Tuesday 31 May 2022

Beale to join Super Hoops

Aston Villa's Michael Beale is to join QPR as manager.  He was interviewed for the Charlton vacancy, but preferred the Championship club: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/qpr-set-to-appoint-michael-beale-as-new-manager/

Monday 30 May 2022

No decision on manager yet

Thomas Sandgaard has stated: ‘We have conducted interviews with a number of candidates and have been really pleased with the quality of interested individuals applying for the role but haven’t made a final decision.’

Sandgaard is in the UK this week, so hopefully there will be a decision soon.

Richard Cawley is normally a reliable source.  Why was Ben Garner's name leaked to him?

For the first time since 2019, the team will go to a training camp abroad: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/charlton-athletic-set-for-spanish-training-camp-to-help-prepare-for-new-league-one-campaign/

Charlton fans support big range of non-league clubs

87 per cent of the Charlton fans who responded to our poll said that they do support a non-league club (remember that the bar for support was set quite low), but there was a big range of clubs supported.

Ebbsfleet United was the most supported club, but accounted for just 15 per cent of all responses.

  1. Ebbsfleet United (15%)
  2. Welling United (12%)
  3. Bromley (11%)
  4. Dartford (11%)
  5. Dulwich Hamlet (8%)
  6. Non-league club elsewhere in UK (8%)
  7. Other Kent club (5%)
  8. Maidstone United (3%)
  9. Other London club (1%)
  10. Others (27%)

Bray Wanderers

The 'other' clubs named were: Dover Athletic, 2; Ashford United; Bray Wanderers in Ireland (Charlton played them in a friendly many years ago); Clapton; Cray Wanderers; Concord Rangers; Dorking Wanderers (now National League); Halesowen Town; Hampton; Hashtag United;  Herne Bay; Kidderminster Harriers; Leamington; Margate; Sheffield FC (one of the oldest football clubs); Solihull Moors (who could be going up to the Football League); Southport; Stansted; Sutton United (now in League Two).

Friday 27 May 2022

Championship football for Washington

Conor Washington has joined newly promoted Rotherham on a two year contract: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/conor-washington-agrees-move-to-championship-new-boys-following-charlton-release/

He put a message on Twitter thanking everyone for the support he had received at Charlton.

Thursday 26 May 2022

Survey on new manager

Give your views on Ben Garner as manager Create your own user feedback survey

Wednesday 25 May 2022

Garner appointed as manager

Swindon Town boss Ben Garner is to be the new Charlton manager.   Richard Cawley of the SLP says that the deal has been agreed tonight, including the compensation paid to the Rocking Robins.

Garner will bring in Scott Marshall and Scott Lindsey who were his assistant coaches at Swindon.   What this will mean for Jason Euell is unclear.

My initial reaction was that I was a bit underwhelmed, but realistically managers of the calibre of Beale or Warburton are not going to come to a League One club that finished in the bottom half of the table.

Swindon fans are unhappy.   One commented: 'We give a rooky manager a chance to prove himself and he kicks us in the teeth as soon as a new opportunity presents itself.'

Garner started coaching at an early age following a serious injury and came through the ranks at Crystal Palace: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ben_Garner

Tuesday 24 May 2022

Pope sell on boost for Charlton

As they face a financial crisis, relegated Burnley are having to contemplate a fire sale of players: https://footballeconomyv2.blogspot.com/2022/05/big-challenges-for-burnley.html  

Former Charlton keeper Nick Pope is of interest to Premier League clubs and the Clarets value him at around £40m.  Charlton have a 'significant' sell on clause (10 per cent?): https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/charlton-athletic-set-for-significant-sum-if-burnley-sell-40m-rated-keeper-nick-pope/

Charlton also stand to benefit if Brendan Wiredu joins the Massives from Colchester.

Sunday 22 May 2022

New survey: do you support a non-league club as well as Charlton?

If you support more than one non-league club, choose the one you most identify with and perhaps add a comment about the second one.

Create your own user feedback survey

Thursday 19 May 2022

Curbs thinks Jacko should have had more time

Alan Curbishley thinks that Johnnie Jackson should have been given more time as manager given the state of the club when he came in.   He discusses his appointment at Wimbledon and looks at prospects for a new Charlton manager, suggesting there could be a surprise: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/he-deserved-more-time-alan-curbishley-on-johnnie-jacksons-charlton-dismissal-and-the-search-for-his-successor/

Lennon ruled out

Richard Cawley has tweeted that Neil Lennon will definitely not be the next Charlton manager which will be a relief to some supporters.

Cawley doesn't know who he will be, although he stated yesterday that interviews were taking place.

Monday 16 May 2022

Jacko to become Wombles manager

Johnnie Jackson is expected to become manager of AFC Wimbledon, a development that seems to have been welcomed by Wombles fans: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/afc-wimbledon-poised-to-appoint-former-charlton-manager-johnnie-jackson-as-their-new-boss/

Michael Beale back in running

Michael Beale is back in the running for the managerial vacancy at Charlton, although Championship clubs are also interested in the Aston Villa assistant head coach: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/aston-villa-assistant-michael-beale-again-in-running-for-charlton-athletic-job/

He spent eight years coaching in the Charlton academy early in his career.   However, Richard Cawley has pointed out that he is settled at Villa.

Beale was the second favourite in our poll of Charlton fans.

Midfielder Ben Dempsey has signed a three year permanent deal at Ayr United.  The fee is undisclosed.

Sunday 15 May 2022

We play them next season, Part 5

Of the clubs relegated from the Championship, we have already discussed Derby County whose takeover is still not resolved.

Barnsley have been through the mill,  At Barnsley, where Chien Lee and Paul Conway are co-chairmen, a spokesperson for the Conway Out! campaign group tells Off The Pitch that it has been “a record breaking terrible season.”

They say that concerns about being part of a multi group model were initially overlooked “due to our excitement that we were bought by a consortium with a net worth of £9 billion.”

Billy Beane, the legendary baseball executive of “Moneyball” fame is also a Barnsley shareholder. But the Conway Out group say that the Moneyball football decisions have been disastrous for the club. They allege that the style of play that got Barnsley to last year’s play offs was changed “because there wasn’t enough interest in our players due to our direct style.” They claim this was adopted so the owners “could sell our players for more profit.”

The benefits of being part of a Multi Club Ownership (as practiced by Roland) have been at best opaque. “The only real effect on us is that some of our younger players have been loaned out to Esbjerg and a few of our players who weren't good enough were transferred to Nancy and Oostende. But apart from that, there hasn't been any other effects yet.”

The spokesperson added: “I’d love to think that this is just an exception, and one bad season at Barnsley due to a few bad decisions due to the ownership group. Unfortunately, we aren't the only club in the ownership group that have been relegated this season, with Nancy officially relegated and Esbjerg on the brink of relegation.”

Barnsley may not find it easy next season.

Peterborough United are not one of my favourite clubs, partly because of their very physical tactics at The Valley a few years back when, as usual, we got little protection from the referee.

The Posh have plans to move out of their rather ramshackle London Road ground, but the riverside site planned for the new stadium is controversial and funding is unclear.

They are a club who think they are entitled to be in the Championship, but have great difficulty staying there when they do get promoted.   However, I rate Grant McCann as a manager and they will be a handful next season.

Friday 13 May 2022

Play off final was career highlight for Pearce

Jason Pearce says that the play off final at Wembley against Sunderland was the highlight of his Charlton career as he reflects on what went wrong afterwards and the sacking of Johnnie Jackson: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/jason-pearce-reflects-on-his-charlton-athletic-career-and-reacts-to-the-sacking-of-valley-favourite-johnnie-jackson/

Supporter confidence in Sandgaard dips

The latest findings reported from the CAST survey show that supporters are much less buoyant than they were a year ago and confidence in Thomas Sandgaard has declined, particularly in terms of investing well in the squad: https://www.castrust.org/2022/05/cast-survey-confidence-in-sandgaard-declines/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=cast-survey-confidence-in-sandgaard-declines

Thursday 12 May 2022

Matt Taylor could be candidate for manager

Exeter manager and former Addick Matt Taylor has been linked with the managerial vacancy at Charlton: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/exeter-boss-matt-taylor-a-former-addick-in-the-running-for-charlton-athletic-job/

In our poll on possible managers he attracted two write in votes, but critics on social media have already said that he has achieved nothing other than promotion for the Grecians.

Despite financial strains at Exeter, he does seem attached to the club.

Other suggestions for manager

Although Mark Warburton remains the favourite among Charlton fans for the next manager, A.N.Other was the third most popular category.

A number of comments were made suggesting names, some of them deliberately amusing such as charm merchant Steve Evans.   Gareth Ainsworth got three votes - he would be great in my view, but he won't come.  The same goes for Daniel Farke (two votes) and Bielsa.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, Curbs got six nominations.  He could perform an advisory role.  Chris Powell got four votes.  Matt Taylor got two votes and Steve Brown one.  Someone suggested Eddie Youds. 

Tuesday 10 May 2022

Chelsea think Burstow is the real deal

Highlights from an Athletic story on Mason Burstow.

“It all happened really late,” Johnnie Jackson tells The Athletic. “I had to go to his room [in the hotel before the match against Portsmouth], knock on his door and tell him, ‘The call’s come through, you’ve got to go to Chelsea’. He was dressed ready to go to the game and he just looked shell-shocked. At that moment, it dawned on me that he’s just a kid, a young lad with all this chaos happening in his life. He was saying, ‘But I want to help the team’. It was quite innocent, really.”

Burstow left the south coast in a taxi bound for Cobham to undergo a medical, meet Chelsea’s academy staff and fill out the paperwork on a deal believed to be worth in the region of £1.6 million. Charlton, amid a striker injury crisis that had created the initial first-team opening for the 18-year-old, insisted on having him back on loan until the summer and got their wish.

Chelsea acquiesced so they could acquire Burstow but would have preferred to bring him into their system immediately. 

It wasn’t immediately obvious that Charlton had struck gold when he first joined the Addicks. “I would describe it as a slow burn,” says Anthony Hayes, who was designated Burstow’s coaching mentor. “He found the initial step up from a part-time football programme — training twice a week and doing his own bits in the gym around that — to going full-time a physical adaptation. There are then the demands of Charlton and how we train, what we expect the scholars to do with their time in the building.

Burstow made the jump to the under-23s before the end of the 2020-21 season, where he had the good fortune to receive more targeted guidance from former Premier League forward Jason Euell, whose subsequent swift ascent from under-23s coach to first-team coach and then Jackson’s assistant mirrored the rise of his protege.

Don’t expect Burstow to leave Chelsea on loan next season — at least not initially. As a relatively older and less refined prospect, the consensus in the academy building at Cobham currently is that working with the club’s elite staff and playing in the development squad will be more beneficial to him than heading straight back out on loan to the lower divisions, where the focus will inevitably be on immediate results.

He opted not to go on holiday after the end of Charlton’s season and instead got to work at Cobham, even being thrown into the development squad’s PL2 relegation decider against Tottenham on Friday.

Chelsea academy staff are excited to work with him. The tantalising physical attributes — a strong, fast 6ft 1in physique with a great leap — are burnished by significant technical and tactical development over the past year, as well as what everyone who has encountered him describes as a polite, humble and enthusiastic temperament.


Washington exit is a surprise

The release of Conor Washington was certainly the biggest surprise in the end of season retained list: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/conor-washington-the-most-notable-name-in-charlton-athletics-released-list/

Perhaps the lack of goals was an issue, but he contributed in other ways and had a good partnership with Stockley.   An alternative explanation is that he was made an offer but turned it down as not good enough.

Among the other decisions, the retention of injury prone Ryan Inniss has been controversial, Forster-Caskey is probably a better bet on the injury front.   Josh Davision has scored nine goals at League Two Swindon, but is probably being retained to sell on, although he may stay until January as cover.  More here: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/charlton-athletic-trigger-contract-extensions-for-four-players-including-forster-caskey-and-inniss/

Blackpool could still be interested in Charlie Kirk, but at a lower fee than £500,000: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/blackpool-still-interested-in-summer-deal-for-charlton-athletic-winger/

Lots of potentially interesting players have been released elsewhere.

Kirk beams down to Valley

Charlie Kirk is not on Blackpool's retained list for next season so he will be returning to SE7.

This will present a dilemma for any new manager unless he can be offloaded on a northern club at a decent price,

Warburton fans' favourite for next manager

With 190 responses to our poll on the next Charlton manager, Mark Warburton is out in front with 33 per cent.   He and Michael Beale in second account for nearly 50 per cent of the selected responses.   There were a lot of suggestions in comments which I will report on later, but Curbs and Chris Powell appeared a lot.

Mark Warburton
Michael Beale
Darren Ferguson
Neil Lennon
Michael Appleton
Matt Gray
Paul Tisdale
Michael Carrick

Monday 9 May 2022

'Great candidates' for Charlton role

Thomas Sandgaard says that there are two types of possible manager for Charlton, younger managers who could perform a head coach role, and more experienced managers: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/there-are-some-great-candidates-charlton-owner-thomas-sandgaard-on-managerial-search/

There is a possibility that Reading rather than Peterborough may be joining us in League One next season: https://www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk/sport/football/peterborough-united/why-there-is-still-a-bit-of-hope-peterborough-united-can-avoid-relegation-this-season-3684927

Former Addick Paul Konchesky has been appointed manager of West Ham's women's team after the departure of the former manager to Arsenal.  He has been awarded a two year contract.

Sunday 8 May 2022

We play them next season, Part 4 - The Gas

It was an incredible finish to the League Two season yesterday.   The Cobblers must have thought they had secured the third automatic promotion place by winning 3-1 at the Dunes Hotel Stadium.

However, facing what was largely relegated Scunthorpe United's Academy side, Bristol Rovers secured a 7-0 win at the Memorial Stadium to grab the last promotion place.  When the seventh goal went in, 10,000 Gasheads invaded the pitch and the game had to be stopped for 20 minutes with the referee threatening to abandon it altogether.

Rovers were near the bottom of the table earlier in the season, but manager Joey Barton was always resolute in his belief that they would go up.

We have played Rovers quite a lot in recent years as we have often been in the same division.   There is something about football fans in Bristol which makes them a bit crazy, possibly because the city punches below its football weight with two teams and a strong local following for egg chasing.

There have been incidents between Charlton and Bristol City supporters in the past and Gary Nelson recalls being intimidated by some of their supporters on Charlton station in one of his books (this was when players sometimes used public transport).

A few years back a Gashead living in Birmingham offered me a lift when Charlton were playing away there midweek.  I couldn't make it.  We put five past them that night and he said he would have left me stranded in Bristol.

They could be quite a threat next season as they will have confidence and momentum from what is being described as 'The Miracle at the Memorial.'

As far as the play offs are concerned, Northampton must be regretting having their keeper sent off two minutes from the end of the game at Barrow.  Some think that Port Fail might make the grade which would offer the chance of a trip to Beautiful Downtown Burslem.   Mansfield, where George Lapslie still plays, are formidable at home.

Although they finished in the last play off place, Swindon Town are the form team.  The Rocking Robins have been a bit of a bogey team for us (remember that play off semi-final?) and they could be back to torment us next season.

Fans divided on Jacko sacking

Our survey on whether Jacko should have been sacked has attracted 162 responses and fans have split 54% - 46% that he should have been.

This is, of course, not a representative sample of fans, but it is not out of line with the balance of comments on social media.

The rights and wrongs of his removal and the way in which it was done is now water through the Thames barrier, although I would like to thank him for his years of committed service to the club.

We now need to look to the future which is why I am running a poll on who fans would like to see as the next manager.   I listed some of the most frequently mentioned names, but it could well be an appointment out of left field.

Both surveys will remain open for a few more days.

Friday 6 May 2022

Sacking was 'harsh' says Steve Brown

Steve Brown talks at length about Johnnie Jackson's sacking which he regards as 'harsh' and says that modern football is all about recruitment: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/steve-brown-on-johnnie-jacksons-sacking-as-charlton-boss-and-why-spotlight-now-on-thomas-sandgaards-summer-plans/

With 149 responses to our survey, 54 per cent say that Jackson should have been sacked and 46 per cent take the opposite view.   The survey will be kept open over the weekend.

The latest CAS Trust survey suggests that fans are still positve, but optimism is waning: https://www.castrust.org/2022/05/cast-survey-still-positive-but-optimism-is-waning/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=cast-survey-still-positive-but-optimism-is-waning

Who do you want as next Charlton manager?

You can vote here. The list is largely based on quoted odds, but I have excluded Sean Dyche (no hope), Hasselbaink and Curbs at 25/1.

Create your own user feedback survey

Sandgaard defends sacking

Thomas Sandgaard admits that many fans were upset by the sacking of Johnnie Jackson, but defends his decision: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/thomas-sandgaard-i-understand-why-some-charlton-fans-will-be-unhappy-at-johnnie-jacksons-dismissal/

Sandgaard said: 'There are the fans who understand that maybe we could do better in terms of how we show up at games, the formation we play, our flexibility if a game develops differently to what we expected – how quickly can we transform and adjust to those things? Substitutions etc, there are many things that some fans have picked up on that maybe we could do differently.'

Fans are deeply divided on the issue.   Our Survey Monkey poll which has attracted over 100 responses is showing a 50-50 split.

You can still vote here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/GBYMBZ6

I hope to run a poll on possible candidates for manager over the weekend.

Thursday 5 May 2022

No Hasselbaink at Charlton

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink is definitely not in the running for the job of Charlton manager, reports Richard Cawley of the SLP.

Think what we have missed.   This is his advice on how to manage your way out of a paper bag:

  1. Place paper bag on head
  2. Shouting loudly to overcome muffling effect of bag, say 'I am the greatest'
  3. Tear paper bag to ease removal from head.

Wednesday 4 May 2022

Morts piles in

Paul Mortimer has commented on BBC Radio London: ‘He [TS] wants high pressing?  So, now the chairman is a coach who understands tactics....I don't know why he's talking about tactics. It worries me...He's employing his son who has no football background.’

However, as one fan pointed out in response, if you own a football club is it so unreasonable to have a view about the style of play?

Another commented that Charlton Athletic fans seriously need to take a breather and just let the next few weeks play out before they let their blood pressure reach unhealthy levels.

Supremo Thomas Sandgaard has said that some out-of-contract players will be resigned (if they want to come, of course): https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/charlton-owner-thomas-sandgaard-well-re-sign-some-of-our-out-of-contract-players/

Top of my list would be Conor Washington and I would extend Jake Forster-Caskey's contract for one year.  There is a case for Ben Purrington - Curbs rates him.

My survey on whether Johnnie Jackson should have been sacked is currently running at 47 per cent yes, 53 per cent no.

Louis Mendez gives a weary three takeaways on the season just finished here: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/three-takeaways-from-charltons-2021-22-campaign-thank-goodness-its-over/

One piece of good news for me, last night my non-league club Leamington retained the Birmingham Senior Cup at Villa Park by beating rivals Stourbridge 3-1.  Unlike Monday's match against Kidderminster, when all available police had to rush to Harbury Lane, the game seems to have passed off without any trouble. 

Kilted wonder for Charlton?

All sorts of names are being touted as the next Charlton manager, including all the usual suspects, but it may well be someone we had never thought of.

The Daily Record is a bit of a clickbait site when it comes to football, but the suggestion of talks with the Hibernian youth supremo is so far out in left field there might actually be something in it: https://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/football/football-news/steve-kean-charlton-shortlist-hibs-26873149

I know a couple of Hibs supporters, so will get their views.

Given that he is a native Glaswegian, there might be an additional cost in terms of a translator.  Shades of 'Sweaty' Balmer!

Does Sandgaard want to be the real manager?

Thomas Sandgaard says that dissatisfaction with the style of play encouraged by Johnnie Jackson led to his removal as manager.   He would have preferred to see players pressing higher up the pitch: https://www.standard.co.uk/sport/football/thomas-sandgaard-charlton-johnnie-jackson-sacked-b997705.html

Of course, leads to questions about whether Sandgaard wants to be the manager himself and this was raised in the interview which drew a denial.

As bad as the satirised 'fan manager' would be an owner-manager.   Sandgaard needs to make a high quality appointment and then let them get on with the job.   Setting targets is one thing, it happens in many walks of life, but is up to the manager how those targets are achieved.

Should Jacko have been sacked?

Without doing a poll it is difficult to judge the balance of views among Charlton supporters on the removal of Johnnie Jackson as manager.  Vote here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/GBYMBZ6

Let's consider the case for and against.   One fan tweeted: 'Maybe not a popular opinion but Jacko was out of his depth. Will always be a club legend but as a manager the style of play was boring, performances were average at best, tactics were weak.'

Whilst I think the complaints about the 3-5-2 formation were overdone, his obstinacy in refusing to change it or having a Plan B was a concern.   It meant that the opposition knew what they had to do: get in behind a weak defence.

On the other hand, Jacko inherited a poor results platform from Adkins.   Things did get better and the poor run was as much to do with the absence of a forward line as anything.

I was a bit more sceptical about his appointment than some people because I think the preference for a 'Charlton man' means that sentiment often gets in the way of clear thinking and good decision-making.

On balance, I would have let him build a team over the summer and prepare them pre-season, but I also understand why Sandgaard took the decision he did.

However, a great delay in selecting a replacement would be damaging.   New players will be reluctant to sign until they know who the manager is going to be.   Remember that because of the World Cup the League One season starts on the weekend of 30th July, so there won't be much of a pre-season.

I do think the vitriol directed at Thomas Sandgaard is unfair.  The club was on the verge of disappearing when he took over and I don't accept that there was queue of prospective buyers.   If I put £12m into  a business, I would expect some say in what happened.

The concern is, of course, that he does not understand League One football and a number of his immediate aides don't either or don't display much judgment.   But like it or not, he is the owner.  Some fans may not renew their season tickets, but that was likely anyway.

CAS Trust chair Heather McKinlay reflects on the decision here: https://www.castrust.org/2022/05/goodbye-jacko-and-thanks-for-everything/

Tuesday 3 May 2022

Farewell then, Johnnie Jackson

Thomas Sandgaard explains his decision not to extend Johnnie Jackson's contract: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/charlton-athletic-part-company-with-manager-johnnie-jackson/

Richard Cawley of the SLP comments: 'Fairly clear indications that the style of football that Thomas Sandgaard wants, he didn't feel was aligned to the way that Johnnie Jackson felt was best way to win promotion.'

Terry Skiverton has also left as coach, but this has not led to any rending of shirts.

Sandgaard says he is looking to next season.   Whoever is chosen should have no previous connection with the club and can take a long, cool look at things.

However, supremo Sandgaard has said that it will be an exhaustive search, but in the mean time will not affect recruitment: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/thomas-sandgaard-claims-johnnie-jacksons-departure-will-not-affect-charltons-recruitment-plans/

The decision was a bolt from the blue and the initial reaction I have seen from supporters is predominantly negative.

VOTV editor Rick Everitt has commented: 'The detail about Jacko’s contract got very confused but my understanding is final league position this season determined the level of severance pay he’d get. So finishing 13th made sacking him a cheaper option. It wasn’t about an extension this summer.'

Steve Brown commented on BBC London Sport: 'I don't think Johnnie has done badly enough to warrant being sacked. We're so quick in this country to pull the trigger on young managers we put in charge of a football team.'

'The best Charlton could have hoped for when JJ took over was 6th and it would have taken a championship winning run to get 6th. I don't look at JJ as the reason they've finished 13th. I look at the squad, recruitment, lack of leadership within the players.'

Sandgaard denies sale rumours

The rumour mill has suggested that Thomas Sandgaard has put Charlton up for sale and the owner has been obliged to deny these rumours: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/hilarious-charlton-owner-thomas-sandgaard-reacts-to-claim-that-club-is-up-for-sale/

Of course, any club is potentially for sale and Andrew Barclay has pointed out that there is a tension at Charlton in terms of the separation between ownership of the stadium (and training ground) and the operating company.

Monday 2 May 2022

Sandgaard admits recruitment errors

Thomas Sandgaard admits that poor recruitment last summer contributed to a disappointing season for Charlton: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/thomas-sandgaard-last-summers-transfer-window-a-major-factor-in-charlton-not-mounting-promotion-challenge/ 

He promises to do better this time: let's hope he's right, but it is not an easy task.  There is lots of competition out there for players and a mid-table League One club is not that attractive.

Admittedly for some players the London location is a plus and the training ground and the stadium are also attractive.

Forster-Caskey's future in balance

Jake Forster-Caskey is waiting to hear whether Charlton will trigger his one year contract extension: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/jake-forster-caskey-on-his-charlton-athletic-future-confirms-no-contact-yet-over-deal-trigger/

I would have him back as I think he is a quality player, although I know there is a risk that his injury problems will recur.  We have invested a lot in him over the past year through his salary and treatment and it would be a shame to see another club take advantage.

Sunday 1 May 2022

Valete: the clubs who left League One

There will be six clubs leaving League for promotion and relegation this season with a seventh to be decided.

After a traumatic time, Wigan spent well and wisely to secure the championship, also making good use of existing players like Max Power who often tormented us.   They have, however, been something of a yo-yo club over the years.

Not so mich as Rotherham who have had six successive promotions and relegations.  I thought they played the best football in the division.   Paul Warne is an excellent manager.

It will be interesting to see who secures the play off place.   The Franchisees clearly have the momentum, although just failing to secure automatic promotion may undermine that.  The Massives are clearly a possibility as they head for the staging post of the Championship back to their rightful place in the top flight.

Sunderland always seem to go through a play off trauma, although they don't have to face us this year.  In many ways I would like to see Wycombe Wanderers go up as I have a lot of time for Gareth Ainsworth, but they are probably outsiders.   A shout out for Plymouth's Green Army who were denied at the death.  They were probably doomed when a friend who is an Everton fan who lives in Exeter went to watch their last game as he was so fed up with Everton.

At the other end, Doncaster Rovers have declared they will bounce straight back, but I have my doubts.  Crewe never matched up to the challenge of League One football.   I am not sorry to see the back of AFC Wimbledon.  I know they have a squeaky clean image as a fan owned club (a format I oppose), but I think they are not as nice as they make out.

I am very pleased to see the back of Gillingham and the so-called Kent derby.   'Chopper' Harris was very outspoken about what is wrong with that club, although he didn't mention the temporary stand.  At least we will be spared caravans clogging the roads for the home fixture.

Morecambe turned us over and have survived.   They have never been relegated as a club   Fleetwoood Town will continue to offer an enticing away trip in the depths of winter.

What I didn't realise is that Fleetwood are building their own international empire like the City Group. They own Fleetwood United in the UAE's third tier and Western Cape Fleetwood in South Africa's Fourth Division.

Pearce departure confirmed

Louis Mendez has confirmed that, as anticipated, Jason Pearce will be leaving the club.   No one can doubt his commitment and I think that a National League club may well be interested in using his experience.

Pearce hopes that there may be a coaching role for him at Charlton which he could combine with playing for a non-league or League 2 club: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/charlton-athletic-defender-confirms-he-wont-be-offered-new-playing-contract/

Johnnie Jackson has said that Charlie Kirk will be offered 'every opportunity' if he returns to Charlton.  Well, he has to say that, but he could well be demoralised and it would be best for him and the club if he did not return: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/he-will-be-afforded-every-opportunity-charlton-boss-has-his-say-on-blackpool-loanee-winger/

Fans who went to see Charlton Women play their final game of the season at The Valley saw a 2-1 win over Durham City: https://londonnewsonline.co.uk/womens-football-charlton-women-make-it-a-winning-experience-at-the-valley/

One fan who was there said he had never seen the men's team pass the ball properly and actually communicate with each other.