Date: 19th June 2016 at 10:31am
Written by:

The closed season is gaining momentum. There is less than three weeks to go until the first of many friendlies kick-off. Of course we all know where our first game will be, but just in case some of us are unaware where this will be staged, it is at Welling United on July 9th on a 3 o`clock kick-off.

It is a human condition not to agree with everything that we read and hear. Past events have shown us this in detailed, unrest that sent shockwaves through our club which I hope will never be repeated in the forthcoming season. No matter how the majority of supporters feel about past events now is the time to put all this aside and focus on the coming season with renewed hope.

I say the above because there have been some positive developments since the end of last season when we suffered relegation. Through the last few weeks, I have been keeping a keen eye on movements that have a direct impact on the coming season at Charlton Athletic. The first positive move this club did was to instate a manager who has driven ambitions. In came Russell Slade who might not be everyone`s ideal choice, but no one can really argue that this appointment is a move in the right direction.

The next step would be to take a look at the players he has at his disposal. An experience manager will have no problem in recognising the dead wood and the axe will fall to remove and to make way for new growth to develop. Many players from last season have fallen victim of the axe, although some would have been out of the door on the last whistle.

Players come players go nothing new, this has been a regular part of a clubs strategy. But how it is conducted has a bearing on a whole season. Russell had set his sights on certain players who he felt would bring to the Addicks strength in numbers that was sadly lacking last campaign. The main thinking of Slade`s team players and the selection he chose to implement his thoughts when he brought in Ricky Holmes, Lee Novak and Nicky Ajose. Those three signings will add flare. Holmes is a winger who has earned his opportunity to play for a bigger club after impressing as Northampton Town achieved promotion form League Two last season. Lee Novak is a consistent and effective performer at this level who notched up 14 goals in the previous campaign for Chesterfield. Nicky Ajose has to his credit 24 goals in League One.

There is a need to employ a new directive from past events and allow things to flow forward without re-enacting scenes that will only harm this club further. A positive start has been made. The trio signing unquestionably offers cause to believe the reminder of the additions made throughout this summer will be orchestrated by Slade, ignoring the recruitment experience and instead focusing on the impact the manager being allowed to cobble together his own side that will have real chance of success. Man-management is, after all Slade`s greatest attribute.

Unfortunately as I have already mentioned there will be many players who featured last season will probably not be in a Charlton shirt come August. Stephen Henderson, Johann Berg Gudmundsson who has done himself no harm playing for Iceland. Igor Vetokele has already been loaned out. Hopes of keeping Nick Pope, Jordan Cousins are also slim. The one player who has been linked with a move is Ademola Lookman. I do hope this is just a rumour for this young man could be damaged by going to one of the big boys. Naby Sarr, El-Hadji Ba and Zakarya Bergdich are all likely to be let go, hopefully along with Roger Johnson and George Tucudean. All featured in the Addicks disastrous season.

Regardless, at this early stage of the Addicks summer transfer activity, there`s no denying that a foundation has been laid from which to build on. Probably not a firm one, with all the departures providing uncertainly, but a foundation from which we base further recruitment on. A positive start, you decide. But there is no denying, any improvement has to be good for the future of the club. Last season we were in a mess. This new approach from the club will at least show all the sceptics out there lessons have been learned and forward is the only word that should be on everyone lips.