This article is part of Football FanCast’s Pundit View series, which provides opinion and analysis on recent quotes from journalists, pundits, players and managers…
Charlton Athletic manager Lee Bowyer has jumped to the defence of Naby Sarr, who has been widely criticised for his performance against Millwall, as reported by London News Online.
Sarr had a bit of a shocker against Millwall, as the Lions’ goals in their 2-1 win came from the 26-year-old being easily beaten in the air from set-piece deliveries.
Fans were far from impressed with him on social media following the game, feeling that he cost them the points on the day.
However, Sarr, who recently got his first call-up to the Senegal national team, has received the public support of Bowyer: “We have to remember how far he has come, when I first took over 18 months ago he was in a bad place.
“Yeah, it was a shame he was at fault [against Millwall] but he has played a lot of games for us.
“So you can’t just get caught up in that game. All players make mistakes at one time or another.
“Once you come away from it and have had a couple of days to calm down you have to look at the bigger picture, that’s all I’d say. And that is how far he has come in the time that I’ve been in charge.”
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Regardless of whether or not Sarr has improved, Charlton can’t afford for the centre-back to carry on putting in performances like the one against Millwall.
He did provide the assist for Jonathan Leko’s goal, but his defensive showing was very suspect during the game, as shown below:
It should also be noted that the 26-year-old was hooked off at half time in the previous match against Preston North End, having failed to make a tackle, interception or clearance.
The defender has shown that he can give solid performances in the Championship, as in October he was given a WhoScored rating of 8.4 in Charlton’s 3-0 win over Derby County.
This came from a performance in which he made 6 clearances, 1 tackle, 3 clearances and scored a goal.
He needs to get back to defensively solid performances like this to prevent further questions being asked about his place in the team.