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Charlton: “Garnerball clicked… and it looked bloody brilliant!”

“It’s been a really good start to Garner’s reign considering there’s been a rebuild and that he’s implementing a new style.” - Dan from the Garnerama says there's plenty of reason for optimism at Charlton this season...

Gab Sutton

Charlton Athletic occupy a top six berth in League One just five games into the new season, as the Addicks set their sights on ending their three-year stint in the third tier.

And, having attained eight points from those opening five encounters, Ben Garner’s side have designs on extending their play-off challenge across the whole campaign.

Dan from The Garnerama is happy with how things are going so far, based on the strength of opposition: each one currently resides in the top half.

“I very much would’ve taken two wins, two draws and a single loss over the first five league games, before a ball was even kicked this season.

“Especially given the teams we’ve played – I imagine Derby, Sheffield Wednesday & Plymouth will all be up there come the end of the season.

“Accrington away is never an easy fixture either with the way John Coleman sets them up.

“The 1-1 draw at home to Cambridge this weekend was probably the most frustrating thus far, considering it followed the high of Tuesday’s 5-1 victory over Plymouth.”

That demolition of Argyle was the greatest indication of what a Garner side can produce at it’s very best, especially with the electric debut from Jesurun Rak-Sakyi, who joined on loan from rivals Crystal Palace.

“Yes, I came away from that game thinking we could really do something this season, not wanting to get too carried away with a single result, of course!

“Partly because we made a good side in Plymouth look not that good at all, but also because we saw things from certain players we haven’t really seen before.

“Charlie Kirk won a penalty, got an assist and scored a goal, after what has been a difficult start to his Charlton career. You could tell what the goal meant to him in his celebration, which was great to see.

“Jesurun Rak-Sakyi scoring 11 minutes into his debut, and looking dangerous up until he was substituted, was another plus. It was a great team performance all round.

“We’d looked promising in parts up until the Plymouth game – playing a good 45 minutes here and a good hour there – but that was the first full 90-minute performance.

“Garnerball clicked… and it looked bloody brilliant.

“When it clicks we are going to cause teams a lot of problems. Cambridge did manage to nullify it’s effect somewhat though, so we’ll need to find ways around teams that set up with a similar game plan.

“I think it’s been a really good start to Garner’s reign, however, considering there’s been a bit of a rebuild and that he’s implementing a completely new style of play.”

One player Dan feels has taken well to the rebuild is Albie Morgan, who is into his fifth season at the club after joining as a youngster in 2018.

“This is a bit of an opinion-splitter amongst the Charlton fan base. I’ve always liked Morgan as a player – he has a great range of passing and has the potential to be a real difference-maker.

“There’s definitely the thought of him never really doing it however, with some of our fans. I think that’s due to the type of player he is and the roles he’s been asked to play up until now.

“Despite still only being 22, he’s played over 100 games for Charlton and their argument is that we should’ve seen it consistently from him by now.

“Despite a quieter game against Cambridge, he’s been one of our best players so far this season, in my opinion. Garner’s system really seems to be getting the best out of him. Long may it continue.

“Sean Clare is another one that comes to mind. Since leaving Oxford as he wasn’t being played in his preferred central midfield role, he’s filled many a position with the Addicks!

“He’s played central midfield, right wing-back, centre-back in a back-three, and now right-back in a four. But every time he pulls on a red shirt, he puts in a performance.

“He also scored an absolute banger against Plymouth which I would urge anyone who hasn’t seen it to watch!”

Charlton Athletic

With Morgan and Clare surprising a few people in different respects, Charlton are hoping to match owner Thomas Sandgaard’s expectation of a top six berth, but Dan is a little coy.

“I think this partly depends on what happens between now and the end of the transfer window.

“If we get a couple, maybe a few, more players in then I think we can make the top six.

“Another option up top, a centre-back and a left-footed left back would be where I’d like to see additions.

“We’ve had a few injuries already this season with Mandela Egbo, Chuks Aneke, and now Steven Sessegnon and Conor McGrandles which I think potentially highlights a bit of a depth issue.

“Get that sorted and I think we can definitely push for a play-off place.”

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