A game of two own goals (at least), and some welcome relief of pressure for Alan Pardew and the team, as a poor Ipswich side were beaten 2-1 by "Sarf Lunnuns" finest. This was not a good game to watch, both sides having indifferent form at best so far this season, but what stuck out for me, was the way Charlton raised the pressure and tempo in the second half, and genuinely fought for their win. All too often previously, a goal against, has seen us drop our heads, and a second goal for the opposition has resulted, but not yesterday.
We rode our luck, and the result could so easily have been different, but yesterday was not about aesthetically pleasing football, it was about a desperate need to pick up three points, so credit where credit is due. The team fought, and Alan Pardew used his subs to good effect, and guess what?, there was also some major league humility, and plain honesty in his utterances to the press afterwards as well. I hope you slept well last night Alan, you deserved it. When you wake up this morning though, can you give some thought to the full backs please?
I am genuinely wondering whether the loan deal that brought Martin Crainie to SE7, came with the contractual obligation, that we have to play him, unless he is injured? Why else would he be appearing on the team sheet without fail, week in, week out? He is at best, adequate at this level, but he is an old style right back, who regards crossing the halfway line as a trip abroad, complete with the whispered warning at the back of his mnd, that "there be dragons over there". The Ipswich Town left back must have wondered what had hit him when Semedo appeared, complete with his incomplete understanding of the English language. If Moots is genuinely so out of favour, and in fairness, Pardew has been consistent in his actions in this regard, then Semedo has to start the next game.
Which brings me to Kelly Youga. I personally thought he had another day at the office to forget, caught in posession too often, and giving the ball away in dangerous situations. I talked to others after the game, however, who thought that he had played well. I would prefer to see Grant Basey given another shot, but maybe young Kelly is turning into "Marmite Man", a position held with some aplomb by Darren Ambrose for longer than I care to remember, which neatly brings me to the performance of those we have not seen for some time, Dazza, Todorov, and Zeng Zhi.
All three displayed signs of ring rust, which is no great surprise, although Dazza did put in a good shift, culminating in his pin point cross, which Bouazza helpfully played on to the hapless Volz for the own goal. Zeng got caught in possession, but another couple of matches should put that right, his incentive being to keep himself in the shop window for the January sales. Much of what Todorov does, has a subtlety of purpose beyond that normally seen in the Championship. He may not be regarded as fantastically purposeful in the bustling action man style beloved of Champ forwards, but his link up play has quality written all over it. I look forward to seeing a lot more of him over the coming months, as he can genuinely make a play, or provide a pass to unlock a team with ten men behind the ball. That is a priceless commodity at this level.
So, a pleasing day all round, and it is a shame that there is now an international break, as it will be another two weeks before the bigger question can be answered, namely, can we show signs of consistency, and win two on the spin? Not much to ask for is it?