24 October 2015

Charlton 0 Brentford 3

So, this is what I started to write:

The second 3-0 home defeat in a week, and it already feels like this is what Charlton do now. The thudding sense of inevitability as the second half played out was stronger than any anger or sadness, and although there were chants for a certain Belgian to get out of our club, the "sacked in the morning" chant was started by the visiting fans. The Covered End joined in, but without conviction: it's easy to believe that Duchatelet won't make any change; or that, even if he does, the club and team will remain stuck in the spiral of decline.

It had started well. The first milestone - two minutes without conceding a goal - was easily passed, and the team made more chances in the first 20 minutes than they had in the previous 180. But even then they were looking slack whenever Brentford had possession, and no-one was surprised when the first goal was inevitably thudded in by an unmarked Swift.

You could see the confidence fall from the Charlton team like appropriately autumnal leaves. From then on, it was just like Tuesday's game: an incoherent structure, no-one talking to each other or finding space. Brentford - like Preston - needed no further invitation and ran the rest of the game. Second half substitutions meant that any tiny chance of a comeback was dependent on the experience, creativity and ruthlessness of Reza Ghoochannejhad and Karlan Ahearne-Grant. If, as is likely, this was Luzon's last game in charge, we could generously interpret that as a final, satirical two-fingers to the owner.

At this point in my writing, the news broke that Guy Luzon and his backroom team had been sacked. So, yes, my final memory of Luzon will be him saying "Look, Roland, this is the squad you expected me to succeed with." Goodbye, Guy. Probably not your fault you weren't able to do an impossible job. 


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