18 April 2010

Charlton 0 Norwich 1

Norwich won promotion but no friends at the Valley. Not that that will bother them, of course. Meanwhile, Charlton produced their best performance since the first two months of the season, but lost.

To deal with Norwich first, with as little bitterness as possible. The striking feature of their game was their propensity to foul: little pushes and shirt tugs, expertly done, no doubt, just when needed to break up an attack, and with a cynical acceptance that they'll give away free kicks, and get a few bookings. It was so prevalent through the team it has to be a deliberate tactic. It's ugly and they should be ashamed. Next was their absolute lack of ambition, particularly in the second half. I've rarely seen such a one-sided half of football, as they were content to soak up the pressure, and apparently clueless on how to attack at all. Credit to their goalkeeper, with three astonishingly good saves (and some blatant time-wasting from about 46 minutes on, which got him booked eventually), and to their luck, which held out. Nothing broke well for Charlton.

And Charlton, all of them, were playing with guts and skill in a way that would have sewn up this league if they'd been able to play like this through winter. Two familiar failings cost the game, though: slack defense at a corner let Norwich get the only goal they were ever likely to score; and the usual profligacy in front of goal. It was impossible to find a poor performance, but the return of Deon Burton for the second half seemed to raise the level of play significantly.

Results elsewhere meant that Charlton would have gone into a strong position if they had won, but the future's not so bleak. The game against Leeds in two weeks looks more important than ever now.
P GD     Pts
Norwich      43 39 89
Leeds United 43 30 80
Millwall     43 32 79
Swindon      43 16 78
Charlton     43 20 77
Huddersfield 43 20 74

1 comment :

Kappacino Kid said...

Sadly even if we beat Leeds their two other games are bristol rovers and mk dons - a sledgehammer to squidge two jellies