Heading in to my 7th season in charge, I really hope to make a proper challenge in the league for a European position.
We finished 11th last season, but Hernandez was on fire. I think that if I can stop the inconsistent form a little, and get Hernandez firing again, there is no reason why a top 10 finish, the highest I will have achieved while at Reading, is not possible, but I aim to try and push just above that, in to 7th or 8th, and in to the Europa League. It will be tough.
My cash flow is very good, I am very good with wages, I look to get players in for free or cheap if I can, and I don’t spend much, while I also try to make money by selling players, most of the time for a profit.
I plan to use some of the money available to strengthen the team, especially in the full back positions, which I have always felt are my weakest link.
SUMMER TRANSFER IN
ALVARO PEREIRA-FREE-33 what I would consider world class left back, and a world class signing. A real coup for Reading, and a top quality left back, who will be a great tutor as well.
STEVEN CAULKER-FREE-released by Spurs, he hasn’t really fulfilled his potential, but I couldn’t resist getting him in on a free transfer, He will add competition and depth to the centre back position, and maybe fulfil his talent with us. Also English.
ALEX SMITHIES-FREE-another young and fine English signing, he was released by Newcastle. Undoubted talent but didn’t get much game time there, I was undecided whether to bring him in, but I decided as he was young and English, to sell Vorm and use McCarthy and Smithies as my keepers, with young academy product Jake Knight as back up to them both.
The only really notable player leaving is Michel Vorm, for 1mil to QPR.
This for me is a big season, so I want to get my tactics and team correct from the word go.
Pre season goes shit, not other word for it really. Ok I made numerous changes and tweaks to formations and players, but I don’t win one pre season game, losing to some really average teams, and drawing to Basingstoke, a last minute friendly I set up to gain confidence for the squad.
NOT THE START I HAD IN MIND.
Why oh why did I doubt myself and the boys, pre season means nothing!
First game, in a fixture list that is not kind, we beat Liverpool. WE DONT BEAT LIVERPOOL, WE THRASH LIVERPOOL! IN A GREAT GAME. MY GREATEST RESULT ID SAY. 6-3 WIN FOR READING.
Kerim Frei grabs himself a goal, whilst an OG and four Hernandez goals complete our goal scoring feats.
This is the start I dreamed of, and Hernandez is banging the goals in already, I hope he keeps it up.
Next game up is Man United away, and we just miss out on a draw, losing 1-0, which is no shame at all.
READING 5-1 MACCLESFIELD-we thrash the league 2 side 5-1 in the league cup, to keep up our good form and goal scoring feats
READING 6-1 SUNDERLAND-another great big score, another great big home win, I am ecstatic with how we have started in the league, especially with the crap pre season form.
STOKE 1-2 READING-a great hard win away to Stoke, a team that are very good now in the league.
BIRMINGHAM 3-6 READING-another 6 goal haul, another great away win, we seem to be flying, but we are conceding goals as well, that may be a worry at some point, but as long as we outscore the opposition I am happy, it’s very entertaining football.
READING 2-0 BLACKBURN-solid 2-0 home win in the league cup 3rd round.
READING 2-0 FULHAM-another 2-0 win, keeping clean sheets now, and winning, all equalling a winning formula. That’s 6 wins in a row now in all competitions.
Hernandez wins player of the month, banging in goal after goal.
My young Belarus prospect wins young player of the month, Miroshkin.
And to top it off, I win manager of the month
We have gone through September unbeaten and sit 3rd in the league, which I am delighted about. If I could keep this form up, I could win the league....... I very much doubt that will happen though, but damn it feels good to be in 3rd spot.
OCTOBER & NOVEMBER
My god, can any game or any team lol, drive you as mad as footy manager or Reading!!!
After our fantastic start, we totally go off the boil and slide right down the table to 8th, winning one game in 9 fixtures. TOTAL SHITE!
READING 1-1 ARSENAL- a decent home draw
WEST BROM 3-2 READING-disappointing away defeat
READING 1-3 CHELSEA-crap home defeat, and with chelski in the cup next I wanted to prove our skills against them
CHELSEA 4-0 READING-league cup result-thrashed. Gutted
READING 1-4 MAN CITY-thrashed at home, form and confidence low, need to turn it around
NEWCASTLE 2-6 READING-fantastic away win, at a good team. 2-2 at half time, my team talk inspires a thrashing of king proportions!
WATFORD 4-0 READING-THIS IS ONE OF THE WORST RESULTS EVER.
After a 6-2 away win, I go to a poor Watford team really, and expect to win, and win well. We lose 4-0, shocking, and a big team shake up coming after some of the performances today!
READING 1-1 BLACKBURN-another bore draw, we need to start winning again, consistently.
SWANSEA 1-2 READING-a really good away win, alot of new players given a chance today to stake a claim to a first team spot.
TOTTENHAM 2-1 READING-an expected away defeat, but we competed well and nearly got a great draw
READING 1-0 LEICESTER-a very tight home win, but 3 points on the board.
READING 1-1 VILLA-home draw
QPR 4-3 READING-we should have won this game, but we lost 4-3. Epic game for the neutrals, but disappointing result.
LIVERPOOL 2-4 READING-well my god, I didn’t see this coming, but we travel to Anfield and pull off a shocking and well deserved 4-2 win. Delighted! CHICHA HAT TRICK!
It really is all about Javier Hernandez, and his goals. He wins the December player of the month award. He is now 3- in game. In his prime. Banging goals in every game. I worry what the hell I will do without him one day!
The board are delighted with my leadership skills, so things at that level are fine, although I would have liked to see a few more wins on the board and a slightly better league position, we sit 8th, so we have a chance to really kick on here and progress. A good opening period overall.
HOT PROSPECTS LEAVE
Unfortunately, 3 of my up and coming highly rated prospects leave.
JAKE KNIGHT-a future England keeper no doubt, will not renew his contract with me, which ends this coming summer. I try to sell him on to generate some funds, but he will not agree a contract with anyone, I decide it is best for him to move on (he joins Liverpool on a free)
MATTHEW DOWSE-another highly rated youngster who has come through my academy, I had high prospects for him being a top notch centre midfielder which us, and possibly for England. He also gets unhappy with the amount of game time he has had and will not negotiate a new contract. So, again, with his contract finishing in the summer, I sell him on to Liverpool for 5 mil, which is good money.
MATT FOWLER-probably the best prospect of the highly rated trio, he is unhappy due to lack of game time. With chichi banging the goals in, and Long to, I cannot find him game time, he really is, the 5th choice striker, but will be a first teamer once other leave etc. Blackburn come in with a 10million pound offer, which I cannot resist, although he will be a star.
Gutted to lose these 3, as I have helped them progress in their careers, but all of them, for me, got unhappy far too quickly at their perceived lack of game time. The other players in front of them where just on better form and doing better. When given a chance they all did well, but did not do anything to dislodge another player.
JAN TRANSFERS IN
CHRISTIAN BENTEKE-LOAN-grabbed Benteke on loan for a second time, with Fowler gone, I feel I need another striker to provide cover. He spent time on loan with us before and did really well, and when he went back to Villa he got a lot more game time. If he does well again for me, I will broker a deal to sign him, as he will have deserved it.
MICAH RICHARDS-available for 1.5 million from Spurs, he is still only 30 years old, and will come in the team to be the number one right back. A class player who has international experience and a lot of titles, he will be a star signing for my defence.
NEIL TAYLOR-Again I grab Taylor from Spurs, for 3 million. Alvaro Periera looks to be leaving at the end of the season, as I cannot agree a new contract with him. Jetro Willems is out injured, so I see this as good business now, and for the future.
JORDAN RHODES-Adam Le Fondre will be leaving in the summer, and Long is getting older, so I think Rhodes is a great deal for 2.5 million. He has scored a lot of goals in the championship and the premier league for Blackburn, but for some reason is out of favour, so I snap him up for a cheaper deal than I had tried once before.
SVEN BENDER-29 year old German international, available for peanuts from Dortmund. I rate him highly IRL, so the deal is a bargain as far as I am concerned, 900k. He will fill the come in and provide competition in centre midfield.
GAEL BIGIRIMANA-LOAN-another centre midfielder, this time in on loan from Newcastle. He is highly rated IRL, but hasn’t lived up to that in game. I don’t really need him, but I thought I would offer him a loan deal, to provide backup cover, and a chance to earn a permanent deal if he can prove to be decent enough.
With Taylor and Richards coming in to the team, I decide to try and sell CHRIS GUNTER, who has been a great consistent servant, but rarely spectacular. No one agrees to buy him, so he joins Espanyol on LOAN.
I also loan out the highly rated youth Spanish international FRANCISCO MANUEL SEGURA to Getafe. I think he will be a first teamer soon, and I hope he gets games to make the transition.
READING 1-2 MAN UNITED-tight home defeat, bedding in some new players
SUNDERLAND 3-2 READING-another tight game with a lot of goals, Benteke has started in the first team and is scoring.
READING 1-2 ARSENAL-FA Cup 3rd round. Another tight game, 3 defeats in a row, all by one goal.
READING 0-1 STOKE-another defeat, 4 in a row now, another 1 goal defeat, to Stoke. Tight margins. Again bedding in new players, so I expect the form to turnaround soon.
FULHAM 1-4 READING-finally break the losing streak to thrash Fulham away, and I hope this leads to a solid run for the team, and we can push up the league, its make or break time now.
ARSENAL 5-2 READING-I scored two goals... but let in 5. I will never beat Arsenal, no matter what I do.
READING 3-1 BIRMINGHAM-a really good home win, the league is very tight, with only a few points in it between 5th and 10th, we sit 8th still. The top 3 are miles ahead, then there is a pack, READING INCLUDED
READING 3-1 WEST BROM-another 3-1 win at home, its tight, its tense, GAME ON
KERIM FREI breaks the Reading assist record in the league, and its only February. He had set the previous record too, and it will only get higher.
WONDERKID MATT FOWLER-yes the Matt Fowler from my academy that I sold for 10 mil, wins the youth player of the month award, and is now valued at 12.25million, I sold him for 10million.
CHRISTIAN BENTEKE-has scored 4 goals in 6 games, with 2 assist, really performing well and has added another goal threat to the team, a near certainty for a permanent move, depending on various other factors.
The Board are still delighted with me, and we sit in 8th position. 4 point off 5th, with 10 crucial games to come.
READING 2-3 EVERTON-not the start I had imagine for the BIG PUSH, but we only lost by one goal.
MAN CITY 2-1 READING-an expected defeat, I had written this game off already.
READING 2-0 NEWCASTLE-a massive win for us
READING 2-1 WATFORD-another massive win, another vital 3 points in our big push for Europe!
BLACKBURN 2-3 READING-what a turnaround this game was. 2-0 down at half time, our ex academy graduate helping to put us 2-0 down, I slam the team at half time, make subs, and the team wins 3-2, in a vital and incredible game. These games are killing me!!
READING 0-0 SWANSEA-a bore draw, I really thought we needed the win, but other teams are dropping points as well
LEICESTER 0-2 READING- a big 3 points, a BIG away win. 4 GAMES LEFT. 4 MASSIVE GAMES.
During April, Hernandez over takes both Adam Le Fondre and Shane Long to become the Reading FC top league goal scorer, which is a great achievement, done in such quick time, but he is an absolute BEAST this season, and last. Without him, we would be doing a lot worse. ONE MEAN TEAM? NEAR ENOUGH! Hernandez also picks up a new Reading FC record, breaking the man of the match records for a season, with 4 games left to go.
CHRISTIAN KANGA also wins young player of the month for April, forming a strong solid wall in defence with SEAN MORRISON.
4TH GAME LEFT ASTON VILLA 2-READING 4-another fantastic away performance and win. 3 massive points on that board.
3RD GAME LEFT READING 1-0 TOTTENHAM-never did I expect to win this game, Tottenham always beat me, but everyone is bang in form, in a strong and consistent first 11, a team of warriors, hunting down Europe I hope. MASSIVE WIN. MASSIVE.
2ND GAME LEFT CHELSEA3-6 READING-I ACTUALLY AM LOST FOR WORDS. This is the biggest result in our history. Away to Chelsea, who sit 3rd in the league, we score 6 bloody goals, and although we let in 3, we romp home. Everyone in the team is on fire, Hernandez can’t stop scoring, Will Hughes is back in the team and banging them in, everyone is playing amazing, this is our best run in my 7 years here, I am actually over the bloody moon. WOOOOOOOOOOOOO
1 GAME LEFT V QPR. WE SIT 5TH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I AM SHITTING IT!!!!!!
HERNANDEZ now has 37 league goals for the season, with 1 game to go!
CHECK OUT THAT FORM FOR THE FIRST 11!!!!
READING FC 3-0 QPR-AND WE DID IT. THE UNTHINKABLE. THE AMAZING. ONE OF THE BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENTS IN MY FOOTY MANAGER HISTORY, LITTLE OLD READING FINISH 5TH! HEROES. UNEXPECTED. DELIGHTED. DELIERIOUS!!!!!
2018-2019 THE SEASON THAT MADE US
5TH IN THE LEAGUE. 20 WINS-5 DRAWS-13 DEFEATS +22 GD-65 POINTS
HERNANDEZ IS THE LEAGUES TOP GOALSCORER WITH 38 GOALS
KERIM FREI FINISHES 4TH IN THE MOST ASSISTS WITH 17.
MOST MAN OF THE MATCH AWARDS GOES TO JAVIER CHICHARITO HERNANDEZ!
WE HAD/HAVE THE BEST FORM IN THE LEAGUE. 5 WWWWW IN A ROW. WOOOOOOO
THE DIVISIONS 3RD HIGHEST GOALSCORERS.
HERNANDEZ’S 38 GOALS IN THE LEAGUE IN ONE SEASON IS A NEW PREIMER LEAGUE RECORD!
Look at the form of that first 11, and subs! WOW! IT CLICKED BIG TIME!
The seasons best players were: SHANE LONG-JAVIER HERNANDEZ-SEAN MORRISON-CHRISTIAN BENTEKE-CHRISTIAN KANGA-KERIM FREI-JORDAN OBITA-ALEX PEARCE-ADAM LE FONDRE-DMITRIY MIROSHKIN-MICAH RICHARDS-JETRO WILLEMS-WINSTON REID-RAFINHA-JEM KARACAN-a real team effort, but the main man, was undoubtedly Hernandez, without his goals, this would not have been possible.
WTF AM I GOING TO DO WITHOUT HIM ONE DAY I DO NOT KNOW!
Finishing 5th in the league beats the highest position Reading have ever finished, which was 8th, under Steve Coppell back in the day.
ANDREW SHOESMITH-MANAGER OF THE YEAR! DELIGHTED! CHUFFED. STUNNED. HAPPY.
Hernandez makes the team of the year, there was no doubting that after 38 league goals.
The Board are very pleased with me. We did well in all competitions, especially the premier league, which they say is a fantastic finish.
They are delighted with Benteke’s loan signing, and also Will Hughes’s form.
Season confidence is all high, and all green
I fulfilled the board promises very well, including finally getting some of that attacking football going!
The cash flow looks god for the next season, given our high finish and very good 22 mil prize money for it. Plus the good transfer income and low spend age.
One of the best games I have ever had in footy manager. I am welland truly addicated no doubt. And This has been one of the best ahceivements. Big ups and downs along the way. But well worth it now.
I really don’t know if it will be possible to match this again, let alone beat it, so I will se what the board offer as expectations, because it could be tricky if they are set to high.
EUROPEAN FOOTBALL AS WELL.
A new dawn. A new era