When it was revealed Tony Watt had been dropped for Saturday’s curtain-raiser, Charlton manager Guy Luzon may as well have donned ancient, feminine robes and screeched at the North Stand: “He’s not the Messiah – he’s a very naughty boy.”
A training ground spat in midweek saw the terrace favourite banished to the substitute’s bench.
And spat it must have been, because if it was anything more serious, Watt would have been nowhere near the sidelines.
Instead he was ordered to sit it out on the naughty step, in what must have allowed him some valuable thinking time
With brilliance often comes insolence. So it was right that Luzon – Watt’s former mentor at Standard Liege – laid down the law straight away.
It was also very welcome that a contrite Watt was unleashed on a surprised QPR at half-time.
The recently relegated west Londoners edged the first-half and saw little too worry them in Charlton’s starting 11. Although the new signings to SE7 were solid, the side lacked fizz.
Within minutes of the restart, Watt got on the end of a flowing move to put Charlton 1-0 up. And not long later he would set up Morgan Fox for the second.
Labelled as trouble throughout his career, Watt needs a little discipline along with the love, and Luzon – Charlton’s Terry Jones – can provide that.
He may not be the messiah but he’s not far off that for his adoring fans.
The 2-0 win made a mockery of the Addicks’ odds as second favourites for the drop as, after that competent first 45 minutes, the hosts were rampant.
• Also online: Will Charlton use brute force to bully opponents?
QPR’s own golden child, England striker Charlie Austin, hardly got a sniff against the stylish Charlton centre-backs Allou Diarra and Patrick Bauer.
Full-backs Chris Solly and Fox were ruling the flanks, while El Hadji Ba in centre-midfield gave more than a glimpse of his undoubted talent and Jordan Cousins and Johann Gudmundsson were at their consistent best either side of him.
Giant Simon Makienok was a constant thorn in the Rangers’ defence’s side and his stepover for the first goal provided as stylish an assist as you’ll see.
He was also winning everything in the air in his own box while defending set-pieces.
In goal, the rookie Nick Pope was faultless and completely deserved his clean sheet, outshining his experienced opposite number Robert Green.
But the pick of the players was Ahmed Kashi. The deep-lying midfielder’s first involvement was a pass to the advertising board. After that he was immense.
He had relatively few minutes in pre-season and it looked like the Algerian would be a squad player at best.
But his all-action display won over The Valley. It was like watching a Charlton cult hero of yesteryear, Radostin Kishishev.
Of course, it’s far too early to get excited. But the signs aren’t bad at all.
Luzon still wants more bodies in but the foundations are certainly in place.