Sunday, 3 March 2013

We're all Doomed!

I have no idea if Mr Scott actually ever said those words in Star Trek, and if he did I doubt it was more than once or twice but it is a common comment amongst one of my group of friends. It is used in a humours way and is never meant to signify that there is any real chance of trouble ahead.

Charlton are still, probably, not in any real danger of relegation this season, but if one wanted to, one could make a case to suggest that the danger is real and is very close.

Until yesterday Burnley had managed just two points in their last six games. They should have been the easiest home game we have left. I know we have to play all of the bottom four and Millwall, who are one of only three teams with worse form than us (based on 6 games - Wolves and Derby being the other two) but on a bad run and mid-table Burnley should have been a win target - and probably was!

We are currently 7 points above, third bottom, Peterborough who have a game in hand and we play them on Tuesday. If they win that game, and their game in hand, they will be one point behind us. In the last six games they managed 10 points to our 4 so they beat us and they would overhaul our lead in the following 6 games with something to spare - assuming form continues. Despite their form Peterborough are a side that we need to avoid losing to. After that we have Huddersfield away - another team with less than fantastic form (5 points in 6 games) then we face Millwall at The Valley in a game that might well be more important for our league position than local bragging rights. Millwall have amassed just thee points in the last six games, in the last seven games, in fact, and they have managed just seven points in the last eleven games - they haven't been the same since they lost a couple of loan players in January.

Yesterday was another drab game. Losing to Forest was bad enough, but with them having spent some serious money and us being down to ten men I could live with it. Yesterday's result was worrying on an entirely different level.

Irrespective as to who we all blame (and there seem to be many candidates) we are just not competitive enough in this division. I don't really see any logical scientific reason for our away form being, relatively, much better than our home form, but the same was true last season so it can't just be a random coincidence.

The away form does make me more confident of us avoiding relegation as the teams at the bottom don't seem to have that 'bonus' but if it is more random there is a chance that it could suddenly stop  and then we look a lot more precarious. Our last six games home and away have yielded 5 and 9 points respectively. For interest we are 8th in the form table for away results and 23rd for home games - based on the last six games of each.

Powell tried something new yesterday. There was a large attendance announced and irrespective as to how we got to that figure, there were a lot of fans in the Lower North stand yesterday so it is possible that fans were given comps and or discounts to get them in for a chance to see a 'great game of football' during the season ticket sale period. I have no idea if the owners of the club are putting the kind of pressure on the manager that motivate him to make rash decisions. The kind of win or bust decisions that we all make when we see that carrying on as we are is going to end up in disaster and we decide we might as well try something else.

I can't really understand why we would play all three strikers when we have no other options in that department. I never really know what the conditions of loan players are and maybe we needed to play the Spurs youngster or they would take him back. Irrespective I wasn't very impressed with him. I am confident that Bradley Wright-Phillips would have been a better option yesterday, but that fails to address that fact that we have no creativity in the middle of the park.

One of the things that I use to measure a game is how much I remember of it the next morning. Some games seem to pass quicker than others. Clearly defeats (by a small margin) seem to pass quicker as I want the clock to slow down to give us longer to score, and the reverse is also true. There are, however, some games that have so little excitement, class, flair or significant events that I come away completely underwhelmed with what was on offer.

A very good goal apart there was nothing to see yesterday that I will mention to my Dad when he returns from his holiday. I am the first to say that a 1-0 win in such circumstances is, perfectly, acceptable and I imagine the Burnley fans all went home very happy, but our home form (both results and performances) are becoming a real concern now.

Season tickets are going up by about ten times inflation, and the football on offer this season has been absolutely terrible. I suspect that the club made a big mistake keeping the prices as low as they did for this season. I have no data to reflect this but I would imagine that it would have been much easier to sell tickets at the new prices twelve months ago and then they could have issued a price freeze this year and that would have put less pressure on the players to deliver.

I know all the arguments about live sport and I fail, completely, to fall for the rubbish about comparing The Valley to a top theatre in London, or the O2, where live entertainment is just down the road (from SE7). However we are not comparing like for like. If one wants to compare football to the Palladium then you must look at Arsenal, Tottenham or Chelsea. You  must compare a top of the table clash or a Champions League game. You just can't compare Charlton 0 - 1 Burnley with Michael McIntyre at the O2 - except on price, where you may be surprised to discover that a seat in block E of the East Stand is just a few quid cheaper than I paid for a night out at the O2 - and I went on the Saturday, so it wasn't a discounted price.

With this being the case one has to look at value for money for the enjoyment as well as the 'I always go so I'll always go' attitude. I can't rank all football fans and for that reason I don't know if my decision to keep going puts me in a select group of 11,000 or 5,000. It means that I have no idea how many others will choose to keep going (and maybe even pay for a year in advance) but if we keep losing dire games like this one and keep dropping towards the potential unthinkable spell in the third division it is going to be a bit of a hard sell, I would imagine.

As already mentioned I can't remember much about the game except that I wouldn't bother to watch it again. Without new signings, which I think are unlikely now, we have got to find a way to claw out three more wins by the end of the season. I was confident that Burnley would be won of those. It wasn't! We have, by my reckoning  five genuine targets for those wins plus Millwall at home (they are in poor form but it is a derby - and we never beat them). The next two games (and they are both away) are two of those five so by the time we play Millwall we should have a very good idea as to what our run is is going to be like.

As exciting as it might be to survive relegation at the death I'd be more than happy to make Millwall a third win on the bounce, please!

Up the Addicks!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"We're all doomed!" was the catchphrase of Private Fraser in Dad's Army (not Star Trek)