Charlton Athletic will be the first to admit that the 16/17 campaign was an utter disaster. There was protests, sackings and even pigs on the pitch, only at Charlton! There was a few bright moments but they could not shadow the rotten core Roland Duchâtelet has created. Karl Robinson arrived in November and things didn’t seem to change. That was until Robinson brought in a few new faces, Jake Forster- Caskey and Lewis Page both joined on permanent deals as well as Jay DaSilva and Nathan Byrne arriving on loans. Four wins from the last five polished off the campaign well but it just wasn’t enough to push the Addicks into the top half of the table.
The reds won’t be able to change the past, so they will look to go again and bounce back at the second attempt. I look at the three current Charlton players that I think will be vital in Karl Robinson's promotion plans.
If you ask any Addick to define Jesus they will more than likely give you two words, “Ricky Holmes".
Holmes had an unreal season last time out, the tricky midfielder found the net 13 times with some stunning strikes. Holmes picked up a few knocks throughout the season but he bounced back whenever he was called upon. After his impressive debut season in SE7 Holmes picked up the player of the season award, his quick feet and direct approach have attracted some big clubs such as Sheffield United, the blades have had a number of offers rejected and Holmes has signed a 3 year extension with Charlton.
Holmes adds so much to the squad, the versatile attacker can play anywhere across the front line if he stays fit and strives forward then he could definitely be heading into double figures in terms of goals this season.
Karl Robinson has admitted that Ricky extending his contract is a statement of intent but with wingers Mark Marshall and Tariqe Fosu arriving in SE7 Holmes will have to push to keep his place. If Ricky plays half as good as he did last season then the Addicks will surely be knocking on the Championship door.
Ezri Konsa had a brilliant campaign last season on a personal level. He made his debut for club and country, he also racked up a fair few appearances. Konsa then went and won the U20 world cup with the England squad, this clearly hasn’t gone unnoticed as Arsenal and Tottenham are both now keeping tabs on the Charlton starlet but the Addicks are more than keen to keep the promising youngster on the south side of London.
Konsa has a big part to play in the upcoming campaign, he can operate at Right back, Centre back and even holding midfield which gives Robinson so many options to utilise his ability. Ezri is Charlton through and through and has been with the club since the tender age of 11. He wants to succeed and with all the optimism around the club, he could be celebrating success on his own turf come May.
If Konsa keeps his feet firmly on the ground I believe he could be the man to lead Charlton out of the darkness and into the light. He was a diamond in the rough last season but this time around he will be looking to be a diamond amongst other diamonds as Robinson's men go in search for the title.
Jason Pearce has been an ever so present figure in Charlton’s back line since signing on the dotted line last summer. The hard tackling centre back quickly became a fans favourite his ruthless approach was proving a success for Charlton but after picking up a really bad groin injury he lost his place in the side for three months.
Pearce missed a large chunk of the season and it proved costly as the Addicks went through a poor bit of form, the next three games after Pearce picked up his injury all ended in defeat. He then came back into the side within the closing stages of the season and things started to look up again.
Robinson handed Pearce a year extension which shows the importance of the experienced centre half, it looks as if he is going to step up and take captaincy next season after current captain Johnnie Jackson stepped down to take a coaching role.
Pearce has experience in leading teams he has captained almost every club he has played at and has had a fair amount of success throughout his career. He was a big part of Wigan’s promotion 2 seasons ago, the Englishman knows how to win and he wants to win that’s exactly the type of attitude you need to lead a side through a gritty league such as league one.
The 17/18 season could be a big year for the Charlton hard man he will most likely be partnered next to Konsa so he will need to show his strength and determination, as he looks to take a group of very young promising professionals under his wing and into the Championship.
Do you agree with these selections Charlton fans? Let us know in the comments below!