Saturday, December 09, 2006

Comfortably Numb

"Now I got that feeling once again.

I cant explain, you would not understand.

This is not how I am.

I have become comfortably numb."


In light of Les Reed's brilliantly innovative approach to this away game, not only will the reservation managers at Holiday Inns up and down the country be breathing a hefty sigh of relief this evening, but the Charlton fans who have sold out the Liverpool home game next week will no doubt be frozen with primeval fear. Maybe we should treat that one like an away game, staying in the Wirral and turning up at the wrong stadium (admittely most of the Charlton fans might struggle to tell the difference).

As sad as it may sound, nothing else in my life can make me feel as bad as this. Not my wife, not my job, not money (or lack thereof), and certainly not politics. Whilst knowingly lacking a true sense of perspective, it feels akin to watching a dearly-loved relative decline in health, calling the hospital every Saturday afternoon, and only being told more bad news.

Let me get the positive bit out of the way first because it shouldn't take long. We weren't too bad for the first half-hour, infact we might even have edged it, albeit without creating any chances. The midfield had a degree of solidity about it, and although Andy Reid was playing strangely deep again, we weren't especially troubled and I was thinking "Killer could be right about fancying a draw here." (I should have known better of course given his track record as SE London's answer to Nostradamus.)

On his excellent (although often delusional) TopSpurs website, editor Jim Duggan described Charlton yesterday as 'dull cannon fodder'. As angry as I was at the time, you know what Jim, you were right all along, but in fairness to us, we weren't dull, infact some of our defending was pure end-of-the-pier slapstick comedy. Luckily for us Spurs didn't actually play particularly well; luckily for them, they didn't need to.


Middlesbrough, Dec 23

London (Arsenal), Jan 2

Portsmouth, Jan 20

Bolton, Jan 30

Manchester (Old Trafford), Feb 10

It's all just so depressing I've barely got the strength to try to analyse what went wrong. What I do know is that Les Reed can talk all he likes about 'picking ourselves up,' and 'focusing on the next game,' but it won't be enough because the damage has been done, and even if it wasn't, he's out of his depth anyway. I just hope for his sake that he's being suitably well-recompensed for having his well-earned reputation ripped to shreds before all of our eyes; out of his depth, and probably out of his mind to take on the job if you ask me.

Take young Lloyd Sam for example. He is clearly a promising player but he is being forced to climb the steep Premiership learning curve during a relegation dogfight, when of course he should have been given far more chances to gain experience during meaningless midtable battles in past seasons. He wasn't chosen of course, because as we're constantly told, 'league positions are money,' and look where it's got us. Oh, and he's three years older than Aaron Lennon, and a year older than Wayne Rooney by the way.

The club's pre-season review of its structure was ill-conceived, has clearly been poorly executed and it seems on a near-weekly basis, those mistakes are simply being compounded. Excuse me for example for being just about the only Charlton blogger who failed to get excited about the recruitment of Mark Kinsella as the 'third man'; that's just what the club needs, another nice bloke with no experience. Now if he's brought his boots, that would be another matter.

As painful as they are to write, here are my proprietary ratings:

Carson 4 - needs the same advice as any teenage girl....keep your legs closed

Young 5 - proved a point to the Spurs fans, the point being "you were right to let me go"

Hreidarsson 6 - just about did enough to plead 'not guilty'

Diawara 4 - when I compared him to Rufus, did he think I meant Rufus Sewell?

El Karkouri 5 - would have been 4 if it wasn't for Tuesday's free-kick; hard to fault him directly for any of the goals

Faye 5 - when I called him a 'poor man's Claude Makelele', it wasn't meant to be a right-wing diatribe against the impoverished

Hughes 4 - we've got 'our Hughesie' back after the confusing sight on Tuesday night; the loss of possession for the fourth goal was vintage Kishishev-esque in its execution

Kishishev 6 - bit unlucky to be taken off ; the only midfielder that bothered to try tracking Berbatov's run for the first goal

Reid 6 - the only player we have who looks remotely like he could create a goal, which of course explains why Reed took him off at 5-1 down

Sam 6 - should have been thrown into the deep end years ago; now he's just drowning with the rest of 'em

Bent D 5 - message to Darren: move in January before you do your reputation any more harm


Rommedahl 6 - brought on to try to change the game and it worked.....2-1 to 5-1 inside 13 minutes

Hasselbaink 4 - was really 3.5 but I've rounded it up to 4

As for my exciting medical experiment, the results were not as radical as I had hoped. I woke up with a pulse of 51 bpm, and it stayed between 50-60 bpm throughout the game, only rising to 81 bpm when Dawson showed his fine act of sympathy. What this at least tells me is that it's not only my head that fears relegation, but my heart now too. Indeed by the time the fifth goal went in, I think I was actually clinically dead or as Pink Floyd might have said, just 'comfortably numb'.


At 9:02 PM, Anonymous marco se7 said...

While walking down Tottenham High Road after the 5th goal went in, I tunrned to music for comfort.
My Ipod was set to shuffle and Pink Floyd 'Comfortably Numb' came on. How apt thought I.
Now I look at your site and what do I find?

At 1:41 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

We need to start listening to Red Hot Chilli Peppers lads and move on. Lets face it when Les is asking Curbs for advice, and we fans are still listening to Pink Floyd how do you expect us to move anywhere.

At 11:09 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i was thinking more on the lines of yazz and d:ream...although fortunately i have neither on my ipod

At 11:10 AM, Blogger worcestershireleaburn said...

Reed's clear lack of any clue whatsoever seems to be indicated by taking off Reid (by all accounts the only player who can change a game) and bringing on Jimmy the Floyd at 1-5 down. Now, where's the sense in that?


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