Charlton AthleticSport

Four takeaways from Charlton’s 4-0 demolition of Reading: Addicks show ruthless side but have to hope Chuks Aneke injury isn’t serious

Michael Appleton’s unbeaten start to life at The Valley extended to six league games following an emphatic second half demolition job of Reading. Here’s Louis Mendez’s four takeaways from the clash with the Royals.


The record books will show that, as has become custom, the game was played over two halves consisting of 45 minutes of association football. But you’re not going to get much more analysis from me on the first of those other than to say it was forgettable.

Reading, yet to pick up a single point on the road this campaign, carved out a handful of half-chances before the break against an Addicks side who never came close to even reaching first gear.

But the interval seems to revive this Charlton team every week – this time transforming them into a rampant goal machine.

Chuks Aneke got the ball rolling with a close-range header nine minutes after the restart. His withdrawal through injury shortly after was a devastating blow for the player. A thunderbolt from Tyreece Campbell doubled that advantage before Alfie May realised he’d forgotten to score his customary goal and he volleyed home his eighth of the campaign.

The excellent Corey Blackett-Taylor assisted each of those three strikes as he continued his fine form.

Miles Leaburn latched onto T. Campbell’s exquisite through ball to bag the fourth in added-time as Charlton continued their fine goal-scoring form at home – that’s 19 in eight at The Valley.

But the clean sheet was equally as important. The first they’ve kept in SE7 since the opening day. Use that as a base to build from.

Picture: Paul Edwards


Michael Appleton was unable to provide any clarity on Aneke’s hamstring problem at this early stage but the anguish on the player’s face was plain for all to see.

The striker has added such an important dimension to the side since his return and had just bagged his first goal since November last year when he fell to the ground clutching the back of his leg following a footrace with Nelson Abbey.

The mental toll that this will have on Aneke could be tough to deal with given his injury problems throughout his time in SE7. Hindsight demands that the decision to start a player who is more suited with cameos from the bench will be questioned.

The Charlton manager said that he will always have to find a balance between when he can start Aneke in games but the forward felt good this week and was ready for a start. Let’s hope that gamble hasn’t cost the South Londoners the use of one of their most important assets for the foreseeable.

Picture: Paul Edwards


Any lengthy absence for Aneke could have a big impact on what has proven Charlton’s not-so-secret weapon since Appleton came in. The ability to start one of Aneke or Leaburn and then introduce the other from the bench has been crucial for the new Addicks boss.

Whichever forward starts can do the hard yards. Tire defences. Then the other comes on and adds further impetus. Two of Leaburn’s three League One goals this season have come in games from when he’s introduced from the bench.

I fear that Charlton might lose the ability to change games from the bench if Aneke is out for a while because it’s a card that Appleton has played very well with the options he’s had available to him. They weren’t around when Dean Holden struggled at the start of the campaign.

Charlton are 3rd in the second half table in League One. Under Appleton they’ve scored 12 whilst conceding just two after the break. An edge that they won’t want to relinquish.

Picture: Paul Edwards


One player who is looking for promotion from back-up into starter is Tyreece Campbell. The winger has started on the bench in each of the last three games but his excellent performance yesterday may have Appleton rethinking his decision to persist with Slobodan Tedic on the right.

Campbell’s finish for the second goal was explosive and his perfectly measured through ball for Leaburn’s strike was pinpoint.

The 20-year-old Southwark-born winger certainly offers greater mobility out wide than Tedic does. Appleton may now be tempted into giving Campbell the wide role.


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