Boro away. What was the score? Lost 4-2
Very disappointed but the 2nd half had that familiar feel to it and I think the game showed to a nationwide audience the flaws we all know so well both in the team and the manager that coaches and picks it.
I'm afraid that last night was
Curbishley's England interview, at least by non-Charlton and Middlesbrough English fans who were at home watching on television, and to a lesser extent Darren Bent. England's fans were probably turning to each other after 20 minutes and saying that if Defoe was playing the game would have been over. And it is hard to disagree with them.
Bent came in for quite a lot of criticism from Alan Hansen, Alan Shearer and Alan Pardew after the game on BBC1 but they all made it clear that he's still very young and this is
his first season. What they didn't say is that he has scored 20 goals in a team that creates very few chances. We all know a season without Darren Bent and maybe Jon Stead (who Curbs was desperate to sign) instead would have left us a place below Stead's Sunderland in the Premiership.
If Bent doesn't score then who does? Okay, he missed two sitters but firstly he was there and secondly no one else was. For the first chance Hughes missed a free header and Holland flapped at the ball before it made its way to Bent.
Our midfield was poor. No creativity, imagination or strength, all necessary and crucial attributes that put the best above the also-rans. Kish was trying to cover but was once again he showed he's speed of thought is that of a snails.
Spector is terrible. The "best defender in pre-season training"
does not cut it in April. He looked like he had just got of the plane from O'Hare and been thrown straight onto the pitch. Perry and HH were therefore trying to cover for him and this caused them to make errors, especially Hermann.
Why didn't we play 4-5-1 to allow our most creative players to give at least a platform to Bent? What was the purpose of Bartlett, the assist aside, apart from coming back at corners?
Rommendahl talked recently that he has changed his game thanks to Curbs. Why? All of his career the Dane has used his superb pace to get past players, now he just goes inside or looks for the pass. He was involved in everything early on but then he wasn't utilised or when he was it was deep.
Yes, we were beaten by a better team with class strikers each costing and earning a lot more money than ours. Boro' have also got some young players
that we can only dream off but for the first 20 minutes we looked so dangerous and then in the first 2o of the 2nd half we looked so, well Charlton!
So the season's over, the England charade continues
and the summer will be a fraught one. In the meantime I'm going to Fulham Saturday. Please can I see players like Jeffers, Sankofa, Euell, Ambrose, Thomas, Sam, Gislason and Sorondo given a chance? They're playing for their futures, whether at Charlton or elsewhere. They about tomorrow, frankly Spector, Kish, Holland, Hughes, Bartlett and Powell are so yesterday.
Finally a word for the fans and the board who provided the platform. They should be proud of themselves. The travelling Addicks created a wonderful atmosphere and unlike those out on the pitch and in the dugout were a marvellous advertisement for Charlton Athletic. A potential new signing watching at home may not have been impressed with what he saw on the pitch but he would have been in the stands.
Those Addicks on trains, planes and automobiles: cafc.co.uk
, Addicks Diary
; BBC Sport
; The Independent
; All Quiet
; Frankie Valley
; Come on Boro