Friday, February 04, 2011

Yeovil Preview

With all due respect to our cider-drinking friends from Somerset, it's fixtures like Yeovil away which sum up why we need to get out of League One at the earliest opportunity.

Synonymous with FA Cup shocks and led into the Football League by Gary Johnson less than a decade ago, it's no surprise that the teams have only met five times.

A stunning Akpo Sodje goal earned the Addicks a point in horrendous conditions last season, a moment of sublime skill which he never looked remotely like repeating.

In November, Charlton won at The Valley by the odd goal in five thanks to a rare Johnnie Jackson header, although not before Christian Dailly had seen red for the second time this season.

With average crowds of less than 5,000 (albeit representing approximately 10% of the local population), relegation battles can be expected at League One level but the Glovers secured a respectable 15th position last season with 53 points.

Despite currently being in 17th position however, they are actually on course for a better points total (56) if they maintain the form that has seen them generate 33 points from 27 games.

Their home form is somewhat volatile with both five wins and five defeats, with Rochdale, Dagenham, Sheff Weds, Exeter and Hartlepool taking three points.

However Yeovil are enjoying a very nice run of form with just one defeat in nine League One matches, and will fancy the chance to put daylight between themselves and the relegation zone.

Based on reports and not my own eyes, Charlton were fortunate to take three points on Tuesday but what did Napoleon say about lucky generals?

Somewhat frustratingly for Chris Powell, he took over with the Addicks in 7th and now they sit in 8th despite a 100% record.

If both the Plymouth and Colchester wins were somewhat fortunate, then it continues a theme that has characterised our entire season.

Rather than focus on short-term results however (which ebb and flow), I'm more interested in whether our style of play begins to demonstrate a degree of fluidity and consistency.

It is upon this type of foundation that the club will be sure to progress in the long-term, although with reinforcements like Wright-Phillips and Eccleston, we might sneak somewhat undeservedly into the play-offs nonetheless.

Eagle-eyed League One table observers will have noted that automatic promotion remains a realistic aim once games-in-hand are taken into account, although Rochdale/Hartlepool away and Southampton at home are hardly 'gimmes'.

The wife has approved a visa to attend the Peterborough game next weekend, although as my interest in Charlton hits hitherto unknown lows, I'm not sure I'll even bother to get it stamped.

I must be getting old.


At 10:54 PM, Blogger The Exile said...

I think you're actually being a bit unfair. I happen to believe that over a 46 game season wherever you end up, is where you deserve to be. Be that promoted, relegated or just mid-table obscurity.

If we make the playoffs (or better, there is still a long way to go) then it's because the team worked hard to get there. I think it's harsh to say it would be undeserved.

At 8:30 AM, Blogger Dave said...

NYA - agree 100% with your sentiments about perhaps making the play-offs through good fortune rather than merit, although I take The Exile's point. It usually takes momentum and steady nerves to negotiate the play-offs and we have had neither so far this season. If we can get some momentum, then we could go very close to automatic promotion. If we don't, clearly we will have none if we scrape in. My ticket for the Posh game is spare - I will be in Edinburgh watching Scotland finish the Welsh 6 Nations tournament earlier than expected.

At 11:53 AM, Anonymous Gillis said...

I understand how you feel about Charlton at the moment, NYA, I was feeling similar myself not so long ago. But I think I'm right in saying that you haven't had a chance to attend a match since Powell took over, and I'd strongly urge you to take the opportunity to go to the Peterborough game.

I can’t in all honesty say that what you’d see at Peterborough would be unrecognisable from what you’ve seen earlier in the season, but things have definitely begun to change. The atmosphere at The Valley is certainly less poisonous, and there does seem to be a sense of hope about the place. I know these things can be short-lived, but it could just as well be the start of a something more sustained.

As for the football, there has undeniably been some good fortune in Powell’s 100% start, but again, there are signs of positive change. It’s not a million miles away from what we were playing under Parky, not by any means, but the defending has been a little more resolute, and there seems to be more of a determination to keep the ball on the ground and pass. The players, much like the crowd, appear more positive since Powell arrived.

I agree that short-term results don’t necessarily indicate the beginning of a long-term improvement, but I don’t think they are altogether irrelevant either. It may be a cliché, but results do breed confidence, and the team will need confidence to develop the fluidity and consistency required for long-term success.

I can’t promise that coming to the Peterborough game would be a transformative experience, but you could well leave feeling a little more encouraged than when you arrived.

At 5:28 PM, Anonymous Chris said...

Hmm, Charlton Apathetic FC


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