Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sheff Utd preview

This fixture last season was the one that effectively sealed our fate. My abiding memory of the game was Ben Thatcher's woeful attempt to control a through ball coming across his right side.....with his left foot.

At the time I wrote, "...In this era of millionaire footballers, it is galling to know that the likes of Thatcher are woefully unable to utilise their 'wrong foot' to intercept a simple through ball, preferring to over-compensate with his left foot and ultimately screwing it up."

Eagle-eyed viewers during the Wembley horror show may have noticed Wayne Bridge try the exact same manoeuvre, and he also failed miserably. The only difference was that Scott Carson managed to save England but not Charlton. Those seeking answers to the 'England qualification conundrum' need look no further than such a basic lack of technical ability.

Anyhow, their celebrations were short-lived, and they appear never to have recovered from the last-day heartbreak versus Wigan (nor the Tevez saga). Moreover, in fairness to the much-maligned Neil Warnock, he is probably a far more accomplished manager than most neutrals give him credit for.

Bryan Robson meanwhile has long appeared to be a manager permitted by various Chairmen to justify his appointment (or retention), on the grounds of reputation alone. When cocky young players (probably English ones) ask their gaffer to show them his medals, they won't be disappointed by Captain Marvel. But I'd always take a manager who has worked his way to the top via hard work and intelligence any day, particularly in light of his extremely questionable record.

On paper, the Blades ought to be amongst the strong promotion contenders. The likes of Beattie, Kenny, Naysmith, Tonge and Bardsley would grace any Championship squad, but the whole has been considerably less than the sum of its parts. Indeed without the goals of James Beattie (who in fairness cost little more than Luke Varney and the goal-free Izale McLeod combined), they would surely be in serious relegation trouble. For that reason alone, it looks money well spent (as well at did at the time).

Pards will surely not contemplate changing a winning side yet, although Matt Holland will notably add some useful competition to Zheng and Semedo from the bench. Indeed, with the games coming thick and fast (9 in 35 days), some degree of rotation around the solid 4-5-1 formation will surely be required at some point, even without any injuries or suspensions.

This fixture has a certain personal resonance for me given that my stepfather-in-law is a lifelong Sheffield United, having been raised in the steel city. It's hard not to feel sorry for the bloke, because if the casino of life had not already dealt him a bad enough hand, he voluntarily married my mother-in-law.

With three of our four wins having come away from The Valley, we have a fantastic opportunity to relax in front of our own fans, and to put on a show under the lights. I've a good feeling about this one.

NY Addick predicts: Charlton 3 (Reid, Iwelumo, Varney), Sheff Utd 0. Att: 20, 842.


At 9:41 AM, Blogger charlton north-downs said...

Its just as well your Missus doesn't read your blog.! Hopefully tonight could seal our real potential as I feel there is more to come from the team.

At 10:42 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What about his mother in law?


At 2:52 PM, Anonymous Simon said...

The Tevez saga? What was that all about then?


Post a Comment

<< Home