Friday, April 13, 2007

Everton preview

Thanks to the Aintree Grand National, our vital game against Everton has been moved to Sunday, presumably to allow the horses to watch the game. I can completely relate to the way they feel; I find it hard to focus on anything else when I know that Charlton are playing, let alone try to jump Beechers Brook with eleven stone of jockey on my back.

David Moyes has once again proved himself to be one of the best managers in English football, guiding his collection of homegrown youngsters and overachieving journeymen towards a European spot. It's the type of budget model (along with Bolton's) that Charlton can reasonably aspire to, and having lost our way this season, then in the event that we stay up, we can realistically do so again.

Our relegation rivals play before us this weekend (though Wigan's game will not be over when ours kicks off), the psychological impact of which is difficult to assess. When I used to play tennis regularly, I found it grossly unfair for example that if my opponent served first and broke my first service game, he would swiftly be 3-0 up but if I did the same I would only be 2-1 up. Ostensibly I had made an equally good start, but it just didn't feel like it. When you serve second, you feel constantly under the cosh; I assume Charlton will feel the same sentiments on Sunday.

An equaliser from Andy Reid (remember him?) secured us a point in the reverse fixture at The Valley under Les Reed, and we can head to Goodison Park with a degree of confidence based upon our decent record there. The thumping 3-0 victory in December 2001 was the most memorable, but we have won there two more times since returning in 2000 (both 1-0).

Unfortunately however those of us with long memories will also recall that we lost 4-1 there on 24 April 1999, a fixture in which the Board again dug deep to subsidise the Addicks travel costs. With Operation Ewood being similarly undertaken on 28 April 2007, the omens do not look good. Indeed, other than winning at Port Vale during our 1997/98 season, have Charlton ever actually won an away game to which the Board have subsidised the travel? If not, one might reasonably wonder if their generosity has unintended consequences.

Injuries to Hermann Hriedarsson and Marcus Bent (who can thus spend more time with his classy new girlfriend) almost certainly mean a return for Ben Thatcher to a defence that has not conceded since March 3rd. I expect Pards to resist the temptation to pair Darren Bent with either JFH or Kevin Lisbie, with Zheng utilised again in a free role just behind him, with Matt Holland returning in midfield.

Derek 'Killer' Hales (KillerWatch© -£421) fancies a draw at 5/2, and also bizarrely Dun Doire in the National (in a tricky field of 40 horses, that's at least one we can safely discount then). The earlier results will dictate our approach, and if Sheff Utd/West Ham finishes level then Pards may well conclude another point at Everton will be a good result. However I expect West Ham to beat Sheff Utd, and sadly I expect Everton to beat us too. NY Addick predicts Everton 2 (Arteta, Beattie), Charlton 0. Att: 33,410.


At 6:03 AM, Blogger Wyn Grant said...

Please give us the full sp on Marcus Bent's new girl friend. I could do with some light relief after the last few days of international negotiations.

At 8:56 AM, Anonymous charlton north downs said...

Charlton need to pull out one of the best performances of the season and I feel this is it 1-0 to Charlton .Come on you reds.
Then there is this nagging feeling about West Ham surviving at our expense what a nightmare that would be.

At 11:56 AM, Anonymous newyorkaddick said...

To use the tabloid language from which the news broke, "Marcus Bent has swooped to score with Teddy's ex-lover Danielle Lloyd."

All Quiet In The East Stand wrote about it in more detail earlier this week.


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