Despite a late flurry under the caretaker guidance of Lee Bowyer once again Charlton Athletic will be playing in League One next season. The London side failed in their play-off clash with Scunthorpe United and will now compete in the third-tier for the third season in a row.
Charlton have been in something of a downward spiral for some time now, with the Roland Duchatelet era one of the darkest in the club’s history.
Throughout that time, the club has also let some very talented players go. Especially it seems, in the goalkeeping position.
This summer England travel to Russia in the World Cup and regular number one Joe Hart will not be with the nation. He has been left out after a poor season with West Ham United and, instead, England are taking Burnley stopper Nick Pope.
In terms of form, he has been the outstanding English goalkeeper in the Premier League this season. Charlton fans will, of course, remember him from his time at The Valley. Pope spent five years at Charlton but, most of it was out on loan. Spells at Harrow, Welling, Cambridge, Aldershot, York and Bury took up most of his time as a Charlton player.
It was not until the 2015-16 season that he got a run in the first-team with the Addicks, but left that summer to join Burnley as back-up to Tom Heaton.
He is not alone. At one point in the 2014-15 season, Pope was second choice whilst Neil Etheridge was third – both behind Stephen Henderson in the pecking order.
But Charlton released Etheridge at the end of that season. He went on to become a regular with Walsall and this season was a star for Cardiff City as they won promotion back to the Premier League.
Charlton have had a good keeper this season. Ben Amos has been an ever-present for the club during his loan spell from Bolton Wanderers. Charlton must make sure they keep hold of the former Manchester United man as he could be a perfect option for a potential promotion push next season.
Losing him may not turn out to be as regretful as Pope and Etheridge, but Charlton will want to ensure they finally keep a talented keeper at The Valley.