Friday, December 10, 2010

Blazing Saddlers

Charlton are likely to start Sunday’s game outside of the promotion places given the queue of teams behind us, but there would be few excuses if we don’t reclaim 2nd place by 4pm.

Walsall arrive at The Valley in a sorry 24th place, a promising start to the season ruined by an awful run of just 2 wins in 15 League One games.

However a brief glance at the types of attendances the Saddlers attract to the Bescot Stadium, emphasises the massive gulf that exists between their resources and ours.

Attendances threaten to dip below the 3,000 mark if the team’s performances continue to falter on the field, yet they somehow managed to produce a tiny trading profit in their most recently published accounts.

Whilst Charlton’s financial problems are well-documented and real, even if we balanced the books too (something Murray declares impossible in League One, but I beg to disagree), we’d still have the ability to operate with a playing budget multiples larger than some of our competitors.

Admittedly this simple metric probably easily explains the 22 places and 18 points that separate the two sides, but the likes of Bournemouth, Oldham and Carlisle are operating with similar constraints, but keeping pace with the comparatively richer likes of the Addicks.

Charlton’s win at Luton was a typical performance under Parkinson. An almost total lack of any discernible ‘quality’ (conditions were not helpful admittedly), but plenty of endeavour and ultimately an important win.

I wanted to joke that at times we made Luton look like a non-League side, but in truth we didn’t even manage that.

Unfortunately it lends more evidence to my belief that we are currently in a false position, and that the League table at the end of the season will prove it, substantial new investment notwithstanding.

This Charlton side would get outpassed by the Dog & Duck (but probably eke out a 1-0 win).

Parky wasn’t a managerial dunce after the Brighton defeat, and he isn’t a managerial genius now so other factors must be at work too, not least fortune (and I’m not referring to Jonathan).

The crazy appointment of Alan Pardew at Newcastle has led some to speculate whether he might invite Phil Parkinson to become his assistant again, so devastatingly successful were the pair last time around.

He may not be a managerial genius, but neither is Parky stupid enough to even contemplate working in such circumstances so the rapidly diminishing ‘Parky Out’ brigade will have to wait a little while longer.

The price of a 3rd Round trip to Spurs appears to be niggling injuries to two key players, Rob Elliott and Paul Benson.

Pawel Abbott looked brighter than usual when he came on at Kenilworth Road, and may have done enough to replace Benson if he is indeed unavailable.

However Lee Martin is back in the frame, and his most recent performance against Bristol Rovers was an impressive one. Likewise Akpo Sodje’s late cameo in the same game.

This is the second of a vital trio of games within the space of just five days, which will go along way to defining the season. We should have enough in the squad to beat Walsall without risking Elliott and Benson’s fragile fitness.

By Tuesday night we could well be 2nd in League One, a two-legged game away from Wembley and with a cup tie at Spurs to look forward to. Even I might cheer up a bit after that.

It’s about time Charlton won comfortably at home, so my charity bet will reflect this hope and to a lesser extent, expectation.

NY Addick bets £10 on Charlton to win 3-0 (at 11/1)


At 7:08 PM, Blogger ChicagoAddick said...

You are a miserable so and so :-)


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