Skip to main content

Ch-Ch-Changes

The decision to sack Stam seems obvious, in many ways. Our terrible run is well documented, and you only have to look at the table to understand that we haven't been good enough this season. There is, however, a lingering doubt in my mind about whether it was the correct decision.

You only have to look at the players to know that the Dutchman was almost universally loved and admired. As I mentioned back in September - Stam was the heart of this team. Players who wouldn't have had a second look at Reading suddenly found themselves donning blue and white hoops. I'm certain that defensive additions wanted to learn from a world class centre-back, and the motivations for the Dutch contingent seem obvious.

I would love to be wrong, but I can see this causing a further dip in form where the players have lost morale. Yes they 'should be professional', but sometimes life isn't that simple. A change of management can be tumultuous in any occupation.

The style wasn't well received by the fans, but it's worth noting that Stam has said multiple times that the tepid, dull football that was on display isn't necessarily the way that he wanted to play. Obviously, he is ultimately responsible but why then bring in Paul Clement - a man who Derby fans have very little love for due to his style of play.

Should Clement make an immediate impact, and we win tonight's game, then the decision will be a good one, at this point there's no place for sentimentality, but if it takes time to adjust to his style we'll be in even worse trouble.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Reading FC Season Review | 2020/2021

When your season starts with your manager having to watch your opening match from the hotel because he's not been hired in time to beat the quarantine, anything above getting relegated should probably be classed as a success. And Reading exceeded surely even the most optimistic of pre-season predictions. Veljko Paunovic Veljko Paunovic almost exclusively utilised a core group of players in a 4-2-3-1, only changing things when enforced. One of the consequences of that is that Reading had more players play over 3,000 minutes than any other side (roughly three-quarters of the season). That consistency is often seen as a good thing, but in a condensed season, it surely contributed to the injury woes. It can't have helped that the manager also used the second-fewest number of players over the course of the season. His substitutions were often categorised as late (Reading's subs played just 16 minutes on average, only Norwich's played fewer) or non-existent (Reading were 19t

The Big Man Cometh

In the grand scheme of things, I consider myself a bit of an Andy Carroll sceptic. Reading have a penchant for signing players that spend the majority of their time in the physio room, and Carroll aligns with that transfer policy to a tee. It must be said that given the lack of other options, and a short term deal that has no real risk for the club, there isn't any big downside in gambling on the Geordie. With that being said, even I was calling out for the introduction for The Big Man at half-time on Saturday. Reading had a heap of possession just outside the box in the opening forty-five but couldn't translate that into chances. Drinkwater had a tame shot saved after good work from Yiadom, but the best chance of the half fell to Puscas after a fortuitous deflection off a Forest player. The flag went up for offside but it didn't matter as the striker couldn't convert anyway. Both managers had done a fairly good job at negating the other side's strengths. Forest'

"We’ve never been so flat"

There have been some abysmal Reading performances this season, I don't really need to list them out. But in that dirge, there are two performances that I haven't fully come to terms with my feelings on. The visits of Sheffield United and Luton to The SCL are a clash between feeling like the concept behind the tactics was  reasonable and the implementation clearly not working. But there's one issue with my reading of the game; Veljko himself wasn't happy with either performance. In fact, he used the exact same word to label both - 'flat'. Reading's three in midfield meant they could cover SU attacking midfielders and wing backs And yet, the set-ups for both seem to perfectly explain why the team may be flat. Against The Blades they switched to a 4-3-2-1, with Ejaria dropping deeper to form the three alongside Drinkwater and Laurent. That trio were effectively tasked with stopping McGoldrick and Gibbs-White from being able to come central. On Wednesday we may