Tuesday 12 September 2017

Reality check, but no need to panic

Charlton's 0-3 defeat at home to Wigan last night was a setback, but there is no need for a Crystal Palace style panic. Charlton have only dropped to 3rd and the next two games are promising. Gillingham should be beatable, even if they put their caravans in front of the goal to compensate for their weak defence. We should also be able to beat Bury. As VOTV editor Rick Everitt tweeted, 'The good news is we are not playing Wigan on Saturday.'

Wigan looked the stronger side from the start of the game last night and are clear promotion candidates. They immediately started to threaten down our right and had great pace. They had a number of big lads in their team and were not afraid to get physical, indeed perhaps the referee should have awarded yellow cards before he did. Their passing was very accurate.

It was also clear that having just one forward up front was not much of an answer. Magennis was wandering lonely as a cloud at times as the midfield seemed to evaporate as it went back to help the defence, often to no avail.

Supremo Karl Robinson said with some justice that Wigan were the best attacking team in the league, but blamed himself as much as the players: Chief's apology to fans

One concern is that Ricky Holmes picked up his fourth yellow card for an unnecessary foul: One booking away from suspension

Robinson praised Addicks fans for staying on at the end of the game to applaud the team, but I must admit that Steve from Petts Wood and I left when the third goal went in, which is very unusual, although in my case making sure that I catch the last train and don't have to pay £40 for a taxi from Banbury is a consideration.

My day started at UCL where I finally convinced them that I am a UK citizen so that over lunch we discussed work plans up to 2020. However, after reading my horoscope in the Sub-Standard I'm not sure I will be here that long!

Great view towards my old home halfway up Shooters Hill on the Dangleway

I ticked one item off my bucket list when I took a trip on the 'Dangleway' as one Charlton blogger likes to call it. (He now appears to be following West Ham). It may not add much to London's transport infrastructure, and it needs a heavy police presence to guard it, but it is a very enjoyable tourist attraction.

I had booked in for the curry night in the North Stand. After getting over being addressed as 'Wayne' and asked if I had come down from Wigan during the day, I have to say that the young staff were very friendly and the curry was excellent.

Then it was time to take my seat in the East Stand for the evening's 'entertainment'. I don't have the official attendance figure, but the contingent from Wigan was small and there were a lot of gaps. Our row in a prime position in the East was about a third full.

The visitors threatened as early as the opening minute when Massey sent a diving header just wide of the right post from Michael Jacobs' cross. Shortly after Jacobs then tested goalkeeper Ben Amos when forcing him to dive to his left to save his shot from 10 yards. Although Amos did quite well, his decision-making can be poor.

Charlton's first sight on goal came in the 23rd minute when Tariqe Fosu's powerful strike was unconvincingly saved by Jamie Jones. The Addicks followed that with a fine effort from Jake Forster-Caskey who struck the left angle before Josh Magennis headed the rebound wide with Jones already beaten. We thought that Magennis should have done better.

Wigan took the lead at the worst possible time on the stroke of half-time. Reece James produced a low cross that beat Amos and the Charlton defence to leave Massey with a tap-in. One couldn't say it was against the run of play. At times it was like watching Leamington succumb to superior opposition.

The second arrived with similar ease in the 70th minute. After collecting a long ball and under little pressure, the lively Nathan Byrne played in Massey who, similarly unchallenged, had the time to powerfully pick his spot into the bottom left corner.

Continuing the theme of static defending, after Jay Dasilva's attempted clearance fell to Morsy, Wigan's captain (and yellow carded charm merchant) controlled possession and shot in off the left post three minutes from time.

All the pounding on London streets had taken its toll on my unoperated knee, so thanks to those who helped me up the East Stand steps.

Despite not getting home until 12.30 to be confronted by a cross cat, I do find night games at The Valley strangely invigorating, even when we lose.


  1. I cannot think of any Professors who answer to the name of Wayne but in fairness you were attending a Curry Night and not a Wine and Canapés Soirée ! By the way I would recommend The Curry Mile in Rusholme when next oop North where you will be addressed as "Sir".

  2. It's a common problem with Welsh first names!