We preview Championship new-boys, Charlton Athletic
IN JUST his first full season as Charlton Athletic manager, former Hornet’s full-back Chris Powell delivered an empathic return to the Championship, re-building his entire squad in doing so.
One of just two black managers in the Football League, Powell’s side roared back into the second-tier last season after sealing the title in April.
The Addicks have been a lot quieter in the transfer market this summer, signing just three players – a stark contrast to the 17 who moved to The Valley last summer; a further four joining over the remainder of the season.
Strengths: Firepower. With six recognised senior forwards on the books, Powell will have plenty of options to call upon in the goalscoring department, the added bonus being that all bar one have scored goals in the Championship previously.
Weakness’: That’s where the Championship experience ends. Andy Hughes is a second-tier stalwart, as are skipper & former ‘Orn Johnnie Jackson and Leon Cort. Aside from those three though, no-one else in Powell’s side can rightfully claim to bring experience of the second-tier with them. Whether or not that proves problematic remains to be seen.
Best business so far: The capture of highly-rated former Sunderland youngster, Jordan Cook.
Twrnty-two year-old Cook boasts Premier League experience with the Black Cats, and Charlton were just one of a number of sides scrabbling for his signature this summer. Cook spent the second half of last season on-loan with Carlisle United in League One, drawing suitors with four goals in 14 games for the Cumbrians. Capable of playing wide or through the middle.
Star man: Skipper and heartbeat of the midfield, Jackson.
A former Watford loanee, the nidfielder schemer has also turned out for Tottenham Hotspur and Colchester United. Capable of playing at left back, left midfield or through the middle, Jackson provides speciality at set plays too. Chipping in with 13 league and cup goals last term, the 29 year-old was the club’s second-highest scorer.
In: Lawrie Wilson (Stevenage) undisc, Jordan Cook (Sunderland) free & Salim Kerkar (Rangers) free.
wfc123: Fairly comfortable survival, which after a few seasons in the obscurity of the third tier, should be enough to appease balanced supporters.
chrisgwfc: Don’t think they will pull up any trees like Norwich and Southampton and may struggle to survive. A case of the team certainly being greater than the sum of it’s parts and Powell is a good young manager.