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Monday, August 27, 2007

Charlton 3 Sheff W 2

Saturday's humdinger of a game has been well summed up by inspector sands already in which he tells us that the players looked "scared " and were "crap" in an awful first half which ended with the team being booed off.
After being two goals down at half-time, a second half recovery with three goals from Reid and Iwelumo (2) won the game. Not surprisingly then, the sportinglife likens us to Jekyll and Hyde and to add to the confusion there's Pards telling us that the players looking "drained and tired" but adding "It's a test of mental character and a few of my players came through."
A fighting comeback is all very well but which few are we talking about? Perhaps the ratings in the posh-murdoch will tell us:
Weaver 6, McCarthy 6, Bougherra 7 (Faye 88min), Fortune 6, Thatcher 6 (Zheng h/t, 7), Reid 7, Ambrose 7, Semedo 6, Thomas 7, Bent 5 (Todorov h/t, 7), Iwelumo 8.
Six players with 7 and two-goal Iwelumo with a score of 8 does point the finger towards the defence as being not up to scratch. And the unhappy Pards adds: "
"Our defending at set-plays is a problem. We gained some height with Paddy McCarthy and Chris today but we need someone that's prepared to go in and head it away. And if the two that are in there at the moment aren't prepared to do it, I'll go and get someone who will"......
How Murray will react to the need for another player is anyones guess but perhaps Pards should try the obvious - Faye. The anonymous player from Senegal, after his roasting by Pards on Friday appeared at a game for the first time since Everton in April and was given a seat on the bench and even had a run-out for a couple of minutes at the end. Was the switch with Bougherra in the 88th minute a key to Pards' thinking?
They'll be no time before Tuesday to get a replacement so why not give Faye a job come Tuesday, stick him at centre-half and see if he can cope with Stockport. He's already been tried there before, in the reserve friendly against Bromley on August 7th.
But back to Saturday. While enthusing about our comeback, there's the nagging thought about the awful first half performance. How can the players look tired in August? The telegraph helps out by quoting a comment by Chris the man, "Everyone is going to up their game against Charlton, so there's never going to be an easy game."
But perhaps it goes deeper than our opponents wish to do a little bit of giant-killing. Our first half performance has been indifferent in our last three games and only half-time changes in the last two have improved things. And as Pards fights to find his best eleven perhaps it should be pointed out that of our total of 7 goals scored, ALL of them have been scored in the second half.
Perhaps Pards should give his half-time cup of tea before the game instead of halfway through. Or have we really got the split personality that was the problem with Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde?

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