14 January 2011

Chris Powell - head and heart

Although we're still waiting for the formal announcement, it seems likely that Chris Powell will today become Charlton's new manager. For those who don't know, he was Charlton's left-back in three different spells, playing around 250 games. More important that the stats, though, was his incredible charisma and charm. At every club he played for he became a fans' favourite: he just emanates topblokeness, and people who've been lucky enough to meet him (such as ChicagoAddick) confirm that he is simply wonderful. One thing for sure is that when he is introduced as manager next Saturday, the Valley will be a bewildering cauldron of man-love. Can you imagine - a stadium full of football fans worshipping a black man from Lambeth, whose first team was Palace!

But not everyone's happy with the appointment and I can understand why. He's inexperienced. This is his first managerial appointment, although he's been getting praise as a coach, and no-one really knows what kind of team he'll field. Is he just too nice? How will he deal with troublesome players when the charm doesn't work? Can the club afford to take the risk? The only good reasons the head can give are that he's presumably cheaper than an experienced manager, and that he will at least give a short-term boost to attendances.

I'd had all those thoughts before but yesterday, as the rumours grew firmer, I found myself grinning with excitement. If he does well, if he leads the team to promotion, won't that be a much better feeling than getting there with Phil Parkinson, or some other manager who's slumming it in the third division to resurrect a faltering career?

Football, thank goodness, isn't about always doing the sensible thing. If it was, I'd be supporting a team that wins something occasionally, or Arsenal. Following a club like Charlton is foolish and romantic - it's daring to hope against expectation that some dreams come true. And there aren't many dreams bigger and better than seeing Chris Powell leading Charlton to glory.

1 comment :

confidentialrick said...

Well said..we've suffered enough lately, let's dream it up !