Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Plan Bee

"If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you, but make allowance for their doubting too." (Rudyard Kipling)

I’m not sure if Phil Parkinson is a fan of Kipling, but he may well be based upon exceedingly good recent results.

He didn’t so much ‘keep his head’ as ‘change his team’, the catalyst for a quite extraordinary turnaround in results.

Given that it’s often better to be lucky than smart, the injury to Kyel Reid against Brighton forced Parky to push Johnnie Jackson into midfield, a move which simultaneously has solidified the midfield and improved the defence.

In a coincidental but unrelated move, Parky also opted to pair Paul Benson with Joe Anyinsah and have since seen the pair score goals in unison seemingly for fun.

In my self-appointed role as the unofficial club devil’s advocate, one might question why it took an enforced injury change for Parky to stumble across a winning formula, but suddenly the season holds immense promise. After all, it’s not as if the teams we have beaten have been divisional lightweights.

Obviously injuries and suspensions will soon upset the stable applecart somewhat, but of particular note is the fact that perhaps League One’s two most skilful and unpredictable players (Reid and Lee Martin) are waiting on the bench, ready to pounce and offer opposition defenders something different to worry about.

This was demonstrated with devastating effect at Peterborough.

Barnet should represent a straightforward route to a home tie with non-League opposition in the Second Round, but Charlton’s awful reputation in all Cups is not unmerited.

Moreover I suspect most fans are more excited about the prospect of a possible Wembley trip in the Johnstones Paint Trophy than a Third Round tie in the FA Cup.

Nonetheless Parky will be forced into a number of changes tonight, so it offers the chance for some squad players to put some doubt back into the manager’s mind regarding what really constitutes his best team.

Although it’s only a Cup tie, it remains rather mystifying why we are the joint worst home scorers in League One, yet comfortably the most prolific on the road, scoring almost three times as many away from The Valley.

The answer may lie partly in the impatient crowd, but it may also lie in the fact that with the pace of the likes of Wagsstaff and Anyinsah, we play at our best in a counterattacking style which is less potent when visiting sides are happy to defend deep.

If so then an alternative approach (hopefully one emphasising high tempo ‘pass and move’ may be the key to unlocking defences at home too).

I’ve a ticket for tonight’s game but will make a late decision whether to bother using it or not. The freezing weather and the possibility of extra time do not fill me with great appeal upon reflection.

If I make it, I suspect I’ll be seeing the following team: Elliott, Francis, Fry, Doherty, Fortune, Reid, McCormack, Racon, Wagstaff, Benson, Abbott.

My Peterborough charity bet paid off nicely, the 7/1 odds on Jackson scoring at any time looking even sillier now given he managed the feat twice.

I hadn’t factored in the fact that he’s the club’s penalty taker, but then neither it seemed had the bookies (who interestingly now have him at just 2/1 to score tonight!).

Therry Racon however remains interesting value at 11/2 to score tonight (2 goals in 2 games add to the attraction.

In a hunt for some longer-priced odds meanwhile that are ideal for a charity bet, I’m also going to go crazy and suggest the Addicks go one better than Saturday and hit the Bees for six.

NY Addick bets £5 on Therry Racon to score anytime (at 11/2)
NY Addick bets £5 on Charlton to win 6-0 (at 66/1)


At 7:35 PM, Anonymous Texas Addick said...

I must admit I have a smile on my face with that last bet of yours, I wonder what odds are shorter - 66/1 winning 6-0, or youve started the christmas spirit early!


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