Wednesday, 11 March 2009

Anyway know the way to Glandford Park?

Bolton Wanderers fan, Gareth (of Betfair) gives an outside view of what I believe us Addicks might have been staring at, too intently for too long.....

At any other stage of the season a draw away at Reading would have been an excellent result.  I don’t think many people would argue that they’ve got the most quality in their side out of the teams in the Championship. The Addicks need to win pretty much every game if they’re going to play Championship football next season, and I doubt many are betting  on that happening.

 As a neutral I feel it would be a shame to see another big club drop into the third tier of English football.  There are positives I suppose though, Sheffield Wednesday only spent two seasons in that league and their fans got a trip to the Millennium Stadium to watch them promoted in the play-off final.  Leicester City are flying this season and it looks an almost certainty they will win the league, I think some bookies have even started paying out online-bets  that the Foxes would win the league, probably best not mention Leeds United though.

 Former boss Alan Curbishley probably summed it up best for me.  Speaking to Sky’s Goals on Sunday he said: “It's to do with bad decisions. I was there for 15 years and now they've had four managers in two years.

 "The decision-making has obviously had a big effect. It's not worked and when you get on that downward spiral it's very difficult to get out of it. I could perhaps have imagined Charlton coming out of the Premier League, but I can't imagine them going down to Division One in such a short space of time."

 ’m with Curbs on that one.  Charlton are definitely not a League One club.  Then again it is all about the running of the club.  I don’t even want to go blaming Iain Dowie (though I’m sure a few fans will), and the board backed him with some pretty serious money as well. 

 I’m a ‘the glass is half full’ sort of person and in all honesty I don’t think going out of the Championship is as damaging as going out of the Premiership if that makes any sense.  When you get relegated from the Premier League a load of money is lost but when you drop from the Championship to League One the change in finances isn’t as drastic.  The Addicks can get rid of all the players who just haven’t performed this season (probably a long list to be fair) and Phil Parkinson can start to build his own team.

 The jury is still out on Parkinson as a manager as far as I’m concerned.  He did a magnificent job at Colchester but then an abysmal one at Hull.  The start of his Charlton career hasn’t gone too well all things considered but I’m not sure even Jose Mourinho could get them out of their current predicament.

 Shelvey signing a professional contract was a massive boost, and from what I’ve seen of him he looks a very accomplished player and perhaps one-day an England international. I said I wouldn’t mention Leeds United but Fabian Delph has been rocking for them this season and I can see Shelvey doing a similar job at the Valley next season. 

 There is no doubt about it, things at the Valley are about as bad as they can be.  Away days at Scunthorpe and Southend are hardly mouth-watering prospects but with a club the size of Charlton Athletic I doubt it will last more than two seasons, at the most.  If by some miracle they do stay up this season it will feel like winning the FA Cup and in some ways knowing your fate in advance is a lot less painful than the bitter taste of relegation on the last day of the season.

- Gareth.

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