Charlton achieved yet another draw against bottom club Blackpool last Saturday in another disappointing result for big Bobby Peeters
Despite twice going ahead against the low flying troubled Northwest club, Charlton managed to concede the lead twice as promising talent Nick Pope had a bit of a mare between the sticks. His first 'flap' at a corner dropped kindly for new Blackpool forward Chris Eagles, after Yoni Buyens had put the Addicks ahead from the penalty spot. A superbly place strike from Jordan Cousins then put Charlton back in front, but poor defending left a stranded Pope in all sorts of trouble, allowing Steve Davies to head home. The draw was yet another in a long sequence of matches where Charlton have been difficult to beat, but largely failing to get 3 points on the board.
So what's going on down at la vallée?
Peeters has been ruing the lack of another striker in the media, something that's been well observed since early in the season by fans, and something the Addicks have been actively trying to resolve, the result has been a big fat zilch unfortunately.
Charlton possibly need to score more goals to make the good defence count, so is there a striker issue? At the start of the season those not in the big fellas plans, went off to new pastures: Polish Pete left for Belgium, Reza went to Kuwait, Piggot went out on loan. Igor Vetokele came in and has showed excellent quality and value for his big money purchase. George Tucadean came in from Liege's waiting room but the enigmatic Romanian hasn't gelled, and now seems out of favour. Callum Harriot has taken his place in the first 11 recently, but seems like the wrong kind of player to be foil for Vetokele. Perhaps there is a way the three could combine, not forgetting Gudmundsson of course?
Are there other Squad deficiencies? The squad is mix of new talents, some loans, and some gambles. The big success has been the defence, cruelly however Bob was deprived of our resident Welsh wizard left big Royce Wiggins earlier in the season. Another emerging talent has filled the position in Morgan Fox but does not appear quite the finished article in his distribution. Add to that the injury of summer signing Henderson between the sticks, and the defence seems somewhat weaker very recently.
In the midfield, speculative signing from Coventry Franck Moussa hasn't made much of an impact and now appears to be out of favour, similarly Frédéric Bulot. Sadly Arsenal loanee Francis Coquelin showed signs of being a promising addition only to be whisked back to ease Arsene Wenger's team issues. Playing Chris Solly in place of the injured Jackson doesn't appear to be the answer either.
While Big Bob seems to have been frustrated in the transfer market, he does ultimately need to grind out results with the players he has, the result has not been a disaster, but does appear mediocre due to the number of draws. Its hard to be too down on Peeters with the mixed approach of signings, but then again its hard to heap too much praise on him either, the Jury remains out it would seem. It's a frustrating position when you have such a good defence, when fit and a highly talented striker in Vetokele. Had a post world cup big money signing for Riza come in, Charlton might be in a very different position.
The club has stated it was willing to wait to add to the squad, and indeed the economy of such an approach may pay dividends, while better value players are tried out - it is however results that matter, and one can't seen any logic in staying in this league if you want to make money, stated aims of break even seem a long way off. The Transfer window in January will reveal the strategy, if Charlton have managed by then to maintain a position to push on from, perhaps we will see more significant investment to push the team into playoff contention- something that seems unlikely with the present squad.
What may now be a source of frustration to the management is the loosening of FFP regulations on the horizon, the impact of that change is due next season, and it is unclear what will happen this season with the previous restrictions still in place but possibly severely weakened in advance of the change. Notwithstanding that, the transfer market will be that much more competitive in coming years with more money on the table; no bargains from clubs offloading to meet the formerly tighter and tightening budgetary thresholds; and the benefits of the Network diminishing. Perhaps this is the moment to go for it?