Looking on the bright side of life
The manner of our defeat at Everton was unfortunate, and may be in part due to Bougherra's lack of experience, but we were never going to turn them over. Reading are also Uefa cup contenders.
Sheffield United will be tough and will play a physical, defensive game. But, even given the weakness of our strike force beyond Darren Bent, that does not mean that they cannot be broken down.
We lost at Bramall Lane to the Blades because of defensive weaknesses. Super Alan Pardew was not then in charge. Supporters need to retain belief, if only to communicate confidence to the team.
My frame of mind is cheerful, despite still feeling exhausted by the negotiations with the Chileans. Things were made a bit better by the courteous, efficient and charming young Brazilian woman who acted as my de facto PA. I look forward to seeing her again next month in Montréal in less stressful circumstances. (I might add that she gave a fiery response to the German delegate who told her she looked good in the moonlight).
Having been told that I don't understand the politics of Chile, which I would not dispute, I felt in need of a bit of help. Could I involve a brilliant young friend of mine who has fluent Spanish, has lived in Chile and has written about the 'Southern Cone' of Latin America?
July in Chile is hardly an attractive prospect with Santiago (which is in a valley) under a thick blanket of noxious smog. What I hadn't thought about, but she did, was the possibility of skiing in the Andes.
The moral here is that there are ways out of even a seemingly bleak situation, and I don't think that Charlton's situation is that bleak. The real target may be Foolham rather than the Blades, but we need to beat United. Their manager is claiming that the media are bigging up West Ham and Charlton because they are London based.
I don't think that Sheffield United's style of play adds much to the quality of the Premiership. They are really a Championship side.
One of my worst experiences in the past week was being told by a Super Hoops fan 'see you next year'. Although they see themselves as rightfully a Premiership side (as about fifty clubs do), QPR in my mind are fixed in the old third division south. Their ground is like a series of upturned shoe boxes.
The Premiership is the place to be. And we need to fight to stay there with Super Alan Pardew.
A rather similar analysis in tone but with more information about the likely fate of relegation rivals is to be found here: Roehampton Addick