Its game 11 of the fizzies and with the 10 game marker reached, Pards is happy with what he’s achieved so far in his drastic rebuilding program. On the official site he says “The stats suggest that we're showing signs of being a team that could possibly be promoted. We're certainly up there with the very best sides, but obviously there is a long, long way to go. We are at least over that first part of being a new team that's finding its feet, and we have to say that that job has been achieved”
And it doesn’t take a very long memory to recall how things were just 12 short months ago and how much has been achieved since then. As we approach, what many thought when the season started would be our first real challenge, last season on this same weekend, we faced Watford at home, a team that were just above us on 4 points, for a game that many saw as our first real chance to get an easy three points to move off the bottom, where we’d been dumped three weeks earlier.
With only three points to show from our 2-0 win at home to Bolton and a total of 7 defeats we were all having our doubts about Monica but we tried telling ourselves it was all because of our difficult fixture list. Manure, Chelski, the Arse - what could you expect? This was at long last the fixture that would start the season off. But by 5 0'clock our expectations had been destroyed by a hard-working Watford that refused to be beaten and realism finally started to bite when the game finished 0-0.
It was a shock to all and truly let us know the dire state we were in. Fortunately, Richard Murray also realised our plight and even after two further clean sheets and 4 points in the next two games, away to Newcastle 0-0 and a 1-0 win over Man. City, the 2-3 defeat at Wigan on November 11th was Monica’s last game in charge.
And the changes since that day one year ago can be easily seen when we look at the team that depressing October weekend. Of the 16 players that day only 3 remain at the club, Andy Reid, Matty Holland and Jerry Thomas, although to be truthful a further 2, M.Bent and A. Faye, are strictly speaking only out on loan.
So a complete turnaround, gone are our memories of little Darren, the Hermanator, the Elk, Desperate Dan and Rommedahlia, now there's a real Charlton team. But will it be enough this afternoon?
Wolves have serious problems all over the place, in goal, full-back and in attack. Can we take advantage? Our record this season against the top teams is not good as shown on charltonathletic-mad. In our 4 games against teams in the top half we've only got 3 points out of the possible 12 with draws against Scunthorpe, Barnsley and Coventry and a defeat at Stoke.
And just to show a perverse Addick feeling when things are going so well, we have to lose sometime, will it be today?