Tuesday, 3 May 2022

JJ Reign Over Before It Could Begin

So, the JJ regime comes to an end, before many will say – perhaps he himself will say - he had the chance to really put his own mark on the team and be judged accordingly. The parallels with Sir Chris are pretty plain (ie he got the nod and backing after a mixed performance when he first took over and won us promotion). Everyone, without exception, will be saddened by the news of Jackson’s sacking and we all wish him every success and happiness for the future. He has earned a special place at the club. But there’s going to be no consensus on whether it was the right move by Sandgaard; and whatever our opinions right now only time will tell on that front.

With the news being so recent, with many factors involved being unclear (including whether or not others will be following JJ out of the door), is there much useful to be said from a position outside the club? TS has enough goodwill in the bag to ensure that the decision will be accepted (what else can we do?), albeit with a heavy heart. But the decision exposes him in the sense that if we underperform next season it will now be laid directly at his door, especially now his son occupies an important position at the club. That might also have been said about the choice of Adkins, but we are all further down the line now and one choice that didn’t work out is acceptable. Get it wrong this time around and deeper questions will be asked.

For what it’s worth personally it is not a decision I would have made. I think Jackson has qualities we will need next season to mount a promotion challenge, to group together a new squad and have them energised and determined. Will anyone else coming in have the level of backing from the fans that JJ enjoys? That said, the guy was still learning the trade and we have too often of late looked tactically na├»ve and appeared to have the wrong mindset going into games. A manager has to take some of the responsibility for that, although at the end of a season with nothing but pride to play for and a number of those on the pitch unsure of whether they would be staying for the next campaign the latter at least was perhaps unavoidable.

No question TS will have to move fast on a replacement, given the emphasis he has been putting on getting transfer dealings done as quickly as possible before pre-season – which given a 30 July start to the season is not far off. We can have no idea if there is someone in mind, but recent comments from Sandgaard about Jackson suggest that this was a decision taken late in the day, not planned for some time. We were embarrassed by Ipswich on Saturday and it’s hard to imagine that performance not having been a factor in tilting the balance.

There are of course unanswered questions. How important does Sandgaard see the role of manager, or just how much input does the ‘manager’ have when it comes to new signings and how we play? Was the addiction to a back three/five and wing-backs down to Jackson or was he following instructions (in interviews Sandgaard said he expected we would continue to play with wing-backs but left open whose decision that was)? I’m not in the know but someone who is, Richard Crawley, has tweeted about indications of differences of opinion between TS and JJ over how we need to go about winning promotion. Some greater clarity from the two involved would be good (ie which of the two leans towards players and tactics which can grind out results and which backs pretty football), but I doubt we’ll get that.

Almost everyone at the club, including it would seem the new appointments, report to TS, there seems to be no chain of command. That seems to be the way he likes it, whatever the drawbacks. But if JJ departed because of a disagreement with TS over how to play the game, successfully, the new manager is going to have to toe the line and do what TS says on that front. I imagine a lot of good candidates would not accept such a state of affairs, which if true would be far too close to the Duchatelet debacle for comfort.

If we go up next season, TS made a brave and good call – and vice versa. Sandgaard is quoted on the club site as saying “I have big ambitions for Charlton and it will be important for us to find the right individual that can build on the foundations in place and help us progress on our journey”. There was such a person in place, we wait to see just who might prove to be a better option.


  1. Sandgaard is a Danish American businessman who knows very little about how, and what it takes, to run an English Football League club. Charlton is not an American 'little league' baseball team - it is an established English Football League club who should be playing higher level football than division 1.
    Johnnie Jackson has the experience as a player to know what is needed for promotion but is a rookie manager, who would probably thrive with an experienced head next to him to bounce ideas off (Curbs would be my ideal candidate). No, Sandgaard thinks he knows more than Jacko so he sacks him.
    The last manager Sandgaard brought in (Adkiins) took the club into the bottom 4 of division 1 before he was sacked after a few months. I see parallels with the Duchatalet regime here - both brought in totally unsuitable people (Sandgaard with his son and Duchatalet with that computer nerd idiot) into important positions within the club.
    That's it I'm afraid, after 60 years of supporting the club there is no future for Charlton Athletic with these idiots owning our heritage. I can't take any more and I'm off to watch my now local team who have just achieved promotion - they are run by a supporters trust NOT a foreign idiot owner who knows about balance sheets but knows Jack **** about running a football league club. Tonight I'm in tears, but I can take no more of this cr*p.

  2. When does ambition become impatience?
    "Rome wasn't built in a day"
    Adkins sacked for bad results, after a poor closed season recruitment.
    TS was reluctant to offer JJ the "permanent" post, only the clamour of supporters/media forced his hand.
    And JJ's weak position in protracted negotiations meant he signed the contract with a minimum 8th league position finish in it.( Remember "I want to win every game" and not using young players unless forced to)
    Lets face it the football has been dire.
    Results have not been helped by prolonged injuries (some players signed with these known histories).
    If firing JJ is the correct decision-
    why not when we were clear of relegation or not going to achieve 8th place?. This decision is already late.
    I think TS will go for another sweet talking corporate style manager as NA. The acid test is whether they can deliver. To get the players they need/have the input they need to be appointed within days or the debacle of last years recruitment will be repeated.
    TS has a belief that he knows enough about football to run the whole show.
    We're going to find out now. There's going to be such a churn of players manager/coaching staff there will only be one common factor remaining.
    JJ- legend, I would have given you more time. Impatience cost you your job.

  3. Well guys, seems the choice is made. Let's hope it proves inspired!


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