Sunday, 2 October 2016

Charlton Athletic 0 v AFC Rochdale 1

The honeymoon for Russell Slade ended on Tuesday night and he can now be in no doubt that he is officially under pressure. Our supporters (with the exception of those who are too thick to learn anything - 'you can't teach pork') are already acutely aware that the ownership and management of Charlton Athletic Football Club is so fundamentally flawed that it cannot support a successful outcome. What we are now questioning, very directly, is the suitability of Mr. Slade and the bulk of this side he has assembled to compete in the Third Division. 

I was spared the bilge we served up on Tuesday night but was present with about 10,000 others yesterday (they are even fabricating the gate for Football for Fiver matches now) to witness 90 minutes of biege football. After the humiliation of failing to despatch Oldham at the Valley, we got the line trotted out about how the players would respond for the fans in the next game. This time the black spot fell to Magennis to put his head above the parapet. I winced when I read it in the papers knowing it was a death knell for yesterday.

Apart from some moments of sheer determination to try and change the game from the frustrated Holmes and Lookman, we looked awful across the pitch and unforgivably half-hearted. After 'Dale took a 25th minute lead they never looked really in any serious trouble. Holmes forced a penalty which Jackson took and Lillis touched onto the post only for Magennis to fluff the rebound. Lookman whistled one over the bar from distance and Morgan Fox forced the second save of the day from Lillis towards the end with a disguised low shot that needed quick reflexes and athleticism to turn around the post. 

The rest was a strange mix of Charlton players often passing square and back and seeming content not to be seen to do much wrong, which meant Rochdale could sit back and wait for us to inevitably lump it forward. Rudd is guilty of hoofing it downfield but to be fair to him, there's more threat in that than watching the defence play it gingerly forward for two or three of the carthorses in the midfield to pass it around and then return it. 

Slade persisted with 4-5-1 which meant Magennis was isolated for most of the game and was restricted to trying and get touches under pressure from two centre-halves. He is a strong lad and decent in the air but he lacks pace like most of the Slade recruits and is not going to score much in this formation. The Covered End bellowed "two up-front, two up-front" in a desperate mantra, trying to get through to the manager who seems content to stand still with his hands in his pockets suffering in silence like the rest of us. He did make three substitutions but they were all like-for-like positionally, so nothing changed. 

Nothing is going to change either, unless us supporters make it happen. So, we need to up the ante and get down for the Coventry game in numbers and create a fuss once again that Meire can't ignore and that Dunderhead in Belgian gets to hear about. Personally it's getting to the stage that I'd happily run onto the pitch to protest safe in the knowledge I would be banned until Stubborn and Useless are gone. 

Thank the Lord that the Millwall game has been postponed next week. A) We all need a break and B) the result would be even more inevitable than usual. What it does mean, of course, is the Coventry match will officially be a relegation six pointer when we jog out against them a week on Saturday.  Beginning to feel very much like last season....

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

The extent of the disconnect between Slade and the supporters is highlighted by his mistaken belief that the Leeds loanee Botaka is the one being booed by the fans. Where as the truth is it's Slade's week in week out, like for like, same old on for 10 minutes subs that are provoking that reaction. It's Slade himself that's getting booed and he doesn't even seem to know it. Hugely frustrating!

Anonymous said...

Beige is very apt description Dave. We didn't look awful, looked sort of on top without creating too much, and not taking chances when we did. Brussell is losing the fans with selection, and crass comments about booing Botaka - does he not understand we'd happily see Botaka on pitch as well as Holmes, not instead of. I didn't expect him to be a tactical genius but I thought he'd motivate the players in to playing beyond their capabilities through some red hot performances, not beige...

Pembury Addick

Dave said...

Gents - it possibly reflects more on Slade's own view of Botaka and his expectations of what the fans think of him. Perhaps he wanted to avoid acknowledging he was subbing one of our two creative players.

Anonymous said...

Is this really worse than any of us expected ? I feel sadly, that it isn't. We know that whilst our club continues to be run the way it is by our buffoon owners, it will continue to be the same bowl of gruel served up. Under normal circumstances, Slade would never have been on my managerial wish list but we're currently not a normal club, we have abnormal owners and until they have gone, every manager will struggle, but we know this don't we. I will be at the Coventry protest but I feel that the protests now need to be a lot hotter.

PH

Anonymous said...

Rumours Slade's been sacked. Any truth to it, Dave?

Dave said...

I'd be surprised. Still too early and I think they would do it within hours of a match, not before one....