Saturday, 3 January 2015

Charlton Athletic 1 v Blackburn Rovers 2

An entirely predictable and depressing F A Cup exit at home to fellow Championship side Blackburn Rovers who strolled to their second victory over us in a matter of weeks.

As expected Chris Solly and Igor Vetokele were both rested. Lawrie Wilson finally came back into the starting line-up although why play him at right-back? Joe Gomez was fit and is a better first choice. I would have preferred to see Wilson on the right wing. We were also treated to a rare outing for Simon Church who is clearly beyond this level of football. However, I won't criticise Church this evening because once again he gave his all even if it wasn't good enough to threaten the Rovers back four. 

All-in-all we simply didn't want it as much as Rovers. We were second best all over the park for most of the match. Falling behind after only three minutes set the scene with Taylor heading in unmarked at the back post after we were pulled all over the pitch. There simply wasn't enough Charlton fight to get close to parity and Rovers were first to all the loose balls and played around us for most of the game. Neil Etheridge deserves praise for keeping the scoreline down but my ire was focused on our midfield failings. Jordan Cousins needs an electric shock a stiff talking too. He has the pace and the technique to be winning matches for us. Instead we have to see him content to look competitive in most games, which I am afraid isn't good enough. 

Johnnie Jackson looked laboured today and alongside Buyens we were sluggish in the middle. I didn't realise that Buyens had already been booked but his second yellow card was completely unnecessary and he therefore deserved to be sent off. Again, simply not good enough. 

If you are aiming for Tucudean and Church in front of you, you can see the problem. Johan Berg Gudmundsson did manage to fire us level from a 25 yard free-kick after 56 minutes but Rovers promptly pressed forward and re-took the lead minutes later. 

It might have been better if the floodlights had failed to come back on after going out at 0-1. Having said that who would want to suffer that all over again? The crowd was poor (8,000?) and deserving of the club deciding to close half the ground and half the facilities. I have decided that I won't be bothering with the F A Cup next season unless things look significantly better than recent history. Sorry Charlton but we have been signposting this level of disinterest in the Cup for years and we continue to get what we deserve - sod all.

I want to see Bob Peeters speak frankly after the latest shambles and I want to see him kick some arses before we run out against fellow-strugglers Brighton next week. If we can't beat them then there will be alarm bells going off all over the place. I am not going to wait until self-preservation sets in amongst this squad in April.

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