Where was the Pride?
Addicks supporters might have just forgiven Karl Robinson for losing against Wigan Athletic, which in itself was a bitter pill to swallow. But on Saturday against a Gillingham side, who had yet to record a win, the Addicks had a nightmare. On form this should have been no contest. The Gills propped up the third tier and went into this game fearing the worse. With good reason, after all the Addicks are third in the table having dispatched better sides on their way.
But as in previous campaigns the Addicks good start to a season went AWOL allowing the Gills to take control. We seemed to whither and had a problem organising ourselves which by all account made the home side look superior. We really do have this problem when it comes to teams that are struggling. Instead of making amends for a poor performance last outing, we continued this by becoming complacent and by lowering our guard. Our attitude towards this game had the wrong approach because we were probably thinking that this will be an easy win.
No game is easy in this division. We should play our kind of football by moving the ball fast and stick to the game plan set out at the team talk. I find it very difficult to accept that the display by our boys was the plan set out by Robinson and Bower. It makes no sense that we have reverted back to playing without conviction, structure, finesse and the attacking options that served us so well when we won the five games.
How many times have I stated in my articles that we need to be more ruthless? I have lost count to be honest. Furthermore, I`m also conscious of how are we going to make any sort of impact for promotion with only one striker up front. Against Wigan we drew a blank. No surprise there. But at Priestfield, in spite of having 26 shots with 12 being on target, there cannot be any excuse for not making some off them count.
Humiliation at the hands of the Gills may have been the last straw. Ricky Holmes have already accumulated four bookings and was one short of an instant ban. He showed his frustration by bouncing the ball hard which earned him his fifth booking and a one match ban. The referee did apologise for being a little hasty, but that is little consolation for Ricky who must sit it out against Bury.
That just about had summed up the Addicks afternoon. We lost our most influential player who has been in the foreground of our wins so far through a moment of madness. I can understand why Ricky reacted in this manner. In my mind he always gives hundred percent. Some of the ball play on the by-line by Ricky should have been dealt with better by Magennis who was in a goal scoring position more than one occasion. It proves that one meaningful striker is not the way forward.
For all our pains and endeavours and chances created it was not going to be our day. The same was not said about Gillingham. Not that they had many opportunities to score, but when it did come they took a chance with pleasure. Clare`s free-kick rather bizarrely saved by Amos, seemed a comfortable one to deal with but instead pushed on the bar. The follow-up headed home by Gabriel Zakuani was off-side. The Gills winner came on the 54th minute and this time they made no mistake. Gillingham`s Clare sent Elmer through and got it right while a statuesque visiting defence watched on as if they were admiring the event. The ball across the face of goal found Eaves and the forward gave Amos no chance.
Was this a deserved win? Not really, but then again we did not do enough either to get the three points. We should have had if the form book is anything to go by. But one thing I will say and it is abundantly clear that whether Karl Robinson`s team talk was or wasn`t adhered too, he owes all who went to Kent expecting a good result a huge apology. There is no excuse for a performance against a rock-bottom team who are there because they play under par football.
Sort it out Robinson, no more slip ups.