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Saboteur

04 January 2011

Charlton 2 Swindon 4

You can pretty much re-read my comments on the Brighton game, except that Swindon, though competent, weren't nearly as good to watch as Brighton. But Charlton did their very best to make a mediocre team look good. All the Swindon goals were the product of defensive errors, with even the usually solid as a rock Christian Dailly giving away the second goal.

The scoreline flattered Charlton. According to people who've had the nerve to look at the replay, the first goal could have been ruled out on three separate grounds. Another bad refereeing decision, which I feel obliged to note even though it might have worked in Charlton's favour. Charlton's second goal deserved a better reception than it got: a brilliant acrobatic volley from Pawel Abbott, but too late to change anything.

But, as after the Brighton game, you have to ask what's going wrong, particularly at home games. Why is the team morale so brittle? I didn't comment in detail on the Walsall game - I couldn't bring myself to think about it again, but this is two consecutive home games when there hasn't been any evidence of team spirit, and only patches of individual commitment. That Brighton debacle seemed to provoke a bit of a renaissance, and for a while my gloom in the comments on that game looked overstated, so I won't repeat that. I still don't think that replacing the manager is the answer, but he has to change. At times he can bring out a superb team performance, but he seems to have difficulty finding a plan B. He's still relatively inexperienced, and maybe he needs a partner who can challenge his ideas. For example, someone else noted that whenever Kyel Reid got the ball, Swindon put two defenders on him, effectively taking him out of the game. A lot of teams do this. Same thing happened with Lloyd Sam last season, but Parkinson still doesn't seem to have found a way of exploiting the gaps this must open elsewhere in the defence.

The club now has new owners. We know very little about them, but they must have some money. I hope they don't take the obvious route of getting more players in. I honestly believe the squad, man for man, is up to winning the third division. But at the moment, we're not seeing the best of them.

1 comment :

Brian said...

Ha! Once again my general uselessness as a pundit is proved! Between typing this and pressing "Publish", Parkinson's gone. Thanks a bloody lot, the new board, you could have let this post be relevant for an hour or two! I don't have anything to contribute to the debate on who should replace him, but there's a lot of candidates I would regard with utter distaste.