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.