Crunch Time for Reading and Southampton

October 22, 2012 in Premier League

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Everyone always says that a newly-promoted team needs a good start to the Premier League season, otherwise they are pretty much consigned to relegation back to the Championship. Looking back through recent years, you see the likes of Hull, Norwich and Swansea, who all started well and managed to survive their first season in the top flight. Sadly, Reading and Southampton have not started well, and as I travelled back from Anfield yesterday, both myself and some Southampton fans were jeered by a few West Ham fans who condemned us to relegation. All we did was laugh, but the fear that they were right was plain to see.

Both Reading and Southampton haven’t exactly had easy starts to this campaign. The Royals have played a game less than everyone else but have already played Chelsea, Liverpool, Tottenham, West Brom, Newcastle, Swansea and Stoke. The Saints too have had it tough by playing Manchester City, United, Everton and Arsenal, although they have also played rivals Wigan, Aston Villa and West Ham. It is not easy to get a good start when you have these kind of games early on in the season but now it comes to the crunch point in both their seasons.

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Why Reading have lessons to learn

September 17, 2012 in Premier League

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It had been a long 24 days for me as a Reading fan. Our last Premier League game was all the way back in August, where we put up a brave and heartening displayed against the champions of Europe, Chelsea. Although we lost 4-2, I was immensely proud of the team’s spirit. Roll on almost a month later, and we have the exact opposite. A dire 3-1 defeat to a fragile Spurs team. The game threw up many lessons for us if we are to survive in this league.

Things already got off to a bad start for us even before a ball was kicked. First choice ‘keeper Adam Federici was not in the squad, as he was nursing a knock in midweek but manager Brian McDermott said he was fit enough to feature. Yet on match day, Alex McCarthy was preferred. Federici put up a post on photo sharing website Instagram showing that he was in the dressing room with all his kit and said that he wasn’t injured. Not a good way to boost morale before the start of a big game, with many whispers that the Australian had been dropped due to his poor form; he was also not even in the match squad with experienced bench warmer Stuart Taylor fulfilling his role.

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Season Preview: Reading

August 9, 2012 in Premier League

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There’s few more devastating games to lose in club football than the Championship play-off final. 90 minutes away from the ‘best league in the world’ in the Premier League, with all its prestige and financial reward, promotion can change the fortunes of a club forever. Outclassed by Swansea in May 2011, Reading reacted to that disappointment the way great clubs do. It gave them the fire to not just equal the achievement of making the play-offs, but go one step further and be promoted as champions. With a great manager in Brian McDermott, and solid financial backing that has lead to plentiful summer strengthening in the transfer market, Reading return to the Premier League on sure footing.

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