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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Is Big Bob Charlton’s Greatest Ever Manager?

Monday 15th September 2014 – Comparison of Bob Peeters to his predecessors in their starts as Charlton Manager 

Frankly, only a mad person would make a positive answer to such a question.  Indeed, you’d need to be a little bit touched just to ask it.  Bob has been in charge for only six league matches, which is far to early to attach any significance to in terms of greatness.  Nevertheless, getting a team who were widely tipped to struggle to win three and draw three is quite some achievement. We therefore decided to compare Bob’s start to that of all of the previous Charlton managers who have been in charge for six games or more (that’s all of them except Les Gore and Keith Peacock).  How does Bob’s record compare?

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The table shows that Bob’s run of three wins and three draws is indeed the best six-match start made by any Charlton manager.  Just pipping the previous best, set by Chris Powell, on goal difference. At the wrong end of the table Theo Foley and Mike Bailey made the poorest starts each getting just two draws to show from their opening league fixtures.