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Port Vale 1 Charlton Athletic 0

That was pitiful.

Hands up, and with apologies to those that had to grin and bear it, notably those who were in Staffordshire, I didn’t watch the game. I was watching my daughter at the national schools debate tournament. No passing along the back line, no lack of effort, no defensive cock up’s, no lack of creativity just courageous and passionate kids expressing themselves.

One shot on target and that in injury time yet 64% possession and 405 passes to another red shirt. What is the f$%^&*+ point?

The squad is Mother Hubbard bare, and we have the perennial injury crisis, but surely with that starting eleven with enough options on the bench we have to be better than that don’t we?

This is a desolate time to be a Charlton fan, but all you ask is for some light at the end of the tunnel, some hope to cling onto, but the future looks gloomy and overcast with thunder clouds up ahead.

Garner has to do better with what he’s got, please no more of the ‘we’ve had a great week on the training ground’ show us that you are capable of coaching an enterprising team that can perform, be adaptable and can win a football match. We have won 5 league games all season.

It is nowhere near good enough.

Ben Garner is increasingly pushing the January transfer window envelope down Sandgaard’s throat, a man who has conveniently disappeared off the radar. I’m happy to see Garner do this, but if he worked for me, I would want to be seeing more doing than complaining.

Now a break from the league where we have not won for a month, then December brings five league games. No more excuses Ben.

Ben Garner: “It was horrible, would by my summary. A horrible pitch. A horrible performance. A very disappointing afternoon.”

Stats (CAFC first): Possession – 64% / 35%; Passes – 513 / 287; Accurate passes – 405 / 204; Shots (on target) – 15 (1) / 1 (1)

27 Comments Post a comment
  1. Chris #

    Very very poor display….I’m annoyed that Garner moaned about PVs tactics but it’s HIS job to apply tactics our players could apply to sort that during the game. I know he was in the stands but he has a mobile, carrier pigeon or loud-haler to use !!!
    January will be the most important time and if we don’t get new blood I can see a relegation fight from then……so depressing 😤

    November 20, 2022
    • Very embarrassing that BG had to stoop to moan about Port Vale’s tactics.

      November 20, 2022
  2. Chris #

    You only have to look at our crowd diminishing, boring boring tactics and an owner who seems to be out of his depth….
    Can the last fan leaving the Valley please turn off the floodlights, put the cat out and cancel the milk and papers!!!

    November 20, 2022
  3. greg brown #

    Inept, clueless, uninspiring…….those are the ‘qualities’ of Garner and his squad at the moment, and to be honest, looking back, has been for the majority of the season so far.
    It will be interesting to see what the owner says or does after Garners admission after yesterdays game, that he’s never had the financial backing he was promised before he came to the club.
    Could his days be numbered ?

    November 20, 2022
    • Was it ballsy? A call for a pay-off? Or a desperate cry for help?

      We’ll shall see, but Sandgaard has made it a habit of over promising and under delivering.

      November 20, 2022
      • greg brown #

        Agreed, but reading between the lines of Garners statement, is he saying that he wouldn’t have signed up if he’d known there would be no money for incoming players ?

        November 20, 2022
        • It was interesting that those negotiations with him and TS took forever. What was that about – structure of compensation, budget, say in transfers? Obviously BG was sold a fairy tale. Like the rest of us.

          November 20, 2022
          • Rob #

            Best we can hope for is Macca Bonne I think.

            November 20, 2022
  4. Rob #

    Spot on!

    I don’t know if it’s just me, but they seem to be playing without a game-plan. Yes, PV’s was a little restrictive but it was A PLAN. Beyond our CBs passing between themselves there doesn’t seem to be anything purposeful. Gaps seem to appear by luck more than appearing by force or strategy. This ‘Garner-ball’ approach is starting to become embarrassing. I hope it works out and I’m wrong, but poor-standard teams are nicking points off us. And it seems to be due to players having no idea how to open teams up.

    5 games in December – lose 3 or 4 of those and he may not be around to see this so-called ‘January transfer promise-land window’

    November 20, 2022
  5. Wayne R #

    I watched the match on CAFC TV. As the minutes wore (bored) on I was yelling more and more at my laptop : ‘For God’s sake get the ball FORWARD’. As we moved into the 2nd half I realised yelling was futile…just as futile as the efforts of our team, which delivered one of the worst performances in my 65 years of being a fan.
    BG has the audacity to criticise the way Port Vale played..well excuse me! The players you put on the pitch were presumeable playing to your PATHETIC instructions of sideways, backwards, sideways and repeat for as long as possible.
    I actually have just a fraction of sympathy for the players because they must truly hate playing the way their manager wants them to play. I never liked the fact that JJ was sacked and never liked the talk of BG coming in with a possession based philosophy. Some philosophy !
    My worst fears have been realised. If BG is not prepared, or just does not have the nouse to change the way we play, then he surely has to go.
    Our owner has got what he deserves for making a poor judgement about who should be manager. BG got what he deserved yesterday i.e. defeat. We supporters, however, deserve a whole lot better.
    I regret having promised my grandson that I will take him to the next home league match against Cheltenham…we might be the only people there!

    November 20, 2022
    • alofthevalley #

      Absolutely CA. And couldn’t agree more with your summary Wayne. Garners criticism of PVs play an embarrassment. We didn’t deserve any more than we got. We were woeful with the ball. It’s not working so what happens now? there won’t be any magical January acquisitions which will suddenly propel us up the table….. we look bang average across the pitch. Sandgaard is nowhere to be seen and clearly the funds have dried up. How can he attract additional investment in a club when he doesn’t own the ground or training set up? It’s all a real concern. But watching us at the moment is painful.

      November 20, 2022
      • I believe he doesn’t want to attract additional investment. Feels he has the means….

        November 20, 2022
        • Chris #

          I feel an upsurge of fan revolt soon more taxi’s,pigs,balloons and CATS protests….we deserve much much better

          November 20, 2022
          • What miniature plastic items can we throw on the pitch? Bacon, Lego? Medical devices??

            November 20, 2022
          • Chris #

            Suggest copies of “I spy a ball in the net ” together with programmed sat navs to help

            November 20, 2022
    • Mike #

      Wayne exactly my thoughts BG likes to blame everyone but himself, even Steve Brown said these tactics are not working surely Garner must have realised that by now! The central defenders are a complete shambles and the midfielders such as Frasier don’t track back and help out and Stockley, the least said about him the better, he ambles about like a headless chicken, cant hold up or control a ball, rarely gets any sort of effort on target just how is he still selected every game, let alone being made Captain?
      With Garners last comments re Port Vale and Sangaard, shows he is out of his depth in this division and is blaming everyone else for his failures and bringing in no better or worse players from lower divisions, than we already had.
      Yet just another clueless manager full of bullshit who we have to suffer at Charlton when they pull the club down.
      When will it all end, as can’t see us getting a decent Owner who knows how to run a club and we can fully trust &/or a good manager in the rest of my lifetime!

      November 21, 2022
  6. Wonderyears #

    I take no pleasure whatsoever in saying I told you so…

    November 20, 2022
  7. JohnFCBirkins #

    Kind regards,


    Hi CA,

    I left a few words comment as my comments still no coming through to the site.



    November 20, 2022
    • Try again John. Can’t see anything in my spam or deleted file.

      November 20, 2022
  8. JOHN F GOSS #

    Well you didn’t miss much we played as you would think, a team struggling mid table going South rather than North.

    November 20, 2022
  9. LP #

    Having read BG’s interview in london news on line i would say he is hoping to be sacked thus getting more money. Great man management skills telling your players they are no good – how inspiring. And that’s rubbish too – we have seen they can play all too well but only in short bursts it seems. I have no answer as to why. We should be looking forward to the unusual spectacle of doing well in the cups but both games (don’t count the windscreen wiper trophy or whatever it is called) now fill me with dread.
    I feel very sorry for the players who are clearly better than they are allowed to be.

    November 21, 2022
  10. Daggs #

    It’s been fairly clear to me Garner was sold a pup by TS when he took the job.
    Being forced to build a team with free agents from L2 (Swindon) because TS cannot or will not fund the purchase of better quality players, has come home to roost.
    Our squad is in the main hopeless. Only two or three players who are (just) good enough.
    The cracks are showing and I’m of the opinion if TS does not financially support
    the arrival of new players in January, Garner will look at his options and may well seek to depart.

    As an aside. I’ve supported Charlton for 55 years, therefore I have seen them in the third tier plenty of times. However, this team are as far as I can remember, the worst third tier team I’ve seen. We may have been poor before, but we always gave it our all.

    November 21, 2022
    • JOHN F GOSS #

      Yes agree with all comments, the display against Port Vale FC was the worst I’ve seen in many years. It was like looking at a Sunday pub team football match, with plenty of other members attached to our club several players from the KO Saturday should be dropped and allow fringe players the chance to prove themselves, it was only when BG made late changes that we looked like a first division team.

      November 21, 2022
    • Daggs – I am approaching 5o years but started after we were promoted from Div 3 in 1975. This is by a long way the least competitive we have been in Div 3 in all my years.

      November 21, 2022
  11. roger Harold applegate #

    This may be not be popular BUT I hope we get knocked out of the cups.
    I feel some players are thinking more about cup games.
    If we get knocked out of the cups we can hope get some player fit etc
    We need to worry about our Legue position as I can see us in the 2 division

    November 21, 2022
  12. houndal #

    Can all look forward to a local derby with JJ

    November 21, 2022
  13. Shadow Play #

    The trend is what we need to look at, teams that are defensively minded, play deep and fall back into their last third are the ones we struggle against.

    In recent matches MK Dons, Stevenage, Burton Albion etc have played this way and we battered away against these teams to little effect. Given that we know how these teams are going to play why are we set up the same way? We have pace in the team and a bit of forward height and muscle – we need to ditch the slow build up and running into brick wall defences for a bit more route one/counterattack at pace. Not all the time but if done correctly you can get behind teams and create chances. An earlyish goal and that match would have been different – Vale would have been forced to attack a bit more in search of an equaliser and left a few gaps. Instead we played to their gameplan – stonewall defence followed by a breakaway goal followed by obdurate defence until the 90 minutes were up. Job done.

    Ben Garner blamed the situation at the club and unfulfilled promises regarding investment, that’s a valid criticism. But he has to change the way we play against certain teams. We are too predictable at the moment.

    November 22, 2022

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