For all the takeovers, new managers, false dawns, poor transfer windows, wasted seasons and everything else that Charlton Athletic fans have suffered over the last 15 years, one thing has hurt us more than any other. It's been our almost unique ability to mess up in Cup competitions and, in doing so, heap embarrassment and opprobrium upon the history of this once rightly proud club and it's long-suffering fanbase.
The worst thing of all is that it's largely been self-inflicted and it continued yesterday from the second we saw the side Appleton had picked. Eleven (11) changes and a dispiriting line of deadwood, don't cares and Academy fodder more used to the support of first-choice pros.
Yesterday, Appleton simply lacked any tactical imagination and decided whoever he picked would be good enough - huge disrespect to CVPM.
Charlie Kirk has repeatedly shown us that he is a severely limited footballer who got lucky when we decided to waste £500k on him and give him a ridiculous 5 year contract. He has failed time and again from the bench to influence any game and he should have been written off two years ago. He can't tackle, he can't go past a man, he can't cross, shoot or head a ball and, frankly, he is only here for the continuing wages. He's an idiot obsessed by his hair. Yesterday, however, Appleton decided he would be too good for Cray Valley. How wrong was he again.
McGrandles has struggled with injury but he too has shown us next to nothing. Someone referred to him as "McStandstill" on CL this morning and nothing could be more apt. Absolutely no threat, no impact and a passenger. I didn't realise he was playing until half-time.
Then you throw Fraser in because he is a first-teamer and you think that's ok. Problem is, Fraser has no legs and needs runners around him, not Kirk and McGrandles. We are fortunate that Fraser got in behind and scored early because he was finished before half-time.
Tedic may be on Man City's books but that will be the highlight of his career. He huffed and puffed yesterday but didn't look better than the opposition. Karoy Anderson is big and strong and will be a far better prospect than any of the others but he is naive, overplays and had no-one directing him yesterday. Chem Campbell got a rare start and played well but he was labouring alone for large parts.
Hard to be overly critical of the defence for once because they were largely untroubled. Lucas Ness even scoring for them. Abankwah looked sold enough too on this rare appearance but again we need to consider the opposition were no great shakes.
The bottom-line is that our club has to learn it's collective lesson. We cannot continue to play under-strength sides against lesser opposition. It's not just a cup exit, it is long-lasting, credibility damage to our once great name. We have to make sure we win these games by showing respect and playing our strongest starting eleven. By all means start resting players when you have control of the match but torturing your own supporters and then face the embarrassment of having to throw a few better players on for no improvement can't be allowed to happen again.
We will likely win the replay but the damage has already been done.