On Tuesday night, despite the fact I was not there myself, from reading a range of reports, it was perceived that Charlton played their best football of the season at Vale Park in the first half, but a lack of clinical finishes costed Charlton in the end, after the game ending at 1-1.
Promising signs, a strong squad and set of talented footballers clearly bringing the confidence from the 3-0 victory against Coventry City.
But what happened at Gillingham?
Russell Slade and his incompetence as a football manager is what happened!
Not only did he really insult everyone at the end of the game against Port Vale, by directing sarcastic comments at the 250 fans who travelled all the way up to Stoke on Tuesday. He also deferred all responsibility for the performance on Tuesday, and past performances on a lack of intent from the Charlton players. Don’t get me wrong, he has a point, but as a manager and a leader, it is up to you to be responsible for your team and drive them to success, not chuck them under the bus to save your own skin.
After simply disgraceful comments from a “leader” – Charlton fans were quite clear on social media, stating that he better start getting results quickly!
I was stupid enough in my match preview to think we would destroy Gillingham, predicting the final score as 3-0. However, in my humble opinion, not a prediction unrealistic.
Gillingham are a side who had conceded 26 going into the game against the Addicks. Whereas, Charlton have only conceded 13 this season, which is the only impressive statistic under Slade’s stewardship.
Now I am no football manager, in fact I am training to be a referee with the London FA, not trying to obtain my managerial badges in any way. However, what you would expect with the appointment of any manager, is an understanding of the armory you have access to, which he clearly does not.
Instead of approaching Saturday with an attacking intent and structuring a machine ready to drive and create goals, we set up with Slade’s incompetent 4-5-1, playing very deep in our own half. A bizarre decision.
This strategic and tactical choice leading the away end of fans to sing and chant of their discontent with Slade, and instructing the man to change to 4-4-2. Slade listened, removing Jacko at half time, replacing the skipper with Ajose who played up front next to Maggenis, and later Novak.
However, the players are clearly not playing with any determination, spirit or fight.
If it was not for a rather unprofessional referee, who I have no idea how he has climbed to the officiating echelon of the EFL, Charlton Athletic would have definitely lost all three points. The referee providing a second penalty for Charlton, after the Addicks missed their first one, which was taken by Ricky Holmes. The second one being put behind the Gillingham keeper, rather strongly, by the lost-and-found Nicky Ajose.
Now I have mentioned already, how Slade has lost the fans, but the celebration of Ajose, and the lack of fight from a talented squad shows quite clearly that Slade has lost the dressing room too!
After scoring a good penalty, Ajose sprinted over to the dug-out where the bald idiot stood, and Ajose pounded his chest, indicating that it was his talent, and his football prowess which has saved Chartlon Athletic and Slade from an embarrassing result. Slade responding by brushing him away, and denying the intent of Ajose’s celebration in the post-match interview.
This means Slade is denying players their talent and skill they can offer to our beloved club, based on his ridiculous ego. It is clear that he has fractured relationships behind the scenes, and that is transgressing onto the pitch and our performances.
Slade has to be fired as soon as possible. Preferably this week, otherwise we are doomed for a relegation fight and will continue to fall into the crypts of the EFL. We are a team with a top six budget, with promotion being a minimum target, a squad capable of that, but with over a quarter of a season complete, we currently sit 17th.
Charlton Athletic have not ever been in League Two, but under Slade’s stewardship we will be relegated or finish near the bottom!
Slade has lost the fans, Slade has lost the dressing room, Slade has lost our football club! I understand how our ownership is a parasite which has riddled our club with a disease, but Slade is leading the pitch performances and they are not good enough!