Thanks for the memories Lee
A sad day.
Lee Bowyer gave me one of the best days of my life. 90 +4. Wembley Stadium. Me, my son, my brother, my mates, 39,000 joyous fellow Addicks. Thank you Lee.
This time may well be right for everyone, and although I cringed whenever fellow fans were calling for his head, today’s resignation with a move to Birmingham City expected allows everyone to shake hands turn around, and walk away with a big smile on their faces.
Because Lee Bowyer brought the smiles back to Charlton Athletic. He returned togetherness and restored pride to being an Addick.
Let me take you back to March 2017. I was at Northampton Town and it was at the height of anti-Duchatelet feeling. Between Robinson and Slade, Meire and Duchatelet there was no hope, no ambition, no dreams.
We were absolutely terrible and when supporters say this present team is the worst in recent history, then they haven’t been going for very long, or have short memories.
Fast forward to March 2019. I was at Doncaster Rovers (not the play-off game), the contrast was colossal. The team spirit, the alliance on and off the field, the noise and encouragment that Addicks made was fantastic to be a part off.
Lee Bowyer singularly turned The Valley from a place of demonstration to one of enormous passion. To coin a phrase…. it bounced. A lot.
Bowyer understood the club, he spent a career, that began in SE7, leaving nothing on the pitch. He was a winner. Blimey we have had some dross stand on the touchline wearing a Charlton tracksuit, and out of nowhere he came. No fuss, no bullshit, no lies.
Like a whirlwind from a carp lake in France, he gave us back our Charlton, all the while having to work with nutjobs, negligence, crooks and charlatans.
Bowyer didn’t need to be einstein, or Pep or had to eat a thesaurus before an interview like Robinson. Bow was honest, simplistic and passionate. He was one of us, he always will be.
Thank you Lee for the three years. You are way, way in profit with me. Good luck and all the best.
Excellent piece CA – totally agree and you have expressed it beautifully
Thank you Albury.
Well said, despite recent results, Lee is going to be hard to replace.
Good luck with that Thomas.
Well worded CA brought a huge lump to my throat. I wanted Lee to see out this season just to see how far he could have taken this team in League One. Hope he does well in the Midlands! COYR.
Thank you David.
Did not expect this,but I suppose not a surprise,Birmingham would be of interest to him.So now that it has happened let’s hope serious consideration is given to who is going to be the next manager,let’s forget Plan B and not put somebody in charge to end of the season.Althought it certainly looks as a mid table finish is the best we can hope for,WITH a experienced manager put in charge it’s possible the way the results in this league keep finishing and the number of points to play for,maybe we can dream of a big finish to the end of the season and a day out at Wembley.We can only dream………..
The question will be why now, was it because the job at Birmingham was always going to be too good to turn down regardless, or was it because he felt that he had gone as far as he could at Charlton and needed a fresh challenge? Probably a bit of both – certainly after a couple of positive seasons we have plateaued this year and there hasn’t been quite the same energy around the team that there was last season and the year before. There have been too many defensive errors, not enough domination of the centre of the park and up front despite Chuks and Jayden we are hardly the free goal scoring team that you need a promotion outfit to be. Everything looks and feels a bit laboured, even wins seem to be hard won and there have been too many joyless performances. It’s pretty clear for some time that the squad was going to need major reconstruction surgery again this summer and possibly Bow simply didn’t feel up to yet another close season of negotiating with players and agents to come to a League One outfit while seeing good players depart for better things.
But we owe him a heck of a lot – since Chris Powell we’ve had far too many managers – while many of them seemed to be friendly, personable characters there was the feeling that they were here because it was a job and not because they had a clear plan. Bow seemed to have that objective in mind and I’m convinced that there would have been no promotion at Wembley without him and under Bow the fan base was energised like nothing before, there were several matches where I woke up the next day with a sore throat from singing and ears ringing. Attending Charlton matches became an event again, something to look forward to and not a duty. If only we had been able to build on promotion but the last act of recklessness from Duchatelet was to sell the club onto a couple of pennyless over-promising jokers in Southall and Nimer. Another thing to thank Bow for was to not quit, who knows if he ever contemplated resigning last year, had he done so no-one could have blamed him, but thankfully he stuck around despite the turmoil around him. I hate to think what would have happened had he walked out last year. Under Bow we started to get our club back and it’s going to up to the next bloke to take that on.
The king is dead………………..long live the king.
Now Thomas get over to Denmark and get MICHAEL LAUDRUP.
That would make a statement.
Wow! This is right on the money, CA. I always enjoy your blogs but this one is Oscar worthy.
Or whatever the equivalent is…
Thank you Ken.
I have mixed feelings regarding LBs move to Birmingham, he is probably a good coach, but I found his management style too abrasive especially his public criticism of some players whilst others seemed to get a free ride. Frankly the squad is not good enough for promotion no player would command a substantial fee (except loanees). I don’t think we need to fear LB trying to take our first team players. The most valuable assets are in the academy and Birmingham have recently signed Oni on a 2yr youth contract. Players like Euan Williams, Barker, Vennings and Mingi need to be kept and given an opportunity next season.
I think CAFC should appoint an experienced manager, Chris Powell could be a good choice as he got most things right last time he was in charge until undermined by RD. A management partnership with Jackson could work as they were previously together as manager and captain.
Thing is you can always be a good coach if you move with the times. But being a good manager develops over time, often over a whole career if you are willing to listen, can motivate and learn from ones mistakes.
That’s first class CA – I couldn’t have put it any better. Exceptionally well said.
Thank you Nigel.