The Blades Cut above Charlton
The first thing Karl Robinson needs to do is to strengthen his defence. The tissue paper back line gets penetrated far too easy for us to be a force to be reckoned with. It doesn`t matter how good your keeper is, if the defenders in front of him have a problem shutting the door on the oppositions strike force. How many times have we now gone in front only to be pegged back within minutes of taking the lead? Not good enough for any division let alone the one we are in.
Ricky Holmes again was in fine form striking a blow against the league leaders with his trade mark free kick. His excellent effort on three minutes when the ball flew over the wall and beyond the fingertips of Simon Moore, from the on, one could be excused in thinking the men in purple were the home team. Tony Watt, who has been influential since his return, was unlucky not to add to his tally with an overhead kick that clipped the crossbar with the keeper beaten.
Controlling the game as the Addicks did makes the Blades` equaliser on fourteen minutes hard to take. Against the run of play and their first meaningful foray forward, the Blades` Jack O`Connell had the faintest of touches from Mark Duffy`s wicked delivery from the right. This was a cruel blow for the Addicks. In my view we should have handled this better. Defensive errors have been our problem all season. To make matter worse, none of the goals conceded where block busters. Declan Rudd could also take some of the blame because some of the goals against us were soft and should have been dealt with.
The position of Sheffield Utd was always going to tell in the end. The pattern of the game changed giving advantage to the home side. Although Robinson`s men still made advances forward, it was the blades who were starting to dictate the game. The first period drew to a close and the Addicks were not dealing with the Blades gaining a foothold, it was no surprise when Daniel Lafferty, having seen Rudd make the initial safe but parrying the shot that put the Blades were back in front.
Cruel as the game of football is, we have only ourselves to blame. The blades were not playing in top gear. They were wasteful, which should have given Robinson`s Addicks a boost to find an equaliser that the determination deserved after breaking into the oppositions with regularity despite being penned back into their own half. The first-half was crisp with the Addicks splitting their defence. But with Konsa missing chances and Holmes getting the jitters in front of goal, we lacked consistency that has and will always be punished.
Is it fate or just good football practise that has the Blades pushing for the title with Chris Wilder? When we look back at the time we were looking for a manager to take the Addicks forward, Chris Wilder was a strong contender for the job. How do all the supporters out there view our plight against what could have been if Wilder took the manager`s job at Charlton. Do any of us think if he was our manager he could have moulded the players we have into a winning unit.
We will never know, but looking in what he has achieved at Sheffield, we can only surmise it might have been possible. Anyway. No point in thinking what might have been. We need to stick with Carl Robinson who has at least shown the ability to get the best out of what he has. Although it is clear there is a strong need for a revamp at Charlton in the new period. The program of games clearly showed who had the energy and quality to challenge for a place in next seasons campaign.
And it remains, after many weeks without any sort of fight and effort from the team, a source of solace that some fight has been discovered. It is a real pity that we never showed the commitment and team spirit throughout this campaign that was evident at Bramall line. We made the leaders work for the win that has pushed them further towards the league title. No disgrace at the loss. We played as we should have done all season. Next season we need to address all the area`s that have been our downfall and push for the title. There is no reason why we can`t be the best there is.