Tuesday, 4 April 2017

Charlton Athletic 0 v MK Dons 2

First home game since Millwall for me and I was there primarily to share the minute silence for PC Keith Palmer. My wife and girls were also present but we all left shortly after 9pm when MK scored their killer second which had been coming before half-time.

The silence for PC Palmer was perfectly observed. I think his brother joined the alternating centre-circle ring of PC Palmer's former colleagues and players from both sides for the tribute. He was up in the stand, just along from me within minutes of kick-off and I am pleased to say that it looked just like another league game where we sit and there were no attention seekers or eegits looking for selfies. 

Keith Palmer will have had a wry smile at what we suffered again this evening. From kick-off we were second-best. Second to every ball, second to every head. Reduced to watching MK play neat triangles at the back to thwart our clumsy forward thrusts and pedestrian through the middle as they broke with speed supporting one another with short accurate passes. O'Keefe hit the opener on seven minutes from close range in front of the Covered End after Rudd had beaten out another attempt as they struck with ease. There was no real let up until half-time and we were comprehensively out-passed and out-run.

I made a deal with the family that we would depart upon a second and it wasn't long in coming as Barnes curled home on 57 minutes. As we left I could hear a booming rendition of "just sell the club," followed by "we want Roland Out!" 

The gate of 10,943 was decent in the circumstances but it looked disappointing, especially at kick-off. Another sign of how far we have fallen and how bad things are. Port Vale crumpled at Rochdale and Millwall did us a favour by winning at Shrewsbury but our game in hand has gone and we face play-off contenders Southend on Saturday in a match we now can't afford to lose given that seven out of the eight sides below us are also at home and points will almost inevitably be picked-up elsewhere.

Our line-up was about as strong as Robinson could hope for but the players simply aren't showing anything like the desire or, frankly, the effort required. That has to sit with Robinson. Pearce was back alongside Bauer at long last but was fortunate to stay on the pitch in the second-half after receiving a deserved booking and then flying into another tackle minutes later which conceded a foul and had the ref thinking very hard before deciding not to flash another one. Chris Solly and Dasilva filled the full-back spots. Solly was unusually wasteful in possession and exposed by overlapping runners. We barely saw anything of Dasilva whilst I was there. For those wondering why he hasn't played much, it's probably because he sees so little of the game himself when he does get on.

The midfield was a diamond formation with Jackson in front of the back four, Aribo and Forster-Caskey in the centre and Holmes tucked in behind Watt and Magennis. Watt looked much fitter than last time I saw him, although he wasn't much fitter than me then, so that's not saying a lot. He huffed and puffed as usual but there was no end product. Magennis managed one long shot straight at Nicholls just before half-time but that was his lot. Holmes was the busiest red shirt again tonight but he struggled to create any space or decent opportunities.

The final denouement of Duchatelet's disastrous reign at the Valley would be for us to be sold as a Fourth Division club. It's still unlikely but increasingly possible and it would be cruel for us to suffer that additional indignity. Those who still think Karl Robinson is the man to be trusted with rebuilding and managing a side capable of promotion are smoking strong herbs. I am afraid he's just another poor decision in a long, long line of poor decisions. What excuses will he come out with this evening, I wonder?


  1. whatever excuse he does use , i reckon it will be one of the last he will mutter into a microphone at charlton.

  2. My lad put some cash on Charlton being relegated early in the season at 40/1 (more tongue in cheek than a realistic punt).... sadly as each game goes by he's looking more like a winner than the team in red.

    I would think that the Directors at MK Dons are smirking all the way back up the M1 this evening - it now seems like excellent business to have got rid of Robinson late last year as they obviously rumbled his shortcomings whilst Duchatelet and Meire thought he was the Messiah! Another in a long list of disastrous decisions then - but at least Robinson still has a chance to make a name for himself in SE7 and go down in history ....... as the manager who took Charlton into the fourth tier of English football for the first time in their history.

    Just what do Duchatelet and Meire get out of their 3 year tenure? IF Roland "doesn't do failure" I'd be interested to see how he defines failure.... he and his mini-me has failed at every single decision he's made since he took our club over.
    Just look how far we have come under his regime... from a mid-table Championship club just out of a record-making promotion season with a well thought of manager and a squad that could be built on to have a punt at promotion back to the Premiership to being on the brink of relegation to division 2 - and if that happens the next stop is non-league football.

    The only decent thing to have happened at the Valley tonight was the impeccable support for the late PC Palmer.

    RIP PC Palmer and Charlton Athletic Football Club.

  3. Have the players given up playing for Robinson? The last 2 performances (and 1 win in 14) suggest they have and perhaps they want change. Gone are the days of players coming out saying what a top bloke Robinson is, he is starting to look more and more like the chancer some believe he is. Slade's record is so superior it's now looking like a strange decision to sack him yet stick with Robinson.

    When the players down tools I'm afraid there is no way back and it doesn't matter who you are (as we saw with Joes Mourinho at Chelsea last season), your time is up.


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