In 2012 it appeared that Chris Powell got everything right at Charlton Athletic. The League 1 trophy was delivered to a packed out Valley, 100 points were knocked up and the club returned to the second tier of English football for the first time in three seasons.
So far the current campaign has started off well and with the main objective being safety in the Championship it seems that halfway through the season and 11 points clear of the relegation zone this will be completed.
If Powell is to continue the success that he has so far delivered since his return to The Valley there are certain things he needs to do. Here I explore what five things Powell needs to do to ensure another fruitful year.
1. Make earlier substitutions
Too many occasions in games Chris Powell fails to recognise when the right time in a game it is to make a substitution. The majority of games a personnel change is left far too late on in games, where in a losing position the new player coming on has limited time to make an impact on matches.
In the most recent game against Bolton this was once again brought up by his managerial counterpart Dougie Freedman recognising that his Bolton side needed a change, he brought on David N’Gog who was the game winner scoring two goals.
2. Buy a striker that it a goal scorer
One of Charlton’s biggest proving problems this season is having a striker that possesses a lethal finish. With top scorer last season Bradley Wright Phillips failing to replicate his form. Yann Kermorgant is a great player in the air but is not a great goal scorer. What Powell needs to do is find a top young striker, someone on loan from a Premier League club. The success that this would result in is replicated by what Chris Wood is producing from his time across South London at Millwall.
Young Swedish Manchester City striker John Guidetti perfectly fits the bill to play this role, whether or not Powell can achieve this, or the club can afford to, the fact that Emmanuel Frimpong has already been brought in shows that it is possible.
3. Continue to keep a feel good factor around the club
What Chris Powell has done so well during his time at the club is installing a feel good factor around the club. Since the beginning of last season when no fewer than 17 new signings arrived at the club, team chemistry was immediately visible. As a spectator it is clear to see that everyone in the squad gets on well with each other and wants to win for each other. This then is something that the crowd feeds off and the feel good atmosphere is installed in the atmosphere around the stadium.
Powell is the man who can continue to keep this up by continuing to keep the team playing with confidence.
4. Play a big man striker up front with someone with pace with him
Another fault that with Powell’s team selection for me is playing two big men up front, Kermorgant and Hulse. Big Yann is a player who rarely misses a header and what he needs to play off him is someone to run onto his flicks. It’s not ultimately effective playing two big target men up front, if this is assessed productivity up front will be improved.
5. Keep the talent that he has to his disposal at the moment.
Maybe the biggest challenge that Powell needs to do in 2013 is keep his players together. During the last transfer window, star player Chris Solly was being constantly linked with a move to West Ham. If Powell can keep the likes of Solly, Ben Hamer and Dale Stephens, the nucleus of the team then success will only continue to come to Charlton.