CHARLTON fan and freelance journalist MATT FRICKER is News Shopper online’s Addicks columnist and this week suggests Arsenal could learn a lot from Charlton Athletic.

THE weekend saw Addicks past and present make the headlines.

As current Charlton players battled back at Bury to secure a 2-1 victory, former Valley youth-product Carl Jenkinson endured a miserable weekend with current side Arsenal.

There has been lots of talk about Arsenal losing their best players and playing the wrong style of football and this got me thinking about where the Addicks were at the start of the summer.

We’d just had our worst league finish for goodness knows how many years, our best players were on the verge of leaving and there were a number of fans that didn’t have any support for manager Chris Powell.

As the close season progressed we said goodbye to Therry Racon, Jose Semedo, Kyel Reid and others, while we welcomed into SE7 new fan favourites such as Dale Stephens, Danny Hollands and Paul Hayes.

Powell also set about changing the style of football played by his squad and currently, after an unbeaten start, we sit here hoping our season will only continue to get better.

Then we look at Arsenal, who at the end of the last football campaign took one of our most promising youngsters away.

They’ve lost their best players and for whatever reason haven’t replaced them, forcing them to throw in footballers such as Jenkinson who still have an awful lot of developing to do as professionals.

It seems as though Arsene Wenger has made a gamble his squad will be strong enough without great depth, which hasn’t worked at all so far.

Powell showed Addicks fans last Tuesday against Reading his squad mean business, as the team dubbed the ‘second XI’ tore the Royals to shreds by playing some of the best football I’ve ever seen.

Charlton seem to be going from strength to strength, however, we’re about to face arguably our toughest challenge of the season in our next match as we welcome the Sky cameras and Sheffield Wednesday to The Valley on Monday.

We’ll also welcome the return to SE7 of former Charlton stars Jose Semedo and Nicky Weaver, as the Addicks look to make their former players leave empty handed.

Something Arsenal may be able to do once more, if only they look to Powell for inspiration.

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