A very strange day at the office. It would be unfair just to say we were rubbish, because we weren't for large parts of this game. We created as many chances as Brighton in the first half, but crucially did not convert any of them. Where it really was not very good at all, and where the damage for me was done, was largely down to the manager however.
A question or two to get us started if I may.
First question. If a four man midfield is not coping with Brighton's diamond formation, what do you do? Yes, that's right, you change it. Not if your Parkinson you don't. You also forget to rescind the order on Semedo to curb his aggression in the tackle for fear of another yellow card and a ban. End result, one very ineffective midfield.
Second question. Why bring all eleven players deep into the eighteen yard box to defend corners, when any second phase possession is going to fall to a waiting Brighton player sitting just outside it? Oh, and while we are about it, any chance of marking the player involved in the short corner routine? I place the blame for this on Parkinson. It was quite obvious that the players were under instruction to defend like that, almost zonal it was. Again, it rendered the defence ineffective, and invited pressure that was duly dealt out in spades by a very good Brighton team.
Third question. Does anybody think Parkinson will have taken note of how to pass a football? A lesson in control, precision, and above all simplicity from Brighton compared to the over elaborate, convoluted machinations of a sterile Charlton team. This was best summed up for me by Reid, who when surrounded by three Brighton players, span like a top, and went round in circles at least three times looking for an escape route which was never going to materialise.
Whilst I have some sympathy with the frustration that drove a seventy year old man to get himself to the dugout to remonstrate with Parkinson, the reality is that we are really not very good. Not just Parkinson, but his team as well. Yesterday's result has been coming for some time, and although I also have sympathy with the concerted chant of "Parky Out" rolling off the North and East stands, the chances of it happening I believe are very limited. His contract ends next summer, so maybe then, but until then we need to get behind the team, because on the evidence mounting up, we are far more likely to be involved in a relegation dogfight than a push for promotion.