Charlton Athletic fired Michael Appleton on Tuesday night, citing a poor run of form.
Northampton Town’s 3-2 victory over the Addicks proved to be the final nail in the coffin, and Appleton was fired shortly after full time.
Given the club’s recent form, this is hardly surprising. Charlton, despite having one of the highest budgets in the league and one of the greatest teams on paper, is only in 16th place, 19 points behind the play-off places.
In reality, the Addicks are now genuinely battling relegation and are only four points above of Reading in 21st place. Despite possessing the league’s joint-top goalscorer in the form of Alfie May,
Whoever is appointed next at The Valley will want to create a good first impression and gain the supporters’ support right away. They wouldn’t have a horrible squad, far from it; it’s simply a matter of getting those underperforming players to play at their best again.
Below are five prospective prospects for Charlton Athletic’s next head coach.
Duff appears to be one of the club’s most apparent choices right now, and he has extensive experience in the third tier. Given his past experience as a head coach, he should have no trouble transitioning to working with a director of football, and it is a viable possibility.
His tenure at Swansea may not have gone as planned, but his prior work with Barnsley and Cheltenham Town was quite successful. The former Northern Ireland player has already worked with star Alfie May at Cheltenham, and he may be able to coax even more goals from the striker.
If Charlton wants to effectively build for the future, Duff is the guy to do it.
Eustace has been without a job since Birmingham City signed Wayne Rooney, despite the fact that the club is in the play-offs. The Blues made an audacious attempt that would backfire spectacularly.
It’s surprising that the 44-year-old has yet to find work, and Charlton might be the team to give him that opportunity. It is a step down from his previous role as manager of a top Championship team, but given the Addicks’ lofty goals, it is not impossible.
The former-Southampton manager is a name which has already been widely connected with the post. Although his time in the Premier League was a step too far, his performances with Luton Town in the EFL are undeniably impressive. After guiding Luton through a massive transformation, there is no reason why he can’t take Charlton to the second.
There are obviously dangers involved, and given recent experience, it’s unlikely that he’ll get much playing time at Charlton, but he’s worth considering.
Probably the least attractive option, and no offense to Pearce, but the current interim manager might be granted the job till the end of the season. Pearce won one and lost once in his two games as interim manager after Dean Holden was fired, which all Charlton fans would accept considering the club’s recent results.
Given the club’s many manager changes in recent years, it may not be the worst idea to give an interim manager some time.
Ainsworth’s name appears to be linked to every available post in the EFL right now, and the former QPR manager has been vocal about his desire to return to the game. His tenure as QPR manager was disastrous, although his previous League One experience with Wycombe Wanderers was brilliant.
There is some contention that he is the most risky of the bunch, but he would have undoubtedly learned from his time at QPR. Even if not at Charlton, it would not be shocking to see Ainsworth in a role by the conclusion of the season.