Amidst the disillusionment, anger and comments that made you wonder if the individual that made them needed to be sent in the way of the Samaritans, cool heads have suggested we should move on from the events at Charlton yesterday.
We’ve got to, or so I’ve been told, forget about what’s gone on and get behind Jose Riga. It won’t help the players if we don’t, and we need to give them our full support if we’re going to maintain our Championship status. Keep quiet; go along with it.
Because this is all about relegation or survival, isn’t it? There’s either success or failure, nothing in between. How you feel towards a club, a club that had an identity and warmth for three years, and almost certainly more beyond that, doesn’t matter if we stay up.
If coach-on-strings masterminds a win over a Huddersfield side, that have probably given up for the season, with his players that aren’t in the side on merit, everything changes.
I’m expected to celebrate as if I would if Chris Powell was in charge. I’m expected to feel positive about the rest of the season, and expect a bright future.
When we’ve played our 46th game of this punishing campaign and we’re sat 21st in the Championship, I’m expected to celebrate survival. I’m expected to be sat here now thinking ‘oh, wouldn’t it be great if Riga kept us in England’s second tier’. I’m meant to be looking forward to the possible excitement that avoiding the drop brings.
If Chris Powell was in charge, I would do; more than anyone else.
If Chris Powell had been sacked for footballing reasons and replaced by a man who was employed for footballing reasons, I’m sure I’d come round to it. Sure, I’d feel bad until the dust had settled, and I’d disagree with Duchatelet’s decision, but I’d be willing to go along with it. At least I’d be supporting Charlton Athletic, because there’s certainly more to Charlton Athletic than Chris Powell.
But Chris Powell hasn’t been sacked for footballing reasons. The new man isn’t here on coaching merit.
I’ll be at The Valley tonight, mainly because I don’t want the sport I love taken away from me (and I really fancy a trip to the Valley Cafe), but I’m not turning up to watch Charlton.
Of course, I’ll be supporting the players. Some of them, even if they won’t be here in three months, love this club as much as myself or anyone else. But will they really be representing Charlton Athletic tonight?
They’ll be representing part of Roland Duchatelet’s network; an anonymous club, losing its identity to take part in some ridiculous experiment. The sacking of Powell isn’t as simple as a managerial change, it’s a change of a whole club ethos.
But the experiment might pay off, we might stay up. Realistically, we won’t. If we do, it’ll be at the cost of the club’s identity.
I know it makes absolutely no sense from a business perspective, but give me League One Football with Powell in charge over Championship survival with Duchatlet’s puppet.
And even if we do survive, who is at our club to stop our best players, young or old, being sold at will for profit? Who is there to make sure players that love this club, like Johnnie Jackson and Ben Hamer, stay where they belong? Who is there to stop us turning into a machine that hosts players that weren’t good enough at Duchatelet’s other clubs?
I always scorned at Cardiff City fans for moaning about losing their identity, because they had success. Now I completely understand.
Yes, I’ve changed my tone. Yes, I was behind Duchatelet previously. But I didn’t believe he had this in him. I didn’t believe he wanted an influence on the playing side of things, I didn’t believe he would sack Powell and certainly didn’t believe he would appoint a ‘yes man’ to carry out his dirty work.
Ah well, as long as we’re invading the pitch at Bloomfield Road after achieving survival on the final day of the season, none of this even matters.
Clap, clap, clap. Here’s to a new era.