Reading Football Club News: January 2020

Reading Offload Mannone To Danish Club

31 January 2020
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Vito Mannone has travelled to Denmark to sign for his new side - Aalborg who play in the Danish Superliga. Mannone has found himself unwanted by the Royals and has not featured in Mark Bowen's plans since his return from the USA where he was on loan at Minnesota United in the MLS. Despite training with the club after coming back to the UK, Bowen made it clear he was looking to offload the player before his contract expires in the summer. Bowen chose to feature other goalkeepers as he rested players for our FA Cup ties and Mannone didn't even make the bench, making it clear his time was up in Berkshire.

It's been a tough time for Mannone, who was once the club's number one goalkeeper. He will be remembered as a reasonable goalkeeper but he failed to ever really look that spectacular, and failed to perform to a high enough standard as the club battled against relegation from the Championship. It was rumoured Mannone was a high wage earner so he will leave for a very small fee as Reading are keen to move the player on to a new club.

Mannone joined the Royals in the summer of 2017 for two million pounds from Sunderland. His price tag and a decent few years at Sunderland rose expectations. Sunderland had previously splashed out 1.5 million to sign him from Arsenal where he had played 15 times in the Premier League. Mannone made 47 Championship appearances for Reading and leaves with a decent CV as he looks to pick up his career in Denmark.

Meanwhile, striker Ben House, who made a ten minute debut for the Royals against Cardiff in the FA Cup, has returned to National League side Dagenham and Redbridge on loan. House came off the bench only to be subbed off again shortly after as Bowen was forced to reshuffle due to a red card. House will be looking to increase his goal tally after scoring twice for Dagenham and Redbridge in a 6-1 victory over Aldershot in November.

Teddy Howe Set For Blackpool

31 January 2020
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading look set to lose the services of youngster full back Teddy Howe, with Blackpool looking to complete a permanent signing of the player today before the transfer window closes. Howe's last appearance for the Royals was the 1-1 FA Cup Fourth round draw with Cardiff City. Howe looked good against Cardiff - both defensively and getting forward and it will be a real shame to lose such a talent so early in his career.

Twenty one year old Howe made his Reading debut in the last few minutes of the 2018/2019 season, coming on with 89 minutes on the clock during the 0-0 home Championship draw with Birmingham City. This season he has been restricted to cup appearances, playing five times in the League Cup and FA Cup. Howe played the full 90 minutes in both games against Blackpool in the FA Cup as Reading went on to progress with a 2-0 away win after a 2-2 draw at the Madejski. Blackpool got to see plenty of Howe over the two games and he obviously impressed.

Club Confirm Signing Of Felipe Araruna

30 January 2020
By Hob Nob Anyone?

After a quiet January transfer window for the Royals, the club have confirmed the permanent signing of Brazillian Felipe Araruna. Midfielder Araruna has signed a two and a half year contract with the Royals to keep him at the club until the summer of 2022. Araruna is a defensive midfielder who spent his youth at Sao Paulo in Brazil before breaking into the first team in 2017. He has made 22 appearances for Sao Paulo and also featured 9 times for Fortaleza after a loan spell last year.

Reading manager Mark Bowen believes that 23 year old Araruna could be a useful player for the club who could fill in a number of positions: "Manager Mark Bowen said: "Felipe looks like a really bright, young talent who can play in two or three different positions; right-back, on the right side of midfield and as a defensive central midfielder."

Mid Table Beckons After Home League Defeat

28 January 2020
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading have recently developed the habit of leaving it late in the game to snatch a draw. Last night they can count themselves unlucky they didn't pull it off again with only a couple of minutes left on the clock. Meite beat the 'keeper with a powerful header only to see the ball come back of the post, the ball running to Aluko who had his shot blocked by a defender, the ball came back to Gunter, who saw his well-placed curling attempt headed off the line with the 'keeper beaten again. At that point it was clearly not going to be Reading's night.
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Resilient Royals Hold Out To Stay In FA Cup

25 January 2020
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading will be in the draw for the Fifth Round of the F.A. Cup on Monday having survived a late second half onslaught from a very physical Cardiff City team. The Royals fought a gritty rearguard action with a very youthful side depleted by the loss of both centre backs Matt Miazga, due to injury, and McIntyre's dismissal due a second yellow card after eighty minutes. In the final ten minutes Reading's back four consisted of four very youthful and relatively inexperienced squad members ably supported by the experienced McCleary and Charlie Adam. Reading deserved to earn a replay for their team spirit, resilience, and resolve against a bombardment of long throw-ins, corners and free kicks. Cardiff's best chance to press home their numerical and territorial advantage was squandered by Bamba ten minutes from time when the Cardiff centre back remarkably put his header wide from two yards at the far post with Walker stranded by the other post. Possibly a contender for the miss of the season.
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More Late Goals And Another 1-1 With Forest

23 January 2020
By Hob Nob Anyone?

For the second time in the last three Championship League games, Reading faced Nottingham Forest and fans were treated to something of a repeat performance. After a dramatic 1-1 draw at the Madejski Stadium eleven days earlier, it all happened again with Forest looking to have secured a late win only for Reading to hit back with an even later equaliser. At the Madejski Reading were much the better side in the second half but looked to have lost it when Forest scored deep into injury time. The Royals immediately took the ball down the other end and Obita's cross was turned into his own net by Figueiredo as the game finished 1-1.

Back up to Nottingham for our re-arranged Championship game, a week and a half later, and again Reading came from behind to share the points in another 1-1 draw. This time former Reading player Lewis Grabban scored with just ten minutes to play. Again the Royals showed some great character to hit back - this time taking three minutes to draw level thanks to Sam Baldock. Baldock had only been on the pitch for five minutes, coming on to replace the the ineffective Puscas before his vital goal that ensured Reading have only lost one match out of the last eleven.

There were more bright signs for Reading who deserved another point on the road against a side fifth in the table. Sharing the points in both games against a side that will be in the mix for promotion at the end of the season shows Reading really should expect to finish in the top half of the table this season - which is great progress given recent seasons. Again the scoreline was a fair reflection of the game with both teams fairly equal on both possession and shots. Real goalscoring opportunities were limited for the Royals but both sides registered four shots on target during the 90 minutes.

Manager Mark Bowen was happy with the performance talking after the match: "I thought we edged it slightly in terms of our play in the second half. We were the team that looked more comfortable in possession. It was a bit like the first game where we defended resolutely in the first half against a side who've been in and around the top six all season. Yet again we showed our resilience to come back from going behind. We shrugged it off and I had a strange feeling we would get a chance."

Three Memorable Games From The Last Decade

22 January 2020
By Hob Nob Anyone?

The last decade for Reading Football Club will be remembered a decade where the Royals started strong and gradually faded out. However the 2011/2012 season, where we won promotion back to the Premier League and topped the Championship table probably gives us the better memories.

The 2014/2015 season will also go down in the history books after only our second FA Cup semi-final apperance. The Royals impressed at Wembley in the semi-final against Arsenal but the Bradford City quarter final at the Madejski Stadium was a memorable night.

With team manager Mark Bowen starting to improve things on the pitch as we enter the new decade, and having recently appointed Brazilian Alexandre Mattos as our new executive, we will be hoping they can take the club to new heights.

It’s worth noting that Reading FC isn't only supported by the fans on and off the pitch, but also attracts a great deal of activity in the betting markets too. A good number of reputed sports betting portals where you can find best odds on the Championship, English Premier League, Champions League Odds etc. offer betting opportunities on multiple markets in the games involving the Royals. Let's tale a look at three memorable games from the last decade:

Nottingham Forest - Home - April 2012

This will be remembered as the night Reading secured promotion back to the Premier League with a 1-0 win on home ground against Nottingham Forest. Being aware that West Ham had only managed to draw their game against Bristol City, Reading required just one goal during the closing stages to seal promotion. In a nutshell, it was an extremely nervy affair throughout.

The entire stadium was ringing with the chants of 'one goal and we are going up' before Mikele Leigertwood successfully converted from a free-kick into the box from Ian Harte to give Reading the advantage. All that needed to be done was to hold that advantage till the final whistle. The team managed to do that, sparking amazing scenes of celebrations at the final whistle, both inside and outside the Madejski Stadium. The fans flooded onto the pitch to celebrate the team's second-ever promotion to the Premier League.

Southampton - Away - April 2012

The away win over Southampton at St Mary's with a 3-1 scoreline was perhaps our best performace of the season - perhaps of the decade. Southampton were top of the table before kick-off and our victory saw us move above them and set us up to win the League. With a big gap to third place, the game all but secured the team's return to the EPL. This was a very special evening indeed. The early opening goal scored by Jason Roberts was cancelled by Rickie Lambert's effort, before Adam Le Fondre delivered arguably the best cameo performance ever by a Reading substitute. Brought into the game at the 64th minute when the score was 1-1, he scored two stunning goals to give the team 3 valuable points, helping them create a nine-point gap from West Ham, with four more games to go.

Bradford - Home - March 2015

An FA Cup quarter final at the Madejski Stadium, with Reading securing a comprehensive 3-0 win over Bradford City makes this one to remember. Reading went through to the FA Cup semi-final, to face Arsenal at Wembley, after a gap of 88 years. The first game had finished goalless and Reading fans were expecting it to be yet another tense evening as both the sides looked determined to beat the odds to secure their place at Wembley. However, Steve Clarke's team didn't show any nervousness and got themselves a two-goal lead within the first 10 minutes of the game with goals from Robson-Kanu and McCleary. That put the game beyond Bradford early on before Jamie Mackie scored the third with 22 minutes left to play and triggered huge celebrations as Reading fans could look forward to a day out at Wembley.

Late Drama As Royals Get Deserved Point

11 January 2020
By Hob Nob Anyone?

In a frantic final two minutes of added time Reading fell behind to a controversial goal then dramatically snatched a thoroughly deserved point when Figueirido defected Jordan Obita's superb cross in to his own net. The sense of injustice over Forest's goal was more than matched by the euphoria of Reading's immediate reply. It had been a very good game between two sides looking to extend their winning run. Something had to give, and in the end a draw was a fair result.
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Bowen Makes Eleven Changes For Cup Draw

04 January 2020
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Mark Bowen's decision to make eleven changes to his starting line-up may not have been entirely to the liking of many Royals fans, but it produced a closely contested and entertaining cup tie resulting in both teams going into the draw for the Fourth Round on Monday. After a fairly subdued first half which saw The Seasiders take the lead against the run of play, the second half exploded into life with a flurry of goals and a missed penalty in a twelve minute spell ten minutes into the second half. Both sides will look back on the game as a missed opportunity to progress to the next round and avoid the inconvenience of a replay.
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Reading vs Blackpool FA Cup 3rd Round: Quick Analysis

02 January 2020
By Hob Nob Anyone?

For most Championship teams, promotion to the Premier League usually comes top of the pre-season wishlist. Reading have made up ground on the top six after four straight league wins over Christmas, but even with that amazing run promotion is still is huge ask with less than half the season left to play. However, a cup run can be a refreshing tonic for fans. It might seem unlikely for Reading to go on a decent run in the competition this year, but as we saw in 2015, the draw can unfold nicely for Championship teams.

The first order of business is, of course, the visit of Blackpool. Here's a preview of the game, and a guide of how the bookmakers see Reading's chances:

The Formbook

Reading pulled out a string of great results over Christmas and top the Championship form table but are still in the bottom half of the table. Fears of a relegation battle have certainly subsided, but the play-offs are still a full eight league places away. A cup run might be the best way to deliver some excitement while we wait to see if our league form can continue. Blackpool are just a few points off the League One Playoff spots. Perhaps the bad news for Royals fans is that Blackpool seem to have a knack of grinding out results away from home, losing just once on the road in the league this season.

The Odds

According to 888sport, Reading are 7/10 to win the game, with Blackpool at 4/1 and the draw at 11/4. However, looking at the stats, this might be the perfect fixture for online live betting as Blackpool tend to score early in games and Reading often leave it late (The Royals have netted 20 times in the second half this season, compared to just nine in the first).

The Blackpool Dangerman

Armand Gnanduillet is Blackpool's leading scorer this season, with the French-born striker finding the net 11 times this season. His all-round game is sometimes lacking though, and Blackpool boss Simon Grayson was forced to drop him earlier in the season. Gnanduillet is one of those players who will do nothing for an entire match and then suddenly pop up with a winner. That makes him a potential headache for Liam Moore and the rest of the Reading defence.

FA Cup Pedigree

Blackpool have made it past the third round just once in the last seven seasons, reaching the 4th round in the 2016/17 season. Unlike Reading, however, they can point to an FA Cup Trophy in the cabinet at Bloomfield Road. That was the Stanley Matthews' Final of 1953, but they have not made it beyond the Sixth Round in the 66 intervening years. Reading have had the misfortune of coming up against Manchester United in two out of the last three seasons, but have done well against non-Premier League opposition most seasons, notably during that run to the semis in 2015.



Verdict

This is certainly not a glamour tie, but it should be viewed as an opportunity by Mark Bowen and the team. Some big names - Wolves vs Manchester United, Liverpool vs Everton - have been drawn against each other, and there are lots of ties that feature no Premier League teams so the 4th round draw could be kind to Reading should they overcome Blackpool. Let's not put the cart before the horse though, and you can see that the bookies are hesitant about making Reading overwhelming favourites; Blackpool are no mugs.

More:

Reading -v- Blackpool - Fixture History >>