News and Views

Royals Get Plymouth In League Cup Draw

22 June 2016
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading have been drawn at home to League Two Plymouth Argyle in the first round of the 2016/2017 season's League Cup. The game is likely to take place at the Madejski Stadium on Tuesday 9 August with a 8pm kick-off. Plymouth finished in the play-off positions at the end of the season but were beaten to promotion by AFC Wimbledon in the play-off final.

Recent Meetings With PLYMOUTH

09 February 2010 Championship Plymouth (HOME) W: 2-1 Read report...
28 December 2009 Championship Plymouth (Away) L: 1-4 Read report...
07 March 2009 Championship Plymouth (Away) D: 2-2 Read report...
16 August 2008 Championship Plymouth (HOME) W: 2-0 Read report...
26 November 2005 Championship Plymouth (Away) W: 2-0 Read report...
06 August 2005 Championship Plymouth (HOME) L: 1-2 Read report...
05 February 2005 Championship Plymouth (HOME) D: 0-0 Read report...
02 November 2004 Championship Plymouth (Away) D: 2-2 Read report...
21 December 1999 FA Cup Plymouth (Away) L: 0-1 Read report...
11 December 1999 FA Cup Plymouth (HOME) D: 1-1 Read report...
Reading and Plymouth - Head to head record (since August 1994)
Games Between Reading and Plymouth 10
Reading Wins 3
Plymouth Wins 3
Draws 4
Reading Goals 13
Plymouth Goals 13
Average Goals Per Game 2.6

New Season Fixtures In Full

22 June 2016
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading will kick-off the 2016/2017 Championship season with a home fixture against Preston North End on Saturday 6 August 2016. The new season fixtures were released this morning and reveal that the Royals will start the season at home but will again finish with an away game - wrapping up the season at newly promoted Burton Albion on Sunday 7 May 2017.

Reading will have a tough start to the campaign as they look to put the poor end to last season behind them with yet another new manager in charge. After the Preston game, Jaap Stam will take his side on the road to Wolves and then relegated side Newcastle United mid-week. Our second home game will see the visit of Brighton as Stam looks to pick up some early points to silence the doubters.

The festive period is always a highlight on the fixture calendar and Reading have done well to get a decent home game when Norwich City visit the Madejski Stadium on boxing day. That's followed up by another home game when we face Fulham on New Years' Eve.

Stam Brings In Dutch Coaching Team

13 June 2016
By Hob Nob Anyone?

After signing a two year contract to become the new manager of Reading Football Club, Jaap Stam has brought in new coaches that he worked with at Ajax last season. Andries Ulderink and Said Bakkati, both also Dutch, will make up the new look management and coaching team for the Royals.

In the club's official statement there were more heavy hints that Stam will have to rely on products of the club's youth academy and will not be given a big transfer budget this summer:

"He and his coaching team arrive from Ajax, a club globally renowned for developing young players into first team stars, and from this moment onwards we will sit down together and help to put his plans into action to build a strong squad capable of rising to the challenge of the Championship in 2016/17."

The club's statement also revealed that coaches Steven Reid and Dave Beasant will stay at the club - for now.

Stam Finally Arrives As New Reading Manager

13 June 2016
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading will finally, officially, unveil Jaap Stam as new team manager in this afternoon's press conference. Stam has arrived at the club to complete his contract signing after weeks of waiting following the departure of former boss Brian McDermott. Stam was immediately named as the likely successor, before McDermott had even collected his things, giving a clear signal that he had already been lined up for the job. Reading FC, Stam, and his agent remained silent in the weeks that followed as the deal was worked out and agreed ahead of today's announcement. No other names were seriously linked with the role despite the delay in his official appointment.

Jaap Stam arrives at Reading with no senior managerial experience, but plenty of experience as both a player as as assistant manager. As a player he was capped 67 times for the Netherlands, and played a huge part in Manchester United's most successful times after arriving for ten million pounds. Stam was also successful in his role as a big powerful defender for Lazio, AC Milan and Ajax before moving into coaching after retiring from playing. He was at Ajax last season as assistant manager before leaving at the end of the season to allow himself to take up his first full managers role in England.

Stam will certainly be a big change in direction for Reading Football Club as they try to end years of downward decline following relegation out of the Premier League. It is the kind of high profile appointment the new owners seem to crave - but the success of the new partnership will depend on many things. More than anything success will depend on how much time Stam is given if early results don't go his way, and if he will be allowed to make serious moves in the transfer market. He will inherit a depleted squad that is currently set to rely on young players moving up to the first team. Steve Clarke relied on loan signings last summer - something which failed to produce team spirit. McDermott wasn't given a chance to do anything. Stam appears to be a powerful personality that would look to bond a team together - so surely he will require permanent signings this summer.

It has been a turbulent time for the club over the past few years with such regular changes in management, and lack of league success. The management structure, and playing squad, is almost unrecognisable from only a few seasons ago. It seems unlikely that Stam can steady the boat immediately. He must be given time, and full support from the club and fans, whatever the early season results are. Hopefully he will be one of the first managers in a long time to actually see out his initial contract, regardless of how the league table looks.

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