Charlton’s 1-0 home defeat to Oxford on Tuesday (February 21) was painful and keeps the Addicks 13th. Here’s five things we learned from another miserable match at The Valley.
1. Charlton keeping breaking (the wrong) records
Before last night, Charlton had been unbeaten at home against Oxford since the year dot. That’s 20 matches without losing.
Of course, all records are made to be broken but, under this current regime, it seems Charlton are just breaking all the wrong records.
Oxford, the cheery little club with a few cheap and harmless players, have historically been the whipping boys. But times have changed. They did the bullying this time round.
2. On paper Charlton have the best defence in League One.
They have players at the back who are strong, fast and experienced. And they’ve got strength in depth. So how have they crumbled so often and at such key points in matches?
This month alone, Fleetwood and Wimbledon scored crucial late equalisers against the Addicks, while goal-shy Rochdale fired three past the Londoners.
Time and again they looked shaky against Oxford. Few teams have conceded less than Charlton but the side has looked particularly leaky of late.
Maybe it’s the downside of a number of inexperienced players being drafted in? Or maybe it’s the eager Karl Robinson’s gung-ho tactics. Either way it’s a recipe for disaster.
3. Charlton’s new signings were the worst of a bad bunch
Jake Forster-Caskey, Nathan Byrne and Lewis Page were all verging on the atrocious. How the former pair lasted 56 minutes only Robinson knows.
And the performance of the poor left-back Page would have had the harshest Morgan Fox critic doubting his judgement.
4. There is one exception
Stephy Mavididi can be exempt from the list of shame for his marauding runs and smacking the woodwork twice. The 18-year-old seems to be the latest in a list of Arsene Wenger loanees to shine for Charlton stretching back to Alex Song over a decade ago. Even Yaya Sanogo found some form in south-east London. Mavididi has pace, skill and a huge future.
5. Robinson may not last the season in the hot-seat
Roland Duchatelet is in charge but, considering his continual absence, it’s always been difficult to know who pulls the strings and who has their finger on the trigger at Charlton.
But whoever it is, knowledge of dwindling crowds, angry supporters and a failure to win in the last five makes for very uncomfortable reading.
Russell Slade lasted 16 league games and Robinson has now managed 14. The pair have near identical records. That says it all.