Friday, February 13, 2009

Plymouth preview

After securing a valuable P-P draw with high-flying Cardiff, the Addicks welcome Plymouth to The Valley as they seek to extend their impressive ten day unbeaten run.

This week I had another version of a recurring Charlton-related dream, that I have found rather disturbing.

On each occasion I am at The Valley for a vital clash, but upon reaching my seat realise I cannot see the action properly due to a 'restricted view'. I also don't recognise any of the players.

However each time I move to an 'unrestricted view' seat, an officious steward tells me I can't sit there for some spurious reason and ushers me out of the stadium. On returning to my car meanwhile, I realise it's been stolen.

Anyone qualified in dream interpretation is welcome to provide some colour, but my conclusion is that I can't see where the club is heading, I don't like our reliance on loan players, and car crime is on the increase.

Meanwhile, speaking of dreams, the Fox Soccer Channel over here in the US occasionally broadcasts a programme called 'Premier League Archives', showing a 30 minute highlights package of a classic game from the past.

Which game did they choose to show this week? Yep, Charlton vs Chelsea from Boxing Day, 2003. The one where we took the high-flying Blues apart 4-2 and Scott Parker pretty much secured his move there.

Watching it was both uplifting and depressing at the same time. It was interesting too that two players that started that game still survive as first-teamers today (Holland and Fortune).

What struck me however was how the eleven on the pitch were frankly pretty mediocre individually (Parker and Di Canio excepted), but the likes of Hreidarsson, Kishishev, Stuart, and Euell gave the team tremendous spirit, and this more than overcame their inherent shortcomings.

Today we have a team whose mediocrity is not enhanced by great spirit, but seemingly deflated even further by a losing mentality that appears systemic. Although considerably more 'likeable' than Pardew upon first impression, Parkinson has done little to change this status quo, not surprising really given he was heavily involved in creating it.

It seems we really can't win this season (literally). When this dire run began in earnest in October we regularly conceded the first goal (and then lost). Now we have begun to put that right and score it, yet we still contrive to lose anyway.

Unfortunately from my perspective, my overwhelming emotion now is not anger or frustration, but merely apathy. When I realised it was a Friday today and that I ought to write a match preview, it dawned on me that I had no idea who we were playing.

If this trend is being replicated across even a minority of our support, then it does not bode well. Our relegation is inevitable it seems, but we can at least go down fighting to give fans the sense that our downward path is reversible.

Comments from Parkinson last week concerning further use of the loan window, merely increase my apathy. By my calculation for example, we have already used 15 players in midfield this season. At what point does trying to improve the ones we already have become an option?

Speaking of which, there were rumours from Ashton Gate that the substitutes Moutaouakil, Sam and Ambrose had demonstrated an attitude that was somewhat less, than that shown by the class of 2003/4 above.

If true then of course this is inexcusable, but also perhaps evidence of the long-term damage that the loan players are causing inside the camp, and yet with scant reward to offset it.

Having said that, I'm actually strangely confident we'll win tomorrow. Plymouth haven't registered a win in 2009, and are now firmly in a relegation battle. They've also contrived to score fewer goals than Charlton this season, which takes some doing in the circumstances.

I think Parky will line them up as follows: Elliot, Murty, Hudson, Ward, Basey, Soares, Racon, Spring, Bailey, Kandol, Burton. Subs: Randolph, Holland, Ambrose, Dickson, Fleetwood.

NY Addick predicts: Charlton 2 (Spring, Soares), Plymouth 0. Tickets sold: 18, 982.


At 4:24 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think we'll win too. Only managed to see 7 games this season but garnered 11 points out of 24 in those games. Going tomorrow so let's hope my luck holds

At 6:09 PM, Anonymous sillav nitram said...

you seem to have forgotten neew york, whenever we play a team that haven't won, scored or whatever for aeons, they always rectify it against us. apologies for the pessimism.

At 6:09 PM, Anonymous sillav nitram said...

you seem to have forgotten neew york, whenever we play a team that haven't won, scored or whatever for aeons, they always rectify it against us. apologies for the pessimism.

At 11:49 PM, Blogger Ken Jennings said...

I also feel a win coming on. Perhaps even a massacre, which would be appropriate for the date. 2-0, maybe even 3 - as long as they don't play scared after getting the first goal.That will be down to the manager.

And given the thuggish nature of the opposition, I sure hope Ref Kettle keeps a lid on things.

At 7:08 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just to correct my appaling's now 14 points from a possible 24. Much better performance


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