Thursday, 13 March 2014

Charlton Athletic 0 v Huddersfield Town 0

Well, first, the spirit of the side appears to be intact. The eleven starters fought admirably, especially in the first half and did everything they could to score a goal. The fact that we didn't manage one was due to the glaring lack of anyone who is skilled in that department and, if I am being fair, an absence of any good fortune. 

Jose Riga looked smart in his grey suit and a Charlton tie and he was visible on the touchline throughout. The side he sent out included Reza and Asdarevic but both earned their pick and there can be few complaints on team selection. The main problem was the lack of cutting edge or real game-plan. We bombed forward and threw balls into the box but nothing fell for us. We forced a string of early corners and won a number of headers but Alex Smithies was largely untroubled. Asdarevic had a poke from 20 yards which was pushed out and Morrison miscued a knock-down.

Huddersfield were as committed as we have seen in our numerous recent encounters but they looked here for the point from the off. After the break they moved 15 yards up the pitch and it put us onto the back foot. We struggled to create anywhere as much second-half and the quality of the football from both sides dropped visibly as we both tired. A long ball over the top dropped for Sordell in the second-half and he ran straight at Smithies. A feint left or right would have opened the goal but he panicked and shot early which beat the keeper but took a decisive deflection of the covering defender and went wide. 

Simon Church came on before the end but by then both sides looked like they had settled for the point. It cuts the gap to Millwall to one win but we have to face them at the New Den on Saturday and they will be confident of making that six points. 

The Valley crowd carried out a well-supported couple of minutes spontaneous applause on three minutes to show our collective indignity at the sacking of the manager. Many rose to their feet but after that it was back-to-usual and you get the impression most have moved on. Maybe that's for the best but defeat at Millwall will probably cast the die for another few hundred and failure to beat either Bournemouth or Burnley at the Valley next week could effectively seal our fate. Yann Kermorgant will return for an uncomfortable evening for us on Tuesday and I am expecting Burnley to win handsomely. The lowest crowd of the season last night, 12000-odd, will likely be lowered before year-end (Barnsley in a night game?). The price of sacking a loyal manager but also indicative of a side that can't score goals and one heading down. Duchatelet can't say he wasn't warned or that his actions since taking over haven't contributed directly to the predicament.

If they really want to rub salt in the wounds, picking the unfortunate Thuram to flap about in goal would just about do it. Let's see how much of a man Jose Riga is and whether or not he can work a minor miracle with the job he's been given.


Anonymous said...

couldnt make had to work. sounds like a game we coul have won. my boy was there and said pretty much same as yourself. Big positive for me was the players seem to still be fighting. Not that they shouldnt be but felt all the turmoil may have taken its toll.Wont be at millwall sat fortunate to be at the nou camp instead of the new den.Will listen in barcelona play sunday. Hope we can at least take a point as i feel that will be points dropped for them but hope is what it is. Also hope Hamers in goal as i fear the worst with the other clown.Dave the train.

Dave said...

I hope you have tickets to see Messi, Dave?