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Charlton Athletic Season Guide

Charlton Athletic
Nickname: The Addicks
Founded: 1905
Ground: The Valley, Floyd Road, Charlton, London, SE7 8BL
Capacity: 26,875
Ticket Office: (020) 8333 4010; Fax: (020) 8333 4011;
Club Colours:
Home - Red shirts, white shorts, red socks
Away - All yellow with black trim

Top Links
Soccernet's Charlton Athletic page | Full squad | Fixture list
Soccernet's Charlton Athletic Correspondent
Official Charlton Website
Unofficial website - Charlton Till I Die
Fanzine website - Goodbye Horse
Unofficial website - addicksonline

Last Season - Mediocrity Position: 12th

Picture: MarkThompson/GettyImages Despite finishing two places higher than in 2001/02, last term was a virtual copy of the preceding season. The Addicks quickly reached the forty point safety mark and were pushing for a place in Europe in January following a string of good results, including a 2-0 victory over title hopefuls Liverpool, but the New Year heralded a change in fortunes for the Londoners. A 2-0 defeat against Arsenal at Highbury marked the turning point as Charlton only managed to scrape a paltry four points until the end of the season and slid into the bottom half of the table. However, Jason Euell's ten league goals for the season was a bonus and had the fans demanding and England call-up. In the League Cup, the Addicks bombed out to lowly Oxford United and reached the fourth round of the FA Cup before coming a cropper at Fulham.

Transfers - In and Out
Coming In:
Matt Holland (Ipswich) - £750,000
Paolo di Canio (West Ham) - Free
Stephen Hughes - Free
Sergio Leite - Free
Simon Royce (Leicester) - Free
Carlton Cole (Chelsea) - Loan
Chris Perry (Spurs) - Loan

  • On The Move - All the transfers
  • Getting Out:
    Jesper Blomqvist (Djurgarden) - Free
    Robbie Mustoe (Sheff Wed) - Free
    Ben Roberts (Brighton) - Free
    John Robinson (Cardiff) - Free
    C Bart-Williams (Ipswich) - Loan
    Mark DeBolla (Chesterfield) - Loan
    Paul Konchesky (Spurs) - Loan
    Matthias Svensson (Derby) - Loan
    Fatih Dincer - Released
    Paul Robson - Released
    Greg Sharland - Released
    Lee Snodin - Released
    Taher El Khalej - Retired

    First Choice XI

    1-Dean Kiely; 19-Luke Young, 5-Richard Rufus, 6-Mark Fish, Hermann Hreidarsson; 4-Graham Stuart, Matt Holland, 7-Scott Parker, 10-Claus Jensen; 9-Jason Euell, 11-Paolo di Canio.

    The Gaffer - Alan Curbishley

    Picture: AlanCurbishley/GettyImages Alan Curbishley is widely regarded as one of the best young coaches in the Premiership, moulding a squad of lesser names into a true team, and was linked with the vacant Aston Villa and Leeds United jobs earlier this year. The former Charlton player initially took charge at The Valley alongside Steve Gritt in July 1991, before taking sole control four years later and earning the Addicks a place in the Premiership for the 1998/99 season. Although Charlton were relegated after just one term, they bounced back with the First Division title and Curbs has transformed the club into a stable Premiership force. The 44-year-old is constantly linked with numerous jobs at bigger clubs, most strongly with another of his old clubs, West Ham United, and will surely make the step up.

    Player to Watch - Matt Holland

    Picture: CraigPrentis/GettyImages Matt Holland's career really took off with Ipswich and he became a virtual ever present a Portman Road - missing only one game in a six-year period, due to international duty - before joining Charlton for £750,000, one year on from Ipswich's relegation to Division One. Only a year earlier the player had been valued at £4million, but the constraints of administration meant he was sold off on the cheap. At 29, the Republic of Ireland international, who has stepped in to fill Roy Keane's role on the international stage, should bring some stability to the Addicks. A good passer and driving midfielder, his energetic approach - laced with a few goals - will be central to Charlton's style. He scored his first goal for the club in the 5-0 pre-season victory over Leyton Orient.

    Young Gun - Jamal Campbell-Ryce

    Picture: JamieMcDonald/GettyImages Farmed out on loan last term, Jamal Campbell-Ryce continued his development at Leyton Orient and marked his arrival with a solo goal in friendly with West Ham United, which earned him a three month contract with the Third Division side. He played 19 times for Orient before returning to Charlton to make his debut as a substitute against Blackburn Rovers at the back end of the 2002/03 campaign. He has played a part in Charlton's pre-season preparations and after signing a contract extension in the summer of 2002 the club's Young Player of the Year will be hoping to break into the first team this term. He's a right-sided winger who has plenty of natural talent.

    From the terraces

    Every year I get asked "where will Charlton finish this season" and every year I say "as long as it isn't relegation I'm happy." Charlton must be one of the hardest teams to predict what will happen in the current season. We used to be one of the favourites for relegation every year, but now we are in our 4th straight season in the Premiership people now predict just above the bottom three.

    I believe every season we improve, even if it doesn't show in our final league position. This season I still think we are capable of finishing in the top ten, we have a very talented squad which has got better with the signing of Matt Holland.

    I would be very happy with the top ten but I really don't mind as long as its not relegation. The Premiership is a fantastic league and even better when your a season ticket holder at Charlton watching the big guns, and we want to be apart of it for many years to come.

    By David Robson, from Charlton Till I Die and Charlton Athletic Mad.

    If Charlton can finish just above mid-table it would be a successful season, but this can only realistically happen if the players stamp out their annual end-of-season slump.

    Alan Curbishley has made good signings during the summer picking up Matt Holland and Hermann Hreidarsson from Ispwich on the cheap and re-signing Simon Royce who I have always rated. But I do feel that signing a striker would have been an important step in the right direction.

    By David Hall, Editor of AddicksOnline.

    With no big-name signings we can expect more of the same from the Charlton side. Of course there will be the occasional upset of a big team at our hands, but this season will probably be another one of grinding out results to ensure our safety and then the worry of avoiding relegation during our traditional end of season slump. The position at the end of the season? Simple - 'mid-table obscurity'.

    By Kevin Portch, from Goodbye Horse.

    Apart from the clever acquisition of Matty Holland, it has been a quiet summer down at the Valley with regards to new arrivals. At least with Holland we know what we are getting - a quality midfield player with proven Premiership experience, and at £750,000 I was amazed none of the so-called 'bigger' clubs were interested. It is hard to predict how we are going to get on this summer. If someone were to offer me a mid-table finish, I would take it now. We know we are unlikely to be challenging for a UEFA Cup place, so anything other than mid-table would be a bonus, although we are due a decent cup run this season. Prediction - 10th place and an FA Cup winning party in May.

    By Robert Morris, from Fans FC.

  • Have your say on the Charlton Athletic Message Board

    Best - Euopean qualification Worst - Same again

    Charlton may be hailed as the template for how to run a football club in times of financial insecurity, but after threatening to grab a European place in three successive seasons in the Premiership and coming up short, maybe it is time to take the gamble in the transfer market. That said, a midfield combination of Holland, Scott Parker and Claus Jensen threatens to pose more than a few problems for opposing teams and if Jason Euell can increase his shooting accuracy then maybe they could just do it - even via one of the cups.

  • Any thoughts? Email Dominic Raynor.