Managers are prone to the tinkerman trap. Why do they do it when a side is playing well? Part of the explanation is that they think that they have to manage, i.e., to intervene. They may think that a particular player who has progressed as a sub deserves rewarding or that a particular combination of players is needed for a game, e.g., to cope with Stevenage's physicality yesterday.
Of course, sometimes changes are forced on players by injury, but as far as I know that wasn't a consideration yesterday (except perhaps for a doubt about the fitness of Hughes who might have started at right back). Oh yes, Ben Hamer had to have a painful injection in his backside about which he has been complaining on Twitter, quite what for is unclear.
If we look at the players that Chris Powell has brought in recently, The Football League Paper gives them the following ratings this morning:
Yann Kermorgant: 'Showed flashes of creativity, but always too far away from goal to be threatening.' (6)
Danny Green: 'Everything the wideman tried failed to come off - a poor showing' (4)
Leon Cort: 'Won plenty in the area, but looked cumbersome under pressure' (5)
The best rating went to Rhoys Wiggins, 'Always an outlet down the left for the Addicks with plenty of drive and pace.' (8)
I think that Hayes got a raw deal by being dropped essentially because Kermorgant scored two important goals. What Hayes offers is a good link with the midfield that makes them more effective. Wagstaff has his limitations, particularly a tendency not to be able to play 90 minutes, but Green has disappointed. Solly may lack height, but he gives his all and is a much improved player. Against Carlisle we should revert to the team that served us well.
We don't, however, have a divine right to beat teams like Stevenage. They are in League One on merit and don't look like relegation candidates to me.
We have now dropped to 5th in the form table. It's a wake up call that we need to respond to.