Saturday, April 29, 2006

All good things...

When the announcement was made by Richard Murray, the first reaction was a moment of total silence around The Valley, which then gave way to a round of spontaneous applause as 26,000 people turned to their neighbours and said "I knew that was coming".
The truth is that we did all know it was coming, but perhaps we didn't expect it to come quite so suddenly. I certainly thought that if he wasn't going to get the England job then Alan would see out the final year of his contract before leaving the club, but I can understand why he has decided to call it a day now.

He has done wonders for us, and he will rightly be considered a Charlton legend for generations to come, but there can be no disputing that we have reached a point in the clubs development where a change of management is the only way to move things forward. My feelings at the moment are probably best described as a cautious excitement about what is coming next for Charlton. Obviously I am sorry to see Curbs leave the club, but the prospect of a new manager with new ideas about both players and tactics is definitely what we need. I have listened to the views of other Addicks all season long, and the one word which seems to crop up more than any other when they talk about the club is the word 'stale'. The symbiotic relationship that Curbishley shares with Charlton has simply grown too comfortable for both parties, and that is the reason it has now been brought to an end.

Being 23 years old I have never really known life under any Charlton manager other than Curbishley, so I'm not quite sure what to expect once a new man is appointed with regards to how quickly the squad will be turned upside down, and how quickly the players left behind will be able to adjust to life with a new manager. I can't imagine that Murray doesn't already have a shortlist of replacements in his mind, so hopefully it will just be a question of getting the new guy in quickly once the season ends, and giving him all summer to get to know the club and its playing staff.
Obviously he will also need to be given a transfer kitty of sorts in order to make his own mark on the squad, so I wouldn't be surprised if we also see the back of Darren Bent after the World Cup. He is the only player we have worth any real money, and with a time of transition ahead it surely makes sense to sell him while his value is high, rather than to keep him another season and risk the fact that he only scores 7 league goals next term. If that occurs, he will only be worth half as much next summer.

So, the next manager... One thing I do not want to see is the appointment of someone like McCarthy or another manager who has failed at another club in the Premiership. We need a man with passion; we need a man from the lower leagues who will have the stomach for a fight, and a man who will be desperate to rise to the challenge. A man with a totally fresh approach to The Premiership. My first choice would be Adrian Boothroyd from Watford, my second choice would be Parkinson from Colchester (who I've been informed was at The Valley for the Portsmouth match a fortnight ago), and I haven't really had the time to think of a third choice yet. Other names that I have heard banded around thus far are the likes of Martin Allen (Brentford), Harry Redknapp (God forbid), and even Paul Jewell (Wigan).

With regards to the match, it was a shame that the players weren't able to cap Alan's final Valley fixture with a win, but it was always going to be difficult for them to perform immediately after finding out the news about his resignation. In the back of all of their minds will be the fact that they may well have to be looking for a new club and possibly a move to another part of the country by the time next season comes around.
The reception that Alan got from the fans after the game will surely have meant a lot to him (although I can't quite understand why so many people left the ground at the final whistle), it must have been a difficult decision for him to arrive at, but in the cold light of day, it's the right decision.

Thanks again for everything you have done during these 15 years Alan. It's more appreciated by those of us who love the club than you will ever know. Best of luck for the future.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Having been 'there' as Curbs said at Selhurst and Upton Park.
It was an emotional experience yesterday, Curbs had been like a family member , there!
It was a shame some saw an early exit as more important than honouring Curbstoo.
But that apart Thanks for the memories Curbs , you built a club.
Now lets hope his legacy is well
developed by his successsor.

1:44 pm  
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