Why Lee Bowyer shouldn’t swap Charlton for Huddersfield

Jack Kitson by Jack Kitson / 29 August 2019, 10:36

On 17th June Charlton released a statement on their website which said they had been unable to reach an agreement with Lee Bowyer on a contract extension, and that a caretaker manager would be announced in due course.

Charlton fans were understandably devastated at this crushing news, which came just a month after they’d secured promotion to the Championship.

Yet the next morning the club revealed that Bowyer had performed a dramatic u-turn and instead signed a new one-year contract.

"This has been a long process and I never wanted to leave, I love this club,” said the man himself upon penning the new deal.

“I'd like to thank the owner for giving me the initial opportunity and now for continuing to believe in me."

Fast-forward two-and-a-half months and Charlton have rocketed out of the blocks in their first Championship campaign in four seasons. Bowyer’s newly promoted troops sit 3rd in the table with 11 points from five games, and are one of only four unbeaten teams in the second-tier.

But then out of nowhere on Wednesday afternoon, Bowyer’s odds were slashed to just 1/3 in the next Huddersfield manager market - ‘this is laughable,’ roared Charlton fans on social media, ‘it's never going to happen’.

Two weeks ago the Terriers became the first Championship club to wield the managerial axe after they opted to end Jan Siewert’s tenure following a run of one win in 19 matches at the helm.

The likes of Chris Hughton, Sol Campbell and Hannes Wolf have all been linked with the vacancy, however it’s Bowyer who has now taken centre stage in the betting.

Out of all the recent high-profile former player-turned-manager appointments - ranging from Frank Lampard to Jonathan Woodgate, and Steven Gerrard to Scott Parker - it’s Bowyer who has made the biggest impact and enjoyed the most success, all on a shoestring budget.

The former England and Leeds midfielder was given his first taste of management at Charlton in March 2018 after he stepped up to the plate as caretaker following the departure of Karl Robinson. Within the blink of an eye, he’d secured a placed in the League One play-offs, but Charlton’s promoted hopes ended after they lost to Shrewsbury in the semi-finals.

In September (2018) Bowyer's appointment was made permanent, and then come the end of the season he’d repeated the play-off feat, only this time he won promotion after his side upset Sunderland in the final following a dramatic 94th minute winner.

The controversial nature of Charlton’s owner Roland Duchatelet combined with the fact Bowyer’s short-term contract expires at the end of the season means that there’s always going to be a degree of uncertainty when it comes to his future at The Valley.

However, while it would come as no surprise if Huddersfield are interested in Bowyer’s services, given his meritorious managerial performances over the last 18 months, at the time of writing there’s no concrete evidence linking him to the Terriers’ post, with 42-year-old’s abrupt emergence as the frontrunner in the betting undoubtedly the result of a sizeable punt.

When quizzed on his move in the market, Bowyer told London News Online:

“I don’t know why – because I don’t know anything about it. Everyone just goes on the odds and think ‘but that means he is leaving’.

“So it’s crazy. I’ve not heard anything. Nothing has come through to me.

“It’s flattering but at the end of the day we have turned things around a bit here.

“I haven’t spoken to my agent and he hasn’t called me. So I don’t know where it has come from.”

Music to the ears of Charlton fans.

Even if Huddersfield were to showcase their interest in Bowyer’s services, why would he leave?

The new season may be in its infantry but already Charlton are 10 points and 20 places better off than struggling Huddersfield who are void of confidence and direction down in the drop zone, with just a point on the board to date.

There’s no doubt that Bowyer has the potential to go far in the managerial arena, and given their current woes would Huddersfield really be a forward move at this time? The answer is no.


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