23 February 2013

Charlton 0 Nottingham Forest 2

But does she have a magic left peg?
When two men are in love with the same woman, they have, despite their rivalry, a mutual respect for each other. For example, while I know for certain that Penelope Cruz would be happier with me, I can't help thinking that Javier Bardem must be a decent bloke to value her as much as he does.

It's like that with Charlton and Forest fans. We both love Andy Reid, and we both know that he was at his best with us. And we both despise Tottenham Hotspur, who didn't know what to do with him. (They were very much the Tom Cruise in the relationship.)

Reid was on brilliant form today, unfortunately. I'm pretty sure his pass that set up Forest's first goal was a piece of brilliance, which I'll want to see again. He was always at the heart of a very accomplished performance by his team, which brought out a lacklustre display from a tired-looking Charlton squad. How did that team achieve such a great result at Leicester in the week?

The opening of the game was sometimes embarrassing, with Charlton losing the ball again and again. Things were beginning to improve (I think) when Yann Kermorgant was sent off after about 35 minutes. Apparently it was a fair decision. He reacted badly to blatant obstruction by Greg Halford and lashed out at him. From then the only question was how badly Charlton would lose, and a 2-0 defeat was pretty good in those circumstances.

Lots of unhappy people at the end of the game, but really it was just a bad day at the office, an office in which the heating had broken down. We'll get over it. Like eventually I'll get over the fact that Penelope bizarrely chose to live in Los Angeles with a handsome sexy actor, rather than in Catford with me.

10 February 2013

Charlton 1 Birmingham 1

As is Charlton's way this season, you found yourself wanting Charlton to score, but fearing the consequences if they did. Birmingham were possibly the worst team who've turned up at the Valley this season, and for 86 minutes Charlton - in particular Ricardo Fuller - were creating chance after chance, but never converting. Two main causes, I think: the pitch, after 10 months of continuous rain and a bit of snow, is in the worst state I've ever seen it; and Jack Butland in the Birmingham goal. Apparently he's only 19. Who knows how good he'll turn out to be when he grows up?

But finally the goal came. It was the right kind of goal for the conditions: a cross from Chris Solly headed in by Yann Kermorgant after 87 minutes. I was stupid enough to believe that was enough to win it, but the usual happened. As four minutes of injury time started, Chris Powell made two substitutions, presumably just to waste some time. And a late Birmingham equaliser followed. I don't know if the substitutions were a mistake, but a lot of people thought so. I do know that if he hadn't made those substitutions, there was still every chance of Charlton conceding and if that had happened, he'd have been pilloried for not making them. I believe it's known as a no-win situation.

No-one in yesterday's team wanted to lose that lead. Every one of them will feel gutted about it and will know that it's part of a pattern. Glibly, one could say that they panic now going into the last ten minutes of a game with any kind of lead. But what does that mean? I wish I knew, but even more I wish I was a sports psychologist. You could earn a fortune analysing that kind of team behaviour, and no-one will be able to say you're wrong. In the end, you'll appear to have earned your money, because the team will change its ways and stop throwing away leads. It'll do that anyway, with or without your help, of course, but you'll be on your way to a really well-paid job in Manchester by then.

So, not much of a match report today, but really good careers advice. When you're minted, remember me. Ten per cent of net earnings should be sufficient.