First may I extend my gratitude to Charlton Live commentator Pete Finch for a quick behind the scenes tour of the press room and studio before the game. It was good to meet Terry Smith, Paul Glover and match day host Dave Lockwood in person, having followed them for sometime on twitter.
There were fist pumps all round the room as Mr Lockwood confirmed the team news hot off the press with a 4-5-1 formation with Solly and Wilson both playing down the right hand side. The omens were good and the game was better with three excellent goals from open play to secure our Championship position for another year.
I was really pleased for Callum Harriott. Despite deserved criticism in recent games he stepped up when it mattered. He knows he hasn’t had the best of games at home recently (partly as a result of being played out of position) and the two goals more than made up for it. He does tend to blow hot and cold and I put it down in part to a lack of awareness of his surroundings leaving him struggling at times when he has the ball. However, when he gets it right he plays some magnificent football, witness the game at Sheffield Wednesday creating Sordell’s goals with some sublime passing in difficult situations.
Troy Deeney’s goal for Watford was a corker and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is sought by a Premier League club this summer. However, if the Hornets want any realistic chance of promotion they need to stop this cynical style of football that saw a flurry of yellow cards and a sending off.
|Captain Jackson applauds the Fans|
When our third goal went in my friend turned to me and said “well you’re safe now” to which I replied “No, this is where Watford score a quick goal and we have a white knuckle ride for the next 15 minutes”. As predicted the goal did go in shortly after, but was thankfully disallowed by the assistant referee.
I bumped into the lads manning the “fan cam” after the game and was asked if staying up had changed my mind about the new owner. My answer was that it is too early to tell and we will have to see what the summer brings. Riga’s contract was just to the end of the season so we don’t even have a head coach after the Blackpool game as things stand. Although I was sad to see Chris Powell go I would be happy to see Riga’s services being retained. He seems to “get Charlton” and I do sense a positive connection between him and the players, especially the academy players coming through. He couldn’t have made this clearer in his post match speech to the Valley faithful.
We also have a core of key players that are out of contract including Ben Hamer, Dorian Dervite and Michael Morrison. Poyet too has not signed a contract yet meaning we will get a paltry fee set by the Elite Player Performance Plan if he were to leave. With seven former academy players in action it is clear that they will form the back bone of the squad in the new season but we will have to see how the rest of the team shapes up during the summer.
Celebratory drinks were definitely in order and the latest edition to the pumps at Old Loyal Britons in Greenwich, Truefit Brewing’s Caldecote Amber Ale certainly fitted the bill nicely.
Here’s to another year in the Championship!