Its been a busy 24 hours or so at Reading Football Club. Yesterday it was announced that the club had relieved Nigel Adkins and his staff of their duties. Almost immediately former West Brom boss Steve Clarke became the bookies favourite and earlier today he was given the job on a 2-and-a-half year deal.
Firstly, my thoughts on Nigel Adkins. In my view, a fantastic man, and a fantastic manager. I was lucky enough to meet him and shadow him during a training session at Hogwood and he was a real gentleman and assisted me a huge amount in gaining experience with my coaching. Adkins came to a club and was promised a lot, and soon it became apparent that those promises would not be fulfilled with the departure of Anton Zingarevich. A lot of credit should be given to him to stick with it, it became a totally different job to the one he was sold, and many people would have walked away, but he didn’t. What he was left with was a minimal budget to change the way these players play. He has a very clear idea of how football should be played, and had he had a reasonable budget and a good amount of time it may have worked, unfortunately this did not happen. For me, a lot of comparisons can be made to Brendan Rodgers, a man who had a clear vision of how he wanted us to play, but very minimal resources. It didn’t work for Brendan at Reading either, and now look where he is. There is no doubt in my mind Adkins will do a fantastic job somewhere else, and I look forward to seeing how his career develops from here on in.
When I heard the news about Adkins I began to think about who I would bring in. I have to say, Steve Clarke was certainly on my list, and high up it. I really felt we needed someone with good football knowledge, but the ability to grind out results and maybe take a small step backwards in the style we play. We have never been known for high possession football, we have always had ball winning centre midfielders, 2 out-and-out wingers and 2 strikers, and its proved a success in the past. We need an adaptable manager, one who can be slightly more flexible in the way he approaches games. I certainly think those boxes are ticket with Clarke, not to mention his phenomenal CV as a coach.
Without a doubt it is always going to be a risk with a new manager, but I really hope Clarke proves a success. He has a point to prove to the football community and I’m sure he will do well. I also feel its time for the players to stand up and be counted. It’s easy for us as fans to sit in our armchairs and point fingers at the manager, but he has to work with squad of players he has and they simply have not been good enough in recent weeks. This team undoubtedly has talent, its time to work hard and get the results we need.
From a fan, best of luck to Nigel Adkins, Andy Crosby and Dean Wilkins, and of course, good luck to the new man at the helm, Steve Clarke.
Thanks for reading.