Charlton Athletic will look to build on last season’s 12th placed finish with a push for a coveted play-off spot. It is sure that they will have to inflict more damage on their opponents, after bulging the net just 54 times last term. Manager Guy Luzon will have to recruit a striker that can consistently bang in the goals and have the ability and determination to reach the 20 goal mark that is targeted to fulfil a clubs play-off ambition.
Igor Vetokele may be the man to step up to the plate when it comes to goals. The Angolan netted 11 times with many of his goals coming in the earlier months of the season. The remaining came in burst of inconsistency that will need to be swept over by the manager. The African forward duo is completed by Gabonese target man Frederic Bulot. The 24-year-old, who was on loan from Standard Liege, formed an interesting partnership with Vetokele up top, but has now returned to his parent cub leaving Vetokele with little competition, excluding Tony Watt.
It’s hard to believe the Arsenal’s emerging defensive shield, Francis Coquelin, had a short spell on loan at the Valley between December and January before forcing his way into Arsene Wenger’s plans. This defensive midfield position is evidently crucial to Guy Luzon’s ideas, as he has brought in both El-Hadji-Ba and Alou Diarra to tighten up the midfield. The latter has a mountain of caps for his nation, France, and even captained the side in their disastrous 2010 World Cup campaign against South Africa. Despite this event that will live long in the memory of Diarra, he will give leadership from midfield as well as the defensive capabilities that are so pivotal to Luzon’s plans.
Further continental spice has been added to the squad in the shape of Patrick Bauer. The German defender is likely to link up with Cameroonian Andre Bikey at the heart of the Addicks defence, but you do worry if the team chemistry will be there as the squad contains no fewer than thirteen nationalities. Many teams have ridden the wave of mixed nationalities, but teams such as QPR and Watford have had the top quality players that have been together for a number of years. It is a completely different case with Charlton, who have added many new names this year. This will be their biggest stumbling block, the clashes of styles and of course the language barrier will all contribute to what will be another mediocre season for what I think, is a club that will face a real fight to keep their heads above water this time around.