Thursday, September 23, 2010

A look ahead to...Dagenham

I could begin this post by commenting on Charlton's fall from grace and our opponents' ascent to it, but having trod that path in my Notts County preview a couple of weeks ago, I won't rehash such banal spiel - I'll leave that to the speakers at the Liberal Democrat Party conference.

Instead, I'm going to focus on the hear and now. The previous few games have seen plenty of tweaks to the Charlton first team, some due to injury and others due to poor displays or tactical reshuffling - and it's fair to say that most of these minor adjustments haven't worked.

After collecting seven points from our initial three encounters, we have accrued just five from our last four, a situation made all the more frustrating because, Huddersfield aside, the teams we have faced are not as good as us. I blame Parky's mode of transmogrify for our relative mini-slump. I'm not opposed to change, I just don't like the way he is doing it.

In our first trio of matches, we were not carving teams apart and seducing all that watched us, we were merely efficient. Amongst that competence, however, there were some stand-out performances.

Scott Wagstaff looked lively and more mature on the right flank, Lee Martin seemed perfectly at home in that elusive position just off the main frontman, Pawel Abbott was an assured presence up top, and Chris Solly - whether starting or making encouraging appearances from the bench - was a vital cog.

But in the search for perfection - or as close as he is ever going to get to it with a League One side - Parky has opted to calibrate. The problem is in making those adaptions, he has dispensed with what was working in the first place, and left the problem areas unresolved.

Wagstaff, although he started last week, has generally reverted to "super sub", Martin has dropped back into a right-wing berth he doesn't feel as comfortable in, Solly has bizarrely disappeared from the matchday 18, and last week Abbott was benched, yet the under-performing Jose Semedo (yes, I have just come out with that bold statement) is a shoe-in to start, as is unconvincing left-back Johnnie Jackson.

I can sort of see Parky's logic; he reportedly spent a princely sum on Paul Benson, Solly's replacement Simon Francis is one of the best right-backs at this level when on his game (something he began to show against Notts County) and playing Martin wide does allow you to play two strikers rather than one - but all the vicissitudes have punctured any momentum and fluidity we had, not heightened it.

It's time for Parky to step up. If he has any idea what his best XI is he needs to select it and stick with it, and if he is still in a state of ponder, then he must make the correct alterations, and not just change for change's sake. We have more than enough to defeat the struggling Daggers at the weekend, but any more peculiar modifications and it could be a difficult afternoon.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

According to the club. Solly is injured and Abbott has a niggling calf injury............