Jose Riga

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:

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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.

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A timeline showing the main events of Roland Duchâtelet’s first 13 months of Charlton ownership

Please double click on the image below to see a larger clearer version.

Duchatelet Timeline

José Riga versus Bob Peeters

Which of Roland Duchâtelet’s men has performed best at the helm of Charlton Athletic?

José Riga   Bob Peeters
Played 16 21
Won 7 6
Drawn 3 12
Lost 6 3
Goals For 17 23
Goals Against 20 22
Points 24 30
Goal Difference -3 1
Percentage Wins 44% 29%
Percentage Draws 19% 57%
Percentage Losses 38% 14%
Scored Per Game 1.06 1.1
Conceded Per Game 1.25 1.05
Points Per Game 1.5 1.43
Binary Scorelines 44% 67%

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Stats above are for League Matches only.  José Riga’s from the 0-0 Draw with Huddersfield on 12th March 2014 to the 3-0 victory at Blackpool on 3rd May 2014.  Bob Peeters’ from the 1-1 draw at Brentford on 9th August 2014 to the 2-2 draw with Blackpool on 13th December 2014.

New Age Movement

 Times They Are A Changing – And The Charlton Squad Is Getting Younger! 20140922 sign age We were intrigued by an interview with Katrien Meire in CASTrust’s TNT7 in which stated that Roland Duchâtelet is “famous for giving lots of young professionals a chance”.  This was cited as a reason for Bob Peeters being appointed as Head Coach rather than Jose Riga.  This set us thinking, if RD is out to employ bright young managers like Katrien and Bob, would this philosophy of employing youngsters extend to the first team at Charlton? Looking at how the average age of a squad member has changed over the past 11 months, it would certainly seem so.  On the day that RD took over the club the average age of the first team squad was 25 years and 159 days.  By the final day of last season that had dropped to 24 years, 155 days.  Today it stands at 23 years and 182 days.  That’s quite a remarkable change in less than a year.  It has been achieved in two ways.  At the older end of the scale, we had 9 players older than 26, last January.  Of those, only the skipper remains.  The others have been retired, re-leased or re-sold.  Of the new recruits only two are over this age: our double-barrelled centre-back pairing.  At the younger end of the scale our youngest player is now aged 17 years and 122 days.  And with 4 appearances already, young Mr Gomez certainly isn’t there just to make up the numbers.  It certainly seems that the Duchâtelet philosophy of giving young talent a chance has been extended to the Charlton first team.  The only question is, how low can you go? Full Table of Squad Ages Please click to enlarge Screen Shot 2014-09-22 at 21.37.25