It seems like such a long time since the Euphoria of May 26th.
We've seen a variety of takeover false dawns, various interviews on talksport and official club website statements from Roland Duchalet. The strange, strange man, bemoaning the EFL and blaming everyone else for his inability to find a buyer willing to pay his vastly over inflated price for the club.
We now face the beginning of the Championship campaign. Plenty of players, key ones in last seasons team at that, have gone. However we have seen incoming, including the highly rated Connor Gallagher from Chelsea being announced today.
My personal opinion is that with the players left from last season, those that Lee Bowyer and his backroom team have bought in, and I hope three or four more quality loan signings (Bowyer and Gallen do seem to have a knack of finding loanee's who don't just make up the numbers but have a positive impact on the squad), we will be not only be alright but may surprise one or two. Hopefully starting with Blackburn Rovers. A team whom I personally cannot stand.
I won't do an in depth preview of the season, fellow blogger 'Chicago Addick' has done that quite thoroughly here , here and here. It is one of the toughest divisions to predict accurately, and seems to throw up 'dark horses' year after year.
Sky Sports polled supporters opinions (receiving a massive response from Charlton fans i'd assume) to compile a predicted final table for this seasons Championship, i'd be more than happy with the predicted 8th place finish for The Addicks.
The bottom line is that we are back in The Championship, after another three years stuck in the third tier. The primary objective must be avoiding relegation.
Looking back over several seasons 52 would be the average points total required to finish fourth from bottom and avoid the dreaded drop zone. 50 has been mentioned as the target number of points.
Based on the above we need to achieve the magic number of 13 to stay up. 13 wins and 13 draws.
Looking at who we traditionally do alright against i'm predicting 12 wins and 14 drawers will see us finishing on exactly 50 points. Which will hopefully be enough to keep us up. Based on when the games are played against the team I think we'll pick these points up it'll be the final home game against Wigan Athletic that will see us hit the 50 mark. My hope is that by this point we would have already 'crossed the line' by the skin of our teeth due to others falling well short of the magic 50.
October could be the toughest month of games based on my predicted results. What will be critical to our survival is Duchalet holding his nerve and sticking with Bowyer when we do go on winless runs. And there will be a few of these during our first season back in the division that has been our natural home over the years.
If the results go the way I think they could, throw in some surprises against the well established promotion candidates and we could see a more respectable points haul, and something closer to 56-59, which would see us well clear of the relegation places.
One thing I do know, regardless of ownership issues, regardless of a (currently) thin squad, regardless of the doom and gloom merchants, I'm excited and looking forward to the season ahead. The above is my anticipated worst case scenario. Bring it on.
In Bowyer we trust.