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.
Matthews over Gunter every time..Bowyer treated them as equals and it seemed to undermine Matthews confidence.
Sorry CA – this is not about my player of the season – but to share my delight and excitment at getting our season tickets sorted this morning. We gave up what we considered to be two of the best seats in the stadium in the East Stand in protest against the mad Belgian and it was one of the hardest things I have ever done. Of course we still came to some games which you may think was a bit daft but we felt we had made our statement – and of course we joined in all the other protests and went to Belgium. Fast forward to the glorious day we thought he had gone and we went straight down to get half season tickets for the rest of that season not realising what a bunch of crooks had arrived to ravage our club even more. But of course the choice of seats was limited (him indoors has knee problems so end of row seats are a must) and we ended up way too close to the away fans for my liking, too near the front and with zero atmosphere. Needless to say we didn’t renew at the end of that season because of the hideous people in charge. But I have been bereft not being a season ticket holder so this morning imagine my delight to find two seats on the end of row P right in the middle of the Alan Curbishley stand. Completely barking mad considering it will be 3rd division football again but I am so, so happy. Thank you once again Thomas. And you will be sprinkling my ashes on the pitch before I give these seats up.
Great stuff LP. You were not alone. A 1,000 were sold within the first 3 hours.