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Sunday, January 14, 2007

Charlton 1 Middlesbrough 3

Well, not looking good this morning, is it? A game that could have revived some hope in the cause has done the opposite. Middlesbrough's first away win of the season and their first double over us for 57 years, apparently.

We started well and continued it into the second half with Reid leading the charge but two goals in 4 minutes at the hour point from Arca and Yakubu lead to the inevitable collapse as heads dropped, and not only in the crowd.

Looking at the reports, there's no talk of abjectness or even ineptness, words that we have grown used too over the past weeks and months, but simply a series of depressing articles that talk of a long haul back from the brink.

The independent talks of the collapse and sees "psychological frailties" and apart from Andy Reid "Charlton simply do not appear equipped with the class to survive".

The telegraph highlights the three defensive errors that lead to the goals in depressing terms and also points the finger at the culprits if that's what you want and then highlights the fact that Southgate had planned to "play on Charlton's anxieties".

The dailymail calls "Alan Pardew bravely optimistic" and says that "Charlton controlled the game for long periods but were never able to dominate".

Pardew "still has not given up the ghost" at the times even after this defeat and the prospect of three out of the next four Premiership games being away from home. “Not too much damage about us,” he said. “Still the status quo.” Well, if he doesn't believe who will? They also give some player scores: Carson 6, El Karkouri 6, Diawara 6, Hreidarsson 6, Thatcher 6, Rommedahl 6 (Thomas 83min, 6), Holland 6, Reid 7, Ambrose 6 (Hughes 83min, 6), M Bent 6 (Sam 74min, 6), Hasselbaink 6; clearly displaying therefore who they saw as our best player. Strangely enough they ignored the lack of quality mentioned elsewhere but noticed that "Charlton played most of the game with considerable spirit", so clearly at least some things have improved over the last couple of weeks.

While in the observer the paper helps us out by making clear that the result "underlines the precarious nature of their situation" while noting that Pardew made claims that with Darren Bent available the result would have been different. And he made clear his intentions on that subject by stating "He is our big hope of staying in the Premiership." Not for sale then.

The one plus - or is it two - the arrival of Thatcher in place of Traore and the return of Andy Reid to midfield. February 10th away at Manure has been earmarked for Darren Bents's return while February 22nd and a reserve game against Chelsea has been mentioned as the debut for ZZ.

1 comment:

worcestershireleaburn said...

At 1-3 and with the Hammers and Sheffield Utd both leading, I thought that was our chips. Then the two equalisers went on, and the optimism returned. That's the killer isn't it, the hope that we might still pull it round. I guess after the next 4 games we'll probably know for sure. If we get nothing from those, I would suggest we will be as adrift as Watford seem to be.