Charlton slipped to a fourth defeat in six games as League One leaders Sheffield Wednesday stretched their unbeaten run to 20 with victory in SE7. Here’s Louis Mendez’s four takeaways from the clash at The Valley.
A NARROW LOSS
Another defeat against a side pushing for promotion – but this one was a lot narrower than it could have been. Indeed, an improvement inside the closing stages meant that the Addicks nearly took an unexpected point.
Wednesday came flying out of the traps and had already hit the post through Barry Bannan when Liam Palmer opened the scoring on nine minutes. Darren Moore’s side continued to dominate play and were unfortunate not to extend the lead further with chances coming and going for the likes of Palmer and Dom Iorfa.
Charlton didn’t register a shot on or off target in the first period – but they did improve after the break. Miles Leaburn, back in the side after missing the last three with a hip complaint, wasted the best chance as he dragged wide from inside the area.
Corey Blackett-Taylor and Chuks Aneke saw shots palmed out by Owls stopper Cameron Dawson but the Addicks lost their edge when Aneke was stretchered off ten minutes from time. A third home loss on the spin for the Addicks.
CHASMS IN THE DEFENCE
A shift in formation to 3-5-2 saw Charlton introduce an additional centre-half to the line-up – but that somehow only created a gaping chasm in the Addicks defence. Palmer was afforded so much time and space on the edge of the six-yard box for the opener.
The South Londoners failed to heed that warning minutes later when the same man was left alone once more to get a shot off that was well saved by Ashley Maynard-Brewer.
The change in shape was made in order to match Sheffield Wednesday up in part – but in the first period we saw Charlton’s backline get dragged out of shape too easily.
No matter who the personnel have been in the Addicks rear guard this campaign, they’ve struggled to keep the ball out of the net. Only three sides have kept fewer clean sheets than Charlton’s six. But in a season of defensive lapses – that goal for Palmer has to be down there with the very worst of them.
MORE BAD LUCK FOR ANEKE
Another injury for Chuks Aneke. The Addicks forward want down grasping at his hamstring after battling with Iorfa for possession of the ball, just 23 minutes after being introduced from the bench.
He’s now set for a third spell out injured of the season and a fourth since his return to the club from Birmingham City just over a year ago.
The former Arsenal forward has only featured in 22 of the 53 games the Addicks have played since his second debut for the club at Cheltenham last season. That’s less than half – and he’s only been able to start five of those contests.
A consistently fit Chuks Aneke is a player who could play part of a squad that challenges for promotion. But sadly for Charlton, much like the rest of a squad that could challenge for promotion, a consistently fit Chuks Aneke is something the Addicks don’t possess.
SOMEONE NEEDS TO PUT THE CLUB FIRST
That promotion-worthy squad isn’t going to appear out of thin air this summer. But the concern currently surrounding the ownership at The Valley will need ironing out before the summer for there to be any hope that can happen.
The posturing from Charlie Methven, threatening legal action against Sandgaard, could cause a delay in any other change at the helm.
Whilst Methven’s threats may or may not be followed through on, it says all you need to know about the calibre of individual who start to circle when there’s the sniff of cash in the air. Personal profit takes priority over what is best for the club. Charlton will always struggle whilst this remains the case.
PHOTOS: PAUL EDWARDS
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