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Charlton Athletic 2 Plymouth Argyle 0

We played like a team of Lee Bowyer’s..

Off the pitch we haven’t yet got our Charlton back, but on it yesterday under the management of Lee Bowyer we appeared to move a big step in the right direction.

After the rigidity of Robinson, Bowyer talked afterwards about being flexible in his formations, picking them based on who we are playing. The caretaker went with two up front, Zyro and Ajose. He played a diamond in the middle to nullify a threat from Argyle that he had picked up on after watching them during the week. JFC and Reeves were the north and south points with Aribo and Fosu wide. He relied on additional width from his full backs welcoming back Page and giving Dijksteel a start at right back. Pearce was installed as captain and played alongside Bauer with Amos in goal. Interestingly there was no place on the bench for new assistant manager Jacko.

It was a dream start. After 3 minutes a cross from Dijksteel was headed out and it fell for Page who hammered it in the net from fully 30 yards. It send The Valley into raptures and it was memorable moment for Page who has had a hellish Charlton career so far. Amos then saved brilliantly pushing a Taylor goal-bound effort onto the post.

So rarely this season have we been able to add a second goal, but Bowyer’s team did just that when Zyro headed in an Aribo cross in the 17th minute. Breathing space, smiles and wave a goodbye to Robinson circled a buzzing Valley.

Bauer and an great effort from the point to prove Ajose could have added to the score before the break, but Plymouth proved they were a good side creating chances themselves in front of their 3,000 travelling fans.

The Addicks continued to dominate in the 2nd half, playing with a confidence and a hunger missing for weeks, if not months. I was told last night that the team’s collective attitude was reminiscent of way Bowyer himself used to play.

More chances came often with Zyro at the heart of attacking moves, and at the back Pearce, who to me is the obvious leader, marshalled his defence well against a lively Pilgrims strike force. Marshall provided fresh legs coming on for a seemingly rejuvenated Ajose, Page ran his socks off and was rewarded with a standing ovation when he was substituted late and debutant Taylor Maloney came on for Reeves as the game approached what was a panic-free injury time.

No false team huddles after, just smiles around The Valley and a tunnel jump from Jason Pearce.

Finally I have been thoroughly impressed with Lee Bowyer in front of the media. Measured, thoughtful and calm. It is a nice difference to Robinson’s impassioned, often mystifying speeches.

Quote: “I don’t think you can say this is my formation [and just stick with it]. How can you do that? Each team is different, you can’t just have one formation.”
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7 Comments Post a comment
  1. rierti #

    I totally agree with your comments about Lee Bowyer and his very impressive managerial debut. I watched LB progress through the academy in the early 1990’s and always thought his general understanding of the game even at that young age was outstanding. Although primarily a midfield player he was capable of getting into the box and scoring goals in and around the six yard box. I also saw one game where he played alongside the centre half deep in defence, his vision and poise was outstanding. So I think he is unusual in that he understands defence, midfield and attack .I was pleasantly surprised by his prematch and postmatch comments.He also chose the correct captain. Also pleased he was able to give Taylor Maloney a confidence boosting appearance at the end of the game. I hope he gets the job.

    March 25, 2018
    • That’s great insight rierti. He had almost a 20-year career and played over 500 games. He was a very good player although he brushed with some unsavory moments too.

      Sometimes you get a (Charlton) player who you think – he’ll go on and manage. People like Jacko, Kinsella, Andy Hughes. I never thought that with Bowyer, but I would be happy to be proved wrong.

      March 25, 2018
  2. anotherdean #

    What a difference a week makes!

    Read that Jacko was suffering with a sore achilles and Bowyer wanting him taking more of a coaching role anyway. (Source:

    March 25, 2018
  3. Maybe that quote is aimed at Robinson?
    He’s certainly got a valid!

    March 25, 2018
    • That should read, He’s certainly got a valid point.

      March 25, 2018
      • He was so relaxed and balanced in his press conference that it didn’t seem like a dig. But it was a very pointed answer.

        March 25, 2018
        • But it is a very good point and something that would seem very obvious, though Robinson clearly couldn’t see that.

          I thought when he was talking shortly after being appointed about not being able to make a point re formations when Robinson was in charge because it wasn’t his to make, was telling or maybe I’m just reading something into the matter.

          I like the fact he suggests he’s prepared to change the shape of the team to suit the opposition because as he said and we all know that everybody and anybody had sussed us out!

          March 25, 2018

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