Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Leap of Faith

It seems Charlton has become football's version of Woolworth's.....full of overpriced tat they can no longer get rid of, even at big discounts.

Unlike Luke Varney, the Ambrose merchandise wasn't labelled 'with a view to a permanent deal' , but I don't think many fans expected to see it returned.

However in the case of both players (Varney also swiftly got dropped by Derby), at least it proves that Addicks fans weren't somehow being misguided in their continual frustration with their respective untapped potential.

It remains to be seen if he will be allowed to leave in January for next to nothing, but if not then finally Hameur Bouazza has some competition again on the left flank.

Moreover given he has never played under Phil Parkinson, perhaps the caretaker/temporary/interim* (*delete as appropriate) manager can somehow get the best out of him.

It's amazing how a player whom many Newcastle fans were sorry to see leave in 2005, has so swiftly fallen from grace. One senses Ambrose's problem is almost entirely a mental one; few doubt his natural talent.

His career has reached perhaps a surprise crossroads. Seemingly unwanted by two Championship clubs, yet presumably rather used to Premiership-type wages, this may finally be the kick up the backside that his casual style suggests he needs.

He has typically played for Charlton on one of the wings, and has rarely impressed. When utilised in the 'hole' behind two frontmen, he has tended to look more potent but it requires either an imbalanced central midfield, or a rarely used 3-5-2 formation.

Interestingly one position he has hardly ever been tried in, is as an outright striker playing off a target man. His record of 13 goals in 38 league starts (prior to joining Charlton) suggests he can finish, and indeed this is perhaps one aspect of his game that has remained relatively unquestioned (even in the air).

Ambrose is very much drinking in the 'last chance saloon' with Charlton, but perhaps playing him upfront might be a much-needed tonic for him and the team. One suspects he wouldn't do much worse than the other strikers that have been tried in varying combinations.

If not, I think I might have stumbled across an alternative explanation for his underperformance. By virtue of being born on the 29th February 1984, he has only celebrated six real birthdays, ten fewer than Jonjo Shelvey for example. This makes him by far the youngest player in the squad, perhaps suggesting much more to come as he matures.

He thus also complicates one of my favourite probability riddles, which states that on a football pitch (containing 23 people including the referee), there is a better than 50% chance that at least two of them share the same birthday.

This is a great riddle to impress women with at parties, but be sure to tell them that it does not quite apply if Ambrose is one of them. Some of my readers might wish to try it tonight.

Footnote: Apparently Martin Christensen hasn't actually left the club, as reported elsewhere. That's a relief.


At 3:48 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But Parky IS the new manager.

At 4:18 PM, Anonymous newyorkaddick said...

Ah yes, how marvellous. With Ambrose back too I can barely contain my excitement.

Silly me for ignoring an email from the club marked merely as a 'bulletin', not a 'newsflash'.

At 4:25 PM, Blogger Chicago Addick said...

That's because it wasn't news.

At 5:13 PM, Blogger Ken Jennings said...

and I thought 'no news' was supposed to be 'good news'.

At 6:47 PM, Anonymous Chris said...

Interesting thought re Ambrose. Believe it or not the same idea struck me earlier today as I clutched at straws whilst trying to come to terms with news that Ipswich don't want him either.

Upfront he may be less of a liability, i.e. less likely to disrupt the flow of the side (what flow you might say to be fair), whilst his undoubted instinctive flair may be more danagerous if he is more often in advanced positions. It is not obvious that he could do much worse than the incumbents.


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