The Katrien Meire’s CV Award for Capitulation of the Season
Meire, somehow, has continued to obtain more stains on her CV throughout this campaign. The status of her CV continues to capitulate, and there’s been some equally incredible capitulations elsewhere during the season.
- “Learning from our mistakes”
Apparently, the regime, were intent on learning from their mistakes this season. Then went about making the same mistakes again, and again, and again to create another campaign of failure and fan discontent. Impressive.
- AFC Wimbledon
Throwing away an advantage, and what appeared a comfortable one at that, in the final 12 minutes of a game is a mightily impressive effort, even for a tame Charlton side.
The Addicks seemingly heading for victory, having been given an 8th-minute lead by Ademola Lookman, before their defensive resolve completely fell apart. Dominic Poleon equalising, before Tyrone Barnett headed home the winner with five minutes to play.
- Post-Bolton Wanderers
The victory at The Macron Stadium had supporters, and for legitimate reason, dreaming of the play-offs. Such was the fight and determination shown against Bolton.
Instead, the Addicks followed up the win against the Trotters with eight pathetic performances in eight winless games. Late equalisers conceded, tame defeats suffered, and embarrassing efforts from Karl Robinson and his side.
Each moment of fight shown by Ricky Holmes, and Ricky Holmes alone, was followed by an increasingly pathetic defensive capitulation.
The lead that Holmes had given the Addicks on the stroke of half-time thrown away within seven minutes of the second period, with horrendous defending gifting the Shrews two goals in two minutes. Tyler Roberts and Shaun Whalley regaining the home side’s advantage.
And after Holmes, scoring his hat-trick goal in the process, had drawn Robinson’s side level, it took just five further minutes for the hosts to regain their lead. Charlton’s defence offering no resolve whatsoever.
- The financial figures
The saving grace, it was once said, to the Duchatelet regime was that it had brought about financial security. But even that has been lost with the release of the latest financial figures.
A loss of £13.5m, apparently the consequence of spending to avoid a relegation from the Championship that didn’t happen. Spending on loan signings Rhys Williams, Diego Poyet and Yaya Sanogo, and free agents Rod Fanni, Roger Johnson and Marco Motta. Impressive.
Then there’s the £54m debt to Duchatelet and the club’s parent company, being charged at 3% interest. An interesting take on ‘investment’.
- The Valley
The Valley’s increasingly low attendances have brought about great sadness to supporters of the Addicks, but the empty seats exist for only one reason. The failure of this poisonous regime.
Consistently less than 10,000 appearing at games in SE7, and not including the numerous season-ticket holders who are absent. The lack of numbers a reflection of the atmosphere of apathy surrounding the club, created by regime that have destroyed identity, insulted supporters, and created detachment.
Winner: Post-Bolton Wanderers
Genuine hope turned to utter embarrassment in the space of just over a month.
The Charlton 5-4 Cardiff Trophy for Comeback of the Season
Charlton came from behind to record victory only twice this campaign, so most of the contenders for this award don’t involve turnarounds on the pitch.
- Bristol Rovers
Given that the 4-1 victory over Bristol Rovers at The Valley at the start of the calendar year was one of Charlton’s best performances, and wins, of the campaign, it’s easy to forget just how poor the Addicks were during the first 40 minutes of that fixture.
Not only trailing to Jermaine Easter’s 12th-minute goal, but performing without any degree of quality. The visitors not exactly dominant, but Charlton struggling to make the simplest of passes. Struggling to launch any sort of attack.
So to score four goals in the game’s final 50 minutes, completely dismantling Rovers and performing with real attacking quality, is quite the comeback.
- Bolton Wanderers
The basis of Charlton’s fantastic win over Bolton in January was determination once they had taken the lead. But to take that lead, they needed to execute an unlikely comeback.
A goal down, and a man down, against one of the promotion favourites, the Addicks somehow fought to grab two goals before the break. Patrick Bauer’s header drawing the visitors level, before Nathan Byrne’s cool finish in first-half stoppage-time gave Charlton the advantage.
And while it’s the determination and fight shown that makes that victory so special, it wouldn’t have been possible without the incredible turnaround at the end of the first-half.
- Jorge Teixeira
With his Charlton career seemingly over before Robinson arrived at the club, Jorge Teixeira has done well to return to the first-team picture.
Far from perfect, and heavily criticised after the defeat to Shrewsbury, but he certainly became a useful part of the squad.
Oh, and he threw a ball in the general direction of Steve Morison’s face. Which I’m sure we all want to do.
- Tony Watt
Much like Teixeira, Tony Watt’s return to Charlton’s squad hasn’t been perfect. There’s been impressive performances, the occasional goal, and a reasonable level of determination. But so too have there been weak and ineffective efforts.
But he’s done well nonetheless to convince both Robinson and supporters that his mind is with the Addicks after three loan spells away from SE7, and that he his committed.
At the very least, he’s done enough to prove his worth having around going into next season.
- Dale Stephens
Flogged off to the first bidder after Duchatelet arrived, but now a key member of a side who won promotion from the Championship and is now a Premier League player. Wow. Incredible. Who would have thought it?
- Yann Kermorgant
Not good enough for Duchatelet but, at the age of 35, is a talismanic figure for a side in the Championship play-offs, leading the line in typically superb fashion and, at the time of writing, on 17 goals for the season. Wow. Incredible. Who would have thought it?
Winner: Dale Stephens and Yann Kermorgant
How did they manage such impressive turnarounds? It’s almost like they were already bloody excellent players and we should have done absolutely everything in an attempt to keep them three years ago. Weird.
The Karel Fraeye Trophy for Managerial Naivety
The award for the managerial decisions that would suit the ability of Charlton’s greatest coach.
- Russell Slade, for playing Johnnie Jackson and Kevin Foley on the wings
Half a reflection of the lack of numbers in the squad, half a reflection of Slade’s conservative nature. Either way, playing two 30-somethings on the wings on several occasions wasn’t the bald-headed boss’ greatest idea.
As long ago as 2012 Chris Powell said Jackson was no longer suited to playing out wide, while Foley’s pace made his skipper look like an Olympic 100m runner. Both suited to sitting deep in midfield, using their intelligence and composure on the ball to keep the game ticking over, and not attempting to cause a threat down the flanks.
- Russell Slade, for shunning Jorge Teixeira
With Jason Pearce, Ezri Konsa and Patrick Bauer available for almost the entirety of Slade’s stay in SE7, leaving Teixeira out could be justified as just a selection decision. But it evidently wasn’t.
Obviously some issue between Slade and Teixeira that left the Portuguese defender shunned, almost immediately returning once Robinson had been appointed.
And while he’s not been perfect since coming back into the side. Teixeira’s contributions have shown that completely shunning him wasn’t beneficial at all. Slade really didn’t deal with that situation well.
- Russell Slade, for stifling all creativity and intent out of the side
While Slade was in charge, Charlton’s defensive record wasn’t so bad. But that defensive record was achieved at the expense of any degree of attacking intent.
A lack of attacking intent particularly apparent in away games that ended in disappointing draws, as this incredible tally of 18 league draws started to build. Victory on offer in the games against Scunthorpe United, Oxford United and Port Vale, but Slade setting up his side far too cautiously.
- Karl Robinson’s transfer window rant
I’ll just leave this here.
- Karl Robinson, for stubbornly sticking with a 4-5-1 formation, and then a wingerless formation
Robinson arrived in SE7 with a reputation of being committed to what he believed in, and quite stubborn. And that certainly showed in his unwillingness to alter two different formations that quite quickly failed to work for the Addicks.
While the Addicks were playing one up top during the winless run, Josh Magennis or Lee Novak were made to be isolated figures. It no surprise performances improved once Tony Watt joined them in attack.
But soon after, Robinson switched to a diamond formation, that quickly stifled all of Charlton’s attacking intent. So often looking for the option to burst forward down the wings, but it wasn’t there. The performances against Peterborough United and MK Dons particularly dire as a consequence of this.
More than happy to change personnel game-by-game, but less willing when it comes to a formation. In truth, he’s probably inherited a squad that doesn’t suit the football he wants to play but, all the same, he’s not been able to get this squad into a functioning shape.
- Karl Robinson, for having no answer to Charlton’s winless run
At the end of January, it seemed as if Robinson had found the required formula to lift the Addicks on a genuine charge towards the play-offs.
Alas, eight games, and eight poor performances, followed. Eight consecutive games, during which Robinson had no answer to Charlton’s struggles.
He couldn’t address the lack of potency, despite demanding ruthlessness. He couldn’t address the lack of composure in the middle, despite regularly changing the centre duo or triple. He couldn’t address the lack of defensive resolve and overall determination, despite constantly promising his side would be giving more.
And, in truth, the performances after that run came to an end remained concerning. It only in the final weeks of the season, against horrendous opposition, that the Addicks have shown any degree of quality under Robinson’s stewardship.
Still some work for the boss to do to get supporters fully onside.
- Karl Robinson, for playing Johnnie Jackson at left-back
Jackson would play in goal without gloves for the Addicks if the situation demanded, but that isn’t to say shoving him at left-back against Shrewsbury Town was a wise decision.
The skipper playing the majority of his games in that position during his initial loan spell with the club in the 2009/10 season, but his days of being able to play there are long gone.
The decision made even bizarre by how competent Jay Dasilva has appeared since coming into the side during the final few games of the season.
- Karl Robinson, for attacking his players then taking the blame himself
“I’d say 40% of the squad don’t care enough,” were Robinson’s words after the rather pathetic defeat to Shrewsbury Town at the back end of February. His players thrown under a bus.
Then, four days later, after losing to Northampton Town in equally pathetic fashion, it was all his own fault. “If you’re looking for someone to blame then blame me, I have to take that for the team,” he said.
But four days ago, it was all the team’s fault, and you were opening them up to criticism?
Nope. No idea.
Winner: Karl Robinson, for having no answer to Charlton’s winless run
The run that destroyed this season, and made it a totally miserable one.
The Roland Duchatelet Decision Making Award
The award for the worst, most Duchatelet-like, decision of the season.
- Roland Duchatelet and Katrien Meire for not giving Chris Wilder assurances
Charlton spoke to Chris Wilder before appointing Russell Slade in the summer, but were unable to secure his signature as they wouldn’t give the promises Wilder requested in writing. Slade sacked by November; Wilder a League One title-winner.
Fair play to Wilder, mind. He got himself his dream job, and achieved a superb promotion with his boyhood club.
He was also fairly astute in realising the words of this regime are rarely supported by their actions.
- Roger Johnson for deciding to open his mouth at Bury
There’s a lack of trust at Charlton at the moment, and understandably so. A lack of trust largely between supporters and a regime that has crippled their club and spends a great deal of time insulting them.
But the nature of the regime means that there’s a lack of trust in Charlton as a whole. An unfortunate side effect of that is that questions of player commitment become more frequent. From the mouths of fans, and from the mouths of managers.
So it probably not best, particularly on the first day of the season when supporters are attempting to reengage themselves with their side and develop some sort of trust, for a player to openly insult and criticise them.
“If you don’t fucking like it, don’t fucking come,” were the wonderful words of Roger Johnson come full-time following the defeat to Bury. A sense created after the season’s first 90 minutes of a lack of unity between squad and supporters, and a worrying sign of what was to come.
Might have just been better to have kept your mouth closed, Roger.
- Roland Duchatelet and Russell Slade for failing to strengthen enough over the summer
For the umpteenth season in a row, Charlton entered the campaign with a squad lacking depth and quality in almost every position.
Duchatelet not investing enough, Slade not recruiting wisely enough. A handful of injuries proving near-fatal, players played out of position, and the bench constantly lacking options with young players being forced into the first team picture when not yet ready for senior football.
It no wonder that failure followed. Top six budget? Certainly not a top six squad.
- Roland Duchatelet for going out for a birthday lunch
As Charlton were losing to Swindon Town, the defeat that would see the end of Russell Slade’s time in charge, Roland Duchatelet was out for lunch. But I thought you watched every game, Roland? It’s almost as if the individuals that make up this regime lie. Weird, that.
- Roland Duchatelet and Karl Robinson for failing to spend the Lookman money
A reported £11m made from the sale of a fine young talent, and that fine young talent sold at a time when the Addicks weren’t a world away from League One’s top six. Some proper investment in the squad might have allowed for some sort of challenge.
Alas, the money was not spent on improving the squad, and the second half of the season was arguably worse than the first.
The excuse for not properly spending the money made from selling Ademola Lookman to Everton was that it was being used on the training ground. A training ground development project that has constantly been championed by the regime, and was already in place. Right.
- The club for spending lots on PR and still not being very good at it
Four figure sums apparently being spent by the club on PR, and still Charlton are presented in the media as a failing club, with a horrendous regime owning them. Funny that.
- Katrien Meire, for forcing the POTY dinner to be cancelled
- Roland Duchatelet, each time he opens his mouth
Each time Duchatelet speaks, it confirms two things. The first is that he doesn’t understand a thing about Charlton Athletic. The second is that he hates Charlton supporters.
And each time Duchatelet speaks, he does little but make the situation at the club worse.
- Roland Duchatelet, for not selling the club
What does Duchatelet achieve by continuing to inject his poison through the veins of this football club, instilling failure and insulting supporters at every possible opportunity?
This season he’s achieved the growth of further fan unrest, and the club’s lowest league position for many years.
Hopefully he’ll make the correct decision during the summer. He simply has to for this club to move forward.
Winner: Roland Duchatelet, for not selling the club
Another season of disaster in his hands.
The Roland Duchatelet Missing Person Award
Search parties sent out for these figures, who disappeared temporarily or for extended periods of time.
- El-Hadji Ba
A goal in pre-season against Welling United suggested one of last season’s worst-performing players might actually have a role to play in League One. But El-Hadji Ba’s name rarely appeared again until it was announced that the midfielder had had his contract terminated at the end of the winter transfer window.
Very occasional appearances for the development squad, but otherwise the Frenchman spent the first half of this season in hiding. Probably requiring some time to convince another football club to sign him, despite lacking any degree of ability whatsoever.
Stabaek, who play in the Norwegian top flight, the victims of his plan.
- Ahmed Kashi
Is he actually still alive?
- Jorge Teixeira
Locked away in a dark room while Russell Slade managed the club, Teixeira’s Charlton career was seemingly over before Karl Robinson utilised the Portuguese defender upon his appointment as boss.
It a rather odd situation, that’s difficult to make sense of. With Robinson using him so readily, the cause for his absence can’t have been a financial one, so it either comes down to attitude or Slade simply not fancying him.
Though when Slade would rather use Roger Johnson, I’m not sure it’s attitude or ability either.
- Kevin Nugent
Having led the side commendably during his caretaker spell in charge, his sudden disappearance from the dugout without announce, not long after Robinson appointed Richie Barker, seemed a very disappointing way to treat Nugent.
Despite no longer featuring in the dugout, or among the list of coaches in the programme, mention of his departure wasn’t made until he joined Barnet. He deserved better.
- Katrien Meire
Though it was apparently just a coincidence, Meire’s absence from the directors’ box during the game against Walsall coming at the same time as takeover rumours began was a nice glimpse into the future.
- Roland Duchatelet
- The regime on the final day
Where were they? No Meire. No Duchatelet, of course. Not even Sue Parkes. Almost like they don’t want to face the opposition they’ve caused. Funny that.
Winner: Roland Duchatelet
Hopefully a summer sale means he won’t ever show his face in SE7 again.
The Astrit Ajdarevic Social Media Award
The award for the best use of social media, in honour of Ajdarevic’s friendship with a London taxi driver several years ago.
- Bradley Pritchard
A brief moment of self-indulgence as I acknowledge my growing friendship with Bradley Pritchard. Lovely to me on social media, lovely to me in ‘real life’. Sent me a handwritten letter of support, gave me a lift after a Greenwich Borough game and spoke to me about my health, and continues to take an interest. Fantastic guy.
- Jorge loves Yakult
There’s nothing I love more than a Charlton player informing me I should be drinking Yakult.
- You lot, and the Skipper
I remain incredibly appreciative of the unrelenting support I received after Johnnie Jackson’s wonderful gesture of sending me a shirt. Every message read, every message appreciated, every message having genuine value.
- Katrien’s footballing career
- Tony Watt
For someone who deletes his Twitter account every three months, Watt produces some decent content. Mocking Magennis for his use of inspirational quotes among the humorous efforts.
- CARD announcing Slade’s sacking
A protest group announcing the sacking of a manager before anyone else shows the status they hold.
- Powell for PM
Finding me in near-empty away ends has become an internet phenomenon.
Winner: You lot, and the Skipper
You’re all great, as is the Skipper. Honestly can’t express how important the support from relative strangers has been. Love you all x
Chris Powell’s Flat Cap Award for Journalism/Writing
Especially in these troubled times, writers and speakers provide a vitally important service to Charlton supporters.
- Louis Mendez
With humour, insight and excellent analysis, Mendez has become the ‘go to’ Charlton journalist in the previous 12 months or so. Unless you’re Russell Slade, of course.
Also inspired the #WheresKyle craze, which has swept the nation.
- The team of bloggers
I say team, as appose to naming them individually, because I will undoubtedly unintentionally forget someone and spend the rest of my life crippled by regret and self-hatred. But many of those who blog with Charlton matters in mind provide a marvellous service, particularly at this time when the opinions and feelings of supporters hold even greater value.
- Charlton Live
The bi-weekly Charlton radio show that discusses everything from takeover talks to pets that are named after Charlton players. Yann (the cat) is a huge fan, as are many supporters of the Addicks, who make the Thursday and Sunday shows part of their schedule.
- Voice of The Valley
The long-standing Charlton fanzine, edited by Rick Everitt, provides constant analysis and insight of the inner workings of this rather odd football club, in addition to a variety of excellent articles provided by marvellous contributors. An interview by Matt Wright with Chris Powell, solely about the League One title winning season, among the highlights. Shame that Kyle Andrews lad writes in it, mind. Rubbish, him.
- Getting to Know the Network
The four-part podcast series that revealed the inner workings of the network, and justified the criticism that Roland Duchatelet and his regime receives, is a marvellous piece of work largely achieved by former Charlton media man Jimmy Stone. Revealing some rather shocking details, not least the emails sent by Duchatelet to Chris Powell, containing some excellent and important interviews, and topped off by the emotional final words of the flat-capped former boss.
- Matchday commentary
It is most unfortunate that I have not experienced the matchday commentary of Terry Smith and Greg Stubley, because I’ve been subjected to the events they are retelling with my own eyes, but constant positive words that have been sent their way means they must be included in this shortlist. A commentary duo who keep those who can’t be there up to date in fine fashion.
- Jonathan Fisher’s video for The Guardian.
It’s best you just watch it, rather than I explain it. A superb bit of work.
Winner: Getting to Know the Network
An outstanding piece of journalism, that has revealed so many details that supporters needed to know about this horrendous regime.
The Sebby Lewis Trophy for Supporter of the Season
The award for the best/most committed/most willing to suffer supporter of the season.
- Sebby Lewis, and all those who show their face at every game despite the situation
To follow the Addicks in the current situation is a difficult task, but there remain many whose faces you see at every game home and away. Their persistence, despite the suffering, is commendable.
- My dad
As explained here, my dad has been marvellous this season. I wish I could praise him more.
- Those behind CARD
Organised, creative, committed, determined. Those behind CARD have done a marvellous job as leaders of the protesting efforts. A superb example of fan activism.
- The Belgium 20
The alternative, and more direct, protest group. As organised, creative, committed and determined as CARD, but keeping their protesting efforts between themselves as they travel to Belgium and make life as uncomfortable as possible for our dearest leader.
- Everyone that went to Belgium
More than 250 Charlton fans making the journey to Belgium in order to protest directly against Roland Duchatelet’s regime. What a fantastic effort.
Winner: Everyone that went to Belgium
Heroes, going above and beyond to fight for a better future for a club in crisis.
My Moment of the Season is split between the tribute to PC Keith Palmer, and the feeling of joy come the full-time whistle at Bolton. That joy in some contrast to the pain felt during my Worst Moment of the Season, which is the run of pathetic defeats between the fixtures against Oxford United and Northampton Town.
Meanwhile, my Player of the Season is unquestionably Ricky Holmes. What a superb, match-winning talent, who provided moments of sheer brilliance even during the periods where the Addicks were performing in pathetic fashion. A desperate need to keep him going into next season.
And finally, finally. Some thank yous.
Thank you to everyone that has read any of the nonsense I’ve posted over the season. It’s just a hobby that I put too much time into, this, but every positive bit of feedback I receive is genuinely appreciated.
Thank you once again to everyone that has offered their support and shown any degree of care towards my health situation in the previous few months. I value your support as much as I do the support received from Johnnie Jackson, Bradley Pritchard and Chris Powell. All of it has been so important.
Let’s hope I don’t require such support in the following year, and let’s hope our support for Charlton is better valued and more greatly rewarded next season. Thank Christ that’s over with.