Sunday 1 January 2012

Fording the Brent

It's pretty clear that the referee was justified in sending Hamer off at Orient and such an early dismissal affected the final outcome.   Pessimists have argued that the O's would have edged it anyway but that perhaps overlooks the extent to which they are a confidence side.

Anyway it's water under the bridge now and less than 48 hours after the derby at Orient Charlton face another one against Brentford.   It's difficult to know what to make of the Bees.   At the beginning of the season The Times forecast them finishing 9th while Four Four Two had them 11th.

Nevertheless, the fan quoted in Four Four Two saw them on the verge of something big, although I find it difficult to see them surviving in the Championship if they did get promoted given their ground and fan base.   They were in the top flight a long time ago, of course, but that was in very different circumstances.

Currently the Bees are just outside the play off places at 7th.  They have actually won more matches away than at home (five against four) and have only lost once away this season, a record only matched by Huddersfield (and we know where they lost).   At home they have shipped 18 goals compared with just eight away.

On Saturday they fought back from 0-3 down at home against MK Dons to draw 3-3.   This certainly says something about the spirit of the team.   It also interesting that manager Uwe Rosler said that his strategy was to 'stop [MK Dons] playing' which may give a hint of what we can expect at The Valley tomorrow.

Charlton will have Sullivan in goal and although Hamer is far from perfect he is the better of the two keepers.   Johnnie Jackson was probably brought back on Saturday before he was fully match fit.  Bradley Wright-Phillips is going through a lean spell but I can't see him being dropped.

This is another tricky match for Charlton and I can't see us winning but hopefully we can squeeze out a point in a 1-1 draw.     Sheffield United are being bigged up by the media with The Football League Paper carrying a front page box declaring 'Buoyant Blades keep on winning', an accolade we did not receive during our winning streak.   However, Blades are away at Carlisle which is not an easy fixture.

Over at Hillsborough Gary Megson has told owner Milan Mandaric players have to be brought in during the transfer window.   He argues that a lot of what has been achieved up to now is 'down to hard work and guts' rather than quality.  'If we are a big club then in January, we need to act like it,' he said.   Wednesday are at home to Tranmere tomorrow which should be a home win. If Charlton draw, that would put the Owls three points behind the Addicks if the Blades lose at Carlisle.

Odds are (Coral):  Charlton 4/6, Draw 11/4, Brentford 4/1 (information from Richard Sheppard)

1 comment:

  1. Matt Taylor used to play in goal for Team Bath, so maybe worth fielding 5 outfield players on the bench.

    Happy New year to one and all!