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The circus of Karel Fraeye 

The timing of Guy Luzon’s sacking was a surprise to a lot of people but not to Karel Fraeye. He was waiting patiently in the wings confident and ready for the job that he had long been earmarked for. The Interim tag was to appease us, Duchalelet and Meire hopeful that his articulate and open manner would grow on Charlton fans. More engaging with the players especially Johnnie Jackson, all he had to do was turn around the disastrous form of Guy Luzon before being given the job of his dreams full time.

I wrote after Fraeye took over as Interim Head Coach that his ability or lack thereof would stand on its own two feet. His appointment was another piss take, but there would be no hiding place. Time would judge him in front of us all.

After his 9th game which has yielded two wins in Fraeye said “To be fair, we’ve had an away game at Middlesbrough, an away game at Birmingham, an away game at Burnley and a home game against Ipswich.” Yes Karel my old son this is The Championship. It does not suffer fools gladly.

Fraeye had been courting this job ever since he helped get Chris Powell the sack, he has been very involved in the scouting and selecting of many of the players that now play for him and would be seen in the Directors Box when Powell was in charge making notes for Duchatelet. 

After he ‘left’ the club 18 months ago Fraeye remained in the background, still on the payroll and a frequent Valley visitor telling fans if they cared to listen that one day he would be back. Jose Riga never knew of him when he was handed him as his assistant. Peeters was preferred to Riga and Duchatelet told Fraeye to go and get himself some coaching experience whilst he still performed a valuable scouting and analytical role within the network. 

Next time he criticizes the players or dumps Bergdich on the transfer list, remember who was responsible for recommending these same players that mostly have given nothing in the name of Charlton Athletic. 

Since taking over Fraeye has come across confident to the point of arrogant knowing that he has the support of the owner and that there is no recruitment process going on to replace him full time. The job is his, the name sign for his office made. All he has to do is throw a few results together like Riga and Luzon did and we’d all be fawning over him. Remember every decision has been better than the last.

But there is a vital flaw in the plan, Karel Fraeye is not up to it. He is completely out of depth. We can’t defend, are not organized and there’s no obvious plan to his tactics except to play numerous forwards. We lack leadership, game management and there appears little commitment from his players, especially those that were playing well under Luzon such as JBG, Makienok, Cousins and Fox. 

Worse, he is a sycophant. He is not going to ask for better players and a more capable squad like Peeters or Luzon did. Or be ungrateful of those players handed to him like Powell. No, he reckons the squad is good enough. Recently he said that you only need 11 players and 7 on the bench. Genius.

What did Meire say 5 weeks ago: “We hope Karel Fraeye will change things and bring us back to mid-table which we have the squad for. We believe we have a better squad than our position. He has identified problems. We will give him all the help he deserves.” Well hurry up Karel, we are all waiting dear.

His comments after the game on Saturday are an embarrassment to the club, but he thinks he can say what he likes. He talks like a employee who has complete job security but they sound to me like they come from an amateur. 

Which is of course what Roland Duchatelet gave us.

31 Comments Post a comment
  1. Tom #

    Agree with your comments wholeheartedly CA. He fails to mention the 2 points from 9 we got from Bolton, Leeds and MK Dons..

    It’s got to the stage now where part of me actually wants CAFC to lose so that the hands of RD/KM are forced to replace Karel but…. replace with who? Another stooge from Belgium? Even if they saw sense and looked to recruit a manager who had experience of English football and preferably the Championship, who in their right mind would come to us? Sackings are usually made around this time to give the new man the January transfer to turn things around but well, I don’t need to go on do I…..

    It’s been said before by others but this is the most depressing time in supporting CAFC over the last 30 years. Even when we had no ground or were in League 1, the fans/players/board seemed to be pulling the same direction. We were united. Not the shambles we are now.

    December 21, 2015
  2. It just doesn’t make sense. How can a business man put someone so inept in charge at such a critical point in the season. I don’t think a change of manager will help unless RD does something sensible like appoint a manager with Championship experience. My Christmas wish list is for a new owner. My super Christmas wish is for a takeover by the fans. These business models that don’t have football has the principal goal just don’t work.

    December 21, 2015
  3. ken #

    As usual, an excellent sum up of the position, this coach needs to be replaced with a competent seasoned championship manager of experience ASAP, not some individual hanging around the RD stable of availability, This is a football club not a taxi rank!
    It is a football club that is fighting for survival in a very difficult league, that a few loanees will not solve the issues at CAFC. The next 4 weeks are critical to CAFC in it’s survival, because relegation will not solve any of the issues, in fact it will add to them. It may also be the final straw for a whole generation of supporters.

    December 21, 2015
  4. agree totally.

    December 21, 2015
  5. Martin #

    a2c – if you feel the need to comment could you please do so in English?

    Fraeye, as many of us suspected, has been caught out. He may be so far up Duchatelet’s nether regions but he’s simply not up to the job of managing a Championship club – or a Division 1 outfit that Charlton are looking increasingly likely to become next season.

    Duchatelet is running around in ever decreasing circles making the same mistakes again and again. When will he realise that the Championship is the most competitive second level league in the world and it needs someone to manage the club who understands that league.
    It was blatantly obvious in the Ipswich home game that Mick McCarthy is just that sort of manager. Wily and with a squad of players who work tirelessly for him and who adapt to his change of tactics when needed. It was like watching a man play with a boy in the two dug-outs. Charlton, predictable and pathetic, Ipswich strong and workman-like who wanted to get the ball in the net …. and they didn’t have a petulant 6’7″ Dane who couldn’t time a jump all day and was taken off before he got himself sent off…

    Sadly I’m voting with my feet and after the matches that I have tickets for in the next couple of weeks my time at the Valley after many, many years are up …until such time as the owner sees sense and brings in a reputable BRITISH manager to lead our club. My gut instinct is that won’t happen until it’s too late to stave off relegation this year…. in my mind 2 or the 3 relegation clubs have shown themselves, us and Bolton.
    Presumably Duchatelet thinks that if we go down getting promotion for such a big club will be a cake-walk….. well, we all know differently, don’t we? The idiot will find out soon enough and I fear that our decline won’t stop at one relegation.

    December 21, 2015
  6. a2c #

    Thass wot I do I write ow I speak n thass ow they speak in NU n all. Funny ow people who say there for free speech delete my posts aint that wot fascists do juss cos I support the club, players gaffer n board, unlike some who are always negative on ere.

    December 21, 2015
    • a2c – please take your fascist and xenophobia obsessed comments elsewhere. You can wade through 11 years of posts and you won’t find anything of that ilk here. Support the club all you like. I worry there won’t be one left to support and I will keep raising the issues.

      December 21, 2015
      • a2c #

        I thought yourn were in favour of free speech but them attack it cos I don’t agree with wot yourn are sayin thass why iss fascist in case you aint eard, delete anythin yourn don’t agree with. Yourn keep on attackin the board cos there Belgian then the gaffer cos e’s Belgian. Would you do the same to the yanks n frence n all. Did yourn attack Parky all the time when ourn were relegated cos of where e comes from. All you do on ere CA n your ilk is attack the board n don’t give them credit for savin ourn from relegation. If yourn ever took the club over then it would die but we aint all of your ilk.

        December 21, 2015
  7. a2c #

    I mean savin ourn from administration.

    December 21, 2015
    • a2c your remarks about CA are unquestionably slanderous. Slander: A false or malicious claim that may harm or damage someone’s reputation. If you want an example of such “yourn keep on attackin the board cos there Belgian then the gaffer cos e’s Belgian”. You should either back that up by direct quotation of something that CA has written and if you can’t then you should offer an apology. Freedom of speech carries with it an implicit duty to be honest your comment reeks of dishonesty.

      December 21, 2015
  8. Richard Martin #

    I cant clasify myself as a “bona fide”supporter of the Addicks but i have been a follower since i saw Chris Duffy score the winning goal in the 47 cup final and since that time i have religously followed the ups and downs.The current situation is extremely dissapointing and im afraid division 1 is beckoning at a pace.When oh When will the hierachy realise the championship is a really tough division and no place for an ex third division Belgian !!!!!There are a few good experianced managers currently available who would relish the chance to manage a club with the stature and history of Charlton but i suspect they would be reluctant to come to a club where the owner lives incloud cuckoo land.I have stated many times before we need the return of someone with a good knowledge of the history of the club ; someone of the stature of Curbs ; this would rejuvanate the fan base and might give us long term charlton lovers some hope for the future.However i regret that any such chance is a forlone hope but will we dessert ihave tried this in the past when Chris departed but i could not become a traitor to the cause.I still live in the forlorn hope of a revival (silly me!!!!)’ll

    December 21, 2015
  9. That’s a heartfelt piece that I’m sure accurately reflects the opinions of many including me.
    I almost find myself hoping we go down just so that Roland has no choice but to see the folly of his ways. The obvious problem with that is that we could tumble out of the league all together, lose The Valley and sink into obscurity never to return.
    I was there in the 70s, (often on a Friday night) in low crowds when the future looked bleak. But I don’t recall ever wondering what will become of us in the same way I am now.
    Terrible times indeed.

    December 21, 2015
  10. a2c #

    Ah so thass why your attackin wot I post on ere TR defendin the board n Fraeye n attackin exenohobes cos iss slander, thass interestin innit.

    December 21, 2015
    • Maybe if I could understand a word of what you are on about.

      December 21, 2015
    • a2c, I attack your slander against CA, NOT your defence of the board and Fraeye. Can you address my point instead of evading it?

      December 21, 2015
  11. Marcus #

    Couldn’t agree more with this. Time to forget about the results and think long term for our club. We need to stand up and get Roland OUT! It’s soul destroying seeing our club go through another tough period but we need to act quickly before we really do end up in sh*t street!!!

    December 21, 2015
  12. By the way a2c I don’t find slander in the least way interesting it’s just vile.

    December 21, 2015
  13. a2c #

    Well do you know wot I find really vile dahn our gaff n on ere, Belgians ahrt chants n then other posters who say as such now thass wot I call really vile.

    December 21, 2015
  14. a2c #

    Iss not only vile, iss bile atred n vitriol.

    December 21, 2015
    • I’m only referring to your accusations against CA on this blog. You are still evading my point and attempting to deflect attention to other matters. Once again I would ask you to either back up your remark or withdraw it and apologise. Your evasion is speaking volumes.

      December 21, 2015
      • a2c #

        When it comes dahn to it the ones who should be apologisin are the exenophobes n Belgians ahrt brigade dahn our gaff n thass all there is to it.

        December 21, 2015
        • I have nothing further to say as it’s obvious that you will not stay focused on the point in question, preferring instead to repeatedly go off on tangents about what’s happening ‘dahn our gaff” as opposed to addressing my objection to your ugly remarks and inferences on this blog.

          December 21, 2015
          • Juss leave it Tel, e ain’t worth it innit.

            Ps. How an earth you type like that with predicative text and auto correct I will never know.

            December 21, 2015
  15. Martin Cowan #

    The fans have seen enough relegation seasons between them to be able to see what’s going on. I doubt that KM, RD and KF have that same level of experience – I genuinely believe they can’t see it coming.

    They don’t seem to realise that the actual product they are supposed to be providing to the paying customers is good football. And for that you need a manager (Head Coach, if you will) who knows what he’s doing, and players of sufficient quality to be able to play well together as a Team (it’s a team game after all). Then what happens is you play good football and you win (some) games. You win games, you get points on the board, you go up the table. You go up the table, you gain confidence, you win games. The higher you rise, the more people will come and watch. The bigger the crowd, the better the atmosphere, the more people enjoy coming to the games. The more they enjoy the games, the more likely they will come to the next game. And so on. This is what Charlton achieved after the return to the Valley in 1992, the false dawn of 1998, and the heady days of the Premier League post 2000. And surely the more successful you are on the pitch, the more likely that up and coming young players will want to be assocated with the club. You then get the best youth players you can, and maybe you can still sell them on at a profit some time down the line.

    While RD is to be applauded for his investment in the Valley, the training ground, and the Academy (you might want to call it protecting his investment), he has seriously taken his eye of the ball which is the safeguarding of the product (as summarised above). And with a substandard product, you see what a shambles we have become. Head Coach who doesn’t know what he is doing, players who are not good enough, who can’t play together as a Team. Losing games, dropping down the table, lacking confidence, dwindling crowds, lack of atmosphere, lack of confidence, losing games.


    December 21, 2015
  16. Paul MACE #

    This of course could all be true and some of it maybe. Except this team hit the ground running and our form was good until Makienok, Kashi ( especially) and Cellebos all got injured. Soon followed by others. Midfield is the problem. Vetokele and others also limping to no effect plus Watts dummy is still lost. The squad needs 2-3 players to strengthen it. Maybe we are stuck with Karel. However the way we played at Brighton first half until mor injuries says otherwise. You tell me . I don’t know and nor does Chicago. How can he stuck in bleeding paradise.

    December 22, 2015
  17. With the January window looming and the continuing decline in results and performances the owner has some big decisions to make. Does he stick with Fraeye, (who appears to be laying the blame entirely on the players) and fund an influx of new players that Fraeye believes will be ‘good enough’? Given the influence that he has already had on the players signed by CAFC (or as I now prefer to call it FC Duchateiet), thank-you CA for reminding us of that, this would seem to be an unwise move. We know that there is a list of ‘wanted’ players the big question is who will be in charge of them. Will it be the ‘interim one’ ? or AN Other?. Over to you RD. it’s your FC. .

    December 22, 2015
    • Apologies for the typo I of course meant ‘FC Duchatelet’. No disrespect intended.

      December 22, 2015
  18. a2c #

    Yeah juss leave it tel tel as been told. All yourn do is insult n attack me cos I’m against exenophobes n sexists n pro board but that aint goin to put me off postin abahrt it even if it aint on ere.

    December 23, 2015
    • Keep on diiggin a2c. I have I have no wish to insult you or put you off posting but in the culture of free speech we must all be prepared to be challenged about what we say and respond in a mature way and endeavour to be accurate and fair in criticism. Perhaps you would like to quote an example of an insult that I’ve directed at you?

      December 23, 2015
  19. CA-I promise that is my last word! Life is too short.

    December 23, 2015

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