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Time for Charlton players to show actions speak louder than words
3:50pm Tuesday 24th September 2013 in Sport
ADDICKS columnist MATIAS GREZ continues to be bewildered by Charlton’s woeful record in derby games after Saturday’s latest tame surrender to Millwall.
HOW many times will we have to read “hurting” “not good enough” and “we stick together and go again next week” before the players actually start putting these meaningless apologies into action on a Saturday afternoon.
The match against Millwall summed up Charlton’s season as a whole - inconsistent, not good enough and a lack of understanding of the football the team are trying to play, both from the players and the manager.
Initially the 3-5-2 formation didn’t reap any rewards, as another iffy display saw Chris Powell’s men lose 3-2 away at Huddersfield in the League Cup, but he stuck with it and gained four very impressive points against Leicester and Watford.
Since then, however, we have gone back to our old ways with a bad performance in another defeat away at Huddersfield and an absolutely abysmal performance at home to Millwall, one of the worst matches I have ever seen.
My main issue with this formation is that Cameron Stewart and in particular Callum Harriott, our two most creative players, don’t fit into the starting XI.
After both coming on as substitutes in the recent defeats, the side has immediately looked more dangerous and more likely to get something out of the game.
Another concern, and probably the biggest, is our over reliance on Yann Kermorgant.
Without him up front, you can barely see where the next goal is going to come from and we can’t keep hoping his talismanic performances will earn us something out of every game.
One of our most improved players over the past two years is Bradley Pritchard.
However, in yet another derby he looked extremely out of his depth, lightweight and scared with the ball at his feet.
That’s four derbies in a row now he’s performed badly in, something I’m hoping he sorts out for when we visit The Den in March as he has become an important component in the way the side plays.
I must point out it wasn’t just Pritchard who underperformed against Millwall, but the fact we made a very average Lions side look a lot better than us is very demoralising.
However, the biggest mistake Powell made on Saturday afternoon was starting Joe Pigott, a player with huge potential but certainly not enough experience to take on such a huge role in one of the toughest fixtures he’ll play in his career.
I thought it was unfair of Powell to place such huge responsibility on his young shoulders and I hope the experience won’t turn out to be a backwards step in his development.
The manager’s decision to start the young striker only further highlights the sorry state of affairs at the club that he didn’t have enough faith in Marvin Sordell, a player who has been to the Olympics, to start him over an inexperienced teenager.
And with the current match-day squad failing to set The Valley alight, why not give the likes of Jordan Cook, who impressed against Oxford, a place in the starting line-up or recall Michael Smith from what has been a fruitful loan spell at AFC Wimbledon?
But all this being said, it’s up to us as fans to once again get behind the team and hope our support is enough to get them through this rough patch.
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