When Thomas Sandgaard arrived at Charlton just over two years ago he was full of confidence. Football was easy and he’d have us in the Premier League, if not Europe, in five years.
It’s not looking so easy now.
At CAST’s last meeting with Sandgaard, he made it clear that he has refocused his ambition from the football side to the business side. However, with the Addicks now mired around their lowest ever league position, his attention is back on the football again. We have lost manager number four on Thomas’ watch.
Ben Garner had a mixed set of results, ranging from storming success versus south coast teams to feeble performances and embarrassing outcomes such as our defeat on Friday. From that perspective some fans were agitating for change while others felt as if Garner wasn’t given a proper chance (and might say the same for the previous three hot seat incumbents.)
Whatever people feel about the timing and specifics of the sacking, there are a number of deeply concerning issues at play here.
Firstly, Garner was billed as the manager Sandgaard had been looking for who would play the style of football that he wanted to see. The trouble is, that style had no plan B. Is anyone coming in to fill his shoes going to be prepared to execute the game plan laid out in Colorado rather than on the Sparrows Lane training ground? Secondly, the manner of Garner’s sacking reveals yet more evidence of chaos behind the scenes. Strong rumours that he had been sacked were quickly denied before eventually being confirmed. No caretaker announced even though we are preparing for a game on Wednesday. Martin Sandgaard remains a looming presence. As a family member, he’s arguably unsackable, so he’d be an unwise choice for caretaker manager, even if some flippantly suggest it. Worse than no manager, there is the conundrum of the recruitment process with January fast approaching. Where does this leave Steve Gallen, one of the few who has been around long enough to “get” the club? Where’s the plan?
When we last met Thomas, we were deeply concerned that there was no longer a plan with football ambition for our club. We are live on ITV 4 on Wednesday as the ‘big club’. We may face FA Cup exit but let’s hope it’s not humiliation. Then we’re off to Morecambe, but where is the wise head at this club ?
Because right now we don’t see it.