Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Reading to struggle!

Having started their Championship campaign in lethargic fashion, very much suffering from their play-off hangover, following their 4-2 final defeat to Swansea City in 2011, Brian McDermott performed a miracle in orchestrating their end of season form which saw them gain promotion to the Premier League as Champions!

Reading celebrating their 2012 Championship success
Continuing the trend of promoted sides, Reading have brought players from the Championship whom are at the right age and probably equipped to handle top flight football. Chris Gunter, Gareth McCleary and Adrian Marriappa, all second tier performers last year, deserve their chance in the Premier League, and credit to McDermott who’s given them exactly that. However for me the best addition is Danny Guthrie. Having failed to dislodge Yohan Cabaye and Cheick Tiote at his former club Newcastle, Guthrie left the club on a free transfer and will no doubt flourish given a decent run in a side.

Their threat from the wide areas of the pitch is a key part of Reading’s game as both Jimmy Kebe and Jobi McAnuff took the Championship by storm last year. Kebe has an extremely good end product, something flair wide players usually come without, and if he has another good season, I’m sure some of the bigger clubs will check the availability of the Malian midfielder. 

Key player - Pavel Pogrebnyak: The big Russian centre forward was a surprise transfer addition, with many people expecting him to sign for Fulham, whom he was on loan at during the previous campaign. But Fulham’s loss is most certainly Reading’s gain. He has all the attributes to make it in England, and having already broken his Reading duck with a brilliant header against Chelsea, I reckon the former Stuttgart man will reach double figures for the Royals. Whether that'll be enough to save his new club is another thing. 

Pogrebnyak scored 6 goals in 12 games when on loan at Fulham

Prediction – 18th: I’m a huge fan of the manager and I believe he's assembled a strong squad; however I do feel they lack the quality to survive in the Premier League. I worry where the goals will come from if Pogrebnyak is ever injured; however they’ve impressed me in both games so far this season and were very unlucky not to leave Stamford Bridge without a point.

View from a fan - Dan Brown @DAB_44

What would be a good season?
A good season would to just stay up, preferably without getting into a dog fight at the bottom. Mid table is the best we can hope for.

What would be a nightmare year?
Relegation followed by the loss of our manager and best players!

Do you have the right man in charge?
Brian McDermott is the best manager we could have, he’s been at the club for 10 years, and has managed all the different age levels at the club, so he knows the place like the back of his hand. A very very good manager!

How would you rate your transfer window?
The business done in the transfer window was good! Players were brought in where needed, and we didn’t go crazy like QPR, the manager wanted cover for every position and that is exactly what he did!

Aside from Pogrebnyak where are the goals going to come from?
Goals can come from anywhere, last season we very much spread out the goals amongst the squad. We’re a threat from anywhere; we scored goals from the wings as well a set pieces. Adam Le Fondre is definitely our secret weapon for the Premier League though, he’s a typical poacher and if he gets the opportunity he will score. Also you’d always fancy Ian Harte when he’s standing over a free-kick. 

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