Charlton Athletic’s poor start to the season continued as they were beaten 2-1 by Wycombe Wanderers at Adams Park last Saturday with pressure growing on manager Nigel Adkins.
The defeat means the Addicks are only off the bottom of the League One table on goal difference after one win from their opening seven games in the league.
Promotion was the aim for the Adkins’ side going into this season but they are a long way off that at the moment and with just over a month of the season gone, Charlton are nine points off the play-offs.
“The season has started terribly,” Ben from Charlton Live tells FansBet.
“We look like a team lacking identity, unity and leadership. In 2012, when we won the league, we only lost five games that season. We’ve already lost five this season.
“The woeful start to the season has come as a bit of a surprise given Adkins only lost one game in his spell last season, one of those games beating Plymouth 6-0 away from home.
“But, on the other hand, a few factors are unsurprising; getting players in so late in the window meaning they haven’t enough time to gel and injuries to two key midfielders in Forster-Caskey and Gilbey.
“Plus not replacing super sub Aneke, who offered us a plan B and scared defenders late on in games.”
Charlton were initially patient with their recruitment over the summer, but ended up bringing in 13 players through the door.
A busy transfer deadline day saw the club sign Harry Arter, Sam Lavelle and Jonathan Leko, with the subsequent arrivals of free agents Stephen Henderson and Pape Souaré bolstering Adkins’ squad further.
But it appears to be taking a while for the new signings to gel despite Nigel Adkins explaining that the newfound competition for places has raised the standards in training at Sparrows Lane.
“The late transfer activity has meant the squad has had little time together and it shows,” says Ben.
“The team are playing with no confidence and resort to route one football at any opportunity as it seems no one wants to take responsibility for making a mistake.
“In the first few games, Adkins had only untried youngsters on the bench so had no one who could change a game when it wasn’t going our way. Now he has a big squad but doesn’t seem to know his best eleven.
“Overall, I was pleased with the squads recruitment, although as mentioned it was too slow and it’s left us way behind other teams already.
“Signing MacGillivray from Portsmouth and Stockley on a permanent were key signings while Elliott Lee and Harry Arter provide much needed experience.
“Brining in players who have performed well in this league last season in Clare, Dobson and Kirk mean that on paper our team should be pushing for the play-offs.”
This most recent defeat, a third consecutive 2-1 away loss prompted Charlton’s owner Thomas Sandgaard to take to Twitter to express his concern.
“Today’s loss puts us in a difficult position. We have to start playing better. Toward the end we gave ourselves a chance. We need more of that every minute on the pitch,” he wrote.
So just how long has the manager got before the patience of his chairman and the supporters runs out?
Today’s loss puts us in a difficult position. We have to start playing better. Toward the end we gave ourselves a chance. We need more of that every minute on the pitch #cafc
— Thomas Sandgaard (@SandgaardThomas) September 18, 2021
“Adkins’ position is now massively under threat,” claims Ben.
“Even though there are other factors in our poor start, ultimately the results are down to the manager.
“Failure to get positive results against Gillingham and Portsmouth will most probably see the owner remove him from his position.
“Over the next couple of crucial games, we need to adapt to a different style of play as we’ve become too predictable with our route one football to Stockley who’s isolated and teams mark him out of the game.
“We’ve got the quality there in our team to play free flowing attacking football especially on our wings. Playing two up front worked in our only win this season but since then we’ve not done it.”
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