Sunday, 29 November 2015

Charlton Athletic Nil v Ipswich Town 3

Another live TV match and another ritual embarrassment. The third there-nought humping at home so far and there is the real threat that some of these will get bigger as the season progresses and our heads drop further.

In truth, 3-0 probably flattered Town but they went for it from the off and when teams do that at the Valley we invariably capitulate. The first goal saw a game of head tennis which we just about managed to clear but when the ball was hoisted back into the mixer you knew that second-time around the visitors would have an extra spring and a determination to head home. On-nil and we were on the back-foot.

Just before half-time and with four minutes of added time being played, Ipswich broke and in a foot-race between Patrick Bauer and Freddie Sears, it was Sears who got a shot off under a blocking challenge from the German, however, all Bauer succeeded in doing was giving the ball the slightest deflection which took it home through the narrow gap between Henderson and his near post. 

After the break Ipswich were content for long periods to suck it up and with a misfiring Makienok (oh for Tony Watt) it was left to Holmes-Dennis playing left wing and Ademola Lookman to try and carve the openings in the resolute Blues back-line. No surprise to see Ipswich score a third on the break and that was that. The Covered End were singing an abusive Duchatelet  chant as I left the stadium for the comfort of the White Swan and a few pints of Darwin Origin. 

I had helped the enterprising young Joe Reid getting his '2%' leaflets out before the match so was slightly disappointed by the vaster-than-normal empty seating in the three Charlton stands. Even the North Upper had huge gaps which are normally solid. The stand-up protest in the second minute proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that the malcontents number far more than 2%. By my reckoning there were a maximum of 8,000 home fans at the match, some 4,000 less than published which is a real mark of the depths we are plumbing when a third of those who have purchased tickets can't be bothered to turn-up. Live TV obviously didn't help the gate but it was a glimpse into the not-so-distant future the way things are going and makes complete mockery of the notion of a realistic Target 20,000 campaign.

The final thought from me is that the next step simply has to be an all-out boycott. Those who are still too grateful just to have got rid of the spivs are numerous and they rightly point to a number of positives under Duchatelet. However, we don't owe the owner a living and the fact that the previous pairs' plans went belly-up shouldn't mean we should be ever so 'umble for the rest of our days. I am also blatantly aware of being careful for what you wish for but I honestly would take the chance of future Administration under someone else than watch us shrivel away as is happening before our eyes at the moment. A billionaire owner is little use when his policy is to run the club at break even and when he has only a passing interest in the first team performances and results. Bringing youth players through an Academy is merely a production line for someone else when you are under pressure to sell them on to pay the bills.


David Walker said...

Any and every team in The Championship would have beaten us yesterday, we never looked like scoring until Vaz Te came on and it was all over by then. Lookman worked hard, has skill and is a good prospect as is Holmes-Dennis but they are only kids and shouldn't be first team regular starters.

Our defence was all over the place and we looked like conceding, very unconvincing. Sarr and Fox are terrible.

I agree that we need a British manager (McCarthy is Irish but I get your drift!) but with the transfer window now shut it's a bit late for any new manager to find much to work with. January can't come soon enough because we've gone back to looking like a team that is heading for relegation.

Giving Watt away was a major misjudgement, no matter what his [alledged] attitude was like he brought something to the side no-one else can. A good manager could have worked on him.

We're in the shit and I can't see a way out.

I'm not going to Brighton, I've been looking forward to and planning this trip for weeks but I don't want to see us play like that.

I won't be going to watch Charlton again until we show real signs of improvement, call me fickle but I just can't stand watching that shit and the depressing, angry feeling that accompanies it.

Anonymous said...

It really feels like the Club is dying. Its the gaps in the seats that i find really alarming. I know it was televised, but I thought that might be counterbalanced by the last 2 wins. The fact we lost 3-0 is almost expected now.

Had an interesting debate with a couple of people on the coach. They feel grateful we are still in business and have a lovely pitch..

Comments by David Walker above are spot on. Its hard to drag yourself to a weekly ritual defeat. But having based your life around Charlton its hard to just back out.

It was good to be part of the Black and White campaign, but there is still confusion amongst staff at Charlton over this. Having queued 15 minutes for a black coffee, and twice reiterated the word "Black", I got a white coffee. May be Katrien and Roland are getting black and white confused as well?

Pembury Addick

Dave said...


The fact that there is a sizeable number who will go no matter how the club is being run or irrespective if we work with hopeless managers or uncompetitive playing squads means there will always be a gate of some description although it really relies on the diehards and those you rightly describe as having "based your life around Charlton." I, too, am one of those (I bought my flat and then my house here to be closer) and Dave Walker is another. I was there with 3,000 others at the Valley back in the 80's and at Selhurst Park on another occasion and I fear we are closer towards that statistic than we are to any pipe-dream of 20,000. Break-even doesn't bring you success in the Championship. The facts speak for themselves about smaller budgets and with the numbers actually attending matches continuing to drop we are in a vicious circle where the budget will continue to be cut to match the declining revenue. Eventually, the optimists who are satisfied with a new pitch and a promised Academy to help fund the club in future will give up and where will the loyal diehards be then? They are being alienated and driven away. Not deliberately but naively by two arrogant individuals, one of whom won't play his part as a modern owner and another who is not up to her task and can't see it.

We are caught in a dichotomy whereby we actually have an owner with the ability to deliver success on the pitch and off it, so many want him simply to realise that and change his mind because they fear a regime change with could threaten the club's future. Surely we have to have more ambition in life than fearing the worst. Rather a day on my feet than a lifetime on my knees.

Sadly, I think it will take relegation to actually unite our fan base but by then we will have lost such an opportunity. I wonder what the strategy will be changed to in that case - "promotion on a shoestring?"


Anonymous said...

Don't think anyone was surprised at the result Saturday, even allowing for the last 2 wins.I think a total boycott would have mixed opinions but that time may well have come as it must be clear to all that breaking even is the top priority for this regime, and that can only end one way.Will be away in the canaries on the twelfth and will take in the Las Palms v Real Betws game as it might be the only way to see a decent game this year. Hope to catch up for a beer over the festive season with yourself and Mexico Vic if he is over.Dave the train.

Anonymous said...

We're a bit like the Labour Party. Roland is our very own Corbyn. We're stuck with him for the forseeable fortune!

David Walker said...

The development of The Academy is great but I don't want to see it's products playing elsewhere, I want to see our own youngsters playing for Charlton.

Reading the comments here and elsewhere and talking to fellow Addicks, there seems to be a feeling that the club is dying and slowly slipping away almost without notice.

Where is the passion we all showed to get Charlton back to The Valley, what have they done to us?

It's odd but part of me doesn't care and I never, ever thought I would feel like that about my beloved CAFC.

I hope it's only temporary!