Just over two years ago I was found writing on a weekly basis for the News Shopper. Mainly for the website, although I also had a few back pages in my time too.

At the end of May 2011, I had the following piece published: Fresh faces produce a sign of early optimism at Charlton

We had just witnessed one of the worst finishes in our club’s history, and a few of the earlier articles I had written voicing support for SCP, such as this one from April 2011: Powells football style begins to take hold at Charlton had led to an onslaught of disagreement from fellow supporters (As seen at http://forum.charltonlife.com/discussion/40935).

Looking back at these pieces though, I was vindicated in my optimism for SCP and the Charlton team he was putting together, as we collectively sit here today pretty content with the position our club is in.

What I’m wondering though is this, does the signing of Mark Gower suggest that SCP has the same game plan as two seasons ago? Last time around we saw 24 players join the team, I firmly believe we won’t see anywhere near that number join this time. That said, we’ve already seen a number of players, including Scott Wagstaff, Danny Haynes and Ricardo Fuller leave the club, with a couple of others expected to also move on.

We’ll need replacements for these players, and, providing we can also keep hold of our key assets, would it be crazy to be optimistic towards the next season? I’m not saying we should expect a push for promotion, or to run away with the league. I’m merely saying that if we do strengthen early enough, dreams of a higher finish than 9th in the Championship aren’t that ridiculous.

Inevitably, this blog post could spark off a heated debate on the fans forums.. But I’d love to hear what others think. Should early transfer activity produce signs of optimism? If we return the Valley’s pitch to the beautiful state it was in previous years (it was god awful for most of last season) – could we return the Valley to the fortress that it should be?

Finally, would we really be daft to think that we could push for the playoffs next year?
Come on you Addicks!

Written by: Matt Fricker

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