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NEW ARTICLE: The Monday Fiver..........

The five things we learned from Saturday

1. The ground

The Valley is a traditional old-school football ground. It doesn’t have the padded seats or state of the art facilities, but when it comes alive there is no better place to be. That hasn’t been the case for a while now. As the investment in the squad dried up, so did the home wins, and so did the life in the crowd. From the North Upper, looking out on an East Stand a third full and a West Stand a fifth full can be a demoralising viewpoint at times, and impacts on the atmosphere created.

The late, building pressure on Saturday, culminating in Jacko’s late winner saw the ground come alive for the first time in a very long while. And what a fantastic feeling it was.

There is certainly life in this old dog yet.

2. Cousins and Poyet

We highlighted in the Preview the potential match-up between our young pair and the talented on-loan Premiership youngsters at QPR. Cousins and Poyet have shown in their staggered introductions this season that they both have clear potential, but pairing them in such an important game was a bold move that paid dividends.

It sometimes takes a little while for youngsters breaking into a first team to believe that they ‘belong’. A near-faultless performance by the pair put a huge marker down that they very much do. Both are technically sound, but it was Poyet’s committed, crunching tackle which lead to the goal that will stand out; one very similar to ‘that tackle’ by Steve Brown in the play-off final. Charlton appear to have two potential top-level youngsters coming through together for the first time since Parker & Konchesky.

Let’s hope we get to see their talent in a Charlton shirt for a bit longer than that of Shelvey and Jenkinson.

3. Balance

No manager deliberately wants to set a team up with square pegs in round holes. It is normally a last resort when a squad is light, where they simply don’t think the natural option is either up to it yet, or fit enough. Wiggins return on Saturday was a huge boost as it meant the manager could set out a back four platform the team could have trust in.

In doing so, the midfield in front carried less concern of protection to full backs, and a natural shape and balance was allowed. Green and Jackson are not everyone’s favourite wide players, but they helped provide a traditional 4-4-2 with a natural right-footed winger on one side, and left-footed slightly narrower-playing winger on the other.

When a team hasn’t played many games with each other, being ‘positionally sound’ is the most important first base you hope to achieve. Though it might not have been enthralling for some to watch, Charlton remained positionally sound for 60 minutes, stayed in the game, and created the platform to become more offensive for the final spell.

Saturday was a game where the training ground coaching had paid off, and the players played with intelligence and stuck to the gameplan.

4. Astrit

Whisper it quietly, but we might well have a player here that is going to be exciting to watch with the ball at his feet.

Many supporters have been singing Astrit’s praises from his 30 minute cameo on Saturday, and there is no doubt that as pressure and possession increased in Charlton’s favour, he had a positive influence in the game.
A coach though will tell you that what a player does without the ball is almost as important as what he does with it. When not in possession, Astit was slow in reaction to turnover play, looked heavy and was positionally caught out a number of times defensively. At present, he looks a huge game-changing option but doesn’t look fit enough or positionally disciplined enough to play 90 minutes in a 4-4-2.

If we can get him fit, and on the ball however, he could be a hugely influential player, and exciting to watch, but how we manage his natural ‘free spirit’ approach without negatively impacting the rest of the side will be a difficult balancing act.


5. Jacko and Powell

There is a very good chance through the new owners likely approach that we won’t see either of these representing Charlton next season. Whilst the ridiculousness of that statement is clear to 99% of people, that is a seperate debate for another day.

What we have had though over the last few years is two people committed to our club on and off the pitch like very few we have seen in modern years. Whilst everyone is acutely aware that the manager attracts a lot of support on these pages, Jacko sometimes doesn’t quite get the praise for being a true captain. Loyal to his manager, liked and respected by team mates, popular with the fans, he also has a habit of popping up with vital goals from midfield when it really counts, and Saturday was yet another one of them.

Well done Jacko, you’ve been a great leader and whatever happens from here, are going to be one of those few players that will be warmly received when returning in decades to come.

Something tells me though that Saturday won’t be the last vital goal he scores this season.


What points above do you agree / disagree with ?

Comments

  • Agree with everything you have just said.
  • Agree with everything you have just said.

    Always said you were my favourite poster :-)

  • "A coach though will tell you that what a player does without the ball is almost as important as what he does with it. When not in possession, Astit was slow in reaction to turnover play, looked heavy and was positionally caught out a number of times defensively. At present, he looks a huge game-changing option but doesn’t look fit enough or positionally disciplined enough to play 90 minutes in a 4-4-2. "

    We were discussing this coming out of the ground on Saturday. I thought his contribution on the ball out-weighed his weaknesses off it but perhaps that was because it was only 30 minutes and Jenas was so poor.

    Good piece though, should be a regular thing.
  • 1) Some very good points made , no idea what the 'real'crowd attendance was , but their were moments when the Valley was a rocking , and reminded me of when we were back in the Premiership , taking on the big boys and turning them over , had that excitement to it, if we as fans can keep that level of buzz going till the end of the season , we'll stay up.

    2) We are a better team with Poyet & Cousins in the Midfield , the desire to win the ball back is not too be underestimated , and makes a big difference to our play, as well as gettng the crowd going.

    3) Whilst still feeling his way back from injury , Wiggy back adds stability to our defence , and was a massive plus for me, attack still needs sorting out imo.

    4) With regards to Astrit , i hope he can contribute to the run in , we haven't had a player with that level of ability for a long time, i hope Chris can continue to get the best out if him.

    5) I agree
  • Another award winning post from AFKA.

    With you all the way, mate.

    Just one thing I'd question though...

    You say " Whisper it quietly..." when talking about Astrit.

    When our eldest grand daughter shouts, I say " Stop whispering, Pippa ! "

    Maybe we should turn your "whisper" into a "shout" and make some noise about the exciting prospect we have now.

    Might be one way of galvanising more fans into returning to The Valley ?
  • Maybe we need to whisper because he is only on loan
  • I think Powell knows he cannot, without liberty, play Astrit in a flat 4-4-2. On Saturday, I was very worried when the obviously working option (a flat 4-4-2) was changed after an hour to the diamond midfield (4-1-2-1-2) to accomodate AA, but it didn't seem to matter - we still played very well! In some games the diamond will work, in some it will not, but if Powell and the players can be flexible it gives us a tactically solution that we have not really had previously this season.
  • Great post, 5 is particularly true, big kudos to JJ
  • good article AFKA
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  • Good article, agree with all five things.
  • Completely agree with number 2, and its something I've been hoping CP would do since Poyet has broken into the team. Cousins is completely wasted out wide. it was a gamble playing those two together, but they have now out played one of the best midfields in the league. I think CP has to stick with them.

    Astrit looks a good player, but as i said in another thread, sometimes those flicks don't come off. What will we make of him when they don't. Be interesting to see how he pans out, as i don't want him to become a 'luxury' player. lets hope he does the dirty work when we need him to.
  • agree but don't like 5 but as you say a debate for another day
  • Agree, but really hope 5 is wrong on both counts.
  • Just for the balance of controversy, I will disagree with everything you wrote......................

    ;-)
  • seperate

    Just for the balance of controversy, I will disagree with everything you wrote......................

    ;-)


    Oi! That is DRF's job

    : - )
  • Think u could be correct on no 5
    Powell sat in dugout at end painted a thousand words?
  • Think u could be correct on no 5
    Powell sat in dugout at end painted a thousand words?

    He's done that before though, so don't read to much into it.

  • Great post. Agree with all of it but, with great sadness, I also think that Jacko's time in our starting 11 (maybe even the squad) is coming to an end - and with it his captaincy too. Although he rallied in the second half, he did look "leggy" in the first half and his slowness to get back left Rhoys exposed more than once. Jacko has never had the speed to play as a winger but as a narrow left centre midfielder he has been great for us. But his engine and legs are going now, depute the heroics of Saturday.

    Get Astrit fit and I think he could be a star for us. Just hope Roland can do a deal with Roland to get him here permanently.
  • I agree with all 6 points. I would add a 7th.
    We showed we could play football despite the comdition of the pitch. On a better playing surface who knows what the team are capable of. Perversely, for the remaining home games, the ability of the squad to cope with the poor surface might also give us an important advantage
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  • We showed we could play football despite the comdition of the pitch. On a better playing surface who knows what the team are capable of.

    We'll find out tonight I suppose...............
  • Re Astrit, I think 4-2-3-1 is perhaps an option for the first time for us. Cousins and Poyet would be effective in the 2, and you could see Astrit, Jackson and, say, Reza behind Church or Tudgay.

    That said, perhaps the three don't have the pace we might need to get and/or keep the play up the pitch. The diamond seemed to be pretty effective for getting the best out of Astrit and Jackson without risking too much.
  • Well waddyaknow...
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Roland Out!