Well, 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 !!