January article can be found hereFebruary
It was beginning to feel that 'The Feelgood Factor'
had not just popped by for an overnight visit, but was gaining momentum and
planning on hanging around The Valley for a few more weeks to come.
Powell announced former player and West Ham coach Alex Dyer
to be his number two, but the stand-out and surprise transfer news arrived just before the January deadline, with sharp-shooter Bradley Wright-Phillips
in a cut-price move from Plymouth, after the striker's long-term knee problem jettisoned a medical at Reading.
proved Charlton's gain. BWP registered immediate returns, scoring the winner with an outstanding overhead kick in the controversial midweek win at home to Colchester. The game will be remembered for the referee incorrectly blowing his whistle just before Colchester scored, prompting the fourth official to run on the pitch just before the restart to inform him he could not give the goal as he had already blown. It was still unknown whether Powell would prove to be a good manager, but he was already proving to be a fortuitous one.
Wins continued to follow. BWP again proved the difference in a tight 1-0 victory at Yeovil, and the striker scored for the third consecutive game in the home win versus Peterborough. Powell observed "He's a goalscorer at the this level. He's been excellent, he's fitted in and he's hit the ground running"
. A late Mackail-Smith inspired rally by Posh ensured a nervy ending, but it was not enough and the Reds run out 3-2 winners, after being 1-0 down at the break. According to Powell, it was "the mark of a team that has spirit, talent and ability. The players were heroic in the second half".
Four games, four wins. The installation of Powell was looking one of genius.
Other leadership changes were being seen throughout the globe, though sadly with a lot more bloodshed.
After weeks of demonstrations, riots and violent destruction, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak
finally succumbed to the protests, resigning from office. The civil uprising in Egypt was the catalyst for a number of other revolution-seeking movements across the Middle-East region to be witnessed throughout the year.
Despite the fine form on the pitch, the one nagging concern about Charlton’s strong run was that it was being similarly matched by rivals around them. Despite four successive victories, Charlton were still only fifth, and having been five points away from the 2nd spot after the Plymouth victory, three wins later they were incredibly now six points away from the automatic positions.
And there ladies and gentlemen, Charlton’s season promptly ended. In February. Bolt the door, unplug the TV, and turn the lights out for 2010/11. With a run of one win in sixteen games about to occur, the rising momentum was blown back with the force to rival Cyclone Yasi
, which struck North Queensland in February with speeds of up to 186mph, 9m waves and created an estimated £3.5bn worth of destruction.
The 'run of despair' started with a tricky midweek trip to Hartlepool, which resulted in a 1-2 reverse. However, the big disappointment arrived the following weekend for the home game against Exeter.
Huge work behind the scenes had gone into filling The Valley, and just shy of 25,000 took advantage of the 'Football for a Fiver'
offer. Sadly, most viewed it as not worthy of the minimal outlay as a disappointing game resulted in the Grecians being the wrong team to rise to the occasion, outplaying the home side and securing the three
points with a comfortable 3-1 display.
Player wise, the Exeter game proved to be pivotal for differing reasons for two members of the squad. For Pavel Abbott
, it proved to be his last action in a Charlton shirt, with a move to Polish side Ruch Chorzow on a free transfer to boost his chances of a Euro 2012 spot. For Karl Jenkinson
however, making his full debut provided the start in what was to prove to be an incredible 2011 for the 19-year old.
Having worked so hard to make minimal head roads into the play-off positions, Charlton promptly found themselves dumped straight back out of it. This was compounded a week later when the visit to Notts County saw another defeat on a cowpit of pitch, unaided by a tame BWP penalty easily saved by the County keeper. Once again, the Sky cameras proved an unsuccessful distraction.
Though Charlton’s season was starting to go frustratingly wrong, it was put firmly in perspective however by the 6.3-magnitude earthquake that ripped through Christchurch, New Zealand
at the end of February, killing 181 people.
Sometimes football just doesn't feel very important.