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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):

8 Comments Post a comment
  1. Daggs #

    Be prepared for the standard CAFC transfer window. Nothing before 11PM on the 31st January, then a panic loan or two.
    With one caveat. The club will be frantically trying to offload half a dozen players to ‘make room for incomings’ They will fail in that too.
    Only likely exit, JFC to Wimbledon.
    Happy days …………………..

    December 30, 2022
  2. Roger A #

    I think the first half team was picked for sundays match. He thought Oxford would be easy. How many times do I have to say we seem to play well (or better) in one half. Why O why not pick the same team that started Boxing day.

    December 30, 2022
  3. Chris #

    I did say Karl will stuff us !!
    Woeful woeful performance…We again face a turmoil end to the season both on and off the pitch.
    I smell a big rat, reading you comments about possible new owners..fleecing the club of money and players ?

    December 30, 2022
    • Chris #

      Big thanks to Karl for his post match comments about Charlton and what is happening behind the scenes….he got it 100% right.

      December 30, 2022
      • Chris – Karl has always talked very fondly about CAFC. Agree, good comments. I’d wish more would speak up.

        December 30, 2022
        • Chris #

          Yes CA Karl loved managing the club and I’ve enjoyed his company several times…agree he’s like marmite but he has respect and feelings for our fans.

          December 30, 2022
  4. houndal #

    Well as surely as night follows day, we all knew Robinson would put one over us.
    Our next 5 games: Pompey, Lincoln, Barnsley Peterboro and Bolton.
    By end Jan we will surely be in bottom 4.
    I hope we can shift out Stockley and Rak Sak departs. Those 2 combine for 12.5% of our monthly wage bill and funds could be freed up (unless of course TS pockets the savings)

    December 30, 2022
  5. Shadow Play #

    That was awful, we had in mitigation a thin squad with players out and others needing to be benched with a third match coming up in a week, but that shouldn’t be an excuse.

    Richard Chin is a defender, not a wing-back. He may develop into a WB but in midfield he looks out of his depth. Terell Thomas looked like he lacked match fitness, but all over the park we were woeful and lacked energy. When we lost possession no-one tracked back or competed and it took until Miles Leaburn’s goal to have a shot on target.

    This is a team in name only with no self belief.

    Things improved in the second half – going to a four man defence was sensible and the team responded but the damage had been done.

    With the transfer window opening a few players should be on the move and a few might be wondering what the future holds for them are not doing themselves any favours.

    December 31, 2022

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