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Bouncing back

Chris Kamara - Chris Kamara Posted 12th December 2007 view comments

Charlton are only three points behind Watford and I think they can really push Aidy Boothroyd's team all the way.

They're a good team - I saw them beat Ipswich last Saturday and they are a well balanced team, using an effective system.

If you look at a lot of Premier League teams at the moment the 4-5-1 is regularly used and that's the system that Alan Pardew likes to play: with Darren Ambrose providing the link between attack and midfield.

Pardew: aiming for an immediate Premier League return

Pardew: aiming for an immediate Premier League return

He fills in when Charlton are defending and gets up there alongside the lone front-man, Chris Iwelumo, as he did against his old club last Saturday where he scored two goals.

That system is the way forward in the Premier League - it's virtually impossible to win away from home playing 4-4-2 when you're one of the lesser sides.

But with 4-5-1, as West Ham have shown recently since they had to go to that system when they lost Dean Ashton and Craig Bellamy to injury, you start to win games because you're solid and hard to break down.

Alan Pardew is enjoying his time at Charlton - I sat in his office until quarter to three on Saturday and I was also in there after the game and Alan was very relaxed. It was clear to me that he is very happy at the Valley.

Chris Kamara
Quotes of the week

West Brom v Charlton
12.30pm, Saturday
Sky Sports 1

Alan Pardew with his Premier League experience has brought that to Charlton. Like he said at the time, it was a bit of a hangover at the start of the season, but that was always going to be the case from a side that comes down from the Premier League.

There is a realisation problem: you still wish that you were in the Premier League! You get some games where the atmosphere isn't what it is in the Premier League and Pardew has had to work hard to make sure that his players are focused for every single game.

The goals against at home is a worry for them though as they have conceded 14 in 11 matches at the Valley. Jonathan Fortune is now missing for three games after his late sending off against Ipswich and I'm sure Alan will look to strengthen his squad in that department during the transfer window.

Charlton have lost four at home this season, but they're still within touching distance of top spot. That's the beauty of the Championship - the teams in the top half lose to those in the bottom half!

Who would have predicted QPR beating Burnley after Owen Coyle's men had just beat Charlton, Watford and Wolves? It's so hard to predict and it will always be that way. Anybody can beat anybody in the Championship.

Form

I've been impressed with Andy Reid, who looks at home at Charlton after it didn't work out for him at Spurs. He's a clever little player and certainly is a crowd pleaser. People look at his body shape and say that he doesn't look like an athlete but he certainly knows how to look after a football.

And big Chris Iwelumo has carried on from where he left off at Colchester last season. He's scored eight goals already and he is showing that his 18 goals and the partnership with Jamie Cureton was no fluke last season.

I never thought for one minute that Iwelumo would have any problems moving from Colchester to Charlton. He was the one out of the three strikers the Addicks signed in the summer - including Luke Varney and Izale McLeod - that you knew wouldn't have any problems.

Big strikers who can look after the ball cause problems for defenders and Iwelumo would have every chance of holding his own in the Premier League. He's more mobile than someone like Steven Howard at Derby, for example.

Relaxed

Alan Pardew is enjoying his time at Charlton. I sat in his office until quarter to three on Saturday and I was also in there after the game and Alan was very relaxed. It was clear to me that he is very happy at the Valley.

He's allowed to get on and do his job - he has no questioning from above - and when you work in those circumstances it makes you feel comfortable.

I still fancy Watford to win the Championship even though they're having a sticky patch at the moment, but there are still two places up for grabs after that so there's no reason why Charlton can't make a swift return to the top flight. Pardew did it with West Ham and he knows what it's all about so they will be in the mixer, that's for certain.

And they have a huge game at West Brom on Saturday, which you can watch live on Sky Sports! Second and third going head-to-head. Who will win? I haven't a clue.

Do you agree with Kammy? Let us know what you think by using the feedback form below and continue to email him your questions here

Kammy answers your questions...

Chris, Most football fans will agree that the referees in the Football League are pretty awful and the only reason they don't seem to get punished is that the Football League matches don't get publicly noted for mistakes. Most of the matches I have seen this season - as a season ticket holder - have featured some of the worst refereeing performances ever. Matt, Burnley Fan.

KAMMY SAYS: I would agree with you Matt, there's not enough being done to improve the standard - that's one thing for certain. Premier League referees who are marked on their performance - and they get to see their errors and read performance reports. But even then we still don't hear from referees when they have messed up - a lot of it is clouded in secrecy. But the part-time referees in the Football League don't hear anything - they go away from the match, where they may have made loads of mistakes, and that's it. Then they just turn up again the next week. But there should be some guidance to help and improve their performance. Referees have continued to make judgements that may not appear to have been made using common sense, that's been the case for a long time. And fans opinions are not taken as seriously as they should. I'm not sure that referees watch as much football as they maybe should do either. I think that they get involved in the process of coming through the lower divisions and then up to the Football League and week-in, week-out they're just working every Saturday. I don't think enough of them are sat down and have their performances analysed, which would undoubtedly benefit them.

Chris, I read your article on the Burnley situation. Of course right now we do not deserve to be in the Premier League, no team in our league or below does yet. But how can we not deserve to be in the Premiership if we won promotion? The rules of moving up a tier are not how much money you have but where you finish in the league or if you win the play off final. Alright it's a big "if", however, going up will give us millions of pounds that we haven't had in the past and will secure our future, if spent wisely, for years to come. It would give us money to spend on players to become a bigger Championship club rather than a perennial also ran. We would get beaten most weeks and the likelihood is we would come back down. It would also be true that with the money and experience, the rejuvenated interest in the club and a taste of the "big time" it would leave us in a much stronger position. Regards, Tim Blackledge

KAMMY SAYS: Hi Tim, the last thing I want to do is upset Burnley fans and I think you may have misunderstood my point. If Owen Coyle and the players get you promoted, then of course they will deserve it. If that were to happen then, as you say, the club would need to behave financially responsibly. Watford are a good example. They went up and realised that the gap was too big and they weren't going to stay up, so they wanted to get the finances right and make sure the club was stable in the following season. They bought players to help them get back up again rather than players who they might have to unload if they went down.

But, of course, there's no guarantees that you will come straight back down - you might survive and then you can start to splash out a bit more on players. Reading went up and survived, but Steve Coppell has now realised that in January he needs six or seven top players to make sure they stabilise in the Premier League. They can afford it now and know that if things do go wrong, they will pick up parachute payments.

The first season after promotion is important in two ways. Firstly you must not bankrupt your club and have to sell all your players if you go down. Secondly, if you do survive you must be settled financially and be able to add to the squad the following January.

Chris, I'm an Ipswich fan and I was wondering what you make of our chances this season under Jim Magilton. If the proposed takeover can go through and a solution can be found for the away form surely things look good for Ipswich? James Bugden.

KAMMY SAYS: Jim's going to bring in some new players in January as he now has some money available. Ipswich's home form, as you say James, has been incredible - 13 wins out of 14! And the match they haven't won in that run was a draw. So why is the away form so different? At Charlton on Saturday they were like Jekyll and Hyde - the first half they were terrible and barely had a shot on goal. And in the second half they could have easily got back to level terms with the way that they played and the chances they created. Maybe just a little bit of steel is needed for the centre of midfield to rectify that, so we shall see who Jim looks to bring in when the transfer window opens.

Do you agree with Kammy? Let us know what you think by using the feedback form below and continue to email him your questions here

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