The Addicks have a lot in common with Norwich City and Southampton. Fortunes changed by young and exciting new managers, previous success in the Premier League, flirtation with European competition and outstanding falls from grace.
Now after a 5 years absence from the Premier League could they share another common link; back to back promotions from League One and the Championship.
Last season saw Charlton run away with the League One title, losing just 5 games on their way to collecting 101 points at the top of the pile ahead of Sheffield Wednesday. Chris Powell’s men got off to a flying start and that appears to be the case again this season as Charlton have picked up impressive results so far this term with an away draw at promotion candidates Birmingham City and a hard fought 2-1 win over Leicester City at the Valley. Pre-season saw an impressive win against Fulham amongst others and Chris Powell seems to get his team into great shape at the start of a season.
It was a former Leicester ‘flop’ who grabbed the winner in that game and Yann Kermorgant’s resurgence in English football will be key to any success this season. The Valley fan favourite provides perfect support for main goal getter Bradley Wright-Phillips, whose sensational goalscoring record at the Valley will carry them to at least the Playoffs alone if it continues this season. The recent signing of Ricardo Fuller brings a tireless worker and proven performer at this level to the club.
On the subject of resurgent careers the outstanding form of captain Johnnie Jackson will play a key factor in any potential promotion push. The former Tottenham graduate has recently turned 30 and this may be the season he finally achieves success worthy of his potential.
The experience of Leon Cort is vital to the club then there is the tale of Matt Taylor, converting from a goalkeeper to a defender whilst at University as a 24 year old and going on to play for Team Bath and Exeter before becoming The Addicks vice-captain. Combative midfielder player Dale Stephens has excelled since arriving from Oldham and fellow lower league appointments Danny Hollands, Rhoys Wiggins and Bradley Pritchard have proved surprising bargains at The Valley.
But undoubtedly the key man for a potential promotion push at The Valley is the impressive Chris Powell; who has organised this bizarre mixture of talents from various spectrums of employment and footballing background and moulded them into a group of winners.
When the inevitable merry go round of Championship and Premier League manager dismissals gets started Chris Powell will sit atop many a chairman’s shopping list; and rightly so after his achievements and exploits at The Valley; however if Charlton keep the 42 year old at the helm they may be celebrating an overdue return to English footballs highlife come May.
What do you think of Powell’s job at Charlton and can they push for promotion this season?