Charlton Athletic 0 Wycombe Wanderers 1
Disappointing result. I had a bad feeling about today, although the line-up had recovered from Covid better than I expected, with just Stockley missing, and that from a knock.
We started really sluggishly as if we hadn’t played for a while. I never get this ‘the players are too tired, they play too many games’ thing. They always play better when they are playing regularly.
There was a real lack of cohesion in the first half from us which suited Wycombe, who are really real drilled and make you work hard for every pass and loose ball.
The Chairboys took the lead on 35 minutes when for the only time in the game Garath McCleary was influential bypassing Dobson on the goal-line and passing accurately into Vokes to finish.
There was quite the debate in the TV studio about who was at fault. I have to say I pegged it to Gilbey, although overall he was about our best player over the 90 minutes.
Leko also played well, when he was introduced up front at half-time and was a real threat. This was the opposite to Josh Davison who had the proverbial nightmare fluffing his lines over and over when this was an opportunity he had to take.
We were much better in the 2nd half moving the ball quicker, and with Washington far more engaged and Gilbey and Lee buzzing around the box we probably did enough for a point.
Nevertheless too often our final decision making let us down, and not for the first time our dead-balls were poor, and DJ particularly frustrated me by not having the intuition to get by their left back to fire in a decent cross. I don’t remember one.
Leko hit the post in what was a good move and late in Ryan Inniss came on to play up front and had an effort cleared off the line in injury time.
The 2nd half was a lot better than the 135 minutes that came before it if I include the Plymouth game, but it only exposed how much work is required in the transfer window, especially up front, if Thomas or even the Covid situation allows for it.
We were never going to keep winning under Jacko, but sadly the play-off’s look beyond our reach more than they have done since he took over.
Jacko: “I thought we created some decent situations, things that we work on, patterns of play, getting our wing-backs one v one, getting crosses into the box, getting Elliot Lee and [Alex] Gilbey on the ball high up and Conor Washington in that little channel that he likes to run into. We managed to do that but then in those little decisive moments it’s the quality of the cross, the shot.”
Photo credit: Kyle Andrews
The club desperately requires a combination of Gallen being given a generous transfer window budget by Mr. Sandgaard and the coaching staff putting it together for a solid run at a playoff spot, which is beginning to look more and more like a long-shot and sadly, probably resulting in another year in League One. You can’t criticize the work ethic being put forward by the current squad, but there just isn’t enough quality there to realize the desired results.
Bob. Well said indeed and yes forget the playoffs and think they were out of reach but give a little credit to those at CAFC turning the ship around.
Being a CAFC and for many, for several decades it would not be Charlton as we know it to do things easily.
We are a unique club and I know other sides think so to but the fact is we are and we savour the good times and yes also the many bad times but they are our club and our DNA firmly embedded in our blood.
Yep no such thing as a quick fix. Trying to look beyond the likely reality of a sixth season out of 7 in league 1 is not easy. I hope Gallen is indeed back in charge of recruitment and Thomas hasn’t made the mistake of giving that responsibility to his lad.
Anyway Happy New Year and all the best all for 2022.
Happy New Year Steve.
I think by the end of the Adkins regime, we were all resigned to the fact that the play-offs were going to be out of reach this season.Sadly, after JJ’s tremendous start as caretaker and the injection of hope that gave us,the last two games have brought us all down to earth again.
The depth of quality in the squad was shown to be lacking yesterday especially up front where Stockley was sorely missed.
We must hope for some back up in the transfer window in that area as Davison,despite his best efforts,seems a bit lacking in ability for League One.
Agree CA I also had a bad feeling about this game, plus do agree that whilst Gilbey was probably our best forward, be was definately at fault for the goal. Dobson had just gone in for a tackle at the other end and had raced all the way back, whilst Gilbey was right next to the player but didn’t mark or follow him back, he just pointed his arms for Dobson, who had just busted his lungs to get back, to do it whilst he just stood there. If you look after the goal had been scored, Gilbey was still static in the same place, he hadn’t tried to get involved or tackle anyone!
This was something Gilbey was previously doing, in not tracking and following players back but waving and point for others to do it, whilst he just stood there, I think he must have got that trait off of Watson! Though under Jackson he seemed to have much improved on his defensive side and took more responsibility, lets hope this was a one off and he doesn’t revert back to thinking others should do his defensive duties for him!
All of us, my friend and his son and our other few friends we meet with at half time, never thought, after Adkins distastrous start, that we had any chance of promotion, as even with Jacko’s great start, the overall squad is too weak. So we were already resigned for JJ putting a good enough squad together ready for next season.
Currently we have a reasonable first eleven with a few good players, if fit on the bench, but it seems if certain players are out &/or Stockley and Washington don’t play together, we really struggle, especially up front. In this division you need various players who can also pitch in with quite a few goals, which we don’t have. Plus the two main strikers who can hit the target, appear mostly are only are able to score when they play together!
Definitely rusty in the first half but we lacked any real cutting edge all game, Wycombe weren’t all that but were solid and defensively well organised, they took their chance, soaked up the play and kept us at arm’s length from their goal. We failed to take our chances not that any of them were gilt edged.
We have an unbalanced squad at the moment, we have too many midfielders while upfront we need back up for Stockley and Washington. Every chance that Josh Davison gets to prove he can push for a starting place he blows – he had a run of three games when Stockley was suspended and failed to score, he failed yesterday and being subbed off at half-time summed up his day and season. He and maybe Albie Morgan could benefit from being loaned out and maybe Davison, like Karlan Grant a few seasons back, needs to play L2 football for a bit where he could get an extended run build his confidence up and then come back firing. I don’t mind him coming off the bench – then he plays against tired defenders and looks a handful. Ultimately though he’s not going to fire us to promotion this season.
Automatic promotion was always a stretch when Jacko took over but now looks to be beyond us, realistically we are competing to finish sixth and that is now 16 points away, as long as it’s mathematically possible I will continue to believe.
But we have some players returning from injury – Lavelle and Matthews plus JFC, Inniss looks likely to be fit enough to start that’s potentially four players to throw into the mix, but we need a striker and they aren’t cheap. However the squad re-jigging should be about getting things set up for next season.