This article is part of Football League World’s ‘Regular Punter’ series, where we gather original opinions from select, passionate fans of the clubs concerned on matters surrounding their team and share them with a wider audience…
Charlton Athletic fan pundit Robert Smith has given his verdict on the tactical decision that was taken by Addicks boss Lee Bowyer in this weekend’s defeat to rivals Millwall, with Charlton lining up with a back three as opposed to a back four.
It was a system which seemed to alter the course of the match, with Charlton largely failing to really get going throughout the contest, due to their overly defensive line up, which largely restricted the Addicks to taking shots on from distance.
Ultimately, Bowyer’s side went on to lose 2-1 with Millwall’s Matt Smith scoring the crucial late winner for the Lions, leaving the Addicks without a win in their last four Championship games.
Who is to blame for the defeat to Millwall?
We caught up with Smith earlier today, and here is what our Charlton fan pundit had to say about Bowyer’s decision to start three at the back:
“For me in games like that it can make us too defensive, you add in the wing back’s who traditionally are more defensive minded, and Pratley as a holding midfielder and you can see the problem that I am referring too.
“I appreciate those three centre backs give us a physical presence, which was obviously required against Millwall, but at times we’re not moving the ball quickly through the midfield and we don’t have an outlet ball from which we can build attacks through.
“We can look laborious and slow in possession, whilst also being open to getting pressed and pinned into our own half.”
Sutton then provided his thoughts on whether the Addicks needed to switch back to playing a back four or not, to which he said:
“I don’t think the back three has worked over the last two games but if you look back at the Leeds, West Brom and Fulham games it has worked a treat.
“Maybe going to a back three against better opposition helps, but when the onus on us to attack or to break teams down we need to switch it back to a diamond in midfield and four men at the back.
“However with 10 first team players out injured, we’re putting out what we can at the moment.”
Given the manner of the defeat to their arch rivals, there will no doubt be an inquest into what needs to be changed down at the training ground when the players return from the international break, with the Addicks no doubt looking to get back to winning ways against Cardiff City.