CAFC

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

 

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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.

Charlton’s League Cup Record

Tonight Charlton take on Dagenham & Redbridge in the First Round of the League Cup.  Charlton fans will be hoping for a better performance than last time out in 2011 when they beat us in League One and a better performance still than in 2001 when Premiership Charlton came within four minutes of defeat to the non-league Daggers.

Charlton fans will also be hoping to do rather better in the League Cup than we have in the past. This will be Charlton’s 142nd match in that competition and we have currently won only 52 of those.  Since our first match in 1960, for some reason wearing blue jerseys, where we conceded three goals against West Ham, including a 25 yarder from Bobby Moore, things have not looked good.

Played Won Drawn Lost For Against
141 52 30 59 220 218

Many fans will remember recent humiliations against the likes of Yeovil and Hereford, the wasted opportunity against Wycombe or the ridiculous capitulation to Shrewsbury having taken a 3-0 lead.  The pain isn’t all recent though.  If there are any fans still around who visited Bloomfield Road in 1963, they must still be smarting from the 7-1 drubbing handed out that night – thankfully still our biggest defeat in the competition.

You may wonder why, in a competition just over fifty years old how come Charlton have played so many matches if they’ve been beaten so much.  There are two reasons for this.  Firstly, it wasn’t until the 1990s that penalties superseded replays as a way of decided drawn ties.  Secondly, and something which can only be explained by the mis-placed greed of the footballing authorities, in the last quarter of the 20th Century early rounds were played over two legs.

When Charlton’s record is scrutinised leg by leg it looks even worse than on a match by match basis.  Of a total of 101 rounds played Charlton have only progressed through 45 of them.

Number of Rounds Won in a Season Number of Occasions
Won 0 rounds 26
Won 1 round 17
Won 2 rounds 11
Won 3 rounds 2

The worst time span in the club’s League cup history was soon after the competition started.  On the 13th October 1965 Charlton lost 4-3 to Peterborough, it wouldn’t be until the18th August 1970 that we’d register a win, putting three past Southend. That’s 58 months to get a decent result.  Although that’s a long time span we have had worse sequences of results.  Between 1991 and 1994 we played six matches, notching up just one draw. Then between 2007 and 2012 we played seven matches, recording five defeats and two draws.

Despite this poor record we have had our moments.  On two occasions we have notched up three consecutive wins.  We’ve won 14 rounds on aggregate (despite not winning all of those matches). On four occasions we’ve put five goals past the opposition – Brentford, Peterborough, Chesterfield and Wimbledon.  We’ve also won three penalty shootouts, most notably against Chelsea leaving Sr. Mourinho in a state of denial.  And best of all (though most disappointing in the end) in 2006-07 we reached the Quarter Finals.

So Charlton can do good things in this competition.  What we need though is for the club, the management and the players to take it seriously.  A win against Dagenham tonight could be the springboard to great things, but we’ve got to believe that and want it.  On too many occasions in the past we’ve entered this competition in a half-hearted manner and got our just deserts.

Zakarya BERGDICH Debut V Queens Park Rangers

Congratulations to Zakarya Bergdich who made is 1st team debut on Saturday against QPR.

Full Name: Zakarya BERGDICH
Squad Number: 19
Valiant Number: 802
Manager: Guy Luzon
Date: Saturday 8th August 2015
Opposition: Queens Park Rangers
Ground: The Valley
Competition: Sky Bet Championship (Tier 2)
Timing: 76th minute replacement for Ba.
Position: Left Midfield
Score at introduction: 2-0
Score at end: 2-0
Impact: Looked OK; pretty fast running down the flank, but the game was won by the time he came on.
Date of Birth: 07/01/1989
Place of Birth: Compiègne, France
Age at Debut: 26 years, 213 days.
Previous Clubs: UJA Alfortville [France] 31 (1), RC Lens [France] 56 (2), Valladolid [Spain] 39 (5), Genoa [Italy] [loan] 11 (0).
Development: As a youth, played for US Créteil-Lusitanos and RC Strasbourg Alsace
Internationals: Morocco U23 11 (0), Morocco Full 17 (0).
Charlton Status: Signed for 4 years. Terms undisclosed.