This time last year Reading FC were on a amazing run of form that led them to the top of the Championship and promotion to the Premier league. Just over 30 days ago Brian McDermott received the Premier League Manager of the Month award. Now he is out of a job and Reading are rudderless and in the relegation zone. However this sacking is clearly the wish of the owner and what most of the fans wanted. They are all wrong and I hope their stupidity is rewarded.
Fans were getting on McDermott's back in December but gave him a bit of respite after a great run in January. From #McDermottOut to #InBrianWeTrust in a matter of weeks. It all came to a head last weekend against Aston Villa when fans ironically cheered the substitution of Mikele Leigertwood and claimed Jobi McAnuff, who was the best Reading player that day, should never play again. I hope they are happy now.
The criticism leveled at McDermott claims he has been too loyal to certain players. He should have been playing Danny Guthrie instead of Mikele Leigertwood fans said. Danny Guthrie, the lobster-lobbing idiot that has literally refused to play more than one time this season. Typical dumb football fans. Convinced there is some magic answer on the bench or in the youth team that the manager can't or won't see. Guthrie will be gone by the end of the season while McAnuff and Leigertwood will continue to give their all every minute of every game.
Some fans complained about the style of football. Confused a club that has never spent more than £2.5m on a player can't match Premiership stalwarts such as Aston Villa (Record Signing: £24m) or Wigan Athletic (Record Signing: £7m). These are of course the same fans that wanted current Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers out of the club because they didn't like his passing game. The same knuckle dragging fans that ring up 606 and complain that we didn't sign Michu and the same morons that are calling for Paolo Di Canio to replace Brian this very second.
McDermott did the best with the players he had. It's not the case of QPR (Record Signing: £12.5m) where you had good players underachieving. McDermott had average players overachieving for the majority of his three years in charge. And as soon as the players play at their actual level? McDermott is out the door.
It's a ballsy and frankly arrogant move from Zingarevich. The biggest fault within the club this year can be directly related to the complete lack of investment by the board. When you only stump up a maximum of £2.5m for a player in todays top league what do you expect? If you give a guy dodgy tools what sort of job is he going to do?
If Reading had won their last two home games, they would be in 16th place and everyone would be lauding Brian as a hero. It's important to note that Pavel Pogbreknyak, a personal and marquee signing of Anton Zingarevich was suspended for both these games. This and the complete lack of depth in the squad led to the two most recent home losses. Perhaps the results would have been different if the club had invested in the summer or January. Perhaps Reading's failings can be laid at the door of the owner and not the manager. The timing is also ludicrous. It puts any new manager in an inoperable position and ultimately solves next to no problem. If Reading were going down anyway surely the man that won the Championship last season would be the perfect person for the job? It is poor ownership.
Essentially it's a real shame and the end of the “Reading Way” that has always made the club special in my eyes. I've been following Reading for 20 years of my life and I've never been as ashamed to be a fan as today.
So thanks to Brian McDermott, a victim of his own success, from scout to manager in his 12 years at the club. The second most successful manger in the club's history, fired by the heir to a Russian Billionaire who placed the club in the Cayman Islands for tax purposes.