Has there been a more tired, flat-footed first-half performance from Charlton in recent history?
The Addicks’ weren’t even out-battled by a superior team on Saturday.
Gillingham looked like the side they were – without a win in five and lacking ideas.
But Charlton were still no match for their Kent rivals in that initial 45 minutes.
Post-match Russell Slade pointed at a virus through the club as the main reason for the lacklustre display and the front three looked like they were all suffering.
Illness aside, Josh Magennis has the best excuse having played five high-intensity games in 15 days, which made the outburst from the fans at his substitution mid-way in the second difficult to comprehend.
The withdrawal – for Lee Novak, the man who won the penalty for the long-awaited equaliser – proved an unfair reason for the chants of “you don’t have clue” aimed at Slade but even with Nicky Ajose’s late conversion the manager is deservedly facing pressure.
At 17th position, now nearly in November, the cracks in this squad are all too clear.
The tired wingers Ricky Holmes and Ademola Lookman beg the question, where’s the back up?
This should be the time for Jordan Botaka to take some of the strain but the on-loan winger is seemingly injured.
In a competitive division, the side cannot rely on just two wide men, so Botaka needs to return sharpish.
Along with that, there’s virtually no competition in the central midfield positions.
Was it really tiredness which caused the lethargic first half? Because some of the same players picked up their game after the break.
Last Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Port Vale saw Slade be critical of the players after the match and the 11 on the pitch certainly didn’t look happy.
Is the manager beginning to lose the dressing room?
As stated in this column last week , Slade’s leaving would do nothing positive for the club which has an addiction to hiring the wrong people.
However, the manager needs to address the issues creeping into the squad.
The last minute equaliser at Gillingham was a huge Get Out Of Jail card for the side but fans are far from happy with one win in 10 games.
A six-day break before a home match against a side second from bottom with five losses on the bounce, means Saturday’s game against Chesterfield is one for no excuses.
Six points away from the play-offs it’s too early to worry but another poor result and it will be a different story.