Friday, December 28, 2007

Leicester preview

Leicester probably serve as the best current example to Charlton of what might go wrong, if we fail to secure promotion whilst we receive parachute payments.

Since relegation in 2003/4, they have not come remotely close to building a promotion campaign, finishing 15th, 16th and 19th respectively. Unfortunately they had enough during this period to kick Charlton out of the FA Cup with a quarter-final berth beckoning.

Although Martin O'Neill was Leicester manager for a considerably shorter period than Curbs was our manager, he achieved substantially more with similar means. Their record thereafter has been a shambles of underperforming managers, near-bankruptcy, relegations and all despite the bonus of a new stadium. The lessons are clear.

However as Milan Mandaric perhaps correctly identified, there is a certain inherent stability offered by one-club cities, particularly one listed as the 10th largest in England by population (albeit one prone to egg-chasing temptations). This is not a luxury offered to any potential suitors by Charlton, despite our protestations that we're the 'biggest club south of the Thames'.

Their record this season almost exactly resembles ours in 2006/7......three managers before Xmas and a full-on relegation battle looming in the new year. However the compression of the Championship table distorts the truth somewhat, since a Foxes victory will see them move just ten points behind us, a similar gap that once existed between us and Watford.

Our record at Leicester is not a good one in recent years, and I certainly haven't witnessed a Charlton victory there despite numerous visits. I was there on the only other occasion when we met at the Walkers Stadium, drawing 1-1 thanks to a second-half Paolo di Canio penalty. Although on paper another draw tomorrow would be a decent result, it would imply just 3 points from the last 12 on offer, and our continued drift back into the chasing pack behind Watford/WBA.

Attempting to predict our starting eleven during these trying times is probably a worthless endeavour, so I will desist on this occasion. Suffice to say that I am probably not alone in wanting to see Chris Dickson offered a proper chance; forwards thrive on confidence, and he must have it in abundance.

Finally, I'd like to wish all Charlton fans (especially those that read this blog) a Happy, Healthy and Promotion-filled New Year.

NY Addick predicts Leicester 1 (N'Gotty), Charlton 2 (Varney, Zheng). Att: 23, 412.

ps - oh well, I can't resist......I think we'll line up as follows: Weaver, McCarthy, Bougherra, Fortune, Semedo, Holland, Zheng, Thomas, Sam, Varney, Iwelumo. Subs: Randolph, Sankofa, Racon, McLeod, Dickson.


At 11:03 AM, Blogger charlton north-downs said...

Have a good New Year and keep those excellent posts going.

At 2:06 PM, Blogger Blackheath Addicted said...

And a very happy New Year to you and your family.


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