CHARLTON blogger MATIAS GREZ starts 2013 with some strong opinions about where the club are going wrong on the pitch at the moment.
SINCE writing my last blog after the Millwall game, Charlton have won just once in seven matches – eight if you include the draw against the Lions – and lost four along the way.
It’s been a tougher Christmas period than expected for Addicks fans who, after the draw at home to Brighton, were confident of consolidating their top-half position being just four points off the play-offs with a strong run expected during the festive period.
A somewhat undeserved 2-0 defeat away at Bolton followed by two feeble performances against strugglers Ipswich and Sheffield Wednesday saw them slump to three defeats in a row for the second time this season.
Then the performances picked up, first with the draw against Derby and then with the away win at Watford, which eased the slightly jangling nerves as the team had been slowly creeping closer to the relegation zone.
Ever since Chris Powell tampered with the centre-back pairing by ‘resting’ Leon Cort after the Millwall game in which he and Dorian Dervite were outstanding, the side have been conceding goals for fun.
Up to and including the game at The Den, Charlton had conceded just once in five games.
In the subsequent five games the team conceded nine.
No coincidence there.
Finally, comes the utterly atrocious 1-0 home defeat to Huddersfield in the FA Cup last Saturday.
Never have I seen a Charlton side so devoid of passion and commitment, with many players looking as though they could not have cared less.
It might have ‘only’ have been the FA Cup to those on the pitch, but us fans in the stands made an effort to turn up and wanted to win and so should have the players.
Losses themselves never bother me but it’s the heartless, gutless and spineless performances that sometimes come with defeat which really get my goat.
And this is what I witnessed on Saturday.
The only two players who came out of that with their heads held somewhat high were Bradley Pritchard and David Button, who single-handedly kept the score 1-0.
I’ve been one of the first to get on Pritchard’s back this season but at least he ran himself into the ground on Saturday.
Possibly most frustrating of all is Powell’s insistence on playing Johnnie Jackson on the left of midfield, where his lack of pace makes him completely ineffective in the Championship.
On the few occasions our skipper has played centre midfield he’s looked a class above and been able to have a massive influence on the game.
Before the Terriers match I thought Dale Stephens had a lot to prove and come 90 minutes, when bewilderingly he was still on the pitch, all he had demonstrated was he still hadn’t produced a good performance since December 2011.
If Powell gets offered anywhere near the money Aston Villa were offering for Stephens in the summer this month then he’d be a fool not to take it.
Staying with transfers and the Danny Green to Birmingham rumour has worryingly started to pick up pace, with my first thought being it was just idle speculation.
He hasn’t been used anywhere near enough by Powell this season but when he comes on he gives the team a completely different attacking dimension which no other player brings.
People have pointed to his unwillingness to get back and help his defence but with his trickery and quality final ball, along with Charlton struggling for goals, this is neither here nor there.
Even more worryingly with the news that Danny Hollands’ loan to Swindon Town has been extended for a further 28 days, it seems as though Powell is willing to let him go.
Personally, this will be a massive loss for the side as I think Hollands is by far and away a better player than Pritchard and does a similar gritty, run-around, sweeping up job.
But for some reason Powell insists on playing Pritchard and I fear letting Hollands go could be a massive mistake.
Hopefully I’m proved wrong.
Last but not least, some good news - Leon Clarke has finally gone.
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