Let’s never do this again. Let’s not have a season so exhausting, so emotionally painful and so tense at least in my life time. Another one like this would probably make said life time extremely short.
And the first award, The Alan Pardew Award for the Most Depressing Season Without Relegation, goes to the 2013/14 season. Good-bloody-riddens.
Nonetheless, there have been some high points, and some low points worth mocking, which can only mean there’s still plenty of awards to hand out.
(The awards this year are sponsored by @plentyofshots. Get following.)
The Danny Haynes Goal of the Season
Like Danny Haynes, all these goals were scored by players who had the occasional sensational strike in their locker. Like Danny Haynes, none of these players play for Charlton anymore.
- A Leeds Player Vs Huddersfield (Huddersfield Town 2-1 Charlton Athletic; 17/9/13)
- A Leeds Player Vs Leeds (Charlton Athletic 2-4 Leeds United; 9/11/13
- A Brighton Player Vs Doncaster (Charlton Athletic 2-0 Doncaster Rovers; 26/11/13)
- A Leeds Player Vs Yeovil (Yeovil Town 2-2 Charlton Athletic; 7/12/13)
- A Bournemouth Player Vs Brighton (Charlton Athletic 3-2 Brighton and Hove Albion; 26/12/13)
- A Bournemouth Player Vs Oxford (Oxford United 0-3 Charlton Athletic; 21/1/14)
WINNER: The Brighton Player Vs Doncaster
“The ball looped up and took an eternity to come down, enough time for your writer to wish for him not to shoot, but the playmaker timed his volley to perfection and found the far top corner. Stewart’s strike against Leeds suddenly felt a bit dull. This was sensational.” Arguably our best performance of the season produced the best goal.
The ‘Oh, So We Can Score Without Stewart, Stephens and Kermorgant’ Award
Whisper it quietly, but those who remained following the trio’s departure could actually score goals. Some of those goals were quite good.
- Simon Church Vs Huddersfield (Huddersfield Town 0-1 Charlton Athletic; 25/1/14)
- Johnnie Jackson Vs QPR (Charlton Athletic 1-0 QPR; 22/2/14)
- Reza Ghoochannejhad Vs Leeds (Leeds United 0-1 Charlton Athletic; 1/4/2014)
- Astrit Ajdarevic Vs Yeovil (Charlton Athletic 3-2 Yeovil Town; 8/4/14)
- Marvin Sordell Vs Blackburn (Charlton Athletic 1-3 Blackburn Rovers; 26/4/14)
- Callum Harriott (X2) Vs Watford (Charlton Athletic 3-1 Watford; 29/4/14)
WINNER: Johnnie Jackson Vs QPR
Okay, it’s not the most ascetically pleasing goal of the seven strikes, but few times has The Valley erupted to such a level of noise in my lifetime. It wins for what the goal meant, rather than it’s quality.
The Bradley Pritchard Miss of the Season
Poor old Pritch. Everyone’s favourite trier, even if he is much more than that, had a tricky season. At least his teammates managed some more glaring misses than he did.
- Bradley Pritchard Vs Wigan (Charlton Athletic 0-0 Wigan Athletic; 27/10/13)
- Simon Church Vs Sheffield Wednesday (Charlton Athletic 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday; 29/12/13)
- Reza Ghoochannejhad Vs QPR (Charlton Athletic 1-0 QPR; 22/2/14)
- Callum Harriott Vs Sheffield United (Sheffield United 2-0 Charlton Athletic; 9/3/14)
- Yann Kermorgant Vs all opposition since February
WINNER: Yann Kermorgant Vs all opposition since February
An unbelievable footballer, an unbelievable character and a talismanic figure. Miss you.
The Knee Slide Trophy for Celebration of the Season
John Alec ‘Johnnie’ Jackson. Captain, leader, legend. He also perfected the knee slide at Vicarage Road last season. In this campaign, he’s taken the knee slide road show to Portman Road and even displayed his celebration skills at The Valley. However, he faces stiff competition from his former gaffer and, erm, a supporter.
- Johnnie Jackson Vs Ipswich (Ipswich Town 1-1 Charlton; 1/1/14)
- Johnnie Jackson Vs QPR (Charlton 1-0 QPR; 22/2/14)
- Chris Powell Vs Sheffield Wednesday (Sheffield Wednesday 1-2 Charlton Athletic; 24/2/14)
- Louis Mendez Vs Sheffield Wednesday (Sheffield Wednesday 1-2 Charlton Athletic; 24/2/14)
- Johnnie Jackson Vs Watford (Charlton Athletic 3-1 Watford; 29/4/14)
WINNER: Louis Mendez Vs Sheffield Wednesday
There’s something quite special about turning around whilst celebrating a hugely important goal to see a grown man remove his ‘Church 9’ shirt and wave it around in the air.
The Fraser Forster Best Performance by a Non-Charlton Player at The Valley Award
Fraser Forster’s performance for Norwich at The Valley in 2010 is one I still remember very vividly. The Canaries stole all three points to seal their promotion, largely thanks to the ‘keepers heroics, producing a number of unbelievable saves to maintain Norwich’s slender one goal lead. No non-Charlton player has quite managed to reach that level of performance this season, but there have been some superb individual displays nonetheless.
- Kasper Schmeichel (Charlton 2-1 Leicester City; 31/8/13)
- Ross McCormack (Charlton Athletic 2-4 Leeds United; 9/11/13)
- Troy Deeney (Charlton Athletic 3-1 Watford; 29/4/14)
- The Rain (Charlton Athletic P-P Doncaster Rovers; 24/8/13)
WINNER: The rain
It’s ability to help turn a 3-1 defeat into a 2-0 win was utterly spectacular. Well played.
The He’s Better Than Gus Individual Performance of the Year Award
Whilst Gus is saving one club from relegation to the Championship, Diego played a huge role in keeping the Addicks up this season. But were any of his performances enough to win him the award named after him and his dad?
- Bradley Pritchard Vs Leicester (Charlton Athletic 2-0 Leicester City; 31/8/13)
” The ‘he’s here, he’s there’ song may not be sung about him, but it certainly fits Bradley Pritchard down to a tee. At one point he was supporting Wilson on the right, the next Wiggins on the left before coming back into the centre and winning the ball in midfield. He was the engine room behind the win today and, whilst Kermorgant will take the plaudits, Pritchard’s display was exceptional.”
- Jordan Cousins Vs Nottingham Forest (Charlton Athletic 1-1 Nottingham Forest; 1/10/13)
“Cousins showed the talent that has seen him linked with a move to several Premier League clubs. He was excellent in the tackle, intercepted the ball on several occasions, started moves and finished them off. How he didn’t score is a mystery.”
- Richard Wood Vs Blackburn (Blackburn Rovers 0-1 Charlton Athletic; 19/10/13)
“Picking a standout in back four not only devalues the work the other three members of the back line put in, but also ignores the work the rest of the side did defensively, but Richard Wood deserves to be lifted through the streets of SE7 on a throne after his display today. Not a single header was lost, the pace of King and Best was no problem for him and he showed excellent composure to collect the ball and start Charlton attacks on several occasions.”
- Simon Church Vs Birmingham (Birmingham City 0-1 Charlton Athletic; 2/11/13)
“But the clear and obvious man of the match was Simon Church. I’m happy to admit I wasn’t too impressed by the forward in his first few league games for the club, but since then he’s been a revelation. In addition to those lost causes he chased down, there were several occasions where he showed great strength and footwork to beat several Birmingham defenders, whilst his hold up play was superb. He’s the sort of striker that won’t score 20 goals a season, but his work will create 30 goals for those around one way or another.”
- Cameron Stewart Vs Doncaster (Charlton Athletic 2-0 Doncaster Rovers; 26/11/13)
“But the real stand out was Stewart. Time and time again the Hull loanee drove at his defender and left him for dead, whether that be through trickery or sheer pace; Doncaster were scared of him. Moving out to the right worked wonders for him, and there was even an end product to go with his flashy build-up play, something that had previously been missing.”
- Yann Kermorgant/Lawrie Wilson Vs Brighton (Charlton Athletic 3-2 Brighton and Hove Albion; 26/12/13)
- Ben Hamer Vs Sheffield Wednesday (Sheffield Wednesday 1-2 Charlton Athletic; 24/2/14)
“Although Sheffield Wednesday weren’t laying siege upon Charlton’s goal, the Addicks and Hamer, playing his first game after an injury lay off, still had plenty of defending to do. Several superb stops were made throughout the night, before an incredible reaction stop, after Maguire’s effort deflected off Morrison, saw the Addicks through the quarter-finals.”
- Johnnie Jackson Vs Huddersfield (Charlton Athletic 0-0 Huddersfield Town; 12/3/14)
- Marvin Sordell Vs Sheffield Wednesday (Sheffield Wednesday 2-3 Charlton Athletic; 21/4/14)
- Diego Poyet Vs Just about everyone
“Another excellent, and hard fought, display was also put in by Poyet, who remains a pleasure to watch. If this is the only half a season I get to see of Poyet in a Charlton shirt, I’ll be thankful just for that.”
“Ever since Powell handed a league debut to Poyet in the testing times of Wigan away, he’s been unreal. Tonight might well be his best game, which is saying something. He was utterly magnificent, breaking up play and starting new attacks. I’d love him to stay, but I think I’d love it more if he reached his full potential. Another season with us might be good for him but, either way, I hope his next career choice is a wise one. It’s been a pleasure to watch him play, nonetheless.”
WINNER: Yann Kermorgant/Lawrie Wilson Vs Brighton
A personal affection to Bradley Pritchard made it tempting to pick his performance against Leicester, Jackson’s blood and guts display against Huddersfield was heartwarming when us Addicks needed it most, whilst Diego Poyet could win the award for almost every single performance he’s put in. Shout out to Marvin Sordell, too, whose hat-trick arguably kept us up.
Nonetheless, it has to go to the Kermorgant/Wilson combo. A lovely late Christmas present.
The He Used To Be Shite, But Now He’s Alright Award
I don’t think I’ve seen someone as happy as Lawrie Wilson was as the away supporters at Blackpool sung his name in Charlton’s final away game of the season. Wilson’s gone from villain to hero this season, but he’s not the only one.
- Lawrie Wilson
The man who inspired the chant, but, to me, it’s somewhat undeserving. Not that Wilson hasn’t been ‘alright’ this season, but the curly-haired full-back/winger has never been ‘shite’. His hard work and selfless displays often went unnoticed last season, whilst his handful of poor performances did, creating a collective of people in SE7 who weren’t too fond of him.
Nonetheless, even his harshest critics have had to admit that Wilson has been superb this season. Mr Consistent and then some.
- Marvin Sordell
There was a time when Sordell’s name would get a healthy boo at The Valley when announced. But Sordell will return to Bolton as the man who scored the hat-trick that effectively saved the Addicks from the drop. It’s just frustrating he only found his best form in the final few games of the season.
- Callum Harriott
Just like Sordell, it’s highly frustrating that Harriott only found his best form at the end of the season. Nonetheless, going from a number of games where he was sarcastically cheered off to scoring the goals to keep Charlton in the Championship is quite spectacular.
- Any striker that played for Charlton last season.
Sorry I ever slated you, Rob Hulse.
WINNER: Callum Harriott
To end a torrid season by scoring five goals in two games was absolutely incredible, especially when the young man looked so shot of confidence just a matter of weeks before. Hopefully we’ll have a full season of a confidence-filled Harriott next campaign.
The #HavingACeddy Performance of the Season
Ceddy’s name could be replaced by any number of players, with so many underachieving at various points throughout the season. Thankfully for Evina, he isn’t the recipient of his own award.
- Bradley Pritchard Vs Oxford (Charlton Athletic 2-2 Oxford United; 14/1/14)
“I have serious doubts as to whether Bradley Pritchard will recover from such a performance, and such a reaction from his supporters. In his three seasons with the club, Pritchard has been a big game player in League One, an excellent winger for much of last season and hardworking cog in a central midfield three. But the last few months have seen Pritchard decline steeply, so much so that he looked lost against a League Two side, not to mention incredibly unfit.
- Yohann Thuram Vs Wigan (Wigan Athletic 2-1 Charlton Athletic; 1/2/14)
” The back line’s display is made more exceptional by Thuram’s ineptitude. Having a ‘keeper who refuses to catch and makes comfortable saves look hard can’t instill confidence. I hold him partially responsible for both goals.”
- Cedric Evina Vs Birmingham (Charlton Athletic 0-2 Birmingham City; 8/2/14)
- Richard Wood Vs Sheffield United (Sheffield United 2-0 Charlton Athletic; 9/3/14)
“Hamer’s distribution was dreadful, Wilson struggled to deal with Baxter all afternoon, whilst Rhoys Wiggins had similar problems with Flynn. Their performances, however, were positively bearable compared to the shift, or lack of, put in by Richard Wood. At fault for both goals and error prone throughout the 90 minutes, I dream of seeing a fully fit Leon Cort as much as I do a Chris Solly.”
- Diego Poyet Vs Brighton (Brighton 3-0 Charlton Athletic; 12/4/14)
“Some Charlton fans were attempting to convince whoever would listen that Poyet is better than Stephens before today. Unfortunately, Stephens’ class shone through with Poyet desperately struggling. That the academy graduate was so poor had a disastrous impact on the team as a whole; there was no composure or shape in midfield.”
- Callum Harriott Vs Barnsley (Charlton Athletic 1-2 Barnsley; 15/4/14)
WINNER: Yohann Thuram Vs Wigan
88 minutes of hard work undone by an incompetent, uninterested ‘keeper. Cheers.
The Roland Duchatelet Decision Making Award
Roland Duchatelet’s decisions haven’t pleased everyone this season, but were they enough to win the award in his honour?
- Michael Slater and Tony Jimenez for leaving the whole squad out of contract, and not supporting Powell financially
- Roland Duchatelet for forcing Yann Kermorgant out of the club
- Roland Duchatelet for forcing Chris Powell out of the club
- Yohann Thuram for deciding he’s better than Ben Hamer
Come on, Yohann, really?
WINNER: Yohann Thuram for deciding he’s better than Ben Hamer
He doesn’t even have a beard.
The Mourinho Managerial Masterstroke Award
Whilst Jose Mourinho has all sorts of stars to work with, Charlton’s bosses don’t quite have the same quality. Both Chris Powell and Jose Riga have performed miracles this season.
- Chris Powell’s 3-5-2
“However, the most promising factor of the performance was the way in which Charlton passed the ball around fantastically well whilst in the lead. To go to a place like Watford and out pass them was fantastic to see.”
- Chris Powell’s set-up Vs Wigan (Wigan Athletic 2-1 Charlton Athletic; 1/2/14)
If the stats are to be believed, it was a one sided game. But the fight and determination showed by Chris Powell’s side was beyond belief. To lose at all was undeserved. To lose in such a manner was unfair punishment for a display full of positives.
And whilst he brought on Dervite and opted to sit back, his tactical change can’t be blamed. Sitting back has worked a charm three times this season; Blackburn, Birmingham and Huddersfield. This time, a lapse in concentration at the back and some dire goalkeeping cost him.
- Chris Powell’s set-up and subs Vs QPR (Charlton Athletic 1-0 QPR; 22/2/14)
“The away side, man for man, were shattered in the final 15 minutes; Powell’s set up had grounded the Rs down; their efforts to breakthrough producing no reward and sapping the life out of them. That Charlton were first to every ball in the closing stages was no surprise.
I’d go as far to say this was Powell’s best win as Charlton boss. He tactically out mastered a man who was supposed to lead England to World Cup glory; he got his team of nobodies to beat a team of superstars. Give the man a new contract.”
- Chris Powell’s set-up Vs Sheffield Wednesday (Sheffield Wednesday 1-2 Charlton Athletic; 24/2/14)
Also special was the performance. The opening 25 minutes was the best passage of Charlton play away from The Valley since the 6-0 win over Barnsley. It was relentless, almost perfect, and another goal or two wouldn’t have been flattering for the Addicks at that stage.
And whilst the attacking intensity dropped off, the structured and disciplined approach that proved so crucial in the win over QPR remained. Wednesday provided a great deal more threat than the Rs, but the Addicks still stood firm. An astonishing performance that can’t be undervalued.
- Jose Riga’s subs Vs Bournemouth (Charlton Athletic 1-0 Bournemouth; 18/3/14)
Whether forced or not, Obika’s introduction made a very positive impact on the game. He was far from perfect, with the occasional miss-placed pass and the odd bit of terrible control, but his willingness to get forward and his work with Wiggins down the left made a real difference.
It was also the case that throwing Sordell on helped to give the Addicks a real chance of snatching all three points against a Bournemouth side who fell away after a dominant first-half performance. I’m all for seeing Sordell on the wing again, and having two attack-minded wingers was crucial as Charlton pressed forward in the closing stages.
- Jose Riga’s gamble Vs Sheffield Wednesday (Sheffield Wednesday 2-3 Charlton Athletic; 21/4/14)
“Riga’s rather shy wave to the away end from the halfway line as the players had finished applauding their supporters said it all; this was a performance and result that can be completely attributed to the players.
- Jose Riga’s set-up Vs Watford (Charlton Athletic 3-1 Watford; 29/4/14)
Winner: Chris Powell’s set-up and subs Vs QPR
This is a tough one. Riga’s subs Vs Bournemouth and both his and Powell’s work at Hillsborough are worthy winners, but the way in which Powell out mastered Harry Redknapp’s ‘superstars’ can’t be ignored.
Worst Moment of the Season
There’s only one winner here, and that’s Chris Powell’s Departure. Never has football hurt me so much away from a ground; it made the pain I felt in Sheffield two days previously seem like a light slap on the wrists.
Moment of the Season
Again, there’s only one winner here, and that’s The Valley roar after Johnnie Jackson’s Last minute goal Vs QPR. Wow, just wow. The shows of resilience and determination are why we’ve managed to avoid relegation, but this was something very special. Sheffield Wednesday away in the cup comes very close, as does the 3rd minute applause for Powell in the Huddersfield game, but nothing can top that release of emotion as Jackson’s header crept in.
This is very tough. Diego Poyet has improved the side by a considerable margin since coming into it, Johnnie Jackson has been nothing short of heroic and Lawrie Wilson has been consistently superb. For me, owing to the importance of his goals and his role as leader, Johnnie Jackson just takes it. Nonetheless, all would be worthy winners.