Friday 15 January 2016

Jose Riga

It's beyond parody. It's so sad it's not funny. All the 'leaks' from the club have been contradicted with this appointment and it makes it look more and more like no one there has a clue what to do next.

There comes a point, when things are going wrong, that there is nothing else to lose and all logic goes out of the window and gambles are made. It's the epitome of 'double or nothing' again and again until everything has been lost.

Chris Powell was struggling in his second season in the Championship. I'm not going to drag that all up again but needless to say the squad was not as strong as the one that had finished 9th the season before and we were looking precarious. In truth on the day that Chris Powell was sacked (on the basis that we had games in hand) our average points per game (compared to the other sides) had us 4th from bottom. On the basis that the club were able to bring in players for the first time in a year there was still a chance that we would have stayed up.

Jose Riga came in and managed to steered us to safety with a whole game remaining. I am not convinced, based on his track record since then, that the upturn in results was all down to him. Basically, I'm not convinced that he is going to keep us up this time. I'm also not convinced that the club will allow him to see out the whole of his eighteen month contract. I don't know what the owner's other clubs have done but we haven't kept a manager for a whole season under him.

The rumours and statements coming out of the club suggest that the owner made this decision and appointment without involving the CEO or Richard Murray. In the case of the latter this is no surprise as Richard Murray is now, basically, a Press Officer and his only responsibility is to use what is left of his credibility to try to fool the fans into believing that the club have not, completely, lost the plot. Something that I believe he has failed to do for over a year now. Richard's luck has held him in the job because those around him are so much more incapable of doing their own jobs that he almost stands out as the 'star performer'.

The CEO has gone from embarrassing the club and it's fans to embarrassing herself. It is my belief that some of the worst comments and statements have been deliberately said to upset and antagonise fans. I think (and I appreciate that I have no evidence to back this up - and it is just my personal view) that she is so annoyed that the fans don't appreciate what she is doing that she feels the need to have a snidey pop at them. There is not much chance that anyone with any intelligence would say some of the things she has said by accident. I have heard her speak a few times and even though I have thought she was not very professional (in fact, not at all professional) they don't give out Law degrees for turning up and 'trying'.

Ultimately time will tell but my best guess, based on where we are today, is that this is the highest profile job Ms Miere will have for a long time (probably ever) and no one will ever look back on her time in charge of Charlton with anything other than regret that she was given the job in the first place - save for Millwall fans, of course. In fact I think I'd be unable to remove a grin from my face, twenty-four hours a day, if she was appointed CEO of Millwall or Palace.

So the owner appointed Jose and told the fans that things had been a little tricky but this chap that did a magnificent job two years ago, that wasn't trusted to build on his success, will come back to save the day, make the fans happy, and encourage us all to believe in his 'vision' of cutting costs, selling all the decent players and hoping that signing players from all over Europe, that have no rack record of any use, will help us to stumble onto a side of world beaters that can win us promotion. He reminds me of a chap I knew at University that owed money to all of his friends but had a good feeling about a horse at 20-1 and had worked out that to repay all of his debts he just needed to borrow another £20 and when this horse came in he would be able to repay everyone, I'm not kidding, he really did believe this was the answer. the horse didn't win, obviously.

Let's sack this manager and get another one. The new one might be able to achieve what Alex Ferguson did with £250m of talent with a couple of teenage imports and some youth graduates. After all Giggs, Beckham, Scholes, Butt and the Neville brothers did it, why not Fox, Charles-Cook, Ahern-Grant, Lennon, Kennedy and Looknan?

How this man made so much money I will never understand!

So, here we are again. For the third year running we have appointed a new manager to try to lift an under funded squad that has had it's confidence shattered to produce close to promotion form to keep us in the division, so we can try again to scout players without a scout to win games in a division they have never played in.

If it wasn't so depressing and damaging to the long term future of the club and if it wasn't undoing all the hard work done to build us up over the last twenty years it would be funny.

But it isn't funny. It isn't funny at all.

Just for the record I think we'll be lucky to lose by just two goals tomorrow but the sad state of our club leaves the football as a footnote at the bottom of an article.

No, it really isn't funny at all.

Up the Addicks!


Hilltothevalley said...

Excellent article, reflects my thoughts entirely.

Anonymous said...

Jose Riga was the best of the bad bunch that have been appointed to manage Charlton in the last two years.... but when he took over from Chris Powell he had the benefit of a reasonably stable team whose league form had suffered on the journey to the FA Cup quarter final and a good scouting network and back-room set up but who had lost two vital players in the January transfer window...

This time Jose has come in to a manage a group of individual players without balance and too reliant upon young ex-academy players, the best of whom may be sold during the transfer window and at best 'loaned-back' for the rest of the season. The scouting network has gone, the back-room staff decimated, and the club now being run by proven incompetents (what was suspected 2 years ago has now been proven!).

Let's hope that Jose has some magic dust stashed away in his suitcase - he's certainly going to need some! His track record since we last saw him at the Valley at Blackpool, Standard Liege and wherever else he's been at since doesn't exactly cover him or his CV with glory or prove his management skills, does it? I think I'm right in saying it reads.... relegated, sacked, sacked.

Sadly I think that it's going to take more than Jose Riga to save the Addicks from division 1. The club and team are both un-balanced and in total disarray. The only continuity is showed by the owner himself - he continues to appoint useless, out of depth managers to run this once great club.
The players that the club desperately need to bring in during the transfer window simply won't come - the club's reputation is now so low that any self-respecting pro won't touch us with a barge pole. Yann Kermorgant jumped ship two years ago because he no doubt saw what was coming - why would he, or anybody else, now join a club that is holed below the water-line and slowly sinking by the stern?

Anonymous said...

Good post KA - you have Nightmeire spot on. Interestingly RDs appointment of Riga might split the protest vote somewhat, so one might think it was a tactical ploy to do just enough to keep us up (as usual) and take the edge out of the protests. But I suspect your last chance gambler analogy is far closer to the truth.

Pembury Addick