In my opinion the coldest football ground in England opens it’s doors to The Addicks tomorrow for what stupidly already seems like an important 90 minutes. Last season this fixture provided one of the club’s histories finest moments as we meandered our way through the spring like a newly confident baby calf.
Despite a pretty encouraging pre-season the doom-mongers are out in force, although I suspect they won’t be the ones travelling to south Yorkshire tomorrow.
My real disappointment from Saturday is that a few people, whose opinion I trust, said we played as if it was still pre-season, and early at that. Unfortunately Middlesbrough are no Welling and it was disappointing to hear of a lack of fight or urgency amongst the players, almost unheard off in the Powell-era.
Still, it’s only two games but Powell and his players need to put a smile on our faces and it will be interesting to see if CP reverts to a more compact 4-5-1 tomorrow.
One of the few players to come out of the Boro game with any credit was Dale Stephens. Today Chris Powell explained that the Bolton-born 23-year old is struggling with homesickness and that he is open to Stephens moving back up north, subject to any offers. Stephens form has been inconsistent at best, especially since a potential move to Aston Villa broke down. On his day I still think he remains our most creative midfielder. I know he has a young family and apart from a loan spell at Southampton has spent his whole footballing life in the north-west after coming through the ranks at Bury.
One player who did move back up north this week was Ricardo Fuller. Fuller was training with the Addicks but no deal was done and he understandably jumped at the opportunity of a 1-year deal with Paul Ince’s Blackpool. The Tangerines have belatedly been very active in the market and today re-signed Aston Villa forward Nathan Delfouneso on a six-month loan.
If you’re going tomorrow, wrap up warm and sing your hearts out.
As you are my favourite addick blogger (i.e I agree with most of what you say, and appreciate a balanced view), want you to take my blogging virginity. Never burst into written comms on my beloved boys in 50 years of Valley obsession, but need to say that last week’s Boro nonsense has been totally misrepresented, IMOH (as i believe the young folk say). No lack of fight, no lack of effort, most players performed okay (only okay, but okay – where did this “evina is better than wiggins” nonsense come from??!!). Fact of the matter is that every time we got the ball in midfield, we were outnumbered two to one. SCP – who i love like I am his albino brother – was tactically shagged by tony mowbray (for goodness sake!!), so we were always up against it – and our beloved leader just watched it unfold. We needed a structural change, but we just replaced players with other players, doing the same thing, surrounded by Boro players. We will be okay, but our man has got to up his tactical game – too often reacts with too little, too late.
I am honoured sir and pleased to hear that Saturday was just a bad day at the office.
I agree CP needs to be sharper in his tactical changes and better aware, but Mowbray has managed for over 10 years in two countries and been involved in European football. Powelly is still an apprentice by comparison but he is naturally conservative though.
And by the way it is IMHO 🙂
I look forward to you commenting again.
CA – you mean it doesn’t mean “I’m Making One Helluvapoint”??
Well, it could and you were!!