This season marks something of a regime change for Charlton. After nearly 15 years under the guidance of highly-rated English manager Alan Curbishley the Addicks head into their first Premiership season without the 48-year-old at the helm.
Former Northern Ireland international Ian Dowie has stepped into the breach and has high expectations to meet. Curbishley brought Charlton back from the brink when they were homeless and penniless, guided the club to promotion and established the Londoners as a Premiership club. His achievements were such that the club have plans to erect a statue in his honour.
The one criticism of Curbishley's tenure is that no matter what approach he adopted the Addicks invariably capitulated towards the end of a long Premiership campaign and threw away a European placed finish season after season. If bright young thing Dowie can halt that seemingly inherent end of term slump then he will become an instant hit with the fans.
He is a confident man, of some pedigree in the lower leagues, and Chairman Richard Murray will expect the fast and hard talking coach to move his club onto the next level.
Dowie began his managerial career as player-manager of QPR's reserves where he learnt first hand how to nurture young players. But made his name as a highly resourceful boss after taking over from Mick Wadsworth at Oldham. Despite the club being in administration, and the associated financial restrictions which were imposed, Dowie managed to take the Latics to the play-off semi-finals in his first season in charge.
It was a remarkable achievement, and people were sitting up and taking notice of Dowie's performance. His motivational skills were, for such a young manager, quite exceptional. And in December 2003 he took over at Championship side Crystal Palace.
The Eagles were languishing near the relegation zone of the First Division and Dowie's brief was simply to preserve their status. The former Eagles player did much more than that and sent the club on a winning streak that saw them clinch a play-off place and a spot in the Premiership at West Ham's expense.
Dowie's mismatched side fought bravely in the top flight but were relegated on the final day of the season. Last term he guided Crystal Palace back to the play-offs but after losing out to Watford he made the switch to Charlton in the summer. On paper the club and manager are a perfect match.
Given the history of their new manager Charlton fans may well be expecting a rise in standards this term, despite the loss of stability Curbishley's exit may have brought about, and Dowie has already moved to strengthen his squad.
In comes Simon Walton from Leeds United, Newcastle's Amdy Faye will add some steal to a depleted midfield, Liverpool defender Djimi Traore replaces Chris Perry but the most exciting signing is that of Middlesbrough striker Jimmy-Floyd Hasselbaink.
The former Holland international has scored bags of goals in the Dutch league, Portuguese League, La Liga and the Premiership and can generally guarantee a goal tally in double figures. The days when the 34-year-old scored 88 goals in 177 games for Chelsea may be behind him but the veteran will add some genuine experience to Charlton's otherwise youthful attack.
His guidance could help eek out even more of a return from last season's top scorer Darren Bent, who ended the campaign as the best English marksman in the Premiership with 18 league goals but bizarrely missed out on a place in the England squad for the World Cup.
That strike duo offer a serious goal threat for the Addicks and if the supply line can be provided from midfield they could fire Dowie's team to a European place. But wingers Dennis Rommedahl and Jerome Thomas will have to improve on last season's performance to make that happen.
A lack of genuine competition for places in midfield could prove problematic, and may well be part of the reason for the famed end of season lull, with four from Matt Holland, Darren Ambrose, Brian Hughes, Faye, Rommedahl and Thomas fighting for a place in Dowies favoured 4-4-2 formation.
A lack of creativity in centre of the pitch is the major concern and could be the difference between a European place and a season of disappointment for the Addicks.