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Wycombe Wanderers 2 Charlton Athletic 1

Another defeat, but it wasn’t just that, it was another game where we weren’t even in it. One shot on target and completely outplayed. Devoid of ideas, identity and confidence.

Don’t let the injury time goal from Lavelle turn your head or the couple of scrambles that followed. This was terrible, we deserved nothing.

Wycombe were so comfortable that Gareth Ainsworth took off his whole front line in the 2nd half, like a Premiership club would against a lower league team in the cup. How far have we fallen? How far is there to fall?

Adkins made 6 changes, it could have been 10. Gunter incredibly kept his place, but Matthews, Kirk, DJ and Watson didn’t even make the squad. “We have a big squad of players, and walking is brilliant.” Adkins may or may not have muttered afterwards.

We lined up 3-4-3, with Souare, Pearce, Arter, Dobson, Leko and Washington all starting. We began alright, had a purple spell a third of the way through the first half. Leko had a shot deflected wide, Stockley flicked on in the general direction of Washington, but that was about it.

Then quickly it became oh so familiar. Wycombe got on top, we were backing off, players were left unmarked, cross after cross came in, and our only route forward was the big hoof with no runners or willing support prepared to get up the pitch.

They hit the post put balls across the face of our goal whilst defenders watched and eventually took the lead through McCleary, who after a couple of practice runs, found the bottom corner with a long range shot.

Okay I said sat on the bed with my iPad at the start of the 2nd half. 15 minutes let’s give it a right go. Make an impression, show me that you want this, that you have a semblance of an idea that you know what you are doing….. nothing, absolutely nothing.

Until Blackett-Taylor came on, who was superb, we just made up the numbers. They scored again and then cantered to the final whistle.

Blackett-Taylor in the 20 or so minutes he was on embarrassed every player in a white shirt. No one was on his radar, it was like he was an imposter. How dare this bloke come on and run around, take players on and get in dangerous areas!!

7 games gone and joint bottom of the 3rd Division on goal difference with not one ounce of a suggestion of an identity or a plan or frankly a care.

I am normally big on waiting ten games to make an assessment on a new season, but this is our worst start since 2006/7, in the day when we were playing Man Utd, Chelsea and Arsenal. In the last week we’ve been outplayed by Cheltenham and Wycombe.

The whole transfer window asks many questions of organization and ambition, but Adkins is not the first Charlton manager who couldn’t fill a bench at the start of the season and just had to get on with it.

I’m not looking for a Jurgen Klopp, but I want a manager who can build an identity, show ambition, create some excitement, improve players, make the team better than the sum of its parts, has a infinity with its supporters and give them and his team something to believe in.

Tuesday night could get very uncomfortable for Nigel Adkins.

Mr Positivity: “Then we’ve ended up dropping back a little bit and we’ve given the ball away.”

Photo credit: Paul Edwards

18 Comments Post a comment
  1. James #

    I agree about giving managers time but it’s been truly awful and I’m not sure he deserves any more of it.

    September 18, 2021
  2. Shetland Addick #

    Very worrying. I supported Bowyer to the bitter end as I thought he was a manager on the rise and would only improve – what we have now is a manager who had his success 10 years ago and who appears to have had his day. I’m also less than impressed with whatever Roddy and Mumford are bringing to the club and there seems to have been interference with Gallen’s recruitment plans as none of the promised pre-season business took place. Much as I like to give anyone a fair crack of the whip I’d say there are obviously issues behind the scenes that are causing these abysmal performances and TS needs to do some serious thinking and take action sooner rather than later.

    September 19, 2021

    I want to be patient but this is awful. Why not, when you are under pressure and need a decent performance and at minimum a point, go to a simple 4 4 2 and use the attacking talent in the bench to flair thing up in the last 15. 3-4-3 won’t match up and we got what was coming.
    I think we have the squad we need but the selection and formations just seem off.
    Has Chris Powell now left Spurs?

    September 19, 2021
    • Still at Spurs Simon as well as working under Gareth Southgate with England.

      September 19, 2021
  4. Steve #

    Over achievers with a never say die mentality is what we want. Under achievers who don’t appear to give a toss is what we’ve got.
    Our away support was as always magnificent and earned the right to chant what they chanted at the end. The team and manager deserved it.
    Another big following at Gillingham it will get toxic.
    I hope JJ is in charge by then and the search for someone who as you say can give us identity and connection is underway.

    September 19, 2021
  5. Steve #

    Over achievers with a never say die mentality is what we want. Under achievers who don’t appear to give a toss is what we’ve got.
    Our away support was as always magnificent and earned the right to chant what they chanted at the end. The team and manager deserved it.
    Another big following at Gillingham it will get toxic.
    I hope JJ is in charge by then and the search for someone who as you say can give us identity and connection is underway.

    September 19, 2021
  6. greg brown #

    End of the month will be the end of Adkins if anyone in the clubs hierarchy has any interest in keeping us in this division for another season,let alone battling for promotion.
    Adkins had his day 10 or 12 years ago.Formations and tactics have moved on since then.
    Positivity may be all well and good,but along with that we need desire,ability,motivation,passion and guts.The squad we have at the moment seems to lack all of those qualities.
    Nearly a fifth of the season gone and we have four points to show for our performances.
    The managers job is to get the players performing to a set system on the pitch,so that they are all singing from the same hymnbook.Adkins seems not to be able to do that.
    Time very soon to move over and let someone else with different ideas take the reins.

    September 19, 2021
  7. Whitstable Addick #

    I can’t get to games at the moment through ill health so I have to rely on general feedback. However results speak for themselves, I look at the team selection for each match and you know that it doesn’t make sense, look at yesterday 3-4-3. Bringing in Pearce for his first game didn’t look a confident move. I’m afraid Nigel has not put any identity in his team we can see that as fans & im sure the players must feel confused as to what he is trying to achieve. I never like to call for someone to be sacked but Nigel has to go so that whoever comes in can get the best from this group of players.

    September 19, 2021
  8. Simon Jones #

    Sometimes a manager or player just isn’t the right fit and the way we are going will be lucky to achieve 46 shots on target in 46 games . For whatever reasons it isn’t working and if we don’t turn it around this week personally I would want a change of management. I think it could be prudent to promote from within as all the players would be known. I like JJ but I have felt for a few years that Euell could grow to be an excellent manager for us supported by JJ.

    September 19, 2021
  9. Yes, totally unacceptable

    September 19, 2021
  10. Victor #

    Like I said in one of your early posts before the season had started, we will be lucky to stay up with Adkins as manager. Bring back Mr Chris Powell or even Curbs. We need someone who knows the club and fans and has a tactical brain. All the players brought in are not prolific goal scorers. It also seems we playing zonal marking as the opposition always have time on the ball anywhere on the pitch.God help us if everything stays the way it is.

    September 19, 2021
  11. Mark #

    Totally agree with Victor – we need someone to come in asap who a) knows the club and b) knows how to sort out our defence as a priority. Who better than Sir Chris or Curbs, if they want it?
    Action this day Thomas so that we have a chance of getting something on Tuesday evening at the Pikefield stadium.

    September 19, 2021
  12. rierti #

    Although NA must shoulder the largest part of the blame, I personally think it goes deeper than that, recruitment has been poor, we have been buying our 3rd and 4th choices for certain positions as other clubs have outbid us. Since TS took over over £1.5 m has been spent on transfers and most do not look value for money paid. Gallen and Roddy must take their share of the blame. I always understood NA to be a manager who left a lot of the responsibility for coaching to his coaches which is why he has 2 i.e. JJ and JE so are they also culpable.

    September 19, 2021
  13. Mike #

    As I have previous mentioned I think Adkins was the wrong choice as he had been out the game for too long and as with all jobs, things move on and you have to change with the time as there are new ideas, planning, training, formations, etc. Adkins, seems a very amiable person but he is stuck in the past of how he use to set up his teams and play and sticks with it. For instance in his day you played your best team for that particular game and stuck with it for the whole game, if possible and only used subs if someone was injured or really out of sorts. The game is far more involved now and its not about picking just your best 11 who start, but picking the best 18 players and using every available player, if and when needed, to get a result and also changing formation if required. As per normal they hadn’t had one effort on target and were completely outplayed in the first half, yet Adkins doesn’t bring a sub on until the 58min, his next on 68min and the only other real centre forward on when we are two nil down, until the 86min! He should have made a minimum of two changes at half time, Man City have changed three at half time, which shows the players the manager is not going to accept those standards no matter who you are and entices everyone else to buck up their efforts, or they will be the next off, as no player likes to be subbed for poor performace.

    Sorry but Adkins should go now and let JJ take the game against Gillingham as the best two games the Charlton team have played this year and last where we have won both in style and passion was when JJ was in charge. Sangaard could then give him a chance as interim manager to see how he copes, whilst looking around for a replacement, if he’s not up to it.
    Even if we manage to scrape a draw or a win at Gillingham, which seems unlikely, Adkins is not the answer, so better to get it over with now and move on.

    September 19, 2021
  14. Bob Miller #

    It doesn’t appear to me that’s it’s all “Nigel” with this overall ineptness. While there are now two players for each position, the quality of such would appear greatly lacking, relative to how whatever starting eleven gets outplayed, man-for-man, in every match. Nor would turning things over to Jackson or Euell solve the problem. They are part of the current decision making process and why would things necessarily get any better? Charlton is desperately in need of a classic striker (dare I say it, it in the mould of a Lyle Taylor type). While Stockley has aptly shown he can pop them in from the box, he provides little else in the open pitch. A completely new face for a manager, the addition of some quality talent and the disappearance of some of those who disappoint from match-to-match, would sure help things a great deal. I doubt very much whether this team is truly relegation fodder, but on the other hand, they most certainly aren’t play-off material either. It looks like 2022 in League One again. Now that IS depressing!

    September 19, 2021
    • Mark #

      The problem Bob is lack of tactics. Stockley is being marked out of games by 2 or 3 defenders. As a positive that should provide more space in the box for attacking midfielders to nip in & take advantage. But no, Stockley has to deal with high balls lobbed in at him & when he can get to them first there’s nobody there to take advantage.
      Either the manager doesn’t have a clue how to set up his team to get the best from his players, or they can’t follow a simple game plan. We have good individual players skilled players but Adkins doesn’t seem able to utilise these skills, in which case we need a manager who can get the best from this disparate group. In my book that’s Curbs or Chris Powell, both of whom are proven man managers, good tacticians & most importantly they know the club inside out.

      September 19, 2021
      • Bob Miller #

        Mark, other than perhaps a difference of opinion on an evaluation of the overall skill level of Stockley, we are basically singing from the same hymnal. As much as it would be ideal, I doubt whether Chris Powell would leave his current duties at Tottenham/England or Curbs would jump into the fray, after all these years avoiding managerial roles, so a new manager would have to be sourced elsewhere. I would think Adkins has a maximum two matches to turn things around or he will be history, unless Thomas Sandgaard errs and sticks with him, at his own peril, as the owner and chief investor in the organization.

        September 19, 2021
        • enviableone #

          I think TS could convince Curbs to be caretaker till January or come in as number two to JJ and help his development. This squad is not as bad as it is playing, but the current management/coaching team don’t seem to be able to get them to perform regularly.
          In the two matches we looked ok we had different ideas, JJ was in charge for the PJT and it seemed to work.
          I wonder who had the cunning 4-4-2 plan for crewe? and why that’s the only match we used it…

          September 20, 2021

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