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Charlton Athletic 0 Cheltenham Town 1

It gets from worse to worse still.

Ben Garner said that we are progressing. This is not progression, this is regression – our results, our football, our position, our attendances, our pride.

To steal Rich Cawley’s phrase after last night’s game, it was a soul destroying result is front of a detached audience, and possibly a lower number of Addicks that watched that Portsmouth game 30 years ago.

We still talk fondly of those Charlton people involved on that December day in 1992, this lot won’t be remembered for anything accept possibly being the worst Charlton team we have seen in five decades.

It was an odd line-up from Ben Garner. Two untested and untried young centre-backs with a forward line that looked as if it was picked out of a hat.

Chuks Aneke fit enough to start in a cup tie, but not in the league. No Daniel Kanu, no Deji Elewere and Payne on the bench, Morgan somehow preferred. Some sort of 3-5-2 formation that just never gelled apart from the odd moment here and there. The tale of our season, in one that we have won just five times.

Garner saw a lot of ‘brilliance’ in that performance. I did not. It was the most experienced defender Ryan Inniss, who almost gifted Cheltenham two goals in the first half, and it was the experienced Craig MacGillivray that did gift them their goal late in the second.

Substitute Charlie Kirk came closest to scoring, but it was wiped for offside, just before Cheltenham’s Alfie May plunged the knife deep into our hearts.

The performances of Sean Clare and young defenders Zach Mitchell and Lucas Ness the only redeeming features of a soul destroying night.

As we sink to a new low, Ben Garner sadly looks out of his depth, as does Thomas Sandgaard, and his son sat motionless and clueless in the west stand.

Ben Garner: “From the start of the second half, the first 25 minutes, we were brilliant for long spells. We pinned them back and had complete control.”

Stats (CAFC first): Possession – 66% / 34%; Passes – 554 / 288; Accurate passes – 470 / 200; Shots (on target) – 14 (4) / 13 (5)

Photo: Paul Edwards

30 Comments Post a comment
  1. Kings Hill Addick #

    Lucky you, you weren’t there!

    We discussed Boxing Day on the way home and for the first time in forty years my Dad said that he didn’t really have any enthusiasm to go. For us, football Boxing Day is as much a part of Christmas as Turkey.

    This year we are going to give it a miss.

    Sandgaard, and his entourage, need to go. They just need to go!

    December 3, 2022
    • Hi mate. You are right, but for years I used to say I’d much rather be there than watch on telly, but then I found the off button!

      Shame it has come to families even breaking with tradition. Thanks Thomas.

      December 3, 2022
      • spot on post and posts and total APATHY like in the real world.

        December 3, 2022
  2. Chris #

    Hi CA,
    Totally agree….I unfortunately sat through the game and it was obvious that the team were playing a strange formation and strategy….Garner needed to play his strongest team to get a result at such a prestigious game marking the Club.
    I shudder to think what ex- players thought of the tactics and direction, with too many attempts without scoring.
    A Woefully poor defensive error that again punished us.
    The fans and followers deserve better and how can Garner defend the game…..hes now digging a deeper hole and I am very very very worried about the future.
    We have a F A cup replay live on tv on Wednesday and I wonder if Garner will be in charge ?
    The silence from T S again is deafening.
    Please can Father Christmas help ? And I don’t mean a team of 11 elves !!!….mind you you never know they could play better !!!

    December 3, 2022
    • Chris #

      One of my reliable sources informed me that agents have been approached of some managers out of work….watch this space !!

      December 3, 2022
      • Interesting Chris. I guess Nigel Adkins is available 🤪

        December 3, 2022
        • Chris #

          Noooooooooo please nooooo😫

          December 4, 2022
    • I don’t expect Thomas wants to spend money on sacking Garner. Would be interesting to know what that long drawn out negotiated contract says though.

      December 3, 2022

      December 4, 2022
  3. alofthevalley #

    As a season ticket holder I turned up. Having driven into south London fighting through rush hour traffic and parked in a nearby residential street and walked to the ground. It was a cold evening and the football as we have become so accustomed to lately was poor. Again. Huffing and puffing, repetitive sideways and backwards passing and clueless up front. Innis is a disaster in waiting…. Self destruct mode on standby. I think you’ve said before this team is hard to like. That sums it up perfectly. Im tired of Ben Garner and I appreciate he can only work with what he has but I think your average charlton supporter has a better idea of how to set this team up to try and secure a win. Score a goal even. Roll on January…. When we will discover quite how detached TS has become from the project…….

    December 3, 2022
    • January will tell us everything I think.

      December 3, 2022

        December 4, 2022
  4. Daggs #

    TS is not likely to sack Garner, the compo would be too expensive. Maybe if TS fails to support BG again in the next window he’ll walk.
    Ideally we need TS gone and then a new manager appointed. But who would take on the whole crock of shite?

    December 3, 2022
    • Chris #

      Peter Varney leading the charge ?

      December 3, 2022
  5. houndal #

    For all those clamouring for TS to sell, you have to ask wat are you buying. A team worth perhaps a couple of million, yes a decent academy BUT………..RD still owns the real assets. To have to fork out maybe 30-40 million seems totally unthinkable in this day and age (or any for that matter)
    As for Garner, FFS stop spouting bollox you are sounding too much like Karl Robinson

    December 3, 2022
    • hOUNDAL well said and everyone else and TS and RD and others are in this together.

      December 4, 2022
  6. Wayne Burtt #

    In hard times, why pay good money to watch rubbish? BG, you’ve tried the keeping possession with a high press game. If you keep on doing the same thing why do you expect different results? Clearly it’s not working, so try something different! I really think BG you have been given a good crack of the whip and you’ve failed, most spectacularly at not learning from your failures.

    He appears bereft of ideas and must accept responsibility for failure.

    So too, the owner, full of good intentions to start with, but as he saw his money draining away he sought to stem the outflow, with disastrous results for the club.

    We need new brooms all round. The alternative looks like the 4th Division.

    Come on Peter Varney and Andrew Barclay!!

    December 3, 2022
    • Wayne but will they or anyone risk their money but appears both loaded but we need others to invest too!!!

      December 4, 2022
      • Wayne Burtt #

        Exeter FC is I believe owned by the supporters as a community club. It sounds wonderful but I doubt whether there are enough of us (deluded fools) to achieve anything remotely similar.

        December 4, 2022
    • Chris #

      Interesting that PV is encouraging fans to all turn up…..trying to impress possible new owners Peter ?

      December 4, 2022
  7. Steve #

    Very depressing and very worrying.
    Looks like a big investment needed just to stay in this shite division and that won’t be forthcoming. I hope at least TS can be trusted to stave off administration because if we think it’s bad now could get a whole lot worse.

    December 4, 2022
  8. LP #

    BG is trying really hard to get sacked. But it won’t happen.
    Perhaps you should all get along on tuesday to watch the U18s in the FA Youth cup. Mind you that would be the kiss of death so perhaps not. Take a look at their results and pray they don’t all get sold too soon.

    December 4, 2022
  9. LP #

    So is it the players we have do not have the skill or is it the way they are being told to play?

    December 4, 2022
    • LP – possibly the players would be better if played to their 3rd Division strengths, which is not in my opinion spraying the ball around like we are Man City!

      December 4, 2022
  10. Keith #

    Totally agree with your summary except you really should include George Dobson in the noteworthy performances. He has to do the work of Jaiyesimi who must be the most lazy player we’ve seen at the Valley and Morgan who lacks a football brain. I was in the North west corner and couldn’t see who was offside. Can anyone help

    December 4, 2022
    • Keith – you are right. Dobson was good. He always is. Glad to see him don the captain’s armband.

      As for the offside. It looked close but as they say I haven’t seen it back.

      December 4, 2022
      • Chris #

        Have to agree CA and I was level with play and the lino got it wrong….he was offside.
        Sean Clare had a good game and Morgan in parts.

        December 4, 2022
        • Keith #

          Yes without Clare and Dobbo it would be Kent amateur league in the near future

          December 5, 2022
  11. JOHN F GOSS #

    Well on this performance we all witnessed were going South not to worry though there plenty of pub drinking as most footy clubs in the lowers divisions are pub teams. Piss ball about with possession gives the pub teams so much time in preparing for our attack. No Garner needs to re think tactics less possession and attack. The younger players need more footy time in Our division ready for next season.

    December 4, 2022
  12. roger Harold applegate #

    Hi I agree with all the above. The team was picked for the cup, I except TS has told
    BG he wont’s a cup run so he can get money.
    That can be the only reason playing the team with out the so called forward Aneke.
    With so many untried players in an important Legue game.

    December 4, 2022

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