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Charlton Athletic 1 Burton Albion 2

No one can defend that I’m afraid. It was demoralizing, despairing and repetitive.

Great start, took the lead, hit the bar a few times, goal disallowed but then the blasted rules f-d us over as they also allow the opposing the team to attack.

And sadly that was that. Their striker wanted the header more than our defence, then their bloke was allowed to walk unabated 10 yards and scored a worldly/ deflection/ lucky goal (*delete as appropriate) and we never in a million years looked like scoring again.

Burton have literally won almost 25% of their points in their 28 games in the two games against us. Burton were more organized, more hungry and much better. The only godsend was that Luke Varney didn’t come on with 10 minutes to go and get a hat-trick.

For all of the elation and euphoria at the end of September as Thomas Sandgaard saved us from ourselves, the season has turned pretty sour, pretty quick and for all the keyboard bashing opinions, the majority in the sack Bowyer camp, just the one man will make that decision. A decision that may also see others lose their jobs.

Lee Bowyer is becoming harder to defend I agree, but those players also need to take a look in the mirror tomorrow morning. Some, many, of whom one would think should be fighting for contracts whether at The Valley or elsewhere.

Valley Pass Live is the only thing worth watching these days – although our record on there since we poshed it up is shocking. Nevertheless it is taking all of Scott Minto’s media training and diplomacy to get him through these games. Curbs, meanwhile is becoming more and more despondent each game…. for despondent read honest.

I close my eyes and listen to Curbs and it takes me back some. He may not have been in some people’s eyes Harry Redknapp or Sam Allardyce or wait for it, Steve McLaren, but my does he talk some sense and have Charlton in his heart.

For the vitriol being thrown at Bowyer, he does too. But, as we’ve realized over the years, not many people are Curbs.

📸: Kyle Andrews

19 Comments Post a comment
  1. KeithSearle #

    You got it right. It seems to take teams 15-20 minutes to work us out and we just don’t seem able to respond. Until you reminded us I had forgotten we were all over them for the first quarter with some really decent attacking play. It could easily have been 3 but after that we looked like a different team. It was like one of those preseason matches where all eleven are substituted. We became overwhelmed and not one of us thought we were going to score a second but we all knew they would.

    February 24, 2021
  2. Gary #

    Until bowyer admits he has a big problem with his defence then there will be no improvement it starts with the goalkeeper?it seems he is exempt from criticism check out how many goals scored in our 6 yard box with him rooted to his line (has he been told by management not to come for crosses)

    February 24, 2021
  3. Daggs #

    It simply has to be the end for Bowyer. The players don’t want to play for him.

    February 24, 2021
    • Norfolk Red #

      I love Lee Bowyer for his passion, commitment and his honesty. Trouble is, Bows honesty has been too much for many of the players to handle who have simply lost respect for the manager and club. By publicly humiliating some players recently, Bows has brought this on himself. On the basis of recent performances the vast majority of the players should be ashamed to call themselves professional footballers because they are playing a standard of football not fit for the amateur Sunday league. This situation will not improve by retaining Bows – it’s gone too far for that. A change of management is inevitable. By changing the manager now we might – just might – avoid relegation because Charlton’s form and performances really are that bad. It would give a new Manager a chance to assess who he would like to keep (not many!) So that he can hit the ground running for a summer recruitment campaign that is desperately needed. Eddie Howe, Curbs or Paul Cook would all be a good choice. Thank you Bows for your efforts but l think it is time to be honest with yourself. If not then Blackpool are Saturday’s lottery winners!

      February 24, 2021
  4. Shetland Addick #

    Dreadful performance but I’m sticking with Bowyer as he’s never had a free hand in the transfer market and I think he deserves the chance for him and Steve Gallen to put things right in the summer. He’s passionately Charlton, these players aren’t, so he can have a big clear out at the end of the season. Loyalty isn’t always easy but I don’t think the club will benefit from another managerial merry-go-round and though the vocal minority want him gone the silent majority are sticking with him – on the unofficial CAFC FB site the pro-Bow posts still get tons more likes than the anti despite the current form.

    February 24, 2021
  5. greg brown #

    I can see the arguements for all of the above comments,and up until the last couple of home games I have been definately pro Bowyer,but after defeats from teams in and around the relegation places,I am beginning to wonder.There always seems to be an excuse for the bad performance.
    I dont think Bows is the shrewdest of managers when it comes to changing tactics during a game that is not going to plan,and I dont agree with his rotation system….to me,you should always play your strongest team,even though the games are coming thick and fast.
    Look at all the teams in the top six,they havn’t shuffled personnel anywhere near as much as Bows has.Yes,he has had injuries and suspensions,but so has every team.
    Unfortunately promotion is now gone and with current form we will do well not to be pulled into the relegation fight.
    I would love to find something positive,but it is a real possibility of mass personnel changes during the summer,or maybe even before.
    Bowyer has done wonders in the past but he seems to have no answers to the teams results at present.

    February 24, 2021
  6. I think Bowyer deserves at least until the end of the season. I can’t see us getting into the playoffs this season, but as long as we are on the right trajectory by the end of the season he should be given a chance to rebuild in the summer.

    Bowyer has done very well in the past under some very difficult circumstances so I think it can turn it around. We do need to give manager’s more of a chance in this country, rather than sack them after run of a few bad results.

    February 24, 2021
    • KeithSearle #

      Absolutely agree.

      February 24, 2021
  7. fatbloke60 #

    The excuse it was to dark wasn’t used after all but all the usual, bad final ball, wrong decision in final third,took foot off the gas, doesn’t this team train regularly together,I don’t think the majority of them care as I said before if loan players lose interest and the manager cannot get interested again you are on a slippery slope,teams at the bottom of the league must look forward to playing us

    February 24, 2021
  8. Shadow Play #

    Every match follows a similar pattern – the first quarter we are on top, we zip the ball about, maybe get a goal and then, the opponents patiently start to play their game, harrying, pressing hard, disrupting our momentum. The game dries up for us – the inevitable equaliser happens and then we look like we are playing on porridge, everything looks laboured and hard work. The killer was their second goal – after that we just didn’t look like scoring and Burton nailed the game down. I’m not sure we even had a shot on target in the last ten-fifteen minutes, or at least not a meaningful one. We need more in the last third – carrying the ball in and making something happen, not hopeful crosses or shots from distance.

    Yes we were unlucky with the disallowed goal and hit the bar twice, but these things happen.

    Bow has worked hard and been through much for us – I’m reluctant to join the Bow out camp especially after what he went through last year but he has to be honest with himself – his inability to motivate and inspire is not having any effect.

    February 24, 2021
  9. Mark #

    Yet again another embarrassing home performance – same old mistakes (and excuses….) being made time and again
    On fire for the first 20 minutes, things start to go against you (hit the crossbar, disallowed goal etc etc) players heads go down and lose interest. Stockley was up for it, at least until Burton woke up & put 3 defenders around him, but that opened up space in & around the box but who took advantage of that? Nobody in a red shirt that’s for sure…..

    Second half subs come on, team not playing to players’ strengths – Aneke not getting good enough balls into him, when he did aimless headers forward to…nobody, Schwartz was allegedly on the pitch but did he touch the ball once? His shirt certainly didn’t need washing afterwards… As for Amos…has he lost his voice? In the 1st half there was no Burton player closer than 12 yards away yet he and a defender went for the same ball which ended up going for a Burton throw in when Amos should have had it in his mitts. As for their 2nd goal – embarrassing doesn’t come close to a description.
    As for Burton’s first goal – an away player leaves 2 defenders for dead as they look at eachother, he gets the freedom of the NW corner to put a cross in for a lumbering forward to come in who wanted the ball far more than the 3 defenders around him. Shocking.

    I have defended Bowyer as I honestly believe he has done well with the rough hand that has been dealt to him up until September. It’s different now… His man-management skills have deserted him, as has any tactical ability. He changes personnel more than any other manager during a game but it doesn’t make a jot of difference on the pitch. No. Why? Are the players not playing for him? He says that all is well in training but ‘something’ happens on the pitch in games – well, he’d bloody well better get that ‘something’ sorted out quick as we are sleep-walking towards the bottom 4 places at the moment – and like last season there is no such thing as being too good, or not deserving, to be relegated. The end of season table can be very stark indeed.

    Welcome to club ownership Thomas and the dilemmas that come with it. Do you stick and risk going bust, or do you change the dealer and hope that an ace comes up? There is an ace still in the pack – Curbs. Is he worth a punt? Would he want the challenge?
    Only a few within the club really know what is going on in that dressing room. It is full of individuals who had better start playing as a team or they will have a tag to their name of being responsible for taking Charlton down to the 4th tier of English football for the first time in our long history.

    As for me, I’m done with Valley Pass this season – I can’t stand the frustration of watching the same dross match after match, the only ‘entertainment’ and sense comes from Scott, Curbs and whichever former player joins them.

    February 24, 2021
  10. rierti #

    Once again we concede a goal from a cross from the right converted at the poorly defended left hand post. The player that crossed the ball was not closed down by our player (Jaiyesimi?) who was content to stay 2-3 yards behind the opponent. Will LB criticise him like he did with Morgan and Maddison. I had great respect for LB as a player having watched him through all the junior age groups but he is not cutting it as a manager. Whilst RD was the owner the cause of poor form centred on him and although we have not been able to recruit the all players we would wish, the squad should be doing significantly better.
    Forest GR are playing Davison in a pair up front with J Matt who is a old fashioned No.9 and it appears to be working and it is the ideal way for him to learn his trade before in 2-3 years he takes the No.9 shirt.

    February 24, 2021
  11. Brendan #

    Sadly fans (ours as well) are fickle and demand instant success. After the years of torment and despair isn’t now the time to appreciate the fact that our club has survived. Whilst I’ve seen more individual errors and fortunate goals that I care to remember, I’ve no desire to see a merry go round of managers come and go. Bowyer deserves a summer transfer window at least where the sword of damacles Is not above us and he has financial backing. He could have left many times but chose to help keep this club alive.If only some fans had his loyalty.

    February 24, 2021
  12. Trevor #

    Whilst the results are obviously very disappointing, my real concerns are the completely abject performances, as I simply can’t see how we are supposed to turn the corner and head towards the play-off zone, when teams from the lower end of League one are regularly outperforming us!

    I’m also conscious of how this season mirrors last season, 1-great start, 2-hovering around the play-off zone, then 3-a terrible period of player injury which coincided with a loss of form…..until the final disappointment of 4-relegation. We’ve already seen items 1,2,3 this year ………promotion, really!

    I’ve always been a huge fan of LB and hope he turns this around, I genuinely do and I want to believe LB, his backroom team and Thomas S are the team to take us to the Premier League but!

    I do feel LB has lost his way a bit. We’ve had the problem of central defender pairings effectively forced on us due to injury, yet even with a make-shift two he’s still tinkering with it. But before we’ve got anywhere near solving our defensive woes (still conceding 2 or more goals at home for the past 8 games), LB decides to start switching full backs around on both sides of the pitch……..why!

    I think the pairing of Jayden Stockley and Chuks isn’t working and I doubt if it will. Individually very talented players but as a team we then revert too quickly to a ‘long ball’ game which, as could be seen by the Fleetwood, Burton and Gillingham games………our opponents absolutely loved. At this level it takes ways all the skill, pace and guile we possess and simply turns us into an average (at best) League One team! You could see from last nights game how for the first 20 mins Burton simply couldn’t cope with us getting the ball down, attacking the flanks and crossing it into JS where we created more chances in the first 20 mins than we did for the remainder of the game, yet compare that to when Chuks came on (last 34 mins) and we reverted to our long ball game……….absolutely zero chances!

    What was needed at half time last night was a slight adjustment to what we were doing in the first 20 mins, in an effort to try and regain control and play to our best attributes, yet what followed was wholesale changes to our team and formation that Burton just loved……….no more clever mid-field football to worry about, no overlapping pacey wide men to tear them apart, no piercing passes to the edge of the box which they couldn’t defend against……….just a long ball team playing with two big men up front……….easy, peasy.

    Ultimately LB needs to find his best 16 players, find consistent pairings that work (central defence, midfield and attack) adopt one or two formations that work for us as a team, and then just allow our team to play to their best attributes and let the opposition worry about us and not us worry about them by constantly changing formation and introducing 3/4 subs/game.

    With the quality we have, with the players knowing their respective roles (by playing regularly), with the players understanding what’s expected of them from our set up/formation and with that an element of ‘ownership’ coming from players playing regularly……….I genuinely believe we are a top four side.

    Too much team rotation, too many subs, too many formations…………will just result in inconsistency and further frustration.

    February 24, 2021
  13. alex #

    There have been thousands of words written here.
    The only two that matter are EDDIE HOWE.

    February 24, 2021
  14. Ray Landau #

    Six wins in a row then, 21 points from 20 games, that’s not just bad luck etc. there is something obviously amiss, but what?

    Team selection? Too many constant changes? Poor game plans? Wrong substitutions? Dodgy man management? Where is the sheer guts, the determination, the will to win? Did someone say it’s a team game. Even moderate players can be moulded into a presentable unit and with spirit produce acceptable results.

    Most would wish for L B to be a success, but game after game it’s not happening. We are told it is due to our conceding some amazing goals, our guys constantly hitting the woodwork or the opposing goalie making outstanding saves and our opponents playing out of their skins, amazingly for the first time of their season. Question. – Why can’t our players collectively do that?

    At least we are not constantly conceding goals in the last 5 minutes ( 8 times), which cost us relegation last season.

    Good results come from sound planning, with a solid defence, then a creative midfield and a
    positive attack.

    Where’s that magic wand?

    February 24, 2021
  15. Mark #

    Ray, to answer your last point – the magic wand has probably been packed away with Bow’s fishing gear…..!

    Brendan, I don’t think it is the fans that are being fickle – the evidence is before our eyes. I agree with you that Bow has been working with one arm tied behind his back… but the facts are that he has shown a very limited range of tactics game after game. Other clubs know about his diamond, but they have sussed us out and neutralise the benefits. We just don’t seem to have a plan B or C…. Subs come on but nothing changes. Is it man management that’s the problem from the leadership team or a dressing room that’s not listening or just not interested?

    I really, really do want Bow to succeed – but at the moment I can see last season being replayed. Forget any thoughts about the play-offs, we should be more concerned about slipping down the table. Something has got to change – if Bow can’t do that then Sandgaard will have to.

    February 24, 2021
  16. Christopher #

    I can remember when many were calling for Curbs to be replaced after a poor run of form, we didn’t and we reaped the rewards. Lee is a good manager, he has proven that already, let’s stick with our man and have some patience.

    February 25, 2021

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