A miserable day at the Valley weather wise was matched by events on the pitch. It is blindingly obvious that the midfield needs surgery, and has been for some time now. The arrival of Frimpong should have helped, but quite frankly it hasn't. Take a look at the Charlton Christmas message on YouTube to see that the Arsenal loanee's priorities probably lie in a career in marketing, so little wonder Wenger keeps loaning him out. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4SyfelpeQ6k
His rash challenge resulted in an Ipswich penalty, which fortunately DJ Campbell blazed wide of Hamer's right hand post, to save our midfield man's blushes temporarily at least. Frimpong's reward was to be subbed at half time, although my own feeling was that Stephens, (one free kick aside), was even less effective in a first half where nobody really stepped up to the plate.
Whilst Seaborne had probably one of his worst days at the office ever, and I'll forgive him that given the left side of midfield was being sucked inside to protect the fragility that exists at our heart, it is Stephens who really should be feeling ashamed of his performance. Directly responsible for surrendering possession on more occasions than I care to remember, he was directly responsible for one of the Ipswich goals, having yet again lost possession in midfield. To say that Charlton were not competing in the first half would be an understatement, and the manner of the "performance" in the first forty five will give Powell the most cause for concern.
With a double substitution at the break, Pritchard and Jackson on for Frimpong and Green, we at least looked like we wanted to fight for it, but the sad fact is that our midfield is not coping too well at present, and that was a changed midfield from the side that faced Sheffield Wednesday as well. Powell knows where the real weakness in the team lies at present, but the question is will he be able to do anything about it when the transfer window opens in less than a weeks time?
If we assume he can only tinker, the very best I can see is that he may be allowed to buy one, and loan one. That is assuming that nobody gets sold of course, although I have no doubt that Wagstaff, Hollands, and possibly Green from the midfield department will at the very least be made available. Before the season started I floated the idea that Anthony Wordsworth from Colchester would be a good move for the left side of midfield, and I still think he would be, but what we really need is a Keith Jones playalike. We need a sideways scuttling crab who protects the back four, breaks up opposition attacking play, and passes the ball simply and most importantly, accurately. Whilst Dervitte can do a job there, an ankle biting, sideways passing brick wall with a terrier attitude is what we really need. Any thoughts as to who are welcome, as nobody springs immediately to my mind!