17 August 2014

Charlton 2 Wigan 1

The first home game of the Championship campaign and, with all due respect to Colchester, the first chance to see what Charlton could do against one of the stronger teams they'll meet.

Wigan started brightly, and, in truth, Jordan Cousins' opening goal was against the run of play. After 8 minutes he found space on the left, Gudmundsson found him with a precsion pass and Cousins shifted the ball onto his right foot and shot into the top right corner to open the scoring.

It was a classy goal, almost equalled by Wigan's reply within 10 minutes. Mcmanaman timed his run to beat Wiggins and finished coolly. Wigan remained dominant for the rest of the half, with Charlton occasionally looking threatening, but neither side was really looking like scoring again.

In the second half the game got more ragged. Charlton perhaps had more fight about them, while Wigan looked more organised, more used to playing as a team, but bizarrely uninterested in scoring a goal. And as the end of the game drew nearer, it was Charlton's willpower that looked more likely to prevail. A succession of decent chances didn't quite fall right, but in about the third minute of added time Moussa's shot was wickedly deflected past a helpless Scott Carson. The remaining few minutes of extra time lasted about a year but with hindsight were comfortable.

So, what do we make of the new team? All but one of the new players had a good afternoon. In a won't-last spirit of positivity I won't name the one who didn't. And I won't be as harsh as someone on twitter who reckoned "he should have shot himself" on a few occasions. Come now, he maybe just needs time to settle. Tal Ben Haim was much better than I expected from pre-season reports, and while Stephen Henderson looks generally fine, I have to agree with comments I've read about his distribution. On the whole, though, it looks like the squad has actually been strengthened.

Biggest impression for me, though, was made by Bob Peeters. Uwe Rosler is one of the least likeable figures in football - if the standard unit of unpleasantness is a Dickov*, he weighs in at 920 millidickovs - so anyone who's prepared to take him on is OK with me.

*(I've checked, and it is.)

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