Target 20,000 – time to go ?

65milesSo we go to Scunthorpe with what could well be described a weakened side – in fact quite a few on Twitter had given up before the tweet announcing the team was even cold – but ultimately I think, a good point and a clean sheet against a side who were top of the table and had been scoring for fun in previous games.

If fact, for the want of a bit of composure (although he’d only been on a handful of minutes) Jordan Botaka might have won it and for the want of an inch or two, Johnnie Jackson’s last second free kick might have taken all three points.

All in all, I was pretty happy with that performance, especially after the ‘performance’ against AFC Wimbledon and so we all start looking forward to this weekend and Oxford Utd away.

Well played to all those going today … we’ve sold out the away end which is great so hopefully the travelling support will be rewarded with a an equally great performance.

Unfortunately, while the majority of us were looking forward to the upcoming weekend, the end of the week became somewhat soured when the news of the Target 20K meeting with Roly came out on Twitter.

As much better summed up elsewhere … Hungry Ted does a pretty good job on his blog … Target 20K seem to be a bit of a faceless group who somehow have managed to get the ear of Ms Meire.

Quite how this has occurred is the cause of concern amongst a large number of concerned fans as Katrien, as we know, is more than happy to keep her distance with anyone thought to have a grievance over the manner in which she and her guvnor are running (ha ha – sarcasm) the club.

“Apparently” the arrival of Roly was a surprise to those attending, but what was no surprise is that he dropped another small percentage bomb on everyone – pretty much saying that Charlton is 1.5% of his empire and that’s why he’s not that bothered about it.

Clearly to anyone with half a clue about football, at least in England knows that an owner either is 100% involved or has a group of people employed to fulfil that percentage requirement.

We don’t !

We have a woman who seems to to trying to further her career – which would be nice if she could further it by getting another job somewhere else – and a very small collection of apparent lackeys who are so desperate to stay in Roly’s employ that they go along with everything he (and she) asks of them.

For Target 20K to have a meeting with the owner, then not want to tell anyone about the content and then almost enforce the resignation of at one member when she had the “audacity” to actually talk about some of what went on pangs of collusion with an management team that have no intention of actually working with, or improving communications with supporters.

And so I return to the title of this post.  Target 20,000 … I think it’s time you either came out and told us what it’s all about – or pack up your troubles in your old kit bag, smile and be on your way !

More importantly, we’ve got a game today – three points would be nice.

C’mon you reds !!

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Oh dear … that wasn’t very good !

65milesWell, it’s been a while and I’ve been more than a-ponderin’ what I was going to write about since my last post, following the 1-1 at home to Bolton Wanderers and now, yesterday’s defeat at home to AFC Wimbledon.

So, a bit of a recap … living in Colchester I took advantage of the Bank Holiday and went to watch the U23s at Colchester Utd in the Development League.

Given that it’s just around the corner, the wife was meeting up with a friend and one daughter was working, me and the other one took the short drive to the Weston Homes Stadium to see how Jason Euell’s charges would fair without Lookman and Konsa.

After narrowly avoiding getting robbed two quid for a bottle of water we settled in, just in front of Kenny Jackett and along the way from Bobby Bowry who was there watching his boy.

We looked quite positive on the ball, with all the players comfortable in possession but alas we seemed to lack that ‘thing’ that would create a chance. Mikhail Kennedy did well without really effecting the match and Mitov made two excellent blocks but had no chance with their opener and even less with the second, an absolute screamer from Regis with about eight minutes left.

Disappointing to lose but with a few missing because of Tuesday night’s pointless CheckATrade Trophy game right around the corner I supposed at the time we’d just have to grin and bear it.

The aforesaid CheckAtrade match was treated with general apathy – mirroring the rest of the country – what was perceived to be a waste of time and ruination of the second cup competition appears to have come true.

We got a win, albeit on pens so worryingly we might progress further.

More importantly, we didn’t sell anyone in the final hours of the transfer window. We’ll never know what actually went on behind the scenes, that will forever remain undisclosed, but to me looking in, there didn’t seem to be all that much interest in Lookman after all.

Obviously Palace were desperate for something to turn their early fortunes around and losing Bolasie to Everton was a big kick in the proverbials for their fans, but as we know from experience, Pardew is okay when things are going well, but lacks a plan B when they aren’t.

So Lookman, Fox and Teixeira all stay, but I’m not sure whether Tex will get much game time with Pearce, Bauer and Konsa all fit !?

The big disappointment for me was Alou Diarra on his way, supposedly having his contract cancelled because he wanted to go back to France and may not play again – only to sign for FC Nancy. Still, he wasn’t fully fit but I liked him and wish him all the best as he escapes the clutches of the regime.

A week off due to having a significant number of ‘internationals’ gave the rest of the players a chance to rest and recuperate after an inauspicious start before we trotted north to take on Fleetwood.

Now, I appreciate we shouldn’t really be in this division and ultimately are only there due to the complete mismanagement / ownership of the club over the last couple of years, but thefact is, we are in this division.

Some were saying that we should be beating teams like Fleetwood but they were / are up there amongst it in these early weeks and so were never going to be a side we were going to roll over easily.

Going behind early on is something we’ve gotten used to over the last two seasons (and I should have kept my mouth shut about Ben Hamer getting done from way out in an earlier post) but got level thanks to Josh Magennis’ big header just after the half hour.

Of course, old Charlton finished the half – conceding in the final moments to go into the break a goal behind.

Two good saves from the Fleetwood keeper kept them ahead but it was not to be for them as Lee Novak popped up with the equaliser at the death.

So, two late equalisers in two games – good from the point of view that we keep going to get something out the game but bad that we need to do it that way.

Alas it was not to be third time lucky as we couldn’t find that late goal to scrape some semblance of respectability from yesterday’s performance at home to AFC Wimbledon.

An excellent, positive start got us ahead through the excellent (to begin with) Ademola Lookman but slowly the urge to get forward dissipated and we looked as though we’d settled for the 1-0.

Ajose needs to take one of the chances he’s getting soon or he’ll be finding himself on the bench – two good chances went begging in the first half again. I wouldn’t mind so much if the keeper saved it, but missing the target as the supposed goal-scorer just isn’t good enough.

AFC got more and more into the match as time went by, they had much more possession and we were lucky to last out as long as we did before conceding. The good old pessimist in me had the feeling that conceding one might very well lead to us conceding another – and so it panned out.

I thought Ricky Holmes was positive and very nearly scored what would have been a great goal, but he really should have played Lookman in.

I can completely see why he went for goal himself, but it needed a screamer, not a deft chip from the wrong side.

That I suppose is why he’s quite good at this level and not above it – it’s all about the decision making !!

I was disappointed with the lack of substitutions in the latter stages, Novak on for Ajose was pretty much a given but with Lookman getting tired (and not just physically, his attempt to smack in the ball when it was poorly cleared from his corner showed mental tiredness) surely the opportunity was there for Botaka (who was good at Fleetwood apparently) to come on and have a go ?

Obviously the majority would probably have booed that decision had it come, but then would the boos have been any louder than those that came at the end of the game ?

Long balls to Josh Magennis have rapidly become tiresome, especially when the header (when he wins it) doesn’t reach his strike partner … get the thing on the ground and give him a chance for Christ’s sake.

What was also rather tiresome was seeing Wimbledon win it with a header from a cross when both Solly and Fox had stuck over at least half a dozen each in the preceding eighty-five minutes without any of them meeting a Charlton h

Lookman shouldn’t be taking corners either … but I’m getting bitter now so am going off to do something else.

Tuesday might at Scunthorpe will be a big test – but I’d be happy with a point up there to be honest.

We’ll soon see …. c’mon you Reds !!

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Width ? Not today I’m afraid !!

65milesA good point earned today thanks to the left peg of Ademola Lookman, on what could be his last appearance as a Charlton player.

Not the most positive of openings to a post celebrating a second half comeback and a last minute equaliser but the way we’re being run at the moment I won’t be at all surprised if he goes before Wednesday night.

But first, let’s go back in time a week or so and celebrate a fine win at Walsall. Two goals from Nicky Ajose gave us all three points despite, I assume, them being possibly the two worst finishes of his entire career.

The first hit him on the chest, the second he somehow managed to blunder across the line with a combination of both feet and a fairly big slice of luck.

Not that I care a great deal as the most important thing is that we won the game and he got two goals to his name.

A bit of a goof for the Walsall goal courtesy of Declan Rudd who I’m sure would (excuse the pun) hold his hands up to that one, but he redeemed himself with a couple of excellent saves late on to ensure we took all three points.

Being beaten from long range isn’t something we haven’t seen before though – Ben Hamer used to let goals in from that distance all the time !!

The big mid-week news was Tareiq Holmes-Dennis move to Huddersfield Town for an ‘undisclosed’ fee, which we’ve since found out was probably £400,000 plus some kind of sell-on clause.

A lot of general grumpiness ensued on social media with the club once again at fault but by the sounds of it THD wanted out and Slade was happy to let him go.

Slado has previously stated he wanted players at the club who want to stay and fight for it, so no surprise then that THD was allowed to go.

To be honest, we have to trust that Slado knows his stuff and he said in the week that THD wasn’t winning the battle for starting left back spot ahead of Morgan Fox, who, defensively at least has been doing alright, so good luck THD, might see you next year in the Championship (if you get a game ?!)

One last thing …. THD’s greatest (only ?) moment, I give you once again, the Barry Bannon.

bbandthd

 

 

 

And so on to today. A good opening was seeing this season’s first ‘ringer’ – fat Tony Hadley, before a pretty good start I thought, although the heat of the sun bearing down on us might have affected my vision a little bit. (He doesn’t really look that much like Tony Hadley)

A pretty cagey affair got to half time with us probably just shading it, Jason Pearce heading just wide while Chris Solly was required to stretch all of his five foot three to clear off the line.

Disappointing to see Jacko go off after twenty minutes (with a tight hammy apparently) but good to see Patrick Bauer get back on the pitch – despite his desperately poor distribution (we were in red Patrick by the by.)

Half time came and went with brow mopping in the covered end the interval activity of choice and then we got done down the left and Gary Madine was the Bolton jonny-on-the-spot to force it home and put the unbeaten league leaders ahead.

Just one thing before I move on – the half time crossbar challenge is coming – watch this space ?!

What do you mean it’s coming ?  It’s a crossbar challenge, one person, a ball, somewhere near the goal – job done.

Watch this space ? What for exactly ?  Get on with it !

Anyway, a bit disappointing to concede so early as we had had much of the more positive possession in the first period and defended well but second half I didn’t think we had much of a clue going forward, the majority of our attacks being long clipped passes to the head of Josh Magennis.

Despite his best efforts, knockdowns / flick-ons weren’t falling to Ajose, who needs to be getting the ball in the box (chances for a finisher not being created – written that here a few times over the last few seasons) and we were SO narrow, with zero width down either side until Lookman came on.

Well, I say until Lookman came on but he only stayed wide for five minutes before moving further and further inside.

Obviously I can’t complain too much because he did score the goal but with both him and Ricky Holmes looking like they both had been given a ‘free role’, at least one of them had to take the decision to pull wide – but neither did.

Ezri Konsa was very good again at centre half alongside a very sturdy Jason Pearce, and continued to do well when pushed to right back to replace Solly who had moved into midfield, but he was stuffed for an out ball up the line with no-one in the fifty-plus yards ahead of him.

Just my opinion but Holmes was excellent wide(ish) against Shrewsbury and I really think we missed that today.

A few times he really got at the Bolton defence, but going down the middle led him into areas of congestion that he couldn’t extricate himself from, whereas if he’d been wide he would have had more space to work in.

So, a point against the leaders isn’t bad, but back to winning ways is imperative next time out.

Three signings due maybe this week – I shan’t be holding my breath mind !!

One last thing – and just a little bug-bear if that be the phrase, but don’t take a free programme from the CARD distributors – and then chuck it on the floor.

If you don’t want one – don’t take one !!

Not sure about Tuesday night’s game v Southampton but will be up at Colchester United Weston Homes for the proper U23 league match on Monday afternoon.

C’mon you Reds !!

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