Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Elliott Robs Barnet

With my spirits lifted by the news about Prince William, I opted to attend the game in the end, although my joy was tempered by the fact that it's just so hard these days for young couples to save enough for a deposit on a first home.

What I witnessed was surely the most inglorious qualification for the 2nd Round in the FA Cup's famous history, the Addicks will face Luton or Corby in ten days time. I really pick my matches.

So Barnet join Bournemouth, Notts County, Dagenham & Redbridge, MK Dons, and Sheffield Wednesday as the sixth team this season to leave SE7 with a 1-0 defeat.

If Rob Elliott has ever played better I'd be amazed. I counted fully NINE outstanding saves, and inbetween them the unfortunate Bees hit the bar.

He must be awarded a '10' for his own performance (it couldn't have been improved), but I will refrain from awarding the whole team marks for fear of wearing out the '3' button on my computer.

With the exception of Elliott, only Paul Benson, Kyel Reid and Gary Doherty emerged with any credit on a frigid night, and two of those were second half subs.

It all leaves me wondering, do I just happen to see staid and uninspiring performances, when instead we've resembled Brazil in recent weeks?

Or is the optimism engendered thereof going to fade as quickly as a reject from X Factor?

Parky opted for a 4-5-1 with Reid given plenty of licence to attack.

Indeed I spent most of the first half deciding whether he was freer than Aung San Suu Kyi or the Chandlers, and concluded neither analogy was remotely appropriate or funny.

Reidy did score though, pouncing with devastating effect on some sluggish defending to cut inside from the right wing and fire home at the near post.

Johnnie Jackson might have scored too when set up by Alan McCormack but as an attacking threat, we were largely bereft.

An embarrassingly poor attempt at a second half lob by Pawel Abbott summed up Charlton's and his night. He looked like a pub player on tonight's performance, with a physique to match.

I'm left aghast at how poorly a near full-strength side currently flying high in League One, can make possession of the football appear so challenging against supposedly inferior opposition.

Meanwhile Barnet fizzed the ball around at pace, yet retained enough control to set up their (ageing) strikers with quality ball to feet on numerous occasions.

Izale McLeod even made a late cameo and judging by the thickness of his gloves, you could tell he meant business.

Another ex-Addick Grant Basey generally looked comfortable in an unfamiliar centre back position, where his lack of pace can be more easily protected than at full-back. It's rare too to see a centre back taking all set-pieces with his cultured left foot.

Unfortunately it was all just a particularly poor demonstration of the way we usually play when I see Charlton under Parky, which makes the League One table all the more mysterious to me now.

By the final quarter-hour or so, home fans were left in a strange mental position, desperate to get home but conscious a deserved Barnet goal would likely mean extra time. We were on the edge of our seats, but not for the usual reasons.

The two saving graces are that firstly we somehow won, and second that only 4,500 or so Addicks witnessed it.

The other 12,000 or so who'll be present on Saturday will have noted only the victory and another clean sheet, and will thus conclude we're still terrific.

On this evidence we'll eventually be found out again.


At 7:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Parkinson out!

At 10:39 PM, Anonymous Chris said...

I bought two tickets, but then ended up missing the game. Sounds as if I got lucky. Despite not having been there, I'll indulge in some idle speculation about the performance. Leaving aside the sheer randomness in performances [and there's a lot of it], apparently small changes in balance and shape can probably make a very big difference; a reversion to 4-4-2 with Reid back on the bench and, hopefully, Anyinsah fit to play up front alongside Benson [and Semedo in for McCormack] may well create a very different proposition. I'll certainly be disappointed and concerned if Reid starts on Saturday.

In any event, the next three games, all at home, may well tell us an awful lot about prospects for the season. Can the "first team" [if Parky plays it] win those matches with good performances, suggesting that a genuine promotion challenge is coming or will three more stuttering performances [whatever the result] confirm the "found out sometime" thesis? I guess we'll see.

At 1:19 PM, Blogger ChicagoAddick said...

Love that first paragraph.


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