So the I have now experienced Charlton Athletic circa 2016-2017 under the Duchalet regime.
The day started with me and my boy enjoying a couple of decent pints of beer for me and then a couple of cokes for the boy with two packets of crisps and all for less than a tenner in my local 'Spoons'.
Then we hit the ground. I've always been in the West or East Stands (or the East Terrace back in the day) so elected to go in the family stand for a change. Co joined to the North Stand for refreshments.
Prior to going into the stadium we popped into Crossbars for a pre match drink. To be honest the staff were friendly and helpful (as you would expect), and there was no techno house dj which disappointed me a tad. (Not). A choice of Fosters or Heineken was uninspiring (Bartrams served Amstel last season which was a decent pint).
The catering area behind the North Stand offered a better atmosphere than that I've experienced in the West Stand for many years. I bought my boy the most stagnant pitiful tray of chips for £3 and had a chicken balti pie for myself. (I do love a balti pie).
Then up into the stadium itself. A decent little area, good enough view.
The atmosphere itself was what really struck me. Nothing as negative as I'd experienced last season. I was surprised by the complete lack of 'we want Roland out' songs. There's a film you may have seen, day of the dead, where a bunch of survivors escape to a shopping mall which isd by zombies. The apparent reason the zombies all congregated at the mall is that it had been such a important hub and part of there life before they were zombified they just found themselves drawn back there. It kind of reminded me of that today.
The game itself, and performance gave me more concern than anything else. On the face of it we have some very good players. You'll excuse my lack of current playing staff knowledge but it comes from my detachment from the club over the last few months and the fact that today was the first time I've ever seen them.
Holmes and the young kid from Arsenal were a cut above the rest. The real problem for me today was despite some of the talent within the squad there just looked to be absolutely no cohesion. It was like watching a bunch of footballer in a ore season friendly who hardly new each other.
It's not panic stations yet, but we are only eight points off of the relegations places and having lost at home to both Oxford and Bury I can't see us taking anything away to Shrewsbury on Tuesday night.
That eight point gap could disappear quicker than you'd imagine and we could end up doing a Portsmouth and finding ourselves in the fourth tier of the league for the first time in our history.
Karl 'Manager' Robinson could be forgiven for being worried about his position with RD's track record. Looks likely that we will come out of February winless. Other Managers under this regime have been given their P45 for less. They played an interview with him on the big screen before the game. I could hardly understand a bloody word! Maybe it's the team talks that are the problems? Who knows?
I will be back for the rest of the season however, as one of the afflicted. Despite everything else it was good to be back in the new old routine.