Charlton Athletic have won promotion to the Championship after beating Carlisle 1-0 and Sheffield Wednesday could only draw away to Colchester United.
It has been a remarkable season for Chris Powell and his team as they currently have 94 points and with three games still remaining will be hoping to finish the season with over 100 points. Manager Chris Powell was already a legend at the club after playing more than 200 games for them and the man with five England caps will be very pleased with his work as a manger so far but knows that it could be a much tougher test next season but will be hoping to replicate the likes of Norwich City and Southampton. This being his first managerial job, it would have been acceptable if they did not gain promotion this season especially when he had to sign 19 players in the summer but the season started brilliantly and he has now won 50.68% of his 73 games in charge.
Looking to the future, can they survive in the Championship with the current squad? I think they definitely can because they are clearly the best team in League 1 and if it wasn’t for a blip in the last few weeks they would have been celebrating a title win earlier than this. They haven’t quite won the title but it most certainly a question of when rather than if. There team has a lot of potential and it has came together quite nicely, in goal they have Ben Hamer who is arguably one of the best in the division and has been vital to the team all season. The defence has a mix of talent and experience but Powell has showed his managerial expertise by giving a few players another chance at this level. One of them being Michael Morrison who has played in every league game this year contributing five goals in the process. Morrison was a player who had a lot of promise when he was at Leicester City but when he moved to Sheffield Wednesday he did not have the best of times and was prone to mistakes which is why it is quite surprising that he has been exceptional for the team this year.
The midfield has a lot of players that will battle for every ball and show a lot of commitment, add this to their undoubted ability and you can understand why Charlton are comfortable leaders. Dale Stephens, Danny Hollands and Danny Green are all good players at this level and in my opinion would not look out of place in a Championship side. But the pick of the bunch is Johnnie Jackson who not only contributes goals from midfield but also delivers some really good balls into the box for strikers to attack. He has had a strange career as he hasn’t really settled anywhere but maybe now he has matured and has show that on the pitch.
When you have that quality in the midfield your strikers are bound to score goals and Bradley Wright-Phillips has done that all season with 22 goals. His pace and power has been too much for some defences this year and if he can replicate his form from this season then it would not surprise me if he was a front runner for top goal scorer next year in the higher division. Another brilliant piece of business by Powell was the signing of Yann Kermorgant who hasn’t really had the best of times in England but the faith Powell showed in him must have given him confidence as he has scored 10 goals in 34 league games.
With a few additions Charlton could be a real force next season and they are a big club so I am glad they are on their way back up. Chris Powell has been their best manager since Alan Curbishley in my opinion and if he can have the same sort of success then he will have a very good career as a manager.