Just over a week ago, Charlton fans had vey little idea of what to make of Bob Peeters and his new-look team. A totally unfamiliar manager led out a largely unfamiliar team to play Brentford at Griffin Park last Saturday.
I’m used to quickly passing judgement when a team is announced before a match. “[Insert name here] is playing?! Oh, that’s not good.”…”Oh great, we needed [insert name here] – that means we can play [insert formation of choice]!”
But at 14:00pm last Saturday, it was impossible to have any of those reactions. Stephen Henderson, Andre Bikey, Tal Ben Haim, Johann Berg Gudmundsson, Yoni Buyens, Igor Vetokele, Franck Moussa and George Tucudean. Were these guys any good? Was this a good team? We hoped. We guessed. But we didn’t know. We had to wait and see.
Diego Poyet has left Charlton. Deep down, we all knew it was coming didn’t we? We could dream and hope for the best but football always has that awful potential to let you down.
Charlton Athletic, it’s happened again. A popular manager departs and is replaced by an unknown. At the time of writing, it looks increasingly likely that Bob Peeters will take the place of Jose Riga as the new head coach of the club.
Riga faced a tough task to win over most fans when he replaced a club legend in March. By the end of his time in charge, The Covered End sang out his name in admiration. And rightly so. Riga achieved as much as could have been realistically expected of him during his short stint.
It’s no surprise then to learn that he wanted to stay at the club beyond his initial contract until the end of last season, as he confirmed on Sky Sports News this afternoon. You’d be forgiven for thinking it was the perfect match; the results were good, the football was decent, the players were happy and the fans were onside. Yet, for whatever reason, owner Roland Duchatelet has not seen it that way.
Here it is. The third and final (and best in this writer’s humble opinion) part of the Charlton bloggers’ end of season review…
Who would you like to be our manager next season?
David Norris: In a world in which Charlton have independence, Chris Powell. Sadly we don’t, so I guess in the current circumstances keeping on Jose Riga would be the best option.
Better let than never, here’s Part Two of the Charlton bloggers’ end of season review. Here, we look at the best games and the best teams…
David Norris: Spoiling the party in Sheffield. Making the MASSIVE miserable. Chrissy Powell swinging off the crossbar. Wonderful.
It’s been a long season.
So it’s only fitting that me and a host of other Charlton bloggers have put together a long season review to match. Below is part one, where we rave about our favourite players and their performances. Parts two and three will be posted over the coming days.
It’s been a season full of debate and drama, with Charlton fans divergent on a number of issues, and united on others. In this review you’ll find the views of 11 different bloggers. On some things (Diego Poyet) we all agree. On others, we differ. In my opinion, that’s a good thing.
If you haven’t already, I urge you to check out everyone’s work. The Valley is evidently home to some brilliant writers. I’ve included links to blogs and Twitter accounts throughout.
Anyway, that’s enough waffle. Let’s get started…
We’ve all enjoyed the rise to prominence of academy players such as Diego Poyet, Morgan Fox and Jordan Cousins this year. And according to Alex Stedman, we can look forward to more in the future…
In May last year I wrote a long feature about the U21 side. A team who, under the guidance of Nathan Jones, won an impressive treble. The man formerly at the helm of the squad now finds himself at Brighton and Hove Albion, contesting the Championship play-offs.
Click on the link below to read my interactive match report to re-live a wonderful night all over again…
Charlton 1-3 Blackburn. Four most match thoughts:
1) A heads up for Jose; Wilson & Solly CAN play together.
You’ve got to feel a little bit sorry for Jordan Cousins. Until Diego Poyet’s emergence, his Young Player of the Year award was almost nailed on. We shouldn’t forget that for the first half of the season, Cousins was an absolute revelation, and was named Football League Young Player of the Month in October. Sitting in front of the back four, Cousins’ lively presence in the midfield allowed Dale Stephens to exert his creative influence further up the pitch.
I left the The Valley late on Tuesday night. Long after the burger vans had been shut down and the floodlights switched off. I trudged up Floyd Road in the customary manner – head bowed, muttering rude words under my breath, wondering where it all went wrong. As I did so a small stream of swish sports cars and people carriers drove past me and into the night.
It was the Charlton players. The same players who had served up such a disappointing performance in arguably the biggest game of the season at home to Barnsley. In that moment on a cold night, it would have been easy to be resentful of these players and loanees. It would have been tempting to spout the same tired old lines of them lacking passion, of not caring. It would have been easy to point the finger directly at them for the mess we’re in.