Sunday, December 17, 2006

ls Blakey in charge?

The latest edition of 4-4-2 attempts to have some fun at the expense of Les Reed, suggesting that 'Blakey' is now in charge at Charlton, making sure that Luke Young doesn't have a quick fag while the bus is parked at Cemetery Gates. They may not be up to the pun on 'Reg' Varney's name as they also suggest he might be called Stan or Geoff. Still 'he does how to use Pro Zone, so good luck your Addicks.'

I know managing is more about walking the walk rather than talking the talk but Cadzy at Leamington can do a better job than our Les with his statements of self belief that do not inspire confidence. Les looks like someone who has just lost his job as manager of a minor branch of Boots that is being closed down.

Normally I would defend Charlton against statements by so-called pundits, but I think that Alan Hansen is one of the better ones on television and he really tore into Charlton, describing their performance against Liverpool as one of the most inept he had seen in the Premiership. It was evident that there were acres of space for 'Pool to score their two goals.

What one sees is a team that no longer has belief and confidence in itself. As Hansen pointed out, Luke Young is a good player, but he made a series of basic errors, one leading to the Liverpool penalty. The camera focused on his distressed face. Ambrose missing a chance is no great surprise, but Darren Bent's failure to take one speaks volumes.

The guy from Cardiff writing in 4-4-2 suggests that 'if the [Charlton] board got things so drastically wrong [the Dowie appointment] surely they are incapable of making such important decisions and should be replaced by are.' This is arrant nonsense. It was the current Charlton board with Alan Curbishley who rebuilt the club and got it into the Premiership. We don't need to make things even worse by changing the board as well.

Unfortunately this success did create a problem with fan expectations and complaints about 'mid-table mediocrity'. (I was amused to hear two Gooners complaining on the tube last night that Wenger was 'stale' and had 'taken the club as far as he could'). Charlton does have structural problems. In a 4-4-2 feature a Liverpool fan was asked whether success just came down to good management and he replied, 'No, it's a combination of factors including location, fan-base and marketing potential. Look at Charlton, they are a well-run club but they will never be up there.'

Nevertheless, that doesn't mean the club should be in a steeper nosedive than a crashing Doodlebug. The board seemed to be over attached to the merits of their new management 'structure' in making the decision about Dowie. Now, with Les Reed actually signing his new contract, their mood seems to one of obstinate intransigence in rejecting the Pards option. From relegation not be an option, it seems to be relegation with dignity under nice bloke Les Reed.

In the words of Bill Cotton, wakey wakey! We can do better than this and we don't have to put up with it.


Blogger GlynA said...

Spot on Wyn. Les doesn't have the management presence or seemingly the substance. The board clearly don't want to accept that they have made another bad decision and so we have him until the summer. The one thing I would disagree with is the Liverpool fans comment because any London club has the possibility of being 'big', because the fan base is there to be captured with continued success.

10:01 AM  
Blogger Inspector Sands said...

The rub lies in the last par... "we don't have to put up with it", but what can we do? If we protest, we'd just be painted by an ignorant media as a group of greedy fans who really never belonged in the Premiership anyway.

7:10 PM  
Blogger Wyn Grant said...

I agree that there are limits to what we can do. In the absence of any pronouncements, it is difficult to fathom out exactly what the view of the board is other than 'it will be all right by May' or 'if we are going down, we will do so with dignity'. There is some point in letting them know how unhappy fans are.

8:30 PM  

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