I was thinking yesterday how nice it was that I’ve been able to watch the Addicks live on the television for their last four games. Except we’ve lost all four, and in fact the two before that, both of those were 0-3 defeats. At least we scored yesterday for the only time in those six games. I am sure there are Premier and Championship teams that will claim worst TV records, but I’d like to see them, and this isn’t a recent phenomenon remember.
Anyways, I’m here to list some positives. Yes I know, until the old scroat either sells or keels over, then positivity is very thin on the ground, but there was a fair bit on Saturday to be hopeful for.
It was reassuring to hear the Addicks in the Stadium of Light give the players their full backing. They sung for the whole game. Bowyer, Jacko and the players have the backing of the fans.
We started the game on the front foot. Played high up pitch, chased down every loose ball and dictated tempo. No mean feat to do that in front of over 31,000 fans, possibly the biggest crowd the majority of the team have ever played in front off.
Bowyer, still learning, switched formations to a three at the back surprising Jack Ross and we dominated that first half with Solly showing really good awareness as a third centre-half. Lewis Page was excellent further forward, although I shuddered every time he hit the deck, but one marauding run forward had me on the edge of the sofa. We’ve just not had players that are prepared to run decisively with the ball for a couple of seasons.
Dillon Phillips is a young goalkeeper who will need to learn playing first team football, and we should give him that courtesy and our support. He will be disappointed with their first goal, but he made a great save from a free-kick, and generally his positioning and kicking was good. He also got a hand to Gooch’s bullet header. He’s one of our own, let’s back him.
God, I hope Aribo is still a Charlton player next Saturday, he was brilliant in that first half, and had a very good game overall, and will only learn from Darren Pratley playing alongside him. Anyone else see a little Scott Parker in George Lapslie? I mean Parker had his apprenticeship away on loan, and currently Lapslie looks as if he’s a mainstay. That will only end badly, but George’s energy, positional awareness and intelligent passing has me excited about his future.
We need to see a big season from Mark Marshall, he struggled 2nd half when Ross changed formation and he was forced deeper, but he had a good first half.
The most eye-popping of our 1st half display was that of our front two. Grant pulled Sunderland’s defence all over the place, and his pace made the first goal. He and Taylor clicked numerous times, and as for Taylor, he was out on his feet after an hour, but that was a debut to be proud off.
The list of negatives only contains that of a name of a wrinkly, deluded man from Belgium. This season has road bumps, sharp corners and dead ends all over it’s journey, but let us applaud the positives from the first day. If only….