Usually during an international break I’m longing for club football to be back. However, at the moment it just isn’t possible to feel that way.
Today’s news (Wednesday) has thrown further doubt into Reading’s future. Director of Football Brian Tevreden has announced he has left the club to take the CEO role at a partner club in Belgium. I’m largely unaware of his replacement, Gianluca Nani, but the real individual that this saga revolves around, CEO Ron Gourlay. It’s been suggested that Tevreden has left the club because he could no longer work with Gourlay.
Other senior figures have left which casts some serious doubt over the club. Uncertainty off the pitch is more often that not detrimental to events on the pitch.
As I’ve said many times this season so far has been nothing short of disgraceful. The cycle must end at some point.
A lot of Reading fans were hoping that the victory against Birmingham in the League Cup would be a springboard for the season. But the team remain winless since then. I put myself out there a while ago and said that the club and Paul Clement should part company. He is fast running out of games.
Two more winless games could spell the end, depending on the nature of the results and performances. I would love to see Clement turn things around, but it has to happen soon. Very soon.
There was some positive news this week, firstly the progress that Jordan Obita has made. He recently visited a specialist in the US, and looked very strong and determined. Garath McCleary is another long-term absentee but he made a return to football during the break. Saturday’s game at Preston may be a little soon but we’ll wait and see. It remains to be seen wither any players that have been away on international duty have any issues, but none have been reported thus far.
I’d like to see Clement field a team with three central midfielders away at Preston. Rarely have ween seen Reading play with much control thus far, and I simply don’t see how the current squad is capable of controlling games with just two midfielders. But sadly Clement is keen to play with two strikers.
With that in mind, my predicted starting XI is as follows;
GK: Vito Mannone
RB: Chris Gunter
CB: Liam Moore ©
CB: Tiago Ilori
LB: Tyler Blackett
RM: Sone Aluko
CM: David Meyler
CM: Liam Kelly
LM: Mo Barrow
ST: Sam Baldock
ST: Jon Dadi Bödvarsson
Picture Credit: Reading FC