Wednesday, November 02, 2011
Friday, February 25, 2011
I laughed, we always think we know better than the others, but now, of course, it seems that the majority were all correct in their pessimism. Its now been two dreary defeats after 4 wins in a row and we find ourselves out of the Play-off places again. Not that that should surprise us really, 'cause thats where we have spent 15 of the 29 games so far this season and we are now back where we were when Sir Chris took us over.
And, after giving Exeter their first ever win at the Valley after 14 failed attempts we can move onto the other foot this time because at Notts County we face a similar picture - after 16 visits we've won only one with 7 draws and 8 defeats. The only victory took place in May 1977, a 1-0 win in the last game of the season with the goal coming from Flanagan. Overall its an embarrassing 11 wins each with 12 draws. And perhaps we should mention that although we may not think we should be superior, in fact Notts County and the Addicks just about share equal success in the history of the Football League. We've each won the FA Cup once with a 4-1 win and their best finish was a 3rd place compared with our 2nd in the 30's. We've enjoyed 26 years in the top flight and they 30, although most of theirs was a long time along, and while the Addicks are 33rd in the all-time top flight rankings, County are just behind in 34th.
And to emphasize the difficult task open to Powells boys, after a dismal October/November with their 4 defeats in a row, County have now had a run of only 2 defeats in their last 12 League games.
Whats Their Secret?
As for the team on Friday night it'll be interesting to see if Sir Chris makes any changes. A howler from Doherty and a lack of goals despite lots of chances created could prompt some movement off the bench by Joe Anyinsah perhaps.
With our record at Meadow Lane of one win in 16 and County's form to date, another defeat is to be expected. County have only conceded 2 goals during the first half in their last 12 games so don't expect us to score in the first 45 again and it all points to few goals being expected.
Friday, February 04, 2011
But after the changes in ownership, management and players its still hard to see exactly where we are. Are we improving from a bad run in December or has Sir Chris just been lucky? And its not helped by looking at the table, because after a winter of frost and disruption, the League One table is looking a bit of a shambles. Five teams - the Addicks, Carlisle, Orient, Notts County and the Daggers - have all played 25 games while the likes of Plymouth have played 4 more. And its all meant that the Addicks now have twenty-one games left until the end of season and, as of Saturday, only have 91 days left to play them all. That's an average of one game every 4.3 days and with only 14 Saturdays left that means they'll be a midweek game every other week between now and the 7th May. Saying goodbye to all those cup competitions doesn't seem to have helped us and we can only help that we stay clear of major injuries between now and the end of the season.
All of which means that though we have slipped to 8th we have games in hand over all the 7 teams above us, with three games in hand over Bournemouth and MK Dons and two over Huddersfield and Oldham.
And perhaps more to the point, the Glovers now find themselves one of the Form Clubs of the moment with a record of 5 wins, 2 draws and only that one Rochdale defeat in their last 8 games. Seventeen points have been grabbed from those 8 games, 7 more than the Addicks have managed with only a couple of wins, and all with only 4 goals conceded, a complete turnover after leaky November with only 4 goals conceded.
Number 10 Dean Bowditch is the Glovers top goalscorer with 8 League goals and is just two behind his last seasons tally.
What's Their Secret?
But we finish our games much the stronger because while the Addicks have scored no less than 10 times in the last 5 minutes plus added on time, the Glovers have done the opposite and conceded 8 times in the same 5 minutes.
Friday, January 28, 2011
Both teams have only 6 clean sheets, but Rochdale have had exactly half of theirs in their last 4 games whereas the Addicks clean sheet against Plymouth was the first in the 8 games. Rochdale also have the 5th best defence in League One with only 30 goals conceded, five less than the Addicks.
One point in our favour though, is the results against the best teams in the Division for while the Addicks have the best points and goals pergame of anyone in Tier three, with a record of 5 wins, 4 draws and only 2 defeats against the top half of the table, Rochdale have the 14th best record. But, Chrissie a word of caution - the top teams don't score many goals against this lot and in fact only Brighton, Southampton and Sheffield Wednesday have conceded less that Rochdale have.
We've only played up there 4 times - two cup ties in 1955 (won 3-1) and 1961 (0-1 defeat) and two League games when we were in Division Three in 1972 (2-0 win) and our last visit there, 34 years ago, in 1974 (1-1 draw).
This will be Sir Chris' first away game as a manager after Saturdays 2-0 home win and a previous 3-1 win over Scunthorpe when caretaker manager of Leicester last October. After only one win in 9 games that had meant the end for Paulo Sousa, Leicester were, in fact, rock bottom of the Championship and Powell may see this weekend's visit to Rochdale as a bit of a relief after those two stressful games.
Meanwhile, the arrival of new recruit Bradley Wright-Phillips means that we now have three of the top 24 strikers in League One, more than anyone else, of course, with Bradley top scorer on 13, Johnnie Jackson on 12 and Paul Benson on 8. As well as Scotty W. one behind on 7. All Sir Chris has to do now is find a place for them all as well as including Nathan and Joe of course.
Its unlikely that Wright-Phillips will start this weekend due to lack of fitness after his knee problems and the disruption of his non-sale to Reading because of a failed medical. The Pilgrims reported in mid January that he had seen a consultant who advised him to do a bit of rehab for at least a month and in fact he hasn't played since his 90 minutes against Bristol Rovers on January 4th.
Friday, January 21, 2011
So with the Pilgrims only two points behind us although having played three games more, a win at the Valley could propel Reid's men above us and into the fringes of the Play-off positions even though they have suffered nearly twice as many defeats, which now number 11.
What Stats Can We Give the New Gaffer?
The Addicks are 6th in goals scored but as far as the defence is concerned have only 5 clean sheets (exactly half the number of Brighton and Southampton) but we do tend to score first doing it 15 times out of 23 games. As a consequence we have only been losing three times at the break, less than anybody else, although we currently share the record with such strange bed fellows as Oldham and Hartlepool.
Unfortunately we then tend to relax a bit thinking the jobs done and give the game away. Five times now we have drawn after scoring first and there's only 3 teams more generous that us in that respect - Colchester, Bristol and Exeter. And despite all those late goals - a total of nine in the last 5 minutes - we have only come out top in the second period a meagre 5 times with only two teams, Bristol Rovers and Yeovil, having worse records in the second 45.