News and Views

Ins And Outs

31 July 2020
By Hob Nob Anyone?

In the short break between seasons there has already been plenty of activity for the Royals as they make changes to their squad. However, it is mostly outs rather than ins as the club look to cut costs.

The big in is 25 year old midfielder Josh Laurent who has signed a two year contract with the Royals. Laurent has joined Reading on a free transfer after he failed to extend his contract at League One Shrewsbury Town. Manager Mark Bowen has described Laurent as a "hungry, vibrant, energetic young midfielder who I am sure will make an impact". Shrewsbury had a mixed season and like the Royals finished midtable, with Laurent making 42 appearances across the season in League and cup competitions, scoring 4 goals and picked up 5 yellow cards. He has previously signed for Hartlepool and Wigan, but made just a handful appearances for Wigan and spent the 2017/2018 season on loan at Bury. His Championship experience was coming off the bench for Wigan in March 2017 during a 1-0 win at Birmingham.

Danny Loader had already left the club after refusing a new contract, and may sign for new Premier League club Leeds United. He has been followed by Chris Gunter, Garath McCleary, Jordan Obita, Charlie Adam and Tyler Blackett - five regular first team players that leave a big whole in the squad.

Gunter joined from Nottingham Forest in the summer of 2012 for 2.5 million pounds and made over 300 appearances for the Royals. McCleary also spent 8 years at Reading after joining from Forest and scored 27 goals during some memorable performances. Both Gunter and McCleary were expected to leave this summer after being frozen out of the squad at the start of the season by former manager Jose Gomes. Mark Bowen got them back playing in the first team, but it seemed certain they would be leaving this summer. McCleary is rumoured to be set for Oxford United who narrowly missed out on promotion after League One play-off defeat.

It is disappointing to see Jordan Obita leave after signing professional terms with the Royals over 10 years ago. His Reading debut was in August 2010 - an extra time substitute as a 16 year old in the League Cup. Other than loan spells Obita has spent his entire career at Reading. After spending a lot of time out with a major injury Obita made a promising return to action this season, but leaves the club as his contract expires.

Charlie Adam made 27 appearances for Reading after signing a one year contract last summer. Tyler Blackett spent four seasons at Reading after signing from Manchester United and is set to join FC Cincinnati in America where he would link up with former Reading manager Jaap Stam.

Season Ends With Big Defeat

22 July 2020
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading's season ended on a disappointing note with a heavy defeat at the hands of Swansea, who by virtue of the number of goals they scored today, edged into the play-offs. Hard to believe they will be good enough to make it into the Premier League next season but stranger things have happened. Reading passed the ball well at times and there was little to choose between the teams until Yakou Meite was sent off just before half time for a silly shove on van der Hoorn who made a meal of what appeared to be minimal contact.
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Mid Table Reading Beaten At Home

14 July 2020
By Hob Nob Anyone?

This result has very little significance for Reading, but for Middlesbrough it was a vital three points in their scramble to safety and a place in the Championship next season. Reading started brightly but that didn't last long as the visitors showed greater urgency and desire, for obvious reasons. Reading took the lead against the run of play only to concede an equaliser on the stroke of half time. There were periods of the game which can only be described as chaotic and play swept from end to end, often as a consequence of careless mistakes costing possession. Middlesbrough played 'Warnock style' clattering into the back of Meite and others at every opportunity and scrapping for everything with the usual high foul count. Reading had a lot of the ball but Boro looked more threatening going forward. Reading's defence began to look disjointed and Roberts took advantage scoring the winning goal six minutes from time. Reading huffed and puffed but didn't look likely to score the equaliser as Boro ran down the clock.
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Early Puscas Penalty Gives Win At Charlton

11 July 2020
By Hob Nob Anyone?

A third minute penalty struck confidently past Phillips gave Reading a narrow lead which they held on to for an away win which nudges Charlton closer to Division One. The victory extends The Royals unbeaten run to three games and a third clean sheet in a row. The season may be drawing to an end but Reading seem to have hit upon a way of playing which makes them very difficult to beat. Charlton, hovering above the relegation zone, certainly did not lack the desire or appetite for the win they desperately needed. They pushed hard throughout but Reading kept their defensive shape and although they lack a cutting edge they rarely looked like conceding.
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