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Sunday, January 13, 2008

Charlton 4 Blackpool 1

'Charlton were outstanding' that's just about all you need to hear about yesterdays result. And the words came from Blackpool manager Simon Grayson, whose team were on the receiving end of a 4-1 hammering.
And although Pardew takes the credit for his selection, and laps up the praise by admitting that he's had teams in the past that have always played the same, 'at Reading and West Ham which looked to attack and score goals', he can surely feel very thankful that several fortunate, and seemingly unplanned, factors have turned things around after the rather dismal showings over the Christmas period.
First and foremost has been the return of Kelly Youga from Scunthorpe. Brought to the club by Curbishley from Lyon as a 19 year old and on the same day as Darren Bent back in the distance days of July 2005, Youga has been out on loan at Bristol City, Bradford and finally Scunthorpe before making his debut last weekend against West Brom.
Given an impressive score of 9 yesterday by blackheathaddicted, after injuries and over-exposure of the other 4 first-choice left-backs lead Pardew to give him his chance, he's taken the opportunity superbly and one wonders why its taken the management so long to to see his talents. And he's been joined on the other flank by 21 year old Yassin Moutaouakil, who can be nothing but grateful for the self-inflicted demise of Danny Mills.
And in addition, one wonders if yesterday's 4-4-2 formation, containing front-runners Varney and McLeod, would have been tried if it had not been for the fortuitous timing of an 'unimportant' cup tie last weekend in which to experiment.
Anyway, another one enjoying himself is ZiZi, after apparently becoming the first Chinaman to score in the FA Cup during last weeks draw with West Brom, is at last making his presence felt and scored another two goals. He's now played more minutes than anyone else in the side, apart from Weaver, and scored 7 fizzy goals, plus another couple in Cups to take his tally to 9 for the season.
Pardew also had the odd news that 'after we go to Watford next week we will have played all the top six away - and they will all have to come here'. Strange sentiments indeed when comparing our poor seasonal home form to our 6 wins on the road, although there's only 4 teams that have now scored more than we have at home.
There's a match report from sportinglife along with their usual stats - 11 shots on target - whilst Rob Maul from the posh_murdoch had, it seems, a 'thoroughly enjoyable afternoon' and gives the credit to ZiZi with a 'Zhi inspires Charlton' headline and the inevitable MOM award. No less that 5 players are awarded 8 points - Yassin, Bougherra, ZiZi, Ambrose and Varney - with 'stellar performances' from the last three, while everyone else gets a 7....even Lloyd Sam, who it appears didn't have the best of afternoons.
Meanwhile, over at the telegraph its a case of 'Charltons early Goals Soothe Pardew' and reminds us that 'Blackpool are no push-overs' whilst also pointing out our wastefulness with a 'Jerome Thomas skied a glorious chance, created by Varney'.
And if you want to see what happened elsewhere and to ponder the rise of those boys down there at Sainsburys, who have now overtaken our good away record with 6 wins and 5 draws of their own away from home, then look no further than the guardian_cum_observer, although they've omitted to point out that it was Kevin Lisbie scoring, again, that was responsible for taking a point off Bristol City.
Charlton: Weaver; Moutaouakil, McCarthy, Bougherra, Youga; Sam (Thomas 70), Holland, Zheng, Ambrose (Dickson 77); McLeod (Iwelumo 77), Varney.
Subs (not used): Randolph, Semedo.
Goals: Bougherra 6, Varney 10, Zheng 24, 52

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