The night is supposed to be darkest just before the dawn, but wasn't Chris Powell meant to be
There was an air of inevitability about last night's defeat, and that is what should concern our new owners the most.
The lowest gate of the season was not helped by the fact that the likes of me took one look at the weather forecast, considered the aforementioned inevitable, and gave it a miss.
In truth my interest rate is rapidly approaching zero, and as I've mentioned before watching this Charlton side literally makes me feel ill.
I enjoy watching football at two extremes. At one extreme the likes of Arsenal and Barcelona elevate the game to an art form.
Meanwhile at the other extreme, I love the down-to-earth reality of non-League; players competing for the love of the game, and fans feeling part of something positive in their local community.
Inbetween you seemingly have League One. Most Charlton players remain on six-figure incomes, yet are unable to demonstrate the type of ability that would be expected of employees in other industries, earning the same money.
Carlisle are no mugs of course, but they were surely ripe for the taking?
Presumably they travelled down from Cumbria the same day, they could not even name a full complement of subs, whilst away support could probably have left a seat or two free on a minibus.
The loss of former Carlisle man Anyinsah was ill-timed (we look a much better side with him in it), but then Powell allowed both Abbott and Sodje leave the club, leaving just one target man in the squad.
Thus with a forward line that can only be productive with the ball to feet, and a midfield that has continually proved it cannot provide it, the result was as I suggested, inevitable.
Consensus seems to be that the players aren't good enough. Assembled on a shoestring, you reap what you sow.
But that argument misses the fact that League One (like all leagues) is a relative one.
It doesnt matter if we're crap, we just have to be less crap than say 18 (or ideally 22) of the other teams.
Yet patently we are not even that, but why? With the exception of perhaps Southampton, all teams at this level are built on a shoestring. Exeter have paid one transfer fee in five years.
Charlton meanwhile have paid fees for Benson and BWP this season, and have a payroll that would still make most League One finance directors wince, including four loans from higher divisions (with wages to match).
They're also able to proudly boast an academy that has provided useful (albeit not exceptional) homegrown back-up.
It must run deeper than this, to think otherwise is a cop-out.
Why hasn't any manager/coach taught Racon how to play with his head up, or Reid how to funnel his obvious talents more productively?
Why hasn't Rob Elliott been disciplined for not losing the weight that could transform him from an average League One keeper, into one good enough for the upper echelons of the Championship?
These are just examples obviously but hardly unreasonable, and if individual improvement is beyond our well-remunerated coaching staff, perhaps just a consistent workable system of play might be devised for average players to operate in every week?
All of which invariably brings me back to Chris Powell. Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but I didn't have any when I proclaimed his appointment to be ridiculous. It looks even more so now.
He has generated 12 points from 8 games, but we barely deserved 3-4. In terms of formation and system, we have the same lack of grace as Parky's sides but none of the discipline.
Parkinson was sacked for generating 12 points from his final 8 games incidentally.
As Charlton manager he never lost three League games on the trot, let alone four even during the relegation season.
Last season we never even lost two games on the trot.
His dismissal was correct because the style was sapping the life out of the club but to use a technical term, I didn't expect the Board to balls up the most important decision they had to make.
Powell's appointment was justified in terms of bringing back a sense of 'togetherness' around the club, and because he was apparently the best man for the job.
the latter was inconceivable virtually by definition, and now the former has been exposed by Tuesday's attendance.
Some of the 'Parky vs Powell' debates on fan blogs and message boards, remind me of the old Whiskas adverts on TV.
Those adverts informed us that 8 out of 10 cats preferred Whiskas, but I'm not sure they ever made it entirely clear what they preferred it to
Surprisingly perhaps I prefer Powell to Parky, but there are numerous managers whom I would prefer to both
, and with new owners in place we probably could have got one of them too.
The club even with new owners is now in such a funk, that only a credible long-term reconstruction plan with the right man at the helm can save us.
Just because that man wasn't Dowie, Pardew or Parkinson, doesn't mean we should stop looking and take a speculative punt on a popular former player.
I can't be certain that Powell is not that man incidentally, but equally there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that he is.
And with a 3-year contract in his drawer earned on the basis of an hour's interview, I consider this unforgivable.