Charlton Athletic go into the international break looking to work on some elements of their game, as they have not won in their last four in the Championship.
It is also three wins in eleven for Lee Bowyer’s side, which has seen their early promotion form descend into mid-table obscurity, as The Addicks slipped to 11th after the Millwall defeat on Saturday.
Their next fixture is against against Cardiff at The Valley on 23 November, giving The Addicks eleven days to prepare at their Sparrows Lane training base.
We look at two tactical elements to Charlton’s recent form that needs to be addressed to give Bowyer’s side a good chance of bouncing back…
Keeping clean sheets away from home
Charlton Athletic have not won away from home in the Championship since 31st August, which is a sequence of five games without a win on the road.
Not being able to keep clean sheets is a key reason for their disappointing performances on their travels, and that needs to be addressed on the training pitch.
Charlton have conceded eight goals from open play, and four goals from set pieces on the road, which shows that the home side in these games are making their advantage count, with The Addicks playing into their strengths by not imposing their game as the visiting team.
Sticking to a set formation
In the last two fixtures, Bowyer has opted for three separate formations. Against Preston North End, Charlton started with a 4-2-3-1, which saw Ben Purrington play in left midfield during the first half. He then reverted back to his position in the second as Bowyer switched back to a 4-4-2, to provide more threat in the attacking third.
Then against Millwall, Charlton set up in a 3-5-1-1 shape, with Chris Solly and Ben Purrington as the wing-backs. This shows that Bowyer is experimenting to find a proven formula, but it lacks continuity as players may be becoming confused with their roles, and the tactical gambles have not paid off as late. Charlton have used five different formations this season, according to WhoScored.
Although injuries to Lyle Taylor and Jonny Williams have not helped their cause, the frequently 4-1-2-1-2 diamond formation frequently used may be Charlton’s best option going forward, and going back to basics may improve the side’s fortunes, as opposed to tinkering the shape.