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The passing game

Tuesday night’s atmosphere was a little surreal I thought and certainly Addicks’ watchers are going to need to learn how to watch Peeters’ new look team.

There were groans around me as the ball often moved from a promising attacking position back into our own half. One old boy near me shouted out it was “disgusting” how a ball out wide wasn’t crossed into the box, but instead passed back.

The award of a foul appeared to bother the players, not because of foul play but because it broke up a rhythm. Instead of then launching a free-kick into dangerous opposing territory they were mostly just tapped to a team mate so the players could continue their passage of play. I only remember Jackson’s effort outside the box being sent goalwards.

Peeters team and the style is a work in progress and I think for long standing suffering Valley stalwarts it is too.

Undoubtedly there will be times when the crowd will get frustrated by the impression of a lack of urgency even though 95% of long hoofs give up possession whereas Peeters would rather us move the ball around efficiently. Certainly a long ball is met by him bouncing up out of his chair to release a rather loud yell.

There will also unquestionably be times when it goes wrong. There are a lot of good strikers in The Championship that will punish an under hit pass or some over embellished defensive play. Ben Haim is not Mats Hummels despite a good career.

I thought we pressurized the ball well on Tuesday night particularly in midfield and against a very good side and I would hazard a guess that we shared the second ball stats. Something we were terrible at last season, as we were at keeping the ball.

I would hope that we can add a little ‘up and at them’ when needed and I think the team still lacks pace.

Whilst on minuses, I thought sometimes Igor got his runs a little wrong and him and Moussa were often too close to each other, but Igor has an eye for the goal, which is a talent we have lacked since BWP was at his peak with us in League One.

My son picked up on the fact that we might struggle in the air against a big side. Although Ben Haim and more so Bikey are very imposing they never seemed to clear a header with any great distance, something Morrison can do.

I was very impressed with the way we passed it on Tuesday, as I was with the way Derby did too and I don’t know if they underestimated us or not, but they didn’t once forego their passing beliefs. Another team that launch long balls into the box would be a different proposition though.

Peeters has options on the bench but beyond those 18 I think we are light especially if we get some injuries, and we have potentially two already.

The crowd were in good spirits and are patently warming to Big Bob and the players in his new look side, but there were times when it was quiet and I watched people around me wrapped up in what often resembled a chess match going on in front of them.

There is no doubt that a rough and tumble of a game can create a much more passionate atmosphere, and watching 20 passes being strung together will take a bit of getting used to.

The numbers, season tickets and crowds do seem down though, but I do hope the doubters return. There are some I know that think their Charlton has been stolen away from them, and you will know I have asked many questions myself that aren’t all answered.

It is important to remember who Duchâtelet ‘stole’ the club away from, and in many ways he has given it back to the fans and without any doubt in my mind Big Bob is all about building a rapport with us. I would ask those that are staying away or unsure of the owners motives to still support the players on the pitch. That red shirt, albeit with a lot of white on it, still carries that sword.

Come on you Addicks.

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16 Comments Post a comment
  1. Daggs #

    Personally i’ve always been happy to give Roland and indeed Big-Bob a chance. There was much scare mongering and panic pre-season, but so far, things are looking good (yes i realise we’re only three league games in)
    A word on Igor. I’m sure he’ll get goals for us. He does however have one or two glaring faults in his make-up which he showed against Derby.
    When a move breaks down, if he is the advanced player, he just ambles around maybe walking back. This leaves him offside for ages and should a new move begin, he either has to take no part in it or suddenly hurtle back onside.
    Also on one occasion Saturday, the move towards Derby’s goal broke down. The ball ran toward the West touchline. If Igor had chased it he could have passed back to Cousins who was waiting for it. Igor chose to walk and let it become a throw-in.
    I believe he his quite young and has time to learn, but i can’t help thinking a bit of ‘education’ from Big Bob might just help Igor along.
    We still need another striker IMO as Igor and Franck Moussa are so similar in style. We need a big guy who can hold the ball up and win knock-downs. I’m not sure that this is Tucudean’s style.
    Nonetheless for all that, it’s been a cracking start.

    August 21, 2014
    • Agree completely on Igor. He looked out on his feet at the end of the game, but I was saying to my mate that we need more energy from him, particularly when he hasn’t got the ball as you say.

      The Championship is a tough division and Buyens looks as if he has got the stamina for it, but not yet Gundmundsson or Igor certainly.

      I would love George to come good, he also has a lot to learn, but on my one viewing also perhaps a lot to give.

      Two more players are required if you ask me.

      August 21, 2014
  2. Daggs #

    Most seem to think another midfielder is required, they may be right?
    I was also troubled by young Nick Pope. Not just the silly blunder for the Derby goal, Much of the game he dwelt to long on passbacks and nearly came unstuck, having to hack it anywhere to rescue himself. Another one for Big Bob ‘education’ Possibly we need an experienced keeper on loan if Hendersons injury is not quick to heal.

    August 21, 2014
  3. Paul Bunyar #

    I’m an American fan. And so for now I only see the team’s highlights and read the reports. I am very encouraged by this season’s start. I was wondering — what formation is Peeters using? And does it seem he is encouraging the entire squad on the pitch to press up defensively? Thanks. Let’s go Addicks!

    August 21, 2014
    • Nice to hear from you Paul.

      Peeters is playing with a 4-4-2. Gudmundsson has a little bit of a floating role coming in from the right hand side. He is demanding a passing game with players pushing higher up the pitch but with Buyens used as a shield in front of the two centre halves. Very much a work in progress, but it was very encouraging to watch.

      Where do you hail from in the USA?

      August 21, 2014
      • Paul Bunyar #

        I live in Bonner Springs, Kansas. I have been a CAFC fan since the days of Curbishley, Scott Parker, HH, Kish and that group. On BigSoccer my handle is hartley.

        I was hoping that Peeters might be employing a 4-3-3 like Sporting Kansas City. That formation lends itself well to pressing up and possession passing.

        August 21, 2014
        • How is Dom Dwyer doing in the 2nd half of the season?

          August 21, 2014
          • Paul Bunyar #

            Dom has cooled a bit in the second half as teams are adjusting for his play. He has been looking more to spring his mates free, so the game should open for him as this progresses. I expect to see him set a new club record for league goals scored in a season.

            August 23, 2014
  4. Dabid #

    jeez, CA – when we weren’t very good you were the most reasonable, upbeat man on the SE7 planet; now we are pretty damn good (and it is early days), you have joined them wot mostly see the negative dark side!! Gudmunsson, Igor, Romany George and Buyens all making tremendous progress in a real hard league. And (tbh) never thought TBH was going to turn into Mats H. I can see what we are trying to do, and we are making a really good fist of it. Sorry if the bloke behind you (like the bloke behind me) cant see it, but I would rather our central defenders take Mats as their model, rather than Les Berry!!!

    August 21, 2014
    • Les Berry. Is Bikey better than Les Berry? Really. Honestly? 🙂

      August 21, 2014
      • Dabid #

        This is a debate that the teenagers can enjoy!!
        Bikey isn’t better than Morro; but surely we should enjoy and encourage a new team style, even if some of the elements are not 100%, and may never be, and even if our golden memories of Big Les can never be matched by today’s crop of addicks?!!

        August 22, 2014
  5. Pembury Addick #

    Nice analysis CA – more perceptive than most I;ve read.

    Pembury Addick

    August 21, 2014
  6. martin somerton #

    Charlton fans must get used to the European style of football. Where long passages of passing play without much forward progress is the norm. Yes it is like a chess match waiting for an opposition player to be dragged out of place.

    August 22, 2014
  7. dave #

    When you play football at a high level,the mental effort is as important as the physical,When your legs go (as they say) your brain follows,it is as Martin says very much like a physical form of chess,for 90 mins you are trying to outwit your opponent and i n so doing his team.
    English football has been dominated by kick and rush from schools level upwards that is why our international team always comes a poor second a the top level.It has to change if you wish to see England win the world cup in the future.
    The Charlton manager is totally on the ball.

    August 22, 2014
  8. “One old boy near me shouted out it was “disgusting” how a ball out wide wasn’t crossed into the box, but instead passed back.”
    Most statistics suggest that between 1.5% and 3% of all crosses attempted lead to goals. With that in mind, passing would seem to be a sensible tactic.

    August 25, 2014

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