Charlton's hunger was evident in the second half at the Valley on Saturday. So, it seems, was their Hungarian.
The club's new head coach, Les Reed, was so pleased with the equalising goal from Andy Reid that he made a bold comparison: "Puskas might have been the original Andy Reid." The recently deceased Hungarian great scored 83 goals in 84 games for his country; this was Reid's first goal for Charlton. But, as with Puskas, the skills of this ex-Spurs midfielder are disguised by his stocky physique. Or, as Reed put it: "His body shape makes him look worse than he is."
In Reed's first match as Charlton manager, the team were soundly beaten at Reading. When Everton took the lead during his first home game in charge, even this natural optimist must have felt a leaden pall descend.
As usual, Charlton had been heralded on to the pitch by The Skids' martial 1979 hit Into The Valley - a song that alludes to heroic misadventure and the Charge of the Light Brigade. It inspired Charlton, but only with the misadventure part of the equation. They had all the hesitancy you might expect from a team at the bottom of the table and Everton were embarrassing them all over the pitch. Incisive passing from Mikel Arteta and mesmeric dribbling from James McFadden looked sure to dispatch Charlton but when Everton took the lead, on 52 minutes, it was in deflating style. An unremarkable Arteta free-kick was hopefully headed on by Leon Osman. It pinballed, blamelessly, off Herman Hreidarsson for an own goal.
Then, from nowhere, Charlton decided it was time to start playing. Sending on Marcus Bent, the Charlton coach switched to a 4-3-3 formation. A minute later, Bent stole the ball from the previously excellent Nuno Valente. The ball came to Reid, who shot home from outside the area.
Thereafter, Everton actually began to look like they were missing such key players as Andrew Johnson and Tim Cahill, who were both injured. McFadden was no longer slaloming across the Charlton box and David Moyes took him off, along with James Beattie.
With Reid prominent, Dennis Rommedahl and Darren Bent had decent chances to win the match for the home side - something that was unimaginable after 45 minutes.
"I'm very pleased," said Reed. "We now have a platform to build on for the rest of the season. There were really good signs for team spirit and determination in coming back and, hopefully, [Jimmy Floyd] Hasselbaink will be back next week to give us more up front."
Next for Charlton is an archetypal six-pointer with Sheffield United. If they can start in the manner in which they finished on Saturday - and keep Andy Reid on a Puskas-esque wine-and-goulash diet - they will have every chance.
Goals: Hreidarsson og (52) 0-1; Reid (68) 1-1.
Charlton Athletic (4-5-1): Carson; Young, Hreidarsson, El Karkouri, Traoré; Rommedahl, Holland, Faye, Reid, Ambrose (M Bent, 67); D Bent. Substitutes not used: Myhre (gk), Fortune, Kishishev, Sam.
Everton: (4-4-2) Howard; Neville, Yobo, Lescott, Valente; Arteta, Davies, Carsley, Osman; McFadden (Anichebe, 79), Beattie (Vaughan, 79). Substitutes not used: Wright (gk), Weir, Stubbs.
Referee: A Wiley (Staffordshire).
Booked: Charlton Hreidarsson, El Karkouri.
Man of the match: Reid.
Join our new commenting forum
Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies