Charlton Athletic entered, so far, unchartered territory last weekend as they suffered their first defeat of the season at home to Birmingham City, in what was a largely well fought game between two in form sides, who now sit on 13 and 14 points respectively.
With Charlton suffering their first defeat of the campaign, question marks will inevitably be asked over whether Lee Bowyer’s men can maintain their brilliant early season from since gaining promotion back to English football’s second tier.
Here’s THREE decisions from back in the summer that we believe will have an impact on the course of Charlton’s season….
Holding onto Lyle Taylor
Far and away the South-East London side’s key man, much of Charlton’s successes this season have been down to the goalscoring form of their talisman Lyle Taylor, for whom they rejected numerous bids from Brentford during the summer transfer window.
If Taylor maintains his current form, with the striker having netted five goals in his opening six Championship games, the Addicks may face a decision come January with Taylor yet to commit to a new contract.
However, given his importance to Bowyer’s side, it might be naive to let him leave at the season’s mid-point, whatever the following summer may hold.
Losing Joe Aribo
The loss of one of their star men from last season in the form of Joe Aribo, was felt by many at the Valley this season, with the tall midfielder having provided such a big presence for the Addicks as they narrowly achieved promotion to the Championship via the League One play-offs.
The decision to let Aribo leave may have not entirely been in Bowyer’s hands but it will be interesting to see how they cope without his goals, with Aribo notching nine from midfield for the Addicks last term.
Lee Bowyer deciding against leaving
Perhaps the biggest coup of the season for Charlton was holding onto their talented manger, who had attracted interest from Huddersfield before they eventually appointed Danny Cowley.
Holding onto the 42-year-old has allowed the club to maintain a lot of their squad from last season, whilst also adding talented players to it with the additions of Conor Gallagher and Erhun Oztumer.
And, Bowyer overseeing an impressive start to the season has only made this feat look even better.
Despite his controversial playing career, he has taken to management like a duck to water, with his reputation growing at a rapid rate.