A lot of smiling Addicks getting a well earned rest during the international break. The Championship is a great league, one of Europe’s most competitive and it feels good to be back and thus far we have not looked out of place at all.
We have played 4 of the top 7 and lost just once. In only one game did we not do ourselves justice, and that was at Wigan. Yet a week later we bounced back in the best possible way, memorably beating Leeds. I’m still glowing from the Fulham game. We didn’t win, but it was a great advert for the league and we played our part and that away corner was, as someone we know would say, bouncing.
18 points is a very welcome return thus far, and although we’ve dropped to 10th after that run of Leeds, Swansea and Fulham in a week, we are, vitally, 10 points ahead of the bottom three. That as we know very much remains the goal.
Bow works on 9 game cycles. We are now two games into the next set of 9 that will take us to Luton at home at the end of November. 15 points were won in that first 9 games. And a marker laid.
My brother and I always have this ‘what team will he play’ text the day of the games. Well, it’s impossible isn’t it? Bow unflinchingly changes formations, partnerships and players depending on studies he has done on the opposition. Resting players if he feels they can’t play at a 100 miles per hour. Only Dillon Phillips and Tom Lockyer have played every minute of every league game.
It maybe a stretched squad, but 21 different players have started league games. Another three have only come as sub, Chuks Aneke, yet to start, has been introduced 8 times. We’ve missed Lyle, and it was a shock to the system, but we appear to have worked out a way, or two, to play without him. Creating chances the key, and Macauley must been buzzing after two goals in three.
Valley crowds are averaging over 18,000 and we have taken some very credible and very noisy numbers to away games. 1,000 tickets have been sold for midweek at Bristol City and West Brom the Saturday after has already sold out. Tickets for the derby game with Millwall go on sale tomorrow.
Albie Morgan made his debut for Ebbsfleet yesterday. What happened to Morgan was odd. Some argue he should still be around the first team squad, but we are overloaded with midfielders, but a move to the National League’s bottom team at least keeps him local and will be a strong learning curve. It’s only a month but I feel he should really be playing in League‘s One or Two. Addicks will be watching to see how he gets on in Kent.
We’ll also be hoping Conor Gallagher, Jonathan Leko, Josh Cullen, Jonathan Williams and Tom Lockyer return back to Sparrows Lane not injured. Williams and Lockyer began both of Wales’ Euro qualifiers. Gallagher was promoted from the U20’s to the U21’s.
Hopefully a few of the injured players will also be back in contention for Saturday. Allez, Allez, Allez.
I thought the purpose of Albie’s loan move was to play “men’s football” as Bows puts it, to beef him up a bit. The same scenario happened way back when Parker went to Norwich and he returned much better for it. I agree that playing in League 1 or 2 could have helped both the physical and technical sides of his game though.
Bow also said at the time that he wanted to see an improvement in his defensive game. The way Ebbsfleet are playing he will get a lot of action in that area I’d think!