Friday, January 02, 2009

FA Cup 3rd Round preview

Long gone unfortunately are the days when I would happily claim a sickie at work, complaining of an acute case of 'Cup Fever'.

In a previous post, I highlighted the fact that in theory our relegation from the Premiership should add some allure back to the FA Cup, but in practice a home draw with Norwich does nothing of the sort.

However given that this may be the last time in a while that we enter the competition at the 3rd Round stage, we probably ought to enjoy it for that reason alone.

Next season, we could well be the draw that every non-League team from some godforesaken Northern village wants in the 1st Round.

I had rather hoped that this fixture would be the perfect opportnity for our new manager (from outside) to begin to experiment, and signal his intent for the remainder of the season.

Instead we must find the grace to back Phil Parkinson, despite our very real and justified disappointment.

The absurdity of our reliance on an assortment of loan players is best exemplified during a Cup tie.

Rather than use the tie to perhaps instil ideas upon a first-choice eleven with an eye on the vital Forest league game, he instead cannot pick either McEveley or Waghorn, whilst Cranie's return to Portsmouth has been confirmed.

There is no better example of how the loan system is benefiting everyone except Charlton right now, than Martin Cranie.

He started 19 games this season, only 2 of which ended in a victory (one of which he was withdrawn from at half-time, having scored an own goal).

He will no doubt personally have improved from the experience, and will return to Tony Adams a more accomplished player than when he left. Quite how this has added value to Charlton in any way whatsoever baffles me (and don't get me started on Keith Gillespie).

Meanwhile an exciting (but clearly raw) replacement in the shape of Yassin Moutaouakil is left to rot in the reserves, yet is now presumably set to be asked to suddenly return match ready for the vital weeks ahead.

Alternatively Jose Semedo will be asked to forego central midfield duties, sacrificing a partnership with Nicky Bailey that had begun to bear some fruit.

It's total lunacy and is patently not working, yet who wants to bet that there won't be more loans arriving in January now that some vacancies exist?

As a result of these forced changes on Saturday, and additional injury problems too, the scope to offer some much-needed experience to some of the club's youngsters is presumably reduced since ultimately we want to win the game.

(Definition: win (verb) - to finish first in a race, contest or the like. To succeed by striving or effort. To gain the victory; overcome the adversary).

Norwich have injury problems and loan-related problems of their own, and like us will want a replay as much as the proverbial hole in the head. Cue an exciting attacking game with both teams throwing caution to the wind, and forgetting about a relegation battle for once.

I think Parky will name his first side as 'permanent' manager as follows: Weaver, Moutaouakil, Basey, Youga, Fortune, Sam, Bailey, Semedo, Bouazza, Burton, McLeod. Subs: Randolph, Wright, Shelvey, Dickson, Todorov, Holland, Sinclair.

NY Addick predicts: Charlton 2 (Burton, Bouazza), Norwich 3 (Sibierski 2, Cort). Att: 12, 208.


At 8:30 PM, Blogger Kentish Man said...

Spot on. I am at a loss to understand the club's obsession with loan signings. Last season I thought they were the result of sheer panic. This season we have obviously concluded that if three loan signings don't work, bring in 6. What chance of developing a sense of team and shared purpose. To make matters worse the management team concluded that Martin Cranie - a reasonable centre back - should go out to RB and displace Yassin Moutaouakil, one of our best young prospects. The move helped neither player, I think its fair to say.


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