Friday 8 September 2023

The Task In Hand

Whilst we wait with baited breath for a top notch manager to be announced, it’s worth considering the players they’ll have available and the issues that will arise as a result.

Goalkeepers :- It’s a simple choice of either Harry Isted or Ashley Maynard-Brewer. Neither is exactly pulling up any trees at the moment so can’t complain too much if they are not selected.

The only challenge to them at present is the largely unknown and untested Prince Adegoke.

Right Backs :- Nathan Asiimwe and Tennai Watson. Nathan has had a good start to the season but Tennai should be pushing him for a starting place as one of MK’s better players last season.

Centre Backs :- James Abankwah, Deji Elerewe, Lloyd Jones, Lucas Ness, Michael Hector, Terell Thomas.

This is proving to be our biggest problem positionally at the moment. Ness and Hector have been poor and a shadow of themselves compared to last season.

Jones has looked composed and assured and the best of this group. We haven’t seen much of Deji of late and James Abankwah has yet to pull on the red shirt for us. He is rated by many and let’s hope he can live up to the hype.

Terell Thomas is another who hasn’t impressed at centre half this season and he looked better at full back last season.

Left Backs :- Tayo Edun and Richard Chin. Edun has looked good for the most part but has been prone to the odd error. He is probably still coming up to speed. I didn’t see much on Tuesday to suggest that Chin ought to be in ahead of him or indeed starting at all.

Central Midfielders :- Karoy Anderson, Panutche Camara, George Dobson, Scott Fraser, Conor McGrandles, Terry Taylor and Louie Watson.

One player stands head and shoulders over the rest here and that’s Dobbo of course. After our 3 or 4th consecutive loss he should have been presented with the player of the year trophy. It’s that clear cut and only May will give him any real competition.

Anderson has shown real skill, determination and ability this season. Clearly, he is still a bit raw but he gives 100%.

Camara is a quality player but is injury prone but we know that when we signed him. If we can get him fit then he will be a tremendous player and real asset to the team. His decision making and passing ability is a cut above the rest and if would be superb if his finishing could match it!

Similar things ought to be said about Scott Fraser. However, he is too inconsistent when fit and we don’t see enough of the Fraser that almost single-handedly won a game for MK a couple of years.

I’ve not really paid too much attention to Taylor to give a decent assessment of him. He hasn’t caught my eye other than his delivery from set pieces is mostly rubbish. Maybe give him more time and I’m being overly harsh.

In an ideal world McGrandles would have been out the door in the summer but it seems that no one wanted him. I can’t believe we wanted to keep him. He’s done nothing in his time at the club.

Finally, we have new recruit Louie Watson. I can’t comment on him as he’s only played in Tuesday’s debacle. Let’s hope he is good. He should be one of the better ones.

Wingers/ attacking midfielders :- CBT, Chem Campbell, Tyreece Campbell, and Charlie Kirk.

CBT has been our main attacking threat and to a point where we’re over reliant on him. There’s no doubting his ability to beat his man. However, the end result is so often frustrating. His decision making isn’t always the best and I feel he needs to either shoot or cross the ball earlier. He tends to delay too long. That said, he really needs to start every game.

Chem Campbell has looked good in his appearances so far. He looks assured and can pick a pass as we saw last Saturday.

Tyreece is another who has impressed this season. He is also a little raw but will give it everything and keep running, even in a lost cause.

Kirk has sadly continued to be, well….Kirk. For some reason he struggles in a red shirt and I’ve no idea why. He seems to do well elsewhere and we all know he’s a good player, we just don’t see it. It’s hard to see him getting more than a few minutes off the bench every now and again.

Strikers:- Chuks Aneke, Daniel Kanu, Miles Leaburn, Alfie May and Slobodan Tedic.

Unfortunately, there’s little point in discussing Chuks. I doubt we’ll ever see him in a Charlton shirt again. At some point someone is going to have to make a decision regarding his career. It’s a real shame because when fit he is a quality player and capable of playing at a level higher than the third tier.

 Alfie is a stand out player and it has been no surprise to see him do so well. He would have done even better if he’d had someone alongside for more games but we’ve been reluctant to do that. I’ve no idea why but it’s aprt of the reason why we haven’t converted more of our chances or created as much.

Alfie’s achilles heel has been the yellow cards. All 4 of them have been rather silly. Last season he probably wouldn’t have been booked for any of them. However, he knows the rules have changed and should be more careful.

Kanu must have walked under a ladder, run over a cat or something. He’s not really put a foot wrong whilst impressing to date. Yet after that and scoring a lovely header recently he’s been dropped out of the starting eleven. Hopefully, he will be getting more opportunities soon.

Leeeeeeeeeeaburn! Sadly, as we know, Miles has been out injured until last week. It looked like he’d never been away. He will get better as his full fitness returns. He needs to form a good partnership with May and coming soon one of the other two strikers given that a suspension is coming for Alfie.

Another new recruit, Slobodan, has only had a few minutes and so we can’t comment on him. He’s another one who we hope can come good and be contending with the 3 players above for a start.

That’s about 26/27 players that the new manager has to keep motivated and happy. In reality it’s a lot less than that because as identified above there are a few who simply don’t warrant inclusion. They are a waste and a drain on resources.

The new gaffer simply has to shore up the defence, cut out the silly errors, establish a system of play and start winning more games most likely by converting more of the chances on offer. Sounds simple but that it’s in a nutshell.

Do that and no matter what your name or where you’ve come from you’ll win over the fans and may even buy yourself some time to build a team.

Of those people that can realistically expect to take the job then outside of those who’ve already declined then I’d like to see Bowyer or Jon Brady ( although he may have already turned us down!).


  1. breath still baited for that top notch manager? Will face ache Appleton fit the bill or just fill a position? Cultivate defensive competence and mostly positive results? Tread water to dwindling crowds? Or blunder about hobbled by the threadbare rabble of a squad and pick up a P45 and severance package before Easter? Absolutely no way of knowing. I know which I'd prefer but I'd guess the %age probability's about 30:35:35

    1. SCN, yes, what a shock when MA was announced. Little point in sacking Holden if we're getting him. Dean may have got a few things wrong tactically but I have more faith in him! I hope he proves me wrong but I suspect he'll deliver the negative side of the scenarios you listed.

  2. Ere are juss wot I said before appleton new gaffer thass cos I know wass goin on dahn our gaff but will boo boys on ere give im a chance?