If you thought we played badly today, think yourself lucky you weren't at MK Dons on Tuesday night. Now that was bad, really really bad. Today we were hugely better, albeit coming off a very low base. Brentford won at The Valley for the first time in 85 years, and quite frankly Charlton never looked like getting that little bit of luck that was needed. One crossbar, and one outstanding save saw to that.
As for the team, Dailly went off at half time, but whatever the problem was, it happened after about ten minutes, as I could clearly hear him telling the bench that he thought he was in trouble. Llera was impressive at getting on the end of free kicks and corners in the Brentford box, and deserved better than to crash one of his many towering headers off the bar. He was my man of the match, on a day that saw the latest big lump up front make his debut. I like the look of Nouble, and with some training ground familiarity I believe he can do a good job for us.
The reality of today's embarassment for me, lay fairly and squarely with the midfield. They did not protect the back four, and provided little in the way of service to the strikers. It had all started so promisingly with news reaching us in the Rose of Denmark that Francis had been dropped. It lifted a sombre mood, where yet again we faced the prospect of good company and a few beers being spoilt by 90 minutes of "football". I still believe Solly rather than Jenkinson is the better option at right back, but as it turned out we got to see both.
As if to make up for this heinous act of dropping his partner in crime, McCormack was still in the side, and treated us to a couple more heart stopping moments. Why did anyone believe that taking not one but two players from a relegated Southend side was somehow going to make us stronger? Ask Parkinson that one I suppose, and I guess a lack of funds had a lot to do with it, but today I heard something at The Valley, that I genuinely did not expect to hear. Someone openly and very loudly criticising the appointment of Powell, and the loss of a "good bloke" in Parkinson.
I never believed that Parkinson was the right man for the job, and I remain unconvinced that Powell is either, but am willing to see how it goes. To my mind Powell only works if he is genuinely going to be given at least a couple of years to learn his trade with us. I hear what people are saying about rebuilding the team during the summer, but before we all get too happy, let's not forget that our very own mafia of the mediocre, Francis, McCormack, and Doherty are all on contracts that don't expire until the end of the 2012 season. It doesn't stop anyone trying to buy them of course, but I just don't see a queue of managers lining up to secure their talents, do you?
So, down to 11th, and closer to relegation than promotion. As some wag shouted during the first half, "Sort it 'aht Alex, this is Dyer"