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.