Saturday 27 February 2021

Valley of Disaster

Charlton were beat 3-0 by Blackpool at The Valley this afternoon, two of the goals scored from the penalty spot.  A team in form beat one lacking confidence and showing indiscipline with Pratley and Aneke sent off in the second half.   

Aneke would be out for four games and Pratley for two.  The Aneke sending off is going to be appealed.

There were no real positives: the players simply aren't good enough.   There were no Charlton shots on target.  We go again Tuesday at 6 pm at Wigan.   Charlton are now down to 12th, behind Crewe on goal difference.

Bowyer made four substitutions at half time, but whatever the plan was it was wrecked by Pratley being sent off for a second yellow immediately after the break.  He should have been substituted.  It was an odd way of marking his 100th appearance in a Charlton shirt.

Bowyer's line afterwards was to complain about the officials.  Some of the decisions were harsh, but they weren't all wrong by contemporary standards.

Before the game Bowyer said that he had chosen Washington over Aneke because he needed pace up front, but he admitted afterwards that he was disappointed with his performance.  Curbs said pre match that he was 'a bit surprised' by that choice.   

He was also concerned that the midfield would have a job to do with two wingers playing.   Bowyer admitted afterwards that the wingers had no impact on the game which is why he changed things around at half time.

I didn't have time yesterday to post anything about Kevin Lisbie's contribution to the build up, but you can find it here on the new Charlton Retro page:

Post match Bowyer interview

Bowyer said: 'We gave them a good start, after that the officials did us, one decision after another.' Scott Minto suggested that Blackpool were more athletic and sharper.   Bowyer argued that in the first half, 'They did it a little better than us.  I don't think there was much in it.  [Not my view].  These people [officials] keep making decisions against us.'

Scott Minto asked how difficult it was to keep a settled side.   Bowyer said one couldn't go Saturday-Tuesday with the same players.  But he admitted, 'The players are not in a good place, look nervous at times.'   Minto asked about the home form and Bowyer said 'You have to look at why' which is a statement of the obvious, but it then became evident that different players kept disappointing him.

Scott Minto suggested one could try going with the best eleven.   After Bowyer had gone, Curbs suggested keeping a settled side and shape for one week would be possible.  In a parallel universe, one could have Curbs in as interim manager until the end of the season to show the continuing relevance of the one time cry from the stands: 'Sort it out Curbishley.'

Match report

After a cagey start by both sides, Charlton inevitably went behind within 10 minutes.   Simms simply out paced Oshilaja who brought him down and Yates scored from the spot on 9 minutes to make it 0-1.

On 14 minutes Charlton won a corner.  After a good header back in by Famewo, Stockley found the back of the net with a header but it was judged to be offside (I was not convinced).

The Blackpool midfield were denying Charlton any space and the Addicks were having to adopt the non-league tactic of hoofing the ball forward to no effect.

On 25 minutes Pratley (not for the first time) conceded a free kick which led to a Blackpool corner, but Purrington cleared with a header.  Oshilaja got a yellow card for a foul.

The referee was getting increasingly fed up with Pratley.  He had a long chat with him on 32 minutes and it wasn't about whether the Charlton captain had any hints on beard care or controlling your waistline.  

Following a free kick, Stockley had to put in some good defensive work.   Blackpool were being given lots of space to operate in and Ward was left unmarked on the right on two occasions.  Then nobody chose to close Virtue down, he was given space to strike and chose his spot to put the ball past Amos to make it 0-2.  Woeful defending again.

Pratley was given a yellow card for a handball that he felt was inadvertent, but the referee had had enough of him by then.

HT: 0-2

I don't think four substitutions have been made at Charlton at half time before and it suggests that Bowyer made serious errors in setting up the team.  Maatsen replaced Purrington, who hadn't played badly, but the youngster did at least show some energy.  Washington, who as Bowyer put it had not been screaming to say 'I want to play next time' was replaced by Aneke.  DJ, who had been anonymous and Millar, who had been below par, came off.  Matt Smith came on, and did show some nice touches, but Ben Watson contributed little.

But you know if Darren Pratley is on a yellow card he is going to get a second, so why not take him off?  On a yellow he should have been cautious but he got in a tangle with the Blackpool right back Gabriel on the ground and referee Huxtable was surrounded by Blackpool players demanding that he be sent off. The bearded wonder took his time, but showed the second yellow.

On 51 minutes Watson put his foot in on Yates.  Whether he made much contact was unclear, but these days that is enough for a penalty.  Amos judged which way the former Liverpool Under 23 player would send the ball, but Yates got it underneath him to make it 0-3.  Game over, although Charlton did show a bit more fluency and urgency in the second half.

The referee continued his entry in the 'most cards against Charlton in one match' contest with a yellow card against Shinnie for a foul.  He then spoke to Aneke at some length and clearly had him in his sights.  To show balance he gave Yates a yellow card for a foul.

Charlton did manage to win two corners in succession, but they were unproductive as is so often the case.  Maatsen won another, but it also had no end result.   To his disappointment, Stockley headed wide from a Shinnie free kick.  Famewo got a yellow card.   Stockley, who had been feeding on scraps, was replaced by Schwartz who made contact with the ball once

Amos had to save from Mitchell who had been given too much space.  Aneke was judged to have extended his arm near the referee and was sent off.  Curbs said afterwards that we should appeal.

Charlton did manage to escape conceding another goal.   You can change the manager, but he would have to deal with the same group of players.  

Ipswich Town could be about to face a revival:


  1. You're still left with the issue of who would come in to manage this set of players at this time. It's no good putting Johnnie Jackson in because he is presumably part of the problem, although he is low profile. Too much emphasis on the manager, not enough on the players who make the mistakes on the pitch. I do think he didn't set the team up well yesterday.