Monday, December 31, 2007

Colchester preview

My wife is a teacher, and thus has a regular moan about low salaries and general underappreciation. However, don't feel too sorry for her because I suspect she'd struggle in the more cut-throat 'for profit' sector that most of us work in.

Here's how the negotiation for a New Year's Eve babysitter transpired:

Wife: "Could you possibly babysit on New Year's Eve?"
Babysitter: "Yes no problem - I've got no plans, and to be honest I could do with the money."
Wife: "We'll pay you double...."

I sometimes wonder if the same type of irrational negotiation used to go on at Charlton, whenever the subject of Kevin Lisbie's contract came up:

Curbs: "Kevin, you're often injured, you're always cr*p when you're not, and moreover you're costing us about ten grand a week."
Lisbie: "Can't argue with that boss, I could do with a new start."
Curbs: "Here, have another three years."

I'll leave it to you to decide whether Colchester's predicament and their recruitment of Lisbie are mere coincidences, but a shocking run of 1 win in 14 has seen them plummet to the foot of the table, a position one fears they will struggle to extricate themselves from. Then again, as one of the best and most consistently well-run small clubs, one would not bet against them bouncing straight back.

Naturally, Lisbie will go ahead and score against us (again), but this fixture and the forthcoming one with Blackpool at The Valley will go a long way to determining whether we are genuine automatic promotion contenders. The frustration during the past couple of weeks has been the way that Watford have capitulated so suddenly, yet it has been a resurgent Bristol City and Stoke that have taken advantage, rather than us.

Watford currently lie 2nd with a points total that implies 81 for the full season. In order to emphasise the mediocrity of the current Championship (and thus the potential therein for Charlton), 81 points would have secured automatic promotion in only 2 of the past 10 seasons (2002/3 and 2003/4). It certainly puts our 4th place in 1997/98 (despite accumulating 88 points) in its true and impressive perspective.

Someone on the message boards described Pardew's recent team selections as being 'stale', and it's hard to disagree with his sentiments, even within the context of several injuries and suspensions. After four games without a win, and little to indicate we deserved anymore than three draws, it is surely time to give the likes of Moutaouakil, Racon and Dickson a well-deserved chance. As Paddy McCarthy has seemingly proved in recent games, there's something to be said for including players with a point to prove.

It is certianly odd that we have one of our own players amongst the Championship's top scorers, yet few have ever seen him play (though check out the goal here after 1:20, for a hint of his potential). Dickson deserves the chance to prove to us whether he is the next Paul Williams rather than the next Paul Gorman, both snapped up from non-League with varying degrees of success. If we had greater depth amongst the forwards, the argument for his inclusion (even from the bench) would be a less telling one.

NY Addick predicts: Charlton 2 (Ambrose, Dickson), Colchester 1 (Lisbie). Att: 22, 989.


At 3:45 PM, Blogger Chicago Addick said...

I like the way he celebrates too. He certainly has a real instinct for goal, and I hope he plays tomorrow.

I laughed out loud at your babysitter comment NYA. Whatever you do tonight have fun, and all the best for 2008.

At 4:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Paul Gorman was the man!
He would have been a true legend if it wasn't for a freak training ground accident.
Plus I was mascot and had my photos done with him lol.



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