03 January 2015

Charlton 1 Blackburn 2

For the last 20 minutes of this game, after Yoni Buyens had been sent off, Charlton's already low level of interest in the game dropped to zero, as Blackburn played the ball around with humiliating ease. There was nothing left in Charlton's game: no organisation, no drive, no commitment. They played as if there was absolutely no chance of getting back a goal, and exhibiting no wish to do so. Like the crowd, I suspect, they wouldn't have minded much if Blackburn had scored a third to end the pretence that a match was taking place.

A few minutes earlier it seemed that things might change. Gudmundsson had scored with a superb free kick - which looked the only way Charlton would score - and the chance was on. But almost immediately Blackburn sliced easily through the defence, and everything fell apart. Charlton had been poor up to that moment. After it they were abject.

I feel I'm repeating myself, but feel I need to, to make it clear how awful this performance was. Even after you've made allowances - the injuries, the youth of the squad, the lack of a competent, confident striker - there was no excuse for it. It was a broken team, pretending to play football until the clock ran down, but looking like a blindfolded kabaddi team.

One of the many football cliches is "he's lost the dressing room", and I heard it quite a lot as disgruntled fans left after the game. It's hard to disagree. The team presumably knew they were going to get a bollicking after the match, but didn't care. In November Bob Peeters said he hadn't spoken to the team after the game against Ipswich. That didn't seem like a brilliant action at the time, and now I wonder if it was evidence or cause of a fundamental breakdown in trust and respect. Whatever, he's got a huge job ahead of him in restoring this squad to a functioning team, with or without arrivals in the window.

And just to cheer everybody up, two facts. Roland Duchatelet was at the game today, I think: a car with reg no RDC 33 was in the car park before the game (he'd left the lights on, by the way, ready for a quick getaway perhaps). And someone told me Tim Sherwood was at the match. Go on, then, rumourmongers: I've given you two and two, put them together!


Anonymous said...

Sadly a very well written piece. Sherwood was a long-time Rovers player and an ex-captain. I can't imagine RD appointing an Englishman from outside the network. I wonder what Jose Riga's up to these days?

Anonymous said...

He's a good man, but I'm afraid the phrases, 'hung out to dry' and 'having the rug pulled out from underneath you' and 'once bitten twice shy'. All spring to my mind when RD gets a mention. Oh! and flat battery!
In the seventies people would say, "nice video, shame about the song'. Nice ground, shame about the team! Maybe I'm being ungrateful, we'll soon see.

Brian said...

Thanks for the comments. The bit about Sherwood was purely mischievous on my part: an attempt to lighten up a depressing post. I'd be very surprised if RD was planning to replace BP at the moment, and Sherwood is exactly not the kind of man he'd go for.

Brian Cowan said...

RDC 33 is the number plate of former Charlton director Richard Collins. (The car in question used to belong to John Fryer.)

Brian said...

Oh really? How very confusing of him!