Ooof. The old league table looks ‘orrible from your perspective and you have only a couple of wins since late August to boast about. Apart from conceding loads of goals and not scoring many, what's the problem?
Oh if only it were simply a case of letting too many in and not scoring enough. Our position in the league table is the consequence of an ownership regime whose philosophies are flawed, management is laughable, and behaviour is divorcing supporters from the club.
That isn't to take responsibility for our on-the-pitch struggles away from the majority of the players, who lack quality and the sort of mentality required to triumph in adversity, but the source of every fault is the horrendous mismanagement of the club since Roland Duchatelet bought it in January 2014.
The squad lacks in just about everything you could think of - depth, quality, experience and mental resolve among the absent factors - but that is a result of Duchatelet's 'strategy'. Players recruited from Europe by a flawed scouting network, proper investment into the playing staff unwilling to be made, and the potentially profitable academy heavily relied upon. The bench is a crèche each week, featuring players that should be nowhere near the first team, and the starting XI not much better.
Then there's the 'interim' head coach, Karel Fraeye. The fifth manager/head coach - the previous four bemoaning the regime quite emphatically - that has occupied The Valley's home dugout under Duchatelet. Plucked from the third tier of Belgian football, having been a former network scout and one-time assistant coach in SE7, Fraeye has been appointed not for his ability to win games of football but for his acceptance of and within Duchatelet's system. His demeanour and tactical naivety is laughable.
And finally, there's an unwillingness to accept any failings. Katrien Meire, Duchatelet's CEO, stubbornly standing by the principles of this failing regime with an incredible ignorance. A bizarre justification existing for every decision, a belief that only "two percent" of supporters are against the regime, and suggesting that it's weird that supporters, who are nothing more than cinema goers, have a connection with their club. The same supporters that fought so hard to get their club back to The Valley, not that she cares much for the club's history.
In fact, events on the pitch have become relatively unimportant in recent weeks. Victories would not appease most of the Addicks, with Meire's conduct inciting further anger. Laughing at protests, an insulting public appearance in which she boasted about the failing strategy, and ignoring an approach from former CEO Peter Varney in an incredibly ignorant fashion. Her ability to keep making the situation worse is remarkable.
Sorry, that was a bit of a rant. I'm calm now.
It’s ok – let it all out. We’re listening. It sounds rubbish. Are you doomed or after a good old rub of the belly and a long old ear scratch, are you going to be OK?
Unless there is wholesale change, we're doomed. Although we're not far from safety in terms of points, that gap will only get larger given the current state of the club. The other teams around us, although not possessing great quality, are led by decent and knowledgeable head coaches/managers, and have squads with a degree of fight and unity. Only Bolton appear in as bleak a situation as us from a purely on-the-pitch perspective.
I have absolutely no faith whatsoever in this regime to make the improvements needed to the squad in January, or even get round to appointing a head coach, so League One awaits unless they move on.
Can we take a moment to share a ripple of applause for Colin Walsh? He was great for us before he came to your lot.
In these troubled times, the special moments of the past become even more adored. Walsh's winner against Portsmouth on Charlton's return to The Valley in 1992 is one of those. Before my time, unfortunately, but still something I value the importance of. "And a shot, and goal! By Walsh! And it becomes the perfect start!"
This snippet is lovely and makes us go all tingly. The goal of which we speak is 1 minute and 53 seconds in:
Anything else you care to get off your chest?
There is a significant protest planned for after the game on Saturday outside the West Stand. If Forest supporters aren't in any rush to get home, or consume alcohol, their support would be appreciated. Details here - http://www.votvonline.com/
What possible reasons can you provide for you stuffing us on Saturday?
Any faint hopes of victory are crushed by injuries to players that would be at the heart of a positive performance. The defence is a shambles without Patrick Bauer, and attacking flair unlikely with Johann Berg Gudmundsson and Ademola Lookman probably absent. While Stephen Henderson stands in goal, Chris Solly battles at full-back, and Johnnie Jackson provides inspiration in the middles, there's something to support, but there's too many weak links. Enjoy your win.
Blimey. That kind of talk can only lead to one thing - a sudden resurgence in form for Charlton Athletic.
Our huge thanks for Kyle for this and really, if you aren't in a hurry to get back home, any support for the planned protest would be gratefully received. You never know - it could be us one day.
There has been lots of internet 'chatter' and 'intelligence' regarding a meet up in The Antigallican Pub pre game for something as far removed from a 'bit of a dust-up' as you can imagine - more like convivial drinks really. Come along. The Rose of Denmark pub is also excellent for a few cheeky shandies.
Fond memories of The Valley. This is why:
The Valley was also the scene for Mr Davies' first game in charge in January 2009 - another 2-0 victory.