To hand out awards at the conclusion of this torrid campaign doesn’t quite feel right. The 2015/16 season more deserving of a dunces hat, and some time spent sat in a non-sofa occupied corner.
In fact, if this year of failure and crisis belonged to a restaurant, it would have been shut down. Customers walking out in disgust after being constantly insulted by staff, and that before they’ve even had a chance to sample the delights of food prepared in 1* rated hygiene conditions.
The only people truly deserving of awards this season are the supporters of Charlton Athletic, who have withstood such punishment and continued to fight with persistence for the required change at their club.
But if the POTY dinner can escape cancellation, then Chris Powell’s Flat Cap’s annual End of Season Awards can certainly go ahead.
25 categories feature, with many of the regular awards handed out and a few new ones claimed for the first time, over the course of three separate blog pieces. A big thank you to Roland Duchatelet and Katrien Meire for providing most of the content.
The Danny Haynes Goal of the Season
The criteria for this award appears to be changing with each season. This year’s Danny Haynes Goal of the Season is awarded to the player responsible for the most visually pleasing strike.
Ahmed Kashi V Peterborough United (Peterborough United 4-1 Charlton Athletic)
Ademola Lookman V Brighton and Hove Albion (Brighton and Hove Albion 3-2 Charlton Athletic)
Simon Makienok V Rotherham United (Rotherham United 1-4 Charlton Athletic)
Johann Berg Gudmundsson V Preston North End (Preston North End 2-1 Charlton Athletic)
Yaya Sanogo’s first V Reading (Charlton Athletic 3-4 Reading)
Johann Berg Gudmundsson V Birmingham City (Charlton Athletic 2-1 Birmingham City)
Winner: Ahmed Kashi V Peterborough United
Yeah, he was never not going to win it, was he? Utter class.
The Johnnie Jackson Goal of the Season
Many of the most enjoyable goals in this torrid season weren’t necessarily stunning strikes, but spectacular given the context they were scored in. The Johnnie Jackson Goal of the Season is awarded to the scorer of a goal that produced the greatest feelings of joy and wildest scenes of celebration.
Johann Berg Gudmundsson V Hull City (Charlton Athletic 2-1 Hull City)
You know that Guy Luzon Character? The bloke who spent most of his time crouching in the technical area with a stern look on his face? Well even he enjoyed this one, so it must have been good.
After Abel Hernandez, equalising in the 89th minute, had cancelled out Simon Makienok’s headed goal, momentum was with Hull in an extended period of stoppage-time. Hernandez seemingly winning it for the Tigers, only to be denied by the assistant referee’s flag.
And once you consider the perceived quality of recently relegated Hull, in addition to the pressure they were applying, Gudmundsson’s 97th minute winner becomes even more spectacular.
Johnnie Jackson and Jordan Cousins V Fulham (Charlton Athletic 2-2 Fulham)
Lifeless and losing to Fulham by two, the Addicks were dead and buried with nine minutes to play at The Valley in October.
But on came captain Jackson, having been sparingly used by Luzon up to that point, with his presence almost single-handedly changing the game. A thunderous header halving the deficit immediately.
It was, of course, Cousins’ stoppage-time equaliser that earned the Addicks a point, but it was Jackson’s influence that was the catalyst for the comeback and upturn in atmosphere.
Johnnie Jackson V Birmingham City (Birmingham City 0-1 Charlton Athletic)
A first away win of the season sealed by a signature thumping Jackson header, which also happened to be his 50th goal for Addicks. Great scenes of celebration in the St. Andrew’s away end.
Callum Harriott’s second V Brentford (Brentford 1-2 Charlton Athletic)
The unexpected nature of Harriott’s early first at Griffin Park in March certainly made it enjoyable, but it was his match-winning second that was celebrated with real vigour.
Used to capitulating after losing a lead, the relief of the Addicks regaining the advantage after Yoann Barbet’s equaliser was certainly part of the reason behind the wild joy in the away end.
So too was it down to the fact Harriott’s emphatic strike was scored in front of a noisy terrace, and that the three points it gave Jose Riga’s side a decent chance of achieving made survival look a little less impossible.
Jorge Teixeira V Middlesbrough (Charlton Athletic 2-0 Middlesbrough)
With the atmosphere already intense, a consequence of a day of protests, Teixeira’s headed opener against promotion-chasing Middlesbrough made for wild celebrations at The Valley.
Confirmation, if it were needed, that protesting against the regime doesn’t limit support for the team.
Jorge Teixeira V Birmingham City (Charlton Athletic 2-1 Birmingham City)
With relegation moving closer to being confirmed, this was the sort of brief moment of joy that felt extra special. A break from the grim nature of reality.
A dramatic stoppage-time winner from Teixeira that might not have been enough to keep Charlton’s chances of survival realistically alive, but it didn’t stop the moment being any less enjoyable.
Winner: Jorge Teixeira V Birmingham City
Controversially beating Gudmundsson’s winner against Hull, Teixeira’s stoppage-time header to beat the Blues takes the award for the brief moment of joy it provided in the heat of despair.
The Bradley Pritchard Miss of the Season
Those that failed in front of goal to an extent that everyone’s favourite Zimbabwean would be proud of compete for arguably the most coveted award. Preference given to those misses that were not only horrendous, but important.
Simon Makienok(s) V Nottingham Forest (Nottingham Forest 0-0 Charlton Athletic)
During a night that featured many missed opportunities, with Forest goalkeeper Dorus De Vries in fine form, it was Makienok’s failings in front of goal that proved most frustrating. Each miss on its own wasn’t particularly bad, but when you combine an off-target header, a wayward volley and another nod towards goal that De Vries really shouldn’t have been able to save, Charlton’s inability to win at the City Ground has a lot to do with the Dane’s failure to finish.
Franck Moussa V Brentford (Charlton Athletic 0-3 Brentford)
Johnnie Jackson V Cardiff City (Charlton Athletic 0-0 Cardiff City)
Normally flawless from this sort of position, an unmarked Jackson could only head Gudmundsson’s corner into the ground and over the bar. In a game of few chances, this would ultimately prove a huge miss.
Yaya Sanogo and Simon Makienok V MK Dons (Charlton Athletic 0-0 MK Dons)
In truth, the blame for the failure to beat MK Dons in this must-win game lies almost entirely with Jose Riga. His tactical set-up and the timing of his substitutions completely wrong. But Sanogo’s inability to turn in Zakarya Bergdich’s delivery, in addition to Makienok’s unwillingness to gamble, didn’t really help.
Callum Harriott V Birmingham City (Charlton Athletic 2-1 Birmingham City)
The less said about this the better. At least, with Teixeira’s late winner, it didn’t prove costly.
Igor Vetokele V Queens Park Rangers (Queens Park Rangers 2-1 Charlton Athletic)
Having drawn level, the Addicks were now well on top against QPR in April. But Igor Vetokele’s inability to take this glorious one-on-one chance proved particularly costly, as the R’s were able to grab a stoppage-time winner.
You’re only kidding yourself if you don’t still miss the wonderful Frenchman. He’ll feature in this award until the end of time.
Winner: Yann Kermorgant
And it probably always will be. No, you move on.
The Anil Koc Signing of the Season
Much like the loan signing Anil Koc in 2014, the candidates for this award were additions that, though didn’t necessary show a lack of quality, failed to have any impact. Their signings practically pointless.
Arriving on loan from Everton in September, with a spell at Cardiff during the previous season earning him a positive reputation, young winger McAleny seemed like a useful addition to Charlton’s squad. That particularly true with Cristian Ceballos injured and Zakarya Bergdich, well, being Zakarya Bergdich.
Instead, McAleny was sent back to Merseyside before the natural completion of his loan spell without having made any sort of impression in SE7.
His contributions minimal, with there seemingly a reluctance to fully commit himself. Large chunks of games passing by where you would forget he was involved, before an uninventive run into a dead end or a tame final delivery would see him reappear in disappointing fashion
The emergence of Ademola Lookman, and Karel Fraeye’s insistence on playing forwards out wide rather than recognised wingers, ultimately pushing McAleny down the pecking order to a point where his loan move benefited no one. A relative waste of time.
The signing of South Korean left-back Suk-Young, on loan from QPR, was seen as an opportunity to give Morgan Fox a break from the side. The academy graduate enduring a tough time, but not removed from the starting XI owing to the fact that there was no one available to replace him.
But Suk-Young was largely deployed on the left of midfield, failing to impress and keeping Ademola Lookman out of the side. Fox thankfully improving towards the end of the season, growing in composure and confidence, but the manner in which Suk-Young was used made his signing rather odd.
Maybe a little harsh, considering a large part of the reason Ceballos failed to impress was owing to injury, but it doesn’t take away completely from the feeling that the former Barcelona and Tottenham attacking midfielder should have offered much more.
With high expectations given his reputation, the Spaniard never really showed any glimpses of genuine quality in the appearances that he did make for the Addicks. His shunning from the first team in the final part of the season, despite being fit, reflective of that.
Oh, and he can’t take corners. He really can’t take corners.
While not universally respected as a person, given the manner in which he departed the club in 2014, only the most stubborn of Addicks would suggest they didn’t have respect for Poyet the player when the academy graduate rejoined the club on loan in January. Gus’ son not only impressing for MK Dons in the first half of the season, but his work as a deep-lying playmaker was the catalyst for Charlton’s survival two seasons ago.
It was, therefore, incredibly disappointing that Poyet failed to make any sort of impression during his second spell in SE7. Chances limited, and those handed to him not taken. Quiet defensively, meaning his excellent ability to break up play was not on show, while his passing was largely conservative and unimaginative.
Ricardo Vaz Te
It all started reasonably well for former West Ham forward Vaz Te, whose exploits at Upton Park made his arrival in SE7 an exciting one. His feet were quick, his name was sung, and chances were created.
But the initial effort and energy shown was lost in quite abrupt fashion. Replaced by something that more accurately resembled an uninterested journeyman. His performance in the defeat at Huddersfield Town, without any effort whatsoever, just about summing it up. A huge disappointment.
The most pointless of all the summer additions, that ultimately met a fitting end.
Winner: Diego Poyet
All worthy contenders, but the fact Poyet failed to replicate the form he showed in order to help keep the Addicks up in 2013/14 makes his the most underwhelming signing.
The Christophe Lepoint Signing of the Season
The candidates for this award were, like Lepoint, signings that simply failed to perform. Pathetic, rather than pointless.
Energetic, composed and seemingly possessing a strong eye for a pass, the early signs were promising. Ba, a summer signing from Sunderland, made a decent first impression in SE7.
But his energy was soon replaced by a sluggishness, his composure quickly lost, and his passing became horribly erratic. His presence in midfield offering absolutely no reassurance whatsoever, as opposition central pairings began to overwhelm him with ease.
No wonder that, by the end of the season, the Frenchman was rarely getting a place in the matchday squad, and posting a video of his own highlights (I assume after heavy searching and editing) on Twitter.
Premier League clubs were apparently admirers of Moroccan international Bergdich before he joined Charlton, but his performances for the Addicks are unlikely to have maintained top flight interest.
Signed to replace Rhoys Wiggins, Bergdich was instead deployed almost entirely in midfield, and rarely provided any sort of threat. Brief cameo displays under Jose Riga’s leadership not enough to cover up how abysmal he was otherwise.
Another stunning effort from the Duchatelet scouting system. Plucked from Sporting Lisbon and handed a five-year contract, Sarr has failed to show the required quality for the Championship, let alone to play for one Europe’s elite clubs.
His reading of the game atrocious, his defensive errors increasingly pathetic, and the way in which any striker with a bit of pace and strength has been able to bully him is laughable. Even Ishmael Miller and Emile Heskey have had some fun against Sarr.
Will League One be more his level? His efforts against Colchester United’s Marvin Sordell and Chris Porter in the FA Cup suggest not.
He wasn’t good the first time, so why sign him again? Desperation and laziness the only justifiable answers for the return of Johnson.
His efforts in the five games he played, all defeats, were horrendous, while his attempts to deal with Yann Kermorgant during the defeat to Reading were pathetic.
Oh, and to make matters worse, he’s contracted for next season. Grim.
It was always going to be something of a gamble signing a player who had played two games of professional football since February 2014, and it proved to be a gamble that didn’t quite pay off.
Williams carried the look of a man who had forgotten how to play football. Not simply rusty, but appeared horribly uncomfortable. The Middlesbrough loanee lacking any sort of composure, despite having a reputation as a reliable utility man.
Having made countless errors in his handful of appearances for the Addicks, Williams was quickly sent back to Boro. A sense of sadness existing that injury had damaged the career of a solid Championship footballer to such an extent, but no sympathy for Charlton’s decision to sign him.
Winner: Naby Sarr
Heartbreak for RoJo, but the money spent on Sarr means he claims the award. Straight out of the Duchatelet textbook on how not to run a football club.
The Johann Berg Gudmundsson Signing of the Season
On occasions, Roland Duchatelet’s flawed recruitment structure has actually managed to sign a player for Charlton who isn’t horrendous. Iceland international Gudmundsson the prime example, and a handful have followed this season.
With leadership, composure and defensive qualities belonging to an experienced centre-back in the prime of his career, it’s easy to forget that Bauer is only 23.
The German, strong in the tackle, superb in the air and an intelligent reader of the game, adapted to the English game quicker than many overseas signings after arriving from Martimo.
A real shame that injury prevented the BFG from playing in the second half of the season, and his performances were tainted ever so slightly by a lack of a discipline.
Replacing Roger Johnson and Naby Sarr isn’t exactly a difficult job, but the defensive resolve Teixeira has provided has been even more welcome given the quality of the centre-backs that were in the Charlton XI before he arrived from Standard Liege in January.
Not enough to stop the Addicks leaking goals from set-pieces, let alone prevent relegation, but the Portuguese has not been lacking in individual resolve and fight.
Something of an old-fashioned defender, with his favoured move a first-time clearance, Teixeira has also proved a threat in attacking situations. His goals against Middlesbrough and Birmingham two of the better moments of this season.
The Algerian’s performance against Leeds, his first appearance since September, left many supporters wondering whether this season would have concluded in relegation had he been fit for the duration of it.
For Kashi, missing much of the campaign with an Achilles issue, displayed the composed class in a deep-midfield role that he had shown during the nine appearances he made prior to suffering his season-disrupting injury.
Strong and deceptively athletic, superbly skilled in breaking up opposition attacks, and possessing a clever eye for a pass. He is a class above League One, and keeping a hold of him could be massive.
Simon Makienok’s Dog
Makienok, a disappointing signing rather than a poor one, may not have provided as much joy as was hoped upon his loan arrival from Palermo, but his pet dog certainly has. Just look at how cute it is!!!!
Very much a personal one, but my fan girl tendencies exploded when Kermorgant signed and returned the photo I took of him after the defeat to Reading. The most excited a signing has made me this season.
He even finished it off with his old Charlton squad number. What a guy.
Winner: Simon Makienok’s Dog
Its existence being brought to my attention has arguably been the highlight of this horrendous campaign. I’m more upset about it disappearing from these shores once Makienok departs than our relegation to League One.
The Yann Kermorgant Performance of the Season
Those that currently represent the Addicks all aspire to perform to the same standard as Yann Kermorgant. It only right that the award for performance of the season is named after the Frenchman.
Tony Watt (Watt, Watt) V Queens Park Rangers (Charlton Athletic 2-0 Queens Park Rangers)
In a time when Tony Watt was not simply an injury prone trouble maker, but additionally possessed talismanic forward abilities, the Scot’s efforts in the second half against QPR on the opening day of the season gave the Addicks an unlikely victory.
Benched following a disciplinary issue, Watt was introduced at half-time and transformed the game. Second best in the opening 45, Watt’s pace, trickery and drive put Charlton on the front foot, with the Scot giving them the lead seven minutes after the break.
And his constant desire to test the opposition defence kept the Addicks in control, allowing for Morgan Fox to strike home a sweet second.
Simon Makienok V Sheffield Wednesday (Charlton Athletic 3-1 Sheffield Wednesday)
The positive impact that Makienok has been able to have at times has made his overall efforts for the Addicks during his loan spell from Palermo even more frustrating.
For while there have been many games where his contributions haven’t been pleasing, there have been a handful where he has played an important role in victories. Not least during the win over Sheffield Wednesday.
In addition to taking his goal well just before the interval, adding to Jackson’s opener and doubling Charlton’s lead, the Dane held the ball up well and brought others into play superbly. Something he should have been doing for the duration of the season.
Johann Berg Gudmundsson V Rotherham United (Rotherham United 1-4 Charlton Athletic)
Gudmundsson, without ever being poor, has sometimes been a little sluggish and underwhelming this season, but he certainly wasn’t at the New York Stadium.
His bursts forward led a persistent Charlton attacking effort, and allowed the Iceland international to supply his teammates on three occasions. Bombing into the box and driving across the face of goal for Vetokele to finish, picking out Makienok with a corner delivery, and feeding Ademola Lookman for Jose Riga’s side fourth of a productive afternoon.
Yaya Sanogo V Reading (Charlton Athletic 3-4 Reading)
I maintain that Sanogo’s second, a header that found its way over the line via Reading goalkeeper Ali Al-Habsi, was an own goal, but it takes little away from the Arsenal loanee’s impressive efforts that were ultimately made meaningless by a pathetic Charlton defence during the defeat to the Royals.
Credited with a hat-trick, helping to give the Addicks some hope after they had fallen 3-1 behind thanks to a Kermorgant onslaught, his all-round play was also impressive. His well taken first and two headers that followed as commendable as his hold-up and link-up play.
Just a shame that Roger Johnson lacks any sort of resolve and composure, really.
Callum Harriott V Brentford (Brentford 1-2 Charlton Athletic)
Having been unable to hold down a place in the side, despite impressing when given an opportunity, since returning from Colchester, Harriott’s double against Brentford not only revitalised Charlton’s chances of survival but also his Charlton career.
The academy graduate’s opener came with just 19 seconds gone, converting Fox’s cross, and his second, taken in clam and composed fashion, came after Barbet had equalised. Goals complementing an overall excellent attacking display, that just about kept Charlton’s hopes of avoiding relegation alive.
Jordan Cousins V Middlesbrough (Charlton Athletic 2-0 Middlesbrough)
Particularly in the context of the protests that took place during the Middlesbrough game, that might well have distracted a weaker character, Cousins’ performance in the victory over Boro was sublime.
Dominating and dictating in the middle, against arguably the strongest midfield in the division, the unlikely win over the promotion-chasing side was instigated as much by Cousins as it was by Aitor Karanka’s absence. Pressing with unrelenting intent, breaking up attacks with regularity, and starting new ones of his own.
A vast improvement on the academy graduate’s early season form, and part of the reason many were convinced to vote for him for POTY.
Alou Diarra V Birmingham City (Charlton Athletic 2-1 Birmingham City)
It was an attacking threat that made Charlton’s performance in victory over Birmingham so impressive, but it would have been meaningless without the solid base provided by Diarra in a deep-lying midfield role.
Though slightly less energetic, it was a performance similar to Cousins’ in the win over Boro. The Blues punished for moving the ball too slowly, with the Frenchman breaking up opposition attacks with relative ease, and beginning new ones thereafter.
The sort of performances that Diarra replicated on several occasions towards the end of the campaign. His battling efforts in midfield the catalyst for the slight improvement in overall displays, if not necessarily results.
Nick Pope, Ahmed Kashi and Johnnie Jackson V Leeds United (Leeds United 1-2 Charlton Athletic)
Battling efforts, too, were important in the victory over Leeds post the confirmation of Charlton’s relegation. A result built on resilience.
On his return from injury, Kashi was sublime, controlling the midfield and breaking up play with relative ease, while Jackson threw himself in front of Leeds shot after Leeds shot, supporting his words following relegation with the sort of valiant effort that supporters craved.
And when Charlton’s midfield duo were beaten, Pope refused to be. Some of his saves, particularly from Marco Antonucci, simply outstanding.
A shame that such whole-hearted efforts couldn’t be replicated throughout the season.
Winner: Jordan Cousins V Middlesbrough
In a season where character and effort has regularly been questioned, that sort of fight against such strong opposition is to be celebrated.
The Yohann Thuram Performance of the Season
Another Performance of the Season award named after Frenchman, but this one slightly less positive. The worst individual effort of the campaign acknowledged for emulating Yohann Thuram.
Callum Harriott V Peterborough United (Peterborough United 1-4 Charlton Athletic)
Before Harriott was single-handedly beating Brentford, he was running into dead ends and wasting glorious chances against Peterborough in the League Cup.
His performance that night, crippled by classic Harriott decision making, sped up his loan move to Colchester.
Simon Makienok V Ipswich Town (Charlton Athletic 0-3 Ipswich Town)
Despite having impressed just a few weeks earlier during the victory over Sheffield Wednesday, Makienok was at his incompetent best against Ipswich.
Dominated by Ipswich’s defence, unable to win headers, and weak in his efforts to hold up the ball, the Dane offered less than nothing. Both home supporters and Sky Sports scathing in their assessments.
Jordan Cousins V Burnley (Burnley 4-0 Charlton Athletic)
Such was the poor form that Cousins was going through around Christmas time, there were serious calls for the eventual POTY to be dropped. Calls that reached their peak following a dire display at Turf Moor.
His passing erratic, his first touch horrendous, and his defensive resolve that proved so impressive in the final weeks of the season completely non-existent as Burnley ran riot. A decent recovery thereafter, thankfully.
Naby Sarr V Colchester United (Colchester United 2-1 Charlton Athletic)
In truth, most of Sarr’s performances for the Addicks this season could be in contention for this award, but his efforts against Colchester in the FA Cup were particularly embarrassing.
Sarr struggled to deal with former Charlton forward Marvin Sordell, who found a way beyond the centre-back on more occasions that just the time he was able to capitalise, and a Colchester forward line in general that would ultimately end the season in the bottom four of League One.
No surprise that this was his last game of the season for the first team.
Ricardo Vaz Te V Huddersfield (Huddersfield Town 5-0 Charlton Athletic)
Just about every member of the Charlton side that started the 5-0 defeat to Huddersfield deserves to compete for this award. Henderson not covering himself in glory, Johnson predictably weak, and the midfield non-existent.
But it was Vaz Te’s performance, on a night where the performance was so disgraceful that Johnnie Jackson saw it fit to repay the supporters who travelled, that reflected the overall efforts of the side most accurately.
Not just struggling to hold up the ball, win headers or cause threat to the opposition defence, but not bothering to attempt to do so. It always feels wrong to accuse professional footballers of being gutless and lazy, but this truly was a gutless and lazy performance. Riga’s decision to release him a few days after his return supporting that.
Rhys Williams V Hull City (Hull City 6-0 Charlton Athletic)
It turns out throwing a chap who had made two appearances in almost two years straight into the heat of a relegation battle isn’t the best idea.
Hull’s first the consequence of Williams gifting Abel Hernandez the ball. Hull’s second a result of Williams standing off Hernandez, and giving the forward plenty of time and space to pick out the top corner of Henderson’s goal. Hull’s third coming after Harry Lennon had gone to close down a Tiger, and Williams hadn’t bothered to pick up the now spare Robert Snodgrass. A fourth for Hull before half-time as Hernandez peeled off Williams with ease to convert Sam Clucas’ low cross.
All of that while miss-kicking clearances and misplacing passes with alarming regularity. A truly hopeless display.
Morgan Fox V Bristol City (Charlton Athletic 0-1 Bristol City)
Though justifying the booing of Fox isn’t something I want to do, it’s not as if the left-back didn’t provide ammunition.
Fox horribly uncomfortably for the duration of the game, with his play on the ball horrendous and Bristol City often exposing him defensively.
Roger Johnson V Reading (Charlton Athletic 3-4 Reading)
Much better centre-backs have spent their afternoons being bullied by Kermorgant. Centre-backs in red horribly hacking clearances and misplacing passes a regular occurrence in SE7 this season. Besides, Sanogo’s hat-trick was seemingly enough to mean Johnson’s defensive errors could be papered over.
Alas, Johnson had one last massive cock-up instore for us. Horribly misjudging the flight of Obita’s stoppage-time free-kick, resulting in an embarrassing failed attempt to head clear, and Deniss Rakels able to convert a late winner. Marvellous, RoJo.
Reza Ghoochannejhad V Sheffield Wednesday (Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 Charlton Athletic)
Ricardo Vaz Te at Huddersfield II. Ghoochannejhad not simply struggling to make an impression, but not willing to put in the required amount of effort.
I wouldn’t dare celebrate a player’s injury, but I think I’ll make an exception here. The Iranian not being fit to play for the reminder of the season beyond the trip to Sheffield a blessing.
Winner: Rhys Williams V Hull City
Naby Sarr and Roger Johnson can feel aggrieved to miss out, but Williams’ performance at Hull was spectacularly dreadful. Not simply mistake-ridden, but a performance that made the Australian look completely out of his depth.