The Valley of Dreams it was not
If ever there was a need to bring back a huge missing part of the Valley, the anniversary return designed to rekindle 25 years ago should have been the celebration that would melt the hearts of the most stubborn of supporters. The build up to this historical game started weeks ago and received the right additives when past players who were involved in the first game where presented to the fans bar in an emotional era gone by.
The biggest reception by far was reserved for the legendary Clive Mendonca. Very fitting and well deserved. There was a feeling of real pride for many who were privileged to be part of this reunion of some of Charlton`s greats. Colin Walsh also was a guest speaker. Of course all who were there 25 years ago would have known that Colin was the hero of the day when he slotted home the winner on 7 minutes.
The build-up continued right up to the first whistle that promised to be a fitting memory jerker from yesteryear, but delivered nothing. Does that sound harsh? Yes it meant too. The Addicks started brightly enough with some good team play that had the Valley bussing. But as in the game of 25 years ago there was not to be a hero amongst the ranks of Addicks players, but sadly we fell short of the same commitment shown by the boys of 25 years whose determination to prove that the return to the Valley was justified.
Should we have sympathy for Josh Magennis? I reserve my real feelings on his performance for my conscience. I will however open up on the performance of Ricky Holmes. His footballing skills are amongst the best we have had down the Valley. Yet for reason only known to him, he seemed to have lost the technique of basic skills that brought the home crowd to their feet every time he made one of his trade-mark runs at defenders with one aim and that was, to score great goals. I hope this is only a short relapse and he will be back to his confidence self.
Another player I`m critical about is, Aribo. He appears out of his depths. His footballing skills at this level are questionable. I`m puzzled along with many who witnessed his performance in why Robinson insist on playing him when it is clear the position on the pitch has him struggling. If my opinion is worth anything, give Leon Best a start I`m sure he can`t do any worse, at the very least there is experience in Best of many years playing for various clubs.
Sadly, the signs are not encouraging. Our league position is in danger if we continue to play football as predictable as we have done in this far from convincing performance. The Addicks had a chance to show what they are all about. Not only for the supporters who turned out for this memorial occasion, but for the whole football world who would have shared our joy and took note on the outcome.
We are back was the slogan of that Memorial Day. Against Portsmouth we did not give the supporters the outcome they deserved. Yesterday, the joy turned into anger. In my mind, the season is just beginning. Tough games are coming up. Blackburn Rovers, Wigan Athletic, who are both pushing for promotion. We need to do something soon to rectify our dismal performances, otherwise the gap is going to widen further that will leave us with a mountain to climb. Are we good enough?