It's game 3 of 46 so there's really no need to get all excited but the bottom line is that anything but a win today will be a bit of a dilemma. Of course, the main trouble with that idea is that Sheffield Wednesday, after their 2 heavy defeats, will be saying exactly the same.
And if you want a different slant on things and a look into the enemy camp, here's what Brian "chicken-wings" Laws had to say yesterday,
"Its only two games, I don't want doom and gloom. We've played promotion contenders in Wolves and the scoreline flattered them. We played well and should have got more out of the game. So we're not far away from them, it is how far we are away from Charlton, who have spent an abundance of money. I'm looking to match that money against our passion and commitment on Saturday. They've had a slow start but Alan Pardew has that many options, I'm not sure he knows what his best side is just yet. Once he finds that side, they will be on a run because they have quality all through the team. I see them being very strong contenders but it may be a good time to play them, as they look to find that best eleven and formation."
Money in abundance! And its been a long time since someone compared our money with their passion.
Meanwhile, over at the training ground for the invisibles, there's shock news of one of our missing-men, Amdy Faye. And if you expected all peace and harmony, its not good. It doesn't take too much reading between the lines to figure out the reason for Faye's absence - Pards is not happy and with the transfer window deadline looming, Amdy Faye could be set to make an early return to the top flight with a new club.
On yesterdays CAFC site Pardew laid it out clearly: "There are clubs interested in him - and my view of Amdy is that if his focus is somewhere else then we'll take that opportunity to replace him with somebody else. If he stays then we know we've got a player who has been good enough in the past to play in the Premier League. But he has become a Championship player and his focus has to be on that with us.”
So its all about being focused and you can't blame the gaffer. Times have changed and we've in a different league now and its Pardews' job to get us out of here and it would seem that Faye's heart is not really in it.
Faye was almost an ever-present last season under Monica and Reed, only missing one game of the 18 played before Pardews arrival but after that he only played 7 league games effectively losing his place to a combination of Alex Song and Matt Holland. So maybe it would be fair to say that Faye sees Pardew's arrival as being a bit detrimental to his career. If that's the case, Amdy, then there's only one answer.
In contrast to Faye's situation, Holland made only 11 starts under M and R show but 16 under Pards. And his performances during the latter half of the season were some of the best we've seen from him, a case of Pards' good judgement perhaps or maybe the circumstances bringing out the best in a player. Whatever, Pardew continues to lament the injury to Holland as one of the reasons for our shaky start.
And to get us all into a giddy state with more player news it seems that Frenchman "Therry Racon has now received his international clearance but Pardew has said he would prefer to give the Frenchman a second-string outing before introducing him to the Championship." Trouble is he'll have to wait till Sept 10th for the next reserve game against Southampton before we have a chance to see how good he is.
And there's more news from the sick room too, "Up front, Luke Varney is now set to return to full training next week ( after his ankle injury ) but Bulgarian striker Svetoslav Todorov is back and available for selection against Wednesday."
It only remains, then, to find out the low-down on full-back Cory Gibbs. He's at the moment starring in the local pub quiz as the only player to work under 4 managers at a club and still not play a first-team game. The last real news, apart from his second-half come-back performance in the game at Welling in July, was back in January when his operation was discussed. Wasn't he good enough, has he got the Amdy getmeoutofhereitis or is his recovery from his cartilage injury not complete?