Guy Luzon was brave with his team selection against Crystal Palace. And, arguably, very naive.
The Capital One Cup clash on Wednesday (September 23) was an opportunity to get one over local rivals and another over former boss, the divisive Alan Pardew.
While Palace rested a clutch of stars they were still able to rely on the likes of Wilfried Zaha and Dwight Gayle, both head and shoulders above the side from south-east London.
Charlton, leaving out their bigger names for league action at the weekend, were left with the kids and very little experience.
The final score of 4-1 to the Eagles flattered Charlton and was very much according to the form book.
The Addicks can take a few crumbs of comfort from their cup exit.
Firstly, it was a learning experience for the young players.
Also, two very soft penalties and a sending-off – all awarded against Alou Diarra – meant Charlton were able to hide behind the referee’s decisions as a reasonable excuse for this drubbing.
The fans were also given proud reminders of how far the club has come since the dark days it shared Selhurst Park in the 1980s. Little has changed at Palace’s ground.
It’s inexplicable, for example, that at least half the seats have views obscured by huge posts and you wonder when Palace will decide they have to belatedly upgrade their rickety old home.
It was also a relief to know the Addicks don’t have musical celebrations to goals.
Snarking aside, goalkeeper Nick Pope did have a faultless game for the second match in a week – although with seven goals conceded it shows how bad the men in front of him have played. His spectacular double save at the end was a joy to watch.
Apart from that the gulf in class was easy to see.
Looking at those previous results does give an insight into why Luzon decided to go for youth against Palace. It’s arguable the first 11 would not have done any better but that won’t stop the boss coming under scrutiny. Nothing upsets a fans more than losing to rivals.
Matters change quickly in football. A few weeks ago, for example, Charlton were dreaming of a promotion campaign.
Hopefully, injury-hit players including the likes of Simon Makienok, Johnnie Jackson, Reza Ghoochannejhad, Igor Vetokele and Cristian Ceballos will be returning to add some much-needed attacking spark to the side soon.
Charlton go to Cardiff on Saturday in need of at least a point to arrest the mini-slump. But with the five listed above all missing again according to Luzon, it could be another tough weekend.
Take a suspended Diarra out of the mix and most Charlton fans would now bite your hand off for a draw in Wales.