The 4 big problems with Charlton Athletic
Charlton are desperately struggling for form and a victory seems a very long way away. Their winless run has extended to ten matches following the 3-0 defeat to Middlesbrough on Saturday. We focus on the four major issues surrounding the team that Interim Head Coach Karel Fraeye has inherited at The Valley.
At this moment in time it seems as though The Addicks are walking onto the pitch already believing that a defeat is a strong possibility. Most fans are probably attending matches with that very tough as well. Obviously these are professional footballers, so they want to give their all and do their best for the club. However recent performances just aren’t proving that to their loyal supporters. Against Middlesbrough, it was a game they could go into without any pressure. Middlesbrough had just knocked out Manchester United in the Capital One Cup, and it was a free hit for Charlton. However they spent lengthy periods back behind the ball, showing very little ambition to win the game. They cannot get any worse at the moment, so they may as well start to open up a bit more and be more expressive.
There is nothing worse for a coach or a manager to see from his team on the pitch than this. There is very little that he can physically do to change this. Perhaps there are other factors which are causing them to happen, but the fact of the matter is that too many players are making too many mistakes. Defensively is the biggest starting point for this. They have only kept two clean sheets all season and a third seems a very long way away. Even if they would earn a third, the best they could hope for would be a draw it seems. There is a lack of balance in the team at this moment in time but players need to stand up and take responsibility. They don’t score many, so it is important that they are much stronger at the back. They need to get backs to basics.
Lack of goalscorers
There simply isn’t enough talent in this Charlton team at this moment in time. Vetokele being out injured is a big miss, but even when he returns, he cannot be expected to change everything by himself. They played one up front at the Riverside Stadium on Saturday, that being the towering figure of Palermo loan man Simon Makienok. However he is dependent on specific service and desperately needs additional support from others as well. That only happened until the second half when the likes of Reza Ghoochannejhad was introduced from the bench. They only had one shot of note in that game and that was as a result of a Middlesbrough individual error. Going forward, the team need more players in dangerous areas for opponents. Otherwise they won’t create chances and won’t win football matches.
This is obviously understandable given the recent run of events, particularly the bad results on the pitch. However this is a Charlton team that has proved in the recent past that they are capable of putting a run of results together. Clearly there is big room for improvement in this area. Restore this, and they’ll start picking up results again. Although it is never as simple as that, they won’t get anywhere fast playing as they are right now! They frustrated Middlesbrough for an hour and kept the game at 0-0, which was quite impressive, although slightly fortunate at the same time. They weren’t necessarily playing with confidence whilst within this structure though. The only way they’ll do this is by being bolder in attack and looking to create chances. Otherwise the best they can hope for is a smash and grab victory, and that isn’t a good way of building continuity, rhythm or momentum. This has to be the most important variable that Fraeye needs to improve. Maybe take them paintballing or go-karting?