Charlton Half-Term Report: Get George Boyd Back At The Valley

George Boyd in a midfield featuring Dale Stephens and Emmanuel Frimpong would be unstoppable. If Charlton lose that midfield pairing, however, then League One might not be too far away...
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Team: Charlton Athletic

What's going right?

The team spirit, unity and fight that were key to our success in getting to the Championship is as strong as ever. Our squad has only been marginally added to since we arrived from League One yet somehow Powell has got his team playing to their optimum in nearly every game. With such an inexperienced squad at this level, many Addicks were unsure to what extent we would be able to compete. But after putting 5 past Cardiff, and beating Blackpool away, those doubts have been put to rest.

What's not?

It still doesn’t seem that Powell is totally sure of his best XI. Hulse, Haynes, Kermorgant or Fuller? – we still don’t know who should be starting up front. Wilson, Green or Pritchard? – three players who have been swapping starts in right midfield all season. Is Johnnie Jackson better on the left or in the middle? These are all questions we still don't know the answers to and I can’t help but feel that Powell either needs to nail down who his best players are in each position or buy new ones that he is sure of.

We also need to start getting a few more wins at home – just three so far this season.


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Got the right manager?

Yes. There is not one man I'd rather have at the helm of my football club. This is only Powell’s second full season in management. His first in the Championship. He’s operated on a miniscule budget, largely restricted to frees and loans. The vast majority of his players have never played higher than League One before. And yet, as it stands, we should be on course for mid-table even despite a recent blip. Powell is not just a top bloke – he’s one of the most exciting young managers in England. 

Star player?

Tough one this. No one immediately jumps to mind. I had big hopes for Dale Stephens at the beginning of the season but it has only been in the last few weeks that he has truly begun to emerge as the dominant centre midfielder we were hoping he could be after Aston Villa tried to take him from us.

Chris Solly has been as consistent as always and Lawrie Wilson is slowly emerging as a new fans' favourite. But I would probably have to go for Ben Hamer who has made the step up to Championship level with consummate ease. He’s not the biggest and on occasion he could probably be more commanding. Still, it’s no coincidence that Fulham have been linked with a move. Without some of Hamer's saves we might be looking over our shoulder with a lot more urgency. And he hates Palace.

Who would you like to sell in January?

Bradley Wright-Phillips. Brad’s goals in League One helped us get out of that league, but then he did need about five chances before he put one away. Against Championship defences he’s just not afforded that luxury. He’s only got one goal to his name this season, and I just don’t see him adding many more.

Who do you want to sign?

George Boyd. Left wing/midfield isn't our strongest position at the moment. Salim Kerkar can occasionally (very) play a blinder but he goes missing all too often. Johnnie Jackson on the other hand just doesn't have the pace or skill to threaten Championship defences from that position. George Boyd, who seems to keep Peterborough alive almost singlehandedly at times, would solve this problem for

Best chant so far

"It's so quiet, it's so quiet, it's so quiet at The Den". Silencing Millwall in their own backyard is always fun. The half hour long rendition of "Chrissy Powell's Red & White Army" against Cardiff was a bit special too.

Best opposition player / team you've seen this season?

George Boyd. Tore us to pieces for Peterborough in a game they were unlucky to lose. A great player who any club would be stupid to let go. Hang on a minute...

Biggest **** of the season

I would like to say Watford's Fernando Forestieri who got sent off at The Valley for dissent and diving, but his attempt at conning the ref was so laughable it's hard to hold too much resentment. Instead I'll go for Vincent Tan. I don't particularly care for them, but I still can't believe that Cardiff play in red...

End of season prediction

A predictable answer but January is pivotal. If we can keep Stephens and Frimpong together in the middle then a play-off push is entirely feasible - there aren't many better centre midfield pairings than those two. Sell Stephens to Villa or let Frimpong go back to Arsenal without a replacement and we wont get any higher than we are now. Lose both and we're screwed.