Friday, October 24, 2008

Burnley preview

With the Zabeel deal having been a mere pipe dream, attention turns back to Charlton's form on the pitch, a situation rapidly resembling a nightmare.

There are several troubling statistics relating to this season, but it's the simple fact that we've lost 7 out of 12 games that troubles me the greatest. If one takes the final 10 games of last season too, it's now 13 defeats from 22.

In starker terms, we've fallen behind 7 times during this campaign, and have failed to salvage a single point from those situations - this is the type of trait that relegated sides have. Our politicians were finally forced to mumble the 'R-word' (recession) today - it's probably about time Pards began using the 'R-word' (relegation) more forcefully in his teamtalks, because the threat is very real.

He has promised changes to the line-up, and I don't doubt that we will see them. However I don't sense fans necessarily want change for change's sake, but might actually prefer stability if there was greater evidence of a 'masterplan' at work that simply needed time.

We have scored plenty of early goals this season, suggesting that 'Plan A' is to attack from the off and force the opposition onto the back foot. Indeed reports suggest we completely dominated the first 25 minutes against Bristol City. However if the goal doesn't come, or more importantly if a soft one is conceded instead, what is the 'Plan B'?

I believe the squad has talent, and on the rare occasions that it clicks, we can play some terrific stuff. However I don't sense that Pards has a true system in place into which any player can slot into, and moreover his penchant for loan signings and general tactical tinkering does not help matters either. Thus performances like the one at home to Reading are more likely a function of randomness, rather than an inevitable consequence of weeks of hard work in training.

Pards bemoaned the fact that Lloyd Sam tried to do several jobs when introduced on Tuesday night, and not simply the one that he was asked to perform. Surely this is simply poor coaching? And if not, shouldn't Sam simply be banished to the reserves for a while? For sure Moutaouakil would have been.

Our goals meanwhile have dried up, scoring just 6 goals in our last 9 games. With just four goals from open play between them all season, a Gray/Varney partnership is clearly not working. Each has something to offer in his own way, but neither is a natural goalscorer and pairing them together thus makes little sense. The time has surely come to offer the likes of Dickson, McLeod or Fleetwood a proper run in the side.

As I expected, Burnley have recovered from a poor start to tuck into an early play-off position and are certainly not missing Andy Gray it would appear. As a seemingly perpetual member of English football's second-tier, they have a degree of stability that we are lacking, and like Reading, Hull or Stoke before them, they may well secure some Premiership football based upon that simple virtue alone.

I think Pards will select as follows: Weaver, Moutaouakil, Basey, Hudson, Primus, Bailey, Wright, Sam, Bouazza, Todorov, Dickson. Subs: Elliot, Semedo, Holland, Gray, Varney.

NY Addick predicts: Charlton 1 (Wright), Burnley 0. Att: 20, 711.

4 Comments:

At 10:41 PM, Anonymous Chris said...

"However I don't sense that Pards has a true system in place into which any player can slot into, and moreover his penchant for loan signings and general tactical tinkering does not help matters either. Thus performances like the one at home to Reading are more likely a function of randomness, rather than an inevitable consequence of weeks of hard work in training."

Couldn't agree more and he hasn't bought well either. Pardew is clearly at his wits end and I would think that the Board must have been dismayed by his post match interview on Tuesday. He needs to get the players he has organised and performing not roll the dice again and hope that a new face somehow makes the team click, but he clearly has no master plan.

I'm in a shrinking minority because I rate Lloyd Sam so discount my view if you like, but Pardew's comments about him on Tuesday evening were amazing. Sam showed real spirit when he came on and I recollect just one occassion when he made a give and go and ended up on the left wing. He then cut inside and very nearly scored with a weak shot that just beat the far post. The irony is that it was so obvious on Tuesday that we are just too static; there is no movement so that we are so easy to close down. Sam was an exception to that. Bristol City never stopped moving of course and that is why they were able to keep possession whilst we could not. If Pards doesn't get this there really isn't much hope.

 
At 10:52 PM, Anonymous newyorkaddick said...

I think like many people during a recession, Sam felt he had to do more than one job. He probably drives a minicab some evenings too.

More seriously, I agree that under Pards we have never 'passed and moved' very well. Occasionally our pace can trouble sides but if they sit deeper, it is quickly nullified.

 
At 9:41 AM, Anonymous steveb said...

Chris, I agree that Sam comes in for unfair critisism from the crowd & now Pardew has joined in. You can't fault his work rate going both forward & tracking back & he does add some much needed mobility to the side. However, his decision making sometimes lets him down & the crowd seem quick to let him know.

Why does Ambrose seem to escape any negative comments from Pardew ? Not for the first time, he hid for the whole hour he was on the pitch Tuesday night, yet when he was replaced, Pardew made a point of shaking his hand while ignoring Gray who was subbed at the same time.

I suspect Pardew, like all managers, has his favourites but you would hope this doesn't cloud his judgement. Perhaps it's just easier to critisise a young player who's come up through the ranks, than those who have been around a bit !

 
At 11:23 AM, Anonymous Chris said...

Thanks Steve. Sam's decision making is a problem for him I agree. Indeed, I've often thought that decision making ability marks the difference between players at the top level and those that don't make it. I guess in part the skill is innate, part experience and part coaching. Sam needs to play and to be advised/coached into being a more effective player. Unfortunately, it is not obvious that players actually get better under Pardew.

As far as Ambrose is concerned, I've more or less given up. He has ability, but I've never seen a player with as undeveloped a "football brain" as he seems to have. He often plays head down, embarking on long dribbles and taking speculative long shots when a simple ball was all that was needed. Pardew's comment that "there seem to be aspects of his game that the crowd don't like and I am trying to help him (Ambrose) with that" was one of his classics. It certainly left me confused. Could it be that a significant element of the crowd have concluded that he simply won't make the grade at this level?

 

Post a Comment

<< Home