Thursday, August 12, 2010

A Taste of the Orient

I’m not quite sure what to make of Tuesday’s bizarre exit from the Carling Cup.

The sight of Pawel Abbott and Lee Martin tearing the Shrews apart in just a few first-half minutes was encouraging, but some of the subsequent defending was truly abysmal.

If you haven’t seen it, brace yourself and click here.

The ‘reward’ for winning on Tuesday would have been a trip to Stoke in the 2nd Round, just about the worst type of tie imaginable (no glamour and likely defeat) so the result itself is hardly worth losing sleep over.

Regardless of the circumstances however, giving up a 3-0 lead at that level of football is really a humiliation.

However it will be even more swiftly forgotten if the Addicks go top of the league tomorrow night, an outcome they are assured for twenty hours at least with just a point at Brisbane Road.

The O’s went down to an opening day defeat at Yeovil, but secured an impressive Carling Cup win at Swindon to set up a home tie with WBA in two weeks’ time.

Much-travelled and respected boss Russell Slade took over in early-April with relegation a genuine threat, but secured ten more vital points (including an impressive win over champions Norwich) to guarantee League One survival by just a point.

During the summer he brought in ten new faces, including ex-Addicks Matthew Spring and Elliot Omozusi and they may well turn out to be one of the division’s surprise packages.

Thanks to Sky’s coverage, Charlton will not benefit from the same vociferous support that followed them up the A12 this time last year, but their own new-look side will be confident of securing the same result nonetheless.

Although Akpo Sodje played his heart out against Bournemouth, the stunning Abbott and Martin show will have given Parkinson a real selection dilemma.

However I’m tempted to think that away from home, Parkinson would be reluctant to defend set pieces without either Sodje or the suspended Jose Semedo, especially if ‘little’ Chris Solly rightly keeps his place in front of the rather more robust Simon Francis.

Else the team would have a very small look about it, which is rarely a winning formula at this level.

Thus the somewhat disappointing Scott Wagstaff may make way for Martin on the right flank, with the option of the Ipswich man’s pace and unpredictability upfront perhaps later in the game.

In central midfield, the lack of options in the absence of Semedo likely means a rare substitute berth for young Alex Stavrinou.

When all is said and done, I expect them to line up as follows: Elliott, Solly, Jackson, Dailly, Doherty, Racon, McCormack, Reid, Martin, Abbott, Sodje. Subs: Worner, Francis, Llera, Fry, Wagstaff, Smart, Stavrinou.

Martin’s neat goal on Tuesday ensured it was 2 out of 2 for my charity bets this season, ensuring £60 has already made its way to a good cause.

Given that he scored and also hit the bar late on, it’s rather surprising that the bookies are still offering 11/2 on him scoring ‘anytime’ again on Friday night, so I certainly don’t need a second invitation to ‘lump on’ even if a goal is somewhat less likely if he does indeed begin on the flank.

NY Addick bets £10 on Lee Martin to score at anytime (at 11/2)


At 2:10 PM, Anonymous SLC Red said...

"Cannot play media. Sorry, this media is not available in your territory." Don't you just hate that? The glass half-full aspect of having a couple of players who might be able to put the ball in the net more than made up for the bitter taste of defeat. Roll on Friday.


Post a Comment

<< Home