A season high on bizarre, low on highlights
A week without a Charlton game, anyone missing it?
The 2020/21 season was for one way or another a tough season to follow the Addicks. Just three home games actually had fans inside the stadium, and in a nod to the overall season, we only played well for 45 minutes of them.
Our home form sucked, and even though we had to watch it from our homes, it did not make it any better to bear. We weren’t alone, only 14 teams had better home than away forms in L1, and even then only Plymouth, Ipswich, Oxford and Peterborough saw any marked difference in points won.
This unusual but presupposed Covid dynamic was mirrored across the leagues, even Man City have a much better away record and by a long way Watford have best home record in the country losing just twice and clocking 59 points.
Only wins in the last week at home to Lincoln and Hull separated our home form from some of our worst season’s in the last 50 years, most of those resulted in relegation, which makes missing out on the play-off’s by goal difference all the more bizarre.
For the majority of the season I don’t think we ever showed promotion form, we lacked consistency and the drive of a team with the singular goal of being the best. Too many changes, too many injuries, too many formations, too many errors, too many late goals, too many poor starts. Too many other things to mention.
It was a culmination of things, and impossible to pick out one flaw. I will defer from getting into the managerial debate, but my biggest grievance was that we lacked any identity and despite watching almost every game, the players rarely gave me anything to believe in. When they did raise your hopes, they were quickly squashed.
Of course we had another summer of a forced rebuild, and the squad in the abbreviated summer break was put together on a shoestring, Then in January it reminded me of those nutters that rush through the door of Harrods at the beginning of the January sale grabbing anything in reach, whatever it is. I also have to add that Thomas’ signing of Ronnie Schwartz had all the elements of someone who had never been shopping before.
Overall what we had was a dysfunctional squad, unbalanced and error strewn. It was always going to be a flawed attempt at promotion, and so it proved.
Injuries played their part as they most likely will when you sign injury prone players, but the loss of Inniss and Famewo did really hurt us, and not signing a central defender in January was plain stupid.
The season’s highlights’ reel will be short. Looking through the list of games brings so many ‘oh god’ memories, but the wins at Portsmouth and Sunderland stand out. There was that rather aberrant 6-0 win at Plymouth, as enjoyable to watch as it was. The Lincoln game in the last week was good as well, but memories will be short from the 2020/21 season, a season with Covid running through it making it a totally strange time in history.
The real highlight of course was on September 25th, when Thomas Sandgaard burst into our lives in a ‘sea of red’ wearing a Charlton shirt under a dinner jacket holding a guitar.
It would be only right to remember how far off the field we have come since last summer. There was some desperate days and nights when not having a football club the next day was a constant uncertainty.
Thank you Thomas and welcome again Nigel and let us put this season, this last year behind us and move on together to happier times ahead.
Good summary CA and nothing to add.
But didn’t you love the FA Cup final yesterday? I haven’t been bothered with it in years and was a bit reluctant to commit to it yesterday with him indoors – but once I’d sat down with a glass of wine that was it. A truly super club were the winners – and oh to hear the fans again. I believe that will be us one day. There is so much going right off the pitch for us now – the on-pitch transformation comes next.
Happy Summer CA.
I think some praise for the U18’s has gone amiss, but just adds to the drama of getting an injury time Winner Against Birmingham.
Next week I shall be an Honoury Forest Green Rovers fan and hoping that Hereford win at Wembley…And Hope that Lincoln get Promotion
The U18’s result didn’t pass me by. Classic Charlton eh?
I’m a bit of a Newport County fan, not sure why..
I really sat enthralled for the whole ninety minutes of the under 18 game, shows much promise for the future. Did I see right recently that EFL were in talks with clubs to continue televised games, such as Valley Pass, next season?
Some very encouraging performances in the U18s I thought. 2 goals for Burstow and 2 assists for Adigun. A cameo appearance by Zak Mitchell after subbing at half time for injured Santos. It will be interesting to see how many 2nd years are offered U23 contracts and several 1st years played their part and will form the nucleus of next year’s U18s. It should also be noted that 3 of the most highly rated players were missing probably through injury i.e Williams Toure and Agyemang.
I think the only silver lining to this season has been the U18’s and the reemergence of the Women’s team.
Though the U18’s did their best to take a leaf out of the 1st team book by conceding late goals, only this time, unlike the 1st team, they had the spirit to go on and get the winner!
As much as we may hope next season will be better, unfortunately there isn’t a magic formula and regardless of who we bring in, it won’t necessarily guarantee promotion as there are so many factors to that come into the equation and whether we achieve it or not.
So, had we made the playoffs with the one point that we needed, would your response to the season have been so negative?
I have read your commenmts tor all of this season and feel like you have done well, but this conclusion is very negative and very dissappointing.
I think the team, management, owner and back room staff have done really well this season considering all the problems that we have all faced. So don’t knock them. I was at all three games that we were allowed to attend this year and have watched every Valley Pass / Charlton TV broadcast. Even though I live 130 miles from Valley Floyd Road. It’s been what has helped me through this difficult time.
Thoroughly looking forward to being back in the Covered End next season and cheering on the boys and the whole team at Charlton, players, coahes, management and everyone involved.
I think I have been consistent with my opinions throughout the season. Of course an extra point would have had me biting my tongue.
I agree on Charlton TV. It has been brilliant and it has been a delight through a very difficult time for everyone.
Your opinions and reviews of the performances this season have been consistent and very accurate. Please keep up the good work.
Jbridge, Sorry but CA has been spot on with his comments on the overall season, whilst you are one of the ones who have been looking through Rose Tinted glasses throughout!
I was also at the games I was allowed to attend and then watched every Home and Away game videoed, and like my several friends, who I always meet up at the Home games, have all agreed this season, has been mostly the worst team performances we have ever witnessed over the many years, we have all been supporting the Club.
Without not putting the blame on anyone in particular, it is a season to forget, with absymal defending, midfield mostly non exisitant, too many players just not good enough, too much negative tactics, lack of effort from certain players, too much play in our own half, players not being able to cross ball and not being able to make just a simple pass, too many aged past it players, no real cohesion in the team etc. Finally mostly not enjoyable at all to watch!!!
If the actors in a theatre production performed like this Charlton team has performed over this last season, the production would have been closed down within a couple of months, it has mostly been that dire.
Lets be honest here, League One has had, apart from a very few clubs, the poorest set of Clubs for years and Charlton are one of them and in no way whatever way you look at it, we really didn’t deserve to be in that top six, that’s fact!
Let’s please forget this last season and hopefully look to a successful next season with Nigel Adkins, where can instill his own ideas from the start, with a clear out of useless and old has been players and bringing in new hungry decent players, who can put a pass together. Plus also giving us, the supporters some entertainment and excitement to cheer about.
Just to say thanks CA, for this and all your reports and opinions of this most unusual of seasons. You, along with Albury’s and Drinking… are my chosen gurus on our ‘rarely do things the easy way’, but wonderful old football club. I rarely disagree with your views.
All bar the most dedicated away supporter has never seen so much Charlton playing football this season, and at times it’s been tough, with moments of disbelief and a smattering of joy chucked in. I’m delighted to have Thomas and Nigel at the helm and am very positive for 21/22, Watching from the Covered End instead of an office chair!
Look forward to more from you next season and hope you get a visit or two to S.E7.
Very kind, thanks BA. Yes, already eagerly anticipating the fixtures.