I’ve been in relationships like this. We both know it is doomed, but think that somehow, something might change and everything will be ok. Of course, that never happens. Sooner or later the realisation hits that there is no more hope to be had. Reading FC are going down. I don’t blame anyone. There is no one to blame. Not Brian McDermott, nor Anton Zingarevich, not even tubby Premier League allergic Federici.
The post Christmas run by the team to win the Championship last season was amazing. We overachieved. At this point last year, few would believe Reading could be in the Premier League anytime soon, let alone win the Championship that season. Yet against the odds it happened and we ended up in the Premier League.
Today our form is relegation form. The month of November offered 5 great opportunites for wins, and Reading won the least likely and played poorly in the rest. December has offered little else. The listless, weak performances against Southampton and Sunderland have been heartbreaking for any Reading fan. I haven’t seen anything to suggest this team can stay in this league. Then the shocking defending against Arsenal was just plain pathetic.
Some Reading fans are claiming McDermott should go. I’m not so sure that is the answer. Who else are they going to bring in? There is no one else. No Chef in the world can make a Michelin starred meal out of a sh*t sandwich. Reading simply aren’t good enough. It’s a team of bargains and journeymen. Jay Tabb is the personification of our plight. Nice guy, hard working, but uncreative and devoid of quality. But you can’t hate Jay Tabb. He’s the kid at school running around pretending he is a steam engine. Jay Tabb is performing at his peak, but no one even expects him to score or even make an assist. If a player that can’t even score a goal for his club from midfield is performing at his peak what hope do we have?
It’s not just Jay “Choo Choo” Tabb though. Last season’s top performers in Gorkss, Harte, Federici and McAnuff have been found wanting at this level. I’d happily never seen them in a Reading shirt again. Only Sean Morrison, and Nicky Shorey have looked good enough and played consistently well.
Brian McDermott is probably the second most successful manager Reading have had in our history. Should we really want to move away from that? And for who? Who on earth could make Shaun Cummings, Adam Federici and Mikele Leigterwood Premier League class? It’s change for the sake of change.
But the fans still call for McDermott’s head. Thinking they are entitled to being in the Premier League. Fans experience a bit of success and then get a taste for it. I get what they are saying but I feel too many are refusing to realize the reality in front of them. What more can we really hope for? This is only Reading’s third season in the top flight in its history. We’ve never spent more than 2.5 million quid on a player. There is barely a player in the Reading squad that would get in another Premier League team. Reading have the worst players in the league.
Going down this season is no disaster. We will come back up again and it’s not as if the Premier League is heaven anyway. The club has new owners, more money than before. With McDermott we have a chance to build something lasting for the future and a better chance next time. Not just a stab in the dark now that might let us bundle 17th place.
Fans need to accept the team for what they are. Then they might notice how they have done okay so far this season. Rarely outclassed, always competitive. So, that’s it. Reading are probably going down, so stop worrying and get on with your life.