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Unrealized expectation

If our What’s App group chat was as busy on transfer incomings and rumours, as it is on how great the new kits are, then we’d all be a little more upbeat about the start of the new season starting a week tomorrow.

I am a patient soul when it comes to Charlton and I want to be careful not to put myself in the bedwetting department, but my expectation, perhaps aspirational, of a summer rebuild has so far been a long way off the mark.

I don’t think I am alone is having a certain expectation. I am sure much is still to being done to put the club back on an even keel, the recent financial statements reminded us of that, but Adkins’ end of season pledge, and Sandgaard’s continual, if I’d go as far as saying frivolous, bravado have all been misleading thus far.

The large-scale sponsorship deal just another pie in the sky nonsense. I love hearing ambition, but make it believable.

Anyway I am veering on the edge of panic. There are still 32 days left of the summer window remaining and other than Ipswich and Wigan, we are not alone in having a slow and tentative window to date.

Nonetheless by the time the window closes we would’ve played five league games in the month of August.

I still make us net 5 players down on the squad that ended last season, and as a reminder that squad wasn’t good enough.

By my reckoning we are short at left back, a centre-back, an offensive central midfielder, at least one pacy wide-man if Adkins is to play to way he supposedly desires and probably another keeper if Maynard Brewer is sent out on loan.

We have also not replaced last season’s top scorer. Goalscoring forwards don’t often allow themselves to be shopped in the latter stages of the transfer window.

I expect Gallen to be active in the loan market, and we should be able to negotiate from a position of financial strength, and not resort to begging as previously, but to add to the scarcity of players Ben Purrington will miss the start of the season due to a hamstring injury.

Nigel Adkins after re-signing half Lee Bowyer’s players went all proper-Bow on us by announcing that he can play Matthews or Gunter at left back, and I assume one of those will play there against Sheffield Wednesday.

I know we are thankful to have a club worthy of it’s name, and Thomas Sandgaard has made many positive changes to it, as well as take away the never ending financial stability and dodgy dealing concerns, but there has to come a time when we have to look forward, justify ambition and realize potential.

18 Comments Post a comment
  1. TerryLloyd #

    I agree with your comments. Leaving the requirement of additional players leaves the inevitable questions of loyalty to the club vs the selfish ambitions of the player etc Even the bookies have only favored us for the playoffs and not automatic promotion. A downgrade IMO.

    July 30, 2021
  2. rierti #

    The Premiership in 5 yrs always looked too optimistic to me and my expectations have changed since the takeover due to Covid restricting revenue streams. I am content that the owner seems a genuine guy who takes a day to day interest. His recruits on the business and medical sides of the business seem sound. Maybe a co-owner or investor could help provide the extra funds to strengthen the playing squad.

    July 30, 2021
    • I do wonder if Thomas has been taken by surprise by how much owning an English football club actually costs to run, firstly, and secondly to be market leaders.

      August 1, 2021
  3. Maurice Tilley #

    I agree with all of that and would add that there has been evidence in the past of last minute signings of doubtful quality once the panic sets in.
    Promising youngsters brought in on loan from Premiership clubs may now be our best chance and some of those recruited recently have been excellent.

    July 30, 2021
    • Maurice – I think the loan players were more mixed last season than in previous. Certainly we have never hit the heights of Cullen, Bielik and Gallagher.

      August 1, 2021
  4. NorfolkRed #

    Nice summary CA and it pretty much reflects my own thoughts. If NA and TS are genuine about their assertions for this season and the next 5 years then it was always obvious that this would require serious funding. This does conflict a little with working within a strict budget. Charlton are in desperate need of more quality recruits if automatic promotion is the target. We all know the play-offs are a lottery. Goalscorers don’t come cheap so l expect a loan signing in that position. You have mentioned the other key positions that need strengthening but with loan signings you don’t always get player’s who have a team ethic and are fully committed to the cause. I also share your concern that the transfer window closes after 5 league games have already been played. The league will be tough enough without playing catch-up. I am very encouraged by the shape of the team and the style of play so l am optimistic on that score. However, l am less encouraged that NA thinks Gunter is the answer to the LB problem. Squad additions will determine if NA is serious about that.

    July 30, 2021
  5. While I don’t disagree with your points, I do believe it’s the usual fans unrealistic expectations that are causing the disquiet!

    I think it’s been said all along that we wouldn’t be throwing money at promotion, in the way Ipswich and Wigan are, and frustrating as it is, I do think it’s the right way to go about it! Though of course this will mean we’ll miss out on greedy players/agents and maybe that’s not a bad thing either, otherwise it will set a precedent?

    Equally frustrating as it is, so many teams are fishing in the same small pond and while being a London club (though not the same London as Chelski or Fulham) might be attractive to some, it won’t necessarily be for Northerners or those in the Midlands.

    I’m sure things are going on in the background but what that exactly means, I can’t say. We’ll just have to hope we will be pleasantly surprised.

    July 30, 2021
    • Dan Warwick #

      I agree we shouldn’t risk the long term future for short term success, but I do believe the owner and manager should manage expectation which they haven’t. Whilst it’s all very have a nice day and smiles ! This isn’t America and all I want is a decent side which plays good football and some sort of long term goal or ambition. I am sure most fans would back that and get behind the team, I have bought a season ticket and look forward to the season just don’t say what you think you want us to hear. I want a competitive side with players on 2/3 year contracts so we can at least sell them for a fee and not bring in 6/7 loans who are playing for them and not the club.

      July 30, 2021
      • Quite right. This is not America 🇺🇸😄.

        Good point Dan about the contract lengths. Adkins had been big on that, but as it stands we will still have a load of players out of contract next summer.

        August 1, 2021
  6. Mike #

    Spot on CA, I have been concerned with this for a while now, as it appears we currently have a weaker team than last season, which considering how poor we were, is very worrying!
    Mr Adkins originally stated he needed a complete overhall and new players were urgently required for the start of this season with an emphasis on bringing the overall age down with younger quality players being brought in.
    So what has happened so far!
    Stockley and Famewo are being counted as new players signed, which is rubbish as both were here last season. MacGillway has just replaced Amos who signed for Wigan, Dobson has replaced Pratley and Clare has replaced Shinnie, hopefully both much better. So all in all we have just signed three new players.
    Aneke, Millar & Matterson, three quality players have not been replaced, plus Deji as centre back has not been replaced, so looks like we are going to rely on, sorry, but now past it Pearce, to fill in when Inniss is next injured, which will probably be quite soon with his track record of injuries! JFC will not be available until some time in the new year, plus we have no idea how he will be after a second very bad injury within two years and we also now have no left back at all as Purrington will be out at the start of the season with a hamstring injury, for nobody knows how long.
    We only have one week before the start of the season and we are already down five first teamers from last season, which doesn’t look to good to me, even Portsmouth who have been moaning about losing players at the last minute to other teams have signed seven new players to date. If we actually manage to sign anyone else before kick off next week, it will be several games before they will be able and fit enough to play.
    With also no striker in sight who can score reguarly, which is almost a must to get promotion from this division, as it appears Mullins was offered more &/or a longer contract from a Non League club, we are going to struggle for goals.
    So at present it appears Adkins, original plans have all but gone up in smoke and he is going to have to rely on certain of Charltons current youth team, some of which deserve the chance, to fill in the gaps for now, until he can obtain our usual quota of loanees!
    As various people have implied above, if Sangaard wants Charlton success, funding is required to pick up some real quality players as purely just mainly relying on freebies and loan players won’t cut it to the next stages.

    July 30, 2021
  7. Christopher Locke #

    I think the Covid situation has changed the usual pre-season environment greatly and patience could well be rewarded. There are a lot of clubs in this league, below and above, that are in financial trouble because of the lack of fans in stadia. They will need to sell players and will obviously be holding out for the best possible price, as buyers we are in a good position to take advantage of that. Time will tell.

    July 30, 2021
    • Good points Christopher. We are certainly not alone in not splashing the cash.

      Your point about selling players also reminds me that for the first time in forever we haven’t had a player good enough to be sold. Chuks was probably the only one but he walked for nothing .

      August 1, 2021
  8. I was under the impression all teams in League One had a total budget of £2.5m for salaries, agents, tax etc etc per season so having a ‘rich’ owner shouldn’t make a difference this season. How have the 2 teams who have allegedly splashed out got around this limit? Having a squad of 24 gives an average salary of £1700 per week. Have they paid more for transfer fees which are possibly outside the £2.5m limit? Are they hoping to be promoted and therefore escape censure next season?
    I also understand the limit has had such a severe impact, players have been tempted to National league teams (Bromley) where there are no limits on salaries instead of joining League 1 and 2 teams.
    Whatever the issues, expectations need to be managed and some insight into what is going on in the ‘background’ would be a great first step.

    July 30, 2021
    • Terry Lloyd #

      That rule was disbanded after the start of last season and was a part of the reason that Charlton had problems in the transfer market prior to that window closing.

      July 30, 2021
  9. NWred #

    Thank you CA and your repliers for your astute and thought provoking comments.

    July 31, 2021
  10. Well the women’s squad of 20 now seems to be complete with no shortage of signings. Perhaps SG can now concentrate on the men.!! Its quite nice at VCD perhaps we should go and watch them instead. 🙂

    July 31, 2021

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