Wednesday, 1 March 2017

Ready, fire, aim!

Karl Robinson's post-match press conference on the pitch at New Meadow last night has brought him widespread derision from Charlton supporters. It was hard to watch a man squirming quite so much and, frankly, talking once again in riddles. He loves to tell us that he'd like to explain but for some arcane reason he can't. He's the bloke who tells you he has a secret, which he doesn't really have, but won't share it. It's a weak schoolboy excuse used by those who want to add some mystery to their explanation because they don't want to admit they are responsible. Last night it was some codswallop about having seen something before the match he had never seen before in his football managing career, something from the players, 40% of whom he claims don't care enough. 

I wonder what it was? Players talking about their Summer holidays perhaps? Maybe tittle-tattle about the money or opportunity on offer at other clubs? Perhaps they were betting on Shrewsbury to win 4-3? Whatever it was, unless you can share it, keep your gob shut. Even if it was any of the above, does it explain our shambolic defensive performance? Does it excuse the decision to play an ageing and one-paced Johnnie Jackson at left-back and an uncomfortable looking Byrne at right-back? Look at the goals conceded Karl - big clue there.

He then went on to blame his side for the continuing inability to win games. This was the incredibly hungry and talented squad he inherited before Christmas. You know, the one Duchatelet lavished millions on building for his seventh manager. This was the squad added to by Robinson in January and which he claimed to be largely satisfied with, barring the MK Dons player we wouldn't pay over the odds for. This was the squad the cheeky chappy thought were going to press on and challenge in February. Sorry Karl but you have to get a tune out of these blokes on Saturday and publicly blaming them isn't going to help your cause.

The number of contradictions uttered since he's been here and the range of excuses is building impressively. He hasn't yet used the biggest one but that involves the Turkey voting for Christmas. He did actually say last night that the problem hasn't been a lack of investment but where's the evidence for that? Saying we have a Top 6 budget doesn't mean we have. The fact is, if we have anything like a Top 6 budget then we have been wasting even more money on mediocre players than we all thought. 

When asked what he's going to do about it, he says "nothing, nothing.....nothing....nothing" and implies his hands are tied because the window's closed and he has players on contracts. He then mentions bringing in seven or eight in close season. We have heard and seen this before and it doesn't work. They won't be signings of the quality necessary because Duchatelet won't budget it. He also wants to see the manager forced to play young players. The new season disappointment then leads to the manager's sacking.

There's an obvious problem Karl that you can reference without necessarily losing your job. You can call out your desire to see a largely settled squad of permanent players who have a vested interest in the club and who can give us a bit of much-needed continuity. You know, the sort of environment where they aren't talking about other clubs or their Summer holidays on a cold night at a small stadium in the middle of nowhere. You can say you only want to see loan players utilised if they bring far superior talent and capability to the group or in case of emergencies. You could also talk about the structure of the first -team management you would like to see, in terms of scouting and coaching but then you would have to criticise the likes of Thomas Driesen who is largely responsible for the dross we have had to watch for three years and for much of the player money that has been wasted on long contracts for players who clearly weren't good enough. You would also be criticising Duchatelet for continuing to support him. You could also be honest and say that Chris O'Loughlin is superfluous, dilutes your management and isn't trusted. That would be another big contradiction of course and might make you unpopular in Belgium.

If you can blame your players publicly Karl, why can't you be a tad honest about some of the other factors that are holding us back? 

Ordinarily, Robinson would be on the plank right now but I do think Meire and Murray were genuine in their backing of him on Saturday. Even they must see that replacing your manager every five months isn't productive and is another waste of valuable resources. On the basis Duchatelet doesn't really care about results, the only reason for continuing to sack them is because it might be more economical if you can get a new-manager bounce and keep the fans onside. Let's face it, we have never really experienced a bounce and are long past worrying about the cost of failure. Real home gates are closer to 5,000 than 10,000 and the surrounding club commercials are a car-crash Meire has largely orchestrated through her incompetence, arrogance and ignorance.

Having said all that, no-one can legislate for the President. His previous erratic behaviour saw their long sought Comms Manager, Mel Baroni, resign and he appears to have sacked Russell Slade in a fit of pique following the 3-0 wilting at Swindon live on Sky last year. A fit of pique maybe exaccerbated by his birthday lunch being interrupted by protesting Charlton supporters.

We all wait with baited breath for this weekend. Northampton are coming off the back of a home defeat. They have history with us for a number of reasons and their fans despise our manager. They have an opportunity to climb above us on Saturday and who would back us at the moment given the mood in the camp? Bauer and Solly may both still be out and Robinson is likely to have to rely upon players he has slated and who may well be looking beyond Charlton Athletic in eight weeks time. The Cobblers look great value at 3-2 and with 200 Charlton supporters linking up with disgruntled STVV fans in his home town the same day, what odds on another fit of pique?


  1. I shouldn't be saying this, but.........
    This could get me in trouble, but........
    You won't believe how angry I am, but.......

    You, Scouse, are a chancer, a liar, a fraudster and a faker

    I shouldn't be saying this, but.........Do one ASAP.

    And I get the bit about changing manager every 5 months being counter productive but the man is a no mark, end of.

  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  3. Whoever says what, for whatever reasons, the fact remains they are picking over the bones of a broken club.

    Whether Robinson survives until Summer or not, unless there is a significant change soon, we'll be playing in League Two before we know it.

    The squad will, by default, need a complete overhaul at the end of the season. Six of them go as they are only on loan, at least two of the most talented youngsters (Konsa and Aribo) will be sold, and some of the 'permanent' will go, because they are either too old (sadly our captain), saleable, or just don't want to be there.

    On that basis 75 percent of the squad could need replacing, whatever the outcome of the season.

    If Dutchatalet's policy continues as in the past, no permanent quality will be brought in, there will be another influx of 'C' Lister loanees and the next brood of under aged youngsters will be drafted into the shopwindow. A certain recipe for relegation next season if we don't 'achieve' it this season


Go on, you know you want to....