Friday, January 28, 2011

Dale Win-Ton?

Charlton last met Rochdale in League action during the season of my birth in 1973/74, although an FA Cup tie in 2005 was considerably more recent.

Goals from Hughes (2), Fortune and Murphy sealed a comfortable 4-1 win, although not before Grant Holt would signal his potential with a goal to claw the score back to 2-1.

Located within 20 miles of Man United, Man City and Bolton, 'the Dale' have been one of the Football League's stalwart lower league clubs, winning promotion last season after a 41-year wait.

The steady advancement under quirky manager Keith Hill and assistant David Flitcroft has no doubt been noted by many club Chairmen.

However there is little to suggest yet that League One represents the pinnacle of their ambitions with Rochdale, despite operating with the resources generated by average crowds below 4,000.

They sit just two points behind the Addicks, a tremendous achievement given the massive gulf in resources, and (as always appears to be the case these days) will leapfrog Charlton with a win.

Unbeaten since 10th Dec and enjoying the fruits of three away wins on the spin, they will not lack confidence despite facing an Addicks side buoyed by Chris Powell's lively introduction.

Powell will be relieved to have begun with a scrappy win, whilst the arrival of Bradley Wright-Phillips signals promotion intent, despite arguably creating more questions than answers.

With the strikers at his disposal now totalling seven (if one includes Scott Wagstaff), it is not clear how he will juggle his pack and keep them all happy.

It seems Akpo Sodje's imminent departure will make the problem slightly easier, although the loss of the big striker removes his ability to utilise pure brute force if a physical encounter demands it.

We were in far greater need of a creative ball-playing midfielder and/or a pacy defender than a striker, 41 goals in 24 games suggesting scoring has not been problematic.

Obviously if Powell gets his wish in these areas too, then there will be considerable expectation on his shoulders to deliver at least play-offs this season.

With the addition too of the pacy Nathan Eccleston, the squad would be markedly stronger than the one Parky had available to him, and any comparision of the two managers should acknowledge this.

Away from onfield matters, the club has finally found religion on ticket pricing, announcing that all tickets for the Exeter game will be just a fiver.

Perhaps the disappointing boost in attendance at the Plymouth game made them realise (as I predicted) that Powell's arrival alone would not fill many empty seats.

As I wrote in detail in 2009 (and have subsequently mentioned more recently), the club had lacked imagination in its ticketing policies, pandering too much to season ticket holders, so this is certainly a welcome move in the right direction.

Perhaps the new Board read my blog?


At 10:48 PM, Blogger Richard said...

I accept that BWP is likely to spend as much time on the physio's bench as on the pitch, but with 13 goals this term I am happy to have him. Our front men have underperformed, with Benson the only possible exception with 7 league goals in 14. (Waggy is a winger who scored a few, but was that the plan? I suspect not.)

Of course we need a midfielder to push Samedo and Racon for a place, and we do need defender(s) with some pace.

I guess I am saying that the squad is poor, so maybe we should be grateful for anyone with BWP pedigree.

I hope you enjoyed Florida NYA. The Valley was fun last week - even for this old cynic. But why was CP wearing a red and blue tie? Just noticed what our new managers initials stand for - spooky.

At 11:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Just noticed what our new managers initials stand for - spooky."

I'm completely lost. The new manager's initials are CP or, more correctly, CGRP. What is spooky about that? Sorry if this is a private joke.

At 11:30 AM, Anonymous newyorkaddick said...

There have been rumours that our new manager may be a secret agent sent to destroy the Addicks on behalf of our friends at Selhurst Park.

Just look at the evidence:
- he began his career at Palace;
- his initials are CP.

Following the success of Agents Dowie and Pardew, Agent Powell has been sent to finish the job.


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