Tuesday, November 11, 2008

That's Entertainment

"It doesn't matter if we never meet again, What we have said will always remain, If we get through for two minutes only, It will be a start!" (The Jam, 1980)

'Start' by The Jam reached No.1 in the charts in August 1980. Alan Pardew would have been just 19 years old at the time, and interestingly both band and future football manager were firmly 'made in Surrey'.

Thus with just two minutes of injury time left, dare I suggest that Pards might have had flashbacks of his teenage years, and muttered the above lyrics to himself at about 4.51pm on Saturday?

Unfortunately we didn't get through those final two minutes, and the rollercoaster end of the game ultimately resulted in just a point. Despite Pardew's understandable post-match upbeat mood, this remains relegation form.

It is curious to note the following statistics about our opening 16 games:

- During Charlton's first 8 games, they scored the first goal 6 times (1 game finished goalless);
- During Charlton's next 8 games, they conceded the first goal 7 times.

Nonetheless, we have notably 'won' the second half in the last four games we've played (but only picked up 3 points). This sudden change in form between the first half of matches and the second half, and between the first half of this season so far and the second can be seen as follows:


1ST HALF: P8 W5 D1 L2
2ND HALF: P8 W2 D4 L2
Total Pts:10


1ST HALF: P8 W0 D2 L6
2ND HALF: P8 W5 D1 L2
Total Pts: 6

So a brutally honest review of our season so far would show that we've basically been cr*p throughout, but at different times. Or a less honest review, might conclude that we defy explanation. Perhaps our home crowds are holding up because we are so unpredictable, thus ensuring entertainment.

By a beautiful accident of symmetry, our first half form during the opening 8 games exactly reflects our second half form during the latter 8 games.

Did those three early games where we led but lost (Preston, Wolves, Sheff Weds), cause Pards to become more conservative from the get-go, with unintended negative consequences? Did the team become fearful of losing, when they'd previously started games with gay abandon?

They've refound their fighting spirit it seems, but at what overall price? If only Pards could marry those early first halves, with the more recent second halves and we'd have play-off contenders on our hands even from our current position.

You sense Pardew's ego can't resist a challenge, so there's one for him.....and there's still 90 points there for the taking if he accepts it.


At 10:06 AM, Anonymous Ketts said...

The reason the crowds are holding up at the Valley is,as revealed by the club last week,a seson ticket holder is counted as part of the crowd whether he attends the game or not.

'Attendance' is in effect ticket sales.The club is very pro-active with promotions in scholls etc so the 'attendances' should hold up despite the Valley becoming ever emptier.

At 1:30 PM, Anonymous Weegie said...

Like the quote across the top, NYA...speaks volumes to me!


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