can lead to disproportionate results and it's exactly what we've been crying out for.

Unfortunately until Bent's intervention we had been dire and the far more promising final quarter should not disguise the problems that clearly remain. We looked shapeless, leaderless and devoid of any discernable tactics other than the desire to get Rommedahl involved as much as possible. Once we went a goal behind, I couldn't even see the tunnel let alone the light at the end of it.

Darren Bent was given pointless long balls to try to control since a flick-on would have been worthless without a strike partner. Meanwhile for reasons best known to Les Reed, our most creative player Andy Reid was employed what appeared to be a holding role infront of the back four; not surprisingly perhaps we improved markedly once this was changed.

Everton had been impressive for an hour or so, with Arteta dominating the midfield battle and McFadden showing neat touches up front as a surprise replacement for Andrew Johnson. However once Valente's hesitation had presented Charlton with an ill-deserved equaliser, we looked by far the most likely to find a winner evidenced by a frustrated Moyes replacing his two forwards with teenagers. As it was a point was perhaps a fair result in the end and a confidence-boosting one too.

Here are my proprietary ratings:

Carson 7 - solid, solid as a rock (that's what this love is)
Young 6 - the team needs leadership and I don't think our skipper provides it
Traore 6 - a quiet game but at least he allowed Hreidarsson to play in his best position
Hreidarsson 6 - can't really blame him for the goal and otherwise did little wrong
El Karkouri 7 - has been a revelation this season; what was Curbs thinking?
Faye 5 - a fine defensive header in the second half, just a shame it was in the Everton goalmouth
Holland 5 - any mother would be delighted if her daughter brought him home; Dad might not be so pleased especially if he's an Addicks fan
Rommedahl 7 - could be one of the best players in Europe if he put his mind to it, then again he wouldn't be playing for Charlton if he did
Reid 8 - once he stopped playing in defence he looked outstanding
Ambrose 5 - the bright beginning to his Charlton career seems to have fizzled out
Bent D 5 - an unusually quiet game but you can never fault his workrate
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Bent M 7 - let's give him credit for chasing back and some other neat touches

It's difficult to discern any differences in the Reed approach after this game; after all the 4-4-1-1 formation was put in place by Dowie before him. His lack of voiciferous touchline prompting perhaps shouldn't be a surprise so let's hope that his coaching credentials earn him the respect that his reserved approach might not. The size of the challenge is enormous though - for us to reach 40 points by season-end we need to average 1.29 points per game which equates to 49 points over a full 38-game season, enough to ensure a solid midtable finish and we look anything but a solidly midtable side right now.

3 Comments:

At 4:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fair summary. Given how we played for the bulk of the match a draw was a good result for us. We were fortunate that both Johnson & Cahill were not playing.

Most supporters around me today today accept that we are unlikely to stay up. Our problems are legion:
* Lack of Premiership experience of Head Coach
* Too few quality players in the squad
* Small January transfer budget
* Lack of leadership/ commitment on the field (I agree that Young shouldn't be captain)
* Weak reserve/ Youth team
* Inability to keep possession in Midfield
* Over reliance on Darren Bent for goals
* Etc

At the moment we are playing so poorly we would struggle in the Championship. We need to accept where we are and who we are and focus on renewal. Otherwise we could end up like Millwall.

 
At 4:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fair summary. Given how we played for the bulk of the match a draw was a good result for us. We were fortunate that both Johnson & Cahill were not playing.

Most supporters around me today today accept that we are unlikely to stay up. Our problems are legion:
* Lack of Premiership experience of Head Coach
* Too few quality players in the squad
* Small January transfer budget
* Lack of leadership/ commitment on the field (I agree that Young shouldn't be captain)
* Weak reserve/ Youth team
* Inability to keep possession in Midfield
* Over reliance on Darren Bent for goals
* Etc

At the moment we are playing so poorly we would struggle in the Championship. We need to accept where we are and who we are and focus on renewal. Otherwise we could end up like Millwall.

 
At 8:47 PM, Blogger Ken J said...

Spot on re: Darren Bent - this is what I wrote in my game summary on cafcpicks:
"Poor old Darren Bent had virtually no support in the first half and perhaps had two half chances the entire game. If the likes of Rommedahl are not going to penetrate down the flanks and get the ball across in front of goal for him, he usually ends up chasing long punts or receiving a high pass towards the corner flag. What he is supposed to do with that is beyond me."

 

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