‘It’s not football’ – Charlton boss Ben Garner says team must learn to deal with Port Vale’s ‘anti-football’ style

Charlton boss Ben Garner has said his side need to learn how to deal with teams playing “anti-football”.

The Addicks suffered a 1-0 defeat at Port Vale on Saturday thanks to Daniel Butterworth’s strike early in the second half. The South Londoners enjoyed 65% of the ball but only had one shot on target to show their effort. The Valiants were happy to sit back and soak up Charlton’s attempts to advance and frustrate Garner in the process.

He said: “Port Vale are like 80% of the teams in this league. They just decided to stop you from playing. There is no ambition for them to go attack and take the game for you. They are at home today and their whole ambition was to sit down and stop us. Make it a boring game and try to score it 1-0, which they did.

“It’s hard to play against that on a surface like that but that’s no excuse. We have to do better than we have. We didn’t show enough character and personality for me. I had strong words in there. I expect an answer on Tuesday and Saturday.

“Horrible, according to my resume. Horrible terrain. An awful performance. A very disappointing afternoon.

“The path [Port Vale] play, they play anti-football. They just want to stop you. We weren’t good enough with the ball. We haven’t fought hard enough without him. Didn’t show enough brightness. And then we give a horrible goal. It gives them something to hold on to and they can kill the game.

“As horrible as the game is, at 0-0 you have a chance to go on and win it. Not many positives this afternoon. We have to be much better than that.

“[Port Vale’s style] can be effective, but for me it’s not football. For me, it’s about trying to win the game. I always want to be the team trying to win the game and be the protagonist. Everyone chooses how they play but they literally sat down just to stop and disrupt us. We have to solve this. We have to be better and watch ourselves.

“We haven’t done enough. The last 15-20 minutes of the first half we had good control, we blocked them, but we didn’t want to make the difficult runs. We didn’t want to do the shopping behind, play the forward pass. We took safe options. We must be more courageous.

The Addicks have conceded ten goals in their last four league games. Butterworth had too much time and space to get into the area and shoot despite having three Charlton defenders close by.

“Our form behind the ball was terrible,” added Garner.

“We work on it every week. I could see the chance coming ten seconds before it happened. We weren’t lit in the back. He waltzes past three players and places him in the bottom corner. We keep scoring bad goals. We looked a threat in the attacking sense, but our quality in the final third was nowhere near where it should be. We have to take responsibility and step up and play better.


. is not football boss Charlton Ben Garner says team must learn manage style antifootball Port Vale

. football Charlton boss Ben Garner team learn deal Port Vales antifootball style

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