Chris Powell's Flat Cap

Home » Feature Articles » Chris Powell’s Flat Cap End of Season Awards 2015/16 – Part Two

Chris Powell’s Flat Cap End of Season Awards 2015/16 – Part Two

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The Chris Powell Award for Coach of the Season

Such is the number of coaches Charlton have employed this season, 1,908 at last count, an award can be handed out for the best performing one. It only right that it takes the name of the coach that they have all attempted to emulate.

Guy Luzon

Briefly won us over, an impressive feat given the nature of his appointment and Standard Liege past, before his tactics became stale and predictable. No alternative plan beyond a structured 4-4-2 that exploited the ability of Watt and Gudmundsson on the break, which meant no way of responding as the Addicks entered a long losing run following the win over Hull, and ultimately cost him his job.

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Karel Fraeye

Not entirely his fault – you can’t blame him for taking the job he was offered (although not really offered because he was interim but not actually interim) – but never has a Charlton head coach been so out of his depth.

Hilariously disorganised tactics, not least when placing four in attack, an obvious and understandable lack of respect from the players, and bizarrely deciding to use Callum Harriott to scout Colchester United instead of actually sending someone to watch them among his worst crimes.

Comments such as “let’s not make Charlton now into a team who are going everywhere and must win and must be better than the home side” after a horrendous defeat to Burnley, as if suggesting losing in pathetic fashion is acceptable, didn’t help his cause.

Comedy.

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Jose Riga

The second coming of the most competent coach we can hope for under Duchatelet wasn’t quite as successful as the first. An obvious improvement on Fraeye, with some more competitive and coordinated performances, but not nearly enough to mount a meaningful fight to avoid relegation.

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Jason Euell

The emotional Charlton Athletic supporter that I am hopes that chanting “Jason Euell’s Red Army” as he assisted Fraeye was a glimpse into the future.

For having someone like Euell, with such a strong connection to the club, lead the Addicks would just feel right. Some sort of connection existing between boss and supporters.

And if he continues to make the sort of impression he has done with the U21s, who have enjoyed another successful campaign under his and Simon Clark’s stewardship, then maybe this rose-tinted vision won’t be too far away from being a reality.

Either way, being able to support Euell while Fraeye led the side offered some solace.

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Jose Jeunechamp

Jeunechamp had the right idea – get out of this club as quickly as possible. Just 36 days after arriving in SE7, Riga’s assistant departed to take charge or R.F.C. Seraing. Said to have not spoken English during his time at Charlton, his addition to the coaching staff was a grand waste of time.

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The free ones

A token gesture, but the free coaches laid on for some of the more unattractive away games towards the end of the season at least meant more than me and Sebby Lewis were able to see our struggles.

Winner: ?

I think I’ll pass on giving anyone coach of the year.

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Flaggy’s Award for Statement of the Season

Flaggy, the artistic image of the corner flag used for official club statements, has been working overtime this season. And in addition to the bizarre club statements sanctioned by Duchatelet, Meire and Murray, there’s been even more startling words spoken through other mediums. A healthy list of misguided comments to choose from.

2%

Katrien Meire’s insistence on pretending that the problems the regime she is part of have caused don’t exist, and that supporters aren’t actually protesting, reached its peak when she suggested that only 2% of supporters are unhappy at a fans’ meeting in November.

Her decision to pretend everything was okay and only a small section of supporters wanted her regime out, however, seriously backfired. The ammunition for further pressure and protests.

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“Weird”

“Fans don’t see themselves as customers. And so whenever I now get very ‘friendly’ emails from fans, they say: “Get out of OUR club.” So it’s not the shareholders club? I think it’s quite funny because they say they pay – obviously the ticketing system is one third of our revenue stream, but they go to the restaurants with their family every week and they go to the cinema, but if they’re not satisfied with the product, do they go and scream at the people in charge of it? No they don’t, but they do it with a football club. And that’s very weird because they feel a sense of ownership.”

As if heading to a web summit in Ireland a handful of days after dismissing a head coach isn’t misguided enough, Meire’s comments at the summit were horrendous. Supporters heavily insulted, with the pathetic apologies and attempts to change the meaning that followed not enough to appease angered fans.

Richard Murray’s token gesture 

The phrase “candidly” appears to have lost its meaning. Openness and honesty replaced by an awkward question and answer statement, that is little more than a token gesture to attempt to appease supporters.

Nothing of real note said, apart from attempting to suggest that Rhys Williams, Roger Johnson and Diego Poyet would save our season.

{…}

That this statement had no name attached and wasn’t publicised on social media probably suggests that everyone at the club apart from the writer of it thought it might be a little bit misguided to publish it.

Duchatelet’s drunken rant, choosing to insult and further anger supporters instead of attempting to address their concerns. “Some individuals seem to want the club to fail,” says the man who has instigated failure.

And then all topped off nicely be repeating Meire’s comments at the web summit, pushing them to the forefront of Charlton supporters’ minds. Misrepresented, apparently, despite the fact they’re available on video.

Insulting and idiotic.

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Meire’s Relegation Statement

You know, what I really needed after watching Charlton’s relegation to League One confirmed was a statement from Meire saying she’s had enough, and one from Duchatelet promising to sell the club. Not some more empty promises.

They’re not going to rebuild this club, they’re not even going to get it back into the Championship, regardless of what they think. They need to go.

CARD’s response was much more appropriate. 

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The Customers’ Forum  

There is, apparently, no end to Meire’s wilful ignorance. A refusal to record the end of season Fans’ Forum despite promising that all future ones would be, the suggestion that people leaving their jobs and a drop in season ticket sales (clasified information dontchaknow) was solely related to relegation, and a classic Meire lie about attempting to force Chris Solly out of the club. Lovely stuff.

Winner: {…}

Complete implosion.

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The Inflatable Trophy for Protest of the Season

Especially in the latter half of the season, the protesting efforts of Charlton supporters deserved greater praise than the efforts of those representing the Addicks. And with inflatables playing such an important part in the demonstrations, it’s only right the best protest receives the Inflatable Trophy.

Spell it Out in Black and White

A very simple protest, merely involving the wearing of a black and white scarf, with a very simple demand, for the regime to explain their strategy, but one that laid the foundations for the more emphatic protests to follow.

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Making Meire Laugh 

The first major matchday protest saw a large number of Charlton fans form outside the West Stand prior to kick-off against Sheffield Wednesday and demand change. Katrien Meire decided it was all quite funny, and took a photo of the supporters she had already angered and insulted.

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The 2%

Again, a simple and effective form of protest. Meire’s suggestion that only 2% of supporters are against the regime immediately crushed, with a high percentage of those inside The Valley on their feet with a “2%” card in the air during the second minute of November’s defeat to Ipswich. Katrien wrong? Well I never.

CARD’s Adverts 

Paying for advertising banners probably shows you’re quite serious. CARD’s handful that have assisted their protesting efforts have been superb.

Travelling to Belgium 

Equally, heading over to Belgium on at least two occasions to protest on Duchatelet’s doorstep is a pretty decent and serious effort. Supporters of Sint Truiden joining the cause.

The Middlesbrough Beach Balls and Walk Out

A TV audience witnessing the game being delayed by a deluge of beachballs, before the majority of the crowd took part in the 74th minute walk out. Anger against Duchatelet greater than the joy of victory. 4

The Birmingham Balls 

Another game immediately interrupted by spherical objects invading the pitch. Another victory that meant relatively little, with the greater concern removing Duchatelet from the club.

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The Brighton Barrage 

With the assistance of Brighton supporters, this was simply spectacular. An estimated 5,000, and one giant Duchatelet balloon, involved in a pre-game march, with the start of both halves delayed by balls and balloons. The pressure building.

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Final day protests

Though their side did not, Charlton supporters were always likely to go out with something that left a lasting impression. A sit-in, superb banners and a post-match pitch invasion as Burnley helped themselves to a 3-0 win, and the title. Oh, and that bloody sofa was destroyed. Symbolic, you hope. 37

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Winner: The Persistence of Charlton Supporters 

Each individual protest was excellent, but its the combination of them all that is so impressive. Despite the ownership continuing to be ignorant and arrogant, it has placed an amount of pressure and scrutiny on them that simply cannot be dealt with. We’re on top, and we should feel a sense of pride.

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The Bitterest Bitter Ex-Employee Award

In Katrien Meire’s expert view, any criticism of herself and the regime she works for by those who were previously at the club are simply bitter ex-employees. And there’s been plenty of bitter ex-employees speak up throughout the season, whether they worked under Duchatelet’s reign or not.

Chris Powell

Much like receiving an expected diagnosis, regardless of the fact you’ve long accepted what you’re about to be told, is equally as painful as the symptoms themselves, hearing Chris Powell confirm many of our worst fears about Roland Duchatelet’s treatment of him and running of Charlton Athletic, regardless of the fact only Katrien Meire remains in denial, leaves you as angry as the actions themselves do.

It reaffirms the severity of the cancer that Duchatelet’s regime has inflicted upon this football club, spreading through its ethos, its people and its supporters from the moment he took over in January 2014.

Such is the level of opposition, it’s hard to imagine that any sort of reaffirmation is needed, but to hear Powell’s words, always spoken with class and dignity, on TalkSport was like hearing of the death of another from the same illness you suffer from. An emphatic addressing of this ownership’s mistreatment of Charlton Athletic.

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Michael Morrison

“Right from the start they brought in players that weren’t up to the level.

“I’ve seen some of the pictures of fans protesting and it looks like the soul of the club has been ripped out and that they don’t think it is being run right.

“The club was ready to kick on a couple of years ago and they could have been in a different position to where they are. 

“It’s disappointing to see it because we worked so hard before someone else came in with new ideas. It looks as if the team are going to be in a difficult position all season.”

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Yann Kermorgant

“I wanted to sign a new deal and stay longer at the club,” Kermorgant said.

“In my first meeting with the new owners I found out things were completely different. They had a vision which, for me, was completely deluded.”

“I’m gutted,” Kermorgant added. “I think they have wasted the club.”

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Scott Wagstaff 

“It’s upsetting, I still keep in touch with Charlton fans and friends and they’re telling me how it’s not the same and how everything has changed – it’s not nice to see.”

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Darren Bent 

“It’s horrible, the club seems completely different now.

“It seems like a completely different place but the fans care enough about the club and they will be the ones who will be able to get it back.

“Hopefully one day they’ll be back, I wish them all the best.”

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Sasa Ilic 

“The only constant at Charlton are the fans. They live, breathe and cherish the club with all their heart.

“I fully support the fans and the owners of the club will have to make some adjustments to get the fans back on their side.”

Jose Riga 

Departing staff

Not so much voicing their displeasure, but the resignation of certain members of staff has further highlighted the ineptitude of this regime. Head of communications Mel Baroni walking out after Duchatelet’s rant appeared on the website, and the head of commercial resigning after being offered their own job by an agency, particular highlights.

Winner: Chris Powell 

Powell’s reveal all interview on TalkSport, in addition to supporting Charlton supporters throughout their battle against this regime, has been vital. We all trust him more than the poison running our club.

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The Bramall Lane Trophy for Worst Away Performance of the season

Named in recognition of Charlton’s suffering in the red and white half of Sheffield in 2014, there’s no shortage of contenders this season.

Crystal Palace 4-1 Charlton Athletic 

“The second half capitulation that followed was both predictable and self-inflicted. The Addicks unable to successfully fight as the difference in class became more and more apparent, with Luzon suitably punished for underestimating the importance of this derby fixture.”

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MK Dons 1-0 Charlton Athletic 

“At a stadium where those who occupy the home ends are often considered to have something of a fabricated relationship with their club, incapable of understanding the true feelings of such a bond given that theirs was born out of the demise of another, the connection between Charlton Athletic and its fans continued to grow increasingly distant.”

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Burnley 4-0 Charlton Athletic

“Fraeye’s failings and his players’ poor efforts unlikely to be enough to force Meire into wholesale changes of the club. Nor is Burnley’s 78th minute fourth, despite the ease with which Sam Vokes flicked in Matt Lawton’s low cross.”

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Colchester United 2-1 Charlton Athletic 

“An afternoon so bleak that the fact Morgan Fox wore the captain’s armband for most of it can almost be ignored.”

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Huddersfield Town 5-0 Charlton Athletic 

“A five-nil defeat, that made the same result at Vicarage Road last season seem pleasant. That contained such a lack of structure there would not be a former Charlton manager who isn’t currently embarrassed. That featured such a lack of effort that more is taken by this poisonous regime in searching and appointing a head coach.”

3

Hull City 6-0 Charlton Athletic 

“For some in the KC Stadium’s away end, this was the 11th goal they had seen Charlton concede in five days. Eleven goals conceded without reply, and wholehearted efforts made to stop them a rarer sight than spotting an Englishman in the Addicks dugout.

And yet, there was not a heavy sense of despair as Isaac Hayden’s deflected strike added a sixth to Hull City’s total. The defeat ultimately the heaviest Charlton had suffered in 32 years.

Instead, the visiting supporters were overcome by a sense of resignation. Few believed that the defeat to Huddersfield was the tip of the iceberg, and even fewer thought the appointment of Jose Riga would immediately, if it all, transform a group of broken players. This expected.”

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Sheffield Wednesday 3-0 Charlton Athletic 

“In familiar surroundings, this group of players wearing red appeared lost. At a ground where the Addicks have previously shown resilience, character and fight in memorable victories, it was impossible to identify any of those attributes. On what will almost certainly be their final visit to Hillsborough before returning to League One, Charlton put in a performance that shamed their past efforts in the blue half of Sheffield.”

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Bolton Wanderers 0-0 Charlton Athletic 

“There was an acceptance that this would be the night that Charlton Athletic’s relegation to League One was confirmed. An acceptance that this club would be playing its football in the third tier next season existing long before the trip to already relegated Bolton Wanderers was made. An acceptance that should have made the inevitable outcome relatively simple to deal with.

And yet, as the full-time whistle blew at a Macron Stadium overwhelmed by empty seats and apathy, it was impossible not to let the confirmation of Charlton’s drop, the consequence of a goalless draw with the basement cub, hurt you. This, particularly for those 253 supporters in the away end, the final insult in a campaign that has barely featured a week without the relationship between club and fans being damaged.”

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Winner: The back-to-back trips to Huddersfield and Hull 

The combination of the Huddersfield and Hull trips, with the 11 goals conceded and the pitiful performances that suggested relegation had already been accepted, impossibly hard to take.

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The Hillsborough Trophy for Best Away Performance of the season

In a shock twist, following the Addicks all over the country this season did actually produce some moments worth remembering.

Derby County 1-1 Charlton Athletic 

“At times they were resilient. Sitting deep and allowing Derby County all the possession they wanted in midfield, but strong and organised at the back.

At others, heroic, if not desperate, interventions were needed to prevent the Rams from concluding an attacking move with a goal. A stunning block from Alou Diarra, a goal line clearance from Patrick Bauer, and Nick Pope saving well on several occasions.

And there were a few moments when luck was required to stop the hosts snatching all three points. Glorious chances wasted after finally finding a way to break down the determined defence.

But maybe the biggest indication of the pressure Charlton were placed under in the second half is that, despite taking the lead shortly after half-time, their efforts to hold on for a point were celebrated at full-time almost as if a victory had been achieved.”

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Birmingham City 0-1 Charlton Athletic 

“It almost feels insulting to judge Johnnie Jackson on the basis of statistics. Like judging Birmingham City’s St Andrew’s ground on the number of seats it contains, not its character and wonderful ‘proper’ football ground feel.

ProZone cannot measure the importance of his leadership, particularly in adverse times. Opta cannot tell you his influential qualities, for no number can show the way he can inspire those around him. WhoScored cannot apply a rating to the legendary status he has created for himself in SE7, which is impossible to describe with a simple figure.

And even on a day where Jackson, on his 209th appearance in a Charlton shirt, reached a highly commendable landmark, the figures would still be doing him a disservice.

For though his second-half goal, perfectly timing a run to connect with Tareiq Holmes-Dennis’ cross and thunder a header into the bottom corner, was his 50th for the Addicks, the story of it, and not the statistic, was more important.”

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Rotherham United 1-4 Charlton Athletic 

“A first league win in 12 games. Only a third league away win in the space of a year. The Addicks still occupying a place in the Championship’s bottom three, and still firmly in a state of crisis, reaffirmed by one final chant of “Roland out” before the away end emptied.

But such stats and facts only make this superb away performance more deserved, for those supporters who travelled and players who fought in adversity, and more enjoyable.”

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Brentford 1-2 Charlton Athletic 

“It was a Callum Harriott brace that sealed Charlton’s Championship status the last time they endured a relegation battle, and a Callum Harriott brace has kept Charlton’s faint hopes of avoiding the drop to League One alive on this occasion.

For without the academy graduate’s goals at Griffin Park, celebrated with similar vigour to how supporters responded to his crucial strikes in the win over Watford in 2014, the Addicks would surely be dead.”

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Leeds United 1-2 Charlton Athletic 

“The chants of “we want Roland out” that followed the full-time whistle showed exactly where this victory stood in the grand scheme of things. Unified defiance from those in the Elland Road away end, portraying an idea that Charlton Athletic supporters can never feel truly victorious while Roland Duchatelet’s regime remains in control of their club.

For not only was this hard fought win over Leeds United not enough to undo the damage that has already been done this season, but a reminder the real battle exists away from events that take place on the pitch. Faith and hope not suddenly restored by a first victory in six.

That, however, is not an attempt to take anything away from the character those representing the Addicks showed in Yorkshire to claim three points in their final away game of the season. Supporters have been able to feel a sense of pride in their defiance throughout this campaign, but this a rare occasion where Charlton performed in an unquestionably proud manner.”

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Winner: Rotherham United 1-4 Charlton Athletic 

Though Jackson’s winner over Birmingham was special, the genuine hope that the victory over Rotherham produced made it just that little bit more enjoyable.

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He Used to be Alright but Now He’s Shite Award

Such is the nature of this season, a player or coach going from alright to shite has been more common. It only seems fair to award the biggest decline.

Guy Luzon

After joining in the celebrations that followed Gudmundsson’s stoppage-time winner against Hull, it appeared as if Luzon, having been appointed in untidy circumstances, had just about won over The Valley crowd.

Alas, he would not win another league game before being dismissed in October. His tactics becoming stale and predictable, players seemingly unwilling to work to their maximum for him, and his decision to play a weakened side at Selhurst Park losing him a great deal of respect among supporters.

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Roger Johnson

RoJo always was a bit shite, but Charlton were intent on pretending the error-prone centre-back rejoining the club was equivalent to the second coming of Jesus Christ. The upturn in form after he arrived last season was, of course, all a consequence of his efforts.

By the same logic, Charlton’s pathetic overall efforts in the five games he played in after his return in January must all be his fault.

P5 W0 D0 L5 F5 A19. A defeat to Colchester United in the FA Cup, 11 goals conceded without reply in the space of five days in games against Huddersfield and Hull, a tame effort at Preston, and Johnson’s mistake allowing Reading to snatch a dramatic stoppage-time winner.

Spectacular.

Morgan Fox

After Charlton’s impressive start to the season, he was being linked with Manchester United. After a horrendous performance against Bristol City in February, on the back of a number of other poor displays across several months, he was booed off when substituted.

A victim of Duchatelet’s regime, playing more games than any other Addick despite his struggles with no one to replace him, the club could have certainly supported him better. But silly defensive mistakes become a regular occurrence, and forward threat became non-existent. His confidence declining with each game up until that effort against the Robbins.

He needed time out of the team, for his own protection. Well done, Duchatelet.

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Karlan Ahearne-Grant

Beginning the season in the first team’s starting XI, ending it in the U18s and unable to get a game for the development side. Ahearne-Grant a victim of Duchatelet’s disease as much as any supporter.

At just 18, the youngster still has time to develop, but Duchatelet’s insistence on understaffing the squad and exposing players before they are ready has damaged Ahearne-Grant. Proof, if it were needed, that his philosophy cannot work.

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Jose Riga

Of all the head coaches that Duchatelet has appointed, Riga is the only one I have any sort of respect for. To keep going back to Duchatelet is a bit silly, but he’s a decent chap and not a horrendous head coach.

However, the reputation he built for himself after his first spell in SE7 has been significantly undone during his second. An improvement in performances, yes, but many points lost by frustrating decisions from the Belgian boss.

Certainly not the flawless coach that the regime hoped would return, and therefore be able to win supporters back onside.

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Simon Makienok

Never really impressing on a consistent enough basis to be deemed alright, it was from pre-season optimism that the giant Dane dropped to shite.

The 6’7 forward was supposed to be the replacement for Kermorgant, and came with a decent reputation. Makienok the cause for much of  the optimism that existed prior to the campaign getting underway.

Instead, he has been little more than frustrating. The occasional promising performance quickly followed by utter guff. Too weak in the air, especially for someone of his height, tame when it comes to holding up the ball, and wasteful in front of goal.

By the end of the season, the marquee signing couldn’t enter The Valley’s turf without being booed.

Yann Kermorgant

Winner: Roger Johnson 

He wasn’t the saviour. Who knew? Well, everyone apart from the club, apparently, who were insistent on pretending he was half decent.

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He Used to be Shite but Now He’s Alright Award

In these torrid circumstances, players have actually managed to emulate Lawrie Wilson and move from shite to alright this season.

Morgan Fox

It hasn’t necessarily been given the attention it deserves, but Fox’s recovery after that nightmare performance against Bristol City has been commendable. By no means perfect, with the occasional defensive mistake still there and his crossing mixed at best, but he’s shown great character to move on from a time where The Valley crowd booed him off the pitch.

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Nick Pope

His insistence on flapping at everything at the start of the season, punished most notably against Hull and Fulham, tainted the positive aspects of his goalkeeping ability he was displaying, but Pope has been sublime since returning to the side in March.

From spectacular saves, such as his double save against Derby and his succession of one-on-one stops at Leeds, to doing the simple things well, Pope has added a bit of resolve to a leaky Charlton defence.

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Yaya Sanogo

Though tainted heavily by his needless red card in the goalless draw with MK Dons, that Sanogo managed to perform to a particularly high standard in a handful of games defied the expectations that were in place as he arrived on loan from Arsenal.

A flop everywhere else he’s been, the Frenchman’s performance and hat-trick against Reading was impressive, while his battling display at Brentford led my old man to describe him as “a young Carl Leaburn”. High praise indeed.

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Callum Harriott

I have made no attempt to hide the frustration that watching Harriott has caused me in the past. Unquestionably some sort of talent there, but the winger constantly let down by horrendous decision making and an inconsistent end product.

However, since returning from Colchester, Harriott appears to have matured somewhat, and has arguably been one of Charlton’s better performers in the second half of the season. The 22-year-old much more of a consistent threat, and no longer simply running into dead ends.

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Winner: Nick Pope 

I should probably give it to Harriott, for proving me wrong, but Pope’s exploits in the final months of the season have been excellent, and earned plaudits even from those who were most critical in the opening weeks of the campaign.

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The Yoni Buyens Capitulation of the Season

Charlton have made capitulating a habit this season, and quite often in a style that Yoni Buyens would be proud of. The Standard Liege loanee collapsing from composed midfielder to complete disaster last season. Control to disaster something the Addicks have managed on many occasions.

Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 Charlton Athletic

Having begun the Championship season with two home victories and two away draws against tough opposition, a rather dramatic decline began with the failure to hold onto the lead that Gudmundsson gave the Addicks at Molineux in August.

In fact, after Dave Edwards had equalised for Wolves ten minutes later, Charlton would only hold the advantage in a game once again before August. Adam Le Fondre’s late winner beginning a run of 12 games without victory, that would see Luzon depart 10 games into it and result in Fraeye being inflicted upon us.

And to make matters worse for myself, the day itself became an even more emphatic capitulation with the county cricket side I follow, Northamptonshire Steelbacks, losing in the final of the T20 Blast having surprisingly won in the semi-final prior to the Wolves game. My journey back and forth across the west Midlands, from Birmingham to Birmingham via Wolverhampton, not a particularly enjoyable one.

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Cardiff City 2-1 Charlton Athletic 

Given that Luzon had opted to play a weakened side against rivals Crystal Palace the Wednesday prior to the trip to Wales, there was a certain amount of pressure on the Addicks to record victory against Cardiff in September.

That seemed a possibly outcome after Karlan Ahearne-Grant, somewhat undeservedly so, put Charlton ahead just after the break.

But the lead was conceded four minutes later, with Joe Mason equalising for the Bluebirds, and little fight offered as Sean Morrison headed the hosts in front.

A weak effort after gaining an advantage, and a defeat that saw Luzon’s reputation among Charlton supporters decline massively.

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Brighton and Hove Albion 3-2 Charlton Athletic 

In truth, there is no shame in losing to Brighton. Especially not a Brighton side that were unbeaten at the time, and one that would ultimately fall just shy of automatic promotion.

But the manner of the defeat, regardless of the Seagulls’ quality, at the Amex in December was pathetic.

Fraeye’s decision to effectively play four in attack rewarded initially, as Lookman and Ghoochannejhad gave the Addicks a two goal advantage after five minutes, but his tactical naivety and the defensive weakness of his side would soon be punished in rather pathetic fashion.

Brighton back into the game just after half-time as James Wilson ran through Charlton’s backline, and their task was made simpler with Bauer recklessly hauling down Bobby Zamora as he broke through on goal. The German’s moment of ill-discipline leaving the Addicks horribly open, and their equaliser should have come long before Zamora’s 83rd minute strike.

Two minutes later, however, and a Charlton side that had long stopped fighting to the required standard gifted Brighton their winner. Henderson unable to keep out Tomer Hemed’s header, as the forward nodded towards goal unchallenged.

A weak attempt to take anything from the game, and a deserved outcome.

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Bolton Wanderers 2-2 Charlton Athletic 

Justified hope of avoiding the drop to League One existing as Ademola Lookman’s two goals gave the Addicks an early, and crucial, advantage against relegation rivals Bolton. Fraeye’s side in control.

But before half-time, that advantage had been thrown away in a barely believable fashion. Impressively gutless and weak, even for this group of Addicks.

Emile Heskey allowed to convert from close range, before no one in red bothered to close down Josh Vela, and the youngster drilled home an equaliser before the break.

Charlton not only gutless and tactically naive in that period, but lacking fight and quality thereafter. At no point in the second half did they look like regaining the advantage they’d thrown away. Pathetic.

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Burnley 4-0 Charlton Athletic 

To compete for 44 minutes and then lose by four is an acceptable outcome, in the view of Fraeye.

To compete for 44 minutes, and then capitulate in emphatic fashion, offering little resistance as Burnley stuck four past the weak Addicks, is not to be too heavily analysed.

For there is no need to “make Charlton now into a team who are going everywhere and must win and must be better than the home side,” according to the wise interim head coach.

The most acceptable capitulation of the season, apparently.

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Post the win over Rotherham

There was genuine excitement in the away end following the conclusion of Charlton’s 4-1 victory over Rotherham at the end of January. Riga’s first win since returning, and belief growing that the Addicks were capable of pulling away from the bottom three.

Alas, the win at the Millers was immediately undone by a tame defeat to Bristol City. A draw and three further defeats followed before Riga’s side would win again. The gap between Charlton and safety too big for it to really matter by the next time they achieved three points.

The chance to build momentum after the Rotherham win completely wasted. Relegation effectively confirmed with it.

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Kyle Andrews V Middlesbrough 

Having protested passionately throughout the day, celebrated Teixeira’s opening goal with great enjoyment, and been fully prepared to walk out the ground after 74 minutes, I sensed nothing wrong.

In fact, this was probably one of the more enjoyable days in SE7 this season. The sense of togetherness strong, and the performance commendable against such strong opposition.

Alas, the next thing I remember is waking up in a hospital-type bed deep in the bowels of The Valley in a state of deep confusion. Without warning, I’d had a seizure as I attempted to exit the Covered End.

A capitulation that those in red would have been proud of.

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The club

One of the many things that makes me incredibly sad about the position Charlton currently find themselves in is that excellent work of Chris Powell and his side has been completely undone.

The efforts of that special side, that not only won League One with 101 points but were then able to overachieve in their first season in the Championship, rendered completely meaningless.

Let’s not forget, too, that this club was once one of the most respected in the country in general.

Outstanding work, Duchatelet.

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Winner: The Club

A spectacular destroying of a once admired club.   

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Part Three

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2 Comments

  1. Philip Read says:

    Brilliant!

    Philip Read
    Sent from my iPad

    >

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