Player of the year
This is not an easy topic is it. Hard to follow Lyle Taylor or Dillon Phillips, but someone will be crowned our Player of the Year tomorrow.
You need to go here, if you haven’t done so already, to cast your vote for the most deserving case of this hugely frustrating campaign. Even Omar Bogle is available for selection. How thoughtful!
It’s been a tough season and no one has shone, in fact only a handful have made any useful contribution. Jake Forster-Caskey has played the 3rd most minutes this season after a couple of injury hit years, but I have him down as about our most consistent player and he’s been the key player for us in a fair number of games, although even he has looked overplayed these last couple of games.
Signed by Karl Robinson, the 27-year old was quick to take the offer of the extra year on his contract at the end of last season, and is one of 13 players who will be free agents this summer. Nigel Adkins has relied on the ex-Brighton midfielder, so he may one of a few I suspect that gets the offer to stay. Whatever his future, JFC gets my vote for POTY.
While the majority of this season’s players should be consigned to the next version of the Valiant 500 book, there are a few that have made the odd impression, the trouble is not very often.
Ben Amos has played the most minutes out the 33 players used this season by Bowyer and Adkins in the league. Amos has been an ever-present, but I just haven’t really warmed to him. To be fair to the Amos, those in front of him often resembled Dad’s Army. In age and slapstick, but although his handling is decent, he has let far too many goals in from distance. I think replacing Dillon Phillips was a big ask, he epitomized a Charlton team that you could believe in, and not Amos’ fault but for me he anchors a team that you cannot.
Conor Washington has played in 35 league games, and at this level could be an asset. He was on a rich vein of goals before he got injured against Wimbledon, but I’ve included him in dispatches because he looks and sounds as if he cares. He does have another year on his contract.
If I had to pick a favourite player, which is really stretching the imagination, then out of this motley crew I’d plump for Ryan Inniss. If, massive if, he could stay fit then we have quite the player and character. Possible Captain material too. The trouble is, he is another with a large question mark over his fragile head.
Inniss has started just 66 league games in five seasons, he’s started only 10 for us since signing pre-season. It’s a career defining year for Inniss ahead. This interview with Gary Issott on Inniss’ career to date is very worth a read by the way.
Two players that have been revitalized under Adkins are Alex Gilbey and Adam Matthews. Gilbey was a forgotten man under Bowyer, who signed him, but Adkins has relied heavily upon the former MK Dons man, where he built a very good reputation. Gilbey has two more years left on his contract.
I think Matthews is a far better player that Gunter. He’s a better defender, and far more able going forward. Clearly I’m a little bit out on a limb on this thinking because Bowyer, Welsh managers and possibly Adkins judging by yesterday must think differently. Matthews contract expires this summer, Gunter unfortunately has another year on the pay-roll.
Finally the most enigmatic of all from what has become a burdensome large squad is Chuks Aneke. Chuks has played just 25 minutes more for the Addicks this season than Jayden Stockley, yet has by some way been our most threatening striker, he has nearly always impacted games from the bench with his power and purpose and is also our top scorer with 15 goals. Meanwhile his fitness remains one of life’s mysteries, which I think many of us would like to understand better. Chuks contract expires in June
As for the loans there was no Josh Cullen or Conor Gallagher this season. Not even close, but from January’s fresh recruits both Jayden Stockley and Liam Millar improved us. Stockley has worked his balls off, but I don’t much care for how Adkins’ game plan calls for the ball being hurled in the general direction of his head. Stockley is out of contract at Preston this summer.
I keep forgetting that Liam Millar plays for Liverpool. He hasn’t a cat in hell’s chance of making it at Anfield, but he does have talent and an enviable knack of moving the ball up the pitch quickly. He is raw, but has ability, and been a positive for us in the 25 games he has played.
Finally Ian Maatsen, at just 19, has had an eventful first full season playing all over the pitch with 33 appearances under his belt, which will please Chelsea to where he will return before being shipped out somewhere else in August.