Ffion Thomas had kit envy last night. You can't blame her though, Charlton's new away number is a beaut. Aside from that though, she did watch some football and saw City prevail with a 2-0 win ...
Random star performer
Charlton broke a cardinal rule and played a home match in their away kit, but in my eyes they are entirely exempt from criticism, because this recently released number is an absolute beauty: two tones of navy blue, with a smart button collar, a non-garish sponsor, and, the clincher, the iconic chevrons of manufacturer Hummel down the sleeves. To their credit, Errea have often eschewed templates for us in favour of retro references, with a late 70s Admiral pastiche this year, but no imitation could do our glorious chevrons of the mid 1980s justice. Please, Norwich City, if you tear up the long-term kit deal (Ipswich fans have already started with the adverts) and go Danish as soon as humanly possible, I promise I will wear the club shop like Tony Pulis.
Moment of the match
The first half move at 0-0 in which James Maddison split the defence with an inch-perfect scoop to James Husband on the left, who expertly cut it back across goal for Josh Murphy waiting eight yards out...only for him to, unfortunately, blaze it well over the bar. I’m an extremely passive watcher of pre-season matches, but I had my head in my hands at the missed opportunity, just because it would have been such a beautifully crafted goal. More of that in the real thing please – just get the final shot on target.
A mostly uneventful outing, although the Charlton Twitter feed weren’t happy: ‘REFEREE! Holmes gets completely taken out by McGovern when through on goal. Should have been a penalty. Ref says no.’ Meanwhile, in the real world, at the moment of impact Holmes already well on his way down, and very much second best to the ball.
Biggest positive to take
I and many others came away generally pretty happy with what we’d seen, but the post-match quotes from Daniel Farke were interesting, suggesting his overwhelming emotion was one of frustration at a perceived ‘sloppiness’ and lack of ‘fighting attitude’, particularly in the first half. This is very much a Good Thing – winning pre-season games is fine, but as we have seen in the past, can lead to a false sense of security and being rapidly brought down to earth when the proper stuff starts. It seems like some extremely high standards are being set at the Costa del Colney.
Not a whinge as such, but I thought Jon Punt of this parish made a good point on Twitter pre-match about the wisdom of playing Steven Naismith – who ended up playing the full 90 – when this was our penultimate first team friendly, and he will start the season on a suspension. Although he got into the game well and smartly put one away for 2-0, it highlights a lack of depth in central midfield. Fingers crossed a signing is in the pipeline to boost our options.
A lovely summer’s night in South East London at a ground I always like going to, probably because I was out of the country on the day we got relegated there, but in the stands on the day we went up. Not a big attendance with two of the sides closed – which didn’t help the echo of the ear-splittingly loud tannoy – but 480 away fans represented a good test run for our impending opening day invasion of the capital.
Nice evening, two nice goals (tip of the hat to Yanic Wildschut for both finish and assist), comfortable in possession, clean sheet, no injuries: can’t ask for much more than that. Unless you’re Daniel Farke, who at times was apparently booting the dugout. Whether we make any more signings this week or not, Saturday is when things will get really interesting, as Farke takes his Carrow Road bow and has his last chance to try things out in a proper match environment. Brighton might not be glamorous foreign opposition, but are a good benchmark to test ourselves against, and their players will be as keen as ours to impress the bosses - a smart invite.