Well, what do you know, we have appointed Karel Fraeye as our new interim Head Coach. If the club were any normal, credible, organisation I would assume that he is going to be here until they identify, interview and select the best replacement possible. However, what we are told by our CEO and what, actually, happens are rarely the same so it means nothing.
I assume that he is on trial and if he looks like he has what it takes to keep us up this season he will be here until May. If not he will step aside and be replaced by someone else that will be here until May. What happens after that is anyone guess.
The problem with such short term appointments is that eventually the only manager that will take a position is one that is desperate and normally out of work. These are not, always, the best appointments as an out of work manager is often a manager that no one wants managing their side.
Mr Fraeye was 'managing' an amateur third division side in Belgium all the while on the payroll of our owner as a scout. The suggestion (which I'm naturally inclined to distrust) is that he has brought in some of the best signings we have. The truth could, well, be something else.
I'm a little torn, to be honest. Clearly Luzon wasn't getting the best out of the players, never mind the squad, and a change might have been the best thing for the club. Malky Mackay was mentioned, due to him being at the Brentford game, but I really didn't want him. He is one of a number of managers out there that has been successful with one club that had a massive budget, relative to its peers, and he failed in the Premier League and was involved in a very public spat with the Chairman. The texts that were later uncovered are not the only concern I have with him. It does look, however, like the Chairman threatened to release them which is why Mr Mackay suddenly decided not to take the club to court. I am purely speculating, but for me his performance at Wigan was enough to not to want him with us.
There are many other managers that might not have what it takes to keep us up but will 'give it a shot'. It is a no lose situation for them If they keep us up they improve their reputation while being paid for it. They might be kept on but they might be able to get a job elsewhere. If they fail it is because the club is a basket case. Like Wigan was last season with their Chairman being in trouble with the FA and them falling like a stone from winning the FA Cup a couple of seasons earlier.
The managers that could, realistically, take us on to the next level wouldn't want to come to us for three months on a short term contract when it is likely they won't still be here in a year. I remember Curbishley being rumoured to have turned down Wolves when they were in the Premier League as they only offered him a deal to the end of the season, and they went down, anyway. Newcastle gave Shearer a job to keep them up a few seasons ago and he, and our friend Iain Dowie, took them down. It is a no win situation if you have any credible reputation to protect.
Maybe Fraeye is the best man for the job. I mean he was here with Riga two season ago and they kept us up with, arguably, a much weaker squad once Kermorgant and Stephens had been moved on and replaced by the Standard Liege cast offs. He is, presumably, cheap and he was willing and available to come in at very short notice. Again this assumes that they weren't offering him the job as Ms Meire was assuring the fans that Luzon was safe - who knows?
The decision to remove the whole coaching team was questionable but the new chap had only been here a couple of months and Damien Matthews has only been near the first team once in the nine years he's been here and we lost 5-0. Probably a complete change was the best thing, although I'd be more than happy to extend that to the CEO as well. I'd also be happy for new owners to come in, all be it that I recognise that there must be a limit as to how many people are willing to stump up c. £5m a year to fund our hobby, and it would probably take more than that to achieve any success for us.
The whole idea that we are revolutionary in bringing in young players to sell for a profit is ridiculous. All but a handful of Premier League teams are trying to do exactly that. Even the top sides are using that strategy as well as buying superstars. There are not enough world class superstars in waiting available for a few hundred thousand pounds for us to make much money from it.
We need a new plan, and soon. In the meantime we need to expect to see managers coming in and going on a regular basis and a significant change in the playing staff every summer. It's not the kind of club I want to support if I'm honest, but Charlton are my club so, for now, I guess I'll just have to get used to it.
Welcome back Karel. Don't waste your time unpacking your clothes just live out of a suitcase as it'll save you time packing again when you leave. Oh and good luck, you'll, almost certainly, need it.
Up the Addicks!