Reading - Road To The Top..
McDermott Leaves Royals
Today Reading Chairman, Sir John Madejski, announced that Brian McDermott had left Reading Football Club. This has come as a surprise as McDermott, 50, had lead The Royals into the Play-Off final last season but lost in the end to the Welsh side, Swansea. Brian McDermott enjoyed his career as manager of Reading FC winning the Manager of the Month award twice in his first two months.
Madejski had this to say on the matter; "The whole of Reading Football Club and I are sad to say that Brian McDermott is to leave his post as manager in the next few days. Brian, a good friend of mine, had said that he believed he took Reading as far as he could and is now letting another manager lead Reading to future glory." he continued "I would like to thank Brian for everything he has done with Reading and wish him the best of luck for the rest of his career."
When Sir John Madejski was asked whether he had managrs in mind for the job, he answered with; "I have a few managers in mind, but nothing is certain or even close yet."
Madejski offers McCarthy the Reading Job
Reading FC's chairman, Sir John Madjski, has been dealt a blow today as Mick McCarthy has rejected the offer from Reading to become the successor of Brian McDermott who resigned earlier this week. Madejski was clearly disheartened when asked how he felt about the rejection; "Mick McCarthy and I had come to an agreement but it all fell apart when Mick's family did not want to move down to Reading. I will have to carry on searching, with the help of the coaching team. We are still open to applications as no other offers have been made as of yet."
The odds of the next manager of Reading are as follows:
- Paul Lambert 4-1
- Ian Harte 9-2
- Iain Dowie 13-1
- Roberto Martinez 15-1
- Stuart Pearce 40-1
- Nathanael Roberts 100-1
The outsider, Nathanael Roberts, was part of the Reading academy in the early 1980's but failed to make an appearance for the Royals in the 4 years he spent there.
Former Youth Star Roberts Named as Royals Manager
Nathanael Roberts has been named as the new manager of Reading FC. He is the successor of Brian McDermott who led the Royals to the Play-Off finals last year only to be beaten by Swansea City. Roberts who was part of the academy at Reading was named as the new manager of Reading at 2pm today. Madejski had this to say; "Nathanael Roberts is a good friend of mine. We share the same ambitions and hopes for the club and we both believe we can gain promotion from the NPower Champonship this coming season." Roberts had this to say; "I'm ecstatic about getting the job, they have been my favourite club since I became interested in football. I used to dream about getting a job like this."
Roberts' first job as new manager was to try and offload unneeded players and bring in new, strong players. When asked if he could say who he wanted to sell and bring in, he said "I have not chosen anyone yet, everyone will have to impress me."
First Signing For Roberts
Ross Barkley has today confirmed that he is joining Reading FC on loan until the end of the season. He is said to be delighted with the move and has admired the club since he was a little boy. Roberts has said today that he is hoping Ross Barkley can make an immediate impact during the season.
Nathanael Roberts hinted at some more moves in the transfer window; "I do not think the squad is of the standard needed to compete in this division yet. At the end of this window i believe the squad will be ready to compete and win the Championship."
Reading's pre-season was a hard one, they traveled all over Europe and played some top class teams, including Fiorentina & Valencia.
Basingstoke 0 - 6 Reading
Reading 1 - 3 Fiorentina
Wigan 0 - 3 Reading
Valencia 2 - 0 Reading
Reading 5 - 0 Alfreton
Reading's top performer was Jason Roberts with 6 goals, 2 vs. Basingstoke, 1 vs. Fiorentina, 2 vs. Wigan and 1 vs. Alfreton. Reading's performances gave Roberts hope of success in the forthcoming season, "I know we got beaten by some good teams but we can not expect to be beating these teams yet. I think only one result mattered and that is the Wigan game, we battled hard and got the win we deserved, with Jason getting two and Ross getting the other." he continued "I believe that the Wigan game showed that we can get the result against some top draw opposition if we battle hard and stay concentrated."
Ross Barkley was the first player to join Roberts' new Reading era, but which players would follow Ross to the Madejski Stadium?
Another Everton player joined the Royals on a season long loan deal, but this time Nigerian forward - Victor Anichebe. Nathanael Roberts is said to be a great admirer of Anichebe; "He is a great player and character in the dressing room, he has adapted amazingly to life at Reading and I am sure he can keep it up on the pitch."
The Irishman, Rory Delap, was next in at Reading, just like Barkley and Anichebe, Delap is also on loan at Reading. The 35 year old Irishman was delighted to move to a club with such promise and hoped he could get lots of games as he was nearing the end of his career and wasn't getting games at Stoke City.
Israeli midfielder, Gai Assulin, also came in on loan, this time from Manchester City. He is to be used as cover for Barkley, McAnuff and Kebe.
Reading's fifth signing was Colombian center-forward, Darwin Quintero. The striker has proven himself in Mexico and Roberts hopes he can play even better in England.
Amdy Faye is the final signing of the summer window. The central midfielder was a free agent and Roberts was keen to snap him up as soon as he finished his 2 week trial with the Royals.
Three players have gone out on loan - Jordan Obita (Charlton) Michael Antonio (Notts County) Shaun Cummings (Crystal Palace). The only player to leave the club permanently was Hal Robson-Kanu, the Welshman was "not going to feature in Roberts' plans and was to be offloaded as soon as possible."
Nathanael Roberts looked ruthless in the transfer window, signing 6 players in total and offloading 4. He seemed certain in which players he wanted and did not stop until he had them.
Some of August
Nathanael Roberts' first game in football management was against Hull City. It started on a high with Jobi McAuff sprinting through the Hull defence and rifling a shot in the top corner, 1-0 to Reading. This remained the score when the teams went in for half-time. After half-time both teams seemed strong and cancelled each other out. The next goal came after 65 minutes and an own goal from Hull City defender, Andy Dawson, put Reading 2-0 up. Hull got one back just five minutes after Reading's second, 2-1. Five minutes from the end Jame Harper shot from 20 yards and a mistake from Adam Federici gifted Corry Evans a tap-in, 2-2. Roberts was angered that his team had thrown away a two goal lead so easily.
MOTM: Adam Federici. A good game from the Reading 'keeper with one major mistake which did not stop Federici grabbing the Man of the Match award.
Final Score: Hull City 2 - 2 Reading
The second match in Reading's season was against AFC Wimbledon in the League Cup and it wasn't as calm as Royals supporters would have hoped. In fact, Wimbledon went 1-0 up in the 29th minute through Sam Hatton. Reading did not react well and only equalised in the 53rd minute, a goal headed from Jason Roberts after a wonderful cross from half-time substitute Rory Delap. The game was then equal with both teams getting chances. Reading came closest hitting the bar from an Amdy Faye header. But, in extra-time, a run from Adam Le Fondre gave Reading hope and he cheekily chipped the Wimbledon goalkeeper from 10 yards.
MOTM: Rory Delap. An assist from the Irishman gave him the edge over team-mates Jason Roberts & Adam Le Fondre, who both scored a goal each.
Final Score: AFC Wimbledon 1 - 2 Reading (AET)
The League Cup second round draw saw Reading play away to Sheffield Wednesday. Other interesting games are:
Dagenham & Redbridge vs. Liverpool & Huddersfield vs. Aston Villa.
Reading vs. Peterborough was a thrilling 4-3 win for Reading. A brace from Emile Sinclair put the Posh 2-0 up leading into half-time. But Roberts' men came out fighting with Le Fondre scoring just 2 minutes into the half, and Karacan followed in Le Fondre's footsteps scoring in the 56th minute. Emile Sinclair then finished his hat-trick with a header from close range. In the 73rd minute Roberts brought on inspirational holding midfielder Mikele Leigertwood and he assisted Reading's third which was scored, again, by Le Fondre. From here Reading kept pressing and were the dominating team, a fourth goal looked inevitable. In the 87th minute Reading's 'inevitable' goal came and Le Fondre had scored again, this time from a header. Le Fondre had got the first hat-trick in the Roberts era.
MOTM: Adam Le Fondre. No one could have done better than ALF today. He was flawless from start to finish. He scored the perfect hat-trick in one of the best games of the season so far.
Final Score: Reading 4 - 3 Peterborough.
Reading travelled to Fratton Park to play Portsmouth and big things were expected of Reading's Adam Le Fondre, who last game scored a hat-trick. He played upfront with two other men today, Victor Anichebe and Darwin Quintero. The first goal came after 68 long minutes and it was Portsmouth who struck first with Benjani. The Pompey forward scored a curling effort from 18 yards. As players started to get tired, they started to get clumsy, and a flying tackle from Alex Pearce saw him get straight red carded. 10 men Royals equalised in the dying moments of the game through Ian Harte. The left-back had drifted toward the back post from a corner and nodded it past the 'keeper.
MOTM: Jamie Ashdown (Portsmouth). The Pompey 'keeper showed great composure to keep Reading at bay for so long in the match before lazy defending cost him a clean sheet.
Final Score: Portsmouth 1 - 1 Reading.
Next the Royals played host to high-flying Millwall, they were sat in 4th place before the game and were still there after as they snatched all three pooints in the dying moments. Hamer Bouazza scored after a magnificent run cutting the Reading defence in half. and cooly taking it round Adam Federici who was left flapping. They doubled their lead less than ten minutes later through Darius Henderson. Reading did manage to claw one back through a fumbled effort by the Millwall goalkeeper which gifted Jason Roberts a tap-in.
MOTM: Hamer Bouazza (Millwall). The pacey Algerian winger toyed with the Reading back line all day long with his turns and skills. He also got a goal.
Final Score: Reading 1 - 2 Millwall.