After a disappointing season for Charlton Athletic, many fans were left questioning whether or not the new era under the reign of owner Roland Duchâtelet would be successful one.
Former manager Chris Powell who took the team to a League One title just two years prior to this season was sacked and Jose Riga was left with the task of saving the club from a slippery slope. Riga held his nerve and the team pulled together to scrape survival in the ever unpredictable SkyBet Championship. Players began to believe again and pledge loyalty to the club, but the same could not be said For Jose who now finds himself pushing the buttons at Blackpool.
However, after a few weeks of mixed emotions for fans it seems that new manager Bob Peeters could well be the man to take Charlton back to the Premier League..or at least, that’s what his ambitions are.
In a press conference earlier today, Peeters spoke very positively about the clubs current position and what the future holds. The recent loan of Yoni Buyens seemed to be a talking point as Peeters was quick to point out that he is one of the best midfielders in the Belgian league. It seems that Charlton’s activity in the transfer window could also be far from over. In the conference this morning, the former Milwall player referenced the recent departure of Dorian Dervite and explained his strategies going into this summer. “Everybody knows Dervite has left, so we need to bring in one maybe two central defenders.Maybe we are looking at some options in central midfield and maybe another striker.”
Obviously, new signings are one thing but fans are keen to find out the fate of their favourite players. Some of whom include Diego Poyet and Michael Morrison who’s futures at the club seemed doubtful as they seek to climb the ladder of Professional Football. But Bob reassured the press that he is doing everything he can to keep the pair at the club.
Not only is this exactly the reaction that fans wanted to hear but the new boss also spoke about building for the future, and more importantly “wonderkid” Joe Gomez. The 17 year old defender has caught the eye of many teams ranging from Championship teams to those in the Premier League. “The academy has a high standard. Joe Gomez is only 17 but I’ve told him he will do pre-season with us”. Arguably the most talented player in Charlton’s youth team could well be starting a few games for the first team next season. With the team desperately needing a strong back four after conceding a whopping 61 goals last season, he will certainly be a player to keep an eye on and Bob will be keeping both of his fixed on Charlton’s youth graduates claiming “One of the main reasons I signed was because of the youth at Charlton”.
A positive start to a new era at the Valley is exactly what players and fans alike have been wishing for for months. The clubs new relationship with Standard Liege could be a major asset going into the next season but as could the mentality of the new boss. Only time will tell if this bold new outlook and fresh approach will help accelerate Charlton Athletic’s progress on the steep climb up the league and towards the promised land.