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Charlton Athletic 0 Accrington Stanley 2

Okay, I’ve counted to 1,000. Something that Lee Bowyer should’ve done last night, but I’m still not really in the mood to write something, but here goes.

There were actually positives. We were certainly more assertive going forward. Millar added some exuberence and with Maatsen may provide a sprightly left side offering. Smyth wants to take people on and is a happy nuisance and we had more shots on goal than we have had collectively for weeks. Ronnie Schwartz made his debut and despite not playing for a very long period wanted to be involved even though the game was up.

That’s where it ends.

Defensively we continue to leak goals. Lacking in confidence, and frankly ability. We are unable to keep a clean sheet. We give the ball away every other pass. Amos looks as if he has been thrown into a Sunday league team.

The midfield has moved from a conundrum to a mess. The jigsaw I’ve talked a lot about has no pieces that fit together. JFC was the only one who deserved his pay cheque, but I have no idea where he should play.

The midfielders are all headless chickens, they can’t protect the defence, they can’t supply the forwards. They can’t look after each other.

Millar and Smyth allowed us to retain the ball more in the final third, but this is a team that looks disinterested, divisive and detached.

For Accrington’s part. There wasn’t one player I’d ever heard off, but who cared. They were a proper team. Together, competitive, neat and tidy, moved forwards and back in unison, took chances, were brave and defended like their lives depended on it.

Is it suddenly wrong to aspire to be Accrington Stanley?

I’m not ready to call for Bowyer’s head, he has given me so much pleasure being our manager, and he stuck with us when it was easy for him to walk away. Well, I’m going to stick with him, but a lot of things need to change and quick.

And Lee do yourself a favour…. you cannot criticize players publicly. This will only end one way. Stop making excuses and blaming everyone. This is your team, your problem. Take a breath, take some advice, count to 1,000 and take a look at that jigsaw. It has just 11 pieces.

Rochdale on Tuesday. Oh joy.

📢: “I feel for Charlton, they have been blighted with injuries and suspension. We’ve caught them at the right time. It might be different coming to The Valley when there is 10,000 or 15,000 here. The atmosphere probably suits us playing in these big stadiums when there is nobody here and we can get the ball down and play our game and the crowd can’t lift them.” – John Coleman
🖋: Drinking During the Game; Albury Addick; Addicks Third Division Diary.
📷: Paul Edwards

17 Comments Post a comment
  1. Steve #

    CA I get it and don’t like the public floggings either but I think we can only judge when there’s something approaching a fully fit squad.
    Despite being forced to swap Cullen for Gilbey, Taylor for Bogle, etc., he was doing a decent job of making a silk purse from the proverbial before the injuries struck.
    Hamstrung with the salary cap not sure there’s much that can be done this season apart from getting half the first choice starting 11 back.
    I think we’re lucky to have him, maybe it’s the absence of fans I don’t know but he relies on players running themselves into the ground, flying into tackles, just as he did.
    Does look though as if a few have stopped listening which is a big worry.

    January 10, 2021
    • Steve – Interesting point on empty stadiums. All teams are suffering from that of course, but as John Coleman said it is probably suiting the smaller teams more. Before Covid our fans were so vital to the team and the way we played that it has to had a real negative impact.

      January 10, 2021
  2. Daggs #

    Bowyers team selection, tactics and public slagging of players, all indicate a man who has lost his way. I think it’s time for a change.
    As an aside. If Bowyer stays you’ll not see Maddison start another game. It’s clear he and Bowyer don’t get on. Maddisons injury will see him out of contention for weeks, which will disguise the tension. I expect him to leave at the seasons end. Unless Bowyer goes first.
    Mind you, most of the current squad should go at the seasons end if Sandgaard really wants to take this club forward.

    January 10, 2021
  3. The midfield has let us down, but I knew one of the Accrington players very well, Colby Bishop who scored the two goals. He was a lethal goal machine for Leamington and Accrington paid £50k for him in 2019 since when he has scored 42 goals for them. He should have been man marked. I would also point out that Accrington are a form team and The Athletic regards them as dark horse candidates for promotion. It’s not the size of the club, it’s the skill of the manager and players.

    January 10, 2021
    • I really liked watching them Wyn. Bishop was signed from non-league too. Great example of a hungry group of young players put together by a very good manager. They also get the benefit of big clubs loaning them their highly thought off young players. League One always throws up a ‘smaller club’ promotion chaser. We have Lincoln and Accrington this season.

      January 10, 2021
  4. Graham Sargent #

    I can understand Bowyers frustration and why he is making these angry outbursts about the players. I felt exactly the way he did both during and after watching the debacle against Accrington. How can you make an excuse for Pearce when you know he is such an experienced professional. Up until that point I felt that we looked the more skilful and accomplished team but lacked the physicality of Accrington (almost brawn beating brain scenario). League One is unforgiving and we need players who are prepared to go into tackles thinking they are going to win them rather than thinking they might get hurt. I think that until we get back both Ryan Innis and Akin Famewo we are going to struggle as these are the type of players that will give the others back the confidence the rest appear to be currently lacking.
    Lets all keep believing in Bowyer, he has not done badly during his time in charge so far despite the best efforts of multiple owners before TS.

    January 10, 2021
  5. rierti #

    I accept most comments that people have made but I think there was a basic problem with the starting line-up. The front three was wrong with both Millar and Smyth basically playing wide as wingers and Washington as the central striker and unlikely to win the aerial ball on a regular basis, Aneke should have started or Bogle( despite recent poor performances) because they can win the ball in the air. Although the central defenders deserve criticism I thought both full backs were poor Gunter lacks pace and mobility and Maatsen lacks the necessary strength to play as a defender, his passing forward lacks snap, too high in the air and lacking pace. The midfield except for Foster-Caskey didn’t get involved Morgan was disappointing although he made some of the most incisive passes. Gilbey was very poor, if Lapslie is not better, I must be a worse judge of a player than I thought.
    Surely Mingi should have come into the reckoning before now at least from the bench, he can play as a central defender and because of his pace and mobility would probably do a good job as a full back.
    Moving forward Schwartz describes himself as best when used in a striking pair which to me indicates he and Washington should be competing for the same role alongside Aneke or another centre forward. This also means that 4-4-2 could be the optimum line-up. So we need a No.9 to replace Bogle. Although useful I’m not convinced that Millar is the best use of a loan space.
    I do not think it is realistic to think that we can achieve promotion this season with our present squad. I feel extremely sorry for TS as when he took over, the squad and pay constraints which now apply were not in place. Without these constraints I am sure he would have been able to fund some exciting transfers.

    January 10, 2021
  6. Shetland Addick #

    What’s happened to us (supporters not team)? We’re now so privileged that we have the luxury of reacting on a game by game basis “ah, that was crap, let’s sack the manager, that’ll sort it!”. LB worked miracles under idiotic and criminal owners, now we expect a full rebuild of the team and for us to be contenders within a month or two of a proper owner appearing. The manager should be given 2 seasons to build his team, then be judged. I hate all this knee-jerk stuff, doesn’t fit with the club I grew up with. I still like your blog by the way.

    January 10, 2021
    • Well said, BTW I have never found an Addick anywhere in Orkney, Ipswich Town but not Charlton.

      January 10, 2021
      • Shetland Addick #

        Lots of crofters in Orkney Wyn, not surprised there’s a tractor boy or two. We have better taste in this archipelago.

        January 10, 2021
      • Fair few Warwickshire Addicks though aren’t there Wyn?

        January 10, 2021
        • There are a few Warwickshire Addicks, although one of the keenest emigrated to Canada a long while ago. Once I saw someone wearing the shirt in the Parade, but I was so surprised, I didn’t speak to him.

          January 11, 2021
    • Thanks Shetland.

      Agree with your sentiments. In a nutshell to remind us all… Season 1 LB turned a turd into a play-off team. Season 2 built a promotion challenging team with no support, came strong 2nd half to win at Wembley. Season 3 squad decimated. No budget but built a team that showed in some games that we could more than compete. Injuries and having charlatans and liars as bosses eventually undid him amongst a global pandemic. Season 4 had to rebuild again, survive a close call with administration, had to deal with a salary cap, then had about 2 weeks to actually bring some players in after TS. Squad decimated by injuries. Struggling to work out best team and formation, getting annoyed about lack of effort. 7th after with more than half a season left.

      Yes, he has made mistakes but probably deserves a chance to make it right.

      January 10, 2021
      • Shetland Addick #

        But he can’t magically make it all right straight away, he needs time. The best success is built on solid foundations, which should be laid this season & in the main transfer window, then be in a position to push ahead next season. Questioning his position after every poor performance a couple of months into the new regime does my head in!

        January 10, 2021
  7. Simon Jones #

    As Ronnie is expected to be the main man, perhaps Chuks should do his stint first with Ron from the bench until up to speed before reverting once match fit. I think Washington will be a good foil for either in a settled side. Really surprised Gilbey hasn’t done better, always thought he was decent.

    January 10, 2021
  8. Mark Stonehouse #

    We were turned over by a more committed side on Friday who wanted the points more than our players did. Stanley were all constantly ‘in the face’ of the Charlton players and chased after every ball and supported eachother,- even when our back four were playing tiddley-winks with the ball passing it along the line like we were 4-0 up as there were so few options made by the midfield and up front. Stanley were a team committed to doing a job, Charlton were not. That was the difference.

    There is something going on behind the scenes at the Valley – this was the third game on the trot where the same problems were being seen, lack of effort, indiscipline, not making space etc etc. It looks as though Bow can huff and puff but his players aren’t listening….
    It was embarrassing to see Accrington turn us over so easily on our own patch

    It appears that whatever Bow and Jacko try to do the players are just not capable of doing it, they don’t want to do it – or they are confused. Remember that Bow and Jacko are both new to management, the honeymoon is well and truly over now and the diamond tactic has been well and truly sussed by other clubs who now know where our weaknesses lie and they exploit them.

    I disagree with those calling for Bows’ head – he obviously cares, he’s passionate, but does he have the range of tactics needed to adapt to the players that he has? That’s the simple truth – he hasn’t been allowed to build a team, he’s had to take in what he could get at the 11th. hour of the last transfer window due to the previous regimes mis-management of the club. The salary cap is another hinderance he could well do without, but it’s there, it’s a fact and another irritant that just has to be dealt with. He has been through more crap in his short tenure than most managers see in their whole career, I think that he may be near to burn-out at the moment.

    There are a couple of Charlton legends hanging around with not a lot to do – both of whom have built successful teams for our club….. why not take a leaf out of Liverpool’s book and bring one or both of them in to form a boot-room scenario with Bow and Jacko? Advice could be given, and listened to, tactics discussed to use players strengths etc. I’m not calling for a 4 man management team – there can only ever be one manager as we proved during the Tweedle-dum and Tweedle-dee years, but listening to those that have been there and done it successfully and batting out ideas between them all could just work to get this season back on track…. We had a successful run in the first 10 games, with the injured players on the way back there’s no logical reason why we can’t go on another run of positive results.

    We are lucky to be where we are – we still have a club, we still have what should be a good management team, we have a committed keen new owner – and we aren’t in administration. We could now be in a very nasty place – but thankfully we are not.
    Bow needs some help, advice and encouragement and a little bit of luck with injuries – clearly with his passionate outburst he is frustrated and needs time to get a decent squad into place and to get those who don’t want to play for the club off the payroll in order to bring in those who would like to play for us.
    Personally I want to get out of this damned division once and for all, but if it doesn’t happen this year then we need to make sure that it does happen next season.

    January 10, 2021
  9. LP #

    Hey Wyn – we aren’t bloody Man Utd you know. I live in Charlton and have done for many years.
    Think its all been said CA. I’m on the side of giving it time but the last games have been just like it was before Bowyer arrived and it is very upsetting to watch. I hate this division as much as the next person but realistically we were never going up this season.
    And I am never, ever, ever going to watch us on Sky again – at least not with the sound on. I was beside myself on Friday when I realised I was being excluded from watching on Valley Pass because I am not a current season ticket holder (THANK YOU THE ROBBERS AND THIEVES THAT CAME TO MY CLUB – AND THE EFL). But a kind friend set me up – I say kind friend – I wasn’t thanking him by the end of the evening. But almost worse than what was going on on the pitch was those bloody commentators – the computer nearly went out the window. The Sky lorries left on Saturday morning and I had a polite chat with the drivers asking them never to come back again.
    Its a real sign of being in lockdown that we are actually going to watch tomorrow night. But then if we weren’t in lockdown we’d be in the ground despite everything. That’s what we do – keep on supporting them even when they let us down.

    January 11, 2021

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