Wolves at home. What was the score? Lost 2-3
Where did it all go wrong eh? Pre-season promotion favourites, the most expensively assembled squad in tier 2, the best footballing side in the division, the most technically gifted, a manager who knew the division, whose teams only get stronger in the 2nd half of the season and what did we get?
15 wins in 41 games, early cup exits and most telling, just four wins from the last 20 games or 7 points out of the last 30, less than Sheffield Wednesday and Barnsley and the same relegation record of Scunthorpe and Southampton. Bloody hell I'm looking down the division as opposed to up for the first time since May last year!
I do actually believe in the 'it's not over until it's over' philosphy but they are giving us nothing to believe in and do we really think that the five teams above us will have a run in four points worse than us, some with a game in hand? Ok, it's over isn't it?
So where did
it all go so wrong? My long distance telescope keeps bringing up a vision of a rotund Irish bloke. Some said his departure was good for the team, this blog
said that was bollocks, and his fitness and performances for Sunderland and our recripical collapse in form and confidence has kicked us in the bloody teeth. There was no doubt Reidy was a magnificent influence around the dressing room and not only did we sell our best player we lost our most influential person in the dressing room.
Toddy got injured, that has been a huge loss. I think Pardew planned to use him sparingly early season and apparently the Bulgarian is someone that needs to be managed with kid gloves, and undoubtably we lost a potential 20 goals player. Varney got injured pre-season, Gray replaced Todorov and has not settled, beset with family issues, he has now not scored for four months. The influx of loan players and the signing of Gray during the business end of the season did not give us the boost new faces should have done, it did the complete reverse.
The constant tinkering with players and formations, some unfathomable to the uninitiated, and the 'one mistake and you are dropped mentality' has knocked continuity and Pardew's public blaming culture has irrefutably damaged morale, despite his self-promotion of man-management and the obnoxious inconsistency of one minute promoting the importance of the fans and the next taking swipes at them.
From my 4,000 mile viewpoint I wonder how we would have done if we stuck with some of the young and raw players that Pardew introduced but then discarded? I am against sacking Pardew but the bloke, like anyone of us normal folk who does not perform, needs a serious re-appraisal from his bosses because he has failed his performance target miserably. I mean he's not even close. After all, the quality in this division is shit-awful. Stoke, Bristol City and Hull will make Derby County look like Brazil. The champions could go up with less than 80 figgin' points. The last top two team with a points total that low was Barnsley, and at least they actually played like Brazil!
I'll give Pardew another chance, others won't. I actually didn't watch yesterday's game because I had something more important to do. I text my season-ticket mate before the game asking for my regular match updates. He text me back telling me he was in Nottingham and he had given his season ticket away after the West Brom game and won't go again this season. From what I heard he isn't the only one.
Pardew took us down last season, didn't he? No, not entirely to blame, maybe not to blame at all but it appears on his record, he was a little culpable but this season it's his team, charged with a rebuilding job that he had been contemplating since January 2007, he was well supported financially by the board and emotionally by us. You know what? I can forego emotions and money and heartache but being duped and let down? It hurts. Sooooper, Sooooper Al.... what suckers eh?Who was at The Valley: Blackheath Addicted
; Kings Hill Addick
; Drinking During the Game
; Addicks Championship Diary
; Charlton Athletic Online
.Reports: Kent Online
; Express and Star
; Daily Mail
.What did Pardew think of it: "I'm not that arrogant as a person to think I haven't learned a lot this year in terms of this division. Some of it has surprised me."A bottle of fizzy pop for:
Leroy Lita. But did that goal mean more to him than it did for the team?