Charlton Athletic 1 Barnsley 2
“Many a good night at the football has been ruined by the football” – an old Chinese proverb.
That really was desperate last night and even the most glass half full Addick will have trouble fluffing that performance up.
From before kick off there were a lot of surprised looks amongst us after seeing Riga’s team. Harriott on the right instead of Wilson, no Morrison, Sordell again and no Reza or Astrit. In fact our bench looked pretty tasty and might of won us the old Evening Standard five-a-sides!
I have been keen not to criticize Riga as he and his grey suit attempt to make a silk purse out of a pigs ear. This is the Belgian’s biggest ever job in football and his manner has impressed me. He has kept the spirit aided no doubt by the likes of Jackson, Hughes and Morrison. He’s attempted to slow games down and play at a pace we can dictate, utilizing the midfielders more where we have more talent. More passing, allowing for better possession and less pressure on the back five. It was a neat tactic.
But, what has happened? He appears to have abandoned that approach playing more direct and tinkering with the line-ups to the real detriment of the team.
Why start an out of form Harriott on the wrong side? Wilson had to play in front of Solly, and in my mind he would have buried that header, batman mask and all!
Sordell simply just angered me last night. Honestly, what the **** does he care? Obika was better, but was often too wide, at Riga’s direction I guess. Nothing stuck to the front two/three as we hurled long balls at them. Powell got criticized for that, sometimes justly, but at least he had Kermorgant to aim for.
Morrison had to start, these players don’t need a rest, he’s an athlete, they would play every day if they could. Do you think Mo Farah’s not going to run for a while because he needs a rest?
Enough tinkering Jose, there is a reason why you are not manager at Stamford Bridge. Play your best team, motivate them, make changes if things need improving, not because you are saving them for next week or you played them in the wrong position in the first place.
Last night’s substitutions were odd. I can understand Solly, and it was great to the see him back, but why remove Poyet? Why not take the confidence-shot Harriott off at half-time, but instead wait until he was doing better in his natural left wing position?
I thought Riga’s inexperience showed last night, and at Brighton and other games where he has come up against a good side and coach. This is a big test for him now. What is his motivation? Will Roly pay him a bloody big bonus if he keeps us up? I really hope so. Will he sack him, has he another network job lined up? No one is prepared to say.
Sat in the dark, these are dark days for Addicks. Last night reminded me of those horrible nights under Pardew. We are a poor side, and we lost to a side perhaps worse.
Last night is gone. Riga has to play his best side on Friday, which will be without Wiggins. We have to be brave, have to be fearless and attempt to dictate play and create some goalscoring opportunities on Good Friday. Heaven help us!