The last couple of days have been very important for the future of Reading FC. Although not yet officially finalised, the club made an official statement regarding a new ‘partnership’ with a Thai consortium led by Kunying Sasima Srivikorn. It is believed 3 other investors, as well as Kunying Sasima are involved, including Samrit Bunditkitsada and Robert Tan. Bunditkitsada had been thought to be the lead character in this ‘partnership’ however that now does not seem to be the case, although it is believed he is still very much involved. I feel this takeover has a balance of people interested in football, but also people interested in creating a strong business which will make them money, as the Madejski Hotel also seems to be a key part of the deal. The most important thing to Reading fans now is the hope of money for Nigel Adkins to finally get a chance to sign some players and build a squad.
Having watched the Swansea game today, and followed our pre-season quite closely, I have to say there are many positives to take out of it (I would warn Reading fans reading this article that I tend to be very positive, even when I probably shouldn’t be when it comes to this club). Ryan Edwards, although for me unimpressive against Swansea, has been a real highlight and firmly forced his way into Nigel Adkins plans. Nick Blackman has looked strong, and ready to stake a claim for a starting XI spot for Wigan next Saturday. Jake Taylor has also had a good pre-season, which again is another big positive. However, following the Swansea game today, it is clear there are changes that need to be made. To be fair to the team they faced a very strong-looking Swansea outfit, with a few new, top quality signings within their ranks. Despite this, I would play it slightly differently next week. For me, Michael Hector is not a Central Midfielder. Good in the air, fairly comfortable with the ball at his feet, strong in the tackle, but for me only ever a Center Back, and I would have him starting over Alex Pearce. That obviously leaves a gap in midfield which is hard to fill at the moment with our current injuries, however I would be tempted to take a risk on Aaron Kuhl, who for me showed real class and composure against Swansea when he came off the bench. Despite being young he seems a very accomplished midfielder, he got stuck in and he played some great passes, linking play between the defence and midfield very well and also providing dangerous passes further up the field. Some may say its a bit soon for him, but with the current situation and lack of players, why not? The other change I would make is subject to a little transfer activity which I have heard rumoured. Supposedly, according to the Daily Mail, free agent Joan Oriol, a former La Liga left-back has rejected the chance to join Blackpool in favour of Reading. If this is true, and we could get him in VERY soon, I would have him at left-back and Jordan Obita pushing on to left-mid. Other than that, there is not a lot I would change.
Once money has cleared, signings are vital. We are clearly in need of two strikers, a central midfielder (although well stocked there we are without Karacan and possible Guthrie for the first game), a winger (for me, with no McCleary and HRK, this is another position where cover is needed) and cover at Center Back. Names that have been linked include Joe Mason from Cardiff, a talented and still young striker who I am hugely in favour of. Adam Clayton of Huddersfield has also been linked, again a very talented player and one I’d love at the club. At the game today was Anton Ferdinand, and it seems he may very well be signing for the club soon. As much as this one doesn’t jump out as an amazing signing, it may end up being a useful one. Certainly a very experienced player, which is useful in such a youthful squad and a player with bags of experience both at Championship and Premier League level.
Realistically, with the squad as it is, I don’t expect a season of glory for the Royals, however if the takeover can sort itself out ASAP and some good quality players can be bought in, I don’t see why we can’t set our sights on something a little better than what we currently expect. I would also say that I completely admire Nigel Adkins for staying in his role as manager, as I’m sure many others would have wanted to leave, but hopefully, he may finally be able to show what he can do given the right tools.
All views and comments are welcome,
Thanks for reading.
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