When I heard the team news in the Rose of Denmark before the game, I had to think hard about the rationale behind Parkinson's choice in midfield. The only logical reason I could see for going with no width, and a diamond formation, was that he believed that Swindon posed no threat down the flanks, and that after the midfield had been breached at will by Millwall last time out, he wanted a narrower stiffer combination in the centre of the park. Whether it would have worked is open to conjecture, but I must admit, I didn't feel comfortable with it when I first heard about it.
As it turned out, any game plan Parkinson had for the match, was thrown out of the window after referee Miller sent both Sodje Snr, and Burton off, both of which were correct decisions. We almost lost this game due to a lack of discipline by two of our most experienced players! The fact that we did not, was down to a number of factors, not least of which being that Swindon were really not very good. Credit has to go to the nine remaining men, and with Parkinson refusing to be pinned down, the substitutions were telling, and all of them brought fresh attacking impetus to a depleted side, 2-1 down shortly after the arrival of McKenzie. Both of Swindon's goals were the result of superior numbers rather than any error on the part of the nine men left fighting for a point on the park.
Despite the heroics, and for the second game in a row, Charlton threw away two points, and as a result, both Norwich and Colchester have us firmly in their gunsights again. Sodje Snr, and Burton will know that they let their team down today, and Basey having witnessed all of the above, obviously did not get the message, and also picked up a stupid booking for dissent.
Perhaps Parkinson needs to do some homework on the referees in this division, as yesterday, leaving the two sendings off aside, Charlton were almost undone by a referee that obviously felt that Charlton were Billy Big Bollocks, and his sole reason for being on earth was to make sure that they did not get away with it. As a result, his behaviour meant that he acted as Swindon's 12th man against our nine. The fact that Swindon only got one booking in the game was quite frankly farcical, as their behaviour on occasions was almost as silly as that of Charlton, and warranted far more card waving than they actually received.
Parkinson now has a serious selection issue for the Brentford game, as both Sodje Snr, and Burton are now banned. With Dailly still likely to be ill, the club has only one recognised senior centre back available. With Youga also missing, this means that Semedo will almost certainly have to drop back to partner yesterday's hero Llera, with obvious ramifications on the midfield. With Burton also out of the picture, I would expect a reversion to 4-4-1-1, with Shelvey retained, and Dickson consigned to the bench. Sam will be back, and I would expect Spring to retain his place alongside Bailey. I would also like to see McKenzie on the left, as I believe he deserves a start, and it also gives the option to switch to a 4-3-3 if progress against our west London neighbours merits it. Sodje Jnr is not a natural player to hold the ball up, but I believe he will be Parkinson's preference for the lone front man role.
With the January transfer window almost upon us, what price a central defender, and a striker? Yesterday, the price was two dropped points.