At the City Ground on Tuesday, the Nottingham Forest fans compared Charlton striker Simon Makienok to Andy Carroll in a less than favourable light. His performance against Forest was distinctly average and he missed two guilt-edged chances to win the match. There were even a few grumblings about him eminating from the 400 or so Addicks who made the 300 mile round trip.
How quickly things can change.
Against Hull City yesterday, the 6’7″ Danish striker was the man of the match, scoring a great header in the 52nd minute following an inch perfect pass from Johann Berg Gudmundsson. He returned the favour in the 8th minute of injury time; teeing up the Icelandic No.7 to head a brilliant 98th minute winner that sent The Valley into scenes of delirium! It was a fantastic end to a very assured performance from the new look Addicks. So much so that manager Guy Luzon was sent to the stands for an over enthusiastic celebration that saw him run Mourinho style down the touchline and disappear underneath a pile of ecstatic Charlton players!
Luzon must take a huge amount of credit for yesterdays performance and indeed, for Charlton’s excellent start to the campaign. When the fixture list came out I was concerned that we would get to the end of August with little to show. Home matches to two of the relegated teams, QPR and Hull City and away games at pre-season promotion favourites Derby and Nottingham Forest looked daunting. However, to take 8 points and remain unbeaten is a substantial achievement. Moreover, the collegiality and work-ethic apparent in the first team suggests a really good team spirit that bodes well for the rest of the season.
Another player who stood out yesterday was new-boy, Ahmed Kashi, who played superbly just in front of the impressive back four. He was a constant nuisance to Hull City and broke down plenty of attacks and distributed the ball with a calm sense of intelligence. Patrick Bauer continued his excellent start to the season and also deserves a special mention as he appeared to dislocate his finger in the second half and the whole crowd winced as the physio popped it back in the centre circle!
After the final whistle, Addicks fans poured out onto the sun-soaked streets in SE7 in great humour and voice. Last minute winners are always special and this was no different. The team deserved the 3 points and the offensive, attack-minded approach favoured by our manager really is breath of fresh air that complemented the glorious August afternoon perfectly.