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Why do we make so many poor signings?

It's alarming how many of our signings don't work out. Is our scouting network simply poor or are there other reasons?

Seems to be an endless list of players that fail to meet expectations...


  • They play to their strengths elsewhere whereas they tend to have to play to our weaknesses here 
  • We are the Charltonisers. 
  • Just waiting for Ronnie to come on and tell us that every signing has been a success and has improved the team .....
  • Poor managers who can't get the best out of average players who should do a decent job at our level, in turn making them look like poor signings.
  • To answer to opening question, I'd flip it around and ask what things need to be in place to make good signings. I reckon there are three key things, but there may well be more:
    1. You need a good, stable, management, coaching and talent team in place that has a clear vision of they type of team that is being built. A good assessment of the current squad, its abilities and its limitations and from this a clear understanding of what is needed. As well as being able to deal with any short term needs, there should be a medium to long range plan as to what is likely to be needed in the future. There should be a strong network of scouts and contacts so that we have the best possible awareness of the market and also to build relationships with potential future targets. If you want to secure early successes in the transfer window, you need to have laid the foundations long before that. You also need clear lines of power within this structure so that decisions can be made easily, preferably with the first team manager leading the decision making process.
    2. You need solid investment. If you always shop in the bargain basement, you may well pick up the occasional bargain, but you're also likely to pick up a lot of returns and seconds. The level of investment we've seen in recent years means that we're always likely to pick up players that have something missing from their game. In our case we seem to have had a strategy of gambling on unfit players and those with a long injury history. If we were really serious, rather than chancers, we'd look to hire players of (at least) a similar level of competence, but who are at peak fitness with no obvious frailties. Investment is not something that's needed for one window only. It's very rare to build a winning team in such a short space of time. There needs to be long term ongoing investment.
    3. You need to have and attractive proposition for players to want to come. Having a stable team with a well respected manager and a good chance of success are the key factors in that. Having a big supportive crowd who are right behind the team is also important. 
    I think if you take these three areas as the benchmarks for successful recruitment, it's easy to see why we've made so many poor signings in recent years.
  • They play to their strengths elsewhere whereas they tend to have to play to our weaknesses here 
    Agree with this. How many times do we buy a player and then play them out of their best position? We are always trying to fit square pegs into round holes. It drives me mad. Our coaching seems to be poor compared to many other clubs in terms of doing the basics right and being organised. How many times when we have the ball are players struggling to find a pass. Most opposition teams seem to always have an easy pass available because they are well organised and know where their team mates are. They seem to be clear about their roles whereas we never look like we are.
  • Poor managers who can't get the best out of average players who should do a decent job at our level, in turn making them look like poor signings.
    Maybe they do get the best out of them but like you say they are average players.
  • We tend to buy out the bargain basement that's why, occasionally you get a gem but 9/10 you get what you pay for.
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  • For all the talk that we sign quality players who go backwards, do any of them go on to better things after us?

    Did other clubs looking for promotion compete with us for their signing?
  • Just been contemplating the thread title.

    I reckon we might sign poor players, but by the time they leave us I would guess they are considerably rich£r.
  • Curbishley used to have players scouted, watch them himself and research their character, temperament etc before assessing whether they'd be a good fit.

    Our recruitment strategy appears to have been a million miles from such a hands on, in depth approach for a good number of years.
  • too many injury prone players signed because they are 'reasonably priced' (even a 'few grand' can't be  regarded as 'cheap') in the hope that their injuries were temporary, when it turned out they were chronic 
    Also, just poor research, scouting and allowing good young, promising Londoners who later signed for other lower league clubs to 'slip through the net'
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