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Charlton Athletic 1 Cheltenham Town 2

Well that little boost of optimism lasted all of five minutes, in fact Watson couldn’t even get the opening second right when he kicked off when everyone else took the knee. Watson’s afternoon did not get any better.

Our worst start to a season for 15 years and just out of the League One relegation places on goal difference after Cheltenham Town, on their first ever visit to The Valley, gave us a footballing lesson.

The first half was abominable as the visitors ran amok down both wings and through the middle and all we had in reply was a long hopeful hoof to Stockley…. a tactic seemingly made up by the players according to Adkins afterwards.

I had the benefit of listening to Alan Curbishley and Paul Mortimer, who like many of Curbs ex-charges have previously, articulately dissected the piss-poor tactics, formation and game-plan to shreds. Not an idiom or a word of management doublespeak between them.

Just one shot on goal all game. Are we yet in double figures for the season? Again if it wasn’t for MacGillivray we would have lost by a lot more.

This is not a team of kids, there is experience all over the pitch, but it was like watching a primary school match. No structure, no plan, no obvious style except for the long hoof. Kirk and DJ either missed all of the team meetings this week or had no clue what or how they were supposed to play.

Defensively all over the shop, a midfield that just stood by and watched. Watson and Gunter hang your heads, and Albie, I’m sorry this is at least a level up to what you are capable. Not forgetting that the manager thought he could play you as a 10.

Lee tried to create, but I’m not really sure of his role and we were only better for 20 minutes when Leko and Washington were on. That was until Cheltenham worked that out, and then normal service resumed.

Adkins sounded shell shocked after. He has an awful lot of work to do to make this whole exercise look and feel a lot, lot better. Perhaps a little less of the positivity bullshit and fluff, and a bit more of Curbs’ rudiments and principals.

Anyway, Premier League in 5 years 😃

Mr Positivity: “I’m getting really frustrated with us at times when there’s opportunities for us to play and for me we’re too direct into Jayden [Stockley]. He’s got several players around him. It’s more like hoof football for me and I don’t want that.”
Photo credit: Kyle Andrews
Attendance: 13,790 (511 away)
21 Comments Post a comment
  1. Richard #

    And all that after the best weeks training that Adkins has seen so far. Something is very very wrong.

    September 11, 2021
  2. Steve #

    CA I’m genuinely beginning to think he’s got them sitting in circles in the sun making daisy chains at Sparrows Lane. FML that was bad. And the worst thing is the best football brains are sitting with mics in their hands and not in the dugout.
    Thomas have a word.

    September 11, 2021
    • Steve again EXACTLY and we can’t be all wrong can we?

      September 11, 2021
  3. My fault. I was there. Two games, two defeats.

    But really, that first half was abysmal, especialy Watson and Morgan, neither of whom seemed to know where they were supposed to be playing, Gunter being exploited regularly and the hapless Charlie Kirk who has yet to demonstrate why he was a highly prized acquisition. With the midfield not working, the defence struggling and Stockley getting bullied whenever he got near the ball, we deserverved nothing.

    Secong half was better, especially the first 20 minutes, but after the equaliser we reverted to hoofball again for some reason.

    I’ll have to miss the b]next game I think.

    September 11, 2021
    • You are not in Thailand anymore but do you know what I was expecting this, I really was!!!

      September 11, 2021
  4. NorfolkRed #

    Absolutely gutted.

    September 11, 2021
  5. I can’t find any words of praise at all….we were shocking,completely devoid of ideas…no shape,no threat,and with the current manager at the helm…..no chance of promotion.

    Greg Brown…A Yorkshire Addick.

    September 11, 2021
  6. Tim #

    Yes spot on. We had a 4 2 3 1 inthe first half. Trouble was, when they got the ball at the back one pass icompletely by passed our 3 1 leaving them upfield and ltheir entire midfield and attack running at Watson and Morgan. It was a real failure of shape that we could see from the stands, and something the coaches could have addressed after 15 min. Amazingly they didn’t, and even after an injury break, in which coaches and team had a 2 min discussion, it continued and a second soft goal conceded. Only in the second half did we get a grip on a winnable game.

    September 11, 2021
    • NorfolkRed #

      Very accurate analysis. NA was a rabbit caught in the headlights not knowing what to do.

      September 12, 2021
  7. Well said and the truth and even Mr Positivity stated it and being very unkind to the primary school children and you know what I was expecting it.
    Yes, we have all been very angry and have a lot o other proper struggles in the real world but very unusual for me I can not be bothered to be well yes am fuming but not as much, if you see what I mean.
    Talk the talk is very easy and cheap and that word ACTION again sadly missing.
    We talked about it loads in training and again we had a great weeks training.
    Cut the bs out and these “professional” players get far more salaries in one week then many get in a year.
    PATHETIC AND TRUTH HURTS but not as much as the real struggles in the real world out there, where just about everyone is really struggling to feed and pay the bills.
    DISGUSTED.

    September 11, 2021
  8. Daggs #

    I said this on another forum. Adkins now has a squad, yet he continues to pick the same players who have continually let us down. He continues to play a weak formation.
    Gunter, everyone knows the problem. Watson, why? Albie, it’s too much too soon. DJ, a pretend footballer. Kirk needs time as does Lavelle. Oh! and Innis is Lewis Page MK2 as I said when we signed him.
    It’s too soon to talk of sacking the manager, but if he can’t see his own failings I don’t know how long we can retain him.

    September 12, 2021
  9. Michael Neve #

    michael@neve.co.uk

    September 12, 2021
    • Michael Neve #

      I have been pro Nigel so far, I like his optimism and enthusiastic personality but after the dreadful start to the season …..?
      Cheltenham played as a team, players were running into spaces and they passed and received the ball well.
      We just did not look to have any confidence at all , when we tried to move forward we got so far and then reverted to passing back and a long hopefull ball ….failed nearly every time.
      Sorry for Matthew’s in particular who several times came forward and was looking for runners or a player moving into space but then had to hold things up as nothing available.
      Very disappointed in Kirk and Morgan so far this season. In my view Dobson had been solid in defence and has moved and passed the ball well, where is he ?
      Defending again looking very vulnerable especially on the left side .
      Yes agree with most comments, we have got to change tactics for the Wycombe match and going forward otherwise we are not going to reach the playoffs which really will be a failure for all concerned.
      Hopefully Gilbey back soon andForster-Caskey too.
      On the bright side we have several really exciting prospects coming through so we can still reach the Premiership in 5 years !

      September 12, 2021
      • No, no Michael. Our prospects can reach the Premiership in 5 years…. 😉

        September 12, 2021
  10. Simon Jones #

    Absolute dross, wrong selection and tactics. Watson and Morgan should only play if all the other midfielders are out and they weren’t. Gunter still at left back and Stockley still on his own up front. This is beginning to have the whiff of repeating the same mistake and expecting a different outcome FFS!!

    September 12, 2021
  11. Gordon Fenn #

    As always I couldn’t agree more, great insight. Just wanted to say that I have just read your blog about yourself as I was interested about who you are. I live in Cornwall these days but like you come from South London (Lewisham) so know Catford well. My mum and dad even worked there in the old Mr Smith’s club and at the dog track! I used to sit on top of the wall in what is now the AC stand with my dad. I attended my first game in 1967 and was at the Derek Hales (still our best goal scorer) game when he got sent off. Like you I too have a son who has taken on the lifelong ‘struggle’ of being a CAFC fan. I suppose he had to really as his middle name is Charlton. Anyway I wanted to say how much I enjoy reading your comments. My wife was diagnosed with cancer back in Jan and your sensitive and heartfelt comments about 9/11were really good to share with her to talk about fate and how at times you need to realise that your name is not written on a piece of paper. If I ever make it to Bermuda it would be good to look you up. Kind Regards. Gordon

    September 12, 2021
    • Great to hear from you Gordon, and thank you. 9/11 and b*stard cancer make us each realize how thin the line is that we walk every day. Tell your wife to walk tall and stay strong 💪

      September 12, 2021
  12. Mike #

    That was probably the worst first half that I can remember that I have seen from a Charlton team for years. They looked like a bunch of lads who had just been put together for a game to play against another team who needed some opposition as a warm up game. Some of those celebrities who played for soccer aid would have done a better job, it was that dire.
    When I saw the starting lineup I couldn’t believe, as Inniss was out injured, no suprise there another Lewis as he has always been constantly out injured through his career, Elewere wasn’t in the starting lineup. When he has come on he has been absolutely superb and has been in front of Pearce, yet hes not even a sub, just doesn’t make sense! No disrepect to Lavelle but on first showing he just looks like a younger version of Pearce, not blessed with speed and just hoof’s it upfield anywhere, Elwere has shown composure on and off the ball and brings the ball out of defence and is always looking to move the ball forward to another player. If I was him I would be really upset that after his performances he has given when coming on and now can’t even get on the bench. So much for Adkins constantly saying he wants to give the younger players a chance, bullshit, theres a player who could be, with care taken, our mainstay with Famewo, who has really been the only other player who has excelled in defence, constantly covering for all the other useless bunch. Also another one is Davidson who proved the other night in the Cup he could be a useful asset with his holding up the ball and forward runs, plus scoring two/three good goals, so was on a real high, but again not even given a chance as left out the team entirely.
    Why does Adkins continue to play Gunter a right back, at left back, he has been absolutely dreadful, when he could have for now, played Famewo at left back as he seems to mostly play there as well anyway trying to cover for Gunter, and played Lavelle and Elewere in the centre, as I am sure Elewere could have played on the left, until either left back become available?
    He continues to play two wingers who neither seem to be able to cross ball, nor can either full back for that matter. Jaysemi flatters to deceive and have yet to see our other most expensive signing, really do anything, I can’t recall him actually taking on any defenders and just looks to pass back to the hapless Gunter each time when given the ball. Also why oh why does Adkins continue to play Watson, he never seems to mark anyone, except for the ref and just flails his arms around telling everyone else who to mark or chase back as he ambles back due to his complete lack of pace, plus anyone who has an ounce of speed coasts pass him with ease, unless he is able bring them down, get his customary yellow card and give the opposition often a dangerous free kick.
    I actually feel sorry for Morgan as the skill and work rate are there, but he is really tring to do everything in midfield with very little help and you can see his confidence has been shot, even Cullen would have struggled in this team, the way there are playing and set up.
    Currently if you look at how we have played since the start of the season only several outfield players have performed each week to a reasonable standard Stockly, Famewo, Washington and Elewhere when called upon, thats also not counting Elliot who has made the rest look like a lazy bunch of hopeless muppets since his arrival in the league games.
    Think back to the last year and this, which two games produced the best football played for ages and we won both games with energy with every single player giving 100% to the man who was made Manager for those games JJ!
    Wonder if Mr S made the wrong choice?

    September 12, 2021
    • Great points Mike.

      Watson and Pearce who Adkins said would be squad players so the young ones had a pathway?

      Agree on Famewo. He pretty much played as a sweeper yesterday rushing across the line to cover for others.

      Early days for Lavelle, but he did look a rabbit in the headlights.

      Never been sure on DJ. Squad player at best. Kirk maybe be more of an inside left. Certainly not an old fashioned winger. Is he fast? Not sure he has ran yet?

      Morgan. Very true Mike. He was certainly better under Bowyer, despite how tough he treated him.

      I’d add MacGillivray to your list of performers. We’d have a lot worse a goal difference if it wasn’t for him.

      And as for JJ. It’s in the stars isn’t it?

      September 12, 2021
    • rierti #

      Great analysis Mike, you are right about Elewere and Davison, to not even be on the bench was lamentable. Morgan did not have a good game but at least he put a shift in and was required to do too much due to lack of support as Kirk and DJ were absolutely pathetic. Lavelle looked out of his depth and does not bear comparison with Mingi who turned down a new ( probably poor) contract offer. Jason Zemura continues to prosper at Bounemouth after we released him 2 or 3 yrs ago. He had potential as attacking left side midfielder but was played as a left back.
      Adkins continues to disappoint with match tactics both before and during the game, can it be allowed to continue? I hope not. The opposition are snuffing out Stockley’s aerial threat and his game on the ground is poor. In my opinion Stockley is the worst No.9 since Riddick, Endean and Bolland some 50yrs ago.

      September 13, 2021

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