Av Attendance 2019/20: 2986
Manager: Jake Buxton
Preferred Formation 2019/20: 4-3-3
Last game v City: Imps 3-2 Brewers, 7th March 2020
Summer Ins: Steven Lawless – Livingston, Charles Vernam – Grimsby, Neal Eardley – Imps, Michael Bostwick – Imps, Kane Hemmings – Dundee, Luke Varney – Cheltenham
Summer Outs: Oliver Sarkic – Blackpool, Joe Sbarra, Kwame Thomas, Ethan Vale, Stephen Bywater, Scott Fraser (All released)
We did the double over Burton last season and I feel they’re one of the sides truly experiencing the Covid pinch. Nigel Clough has left and rookie Jake Buxton takes over. he’s gone for experience over youth with most of his summer signings; Varney, Eardley, Hemmings and Bostwick reads like a Mansfield Town wishlist from three years ago.
Buxton is going to want to make the Brewers tough to beat and competitive, hence the arrival of our duo, but he’s also going to rely on the likes Charle Vernam and Lucas Akins for goals. Vernam had to go on loan to Chorley to kickstart his Grimsby career last season and whilst Akins is proven to play anywhere on the field almost, I can’t help but feel it could be a tough campaign for the Brewers. However, much of their squad has remained in place and they did finish above us (just) so maybe there’s hope for them yet.
Av Attendance 2019/20: 18128
Manager: Lee Bowyer
Preferred Formation 2019/20: 4-3-1-2
Last game v City: Lincoln 0-1 Addicks, 8th October 1986
Summer Ins: Alex Gilbey – MK Dons, Conor Washington – Hearts, Hady Ghandour – Tooting & Mitcham, Lucas Ness – Met Police
Summer Outs: Tom Lockyer – Luton, Chris Solly, Lyle Taylor, Tomer Hemed, Naby Sarr, Lewis Page (All Released)
Charlton should, by rights, be a promotion contender. They’ve had a year in the Championship, but know this division well and are not coming in blind. Yes, they’ve lost Lyle Taylor and Tom Lockyer, but they still have the nucleus of the side which started last season very well. They draw big crowds, although the pandemic means that they’ll feel the impact of not having supporters a little more, and the current ownership issues are further setting back Lee Bowyer’s plans for progression.
He’s struggled to bring player sin over the summer; Conor Washington is a striker who should do well at this level, but who has had a couple of poor seasons elsewhere, whilst Bowyer hopes to strike gold with his two non-league recruits.
The big issue here isn’t going to be what they do on the field, but what happens off it. I know some feel it could be a season of struggle for the Addicks, but not me. In fact, I have a suspicion if they do end up on steadier ground, Bowyer will have them in or around the top ten. He’s worked under Roland Duchatalet and still got them promoted. In my eyes, Bowyer could be a top manager one day and if he puts Charlton in the promotion frame, clubs will surely start knocking on his door.
That’s taken me much longer than I anticipated, so maybe expect part two by Wednesday….