Five of the fans who make predictions on CAFC Picks have got the results for this season right so far, including me. You don't have to be a forecasting genius to predict two home wins and an away defeat.
Tomorrow's game at Rotherham United offers a more interesting test of how the Addicks have progressed. Of the five 'successful' forecasters, two predict a draw and three a defeat (including me).
We could well be too pessimistic if Charlton have really turned a corner as their provisional league position may suggest. Rotherham United have won one and lost two games so far which, along with the score lines, puts them down at 15th. Both teams lost in the Carabao Cup during the week, but I can't take what happens in that competition very seriously.
At the moment many Charlton fans are in the glass half full camp and others take the glass half empty viewpoint. A very small group of hangers on and their running dogs think that Roland and Katrien are marvellous. At the opposite end of the spectrum, everything done by the present regime has to be treated with disbelief.
The glass half full crowd would say that the regime has learnt from its mistakes, has appointed an English manager with relevant experience (as opposed to Belgian or Belgian-linked no hopers) and has made some decent signings for this level. Morale in the team has improved and the time servers have been weeded out. Those of the other view would say that the learning process has been very expensive in terms of both money and lost support.
The glass half empty crowd would say that we are still short of strikers and we can't just rely on the midfield to get the ball in the net. We shall see what happens by transfer deadline day, but there is some force in Karl Robinson's argument that finding a decent striker at an affordable price is not easy.
My personal view is that the price ratio between strikers and defenders is out of kilter, not least in the Premier League. However, just like a house's only real value is what will fetch in the market, transfer prices are influenced by supply and demand (albeit distorted by agents who seem to have run rings round the regime at The Valley).
Robinson is operating under a budget constraint, but that is true of most managers in League One. At least he appears to have a good personal relationship with Katrien Meire.
So where does this leave us? I am on media standby like a retained fireman with a target to be in the studio within 20 minutes of call out. (CNN Sport have me on the subs bench for the transfer window in case they are let down). If I was doing a report for the BBC, I would have to argue 'on the one hand, on the other.' Much as I like the BBC, this often involves giving equivalence to views that I personally think are barmy. Sky are more willing to let you take a line. If it was RT or Al Jazeera (if I could understand what the gallery was saying) I would be asked to take a very odd line. My favourite station to work for is France 24 (for whom I did a lot of work during the general election) because you get a perspective from outside the UK, but one that is intelligent and reasonably balanced.
If France 24 was interested in League One clubs, I would say that I remain somewhat sceptical about Karl Robinson because I think that he opens his mouth more than he should, often somewhat foolishly, but the real test is whether he can deliver the goods in terms of league position. Unfortunately, particularly at this point in the season, we are going to see a lot of the 'goldfish' syndrome where judgments are based on the last result.
If we win tomorrow, it will be evidence for those who take a very favourable view of Robinson. Lose, and the sceptics will feel their case is reinforced. Draw, and there will be a lot of confusion about how to interpret the result.
No wonder I am struggling with my article for the next VOTV, particularly given that even though Rick Everitt is prepared to give me the benefit of doubt about being economical with the actualité, he does think I have been constructing fictional narratives. But of course that is what we all do as fans: as they say, it's all about opinions. I am sitting on the fence, but that becomes uncomfortable after a while.
More about the Millers
I can't get through to the CAS Trust preview, but the headline says that we have been unbeaten away to them for 34 years. Of course, a lot then depends on how many times we have played them, mostly in recent years I suspect. For 101 years they played at the Millmoor stadium which was a 3rd Division North ground if there ever was. I went there with West Sussex CASC to support Brighton and Hove Albion after Charlton had won an earlier kick off at Huddersfield over the Christmas period.
The Aesseal New York Stadium cost £20m to build. It looks far bigger than its realistic 12,000 capacity with a striking design, especially its eye-catching roof. The Football Supporters' Federation made it Away Day of the Year in 2016.
Pundits do not generally expect the Millers to go straight back up. Four Four Two have them as bare survival candidates at 20th. Their fan pundit forecasts a 8th place finish, noting 'we might actually win more than five matches.'
Richie Barker was assistant manager at Charlton in 2016-17 before moving to the same role at Rotherham. On the Millers website it states, 'Richie Barker said that he still has a vested interest in all of the goings on at The Valley for personal reasons too, with his son having recently signed terms with the club's Academy setup.
My boy has just signed for their Under 15s, which we didn't time very well as he signed just as I'd left! I had no hesitation in putting him in a top Academy, where they produce some top players and I'm sure he'll be looked after while he's there and that was another reason that it was difficult to leave..;
Odds are: Rotherham 5/4, Draw 11/5, Charlton 15/8. The referee is Trevor Kettle from Lancashire who is notorious for his erratic decision-making, particularly in relation to Charlton. At any rate Karl Robinson will have a ready made excuse if we lose.
Rotherham manager Paul Warne has got his alibi in early by tipping Charlton for automatic promotion and saying they are the best team he has seen so far (sample size): Promotion tip