Harriott stick went too far

News Shopper: Callum Harriott. PICTURE BY KEITH GILLARD. Callum Harriott. PICTURE BY KEITH GILLARD.

Addicks columnist MATIAS GREZ feels some of the criticism directed at Callum Harriott last night went too far for someone still in the early stages of his professional career.

It was almost a year to the day – a year and two days to be precise – since a buoyant Charlton side with the fourth best away record in the Championship travelled to Barnsley and hit their hapless northern opponents for six.

Now, just 12 months on, although Barnsley are still no less hapless than they were, we have somehow sunk to their level.

Surprisingly, seven of the starting XI from that memorable day at Oakwell were also in the starting XI last night and ten in the squad overall.

This includes Ben Hamer, three of the back four, two of the midfield four and one half of the striking pair – the spine of the team, you might say.

So where has it all gone wrong?

Perhaps what is more telling is three of the six players who scored that day are no longer at the club, and one is playing so little he might as well not be.

Ricardo Fuller and Salim Kerkar were sold in the summer without adequate, or any, replacements being signed and Bradley Pritchard has seen barely any game time since his early season blunder cost the side a 1-0 home defeat against Millwall.

Then of course there was the sale of Yann Kermorgant in January which relieved our squad of any attacking potency it had left after the summer clear-out, and left us with the shambles of a front line we now have to endure twice a week.

Last night I really felt for Callum Harriott.

From the moment he made his first mistake he was hounded by fans all night, culminating in the extremely unnecessary sarcastic cheers and applause when he was substituted.

What I found strange was Jose Riga’s decision to keep him on for the second half.

Perhaps substituting him in the quiet of the dressing room would have been a better option, only to haul him off ten minutes into the second half after he finally began to produce a couple of moments of quality.

Imagine being aged just 20 and hearing a large number of your own fans jeering with delight as the fourth official holds your number up on the touchline?

If we want Harriott to develop into the player we know he can be, consistently produce the fleeting moments of brilliance we have seen over the last three years and be of a benefit to our club, we need to support him when he is not at his best.

Not berate him and put anymore unnecessary pressure on his already laden young shoulders.

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Comments (2)

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11:09pm Wed 16 Apr 14

CARLSBERG says...

I was one of those calling for him to be subbed.
Callum has not been playing his best of late, maybe he needs a rest. Although he has not played as much as some. It is hopefully just a blip.
We know he CAN play better than he has of late, and I am sure all CAFC fans want to see that again.
I was one of those calling for him to be subbed. Callum has not been playing his best of late, maybe he needs a rest. Although he has not played as much as some. It is hopefully just a blip. We know he CAN play better than he has of late, and I am sure all CAFC fans want to see that again. CARLSBERG
  • Score: -2

1:30pm Wed 23 Apr 14

PaulErith says...

Fan should never boo their own players for playing badly. If a player is lazy and not putting in the effort, then I can understand it, but Harriotts tries hard but was just going through a bad run of form. By all accounts he had a good game up at Sheffield Wed so he justified his place.

I can never understand why any "fan" thinks it's going to help to boo a player. Put simply, we all want every player to play well because that is good for the team. If a player is missing a few passes and is playing badly then that's not good for the team. Booing him will only move to destroy his confidence and put even more pressure on him. That normally means that their performance will get even worse. That is bad for the team so where is the logic!
Fan should never boo their own players for playing badly. If a player is lazy and not putting in the effort, then I can understand it, but Harriotts tries hard but was just going through a bad run of form. By all accounts he had a good game up at Sheffield Wed so he justified his place. I can never understand why any "fan" thinks it's going to help to boo a player. Put simply, we all want every player to play well because that is good for the team. If a player is missing a few passes and is playing badly then that's not good for the team. Booing him will only move to destroy his confidence and put even more pressure on him. That normally means that their performance will get even worse. That is bad for the team so where is the logic! PaulErith
  • Score: 1

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