Monday, August 03, 2009

2009/10 Squadron

Under a week to go now until the start of the new season, and I thought I would do a blog about the current Charlton squad, and how they might fare individually and as a unit this coming season. Prior to that though, an update on some of the current news:

The takeover is still "in hand" it seems, with the Board putting out another "please be patient" missive late last week. It’s not only Charlton fans who are waiting with bated breathe though, as some of our potential transfers (probably in and out) seem to be dependent on when and whether the takeover actually happens.

The Supporters Trust kick off meeting is tomorrow (Tuesday) night, and I wish the people involved good luck. It would be a massive undertaking to start a Trust at this time, and I am unable to be involved even if I thought it the right thing to be concentrating on right now. It will be better once a mission statement is agreed, and then we can understand the purpose of the Trust and where it might help Charlton as a football club in future.

We have a new Assistant Manager – Tim Breacker – and the management team have had new contracts dangled and accepted; at least this clears up any confusion about what may happen in coming weeks.

And best of all, we have a bye into the second stage of the Johnstone Paint Trophy which means we won’t be playing un-necessary games to empty stadia in the pouring rain (for a while anyway..).

So, to the squad pen pics:

Rob Elliott
Rob will start as number one keeper this season, and when the squad numbers are announced, he will probably have that single digit on his back. He has apparently lost some weight (a good sign) which should help his agility. If he can dominate the penalty area like he could, then he may become a very good ‘keeper, but to do so he does need a season where he is picking the ball out of the net a lot less times than we are celebrating scoring at the other end.

Darren Randolph
I’m really glad that Darren has signed a contract extension, albeit for just one year. He has as much potential as Elliott, but seems to have a bit of a stigma about him these days, after his spat at Hereford last season. It will be interesting to see if he plays in the League Cup game next week (as a back-up ‘keeper would be expected to…), and how he reacts to the pressure from the terraces that he will definitely receive. If he stays fit, he is a decent reserve should Elliott lose form or be injured.

Fraser Richardson
A new right back signed from Leeds on a free transfer, with plenty of experience. A regular when fit, he should provide plenty of leadership to a young-ish team. How he pairs up with Lloyd Sam on the right hand side will be key, and provided he does strike up some sort of partnership, most attacking threat will come from this side of the park.

Chris Solly
The young Solly did very well at the back end of last season, and can probably count himself unlucky to be back in the stiffs following the signing of Richardson. He is flexible though, and can play at right or left back, so it’s likely that with a seven-man bench this year he will get regular travel and plenty of time running up and down the touchline, with a few minutes actually on the pitch as well.

Kelly Youga
Kelly is going to be first choice left back I suspect, but will also be needed to cover the centre of defence on occasion, such is the paucity of central defenders at the club these days. Sometimes Youga is a match-winner, rampaging down the wing and linking with the midfield very well, but on other occasions he just doesn’t seem bothered, and gets into needless scraps with either the opposition or the officials. We need a Youga who wants to be a winner, and plays like it, then we could see a very good player.

Grant Basey
Young Grant is an able and willing deputy at left back, and also on the left side of midfield, a position he prefers to play (and may get to if Bailey leaves). With a great left peg, when on the pitch he is going to be dangerous at free kicks and will also get plenty of corner kicking time. Defensively, he needs to concentrate and use his build to good effect when covering the middle or when blocking out wingers crosses.

Jack Clark
This young left back may not get much game time this season, unless others are injured or called upon elsewhere; should be a regular in the reserves, and if he progresses, is one for the future.

Miguel Llera
Another new defensive signing, the experienced Spaniard will be the solid rock from which Charlton try to build. Has a very good range of passes, which could test out some clubs defenders, and with his experience of League One he is a good capture. One issue though is his temperament, and he did get sent off twice last year in this division, so we should expect more of the same.

Christian Dailly
Dailly was given a one-year contract last week after a short trial; at 36, he has returned to English football after playing in his native Scotland recently. I have to admit that I have never been a fan of his, whether he was at Derby or West Ham or elsewhere. His last game against Charlton was, I believe, for West Ham when we scored four times, and I cheered prior to that match when I knew he was playing, but he is best remembered for being castigated by Scotland Manager Bertie Vogts live on TV for repeatedly swearing and making cheat accusations after a World Cup tie in Glasgow some years back.

Yado Mambo
Another youngster with huge potential, and in Mambo’s case, it is physically huge! Still only seventeen, he has played lots for the reserves and youth team over recent years, and could get a chance in the first team this year, depending on other options. Whether he is mobile enough yet or has the nous to play against experienced forwards we will have to wait and see...

Jose Semedo
Our Portu-geeser needs a good season at The Valley, after seeing his last two ruined by injury. Jose seems to get through the first half, but by Xmas, it's his knees, ankles, and red and yellow cards which catch up with him and stop him playing in the new year. Whether he plays in a holding midfield role - where he can be very good - or as utility cover for the defence - where he is more than useful - remains to be seen, but he is a key component of this Charlton team, even if only from the bench initially.

Matt Spring
Another vastly experienced player at this level, and another who could be key to Charlton’s fortunes over coming months. Spring is good enough to score plenty of goals in this league from the middle of the park, and also do a holding job whenever necessary. With uncertainties surrounding other current midfielders, Matt will probably get plenty of match time once matters settle down, although few would have him in a current starting eleven.

Therry Racon
Another key component of Charlton’s midfield, we have yet to see the best of this Frenchman; he could be way too good for this division if he plays as we hope he can, but Parky will have to manage that dodgy knee of his and only keep him on the park when really necessary. He will score goals, mainly from outside the box, and put in plenty of tackles and running. How far forward he plays though is going to be dependent most of the time on who plays alongside him.

Nicky Bailey
Charlton’s player of the year and top scorer last season, but will he feature much in 2009/10? Rumours persist that he is the subject of a major bid from a Championship club, but takeover speculation is holding up any deal. I do not know if he will be sold pending or after any takeover, but it would be great even if we just had him until the end of August. A central midfield player, Bailey has been pushed out onto the left wing to accommodate others; that hasn’t stopped him scoring goals though, as he has good legs and can get forward into danger areas at will. His temperament is sometimes a worry, as he plays with his heart on his sleeve, but I guess we’d rather a whole team like that than not.

Jonjo Shelvey
The boy wonder is still here, and it does look like he may be with us all season too (though I’m not counting too many chickens just yet…). A player who knows that it will be better for him to learn his trade with Charlton and move on when the time is right, he also knows that the time is not yet right, even if the wages on offer are significantly better than his current salary. How he fits in to the team will depend on who else is available, and I for one would prefer to see him moved back into midfield where his stamina and fitness and vision can be used to full effect. The problem is that others also like to play there, and we lack creative strikers, so that’s where Jonjo may play. He can do it though, as his goals last season showed. He wil be sold eventually, but hopefully his value will continue to rise as the season progresses.

Scott Wagstaff
A make or break season for our young winger, or full back. He seems to me to lack a bit of pace, which doesn’t help when that was his main weapon as a youngster, and that may be why the club has tried him at full back this pre-season. With plenty of other defenders in those positions though, I cannot seem him as anything other than Lloyd Sam’s back-up on the right wing this season, but whether he is good enough remains to be seen.

Lloyd Sam
A key season for Lloyd, as he really does need to deliver at this level, or he never will make it as a top footballer. Without a goal last season - though he made plenty - he has been able to knock in a couple in pre-season which is good news. If he plays well, which means holding the ball, making runs behind the defence, and putting in decent crosses for the forwards, then he could be our ace-in-the-pack. If he ambles though games though, hides, and doesn’t cover his full back, then I can see Lloyd leaving next summer for pastures new.

Alex Stavrinou
Another youngster who will spend most of his time playing in a holding midfield role for the reserves, but who could play in some minor cup games if opportunities arise.

Chris Dickson
Will Dicko be at The Valley next weekend? Subject of a bid from Gillingham, it’s a toss up whether it is accepted or if other forwards are shown the door and leave instead (Gray, McLeod, and Fleetwood are all subject to bids too, but we cannot sell them all...hopefully). Dickson does have a presence in the dressing room, and is known as a fun guy to have around; for that reason , I hope he stays, as we need someone to brighten the place up every now and then. Truly though, unless he gets games, and goals in them, then his time at Charlton could be coming to a close. If he does start to score though, it might be tough to stop him, and anything could happen from there...

Andy Gray
The forgotten man at The Valley following an awful 18 months that have seen major injury and major personal problems; hopefully all are now behind him. The subject of a bid from Barnsley, it is probably well known that Gray would like to return up north, but the deal is being held up pending the take-over according to Barnsley’s manager, so Gray could remain in SE7. The club would undoubtedly like to get his salary off the wage bill, but if Barnsley get tired of waiting and sign someone else, Gray may remain. If that happens, and he is fit, then he should be way too good for this league, so we may yet win whatever happens.

Izale McLeod
Luck is not something you associate with Izzy, and after finally getting back to fitness after bad injuries, he may or may not be transferring to Hearts. If they go into administration, the deal will be off; if they don’t, then subject to Charlton’s own heirachy tribulations, we can probably wave him goodbye. If he stays, and he could go elsewhere in August I suspect, then he could do some damage to opponents and help Charlton, but I wouldn’t put much money on it.

Stuart Fleetwood
Never featured in the first team, and unless other forwards are sold, he never will. I do think that he will be sold and that the offer from Exeter (where he played on loan last year) should be accepted, provided it covers the outlay on him when he signed from Forest Green Rovers.

Deon Burton
At this moment, Deon is our key forward, though that doesn’t fill supporters with much hope. Let us not forget though that Deon did score a hat-trick in our last league game, and at this level, he could be a very good player to have. He’s not that mobile, but can hold up the ball and bring others into play; with a 4-5-1 formation, that just about works, but longer term he is a player that needs to be replaced. It will be interesting to see what the forward line is next Saturday, but don’t be surprised to see Burton leading the line once more.

Tamer Tuna
I’m really not sure what Tuna is all about? He hasn’t scored bucket-loads of goals for the juniors, but makes a few; he hasn’t got blistering pace, but does work hard. So how he got into the first team late last year is beyond me, but when he played, he showed great heart. Is that enough? I don’t know, but I do suspect that we may see him used late in games as the forward who runs around a lot covering defenders; whether he can transfer that effort into goals or assists in league one remains to be seen.

Then we have four players who may yet feature for Charlton, though their contracts are still in limbo, even this late in pre-season…

Matt Holland
Matt served the club well, but a second single year contract offer didn’t seem to keep him happy, so he’s done pre-season in Colchester. That club will not be signing him, so unless he can pick up a deal with old Irish team-mate Roy Keane at Ipswich, he could return to The Valley and sign the contract on offer. His ability to cover the midfield, and defence could be key, although at his age I would expect him to start most games from the bench and be utilised as necessary.

Jon Fortune
Forch has played for the Addicks for nine years, so we cannot blame him if he does move on; he has a contract offer, but with possible better offers on the table, he may move to Sheffield United, or elsewhere. If he does decide to stay, then he can probably look forward to a benefit season next year, and also do a tidy job in central defence. Sadly though, I think he may well be off to the Championship...

Dean Sinclair
Pardew’s other forgotten man has at least played in the first team, though serious injuries and competition have limited him to just a couple of appearances. I cannot see Parkinson wanting or even needing to play him, so Dean can expect another season of lower league loan experience with the hope that someone will make a small offer for him to take him permanently.

Yassin Moutaouakil
So much talent, yet...Parky hates him, and won’t play him, so Moots has been on trial at Portsmouth even though he is still contracted to Charlton for another season. I think it fair to say that Parky doesn’t even want him in the squad, and that Moots is probably free to join any other club who will pay him, and if he doesn’t sign elsewhere he will rot in the reserves (barring an injury crisis).

So there we have our current squad; I’m sure it will change a little (and maybe then some!) by the end of August depending on take-overs, bids being accepted or rejected, contracts being signed, and that sort of thing. Are they good enough to get Charlton out of this league? Possibly, but in Pedro45’s opinion only, and only, if they play to their full potential and get decent tactics with a solid formation. The player of the year will be between Jonjo and Therry, with Lloyd a good third; if they all do the business, we could be celebrating come May 2010, but being a realist, I suspect we may finish seventh.

Up the Addicks!


An excellent summary Pedro - I enjoyed reading that.

Like many I've felt sorry for Moo2, and was really hoping he would play regularly. Maybe he really does have some flaws, if he generates that much hostility from two managers.

Pembury Addick
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?

Enter your email address below to subscribe to Charlton Athletic Online!

powered by Bloglet
Sports Business Directory - BTS Local
Custom Search