Into The Valley
Homeward bound tonight to spend the second week of the Easter holidays with my son and parents, and a few thousand Addicks tomorrow and Saturday.
Tomorrow night at The Valley has all the makings of a nervy night for my son's first ever game under the floodlights. A decent crowd will hopefully remain patient and give the players a platform to play well. I personally would dispatch Lloyd Sam and find a place for Jonjo. Perhaps moving Bailey again, this time to the right and moving Shelvey into an advanced role between the midfielders and Forster.
Having said that, I haven't seen Forster play, at least for us, but he's not the tallest and unless we are discliplined to play the ball along the floor, he might not be best suited to play the solitary role. Therefore without knowing the status of Burton's injury I'd play Shelvey alongside a sitting Semedo with Akpo Sodje up front with Forster. Colchester will be big and ugly and having Akpo in there will help us on the niggly battles front. Racon has to be relegated to the bench, even though I am a big fan and I layed out bets at Bournemouth that he would get 10 goals this season. It must have been the seaside air.
Frustratingly, a lot this season we don't appeared to have played to our strengths, escalated by Parkinson, like his incumbent seemingly not knowing his best team or formation. To be fair to the manager even more frustrating is that not one player has broken out into having a stormer of a season. Many of them, in fact most of them have just played well, often exceptionally well, in parts.
If the player of the year voting sheets were out tomorrow night, who would you vote for? I think this underscores my point and probably explains the position we find ourselves in and Dailly aside each player has been droppable on at least one occassion. Also ask yourselves how many Charlton players will appear in the League One end of season team? In September we could have realistically expected Elliot, Richardson, Dailly, Youga, Bailey, Semedo, Racon, Shelvey, Burton and Sam all to have a shout. I reckon Bailey might be our only one.
Anyway 41 games have been consigned to the record books and the next five or eight are all that matters and this is the focus Parky needs to bring. The Southampton game, despite by all accounts a decent performance and a fighting finish, is done. Saturday only proved what we knew already, that we are not a top-two side.
I'm hoping to see a bit of adventure tomorrow night, dictating the play early and I hope to be in fine voice. A couple of pre-match beers will help. Hope to see you there.