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Monday, November 20, 2006

Les Reed's Big Week

Les's first Monday on the job and if he'd rather stay in bed who can blame him? But with the size of the enormous task awaiting him there's definitely no time for pressing that snooze button. For this is a very big week for the Addicks culminating in a home game against Everton. He has 5 days to install some of that magic ingredient - confidence. Oh, and with a little grit and determination thrown in.

And we have a job to do 'cause for us its time to us to forget the past, Iain Dowie, Monica, court cases and all. We don't care why he was sacked, 'cause he's gone and is now history. The new man needs our confidence and support.

He'll be "very very disappointed" at the performance of Saturday but after a bright start with the stats showing 50-50 possession at 15 minutes, giving a goal away after 18 minutes was always going to lead to only one outcome. Call it away-day blues or whatever you like but bottom of the League and without an away win in over a year is going to affect faint hearts when another goal goes in. Its now up to Reed to get rid of the hanging heads and get in the players that are going to fight for the cause.

But it was surely a mistake to take a 4-4-2 to an away game as important as this. Once again it was the midfield that let us down where we suffered from a lack of muscle, so why not try to cram it with bodies even though they might be Hughes and Ambrose? It was believed that Rommedahl's pace would frighten the opposition but not with another wide player on the other flank. The game was too spread and there were gaps everywhere. Thomas was eventually withdrawn after 57 minutes and Ambrose came on and Marcus Bent was also changed for Lloyd Sam at 79 minutes. So we finished how we should have started, with a 4-5-1. It can be argued that Faye and Diawara were missed but for now its another game gone.

But at least some of his comments over the weekend show that he can see the problems and is at least looking ahead.
This match was a hurdle to get over," he said. "I hoped we would come away with something, but we haven't. "

"But I have learnt a lot about the players and their characters, because we have come through a week of adversity. I have told them they have to be committed, no excuses. There is a massive job to do to make the players believe we can get out of it. When you are struggling, doubts come in, and that's the way we played in the first half. But if I start to panic and get excited I can't expect the players to calm down."

"I learned a lot today, and have got some ideas in mind that we can sit down and talk about next week when we have got more time. I'm already thinking about what I want to do next week and formulating ideas."

And he pointed out the still obvious fact: "We have got to get fitter. There needs to be a bit of grit and determination about our performances when we haven't got the ball." He probably means looking a bit stronger rather than fitter, although this was something that Dowie himself was saying weeks ago.

And as for sorting the men from the boys:
"I am going to talk to the players as individuals about their games and specific things we need to put right. If I sit down with a player and discuss what he needs to do then that way the whole squad buys into the next step."

Perhaps for Saturday its time to select 11 players that are going to fight - whatever the formation.

1 comment:

New York Addick said...

As soon as I saw that Reid was going to be part of a two-man central midfield, I knew we had no chance. As ridiculous as I find his lack of fitness, he's simply not able to be box-to-box so we were bound to be over-run. Obviously it doesn't help that Holland was his mediocre partner but at least his fitness is not the issue.

I find it strange that Faye and Kish have not been tried as the central midfield pairing - it would be ugly for sure but it would allow the flair players like Reid/Romm to do their stuff.