Vital Charlton get summer recruitment right

News Shopper: Jose Riga applauds the fans after last week's 3-1 win over Watford but was it a final goodbye? Picture by Edmund Boyden. Jose Riga applauds the fans after last week's 3-1 win over Watford but was it a final goodbye? Picture by Edmund Boyden.

Charlton blogger MATIAS GREZ signs off for this season by admitting to being slightly worried about what lies ahead this summer at The Valley with comings and goings expected.

Few things make the hair on your neck stand up and spine tingle more than a Johnnie Jackson goal and subsequent knee slide in front of the Covered End.

After a season of plenty of lows and very few highs, the players gave the fans one last Tuesday night victory over Watford to finish the season at The Valley and secure our Championship status for one another year.

And if we thought the final week of the season could not get any better, Callum Harriott’s hat-trick to comfortably brush Blackpool aside gave us the icing on the cake.

Not a bad way to silence his critics, of which the young winger had plenty before last Tuesday.

If Harriott can show this amount of quality on a more consistent basis next season, then we could have an outstanding player on our hands.

Throughout all the defeats and poor performances, the one shining light was the players’ unity and genuine desire to do well for our club, something we should be hugely grateful to Chris Powell for instilling in the squad.

After finishing ninth last season, a relegation battle which went down to the penultimate fixture of this season was surely something nobody envisaged.

However, due to the previous owners’ refusal to fix a broken drainage system, which caused a backlog of fixtures, and their inability to fund Powell during the summer, we instead went backwards.

Combined with the new owner’s ludicrous decision to sell our club’s two best players in January and replace them some average and inexperienced players, we then slipped even further back.

Throughout all this, the team spirit which Powell instilled in the squad still managed to drag us out of a hole.

Of course, credit must go to Jose Riga who has done a good job since coming in as Powell’s replacement at a very difficult time.

He did well to not upset the team spirit within the squad and led us to some impressive and important victories, all the while being a calming influence prowling the perimeter of his technical area.

Whether you are someone who sings Riga’s name at every game or not, he deserves our thanks for the role he played in keeping us up.

Personally, I would like Riga to say.

The club needs stability and the players and staff look happy working under the Belgian.

What is certain, however, is the huge need to add a lot of quality to the squad during the summer, which is both exciting and worrying at the same time.

Charlton are yet to reap many rewards from Roland Duchatelet’s ‘network’, with most of the players arriving either not good enough or not ready for the first team.

After all the negatives to come out of it - including a rogue keeper who, despite refusing to travel with the squad for no good reason other than his overinflated ego, still manages to find himself on the bench every week - there have been some positives.

Astrit Ajdarevic has become a fan favourite after a few displays of exceptional skill and complete dedication to the cause.

Reza Ghoochannejhad has shown fleeting moments of quality, most notably his delightful winner against Leeds which provided the team with three invaluable points.

If we can use the network this summer to sign a few more Ajdarevic’s and not as many Yohan Thuram-Ulien’s, then we could really have something to look forward to next season.

But it is a very big if.

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Comments (1)

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1:14pm Thu 8 May 14

PaulErith says...

I think a lot rests on keeping some of young talent. We ended the season well with Harriott, Cousins, Solly, Fox and Poyet all playing vital parts. All good youth products.
I cannot believe the naivety in not getting Poyet to sign a new contract before we threw him into the limelight. Back in December when he'd never played a first team game, I'm sure he'd have signed an extension even if it were just for a year. Surely someone at the club realised this lads potential! Now, he's out of contract with most big clubs in the country looking at him. We have a very small chance of seeing him at the Valley next season and that would be the biggest loss of all.
I think a lot rests on keeping some of young talent. We ended the season well with Harriott, Cousins, Solly, Fox and Poyet all playing vital parts. All good youth products. I cannot believe the naivety in not getting Poyet to sign a new contract before we threw him into the limelight. Back in December when he'd never played a first team game, I'm sure he'd have signed an extension even if it were just for a year. Surely someone at the club realised this lads potential! Now, he's out of contract with most big clubs in the country looking at him. We have a very small chance of seeing him at the Valley next season and that would be the biggest loss of all. PaulErith
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