Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Canary In The Coalmine?

Having just penned a sentimental blog post about my new baby bringing us some luck, lo and behold CHARLTON HAVE WON A FOOTBALL MATCH!

Go on, shout it from the rooftops. I would join you but I live in a 31-storey building, and it's blowing an Arctic gale outside.

Having watched, listened to, or monitored via the web those 18 winless matches, I had wondered if I cared as much as I used to about our club.

But this afternoon I set out for a walk with my elder son, fearfully and frantically hitting the 'refresh' button after every block, yet for some reason sensing we'd hold on this time.

So when the result was confirmed I gave him a big hug and exclaimed, "We've only gone and f***ing won haven't we?". I regret using the F-word in front of a toddler, but it's been an awfully long time coming.

If canaries were used by coalminers to warn of dangers ahead, what might a win over the Canaries of Norwich mean for Charlton?

One obvious danger ahead is to ignore the glaring lesson that's staring us all in the face.....we didn't have any loan players in the squad of 18.

Admittedly at this point we only have Waghorn and Murty remaining, but even if it was a mere coincidence that we won tonight, can the general lesson please be heeded

I don't think any Charlton fans are anti-loans per se, but are against the almost frantic acquisition of them over the past 18 months, and the inevitable compromises and drawbacks they bring.

The fact that our form has been so woeful over this period, adds considerable fuel to the fire of those who bemoan the day that any of them temporarily walked into the club.

Promising young players like Moutaouakil, Wright and Shelvey need to be nurtured, not jettisoned in favour of the latest experienced loan needing injury rehabilitation.

It would be a great disappointment if Murty was to walk straight back into the side on Saturday, in the name of 'experience' for example.

One decision by Parkinson tonight gave me great encouragement. In the 79th minute, with the game entering its vital final stages, he chose to give 19-year old Rashid Yussuff his first-team debut after a loan spell at Northwich.

This was the type of decision that could have severely backfired had Norwich equalised. Yet it was almost certainly done only with the aim of giving him experience in a real pressure situation, not from a scoreline preservation standpoint.

It took some courage for Parky to make a decision like that, and I commend him for it. Will he now have the courage to again select most, or perhaps even all of tonight's side for the trip to Sheffield Wednesday?

Encouragingly the squad that was involved tonight felt like one that might start a League One campaign next season. If so, maybe relegation won't be so bad after all.


At 3:33 PM, Anonymous Bob Miller said...

I feel relegation will be "bad after all" and am still holding some hope that a string of successes can be engineered, thus pulling us up the table to a place of safety.

I would rather see Charlton doing its squad rebuild within the Championship, where the overall revenue factor will be stronger.

At 3:58 PM, Blogger Ken Jennings said...

Also following by 'live text'. Saw the GOAL and then I am sure I must have the world record for holding your breath as I do not recall exhaling until the referee called time.
Congratulations to you and Mrs. NYA.


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