If Alan Pardew has fallen on hard times then he hides it well. Two years ago he was embarking on a season full of promise as manager of a West Ham team whose fortunes, on and off the field, were on the rise. Now he finds himself in charge of a hotchpotch of talents at Charlton, who have just begun a second season in the Championship and are not particularly fancied for a return to the top flight.
Pardew has had his battles with the club's hierarchy over the number of players he has had to sell – Madjid Bougherra, Ben Thatcher, Chris Powell, Marcus Bent and Chris Iwelumo have gone, while Stoke are expected to sign Amdy Faye this week – but he remains optimistic.
Pardew has at least managed to bring in Hameur Bouazza on a season-long loan from Fulham ahead of Saturday's opening win against promoted Swansea. In his new captain and centre-half Mark Hudson, whose third-minute header set the ball rolling, Pardew has the right kind of competitor. "I cannot believe how we got him [on a free from Crystal Palace], but I'm delighted," Pardew said.
Hudson headed in a corner from 16-year-old Jonjo Shelvey that was both needlessly conceded and badly defended by Swansea. They did not do much better with Charlton's second from another set piece five minutes from the end, Andy Gray heading home substitute Grant Basey's free-kick.
Roberto Martinez has peppered his Swansea squad with Spanish and South American players yet he started only with striker Guillem Bauza from that number. Still, with Leon Britton running things in midfield some of their football was pleasing to the eye even if they lacked real potency. Garry Monk's dismissal for a second yellow card midway through the second half did not help.
Goals: Hudson (3) 1-0; Gray 85 (2-0).
Charlton Athletic (4-4-2): Weaver; Semedo, Fortune, Hudson, Youga; Sam (Bouazza, 83), Racon, Shelvey (Holland, 56), Thomas (Basey, 78); Gray, Varney. Substitutes not used: Elliot, Dickson.
Swansea City (4-5-1): De Vries; Collins, Monk, Williams, Painter; Gower (Scotland 76), Bodde, Britton, Pratley (Jordi Gomez, 80); Butler, Bauza (Brandy, 64). Substitutes not used: Tate, Fede.
Referee: R Beeby (Northamptonshire).
Booked: Swansea Bodde, Monk.
Sent off: Monk (69).
Man of the match: Britton.
Attendance: 21,675.Reuse content