Thursday, 13 January 2011

Welcome Back Sir Chris

From the ridiculous to the sublime! Sir Chris set to return to The Valley as manager, a true ex-England saint taking over rather than the ex-England sinner we had feared. For sure it’s a risk, but sometimes gut instinct is a good guide. I had to stop and think exactly why I would have despaired had Wise been brought in, even leaving aside conspiracy theories, after someone asked the question in a comment. The instinctive reaction was that Wise was all wrong, which you can then try to explain in more prosaic terms. Hearing that Powell is about to be confirmed for me prompted a smile and a good feeling. That’ll do for now, especially as the creative juices aren’t exactly flowing at the moment (how would you feel after an extra night’s stay in Amsterdam prompted by a celebration bash the downside of which was having to surface at 04.00 for the flight back so that I can unpack and then pack again to go off to Lyon tomorrow?)

The process of finding a new manager also seems to have been conducted well. It was pleasing to see that Howe said that the two clubs which wanted him to decamp (us and Palace) did it by the book (the fact that he seems to be off to Burnley is a matter between him and Bournemouth). Tracking the news from abroad it seemed clear that the fact that Curbs didn’t get the Ipswich job but wasn’t ushered in as our new manager closed the book on that one, with the bookies going on to make Johnson favourite. That in my view would have been a reasonable option, although I’d been pondering on the outside possibility of Dailly being persuaded that the time might be right to take on the job, with Peacock retained to carry some of the load. Instead we’ve got someone with a cast-iron guarantee of the fans’ complete goodwill, whatever the reservations about experience.

(Note to players: if things go badly in the coming months don’t think that the crowd will be turning the heat on the new manager; we all desperately want him to succeed and it’s far more likely that those on the pitch will take the rap; so make bloody sure you do all you can to make it work.)

What does the appointment say? My first reaction is that it suggests that the new owners are taking a realistic approach to the chances of promotion this season. We’re in with a shout, given our position, but with Brighton some points ahead and Southampton having ominously moved through the field, plus the fact that we haven’t been playing like world-beaters, I think we’d all grab a play-off spot now if that was on offer. Bringing in Powell should give the place a lift, which we hope will extend to performances on the pitch, but it’s not the sort of appointment that suggests a ‘promotion or else’ attitude. Barring abject disasters, Powell will have to be given next season as well as this to prove himself, which points to the sort of steady progress that the owners have talked about (which is not to say that the objective for this season doesn’t include promotion if possible and more enyoyable football).

I should add that in previous posts I wasn’t trying to say that I believed there was a conspiracy going on regarding sacking Parkinson – rather that if Wise had been given the job I would have belived that and that for me it wouldn’t have reflected well on the new owners. He hasn’t so there’s an end to it (of course for those who like conspiracy theories they had lined him up only to be taken aback by the strength of the fans’ opposition to the idea and changed plans). Instead we have a new manager we like, admired as a player and as a person (see, we long ago forgave him for his unwise dalliance with Palace, which must have been forced upon him as an unsuspecting youth). I do believe I even shook his hand at the Champions dinner (along with Keith Jones). And yes, it will feel good to get some positive media coverage rather than the ‘fresh evidence of Charlton’s slide’ of recent seasons. So well done the new owners.

Saints preserve us, if that wasn’t enough we’ve even got something concrete out of a promised deal, with Liverpool’s Eccleston coming in on loan for the rest of the season. Fast, young, eager forward who one assumes will be able to play alongside Anyinsah or Sodje and putting the pressure on Benson, hopefully also providing the sort of movement and threat to get the best out of Racon and Martin. If that means, as Wyn Grant for one has mentioned, Abbott going out on loan, well I don’t think there will be too many tears.

You see, just the appointment of Powell and we’re coming over all optimistic again. That will do for now for me. Just the dream ticket on Saturday to look forward to: couple of pastis at the Croix Rousse market, some port to get me through the scanning of the BBC website to track our trouncing of Sheff Wed, then off out to watch Lyon Duchere win in the evening. May it come to pass.


Anonymous said...

Good news, but I wouldn't bank on Eccleston based on his record at huddersfield - p11, goals 1 red cards 1...hopefully he isn't another Scott Sinclair.

Also Ipswich may recall Martin now they have a new manager (no way can we afford to buy him).

Anonymous said...

I was the one who asked you to justify your irrational ( to me )dislike of Dennis Wise .
Chris Powell is a terrible appointment .
I hoped when the new owners came in and got rid of Parky ( an experienced and relatively successful and still young manager) that they had a PLAN to improve with a predetermined Wisey or others
It is obvious now that they are not professional business people because they didn't have a plan atall. Chris Powell has no experience and this is just a bet which in business has no place
We needed a Warnock type solution.
This is yet another cock-up
Arguably Kinsella has as much chance /experience as Powell and we just sacked him
Its a shambles
Whats the betting Parky gets the Bournemouth job and finishes above us ...........

Rodney's Middle Name said...

From a Wise choice to a very wise one. Chris Powell couldn't be more different to the hobgoblin and you only have to look at the comments on the 606 website from Leicester fans to see that he didn't just have a couple of good spells at Charlton - he's made friends everywhere he's been. Not that making friends is something a manager should be concentrating on too much of course; McClaren showed how that could backfire with England. But the difference with Powell is that he gets the respect of people around him, which is much more important. He survived at Leicester as assistant manager through a couple of managerial changes and that's not a club afraid to chop when they think its necessary.

This is a good choice for Charlton right now and one that may well work longer term, if he is given time. I'm off to Paris for the weekend so won't be at Wednesday but I'm already looking forward to the reception he will get at The Valley for the Plymouth game. Who knows, we might even start winning again.

Blackheath Addicted said...

Well, the balance here and on other blogs seems to be some ecstatic, most positive, all with understandable concerns, and a minority against. I wasn't in favour of sacking Parkinson and believed that a January strengthening of the squad with him was the best option. But first, there were reports on the night of the Swindon game of a big row at the club and it's possible things were said that made a break unavoidable; and second, it's now done, so we move on.

The fact apparent now that there wasn't a plan to usher in Wise at the first possible opportunity remains for me a positive (equally I would have had no problem if on buying the club the new owners had said they wanted to bring in someone new - as long as it wasn't ...).

Appointing Powell may turn out to be a mistake. There are no guarantees and the outcome will be influenced by luck and circumstance. It always is. He's being given an opportunity and it's up to him to take it. But I've no time for those who disagree with decisions that aren't theirs to take then hoping for failure so that they can be 'proved right'. Agree or disagree with the appointment, but come matchday I hope everyone wants Powell to succeed.

Anonymous said...

Not sure anyone here has much to gain from being proved right whilst seeing charlton fail. However, as much as I'd love to see the fairytale work, I have to agree with the previous comment in thinking there's been a serious lack of judgement from the owners. Skilled managers and a 'nice guys' are strange bedfellows indeed {can anyone cite one?]. Chris is frankly an outrageous choice when one considers the numerous (and experienced) candidates available.
The only crumb of comfort I can glean from this is that Curbs was as inexperienced at the outset, but then again, we were absolutely desperate at the time. Hoping I'm wrong.......
L'addick en France

Anonymous said...

How can anyone have any negativity surrounding this? It's a dream, a fairytale, poetry...but it's RIGHT. Why would we want an experienced manager? - We can't attract good, experienced managers - do certain people not get that?. All the experienced managers that we have been linked with such as Darren Ferguson and Gary Johnson have all been failures(and others such as Poet and Adkins are just not realistic) . Powell is not a 29 year old don't forget - and his been very involved with Leicester in the Championship. He'll also add 5,000 to the next gate.

Keith H said...

*Sir* Chris Powell? This bloke has hopelessly inadequate experience and is too old:
Seriously though, he just seems too nice to be a manager - he might be a bit like John Barnes or Bryan Gunn. We need somebody tough, to stamp out the complacency that so easily spreads through us after a good run. It'll be interesting to see who makes up his backup team. Good comment to the players. But Yes: it'll be great to cheer him to the rafters.

BONEYBOY said...

There's no parallel between John Barnes and Chris Powell's move to management Unlike Barnes, Chis Powell has trained and worked in coaching before going in to management. If I remember it correctly Barnes went straight into a low profile position as manger of Celtic.

In league 1 ( aka division 3) there any management appointment that any club can afford is a risk. I couldn't see anyone avialble other than the usula suspect journeyman managers.

So lets stop the Charlton negativity, and stay loyal in our support to Charlton hero.

Any bets for Steve Brown for ASSISTANT MANAGER ?