Friday, September 15, 2006

Dowie tries to keep cheerful

Addicks supremo Iain Dowie insists that Charlton have to enter tomorrow's clash with Portsmouth with positive spirits 'because that is all we've got left'. Referring to the injury situation, he commented, 'It was disappointing to lose £8 million of talent'. He suggested that late signings and a lack of pre-season training may have contributed to the muscular injuries.

Consistency needed from Romm

Dowie called for consistency from Dennis Rommedahl: 'I think he is one of those players when you see him on the day he can be electric. We are looking for that on a consistent basis. If Dennis continues to show the form he did against Chelsea then there is no question that he is a real asset to any team.'

'You need to play Dennis a certain way. You need to give him a bit of freedom to attack and not maybe shackle him as much. It is difficult for us managers because we like to have both sides of the game. I've always said with the flair-type players you have to make them work. If you feed them enogh of the ball you are going to get work out of him.'

But Dowie insisted that Romm has to be motivated by a desire to reach his potential -and not by the carrot of a new deal at the end of the season. 'You've got to have that desire to be best you can be - whether your contract is up or you've got five years left.'

Defensive worries

In earlier previews we have been focusing on the midfield, but this week the depleted defence has to be the centre of attention. There are only two near certainties, barring the dread late training ground accident: Scott Carson will be in goal and El K will play in central defence.

The following permutations are then possible:
1. Luke Young could be played at right back, in the centre, or on the left
2. Faye could be pulled back into central defence
3. Kish could be brought in at right back
4. Ashton could be played at left back

My preferences are as follows:

1. Keep Ashton on the bench. When I last looked, he didn't have a squad number. That can be provided, but I wasn't too impressed by him at Utrecht, although others thought he did well against New Zealand.
2. Hence play Faye in central defence. The main argument against this is that it depletes the midfield.
3. Play Luke Young on the left. It's not his natural position, but he did well there at Chelsea.
4. Play Kish at right back where he will battle away. All right, I know it's Kish and Sankofa is a possible alternative.


Rommedahl in the right, Ambrose on the left, Pouso in the middle and A.N.Other. This is the attraction of playing Sankofa at right back or even Youga in the centre (or Young in the centre and Ashton on the left) because it would release Kish for a midfield role. Otherwise it looks like Bryan Hughes who is better than some people allow, although not quite good enough. Darren Bent and JFH up front, of course.


Our record against Pompey at home in the Premiership is a good one with two wins and a draw. However, Pompey are now Pompski with loads of dosh, flying high in the table with no goals conceded. Even so, I am going for a 1-1 draw on the assumption that Calamity James must concede eventually.

There has also been a late change of referee with Phil Dowd replacing the hapless Uriah Rennie.


Remember that it's a 12.45 kick off, there are no trains beyond Charlton and only a limited service from the London Bridge direction. Talking of trains, I saw the children's programme about Ernie on the underground with one of my granddaughters yesterday and I reckon that the new job obtained by Inspector Sands is writing the scripts.


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