Sunday, 17 August 2014

AY AY AY AY Moussa

Athletically Charlton 2 - Athletico Wigan 1 
At last a deflection goes our way.!!!

Dave's on hols so your stuck with me for a couple of weeks.
If you've read when I've done this before, you'll know that I'm not big on stats, tactics, timings and names so apologies if this report is lacking a bit of detail, but I hope you find it at least a little entertaining.

I'll be honest, watching this lot last season, and Englands dismal performance in Brazil has meant that I've fallen out of love with football a little bit. Given that and the fact that I've recently moved 70 miles away from The Valley has meant that my enthusiasm for attending games has waned somewhat in recent times (although I've maschostically continued going).
However,  with a new manager, a new look team, The Valley all spruced up and good reports from the last two games, I thought I ought to make the effort and attend the first home league game of the season. In the end I was actually looking forward to it. Fickle eh?

First of all The Valley. The old girls looking mighty impressive, what with stripey grass, very red seats, and bright yellow walkways and all. The 400 odd visiting fans (surely there won't be a worse away attendance at a Saturday league game this season?) Were lively from the start and must have thought they were back in the Premiership with the facilities on offer...oh wait! They were in the away end, perhaps not.

Big shout out to Vitos boys Max and Harry, Max was making his debut at The Valley at 2 years old and managed to sit through the whole 90 minutes without fuss, Respect! Plenty of old faces too, it was good to see them.

A quick word about the catering outlets, looked like a decent menu on offer and few queues inside the ground, unfortunately being on a diet means I was unable to partake. Oh well perhaps when I've shifted another couple of stone. I did notice that the normal burger and chip van outside the family stand has been replaced with a stall flogging some tasty looking savoury pastries and SALAD!! Salad at a football match? For crying out loud! I also noticed on leaving the ground, that very little stock had shifted so perhaps a lesson learned eh lads? This is SE7 not N whatever (insert Arsenals post code).

To the game then. I think we were unchanged from last week. In front of Henderson were Bikey-Amougou and Ben-Haim with Solly and Wiggins full backs. Midfield comprised of Gudmundsson, Jacko, Buyens and Cousins, with Tucudean and Vetokele up top. Danger signs in the first couple of minutes as Wiggins got skinned and Bikey gave the ball away in dangerous positions, luckily these came to nowt for the visitors. It was evident to all that Peeters has us playing proper football in training with balls to feet aplenty and very little hoofball. The passing game is fantastic to watch but I'm sure we are going to get caught out this season if we continue the tactic of playing triangles just outside our own box. I should say though that Wigan are are a very good side with some Premiership class still shining through and they were able to stop us playing decent balls out if defence. That said, joy for the Addicks on eight minutes as the ball WAS played out and sent wide left to cousins who ran the flank for a while before cutting inside, passing the defender and unleashing a Curler into the top right corner. Goal of the season contender already?? One nil up and a little confidence was bestowed upon the team in red and the game settled into a more even contest. Cousins tried again from the same position but this time shot high and wide. Wiggins was still worrying me, as he appeared to be getting outpaced on a number of occasions and on 22 minutes, he was passed again, leading to a Wigan equaliser, with  the impressive Mcmanaman slotting home past the diving Henderson. The half was played out without much further incident, Cousins tried the cut inside and shot once more with no end result, there was a goalmouth scramble in the Charlton box. An intruiging half if not one filled with goalmouth incident.
To the second 45 then and much of the same as we played possession football and Wigan showed thier class, make no mistake, they will be up there at the end of the season, and we'll do well to match their achievement. The slightly ineffective Tucudean was replaced by Moussa 15 minutes in, and on 65 Henderson worried the Addicks faithful when he went down under no apparent pressure with what appeared to be ankle damage. As he was led off the field to a chorus of "You're just a soft southern bastard" from the travelling fans, he was replaced by Nick Pope, was Popey making his league debut? I can't remember. I got the impression that there was nervousness on both keeper and defences part in the first few minutes but Pope grew as further minutes ticked by. A decent punch (which appeared to take out two Wigan players), a couple of aerial claims and some very fine kicking, which may be a potent weapon should the need arise, augur very well. The rest of the half went by in much the same way as the rest of the game with both sides playing to strengths and cancelling each other out to some degree. Gudmundsson demonstrated he has all the power of a Simon Church with a weak shot worthy of old spongefoot.  In the last 5 minutes of normal time, The Addicks upped their game and should have scored at least once more especially when good work sent Vetokele clear but Igor couldn't get past the keeper. 5 minutes added on due to the injury to Henderson and more Charlton pressure finally led to a winner on 93 when Moussa collected the ball, shot goalwards and a wicked deflection saw the ball loop exquisitely over the hapless Scott Carson and into the net. After last weeks deflected goal against us at Brentford and numerous similar last season, it was about time one went our way. Two more minutes remained and the Addicks did pretty much everything right to kill the game with Pope especially showing that he knows what its about with a decent claim in the air and then going to ground to waste a few seconds. D'urso blew the whistle and the Addicks faithful were sent into raptures.
Before the game it was worrying to see Andy D'urso as ref, a fussy little man with a penchant for calling games off, but overall I thought he had a half decent game but fussy as I said.
Perch looked impressive for them at right back as did Mcmanaman further forward. For us, my first view of Bikey in a red shirt left me impressed at least after the first five minutes, although wearing one pink and one blue boot, I do wonder whether he has a pair exactly the same at home? Buyens looked classy and can pick a pass, Cousins impressed, the jurys out for me on Tucudean. Wiggins unusually had a poor game but overall we look a physically strong side who can play football, we also have a bit of pace, vital at this level. Credit to Bob Peeters and the owner due too I think. Nice to hear big Bobs name being chanted by the way. The crowd was vocal throughout, all 13 thousand of them, although I'm sure the official attendance will be higher.
So, a drive back to the south coast and a chance to reflect further, I still think we'll finish upper mid table this season, but with a fair wind and further signings, could do even better.
We do it all again on Tuesday evening against further tough oppo in the shape of Derby, a similar performance and the same result would do very nicely Thank You! I'm actually looking forward to it again, dare I say it I've fallen back in love (a little bit) with the footy again!

Thanks for reading my ramblings, we'll do it all again maybe on Tuesday.



ChicagoAddick said...

Fantastic write up. Thanks Pete, I don't know why you don't start your own blog!

Dave said...

Good read Pete. No Wifi here and crawling along on mobile speeds from yesteryear. The match showed 1-1 at FT on the BBC but changed miraculously when I went to the rest of the division results. Fantastic start. I went 2-1 late Charlton winner and Millsy had the Lions to win 1-0. If we can beat Derby.....

Ketts said...

Great stuff Pete, well done.