Friday, December 21, 2007

Hull preview

I'm writing this review from San Antonio in Texas, one of the few places on earth where Andy Reid might reasonably be described as svelte.

During dinner on the city's delightful River Walk on Tuesday night, the wife and I played a popular Texan game called 'spot the non-obese person'. We were literally midway through our main course, before one of us finally claimed victory (leading to a heated debate about whether a 4-year old should be disqualified or not).

Unfortunately for Reidy, he will have to spend the next few weeks presumably fighting his natural urges, whilst Charlton make do without their natural talisman. In a league not exactly overburdened with talent, someone like the 'little Oirish fella' can lift the quality above the merely mediocre, but his lack of mobility is a real limiting factor, and in a way Pards has been forced to work around it. Curbs had a similar problem with Claus Jensen and his particular lack of grit, and we may be pleasantly surprised at how we perform in his absence.

However, my positive spin on the Reid news will be tested to the limit given the mini-injury and suspension crisis we now face. Given the midfield injury problems especially, Pards will presumably be keen to play a 4-4-2 if possible, utilising McLeod alongside the fitter of Iwelumo and Varney. If neither of the doubtfuls pulls through, then McLeod will have to be asked to run his socks off on his own, with Thomas and much feared hardman Lloyd Sam perhaps providing slightly narrower (but equally pacy) support where possible. In the meantime, surely a recall for either or both of Chris Dickson and James Walker is an absolute must at this point?

Holland and Semedo will presumably start in between the two widemen, with Therry Racon or even Harry Arter providing a third central anchor in the event of a 4-5-1 being required. Again however, a recall for Dean Sinclair would seem reasonable (if he can't be thrown in for a game like this, what exactly was the point of his signing?).

In defence, Pards may be tempted to push Danny Mills to left-back and utilise Yassin Moutaouakil on the right, or perhaps even Paddy McCarthy, to add some defensive mettle that was clearly missing at WBA.

When all is said and done, I expect us to line up as follows: Weaver, Mills, Powell, Bougherra, Sodje, Thomas, Sam, Holland, Semedo, Iwelumo, McLeod. Subs: Randolph, McCarthy, Moutaouakil, Racon, Arter.

In short, it's an ideal time for Pards to prove his quality (not that I doubt it), whilst an ideal time too to be thankful for a kind festive fixture list that see us face five consecutive teams from the bottom half of the table. The first one contains Bryan Hughes and plenty of 'previous' from the reverse fixture, an ideal pre-Xmas winter warmer in front of what is bound to be a disappointing crowd.

NY Addick predicts: Charlton 2 (McLeod, Holland), Hull 1 (Folan). Att: 19, 290.


At 10:29 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

You could put a positive spin on anything this season. With the injuries and lack of funds available in January I'd be suprised if we make the play offs. Surely we can't play Chris Powell again? I doubt he would get in any other Championship team - get Youga back ASAP!

At 2:34 PM, Blogger StoneMuse said...

Good preview NYA as always.

Despite everything, I think we will surprise the pessimists and win 3-1.

Have a great xmas.

At 10:36 PM, Blogger Confidential Rick said...

Hi NY..22nd Dec not a good day for CAFC


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