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.
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.
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.
Since the new owner took over Charlton on 3rd January 2015, thirty players have made their debuts for Charlton. The sources of those players and the types of appointment are as follows. Of those players who were already established professionals the numbers who had previously played in Great Britain are roughly equal to the numbers who had prviously played in Belgium. Five of the players had progressed from Charlton’s academy. Between them the new players have now made 389 appearances for Charlton, though they have scored just 33 goals. 52% of those goals have come from just two players, Igor Vetokele and Jóhann Berg Guðmundsson. For more information on these thirty players, please click below to download a spreadsheet: Charlton Debutants 3:1:14 to 17:2:15
Which of Roland Duchâtelet’s men has performed best at the helm of Charlton Athletic?
|José Riga||Bob Peeters|
|Scored Per Game||1.06||1.1|
|Conceded Per Game||1.25||1.05|
|Points Per Game||1.5||1.43|
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.
Times They Are A Changing – And The Charlton Squad Is Getting Younger! 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