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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Equities  >  London Stock Exchange  >  Millwall Holdings Plc    MWH   GB00B68GQL44

MILLWALL HOLDINGS PLC

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Millwall Hldgs PLC : Introducing Charlton Athletic

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07/26/2011 | 11:55am EDT

Since their relegation to League One, it has been tough going for Charlton Athletic.

Our near neighbours struggled to find a way back up into the Championship under then manager Phil Parkinson, but all that could be about to change.

The return of Addicks legend Chris Powell as Parkinson's replacement looked to be the start of a new beginning, as Powell's immediate success - four wins and a draw in his first five games - suggested. But after losing to Hartlepool, Powell learned to take the rough with the smooth as his side went on a winless run that lasted 11 matches before three second half goals helped them to a 3-1 success in the London derby with Leyton Orient.

That half-season's worth of experience will set Powell up for the task of leading Charlton to promotion. He has already proved a shrewd operator in the transfer market, with his first signing Bradley Wright-Phillips going on to score eight goals since his January arrival, and Chris has been backed by his chairman this summer to revamp the squad.

Powell has wasted no time, creating a midfield laden with goal threat despite the departure of Therry Racon to The Den. Johnnie Jackson hit 15 goals last season and he has been joined by Bournemouth's Danny Hollands who scored seven times, plus highly rated Dagenham & Redbridge winger Danny Green, who hit the net 13 times despite The Daggers going down, and Dale Stephens who finished with 10.

Those numbers are before you look at the options up front. Wright-Phillips will score plenty of goals at League One level, so too will new signing Paul Hayes - a man desperate to make up for lost time following an unsuccessful spell at Preston North End - and Paul Benson.

At the back, Gary Doherty has seen and done it all and he will be required to nurture the young talents of Academy graduates Chris Solly and Yado Mambo. However, once again Powell has strengthened and added three high quality acquisitions in Exeter City captain Matt Taylor, Sheffield Wednesday's former Leicester City centre half Michael Morrison and promising left-back Rhoys Wiggins from Bournemouth.

With Powell a well-known and respected face in the game, Charlton fans will hope that the players can gel quickly and sustain a title challenge this season. With heavy investment over the summer, this may just be the season The Addicks have been working towards.

Key Player

Bradley Wright-Phillips

The former Manchester City youth product had a very successful campaign during 2010/11 helping himself to 22 goals - 13 for Plymouth Argyle before netting a further eight after his January move to The Valley. And after a full pre-season with his new side, he will be expected to top that this time round.

That task will be made easier by the combined creativity of Dale Stephens, Danny Green, Johnnie Jackson and Mikel Alonso in the Charlton engine room. If he starts firing on all cylinders early, he could be the key to taking The Addicks back up.

The Boss

Chris Powell is a well-known name in English football following his long playing career that began at Crystal Palace and really took off at Southend United. There he made his name as a classy left back and became a firm crowd favourite before taking in a spell at Derby County, where he was again a favourite and named supporters' player of the year. But his career sky rocketed following a switch to Charlton where he not only carved out a reputation as one of the Premier League's top defenders but also gained international recognition with England under Sven Goran Eriksson.

Further stints at West Ham, Watford and Leicester City followed before he moved into a player/coaching role at The Walkers Stadium. It was there, under the tutelage of Nigel Pearson, that he learned his trade and was retained as a coach as Paulo Sousa replaced Pearson. When Sousa was sacked he was handed the reins for the game against Scunthorpe. He managed to lead The Foxes to a 3-1 victory, joining in the celebrations as Franck Moussa hit home the third goal.

Once again, Chris was kept on by new manager Eriksson, who commented in December 2010 that Powell "will be a very good manager in the future". He now has a chance to prove the Swede right in very familiar surroundings at The Valley.

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