Tuesday, September 13, 2011

A right-back to write home about

Charlton’s performance against Exeter on Saturday was not as intoxicating as we would have liked. In fact, it was pretty poor.

However, there were a couple of positives: the three points, of course, but also another excellent display from Chris Solly.

The Addicks right-back may lack the dynamism of Frazer Richardson – and, thankfully, Simon Francis’ concentration span – but he makes up for that with his intelligence on the ball.

Solly begins many of our attacks, has a fantastic understanding with the winger in front of him, Scott Wagstaff; and, as Saturday’s crossbar will testify, has a pretty fierce shot on him.

Yet, he has shown during the embryonic stages of this season that he is possibly the most defensively adept full-back Charlton have had in some time.

He has a diminutive stature – as forumers on Charlton Life never tire of telling you – but that very rarely proves his downfall, and he has come out on top in most of his duels with opposition wingers.

The Addicks youth product seems pretty unflappable, makes excellent decisions, and mops things up at the back very well when Michael Morrison and Matt Taylor have their dodgy moments.

It has taken Solly a while to cement a place in the Charlton side but now he’s there, he’ll take some shifting.

After Saturday’s trip to the Valley, I opted to watch football from my sofa the following day.

With a cup of tea and a quartet of crumpets at hand, I decided to peruse ESPN’s Serie A offering of Juventus v Parma, the first competitive game at the new Juventus Arena.

The hosts – augmented by a summer recruitment drive that saw them sign Andrea Pirlo, Mirko Vucinic and buccaneering Swiss right-back Stephan Lichtsteiner – were brilliant in claiming a comprehensive 4-0 victory.

What made the game even more enjoyable was the work of the co-commentator – Addicks alumnus Mervyn Day. Our erstwhile first-team coach made some very well–structured and incisive points, something that many ‘analysts’ fail to do. Well done Merv!

Charlton are back in action tonight against Preston in the Carling Cup, an extremely winnable tie even if Chris Powell, as expected, makes a cavalcade of changes.

Bradley Pritchard, Cedric Evina and Jason Euell are all likely to get run-out and we may even see Mikel Alonso – if he exists that is.