Where on earth do you begin with today's game? Well, the first and most important thing is
The first half was as poor a performance as I have seen in a long time. Hamer and Taylor will not need to be told that at least two of the goals against were down to them. It was as if the team as a whole had only just met each other, such was the lack of communication. If Hamer and Taylor were talking a different language for one of the goals, then cameos of the same malaise were being played out all over the pitch. Judge put County ahead with a 25-yard drive, that he was able to tee up in an acre of space, before Forte grabbed three close-range efforts, the final one a header, to make it 4-0, and all before the break.
So other than Hamer and Taylor, where else were there issues? Undoubtedly for me, the main area of concern today was the central midfield, and Stephens in particular. Both he and Hollands pushed up far too high, and were largely bypassed. Stephens first touch was awful, giving the ball away in a dangerous position twice within the first five minutes alone. He is talented, but let's face it, he has not been the same player since he came back from injury, Today was not an isolated poor performance from him either, and in much the same way that Green has apparently picked up a shoulder knock, it is time Stephens had a similar misfortune. Hughes or Russell are both far more defensively aware, and would cover the protection role that significantly nobody did today, thus exposing Taylor in particular rather badly on more than one occasion.
The half time team talk saw a far better Charlton team return to the pitch, albeit for no more than ten minutes. Wright-Phillips pulled one back with an acrobatic overhead kick, before Wagstaff powered in a header from six yards. Any momentum caused by those two goals vanished when Wright-Phillips had an appeal for a penalty turned down. It was a stonewall penalty, and would have put us in a position for an unlikely 4-4 draw, but it wasn't to be, and quite frankly we did not deserve it either.
Leaving aside all the Powell is the Messiah guff, the manager now really needs to earn his corn. For my money the MK Dons are the team to watch out for, not the two Sheffields, and it will take a minimum of five wins from the last ten games to achieve the title, and yes, I mean the title. Mind you, if we only got five wins, I suspect we would only get it on goal difference. I remember watching Powell motionless on the sidelines like a rabbit in the headlights last season at Stadium MK as the team he had inherited were pulled apart. He was motionless throughout most of the first half today as well. As any Charlton fan will tell you, we do not do the last ten games of a season at all well. Powell will need to break that habit if we are to get the rewards we deserve for the season we have had so far.