The Addicks become the latest side under the spotlight in our series of team previews
Home ground: The Valley
Head coach: Guy Luzon
2014/15 league position: 12th
2014/15 top goalscorer: Johann Berg Gudmundsson/Igor Vetokele (11 in all competitions)
After finding themselves ensconced in a relegation battle back in 2013/14, last season was certainly a more fruitful one for Charlton Athletic.
Having remained a Championship side by just seven points two years ago, the Addicks began their third consecutive campaign in the second tier of English football with an impressive run which saw them lose just one game in their opening 12 league fixtures.
Having welcomed Bob Peeters as their manager during the summer months following Jose Riga’s move to Blackpool, a winless streak from early November to mid-February ultimately led to the departure of the Belgian in the New Year with Guy Luzon taking over the reins at the London outfit.
Under the stewardship of Luzon, Charlton’s fortunes certainly improved, with the Addicks’ form picking up inside the latter months of the campaign to ensure a healthy mid-table finish come May 2.
The manager himself has wasted no time in stamping his own mark on the squad, releasing former Bolton duo Tal Ben Haim and Chris Eagles, Simon Church, Roger Johnson, Lawrie Wilson, Oguchi Onyewu and Neil Etheridge alongside a number of development squad players.
The Addicks have also strengthened in numbers, with midfielder El Hadji Ba, German defender Patrick Bauer and 6ft 7in Denmark international striker Simon Makienok making permanent switches to The Valley so far.
No doubt looking for yet another improvement on their final league standing come May next year, it certainly looks set to be an interesting season for Luzon and his side.
Paul Green, Sports Editor at the News Shopper spoke to bwfc.co.uk to give his views on the Addicks and the season ahead.
“In the end Charlton finished comfortably in 12th, a big improvement considering they were dangerously close to the relegation zone in early February.
“Guy Luzon’s appointment following the dismissal of Bob Peeters may not initially have been very popular but the Israeli transformed the Addicks in the final third of the campaign and they should go into the current season feeling confident.
“Losing Joe Gomez to Liverpool is a blow but it was always likely that the defender was going to move on, so there was no huge sense of shock when it finally happened.
“Luzon spoke about the need to bring in half a dozen new signings after the final game of last season and the money earned from the Gomez deal will certainly boost that recruitment drive.
“Already three players have arrived and hopefully the remaining targets will be signed up by the time Charlton face QPR on the opening day.
“Last year’s loanee Frederic Bulot is likely to return on a permanent deal, although Yoni Buyens went back to Belgium after his successful loan in 2014/15 and has just signed for Genk.
“There is still some tinkering to be done with the squad, but Addicks fans will have their fingers crossed for a play-off bid.”
FIXTURES V BOLTON IN 2015/16
Tuesday 15 December 2015 – 7.45pm kick-off at The Valley
Tuesday 19 April 2016 – 8pm kick-off at Macron Stadium
RESULTS V BOLTON IN 2014/15
Charlton Athletic 2-1 Bolton Wanderers – 21/10/2014 (CLICK HERE for highlights)
Bolton Wanderers 1-1 Charlton Athletic – 14/4/2015 (CLICK HERE for highlights)