News and Views
Championship Set To Resume
01 June 2020
By Hob Nob Anyone?
Reading's season looks set to resume on 20th June, with all Championship teams set to complete their final 9 matches of the season after a break of over three months due to the virus outbreak. The news follows confirmation that the Premier League is set to resume and League One and League Two ending their seasons. There are a total of 108 Championship games left to play plus the play-off fixtures. With Reading sat firmly mid-table the remaining games will have less signficance to Royals fans compared to other clubs as the League try and wrap up the season behind closed doors.
Reading's last game was way back on 7 March, a 3-1 away win at Birmingham City, and there have been no Championship games since 8 March. The season stopped completely with training suspended, but Reading return to training last week ahead of the expected return to competititve fixtures. Details are yet to be confirmed but all games are expected to be screened live.
On This Day
07 May 2020
By Hob Nob Anyone?
We are now at the point of the year when the season usually wraps up, but instead, due to the Covid-19 outbreak, Reading are left with nine games left to play. With football set to resume in Germany in 9 days time and talk of the Premier League making plans to start up again, it remains unclear if the Championship will run to completion. Next season's fixtures are also likely to follow a different pattern as football adjusts to the pandemic. it is also unknown when fans will be able to return to the Madejski Stadium to watch their team. In some ways the Royals are lucky in that they were heading towards a certain midtable finish, so whatever the decisions made we will remain a Championship side - unless dramatic changes are made.
With no sport to watch, sports channels are filled with re-runs of historic fixtures and previous cup finals and league deciders. It seems like a good opportunity to have a quick look at games on this day when Reading ended their league seasons on time:
7 May 2017: Burton 2 Reading 4
Reading wrapped up the regular 2016/2017 season with a hugely enjoyable trip to Burton Albion and an equally excellent third place finish. The Royals were already guaranteed a play-off position in the Championship with plenty of games spare but found themselves well behind Newcastle and Brighton who took the automatic promotion places. The season had been a massive surprise and unexpected success under the management of Jaap Stam. Some found it difficult to believe that Reading had picked up 85 points without actually looking that good. Mendes, Obita, Kermorgant and Grabban scored the goals as Reading were clear 4-2 winners. It set us up well for the play-offs and a two leg victory over Fulham... before the epic failure at Wembley and the eventual 4-3 defeat on penalties to Huddersfield.
7 May 2016: Blackburn Rovers 3 Reading 1
The season before also ended on 7 May and was the opposite of the win at Burton. Reading slumped to a 17th place finish, despite starting the season as genuine promotion contenders. It was a dramatic turn around as the season just got worse as it went on. On the final day a 3-1 defeat at Blackburn summed it up. Kermorgant scored Reading's only goal after 31 minutes - but we were already two down at that stage and we went on to lose with little resistance. A season to be forgotten.
7 May 2011: Reading 2 Derby County 1
Rewind another five years and, like 2017, we again finished the season in a Championship play-off position. A 2-1 home victory over Derby County saw us finish in 5th place, after we had already confirmed a play-off finish the week before. And also like 2017 it would end in play-off final failure - this time at the hands of Swansea City who took their place in the top tier of English football. The win over Derby at the Madejski Stadium was a strange one as Brian McDermott put out a weakened team and rested players ahead of the play-off fixtures. Harte scored from the penalty spot and Robson-Kanu wrapped up the win in the second half. Shane Long received the fans' player of the season award but found himself sitting on the bench for the whole game as Reading eased to a win.
Top Performers for Reading FC - 2019-20
07 May 2020
By Hob Nob Anyone?
The 2019/20 season, currently on pause, has had its ups and downs for the Royals, but with a slow upward trend some players have started living up to their potential. With Reading recording huge losses of £40.6 million pounds in their most recent financial statement thanks to a over-sized wage bill, and with such uncertainty over-shadowing the game, we can only hope the current squad can continue the improvement next season.
First team manager, Mark Bowen has moulded a young bunch of players into a team with potential to challenge at the right end of the table next season, and has helped lay down a foundation for the seasons to come. He has taken the odd gamble with aged players like Charlie Adam to help integrate experience and a tactical know how amongst the youngsters.
Reading sit 14th, just 5 points off the top ten, and just 8 points off the play off positions in the in the EFL Championship table. The unpredictable nature of the Championship has always attracted betting markets for punters. New to football betting, and wish to try your hand at online casino gambling to build an appetite for real money gambling? Well, here are some online casino sites UK people can try their hand at.
Getting back to Reading FC, following are some of our most impressive performers so far this season:
Having joined from Chelsea in the summer of 2016, Swift is a midfield player, with an eye for goal. He has been one of the brightest stars of the Championship this year and arguably Reading's player of the season. He has had a major say in how the team operates, and most of the attacks flow through him. John has been impressive all season, earning six HNA? man of the match awards. He also narrowly missed out after his performance against Fulham when he scored the opener that set us on the way to an away win. He has been a positive influence on all the squad players with his professionalism and work rate on the pitch. A team player by nature, he gets the opposition sweating with his passing and vision. Having already amassed over 100 appearances for the Royals, he's a massive asset for the club.
The US International has become a pivotal part of the team ever since his loan move from Chelsea in the 2018/19 season. A regular starter wherever he's played, Matt is known for his strength and reading of the game. Having been on loan for the last few seasons, Bowen would be looking to capitalise on Miazga's situation with Chelsea and offer him a permanent deal. He can supply ammunition up front as well, as at 6'4" he is a threat in the air, especially during corners. He has decent pace to match up to that imposing physique and is surely one of the manager's favourites in the squad.
Rafael Cabral Barbosa
The 29-year old goalkeeper has been an influential figure in Reading's backline, and has saved Reading on numerous occasions. His debut came in a memorable win against Wycombe in the EFL Cup when he produced some magical penalty saves to ensure progression in the next round. Standing at 6'1", he is an imposing figure during corners and free kicks and helps relieve pressure by punching out crosses. At 29 years of age he is still in his prime and will be vital for Reading's future.
Keepers And Defenders - Staying Or Going?
03 April 2020
By Hob Nob Anyone?
There is huge uncertainty across football with clubs and players unsure of when they will return to action, and what that will mean for completing the season. There are also question marks over players contracts, some of which will expire in the summer when games could be set to play. We look at Reading's goalkeepers, and some defenders to see how they could be placed when football returns.
Rafael has made a huge impact on the team and he has put in some fantastic performances so far since arriving on a free last summer. He still has two full years left on his contract and, as a popular first choice keeper, looks set to stay at Reading. This would be great for the team and it would also mean that they have someone solid who they can rely on. If you want to bet on him to save a certain amount of goals then there are various sports betting sites can help.
28-year-old Sam Walker has admitted that he has a big decision to make at the end of this campaign. Walker has been a bit of a part-time player since he made the switch from Colchester and he has a year left on his contract with the Royals. He would have been hoping to become Reading's first choice keeper, but Rafael has firmly claimed that spot. If the chance arises for him to play football, day in, day out for another team then we can expect him to leave. With other young goalkeepers coming up through the academy it seems unlikely he will be offered a new contract over the next season.
The Icelander looks to have signed a brand-new contract. This is going to keep him at Reading until 2022. The 18-year old signed his new contract in November and, although he is yet to make his first team debut, he made his first appearance in a senior matchday squad for our FA Cup replay against Cardiff. Andresson, the brother of Axel, is likely to be loaned out next year, assuming Sam Walker stays put, to get some first team experience and further his development.
Like Andresson, Boyce-Clarke has also appeared on the bench for the Royals this season in the FA Cup but is yet to make a first team appearance. The teenager is a very exciting prospect for the club and he is an England youth international as well. He has just turned 17 in March and he is going to be a regular for the under 23's. The Royals were keen to keep him on the books and he has signed a three-year contract. He looks set to have a very bright future.
Luke Southwood is a very highly rated player and is contracted to Reading until the summer of 2021. He has spent this season on loan at Scottish Premier League club Hamilton, where he has been having the best spell of his career so far. Before football was shut down due to Coronavirus he was on a run of three straight clean sheets – which included a 1-0 away victory for his side at Rangers. Things are certainly moving in the right direction now for Southwood and this summer looks to be a huge one for him – whether it is getting a contract extension at Reading or perhaps making a permanent move to get regular first team football.
Onto some of our defenders and Welshman Chris Gunter has been in the spotlight this season after being frozen out of the first team squad by Gomes only to return to some great form in the first team under Mark Bowen. It has been a real up and down time for Gunter but the second half of the season has been all up. However, his contract runs out in the summer and a lot of people believe that he is not going to be retained despite being a terrific player this year. He has been in Berkshire since the 2012. Gunter is still only 30 years old and he is not going to be short of offers either.
The former Birmingham City centre back has been a fantastic addition to the squad after arriving last summer, and he has also formed a fantastic partnership with Liam Moore too. Morrison has another year on his deal and he is a very valuable player. He will find competition for his place thanks to the emergence of Tom McIntyre, but looks set to continue where he left off when football continues.
Matt Miazga is set to return to Chelsea at the end of May, where he has two years left on his contract with his parent club. He hasn't played as much as he wanted this season after suffering with an ankle injury, but was fully back in action before football was suspended, scoring during Reading's 3-1 victory at Birmingham City in our last match. Should football re-start over the summer then Reading will hopefully be able to extend Miazga's contract so he can stay at Reading until next season.
The 27-year old has stepped up to his role and has lead by example for the Royals this season. More doesn't look to be heading anywhere right now after signing a huge five-year contract in 2018. He still has three full years left under contract and it is unlikely right now that any club would be willing to buy up that contract. However, that hasn't stopped rumours flying around and there was talk of an exit in January, with interest from West Brom as they chase promotion to the Premier League. Should Moore go in the summer it will only be due a very large offer.
The left-back experienced a nightmare with a long-term injury and was out for a total of two seasons because of his knee. His future was in doubt before making a spectacular return to the first team. As every game passes, he continues to improve with more game time under his belt. He had already returned to the form he had before his injury and has age on his side as he grows further as a player. Obita is likely to want to return the faith the club put in him should a new contract come his way – which surely it will. His contract expires at the end of June, and it would be a massive disappointment if he leaves on a free. If there is any reasonable contract offer made by the club then Obita should put pen to payer and remain at Reading player next season.
The Scotland international has progressed in leaps and bounds this year and hopefully has a strong future with the club. After breaking into the first team this season he has made nine appearances, including five league matches. He has a year left to run on his current contract but should find that extended in the summer as he is a strong prospect that the club should be holding onto.
As well as Chris Gunter and Jordan Obita who are shortly out of contract there are six other senior players who will be leaving this summer unless new contracts can be negotiated. The list includes Vito Mannone, Tyler Blackett, Garath McCleary, Adrian Popa, and Danny Loader.