Charlton AthleticSport

‘That’s not football’ – Charlton boss Ben Garner says side must learn to deal with Port Vale’s ‘anti-football’ style

Charlton boss Ben Garner said his side have to learn how to deal with sides playing ‘anti-football’.

The Addicks fell to a 1-0 defeat at Port Vale on Saturday thanks to Daniel Butterworth’s strike early in the second-half. The South Londoners enjoyed 65 per cent of the ball but only had one shot on target to show for their efforts. The Valiants were happy to sit in and soak up Charlton’s attempts to get forward and frustrate Garner in the process.

He said: “Port Vale are like 80 per cent of teams in this league. They just set out to stop you playing. There’s no ambition for them to go and attack and take the game to you. They’re at home today and their whole ambition was to sit and stop us. Make it a dull game and try and nick it 1-0, which they did.

“It’s hard playing against that on a surface like that but it’s no excuse. We have to do better than we did.  We didn’t show enough character and personality for me. I’ve had some strong words in there. I’ll be expecting a response on Tuesday and Saturday.

“Horrible, would by my summary. A horrible pitch. A horrible performance. A very disappointing afternoon.

“The way [Port Vale] play, they play anti-football. They just want to stop you. We weren’t good enough with the ball. We didn’t fight enough without it. Didn’t show enough brightness. And then we give a horrendous goal away. That gives them something to hold onto and they can kill the game.

“As horrible as the game was, at 0-0 you’ve got a chance to go on and win it. Not many positives in there this afternoon. We have to be much better than that.

“[Port Vale’s style] can be effective, but for me that’s not football. For me it’s about trying to win the game. I always want to be the team trying to win the game and being the protagonist. Everyone chooses how they play but they sat literally just to stop us and disrupt. We have to solve that. We have to be better and look at ourselves.

“We didn’t do enough. Last 15-20 minutes of the first-half we had good control, had them pinned back but we didn’t want to make the hard runs. We didn’t want to make the runs behind, play the forward pass. We took safe options. We’ve got to be braver.”

The Addicks have conceded ten goals in their last four leagues games. Butterworth was allowed too much time and space to drive into the area and shoot despite three Charlton defenders being close by.

“Our shape behind the ball was terrible,” added Garner.

“We work on it every single week. I could see the chance coming ten seconds before it happened. We weren’t switched on at the back. He waltzes past three players and puts it in the bottom corner. We keep letting in poor goals. We have looked a threat in the attacking sense but our quality in the final-third was nowhere near where it should be. We have to take responsibility and step up and play better.”


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2 thoughts on “‘That’s not football’ – Charlton boss Ben Garner says side must learn to deal with Port Vale’s ‘anti-football’ style

  • David John Berry

    Sour grapes again from a failure of last season playoff games v Vale.Horrible individual!!

  • R. Slicker

    Ben Garner you’re a bitter fool. The best bit of football in this game was the goal and who scored it?
    Excuse after excuse week in week out.


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