Charlton Athletic 0 Ipswich Town 3
A third 0-3 home defeat in four games and any thoughts of a renaissance after two wins were squashed by an apathetic performance in front of a worryingly sparse and disinterested crowd.
This club is only going one way at the moment and it is runaway train with Ms Meire at the steering wheel and M Duchatelet in the control box. Whether the 2% Protest made any impact on the two of them I very much doubt it, but the fact that ‘Stand up for the 2%‘ posters were held aloft by at least half of the home fans, sitting amongst a sea of empty red seats was a very respectful but poignant image, one that got the message out to a broader audience and showed up Meire’s arrogance for what it is.
Congratulations to all of those that helped and supported it. It was a good start and I will write more on that in the coming days now that I am back in Bermuda and once I can shake off the hangover of another pitiful display.
In truthfulness Charlton started quite well passing the ball around the edge of Ipswich’s penalty box looking for a shooting opportunity making light of any complaints that the 2 minute protest affected the players’ performance.
The wheels fell off when talisman skipper Johnnie Jackson hobbled off with a hamstring injury in the 13th minute. It took me and those around a while to work out what Fraeye had done to the formation when he decided to introduce Solly for Jacko and not like for like with Ba still sat with his tracksuit on.
Solly moved to right back and Holmes-Dennis to midfield and it looked as if Fraeye instantly abandoned his diamond shape, which tells me that despite his claims, the squad remains woefully short of options, underscored I thought by the fact that Holmes-Dennis ended up playing in three different positions during the game.
A chink of light that he maybe but it is also disturbing that out of nowhere Ademola Lookman suddenly appears to be leading the line and our main goal threat!
As for Simon Makienok, whether he was just having one of those afternoons, I don’t know, but another one like that and I’d rather not see him taint our famous no.9 shirt again. He was so off the pace through lack of interest and ability that for a moment I thought Mike Small had come back into our lives. How to kick a Charlton fan when he is down!
Across the pitch examples of players signed, loaned or passed down to us embarrassed themselves and are so far away from the quality and determination of a player this division demands. Naby Sarr and Makienok may well make a career for themselves in a second tier European league but it for sure won’t be in this European league.
Ipswich and Charlton have for a couple of decades been bedfellows in terms of size and ambition but on Saturday the Tractor Boys were from Mars and a Belgium billionaire’s experiment were from Venus.
Mick McCarthy was always going to outsmart Karel Fraeye as will many other Championship managers, and players like Berra, Freddie Sears and Daryl Murphy are players that will never ever be on Charlton’s radar all of the time we have this ownership.
In the 15 minutes between Jackson leaving the field and Murphy scoring Town’s first it was spent mostly wondering when we would concede as pass after pass went astray and we struggled to clear our lines as Ipswich smelt blood. Yes, Solly was certainly pushed in the face for the first goal but much like the second, our defensive play was a shambles.
The 2nd half never a gave one glimmer of a comeback and I was grateful that after Murphy scored their third after a sweet move, McCarthy’s men were happy with their lot because I feared more.
Remarkably to those few thousand of us left in the ground we actually carved out a few good chances late on and Dean Gerkin had to earn his crust saving excellently from Vaz Te, twice, and Bauer. A couple of good crosses were also put into the box but were passively ignored.
That late flurry allowed Fraeye to throw a few stats at us, although he thoughtfully pointed out that all the statistics were in our favour apart from one.
Heaven help us.
Relegation watch: Rotherham won again seeing off Bristol City 3-0, MK Dons snatched a good draw at Wolves but Huddersfield fell into the bottom three after losing at home to Middlesbrough. Fulham and Preston drew as Leeds lost at QPR. Bolton play Brentford Monday night.