Friday, September 26, 2008

Wednesday preview

An important seven days for the Addicks begins at home to Sheffield Wednesday, although most fans will find minds already drifting towards Selhurst Park and Tuesday night.

The two away games at Doncaster and Forest are rightly being seen as successful trips, a pair of clean sheets never something to scoff at. However am I alone in wondering why Pards couldn't help himself, by tinkering with a winning line-up at the City Ground?

His lovefest with Luke Varney thus continues unabated, with Andy Gray strangely dropped to the bench despite six goals in his last nine starts. Meanwhile since Varney's brace at home to Palace, his record reads two goals in 1,393 minutes of football. Over the course of a full 46-game season, that would imply a six-goal total haul - does the rest of his contribution make up for this?

The crazy lack of central defensive cover was only partly rectified with the arrivals of Primus and Cranie. Thus every time Messrs. Hudson or Fortune limp or sneeze, the Addicks faithful take a collective deep breath. Unfortunately our worst fears have come to fruition with news of Fortune's injury, and with Cranie apparently also struggling.

Pards will choose between Cranie (if fit), Youga or Semedo at centre-back, with Youga the most likely to move inside in my opinion. As we know, Pards has not yet fallen completely for the charms of Moutouakil, even if many of the fans have but he may have little choice but to give him another start tomorrow.

Semedo meanwhile remains the forgotten man despite very solid right-back performances in the opening two games. The strange choice of Grant Basey as the holding midfielder at Forest suggests he remains well down the pecking order, and frankly I've no idea why. His attitude and his ability seem to present no issue.

Wednesday have made a steady but unspectular start, their home form offsetting their dire form on the road. Heavy defeats at Wolves (4-1) and Reading (6-0) bode well for the Addicks, as would the possibility of facing Francis Jeffers, although he is struggling for match fitness.

The seven games so far have left us in a solid enough 9th place, but the top two are already threatening to pull away from us. There have been enough signs of promise, but our rather flimsy squad threatens to hold us back from expecting much more than a mid-table finish.

I remain far from convinced that Pardew's team selection and tactics are maximising our prospects at this point. Some of his post-match comments are rather odd, and I don't get a good sense yet for what his 'grand plan' is for this season, if there is one. Declaring that last week was a good one including the Wolves game, conflicts with reports I have read that had us well-beaten.

My feelings towards him are also not helped by a dream I had earlier this week where I shared a conversation with the gaffer, and he was an extraordinarily arrogant man especially when giving my views on Varney short shrift. He was also buying the house next door to my parents, which surprised me as it's not even for sale.

Straightforward looking fixtures like tomorrow's will define whether I am being too pessimistic about our prospects. I think Pards will select as follows: Weaver, Moutaouakil, Youga, Hudson, Basey, Bailey, Holland, Sam, Bouazza, Varney, Gray. Subs: Elliot, Semedo, Ambrose, Dickson, Shelvey.

NY Addick predicts: Charlton 1 (Gray), Sheffield Wednesday 0. Att: 18, 991.


At 10:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear NYA,
I hope Mou gets another chance, but other blogs predict Semedo who is also good but better in other positions. Its Mou's pace really rips the other teams apart.
As for AP is your love affair dwindling? Personnally I would have nominated him for the Newcastle job.

At 11:47 PM, Anonymous newyorkaddick said...

I find Pards a hard man to like personally (don't think he'd pass my 'beer test'), so my view towards him is often dependent upon recent results and whether I agree with his tactics/selections.

Then again, you should have seen that dream I had - he really was an obnoxious so-and-so! I think it partly explains my slight negativity towards him today.

At 6:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Dear NYA,
It was a dream- in reality he would buy a mixture of houses- all on credit- not live in any of them- then rent one that is similar to those he bought and move in.
Plus ca change
Lets hope he moves into a Palace next time?


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