Monday, April 09, 2007

Reading preview

(yes, that is Cory Gibbs in the photo)

After we played Reading at the Madejski Stadium, Les Reed's managerial career was off to a horrid start, we had just 8 points from 13 games, and the vitriol from the Charlton fans was aimed variously at the Board, the players and even the unfortunate Reed.

Fast forward 19 games, and there is an entirely different atmosphere around the club. For the first time in many months, some bookies now dare to suggest we are more likely to be playing Premiership football next season than not, and the sense of togetherness that used to drive Charlton forward has firmly returned.

After the furore over the timing of the Chelsea/Spurs game, there has been little complaint from Wigan for example who must play two games in 48 hours, whilst Charlton have received an additional 27 hours rest and recuperation. Admittedly their opponents (Villa) also played at 3pm on Saturday, but then so did Reading to our obvious advantage. For this reason alone, it's an opportunity we simply have to take.

The Man City post-match comments from Pards, the somewhat negative performance itself, and also the presumed resting of Matt Holland, all suggested that we headed to the Eastlands with a draw firmly in mind. Readers of this blog will know that I dislike this type of mentality given not only the three points for a win, but also because I sense that 'playing for a draw' paradoxically tends to actually become 'clinging on for a draw', in a game that was probably more winnable than we realised. In this particular game we actually finished the strongest, due I suppose Pards would argue, to the foundations we had laid earlier on, but this was a makeshift Man City side, not Man United.

With West Ham and Sheffield United not playing until next weekend, we have the opportunity to move three points away from the relegation zone (effectively more given our superior goal difference). With one or both of our main rivals assured points on Saturday, it merely emphasises the importance of the game at the Valley.

Presumably Matt Holland will return in the place of Faye, whilst the lack of chances created at Eastlands may see a return to 4-5-1 or 4-4-1-1 with Marcus Bent returning to the bench. Pards may be tempted to put Ben Thatcher back at left-back but after two consecutive clean sheets, that would be harsh on the Herminator.

Derek 'Killer' Hales (KillerWatch© -£371) fancies either 1-0 or 2-0 to the Addicks against Pardew's former club, but I'm going to suggest more in hope than expectation that we will win even more comfortably. During our promotion season in 1997/98, we beat Reading 3-0 over the Easter period, and on the way home I listened intently as news of the 'Good Friday Agreement' hit the airwaves. With more good news emerging from Northern Irish politics in recent days, I will suggests history repeats itself at The Valley. NY Addick predicts Charlton 3 (Bent D, Thomas, Lisbie), Reading 0. Att: 26,787.


At 5:59 AM, Anonymous Vancouveraddick said...


I like it NYA

At 9:25 AM, Blogger Wyn Grant said...

Good analysis as always, but a rather optimistic conclusion. I think it could be 1-1 or possibly 1-2. I won't be there because I have to mediate between feuding Latin Americans. In the words of the Shakira song, 'It makes a man want to speak Spanish.' Not. BTW, there is a longish feature on Les Reed in the latest 4-4-2.

At 11:39 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was thinking of that 3-0 game earlier this morning and am tempted to have a few quid on it but Reading always seem to score so I'm not going to bother.

Lets hope I regret not placing the bet.

Also Haydyn Mullins will definitely be a Charlton player next season


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