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Reading 0-1 Watford

New manager, new Reading. Right? Wrong. The same frailties were further emphasised by Watford's loss of a man in first half stoppage time, with Reading still unable find a goal at home. The Royals now haven't scored at home in a month and a half since Simon Cox's goal just after the hour mark against Rotherham. Games against Charlton, Watford, and Bolton have only produced two goals in total, with Reading scoring neither.
Not being able to make games I've been relying on reports from family, and based off those it seems like business as usual at the Madejski. Obita being pushed back to left back, with Blackman coming in in front of him was exactly what I've been calling for, and in the first minute it almost proved fruitful, with a delicious cross from Blackman being volleyed over by Murray at the back post.
With the good coming down the left it's hard to see why so much of our focus was down the right. Gunter, admittedly freed up without the captaincy, combin…

The Managerial Merry-Go-Round

After the dismissal of Brian McDermott in March 2013 the obvious candidate was Nigel Adkins, who had been fired in his own slightly outrageous circumstances from Southampton but a couple of months earlier. He faced an impossible task saving us from relegation back to the Championship, but over the summer the rebuilding started for his first, and only full season in charge.
Undoubtedly promises made to him by Zingarevich never materialised, and glamour signing Royston Drenthe hinted at the manager not being the one completely in charge. Equally the loss of club talisman Jimmy Kébé just days after a 6-0 hammering in the League Cup away at Peterborough wasn't the start anybody wanted. Despite the setbacks Reading mounted a spirited play-off challenge, but failed to get over the line missing out on the final day of the season with scenes that we'd all rather forget.
The hangover from last season never really lifted, with attendances down and, again, having key members of the squa…

Cardiff 2-1 Reading

Should preface this with the fact I wasn't actually at the game
Going into the game Cardiff had won four on the bounce at home, so a loss was to be expected but it was the manner of the defeat that is disappointing for Reading fans. Alex Pearce putting the ball in the wrong net - again - before dragging Le Fondre back for a penalty, an incident he as sent off for after the referee finally found a red card to show him.
Yet again defensive lapses cost The Royals in a game they dominated for large periods. The first half saw Reading have 61% possession, and still went in 2-0 down thanks to Pearce. Worse still is that Cardiff were woeful, winning a measly 55% of challenges and hitting wayward passes a third of the time.
Pearce's sending off saw Obita drop to LB, with Gunter moving into the middle. Cox came off for McCleary, and in the one positive he looked good despite being out for 6 months. One of our better chances came when he ran at the defense and played the ball out wide t…

Reading 0-1 Charlton

Despite good wins over Rotherham and Blackpool Saturday afternoon's loss to Charlton Athetlic means that The Royals have only picked up 8 points from a possible 33, and only won twice in the last 11. The latest result comes despite Reading having 61% possession, twenty shots, and all twelve corners in a game which they dominated but rarely threatened - as the fact that only two of those twenty shots hit the target illustrates perfectly.
The game started well for the home side, Murray nodding a cross from the right just over the bar. His link up play with Mackie and Cox was one of the positive points, although as the stats show it never led to much. Part of this was down to overplaying, 'the trouble with Arsenal is...' style. Nobody seemed to want to shoot from the edge of the area, and thus Charlton could easily regroup and frustrate us.
Obita's crossing didn't help much, almost every ball in from the left was easily dealt with. In fact, if you want a case study o…

Blackpool [Preview]

[Hopeful] Prediction: 2-1
Reading are not on a good run, that's obvious to everyone. Winless in 6 with only four goals to show for it, and goalless in four of the games. Pressure is quite clearly on, with the early season done and dusted it's placed Reading 17th in a league that many fans would have expected to do better in, irrespective of injuries. Some selections have been peculiar, especially away at Brentford, but there's also been good teams - Derby, Bournemouth, and Sheffield Wednesday will all be pushing for, at least, the play-offs this year.
That's why the next three fixtures are crucial. A broken Blackpool travel to the Madejski in a game that should be a simple win for The Royals, but stranger things have happened. 1 away win in 22, The Tangerines were utterly dominated in a 5-1 thrashing in January that saw Adam Le Fondre bag his second hat-trick in as many home games. However the 'Opposition View' on The Tilehurst End seems to think that Pogrebnya…

Reading 0-3 Derby

Pre-Match Prediction: 0-3

After having seen Reading been dominated by Derby away at Pride Park in the cup it was obvious that Derby were going to be tough opposition in the league, especially with key players still out of the Reading squad. As the line-ups were announced it became clear just how many ex-Forest players we have; Cox, Gunter, and Mackie all set off the away end. I’ll be honest, I don’t remember a lot of the game as I’m clearly very late putting up this report but here's a breakdown of the goals and the one thing I do remember: Obita being caught out on the Derby counter: Rather than being on the half way line for attacking corners Obita would stand just in front of the attacker and, presumably try to stop the ball before it got to him. This never worked. Every single time all that happened was that Obita was bypassed and the attacker had a one-on-one with whoever was on the halfway line – normally Gunter if I’m right. Obviously Gunter’s incredibly competent, but it’…

Sheffield Wednesday 1-0 Reading

Reading will feel suitably robbed in a match where Sheffield Wednesday managed aboslutely nothing of note. Glenn Murray's missed penalty proved crucial, and a couple of good stops from Wednesday's man between the sticks, Keiren Westwood kept Wednesday in the game. The game started slowly, and quickly Mikkel Andersen - in for the injured Adam Federici - took his first touch in a Reading shirt, seven years after joining the club.
Pearce was fairly lucky to not give away a penalty himself, blatantly pulling shirts from a corner. Luckily the referee - who had a poor game - didn't take action. Down the other end however he was more active; Murray broke through and was felled in the box. The perpetrator received a yellow for his troubles, and may be lucky to have remained on the field considering the nature of the foul. Unfortunately Murray's penalty - while well struck - was straight off the legs of the keeper, and cannoned out.
Although a lot of the Akpan scapegoating may…

Summer Transfers

Reading finally broke their self-imposed transfer embargo with the signing of Simon Cox, and from there some business has been done, but perhaps not as much as Reading fans would have wanted considering Adkins hankering to "strengthen all over". Yet again Reading's rhetoric somewhat overstates their actions, although I doubt they will have expected the takeover to take as long as it has getting through the Football League tests.
In
Simon Cox | Nottingham Forest Cox, the first permanent signing in over a year has started his second term pretty well. Although not having the best game back at the City Ground he scored the only goal in the game with Middlesbrough, and got a consolation against Huddersfield. However he's definitely not cut out for the lone striker role, so let's hope that he doesn't have to play it too often.
Jamie Mackie | Nottingham Forest (loan) The quintessential workhorse, Mackie hasn't really had a chance to impress yet but with half the …

Nottingham Forest 4-0 Reading

It wasn't a happy afternoon in the East Midlands where, for the first time this season, Reading's inexperience really shone through. With The Pog out injured it fell to Cox to lead the line, with Ryan Edwards just behind him. As normal there was an almost incestual link between the two clubs, with Michail Antonio starting for the home side, plus former Forest players Cox and Gunter in hoops.
Interestingly the home support didn't seem to be overjoyed with the returns. "Simon Cox, he's always offside" rang round the ground on multiple occasions, while Gunter was subjected to the fact he, "used to play for a big club". I'm assuming they were talking about Tottenham.
Excitingly Kuhl made his first start, and he looked calm and composed on the ball. He completed 86% of passes, although only 'completed' two of nine crosses - most of them from corners. In that stat Obita didn't fare much better, not finding anybody with any of his five cro…

Reading 1-0 Ipswich

The first home game of the season with a largely happy one for The Royals, as the team started off with great intent - within seconds of the start Cox skips through the defence, but his shot was well blocked.
Blackman, quickly becoming known for his audacious long distance attempts, fired wide from thirty yards before Gunter brilliantly tracked back to stop Royals' legend Jay Tabb from putting the ball into the box, although his delivery from the corner raises questions why he wasn't in charge of set pieces in his days here. The corner was scrambled around in the area, eventually being cleared off the line. Corners aren't the only set piece that Ipswich have in their arsenal, Elliot Hewitt's long throw caused some problems in the defence.
Hector looks a lot more comfortable on the ball than Morrison, although his passing accuracy (60%) is actually down from Morro's last week away at Wigan (67%). Overall the team's passing is confident, and assured - if not pe…

Sean, Why?

I don't think I've ever seen a team quite as united as Reading. Now obviously I buy into that because I'm also a fan, and I follow the team closer than any other. I see the banter between the team on twitter, and read about the positive atmosphere on Charles Watts webchats. Therefore it's quite surprising to hear that Sean Morrison is pushing for a move to Cardiff.
Don't get me wrong, I don't think anybody is suggesting that he's worth £4m, and to sell him at that price - with a valid replacement brought in - would be ludicrously good business for the club. However he wants to go to a division rival? That stings a little. It's bringing back all sorts of memories of the 'Matt Mills incident', only with less middle finger involved. ALF obviously moved there during the summer too, but by all reports only so that The Royals could pay the impending tax bill which he can probably be let off for.
There's players at the club who could be playing i…

Because It's The Cup

It's been 102 days since that soul crushing Saturday afternoon at the Madejski, as fans stormed the pitch and then very quickly deserted it again. A long, protracted summer followed. The ownership saga rolled on, with new names being linked on an almost daily basis. Both front runners back in May, Teddy Sagi and Mohit Burman, faded into another 'what if?'. Weeks went by with absolutely no news, as deals fell through at the hands of the mysterious Vibrac Corporation.
Slowly, however, it seemed like something was happening. A young businessman by the name of Samrit Bunditkitsada seemed to be close to taking over from SJM, with a rival group - allegedly containing the much demonised Chris Samuelson - not far behind. Details emerged that Samrit was the head of a quartet interested in purchasing the club, and the entire Reading fanbase appeared to send him friend requests on Facebook. The contrast between the Thai's open, enthusiastic communication with fans, and the club&…

"It's Just A Friendly"

Reading 1-3 Swansea
Our only home friendly comes the week before the season-proper is about to get under way against a good Swansea side whose quality told in a brief first half spurt. It was also the homecoming of one 'Gylfi Sigurdsson', and it's not hard to see the programme is right when it describes him as one of the most technically gifted players to ever pull on a Reading shirt.
The only thing of interest in the first five minutes is Lukasz Fabianksi's terrible distribution, and indeed Nick Blackman almost managed to capitalise after one of the keeper's mis-clearances fell to him, but a fantastic last ditch tackle robbed him of any chance to shoot. Swansea responded well, and a long ball from Jonjo Shelvey - who seemed to forget at points that the game was a friendly - split the defence but Bafetimbi Gomis just missed bringing the ball down, and in the end it ran harmlessly through to Alex McCarthy.
Early on in my notes I wrote that any team who can quickly…

Is Samrit Bunditkitsada Too Good To Be True?

Samrit Bunditkitsada's progressing takeover of Reading has caused a great stir on social media sites, with the man himself happy to accept Facebook requests on his 'personal' page. With all the hype around him many have been trying to temper expectations, with the memory of Anton still fresh. That said, the 39-year-old has won over many fans already. In many ways he's the antithesis of the current regime with his open communication, compared to that of Zingarevich era when the club were conspicuously silent - even in the face of ever growing concerns from the fans - which is evidently garnering a positive reaction.

The biggest issue for many is how much Bunditkitsada's actually worth. A reporter allegedly told BBCRB that he's got no more than £180m, a fair bit less than the 'billionaire' that GetReading seem to suggest - although that's fairly insignificant if he's just the head of a consortium, as the paper have reported (Charles Watts on twitt…

Reading's XI

It feels like Summer has only just started, but the team are already back in for the start of pre-season so I've decided to take a look at what team we could put out if the season started today. With the only real loss being Le Fondre, who was so often found on the bench anyway, plus our previously announced releasees it's not too far from the team that finished the season. With the return of Karacan, and other players hopefully being able to recuperate after the impressive amount of knocks our team seemed to pick up in the second half of the season, it may even be stronger.

4-2-3-1 seems to Adkins' preferred way to line up any side, and our only real weaknesses could be on the left wing - Blackman (although HRK is another option) generally looked solid last season even if his rocky start lives long in the memory, but he needs to improve his final ball if he was given the winger role permanently - and our lack of pace at the back - I went with Morro and Pearce as I think …

Adam Le Fondre: The Right Move?

Adam Le Fondre notching 39 goals in 104 league appearances doesn't tell the whole story of a player who's scored more goals from then bench than any other player in a Premier League season. So often left out of the starting XI, but still finished the club's top scorer in all of his three seasons here.

ALF seems to have always been disenchanted with his role at the club, seeing himself as more than a 'super sub', and the statistics would somewhat agree with him. Of the 27 games he started this season we won 13, or 48%. When not in the team that figure drops to 6 from 21, or 29%. Admittedly he was on the bench for the tough December run, and in matches away at Burnley, and Wigan, which may slightly skew this in his favour.

For a team who were 16th in terms of goals from open play, and 20th in shots per game a clinical goalscorer is key. Le Fondre had the second best conversion rate, behind Hernandez, in the Premier League last season scoring on 22% of his shots. Unfo…

The Ownership Showdown

News of Reading's sale has been spreading fast ever since Charles Watts and Jonny Fordham revealed on twitter that the club were in talks with two interested parties. It has since emerged that the club is up for a price of £1 (plus debts - which reportedly stand at £38m), a fact that news outlets have been quick to exploit for shallow headlines. According to Fordham, Zingaravich resigned from the board, and handed his shares back in January which would explain the frantic pleas from Madejski for someone to buy us.

Indian businessman Mohit Burman, who sits on the board of Dabur India Ltd., gave a huge sign of intent when offering to help pay the club's upcoming HMRC tax bill of around £3.5m if they entered into exclusive talks with him. He owns 46% of the King's XI Punjab - a team who have finally turned turned profitable three years after initial estimates. Slightly worryingly in 2010 there was a warrant for his arrest after "failing to appear [at] a hearing on not fi…

Pre-Season Friendlies

Charlie Watts has announced The Royals' pre-season fixtures. As announced on twitter last night there will be no overseas tour, and instead all the fixtures will be domestic. Another Swansea home fixture, which is always lovely to be reminded of your shortfalls. Without further ado, the fixtures.

Reading FC’s pre-season fixtures
Tues, July 15 - Exeter City (a) 7.30pm
Sat, July 19 - Yeovil Town (a) 3pm
Sat, July 26 - Wycombe (a) 3pm
Tues, July 29 - Stevenage (a) 7.30pm
Sat, August 2 - Swansea (h) 3pm

Players Released

Just three days since the end of the season, and the club have announced that five players are the leave in the off-season when their contracts come to an end. Jobi McAnuff, Mikele Leigertwood, Kaspars Gorkss, Stuart Taylor, and Wayne Bridge have all played their last games for the club, and the latter has played his last game in professional football as he's simultaneously announced his retirement. Although this announcement isn't a particular surprise there's a definite sadness in letting three key members of our 2011-12 Championship winning squad.

Jobi McAnuff
2009-2014 | 206 apps, 16 goals


Jobi followed Brendan Rodgers across from Watford where he immediately cemented his place in the team. In 2011 he was handed the captain's armband, and has led from the front since - taking part in every Premier League game last season. Although not a prolific goalscorer, his strike to cement our place in the 2010-11 play-off final will live long in the memory.

Mikele Leigertwood
201…

The End of Season Review

It's hard to see this season as anything other than predominantly disappointing. Had other teams taken chances when we slipped up then it would look a lot worse, and in the end achieving the points tally we did is slightly misleading. Then again, as we're often told teams finish where they deserve in the league and there are numerous reasons why this Reading side only just missed out on the play-offs. Had we picked up an extra point from somewhere then we'd have achieved our, maybe slightly conservative, aim for this year; but hey-ho if you finish sixth on goal-difference it's effectively the same as comfortably finishing third.

Poor Performances

Obviously the main reason for any side not reaching their potential is under-performing on the pitch for whatever reason. I've split this up into four main areas: games against the top half, home form, games where we conceded the first goal, and dropping easy points.

Record Against Top Half
(5-7-10 22 pts out of 66 | 1-6 - 2-…