Guy Luzon has seized on something which has passed us by. Charlton have been just a little too soft.

Was last year’s Fair Play award for the Addicks a badge of honour? Or a sign of weakness?

Judging by the Israeli’s signings, he thinks the latter.

Within minutes of the friendly against West Ham, a pattern emerged. Hammer gets the ball, goes down and wins a free-kick from the sympathetic referee Kevin Friend.

OK, this was a team of Premier League softies, practised in the art of theatrics, which was highlighted by the ridiculous dive and subsequent booking for Dimitri Payet in Saturday’s goalless draw. But, nevertheless, there was an intent and underlying ruthlessness from the Addicks, exemplified by their new talisman up front.

It’s astounding how Simon Makienok has arrived at Charlton with little more than a cursory mention.

You can’t exactly miss the 6ft 7in Dane with the Andy Carroll-esque haircut and a bizarre tattoo of an owl on his thigh.

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He exemplifies a new grit from Luzon’s men. It’s a quality missing from previous seasons, where opposition centre-backs had an easy ride, often leaving Igor Vetokele with a few scars for good measure.

Makienok, on a season-long loan from Palermo, was strong in the air, battled for everything on the ground and left the Hammers’ defence nursing a few bruises – not bad for a pre-season friendly.

Another new man was 6ft 4in German Patrick Bauer. Partnering the 6ft 3in Alou Diarra at centre-back, he looks as stern as they come.

In midfield another new man El-Hadji Ba is no lightweight. The first contribution of his replacement Ahmed Kashi’s was to send a West Ham midfielder high in the air.

It will be a stretch to say this side could bully the rest of the Championship - there was no malice in their aggression - but they can kiss goodbye to that Fair Play trophy.

There’s also beauty alongside the brawn, highlighted by the majestic skills of Tony Watt and Johann Gudmundsson.

But in Makienok they now have a protector.

On top of that, the giant Addicks could be a set-piece force in stark contrast to the feeble efforts of previous years.

In fact, it was relative midget Morgan Fox - at around a tiny 6ft 1in - who benefitted from his towering colleagues by exploiting space to get on the end of two corners.

There was an undeniable buzz on leaving The Valley on Saturday. It wasn’t a roaring crescendo of optimism, more the gentle murmuring sound which accompanies the mass nodding of agreement.

It’s too early to get excited – and defeat at QPR in two weeks will likely be met by cries of Armageddon from the stands – but the signings seem to add an extra dimension to a Charlton side which has lacked determination and ambition in recent years.

They may take a month or two to gel – and a couple more signings are needed to bulk up the squad, with the target of Wolves’ James Henry the most appealing – but Luzon’s new-look team are already starting to look play-off potential in what’s set to be a very competitive Championship this year.