Rotherham were beaten 2-0 at home to Charlton as a disappointing start to the season, results wise, continues.
Goals from Patrick Bauer and Josh Magennis inflicted a third loss from four games and left the Millers with some early-season issues to address.
Here’s five things we learned from the game.
This was the worst of the season
If there were positives in the performances of the defeats at Fleetwood, Peterborough and Huddersfield, then there was less to be enthused about here. The Millers put in their weakest display of the season and were a million miles away from the level they reached against Southend a fortnight ago. They were lethargic, allowed the Addicks far too much time to dictate play and were again weak defensively. They went for the long ball far too often and did not have composure in the final third. No one can deny that Charlton were worthy winners.
Trevor Kettle is still Trevor Kettle
Twelve years on since their first meeting with the Rutland official, Trevor Kettle is still ruining Rotherham’s weekends. Kettle was not the reason the Millers lost, but became the centre of attention. Already displaying his inconsistent, pedantic officialdom, Kettle made two decisions that changed the course of the game in the second half. When Chris Solly barged through the back of Jamie Proctor, despite putting his whistle to his mouth, the ref chose to allow play to continue.
Then, with Proctor writhing around in agony, and in clear need of medical attention, he again allowed play to continue, with Charlton going on to score the decisive second goal (after some obligatory shoddy defending and goalkeeping it has to be said). From the press box, level with the incident, it looked a clear barge on Proctor and a free-kick should have been awarded. There was no onus on Charlton to stop the play in the aftermath, Kettle should have assessed the situation and allowed Proctor to get treatment. It was four years since he last officiated a Millers game, let’s hope it’s just as long until we see him again.
Rotherham’s biggest deficiency this season has been the defence and after another unconvincing showing it might now be time to change the back five around. Goalkeeper Richard O’Donnell looks safe unless Paul Warne can bring someone in before next week, but Josh Emmanuel, Semi Ajayi and Joe Mattock could all be on the chopping block for the Portsmouth game. Emmanuel had a rough ride against Ricky Holmes and has not shown his pre-season form, nor has Ajayi, who is well below Michael Ihiekwe’s level so far this season. Mattock wasn’t great either and could have no complaints at being dropped.
Proctor will be a big miss
Forget the loss, forget the performance, the biggest blow to come out of this was the injury to Proctor that looks like keeping him out for some time. The extent is not yet known, but the striker went to hospital and the early diagnosis was potential ligament damage. Proctor has been a key player this season and has been pivotal to when Rotherham have played well. There is no like-for-like in the squad and if the outlook is bleak, Warne has less than a week to find a replacement. Proctor’s absence, no matter how long or short, will be felt.
— Rotherham United (@OfficialRUFC) August 26, 2017
From the notebook
– The three defeats this season have come against teams who are in the top five at this early stage, there’s no doubting it has been a tough introduction to life in this division. With games at Portsmouth, Bradford and Blackburn in the next five, it doesn’t look like getting any easier.
– It’s a funny old game. As inferior as Rotherham were to Charlton in this game, it could have been so different had the two first-half sitters that the Millers missed gone in. Proctor and Ajayi both spurned the easiest of chances. Who’s was worse?
– Paul Warne might have some shopping to do in the next week. We reckon the Millers need a goalkeeper, centre-half, central midfield and striker.
– Ricky Holmes looks like a cast member of TOWIE, with his long hair and sleeve tatoo, but he ran the show against the Millers. Dropping into space and causing havoc, it’s no wonder Championship teams have been tracking him.
– The losing habit is proving harder to shake off than we hoped it might. A third loss from four league games this season means the Millers have lost 36 of their last 50 league games.