Friday, January 23, 2009

FA Cup 4th Round preview

Those Charlton fans making their third trip up the M1 to Sheffield in less than a month on Saturday, might be tempted to spot the giant Meadowhall shopping centre on the approach to the city, and spend the afternoon there instead.

Indeed, it is not just in Yorkshire that the two Sheffield sides have had the 'Indian sign' over Charlton. The four Championship matches between us and the Blades and Owls have yielded a cumulative scoreline of 5-14, hardly the cause for great optimism.

However if there has been a single bright spot over the course of the past 111 days without a League win (count them), then it was that ray of hope from the 3rd Round win at Carrow Road.

Naturally their manager was forced to fall in his sword, no greater modern footballing humiliation surely than to lose to Charlton?

The potential lessons from that victory were however swiftly ignored for last weekend's trip to Hillsborough, the likes of Murty and Soares thrown straight back into the fray, almost as if by right (indeed who knows what's written into their loan contracts?).

Speaking of loans, Martyn Waghorn has returned to Sunderland, yet another pointless loan signing that yielded no discernible benefit, cost us his wages and potentially stunted the development of one of our own strikers.

With Phil Parkinson now having presided over ten winless League games, any claims that there has been improvement under his stewardship are surely now absurd (not that this suggests there was a case for not sacking Pardew).

It is not too late for the Board to acknowledge mistakes and to rectify the situation, but one imagines they will dig their heels in, hope for a miracle and then declare themselves strategic geniuses after all (when it will prove nothing of the sort).

I commented on Kings Hill Addick's blog this week that until recent events, one could reasonably claim that Charlton were a 'special' type of football club, such was the unique bond between fans, directors and players alike.

This was evidenced by incredible growth in attendances in the space of a decade, and not inconsiderable success on the pitch too.

It is the destruction of that bond which is the most upsetting to me (far more than our parlous League position), and which will be most damaging to the long-term prospects for the club unless it can somehow be put back together.

The communication between Board and fans is at a recent low (evidenced by the PR disaster that preceded the bizarre full-time appointment of Parkinson), whilst the apparent lack of motivation in the playing squad is not helped of course by the obsession with loans.

One advantage of the FA Cup however is that the Parky is forced to overlook loan players (in fairness, only two of which remain). Whether the youngsters he will thus select can triumph again is a moot point against a far stronger Blades side, but it's another chance to stamp their claim for selection in League games too.

I think he'll select as follows: Randolph, Moutaouakil, Fortune, Hudson, Basey, Ambrose, Bailey, Wright, Shelvey, Sam, Burton. Subs: Elliot, Holland, Wagstaff, Dickson, Gray, Todorov, Yussuff.

NY Addick predicts: Sheff Utd 2 (Webber, Sharp), Charlton 0. Att: 18,229.


At 7:28 PM, Anonymous aitchy said...

NYA, All the talk about Charlton being a 'well run club',' this is the way football clubs should be run' etc etc - don't you think it might be another example of being Fooled by Randomness.

At 11:17 PM, Blogger New York Addick said...

Aitchy, indeed they 'should be' well run but as we know most are not.

The only reason more don't go bust is due to the dumb blind loyalty of fans, and the unwillingness of banks to pull the plug on such a high profile local business.

However I do think Charlton is/was undisputably 'well-run' from early-90s until Curbs left. One can argue that it was easy to mistake Curbs' brilliance for an all-round team effort (particularly including the Board), but I still this would largely be unfair.

At 12:42 PM, Anonymous Compo said...

Don't diasgree with your summary, NYA particularly the reference to the relationship between Club and supporters. The disintegration of the "special bond" saddens me too, having played a very small part in the Back to The Valley campaign, and subsequently via NWK Supporters Groups. Maybe this unique "singing from the same hymn sheet" was too good to be true in the long term but I hope that bridges can be built via the Fans' Forum etc.
It will be interesting to hear what transpires at Wednesday's AGM.

On a brighter note,I recently asked Ketts about the new addition to your family and was pleased to laern that all is well etc. Congratulations to all concerned. Hopefully we might get together in Legenda again before this dismal season ends. Take care.


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