Hob Nob Anyone? News and Views Latest updates on Hob Nob Anyone? - The Reading Football Club Fans' Website http://www.royals.org/news.php Mon, 29 Nov 2021 23:25:02 UTC Mon, 29 Nov 2021 23:25:02 UTC 1800 Dull Defeat It is hard to know where to begin to analyse this extremely poor performance from a Reading team which has often passed the ball well, shown resilience and character defensively and created and scored some very good goals. Last night what occurred can only be described as a collective failure by the team and the manager and his coaching staff. Against a Sheffield United side struggling to score goals and going into this match on a run of four games without a win, Reading managed only one shot on target and allowed their opponents to dominate possession overall. Until an appalling defensive error by Rahman was punished by Jayden Bogle after fifty-seven minutes to give United a deserved lead, neither team looked capable of even creating chances, never mind scoring a goal. <br/> <a href="https://www.royals.org/matchreport/231121/Reading_0_Sheff_Utd_1">Reading 0 Sheffield United 1: Read More...</a> http://www.royals.org/news/942/Dull_Defeat 942 Thu, 25 Nov 2021 11:35:15 UTC Hob Nob Anyone? Reading Earn Home Point Reading fans had barely had time to settle into their seats before they saw their team 'switch off' defensively and allow Forest's Zinckernagel weave his way unchallenged through their team's midfield and defence and drill the ball past an unprotected Luke Southwood. With the news of a six point deduction during the week which saw Reading drop perilously close to the relegation zone, this was not the start required to boost morale. To their credit for the remaining eighty plus minutes Reading were resolute in the their defending, enterprising going forward, and ultimately salvaged a well-deserved and much needed point courtesy of a second half equaliser from Scott Dann. <Br/> <a href="https://www.royals.org/matchreport/201121/Reading_1_Nottm_Forest_1">Read More...</a> http://www.royals.org/news/941/Reading_Earn_Home_Point 941 Mon, 22 Nov 2021 11:27:24 UTC Hob Nob Anyone? Six Point Deduction Confirmed It has been confirmed that Reading have a six point deduction for "exceeding the EFL's Profit and Sustainability limits", which will be immediately applied to the Championship table. A further six point deduction may be applied next season if Reading fail to meet "an agreed business plan going forward". <br/><br/> The points deduction has been hanging over the club for a long time now and it feels like a massive relief to finally get the deduction applied - and an even larger relief that only six points will be deducted for now. There had been a lot of talk of a twelve point deduction, and to only have six applied this season means Reading have a very good chance of Championship football next season. <br/><br/> The deduction sees Reading drop from 16th place to 19th place and the Royals remain four points outside of the bottom three. <br/><br/> Moving forward, Reading will find their activity in the transfer market will continue to be limited as spending on players will be capped to keep in line with the EFL agreement. http://www.royals.org/news/940/Six_Point_Deduction_Confirmed 940 Wed, 17 Nov 2021 17:14:50 UTC Hob Nob Anyone? Andy Carroll Signs Short Term Contract Reading have confirmed a temporary contract has been agreed with Andy Carroll to bring him to the club until mid-January. The Royals had been linked with the out-of-contract striker since the summer but have finally confirmed his arrival at Reading's injury problems up front continue. With Puscas struggling with form and a huge injury list that includes virtually all our other options up front Reading will be hoping that Carroll can make an immediate impact. We will of course be assuming that Carroll arrives at Reading match fit to come straight into the squad and that he can stay injury free during his short time at the club. <br/><br/> Carroll has been without a club this season after leaving Newcastle United in the Summer. Perhaps his most successful time of his career came during his first spell at Newcastle between 2006 and 2011 after he turned professional at the club. He made 80 league appearances for Newcastle, scoring 31 goals before making a 35-million-pound move to Liverpool, making him one of the most expensive footballers in the world at the time. He left after two and a half years, and West Ham were still happy to pay 15 million for his services. After six years with the Hammers, and another 26 league goals, he moved back to Newcastle on a free transfer. Carroll also has nine England caps and two goals for his country. There's no doubt that Carroll is a massive name, and he is still only 32, but time will tell to see what he can bring to Reading in the Championship. http://www.royals.org/news/939/Andy_Carroll_Signs_Short_Term_Contract 939 Tue, 16 Nov 2021 10:31:30 UTC Hob Nob Anyone? Former Royal Kébé Now Playing in Pro Poker <p>Longtime Reading supporters remember Jimmy Kébé as a sure-footed right winger who graced 175 appearances for Reading between 2008 and 2013. The French-born, Mali international player netted 31 goals and 45 assists during his six seasons as a Royal.</p> <p>Kébé was a favourite for the fan base at Mad Stad; a cult hero who personally benefited by becoming a key regular after Reading were relegated to the Championship following the 2007-08 season.&nbsp;Prior to landing at Reading in January 2008, Kébé came up in the French leagues with Lens and spent loan stints with Châteauroux and Boulogne. Kébé traded the pitch for the felt top and life as a professional poker player after retiring from football in 2016.</p> <h2>Life on the Pitch Doesn’t Last Forever</h2> <p>Kébé’s ouster from elite football was an unpleasant spiral. A spate of injuries, including a groin strain suffered against Everton while with Reading in March 2013, ultimately knocked him out of the game.&nbsp;Still, Kébé fought for several seasons to stay in football.&nbsp;<br /> In August 2013, he departed the Royals and <a href="https://www.royals.org/news/163/Mariappa_Joins_Kebe_At_Palace">joined Crystal Palace</a> where he played 190 minutes in six appearances. He eventually landed on loan with Leeds and scored one goal in nine appearances in 2014.<br /> Kébé moved on to Real Mallorca for the 2014-15 campaign but did not see any playing time for the vermillion side.&nbsp;<br /> </p> <h2>A Forced Career Change Pays Off</h2> <p>Kébé’s poker interest modestly well before the conclusion of his football career. He would often play card games with teammates on the club bus while traveling from away matches.&nbsp;Kébé recalls his poker savvy was heads and shoulders above that of his teammates.</p> <p> Once he started to get serious, Kébé learned more about tournaments, especially about <a href="https://www.pokerstars.com/en/news/how-do-poker-tournaments-work/65159/">how the different types work</a>, and he even started competing against the pros. He also sought out cash games with competitive punters while at home in England.&nbsp;</p> <p> The move to poker has paid off for Kébé over the last half decade. He was once ranked at #411 in the world, and he’s currently ranked as #372 among French players. His all-time poker winnings have amassed nearly $370,000 USD.&nbsp;<br /> Kébé’s biggest live cash win was a $99,960 grab and second-place finish in No Limit Hold’em at a WSOP Circuit Main event in Marrakech in 2019.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p> The footballer-turned-poker-ace notes a distinct difference between the sports. In football, playing your best usually results in a win, according to Kébé’.&nbsp;This isn’t the case with poker. Players with superior skills often lose due to poker’s nuances of timing and opportunity.&nbsp;</p> <h2><strong>Once a Royal, Always a Royal</strong></h2> <p>Kébé carries fond memories of his days in the Royals kit and still maintains connections to the club.&nbsp;He often speaks to former teammate Khalifa Cissé. The Malian duo were staples under managers Steve Coppell, Brendan Rodgers, and Brian McDermott from 2008 to 2010.&nbsp;</p> <p> The 37-year-old met his wife while playing for Reading, and the couple lives in London. His father-in-law remains an ardent Royals supporter. On the rare occasion that Kébé misses a match, his father-in-law is quick to update him via text or phone call.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p> Kébé’s favourite moments with Reading were <a href="https://bleacherreport.com/articles/1283563-what-does-it-mean-to-be-promoted-to-the-premier-league">pushing for EPL promotion</a> in 2012 and scoring the Royals’ then-quickest ever goal in 2010–a blistering 9.5 seconds score that came against West Bromwich Albion in an FA Cup tie match.&nbsp;<br /> That mark was bested by Yakou Méïté in October 2020 on an eight second goal during a 4-2 Championship victory over Blackburn.&nbsp;</p> <h2><strong>A Bright Future with the Chips Down</strong></h2> <p>Kebe feels that having poker in his life eased what might otherwise have been a rocky transition away from football.&nbsp;<br /> He notes that many former players have difficulty adjusting to life without a set schedule and practice routine. Kebe’s involvement in poker was rising at the time injuries forced him to give up football.</p> <p>The former Royal will always be grateful for the opportunity to move from one competitive sport to another.&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> http://www.royals.org/news/938/Former_Royal_Kébé_Now_Playing_in_Pro_Poker 938 Tue, 16 Nov 2021 10:29:52 UTC Hob Nob Anyone? Predictable Defeat Against Bournemouth Reading's threadbare squad predictably succumbed to unbeaten league leaders Bournemouth this evening, conceding just before half time from a set piece, and again early in the second half when Danny Drinkwater carelessly gifted possession just outside his own box leaving substitute Lowe to calmly steer home the killer second goal. Before and between the Cherries goals Reading squandered good chances to take the lead or equalise. Once again Reading's only experienced striker, out of form George Puscas, failed miserably in front of goal. Ironically, there was little to choose between the sides over the ninety minutes in terms of possession, attempts of goal, and corners. The obvious difference between the sides was plain for all to see. <br/><a href="https://www.royals.org/matchreport/301021/Reading_0_Bournemouth_2">Read More...</a> http://www.royals.org/news/937/Predictable_Defeat_Against_Bournemouth 937 Tue, 02 Nov 2021 15:03:20 UTC Hob Nob Anyone? Poor Performance As Reading Throw Away Lead Reading squandered a chance to break into the top six with a most spectacular capitulation against a Blackpool side who played with a level of intensity Reading never even came close to matching. Remarkably The Royals stunned the visitors by grabbing two early goals only to concede three in the last twenty two minutes of the second half. <br/> <a href="https://www.royals.org/matchreport/201021/Reading_2_Blackpool_3"><strong>Read More...</strong> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.royals.org/matchreport/201021/Reading_2_Blackpool_3">Match Report: Reading 2 Blackpool 3</a></li> </ul> http://www.royals.org/news/936/Poor_Performance_As_Reading_Throw_Away_Lead 936 Thu, 21 Oct 2021 17:23:01 UTC Hob Nob Anyone? Fifth Win In Six As Royals Climb Table A brilliant solo goal from John Swift after seventy-seven minutes secured another win for a below par Reading in a match which looked to be drifting towards a goalless draw. A now fully fit Scott Dann was the unlikely provider of the assist of which Swift took full advantage. Controlling the ball on his chest a making a direct run at the Barnsley goal, Swift waltzed through the Barnsley defence and past Barnsley 'keeper Collins, before clinically drilling the ball past Helik on the line. The goal provided the only real moment of real quality in game of erratic passing and poor finishing from both sides. From a Reading perspective nobody will be concerned about the performance after making it five wins out of six taking the Royals to within one point of the top six. <br/><a href="https://www.royals.org/matchreport/161021/Reading_1_Barnsley_0"><strong>Read More...</strong> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.royals.org/matchreport/161021/Reading_1_Barnsley_0"><strong>Match Report and Fan Opinion:</strong> Reading 1 Barnsley 0</a></li> </ul> http://www.royals.org/news/935/Fifth_Win_In_Six_As_Royals_Climb_Table 935 Mon, 18 Oct 2021 09:30:26 UTC Hob Nob Anyone? Royals midfield ace John Swift attracting top-flight attention <p><img src="https://p0.piqsels.com/preview/999/495/660/footballs-football-premier-league-soccer.jpg" style="max-width:100%"></p> <p>EFL Championship top scorer John Swift is rumoured to have caught the eye of multiple Premier League teams since the start of the 2021/22 campaign. With seven goals in his first eight appearances this term, the Royals would have been in a spot of bother had it not been for the 26-year-old's goals. Having been at the Select Car Leasing Stadium since 2016, Swift appears to be entering the prime of his five-year spell, having joined Reading from Chelsea following a successful loan spell at Brentford. </p> <p>Swift is now in the last 12 months of his current contract with the Royals, so his blistering start to the season will heap pressure on Reading's hierarchy to either offer him a new deal or decide whether to sell him in the January transfer window. A trio of top-flight outfits are thought to be keeping tabs on Swift's progress, with former loan club Brentford one of them, along with Aston Villa and Newcastle United.</p> <p>With Swift set to be available on a free transfer next summer, Newcastle would certainly be a credible destination given their lack of financial muscle in recent seasons. It has been something of a struggle for Magpies boss Steve Bruce in the transfer market, with the club's controversial owner Mike Ashley permitting just one big-money signing in the shape of Arsenal midfielder Joe Willock.</p> <p>The 21-year-old has no doubt brought a spark to the Magpies after a successful loan spell last season. In Newcastle's recent home clash with Leeds leading football tipster Tom Love, who provides betting <a href="https://www.oddschecker.com/tips/football">predictions across the EPL</a>, Championship and beyond, tipped Willock to score at any time against Marcelo Bielsa's Whites. Although Willock didn't score, Newcastle held Leeds to a 1-1 draw, which will unlikely appease the fans that continue to call for Bruce's departure. There is certainly a sense that the Magpies would benefit from the box-to-box abilities of Swift however, considering the lack of form and fitness of the likes of Jonjo Shelvey and Jeff Hendrick.</p> <h2>Swift could be an ideal option for Brentford's progressive squad</h2> <p><img src="https://p2.piqsels.com/preview/901/52/31/bleachers-chairs-empty-goal.jpg" style="max-width:100%"></p> <p>It's also unsurprising to see Brentford's scouts keeping tabs on Swift. His seven-goal return in 27 appearances for the Bees in 2015/16 made him hot property that Reading were able to snare on an initial three-year deal. The Bees have made a hugely encouraging start to life in the EPL, picking up eight points from their first five games in the top-flight. This included an impressive home victory over Arsenal on the opening day of the season.</p> <p>Brentford's savvy transfer recruitment is heralded by many as the reason behind the Bees' rise through the English football pyramid. Owner Matthew Benham made his millions in the sports betting industry and has long specialised in making data-driven sports decisions. For several seasons now, Brentford have signed players based largely on a player's data attributes. Head coach Thomas Frank then has the role of moulding those players into a cohesive unit. Ivan Toney is a perfect case in point – a player that had shown huge promise in League One with Peterborough United and was plucked from relative obscurity to help take the Bees into the EPL. Frank and the Bees' recruitment department may look at Swift's data and realise that his performances are maturing and that he is developing a greater consistency to his output at both ends of the pitch.</p> <p>Recently relegated Sheffield United tried very hard <a href="https://talksport.com/football/736067/transfer-sheffield-united-reading-john-swift/">to secure the services</a> of John Swift in this summer's transfer window. Blades boss Slavisa Jokanovic is said to be a keen admirer of Swift's talents and although the deal was never completed, Jokanovic and United continue to hold a strong interest.</p> <p>Reading's precarious financial situation is well-documented. Despite his impressive form and his importance to Reading's 2021/22 season, selling Swift in January could be essential in keeping the Royals afloat. Swift would slot seamlessly into Brentford or Villa's system due to their possession-based game. Whether he would fit as well under Steve Bruce's regime on Tyneside remains to be seen, but after a bout of injuries Swift certainly deserves another crack at the big time as he enters his prime.</p> http://www.royals.org/news/934/Royals_midfield_ace_John_Swift_attracting_top-flight_attention 934 Fri, 01 Oct 2021 10:33:13 UTC Hob Nob Anyone? Another Win Despite Injuries And Off-Pitch Worries Without a single recognised centre back available, and a makeshift pairing of Laurent and Yiadom at the heart of the defence, Reading kept their first clean sheet of the season and extended their unbeaten run to four games. A second half strike by Halilovic gave the Royals their third successive victory as they moved into the top half of the table. Reading played some superb flowing football at times and sliced open the Middlesbrough defence on several occasions. Had their finishing matched their approach play they could have won comfortably. With so many accomplished players on the pitch and Swift pulling the strings in centre of midfield the quality of Reading's passing and movement was mesmerising at times. Considering the threat of a points deduction hanging over them, a transfer embargo and an ever growing list of injured regular first choice players, it was a remarkable performance. <br/> <a href="https://www.royals.org/matchreport/250921/Reading_1_Middlesbrough_0"><strong>Read More...</strong> http://www.royals.org/news/933/Another_Win_Despite_Injuries_And_Off-Pitch_Worries 933 Mon, 27 Sep 2021 09:20:24 UTC Hob Nob Anyone? Reading Get Second Win Of Season An exquisite free kick by John Swift after sixty-four minutes brought this dour struggle to life and sparked a furry of late goals to secure Reading's much needed second victory of the season. Having broken the deadlock, Puscas set up Dele-Bashiru for Reading's second three minute later as Peterborough fell apart. The visitors managed to recover their composure and pulled a goal back through Thompson with a far post header. Given the frequency with which the Royals have conceded late goals recently, the home fans could be forgiven for fearing another late collapse. Learning from recent disasters Reading managed the game well and went for a third goal which duly arrived in spectacular fashion from Dele-Bashiru two minutes from the end of normal time. Swift slipped him a pass outside the box and Peterborough gave him sufficient time and space to beat Pym with an outstanding dipping and swerving strike. <br/> <a href="https://www.royals.org/matchreport/140921/Reading_3_Peterborough_1">Read More...</a> <ul> <li><a href="https://www.royals.org/matchreport/140921/Reading_3_Peterborough_1"><strong>Match Report and Fan Opinion:</strong> Reading 3 Peterborough 1</a></li> </ul> http://www.royals.org/news/932/Reading_Get_Second_Win_Of_Season 932 Wed, 15 Sep 2021 09:28:05 UTC Hob Nob Anyone? Transfer Window Closes Reading failed to sign a striker as the summer transfer deadline passed. Free agent Andy Carroll remained a solid rumour throughout transfer deadline day but he failed to sign after being released by Newcastle United in the summer. Reading are left with a stronger midfield and defence after a busy final week of the window but fans will be left frustrated by the lack of a goalscorer with long term injuries to our better striking options. <br/><br/> Paunovic would have started the season feeling reasonably confident about the back line, despite the lack of a left back, with Moore and Morrison in the middle. However, our goalscoring issues have been overshadowed at the back where Reading have suffered so far this season. We have already conceeded a whopping 16 goals in just 6 games. With that in mind the signing of centre-back Scott Dann is a big boost. The 34 year old was released by Crystal Palace and will bring loads of experience to Reading after signing a one-year contract. He made over 180 appearances for Palace and will hopefully look comfortable after dropping down a division. <br/><br/> More experience arrived after former Leicester midfielder Danny Drinkwater joined Reading on a season loan from Chelsea. Drinkwater has struggled recently with injuries and issues off the pitch after his high profile move to Chelsea after Leicester won the Premier League. His impressive performances atr Leicester not only led to trophies but an England call up where he made three appearances for the Three Lions. He comes to Reading looking to get his career back on track after some tough times where he has struggled to get matches. If he can rediscover even some of his form at Reading then he could be a massive signing this season as Reading look to turn a poor start around. <br/><br/> <h3>Reading's Summer Signings</h3> <li><strong>Abdul-Rahman Baba</strong> - Chelsea left back - signed on loan</li> <li><strong>Danny Drinkwater</strong> - Chelsea midfielder - on loan</li> <li><strong>Tom Dele-Bashiru</strong> - Watford Midfielder - on loan</li> <li><strong>Alen Halilovic</strong> - Midfielder - free transfer</li> <li><strong>Junior Hoilett</strong> - Winger - free transfer</li> <li><strong>Scott Dann</strong> - Defender - free transfer</li> http://www.royals.org/news/931/Transfer_Window_Closes 931 Wed, 01 Sep 2021 15:56:07 UTC Hob Nob Anyone?