What’s Taking So Long?

Charlton’s inability to recruit a manager enters its second month.

Charlton have now entered their 2nd calendar month without a manager or ‘head coach’ as the regime prefers to call it. 25 days after Jose Riga’s resignation (and even more since everyone knew he was going) and there’s still no sign of an appointment. First there was the bungled attempt to lure Chris Wilder from Northampton; depending on who you believe this either failed as a result of insufficient assurances regarding management control or because Wilder was a Blade at heart and couldn’t therefore resist the overtures of Sheffield United.  The first of these reasons is supported by the publicly acknowledged lack of trustworthiness that the regime has.  The second, by the fact that Wilder was born in Sheffield and did play over 100 matches for Utd.

Since then there have been a host of rumoured suitors including Nigel Adkins, Steve Cotterill, Keith Hill and Johnnie Jackson, but to date no appointment. A mixture of bad publicity regarding the regime and its self-induced malaise, low appointment-expectancy, low manager salary, low playing budget and the big one: unwillingness of the owner to put control-assurances in writing have between them frightened off anyone considering a stint at The Happy Valley.

Does it really matter?  Yes it does.  If Charlton are to have any chance of promotion and if they want to minimise the risk of falling through another trap door, preparations need to be made early.  Any manager will need time to recruit and shape the team to suit their style of play. Having such a senior vacancy reduces the time in which to do this and increases the risk that the playing budget will be squandered on players that are ill-fitted to the manager’s plans.  Other clubs are moving on at a pace to ensure that they are ready for the season ahead.  Meanwhile Charlton are stuck in a quagmire of their own making: Duchatelet, unwilling to relinquish control; Meire incapable of dealing with any footballing related issues in a competent manner.

There are currently nine Football League clubs looking for a manager, only Blackburn is on a par with Charlton for its inability to do so:

Screenshot 2016-06-01 10.20.05

A further seven clubs have already appointed managers since the end of the season. These spent, on average, just one week each in sorting out their most important appointments. Meanwhile Charlton are left floundering.

Screenshot 2016-06-01 10.20.21



Yaya’s Hat-Trick

Congratulations to Yaya Sanogo whose hat-trick against Reading was Charlton’s fist hat-trick in 21 months.  These three goals put Sanogo joint 4th in Charlton’s top scorers list for the season.

It is actually Charlton’s third hat-trick under the Duchâtelet regime.  All three have been with José Riga in charge of the team struggling at the bottom of the table:

  • 21st April 2014 Sheffield Wednesday 2 Charlton 3 Marvin Sordell 10, 43, 63
  • 3rd May 2014  Blackpool 0 Charlton 3 Callum Harriott 61, 82, 90
  • 27th February 2016 Charlton 3 Reading 4 Yaya Sanogo 7, 49, 84

Despite Charlton’s poor scoring record since Duchâtelet took over, it is perhaps surprising that the club is joint top in terms of hat-tricks per club in the Championship within that timescale.  Here is the list:

Birmingham City 3
Blackburn Rovers 3
Bournemouth 3
Charlton Athletic 3
Reading 3
Derby County 2
Fulham 2
Watford 2
Bolton Wanderers 1
Brentford 1
Burnley 1
Huddersfield Town 1
Hull City 1
Ipswich Town 1
Leeds United 1
Middlesbrough 1
Millwall 1
Norwich City 1
Nottingham Forest 1

Former Reading player Adam le Fondre is the only player to have scored two Championship hat-tricks in that time.  Current Reading Striker Yann Kermorgant is the only former Charlton Player to have scored a Championship hat-trick in that timescale; and he very nearly added a second one against Charlton on Saturday.

Charlton’s Longest And Shortest Tenures As Temporary Manager (or Interim Coach if you prefer their terminology)

Karel Fraeye:

Appointed: 25th October 2015

Removed: 13th January 2016

Time in Charge, 80 days.

P14* W2 D4 L8 F11 A28

*13 League, 1 FA Cup

Wim de Cort:

Appointed; 13th January 2016

Removed: 14th January 2016

Time in Charge: 1 day.

P0 W0 D0 L0 F0 A0

Two Years Into The Duchatelet Experiment

It is now two years since Roland Duchâtelet took control of Charlton Athletic.  Whatever it is that he thinks he’s up to, the results don’t make pretty reading.  Of the 93 league matches played since then, Charlton have won just 26, 29 have been drawn and an incredible (unless, that is, you’ve been unfortunate enough to witness the displays) 38 have been lost.  For every goal that Charlton have scored, the opposition have averaged 1.39.

When looked at on a season by season basis, it’s fair to say that the Duchâtelet régime got off to a bad start.  Forgivable, maybe, given that the playing squad that they inherited had been badly run-down, but not good.  The following season, 2014/15, got off to a good start and then deteriorated into a seemingly endless run of draws.  Whilst the current season has been an unmitigated disaster, with just four wins to date from 25 matches.

Screenshot 2016-01-06 23.01.52

A short while ago when questioned about the high number of managerial turnarounds Charlton have made in the last two years, CEO Katrien Meire  claimed that every decision was correct because the club improved every time.  This is an out and out lie.   We can safely discount Chris Powell in this who was never going to fit with the régime, also Damien Matthew and Ben Roberts who had the misfortune of leading the team for one match during the farcically hasty appointment of Guy Luzon.

Screenshot 2016-01-06 23.02.12

If we look at the other appointments and how they have fared, quite a pattern emerges.  First of all José Riga came in and he made quite a reasonable go of things.  Under his leadership the team averaged 1.5 points per game. For whatever reasons though, Riga was allowed to slip away to Blackpool, probably the only club in the league with  a worse set-up than Charlton.  Bob Peeters was brought in to replace him.  His team averaged 1.24 points per game.  Next came Guy Luzon with 1.18.  Finally we have Karel Fraeye, bringing in a relegation threatening 0.83 points per game.

So, far from Meire’s claim that every decision was right.  Every managerial appointment made by Charlton in the last two years has been worse than the preceding one.

It was the original intention that this blog would be impartial and would simply report the facts.  However, the last two years have been so bad that things need to be said: Karel Fraeye is just about as incompetent as a manager can get. Katriene Meire is out of her depth, and is certainly not suitable to be an executive. Roland Duchâtelet, the absentee landlord, has shown all the leadership skills of a dying worm.  It is time for them all to go, because the statistics couldn’t get much worse than this.

Jackson’s Fifty Goals

A summary of Johnnie Jackson’s Charlton goals

Depending on who is doing the counting Captain Marvel, Johnnie Jackson, notched up either his fiftieth or his forty-ninth goal for The Addicks against Birmingham at the weekend.  Here’s a summary of all fifty:

# Date Opposition Competition Ground Min Final
1 25/09/10 Dagenham League 1 The Valley 89 2-2 Headed in a Racon cross
2 23/10/10 Carlisle League 1 Brunton Park 23 4-3 Shot from close range
3 02/11/10 Swindon League 1 County Ground 13 3-0 Shot following Benson pass
4 13/11/10 Peterborough League 1 London Road 15 5-1 Penalty following foul on Scott Wagstaff
5 13/11/10 Peterborough League 1 London Road 36 5-1 Shot to top corner
6 20/11/10 Yeovil League 1 The Valley 11 3-2 Neat finish from Lee Martin assist
7 20/11/10 Yeovil League 1 The Valley 85 3-2 Penalty after being fouled
8 27/11/10 Luton FA Cup 2nd Rnd The Valley 34 2-2 Headed in a parried shot from Scott Wagstaff
9 09/12/10 Luton FA Cup 2nd Rnd Rep. Kenilworth Road 80 3-1 The disputed goal. Free kick off Racon’s head.
10 29/12/10 Brighton League 1 Am Ex 3 1-1 Penalty following foul on Anyinsah
11 01/01/11 Colchester League 1 Weston Homes 18 3-3 Penalty following Bond handball
12 01/01/11 Colchester League 1 Weston Homes 40 3-3 Penalty following Perkins handling of Benson’s header
13 03/01/11 Swindon League 1 The Valley 22 2-4 Deflected shot from close range
14 15/01/11 Sheffield Wednesday League 1 Hillsborough 6 2-2 Penalty following foul on Anyinsah
15 12/02/11 Peterborough League 1 The Valley 57 3-2 Header from Simon Francis cross
16 06/08/11 Bournemouth League 1 The Valley 77 3-0 Penalty to bottom left
17 20/08/11 Scunthorpe League 1 The Valley 20 2-2 Looping header to top right
18 27/08/11 Bury League 1 Gigg Lane 64 2-1 Left foot shot to bottom right corner
19 24/09/11 Chesterfield League 1 The Valley 29 3-1 Low shot from over the penalty spot from Stephens free kick
20 08/10/11 Tranmere League 1 The Valley 80 1-1 Penalty following foul on Kermorgant
21 05/11/11 Preston League 1 The Valley 16 5-2 Low shot after Green’s attempt parried
22 05/11/11 Preston League 1 The Valley 26 5-2 Penalty following foul on Kermorgant
23 13/11/11 Halifax FA Cup 1st Rnd The Shay 80 4-0 Low shot around two defenders
24 14/01/12 Sheffield Wednesday League 1 Hillsborough 28 1-0 Free kick. 20 yard curler to top right
25 21/01/12 Sheffield United League 1 The Valley 21 1-0 Free kick. 30 yard belter to top left
26 14/02/12 Milton Keynes League 1 The Valley 44 2-1 Penalty following foul on Yann Kermorgant
27 14/02/12 Milton Keynes League 1 The Valley 45 2-1 Penalty following foul on Jackson
28 28/02/12 Chesterfield League 1 b2net 58 4-0 Shot to bottom right corner from Stephens cross
29 22/09/12 Ipswich Championship Portman Road 48 2-1 Close range shot to top left corner
30 29/09/12 Blackburn Championship The Valley 27 1-1 Header from a Green cross
31 06/11/12 Cardiff Championship The Valley 39 5-4 20 yard shot to top right corner
32 06/11/12 Cardiff Championship The Valley 45 5-4 Header from 6 yards
33 01/01/13 Watford Championship Vicarage Road 78 4-3 Corner headed in from the D.
34 12/01/13 Blackpool Championship The Valley 23 2-1 Shot to bottom left from outside penalty box
35 26/01/13 Sheffield Wednesday Championship The Valley 47 1-2 Shot off the right post following good work from Solly and Pitchard
36 05/03/13 Peterborough Championship London Road 55 2-2 Shot from 12 yards to bottom right
37 30/03/13 Bolton Championship The Valley 25 3-2 Ran into box and shot to bottom right
38 06/04/13 Leeds Championship The Valley 47 2-1 Short range shot
39 13/04/13 Barnsley Championship Oakwell 19 6-0 Shot through keepers legs from 18 yards
40 04/05/13 Bristol City Championship The Valley 85 4-1 Shot from six yards following Pritchard’s pass
41 09/11/13 Leeds Championship The Valley 70 2-4 Tap-in from Church cross
42 07/12/13 Yeovil Championship Huish Park 45 2-2 Stooping header at far post from Cameron Stewart cross
43 01/01/14 Ipswich Championship Portman Road 90 1-1 Half-volley from just behind the penalty spot
44 22/02/14 QPR Championship The Valley 90 1-0 Downward header from narrow angle from Ajdarevic corner
45 29/04/14 Watford Championship The Valley 69 3-1 Controlled long ball from Fox and shot from 3 yards out
46 30/09/14 Norwich Championship Carrow Road 86 1-0 30 yard daisy cutter to bottom left
47 21/10/14 Bolton Championship The Valley 51 2-1 Low shot from 20 yards
48 04/10/15 Fulham Championship The Valley 81 2-2 Close range header
49 07/11/15 Sheffield Wednesday Championship The Valley 26 3-1 Close range header
50 21/11/05 Birmingham Championship St Andrews 61 1-0 Downward header following good work from Holmes-Dennis and Lookman

Goals Contributing to Wins: 35

Goals Contributing to Draws: 12

Consolation Goals: 3

Goals Scored Against: Peterborough 4; Sheffield Wednesday 4; Yeovil 3; Bolton 2; Cardiff 2; Chesterfield 2; Colchester 2; Ipswich 2; Leeds 2; Luton 2; Milton Keynes 2; Preston 2; Swindon 2; Watford 2; Barnsley 1; Birmingham 1; Blackburn 1; Blackpool 1; Bournemouth 1; Brighton 1; Bristol City 1; Bury 1; Carlisle 1; Dagenham 1; Fulham 1; Halifax 1; Norwich 1; QPR 1; Scunthorpe 1; Sheffield United 1 Tranmere 1.

Goals Scored At: TheValley 29; London Road 3; Hillsborough 2; Portman Road 2; Weston Homes 2; AmEx 1; b2net 1; Brunton Park 1; Carrow Road 1; County Ground 1; Gigg Lane 1; Huish Park 1; Kenilworth Road 1; Oakwell 1; St Andrews 1; The Shay 1; Vicarage Road 1

Tareiq Holmes-Dennis Debut V Dagenham & Redbridge

Congratulations to Tareiq Holmes-Dennis who made his first team debut on Tuesday night against Dagenham

Full Name: Tareiq Holmes-Dennis

Squad Number: 17

Valiant Number: 806

Manager: Guy Luzon

Date: Tuesday 11th August 2015

Opposition: Dagenham & Redbridge

Ground: The Valley

Competition: League Cup, 1st Round

Competition Masquerading As: The Capital One Cup

Timing: 74th Minute substitute for Cristian Ceballos

Position: Central Defence

Score at introduction: 3-1

Score at end: 4-1 

Impact: Looked comfortable and made one really good attacking pass, but didn’t have long to prove himself.

Date of Birth: 31/10/1995

Place of Birth: Farnborough, Kent

Age at Debut: 19 years, 285 days.

Previous Clubs: Oxford 14 (0) [loan], Plymouth 17 (1) [loan].

Development: Played for the Charlton youth team whilst still at school. Played in the FA Youth Cup final and progressed to the U21s side. Has league experience form loand spells at Oxford and Plymouth.

Charlton Status: Academy Graduate.