Charlton’s incredible run of results may have ended at Oxford United on Friday but the Addicks were able to bounce back with an emphatic 4-0 win over Scunthorpe United just three days later.
The SE7 outfit are guaranteed a spot in the play-offs but could yet soar to automatic promotion if there are any slip ups above them and everyone in the camp deserves huge credit for the job that’s been done; Lee Bowyer has made the absolute best of some difficult circumstances at The Valley; Naby Sarr and Patrick Bauer have been immense at the back; Igor Vetokele has been resurgent after suffering an injury last year.
Lyle Taylor, though, has shouldered the goalscoring burden after Karlan Grant departed for Huddersfield in January and scored his 20th league goal of the season in the thrashing of The Iron this week. Somehow he hasn’t been recognised appropriately for his exploits despite having justified all the praise possible since arriving at The Valley in the summer for free.
The Montserrat international became a free agent after running down his contract at Wimbledon and Charlton were therefore able to snap him up without paying a penny – neither club nor striker have looked back since and the 29-year-old has to go down as one of the signings of the year across all of English football.
If one of the Premier League’s big sides signed a free agent hitman who then went on to do what Taylor has done this season, then there would be absolutely no discussion as to him being the best addition of the year. Unfortunately though, the London-born forward will evade that kind of recognition while Charlton remain in League One – at least the EFL appreciate his impeccable record, right? Wrong.
There was no room for the number 9 in the team of the season, with Sunderland’s Aiden McGeady, Luton Town’s James Collins and Doncaster Rovers’ John Marquis keeping him out of the front three.
Taylor can rightly feel aggrieved by his omission from the prestigious lineup given how crucial he has been to Charlton’s relentless top-six charge during the campaign as a whole but, in particular, the last nine games in which he has scored an incredible eight goals and chalked up two assists.
With 23 strikes and 10 assists to his name in just 41 appearances in all competitions, the 6 ft 2 striker has been involved in an astounding 44% of his side’s goals this campaign. Meanwhile, the aforementioned Collins, McGeady and Marquis have participated in 31%, 20% and 33% respectively.
Check out what happened when two of Charlton’s best players faced-off in a game of ‘Splat’ in the video below…
It could, of course, be more if not for Taylor’s poor discipline record – the versatile attacker has received 11 yellow cards and one red this season, meaning he has missed four league games through suspension. While some may point to this as a weakness in the prolific journeyman’s game, it’s arguable that he wouldn’t be playing with the same intensity that has helped him become one of the best strikers in the third tier.
Besides, the referee showing him another cautionary yellow may be the only time he’s awarded anything for what he’s done on the pitch this term. It’s a travesty how under-appreciated Taylor is by anyone not at or faithful to The Valley and it’s difficult to see what more he can do to be recognised by the EFL.