Thursday, December 07, 2006

Irrational exuberance

There seems to have been an outbreak of this (originally a term used by Federal Reserve boss Greenspan to refer to the US stock market) at Charlton following the victory over Blackburn. Admittedly the way in which the victory was won was particularly stunning and to win any victory is an advance on recent performances. Some people have claimed that Sheffield United were actually quite good, but we were so poor that we made them look good. If we had gone on playing like that, we would have been doomed. Football is a confidence game and the result will give a large morale boost to the players.

I wasn't at the match, but it is interesting that one lister who was commented that we still weren't playing mid-table football. From the comments of others, and the radio commentary, it would appear that the formation still had some problems. Nevertheless, optimists are now proclaiming four points from the next two matches.

It's true that we have quite a good record against Spurs away. Indeed Spurs supporters amuse me more than any others in the Premiership. If the Haringey club strings a few wins together, they are all over 606 proclaiming that this is the year they will be in the Champions League. Lose a few and they are all moaning that the traditions of one of the country's top five clubs [sic] that won the double have been violated.

We have also managed to beat Liverpool at home, not least last year when we spoilt what was supposed to be a good night out for London scousers. I also remember the 1-0 win when the goal was scored by Keith Jones.

Nevertheless, I would rank the most likely outcomes as:
1. Draw at Spurs, lose to Liverpool (1 point)
2. Draw both matches (2 points)
3. Lose at Spurs, beat Liverpool (3 points)

As it's Charlton, they will probably beat Spurs and lose to Liverpool at home!

In other words we are unlikely to get out of the relegation zone that soon. If we accept that Watford and the Blades are going to go down (and I still think the Blades are a poor side), who will be the third team? Not the Hampsters given all that Icelandic dosh. I think it is possible that the Massives, a team often proclaimed as too big to go down (as they descended to what is really the third division) could be for the drop.

Among all the euphoria there has been little comment at the attendance which was somewhat over 23,000, the smallest at The Valley this season. Remember that season ticket holders are automatically counted whether they are there or not (this is standard practice) so the true figure could have been as low as 21,000. Of course, Rovers brought few supporters for a midweek game in London.

Nevertheless, it should ring alarm bells. Some of the more experimental Valley Express services are on the fringe of viability as it is. Of course, the people who do marketing would say they have no influence on what happens on the pitch, all they can do is market the club as effectively as they can. And when one gets a result like last night, the chants of young supporters in Ransome Walk are a joy to hear, as one leading Valley figure commented.

Because Charlton does a lot of things well such as its community work there is a risk of self-satisfaction and complacency. It's also actually quite a difficult club in which to express any dissent, otherwise you risk getting jumped on by grumpy old men from beechy Bucks. But that's another story.


Blogger beauzo said...

A bastion of sense, humour and perspective as always. Charlton were much the better side on Tuesday night, with Hughes in particular unrecognisable. Sure another new formation puzzled the players at times but we can't ignore the fact that Backburn's midfielders were largely anonymous, even charm merchant Savage was relatively restrained, potentially dangerous bods like Bentley were completely ineffective. Up front both sides had several shots without really stretching either keeper, our own Darren Bent either off form or possibly carrying an injury, Marcus Bent gave us a 30 second cameo followed by 20 minutes of unforgivable laziness, young master Sam was undeniably hard running and not entirely bereft of ideas but spent a lot of time falling over, conceded possession quite tamely and as yet not the answer to any questions we want to hear. The manner of the win was of course delightful but should Spurs or Liverpool play anywhere close to their own potential, points will be very hard to come by. Charlton need another step up in drive and performance to seriously challenge either. The quoted crowd figure was of course baloney. I was intrigued by the 1000 or so home supporters in the east half of the Jimmy Seed (obviously occasional attendees) providing stark contrast to the deserted blocks at the south end of the East Stand; my area of the Upper West was no more than 80% full, hopefully not a rising trend.
The return of Kins will be greeted warmly of course, not that any of us really knows where he fits into the structure or the influence he can bring to the first team and its performance.

11:51 AM  
Blogger New York Addick said...

I hope you're right about the irrational exhuberance because Greenspan made that speech in 1996, but the market didn't finally peak until March 2000.

12:37 PM  

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