Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Bob's Job...

After much speculation there was no great surprises yesterday with the announcement that the sizable Belgian, Bob Peeters, has become Charlton's new Head Coach.
As we enter the unknown it is encouraging that Damian Matthews will assist him, as, I believe, will much of the existing backroom staff. That continuity will be good for the current players who will be around for next season. 
Bob Peeters will need to embrace the 'Charlton spirit' that Powell had in abundance and Riga instantly recognised and harnessed. Duchâtelet will need to understand quickly just how important that spirit is to this club, but sadly I'm not convinced he's even noticed it above the sparkling vision of his network master plan.
Whatever plan Duchâtelet has is still the subject of conjecture, speculation and no small amount of criticism. The much-needed maintenance work on the pitch is an obvious positive, as are the plans for the training facilities and academy. Speculation in the press yesterday that we have had a £500,000 bid accepted for Barnsley's Chris O'Grady is another positive, not least of all because asides from the impressive figures the striker is not part of 'the network'! But despite being a pint half full sort of guy, even my heart sank massively reading  Dyer's comments in yesterday's South London Press. These are uncertain times, for sure. Worrying times; but then again, as an Addick I can't remember too many spells where I've ever felt comfortable.
If it had been down to me I'd have given Riga the job full time, but that's another hope that has faded to nothing. My gut instinct from the outset was that Riga was a good man and he has, in my humble opinion, earned himself a place in Charlton folk law after making such a dignified and positive impression in such a short space of time (just 16 games in all). Thinking back, I would argue that Riga's impact just about tops Jorge 'The Tank' Costa's hugely popular loan spell at the Valley in the 2001-2002 season (24 games), especially when you consider the uphill battle Riga had from the outset after following on from Powell.
The narrow-minded nature of some Addicks is truly astonishing at times, so before you go jumping to conclusions about Peeters, just take a moment to remember how wrong you was about Jose Riga. Moreover, just because you'd never heard of Bob Peeters before his name was linked to Charlton, it doesn't automatically mean he'll be shit.
With the transfer window opening up again in early June, we can expect an interesting few weeks ahead. Let's hope Peeters can convince Poyet and Morrison to sign new deals and the much-needed new additions leave us feeling optimistic. 
So welcome to Charlton Athletic, Bob. You face a very difficult task, but like every other fair-minded Addick, I'm behind you all the way. You can expect unreserved support from us, and all we will expect from you is to give all you have for our club.


  1. Somehow your blog has cheered me up !

    "Big Bob Peeters Red Army" Its got a ring to it already !

  2. Out of interest, did you prefer powell or riga?

    1. Thanks for the question, Dominic. I assume you mean as a summary of the season just gone rather than in general?

      Some may suggest this is a difficult question to answer but I think it's an easy one. For me, the short period under Riga was more enjoyable than the first 2/3rds of the season under Powell. In hindsight, it would appear both were dealt the same deck of cards from Duchatelet and received the same pressure to play the network players. Both resisted and payed the price, but on the balance of thing, and based on results and performances, Riga dealt with the situation better.

      Rita's impact is even more impressive for me when you consider he wasn't able to bring in a single player of his own.

      That said, Riga never quite made my own personal 'hall of fame' pictures on the left of this blog. Powell, on the other hand, will never be removed!