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Bolton Wanderers 3 Charlton Athletic 1

That was the end of a depressing few days as an Addick. In fact the players played with their chins on the floor too.

It was as Ben Garner suggested, a reality check. At least for those that needed one.

We were well beaten by a better team who are well practiced in their style, unpicked quite comfortably our threats (other than Rak-Sakyi) and had a bench full of experienced options.

We did have the perfect start. Jes Rak-Sakyi chased a bit of lost cause, unpicked a defender and passed sumptuously into Scott Fraser’s path to score. Unfortunately that lead lasted just 6 minutes and for the rest of the half we were long way back second best.

After half-time we had 20 minutes when we had to score and Rak-Saki did his very best too. It was a little bit of a one-man show for a while from the youngster, but Garner waited too long I thought to introduce changes, we faded and Bolton run out comfortable winners and highlighted the gulf between promotion hopefuls and mediocrity.

And there we are.

Thanks to the owner we have a young winger playing at left back who was horribly exposed defensively. Just one other centre-back at the club who is shockingly injured. We were reminded that Sean Clare is not a born defender, Jaydon Stockley for all of his graft and heart on sleeve wearing is patently struggling in a system that Garner is wedded to, and TS imbibes, Charlie Kirk is back to his anonymous best and Albie Morgan looks like his pitch for POTY ended in the middle of August.

This season bench strength and the utilization of the five allowed subs is crucial, yet beyond our best XI we have young academy players, the injury prone and older pros who have been told that they are not wanted – MacGillivray, Forster-Caskey and Jaiyesimi.

Any buoyancy, optimism and excitement has been ripped from us by Thomas Sandgaard.

Ben Garner: “We’ve had one window. We haven’t spent any money, we’ve made a profit in transfer fees. We’re not going to jump from 13th to winning the league. I have to be realistic. We want to put foundations in place. We probably need another two windows to get the squad where we’d be happy with it in terms of the strength and depth.”

Stats (CAFC first): Possession – 44% / 56%; Passes – 363 / 462; Accurate passes – 266 / 362; Shots (on target) – 17 (5) / 9 (5)

33 Comments Post a comment
  1. Steve Porter #

    Couldn’t agree more. TS has reduced us to a middle of the table side at best. He arrived, promised much and delivered nothing. My Son and I traveled to the game, as we are doing the last few grounds that either he or I have not visited. After this performance, we will continue to do the last 6 only. Very sad times.

    September 4, 2022
  2. Paul S #

    A regrettable, depressing and totally accurate summary. It leaves me wondering where is this leading to. Are we going to end up with another season of mediocrity or relegation or will someone conjure up a miracle. I feel that I am being suckered into hoping for the latter by the club management.
    Thank you and your co-contributors for your rational analysis of being an addick.

    September 4, 2022
    • Thanks for commenting Paul.

      I think even if Ben Garner is the next coming of Lennie Lawrence he will need to avoid injuries and suspension, and that is not going to happen. Such poor business acumen from Sandgaard. It is him that extended Inniss and JFC’s contract and bought Aneke.

      September 4, 2022
  3. Alan Oakes #

    “We probably need another two windows to get the squad where we’d be happy with it in terms of the strength and depth.”

    That says it all. Come two to three windows on most of our signings will have proven not good enough, or moved on either fed up or sold… that is total BS … with that strategy we are staying where we are if lucky and hopefully don’t end up in Division 2

    This owner has been a great disappointment. I was so happy when he bought us, but clearly he is not the one to take us forward.

    My feeling after last years debacle was that this year would be the tell tale year and sure enough it will be for the wrong reasons…mid table mediocrity at best

    September 4, 2022
    • I’m all for long termism, but how many windows has TS had??

      September 4, 2022
  4. Jon #

    “Ben Garner admits that a top six finish this season, would be an overachievement with current squad”

    Another headline from a different article, but it seems that Garner is now feeling the frustration that we all are, and clearly getting his excuses in early! Garner seemed to be a fairly optimistic person, so this volte-face is somewhat concerning, as the players will be more than aware of this downturn in mood…

    I wonder if now is the time for Garner to reassess his views of JFC, who is clearly one of the more talented members of the squad?

    September 4, 2022
    • I think it will be a test of Garner’s man management skills to now turn to JFC and DJ in particular and also MacGillivray as we will need him during the World Cup to get them motivated to play at the top of their game after telling them last week they weren’t part of his plans!

      September 4, 2022
  5. greg brown #

    When will we learn… have to buy your way out of this division unless you are very very lucky.
    Holding on until the last day of the transfer window will only get you dross, or everyone else’s leftovers. (unless you have £86 million to spend on foreign players!!)
    The top four this season are very likely to be Sheff.Wed, Ipswich, Portsmouth and Peterborough…..three of which recruited early and well in the window, and one who kept most of their last seasons championship squad in place.
    Solid League one players, hardened professionals and proven goalscorers at this level is what is required to advance.
    It’s romantic to think that our academy ( as good as it is ) can produce enough players that are experienced and strong enough for any sort of promotion push.
    So, we are left floundering with what we have, and in all likelyhood will spend most of this season around 12th,13th or 14th position in League One.
    Thank you Thomas from saving us from extinction, but maybe it is now time to seek further investment from someone who knows what is needed to finance a football club that has ambition.

    September 4, 2022
    • NorfolkRed #

      I agree with everything l have read on this thread. Under–investment in the squad. Key positions not filled. Key players sold. Break even finances. Reduced overheads. We heard and experienced all of this when Roland was Chairman. Charlton were supposedly “”saved” when BS bought the club , or so we thought. There is nothing to say that Roland did sell the club, or BS did buy the club. The cynic in me is beginning to think that this is all a lot of smoke and mirrors and that the fans have been the victim of a complex con. When Roland was Chairman, Charlton gained promotion to the Championship but still investment was not forthcoming. Relegation followed as we know and the costs were in danger of spiralling. Then, in Roland’s rush to avoid an even bigger debt accruing, Roland got himself in a bit of a financial mess by trying to offload Charlton onto ESI 1 & 2. The mysterious BS arrived on the scene on his white charger at the 11th hour, or so we thought. BS was able to do business with Roland in such a way that other’s simply could not compete. A very strange explanation was given that other potential investor’s were persuaded to stand aside and let BS have a clear run at purchasing the club. Very strange? Did the ESI people look to you like the sort of characters who would stand aside? No, me neither. BS was able to miraculously negotiate with Roland, in a way that other’s were not, for the lease of the Valley and the training ground, or so we thought? But what if this has all been a complex con? What if BS is a friend, a past business partner, or a former employee who, for a lucrative fee, has been prepared to step up in the guise of a new owner to help shield Roland from the fans anger and their regular excursions to Belgium to protest in such a way that was also starting to have an effect on Roland’s political ambitions in Belgium? This could all be bs that our very own Thomas might be proud of? Call me a cynic and you may well be right. BS started out by heralding certain members of staff as heroes for the way they protected Charlton’s best interests. More recently, he has been prepared to sack some of these “heroes” for some apparent trivial misdemeanors. Something fishy is going on. The mood towards BS is changing noticeably. I fear that many of us have been suckered.

      September 4, 2022
      • Chris #

        Totally agree with your thoughts too….I have my suspicions about TS.
        Clearing out staff who he feels are on his case ?

        September 4, 2022
  6. Simon Jones #

    The only way we can utilise what we have at our disposal player wise to give ourselves any chance of success is to structure our set up around what we have.
    Stockley needs to be playing in a 2. Leaburn, Jrs or Kanu up with him. We have all the midfielders to set up a decent diamond with Dobson at the base, Fraser at the top, Payne and Mcgrandles. We even have depth with Henry, Morgan and Jfc. What is it with our managers that they have one way and won’t budge.

    September 4, 2022
    • Sciurus Carolinensis Nemesis #

      On the money SJ
      Sadly Garner’s a one trick pony and even if we had half the squad to fit his one trick, it’s been rumbled and is so so easily neutralised
      Expressions like optimism and pessimism are redundant nonsense at the top of the precipice over which the club has been pitched

      September 6, 2022
  7. Chris #

    Ohhhh boy !!
    Great analysis CA….My heart and optimism sank more and more as the game progressed…Garner is now realising that he has been sold a pup by TS.
    We clearly have been affected by the serious lack of additional players.
    Bolton demonstrated tactical awareness of our weaknesses and I have to applaud their approach during the game.
    We are in fior a very very very difficult season ahead…..just what the fans and players need….here we go again !!!!

    September 4, 2022
    • Chris #

      The silence from TS and the club is deafening…oh hang on, in the distance I can hear a guitar being tuned ready for another performance…

      September 4, 2022
      • Addicks for Victory has been replaced by Addicks for Mediocrity

        September 4, 2022
        • Chris #


          September 4, 2022
  8. Rob #

    I understand everyone’s frustration but this was never going to be a quick fix. I rate Garner and I think his style is good to watch and can be dangerous for other teams.

    But the club needs to reassess its views on player’s age. We seem to be aiming for the 21-26 group, with sell-on value in mind. Squad is in need on 2-3 hardened and experienced pros – JFC could play a big role if Garner can win him back. A team like Bolton will hit you hard and we’ll need experience to hit them back.

    September 4, 2022
    • greg brown #

      Exactly….a couple of Darren Pratley’s would do for a start !!

      September 4, 2022
      • Chris #

        Come back Pearcey all is forgiven !!!

        September 4, 2022
    • That’s a really good point Rob. JFC and MacGillivray are our oldest two players I think.

      September 4, 2022
  9. danny benstead #

    Maybe mr garner should watch what he says look at scotty Parker lol

    September 4, 2022
    • Chris #

      I agree Garner needs to remember that Mrs S wears the trousers and their track record of sacking staff is becoming legendary.
      Do it my way or its the highway attitude !!!
      It will be very hard for Garner and TS to regain the trust of players told they are no longer needed.
      I see storm clouds gathering on the horizon.

      September 4, 2022
  10. Mike #

    Looks like my previous views were correct on my last post, as even Garner is now coming out and potentially putting the blame on Mr S, for making a profit on selling players, but not actually wanting to use that money for paying out any transfer fees for any new players, and is more or less without saying, is only looking for cheap freebies from lower divisions &/or loan players! As I previously said, Mr S is a business man and he wants to run this like his normal business, but has finally realised, a football club is totally different to any normal business venture and his 5 year plan has completely gone up in smoke! So he will be off once he is in profit over a financial year, so he won’t lose face and then sell asap to the next jerk who is willinging to take Charlton on, for another merry go round!
    Unfortunately what did we expect from a new American/Danish owner with a massive ego, who has abolutely no idea of how to run a football club, but comes out with a complete b……t five year plan to get into the premiership, without spending hardly any money on new players and also comes onto the pitch, playing a guitar, to one of the worst songs I have heard for a football entrance! The only good part is, that was probably the biggest deflate to his ego ever, when all the fans requested Charlton went back to their old song for the Entrance.

    September 4, 2022
  11. Wayne Burtt #

    As subscribers have suggested, BG has realised that he is now on his own and he has to rely on players to hand. Simon Jones has shown that we have an effective midfield diamond: that’s a good start. What we don’t have is strength in defence and that means a left back. In attack we are clearly impoverished: Stockley needs a partner. JFC must be brought back into the fold.
    It looks as if BG will have to start earning his pay by coming up with a cunning plan… But let’s not lose sight of the fact that ‘football’s a funny old game’ and perhaps BG can pull a rabbit or three out of the proverbial hat. We must all hope so!! (Then again, how many points will we need by Christmas?)
    Meanwhile, can CAST start a fund to buy Sparrow’s Lane (for starters)?

    September 4, 2022
  12. John Goss #

    Yes we played a better team on the day, it does happen. Again I dread the October fixtures 6 league games four home two away also could be cup match. Fingers crossed the wounded and sick players respond to full fitness.

    September 5, 2022
  13. T #

    I’m not going to run the team or manager down for Saturdays performance and result, it must be extremely frustrating for all concerned.

    I’m just confused as to why oh why TS hunted a manager down very specifically to play a certain way and once found, he’s then denied that manager the tools to do the job.
    It’s a bit like employing a Michelin star chef and only giving him a microwave to cook with!!!
    According to BG, two more transfer windows before he feels the squad will be of the strength, depth and quality to challenge for promotion….that is of course if he’s still with us!

    Argh argh argh T

    September 5, 2022
    • Chris #

      I wouldn’t bank on Garner seeing the season out.
      He is already frustrated at the way empty promises have been given to him, the players,staff and above all fans by TS.
      We are slowly realising that the vision given has been shot down in flames by actions to date.

      September 5, 2022
      • Rick #

        Totally agree Chris. Question is will Garner jump before he’s pushed? If he’s been following Scott Parker’s career he’ll know the answer.

        September 5, 2022
      • I’ve been thinking about this. I wonder if Garner has realized that this job has moved from a long term project with a progressive club to merely a stepping stone. Our only real hope for a slim chance of a top 6 place os that Garner turns out to be a revelation. The downside of that is that suitors come sniffing for him. I suspect his salary package is bottom half League One either. TS would as the Americans say nickel and dimed him.

        September 5, 2022
  14. Kevin #

    Fair analysis, Looking to the positives we have so far only played teams in the current top half of the table and apart from Saturday we have been able to give everybody a game. Our operating budget may not be the biggest in the league, yet our academy is probably the best so we shouldn’t be short of quality. Early days in what could still be a good season

    September 5, 2022
  15. rierti #

    I would hardly call receiving a pin point 40 yard pass from Morgan as chasing a lost cause. But overall they were poor and the lack of strength down the sides of the the team was exploited by Bolton, as any team that have scouted CAFC would realise. The 4-3-3 system employed is totally unsuitable for the players that we have available. Stockley although not one of my favourites needs better service and a co-striker within 5-10 yards (Leaburn?). A back 4 with light weight full backs who are really wing backs playing deep. O’ Connell although a good technical player when in possession has no pace and lacks the ability to jump correctly.
    The midfield is also light weight and only Morgan can provide 30-40 yard passes, JFC who can also pass 30-40 yards is out of favour because his wages are apparently a problem for TS. Why is Payne not getting more time on the pitch and will McGrandles make a difference when he becomes available.
    The lack of recruitment last week was pathetic, we needed a experienced central defender although I personally think Ness should be given a chance. I watched Elewere in the Wealdstone v Woking game and he is progressing well but needs more time to regain his true form following his injuries and related problems.
    Apparently Terrell Thomas is a free agent and has been training with the club, I think he would be a good option for the squad.
    The real disgrace was not bringing in at least one (I would have preferred two) strikers. If Stockley or Leaburn are not available for whatever reason there is nobody to step in. Kanu is not ready and is not suited to the No.9 role.
    The old solution to a lack of a powerful forward was to push a robust defender up front, but we haven’t even got that option, except for a player like Barker who has good pace and is willing to get stuck in.

    September 5, 2022
  16. John Goss #

    All great teams are built from the back, we have no back or spine at all, they are completely disarray at present. Trying to press forward to score three or more goals consistently we’re a long way off. However first season with new manager, we’ll see I’m sure he’ll know by the next window of transfers.

    September 5, 2022

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