Category Archives: Charlton Athletic

Carabao Cup: Round One Draw Announced

The Carabao Cup Round One draw was made on Thursday evening from Morrisons, Colindale, North West London.

There were two stand out ties from the draw with AFC Wimbledon playing MK Dons, while newly-promoted Salford City will face Leeds United.

The draw was conducted by two former England internationals in John Barnes and Ray Parlour and was split into two regions – North and South.

Huddersfield Town, the hightest-ranked team in the Northern Section, will face Lincoln City while the highest ranked Southern side, West Bromwich Albion, will face Millwall.

Every club from Sky Bet League One and League Two enter the Carabao Cup in Round One, along with 22 Championship clubs.

Only Cardiff City and Fulham – who finished 18th and 19th respectively in the Premier League last season, will enter in Round Two, alongside the clubs from the Premier League, not in European competitions.

The first round matches are scheduled to take place week commencing Monday 12thAugust, with the final due to take place on March 1, 2020.

Full Round One Draw can be seen below:

North Draw

Tranmere Rovers v Hull City

Grimsby Town v Doncaster Rovers

Wigan Athletic v Stoke City

Port Vale v Burton Albion

Nottingham Forest v Fleetwood Town

Bradford City v Preston North End

Blackpool v Macclesfield Town

Blackburn Rovers v Oldham Athletic

Mansfield Town v Morecambe

Accrington Stanley v Sunderland

Scunthorpe United v Derby County

Rochdale v Bolton Wanderers

Huddersfield Town v Lincoln City

Middlesbrough v Crewe Alexandra

Shrewsbury Town v Rotherham United

Sheffield Wednesday v Bury

Salford City v Leeds United

Barnsley v Carlisle United

South Draw

Colchester United v Swindon Town

AFC Wimbledon v MK Dons

Oxford United v Peterborough United

Queens Park Rangers v Bristol City

Plymouth Argyle v Leyton Orient

Wycombe Wanderers v Reading

Charlton Athletic v Forest Green Rovers

Gillingham v Newport County

Stevenage v Southend United

Luton Town v Ipswich Town

Walsall v Crawley Town

Bristol Rovers v Cheltenham Town

Brentford v Cambridge United

Coventry City v Exeter City

Swansea City v Northampton Town

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The Championship: In a league of it’s own?

The gulf between the Premier League and the rest of the EFL has been well documented, and in recent seasons it has only continued to grow. However, it seems as though the jump from League 1 to the Championship is almost in the same ballpark now. I’m going to take a look at the finances and see how the newly promoted League 1 clubs (Luton, Barnsley and Charlton) could fair in the battleground that is the English Championship.

Let’s take wages as an example. The average basic wage in the Championship is around £330,000 a year, working out at about £6,300 a week. While this is nowhere near the dizzying heights of Premier League wages, it makes the £70,000 a year average for League 1 look rather small. That works out at £1,346 a week: a significant gulf is starting to emerge. The same can be said for agents’ fees. Last season, League 1 clubs paid a total of £2,611,647 to agents in a bid to sign players. That sounds like a lot money doesn’t it? So, what if I told you Aston Villa alone spent £5,510,180. That’s more than double the League 1 figure. So how can clubs be expected to thrive in the Championship on a League 1 Budget? I’m going to have a look at some past examples to see how clubs have fared making that jump.

In 2015-16, Wigan Athletic won League 1 to secure promotion to the Championship. By the end of the next season, they had regained their League 1 status, finishing 9 points adrift of safety. Then the next season, they were back up again. What does this yoyo tell us about the difficulty clubs have in maintaining themselves at Championship level?

It is obviously not impossible though. Some teams promoted from League 1 in recent memory include Wolves (Premier League), Bournemouth (Premier League), Huddersfield (Championship) and Brighton (Premier League). So it can be done. The newly promoted teams will face a level of competition and finances that they are not used to, so how will they get on?

Luton Town

Luton’s story has been quite remarkable. From the infamous -30 points season of 08/09, to near bankruptcy and then to 3 promotions in 6 years (going up from League 2 and League 1 in successive campaigns). They came into League 1 with a decent budget, but there were limited expectations. The budget and spending placed them around the playoffs, so to go on and win the league was a massive achievement. They are a prime example of how important good ownership is to a football club, and so my predicted finish for The Hatters in the Championship is 15th.

Barnsley

Barnsley have Championship experience as recently as 2017-18, being relegated after some ownership problems led to the selling of 80% of the club and the sacking of Assistant Manager Tommy Wright. New ownership gave the club momentum, as did the appointing of manager Daniel Stendel. Given the calibre of player that Barnsley have (some were retained from the Championship), my prediction for the Tykes is 13th.

Charlton

Charlton’s promotion was thanks to a unified group of players and management, and in spite of their owners. Protests continue against the owners off the pitch, but on it they were one of the best footballing sides in the league. The troubles with the owners may well make it difficult to make quality signings and investments, so a lot of trust will have to be put in the players that got them into the Championships to keep them there. My predicted finish for the Addicks is 18th.

Could these 3 Football League players make it to the Premier League?

Over the years we have seen some incredible talents rise from the Football League and not only make a name in the Premier League but also the international stage as well. The likes of Fabian Delph, Adam Lallana, Rickie Lambert and Jamie Vardy who have all risen from League’s One and Two and even as low as non-league in Jamie Vardy’s case, have gone on to make a stamp on the Premier League and England also. So, what players are there currently in the Football League, all capable of doing the same? 

Ryan Sessegnon (Fulham)

The England Under-19 international is the first one that jumps off the table for me. The 17 year-old left-back/winger is seriously establishing himself as bright prospect in the Championship. Making his debut at just 16 years and 81 days old, Sessegnon had a highly impressive campaign last year making 25 appearances and contributing with 5 goals also. He was subject to much interest from the Premier League in the summer transfer window and it seems like it will be only a matter of time until he is snapped up.

 

Ruben Neves (Wolves)

It was some statement from Wolves when it was announced they had signed FC Porto’s Ruben Neves for £15 million. This time last year the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool were all in for the 20 year-old but when Chinese owners took reign at Wolves with the investment from Jorge Mendes, it was the types of deals Wolves fans had to get used to. There is no doubting the Portuguese midfielder can and most probably will make it to the Premier League in the near future whether that is with Wolves or not. He possesses incredible passing abilities with an eye for goal as well.

Ezri Konsa (Charlton)

Read Liverpool have reported that the Reds could be in for another swoop at Charlton’s youth prospects, this time in the form of Ezri Konsa. The 19 year-old centre-back was part of the England Under-20 side that won the World Cup in the summer and looks to be a real talent. Konsa was a standout performer at The Valley making 32 appearances in his debut season. As well as Liverpool, it’s reported that a host of Premier League clubs are all after his signature.

The Football League is swimming with young talent these days and there are many more that I could mention, I’m sure. There are many players it seems at Wolves that look to have bright futures and all make it in the Premier League as well as the likes of Ronaldo Vieira at Leeds United. Which players in the Football League do you think could make it to the big time? Let us know!

Charlton should look to sign this former Premier League defender

Its fair to say that Charlton have made a decent start to the new League One campaign winning 5 of their opening 8 games and occupying 7th spot in the league table currently.

The London outfit could have been higher up the league table though, but two successive defeats has seen them fall from inside the play-offs to just outside and Addicks supporters will hoping that they have a change in fortune this weekend when they entertain Bury, who are currently struggling at the wrong end of the table.

The successive defeats which came against Wigan and Gillingham respectively have seen the club 4 goals and not score, something that manager Karl Robinson will want to address and quickly if his side are to have a successful season.

With that in mind the club should look to bring in experienced former Premier League defender Chico Flores who is currently a free agent.

Chico Flores – Many English football fans will remember him from his time at Premier League club Swansea City. Having made the move from Real Mallorca, the Spanish centre half built up a terrific relationship with Ashley Williams at the heart of the ‘Swans’ defence.

Chico was a terrific ball winning centre half and also his distribution was excellent, and following his time in South Wales he moved to Lithuania to join Michael Laudrup again at Lekhwiya. Having spent 3 years with the club the Spaniard became a free agent in the summer and is on the look out for a new club.

Despite Charlton starting the season off well a defender with the experience of Chico Flores doesn’t come along very often and he could prove to be a terrific player for the football club.

Charlton fans would you like to see Chico Flores at The Valley? Let us know in the comments section…

 

Checkatrade Trophy: Is The Format Working?

Last season the EFL brought in a new format for the old Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and really it hasn’t helped teams in lower leagues. The new format encourages teams in the Premier League and the Championship to submit an Under 21’s squad into the competition. So is this format still a good idea?

The final of last season’s Checkatrade trophy was between Coventry and Oxford and broke the attendance record for the competition with 74,434, but all of last season the attendance figures at games across the competition was still low, Peterborough United as an example had an attendance of 1696 at their game against Norwich Academy which is a 4,000 less then their average attendance last season.

Last season as well clubs got fined for not fielding full strength squads,  on the 16th November Luton Town and Portsmouth were fined £15,000 for breaching this rule for all three of their group games, whereas Bradford, Blackpool, Bristol Rovers, MK Dons, Millwall, Charlton, Peterborough, Sheffield United and Southend all got fined £3,000 and Fleetwood were fined £5,000. That doesn’t sound like a lot to big clubs but in lower levels it is a lot to those clubs.

The group format is a nice new addition to the competition but for me I think if you took out participation from the Under 21’s it would be a good competition for lower league clubs and will hopefully increase ticket sales for the clubs as that can help boost finances. They also need to remove the full strength squad rule as fining teams for putting different squads out isn’t fair on teams that need to make sure people in their team stay fit and get a chance to show what they’re worth.

*Feature image courtesy of EFL.com*