Iceberg ahead!

Wednesday 3rd October 2012 14:47

Powell: must find calmer waters

Powell: must find calmer waters

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FanZoner Stuart Heaver is staying aboard the good ship Charlton while others head for the lifeboat.

Addicks must keep their heads after dip in form

We are only six games into the season but panic is already breaking out in SE7.

Hard bitten Addicks supporters who have suffered more than their fair share of football misery on the SS Charlton over recent seasons can already be seen running and screaming like terrified children for the lifeboats.

Just four points from a possible eighteen means we have hit a small iceberg which has left the Addicks uncomfortably close to the relegation zone and we really don't want to be washed overboard and back into the freezing, dark and polluted waters of League 1.

It's really horrible down there and even the faint prospect of a weekend in Oldham or Rochdale sees us all reaching for the anti-depressants and a life jacket.

For those whose teams are more used to gracing the upper divisions of the national sport, you might not appreciate just what it's really like down there in the deep abyss. Most of the visiting teams are bankrupt, in administration, or have been recently taken over by mad Arab tycoons who want the club rebranded as the Camels and the team to play in Bedouin head-dress.

The style played is awful more akin to Aussie rules than association football. All away fixtures seem to be at least 800 miles from London, held on a rainy Tuesday night when all rail networks and motorways are (of course) subject to essential maintenance work (usually one bloke wearing a high visibility jacket drinking tea in a van parked on a hard shoulder somewhere near Northampton).

Don't even ask about the visiting support. I can still remember the midweek game against MK Dons. Only six away fans arrived in a white mini-bus and even they refused to sit together. Spread out in the Jimmy Seed stand like the last few unwanted and slightly rotten vegetables on a greengrocer's stall.

There is only one upside to League 1 and that is Hartlepool who should be awarded automatic promotion purely on the basis of their fans who are completely bonkers and would add much needed humour and personality to any league in the world.

But Hartlepool aside, most Charlton fans would rather sleep with their own mother-in-law than face another season in League 1. In fact, some Charlton fans would just prefer to sleep with their mother-in-law but that is another matter entirely.

So what can be done to settle nerves and steady the Charlton ship?

scapegoat

Rather than suggest a tactical change or an area to work on in training, some fans prefer to select a convenient scapegoat and then give him as much stick as possible. They conveniently forget that we have three of our best players injured (Rhoys Wiggins, Yann Kermogant and captain Jonny Jackson) and focus entirely on hurling abuse at new signing Laurie Wilson who has filled in at right back since the Wiggins injury.

Poor old Wilson was playing for Stevenage Borough last season and his debut was trying to keep pace with the mesmerising treble step overs of Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha, a winger so slippery and tricky that his services are required in the Premiership.

Even as poor Wilson was valiantly trying to work out where the football was located in relation to Zaha's swirling feet, a moronic minority of Charlton fans started shouting abuse at the fella. To be fair, these fans probably do not have degrees in clinical psychology (or even an IQ in double figures, for that matter) but even a cretin could work out that shouting abuse at your own player making his debut in a tough match is hardly likely to fill him with confidence and allow him to improve his game.

There was a brief chink of hope after an away win at Ipswich Town (a famous club now so poor that their star player was actually on loan with us in League 1) and a spirited and classy home draw with Blackburn Rovers (a famous team so talented and lazy that at 1-1 they started a game of cards amongst themselves in the centre circle).

But that brief outbreak of crew morale ended like watching the rescue vessel sail past without seeing our smoke signals and waving arms. Losing at home to 10-man Watford sent our emergency flares shooting into the night sky.

Chris Powell is so loved and respected in these parts that he would have to be found cavorting naked in the showers with the entire team and backroom staff of Millwall football club to provoke criticism but when you hit an iceberg and the panic sets in, even the captain of the ship is under pressure.

Let's keep the faith that Captain Chris can place a steady hand on the tiller and sail us to the promised land of mid table obscurity. With fixtures at Blackpool and Wolves on the horizon there are some very choppy waters ahead.

Charlton Athletic Bloggers

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