SOUND RECRUITMENT KEY
In football, history often provides good pointers to what attributes a team needs to achieve success.
Last season, Charlton finished in 13th place in League One, with 59 points and a negative goal difference of 55 goals for and 59 against. This compares with the League One Championship winning team in season 2011/12 that secured 101 points, with a goal difference of 82 goals for and 36 goals against.
In that same season, the other two promoted sides in Sheffield Wednesday and Huddersfield returned 82 goals for and 48 goals against, and 79 goals for and 47 goals against respectively.
In season 2018/19, Charlton finished in third place in League One with 88 points and a goal difference of 73 goals for and 40 against and were promoted via the play-offs with a fantastic final at Wembley Stadium when, just as in 1998, the team overcame Sunderland with a dramatic last-minute winner.
These comparative numbers would tell you that there are not enough goals in the team from last season and that it concedes too many goals to mount a challenge for promotion.
When you look back at that Championship winning side, 34 goals were scored by the two main strikers of Bradley Wright-Phillips and Yann Kermorgant. In the 2018/19 campaign, 39 goals were scored by Lyle Taylor and Karlan Grant.
In both seasons, the remainder of the goals scored were shared through the rest of the team. Conceding only 36 goals in 46 matches and then 40 goals in 46 matches was the solid foundation for success and, although the quality of any back four is a must, it is also about how a team defends from the front - and that side could defend from the front.
Every fan of every club will tell you that they would love to see open attacking football but throwing caution to the wind doesn’t always deliver the success fans crave.
The key to Charlton turning the stats around from last season, in my opinion, will be a solid summer of recruitment to bring in players that make the difference both defensively and attacking wise.
Let’s hope that can be achieved as nobody wants to see the fragility that permeated so many performances last season and if things don’t improve for the better this will impact significantly on attendances. That in turn affects the losses that have to be funded by the owner as well as the match day atmosphere that every team needs to make the home crowd their 12th man or woman.
Here's hoping for a good season!