Sunday, 21 September 2014

Rotherham United 1 v Charlton Athletic 1

Charlton took another valuable point away from the New York stadium but our fifth draw of the season saw us drop out of the top six. The viewpoints being expressed tend to focus on the "we should be beating Rotherham" right through to Peeters isn't a good enough manager. Sorry to disagree but I am happy with four successive draws away from home, two of which we might have won and two which we might have lost. We also have no right in this division to be beating anyone and Rotherham proved that yesterday.

Don't get me wrong, I think there is work to do in terms of tactics and our ability to respond to what's happening on the pitch but we are nicely placed after eight games. We also have to focus on the fact that this is a new side and expectations were much lower at the start of the season than now. Apart from the Derby game, no side in any of our matches has scored two goals in succession and it is going to be interesting to see what happens when someone finally does.

It was another game of two halves with us winning the first and losing the second. The fact that we couldn't score a second before half-time was disappointing and the fact that we lost all momentum after the break. However, we stuck to the task and might have even nicked it at the end when Loach couldn't hold a Bulot shot and it almost got over the line. On the other hand we survived another penalty appeal when Jackson handled and Stephen Henderson made a decent last-minute save from a header. There was a decent Addicks following of 1100 although a majority of those would have been first-timers to Rotherham or to the new ground. They will have been cheered to see Johan Berg Gudmundsson cutting in to drill a low shot beyond the keeper although the nemesis that is Luciano Becchio would have dismayed visiting supporters when he was introduced as a sub. No surprise, of course, to see him heading home the Millers equaliser.

BBC London were covering the game but I had to endure another terrible commentator - sorry but it was another woman who was competing with Emma in terms of an ability to say as much as possible without actually describing what was going on. It has to be easier to say what's happening rather than avoid saying what you are watching? The noise from the crowd in the background was better a better indicator of what was going on.

Looking ahead we have a potentially tricky encounter against a Boro side on Saturday who walloped Brentford 4-0 yesterday as they scrambled above us in the table. If we are to maintain our unbeaten run we are going to need to play further up the park and maintain an attacking threat to keep Boro at bay. After that it's Norwich away on Tuesday where we will do well to avoid a defeat. We finish that week at home to Birmingham where we may well be looking to steady the ship. 

Have faith, it's early days and we need to keep our feet on the ground. We have to be realistic about our prospects this season and a top-half finish will represent significant progress. Given the resources potentially at our disposal, we have to hope that Roland Duchatelet may be encouraged to strengthen for next season when perhaps we will be entitled to expect more. I would like to see us get more possession in games and that needs to come from better ball retention in midfield and a less defensive set-up.


Kap Varma said...

I felt that it was honours even first half with the games first quarter going to Rotherham and the 2nd going to us. We showed during our quarter that calm play keeping the ball would show the difference in class between the two teams so it seemed strange that second half we surrendered possession which played into the energetic pressing game of the millers, ultimately resulting in TBHs error for the goal. Still it's a point and away from home. Borough next week will come at us and surely one of the big clubs will bring their shooting boots with them so we will need to be on our mettle.

Geoff said...

There are some holes in the middle, Dave. Buyens had a great start but was hustled to ineffectiveness by Wolves and again yesterday by a Millers' side which had more pace and power. Unfortunately, we looked a bit "Parkinson" or latter-day Powell in the 2nd half, with none of our guys except Bikey (and he made a couple of booboos) looking as fit and strong as the opposition.

Reckon Buyens is suffering the three-in-8-days syndrome. Maybe Bulot could start in Cousins's present position, move Jordan back in the centre where he's more effective, then bring on Buyens as needed. TBH was close to diabolical, thinking it all too easy for him. Can't believe Morro would be worse.

The travelling Reds were kind to Rotherham, the town, as opposed to team. Just one short chorus of "Town full of nonces" and then it was back to the usual chants.