Oxford United 3 Charlton Athletic 1
Where do you start. Or put another way, where does it end?
That was shocking. A first 45 minutes up there with the worst I have ever seen. Slightly better 2nd half, but we are so fragile, well and useless, at the back that Oxford scored from their first real attack after the break and it was another straightforward loss.
That is 5 wins in 23 Division 3 league games. I’m happy to have that ‘worst team ever debate’ again.
Dean Holden picked a team as if it was a pre-season friendly, or at best a 1st Round Pizza Cup game. Karl Robinson’s teams do not throw out any surprises. Pick a team that can counter the way he plays and grind out a bloody result. It ain’t rocket science.
Young Chin was targeted constantly on the left side, it was tough to watch, but all around him the defending was horrendous, spineless even. Three clean sheets in 23 league games.
At half-time at 0-2 Holden brought on our three most dangerous players, and it got better, as long as we were in their half. Leaburn scored and really should have scored a second. Stockley’s presence before that was once again pointless.
That starting XI was woefully inadequate. Players out of position, no obvious shape, an none of the organization we saw under Hayes & Pearce against Brighton. On top of that the team had no offensive proficiency at all.
Holden lined up in a 3-5-2. As a side note as it annoyed me during the game. Sandgaard jettisoned Jackson as he played a 3-5-2, and then pioneered total football by bringing in Garner. Gave him a 3-year contract, but not the tools, then sacked him and now here we are again with a manager who wants to play 3-5-2. And guess what? He doesn’t have the players to play it. Mis-management at its best.
As for Holden. There was no new manager bounce. He was honest in his assessment, but how much does he know what is going on behind the scenes? January has to be transcendent, but will it be really?
We are in a mess, free falling with no one to trust.
Dean Holden: “The transfer window opens pretty soon but for now we work with what we’ve got. We’ve got a couple of days to get ourselves ready [for Portsmouth]. It’s not something we’ll forget. We have to address it, to own it. Front it up. We said day one that there will be no excuse culture at this club. This is a test now. It’s not a time for going blaming people. It’s a time to look in the mirror and come out fighting.”
Stats (CAFC first): Possession – 47% / 53%; Passes – 332 / 383; Accurate passes – 220 / 288; Shots (on target) – 136 (10) / 5 (3):