News and Views

Royals Win In Wycombe Friendly

28 July 2014
By Dave Roberts

A sunny Adams Park provided the venue for an early glimpse of the aftermath from Reading FC’s own Russian revolution. With the starting eleven having an average age of under 24, an insight was given to the team selection for the season and the potential struggle for mounting anything other than a mid-table finish.

The young Reading team however produced a refreshing dominant performance against a Wycombe Wanderers side that managed football league survival on the final day of last season. The 840 Reading FC fans, who made the short trip to Buckinghamshire, would have gone home satisfied to witness some positives for the new season after enduring endless rumours and pessimistic comments since the disappointing conclusion of the last.

Using the now typical Adkins 4-5-1 formation, Reading took control of the game from the start and should have taken the lead in the 4th minute when the attacking midfielder Edwards pulled his shot wide after being put clear from an Akpan through ball. With Reading controlling the possession, chances followed for Taylor and Pogrebnyak and with more clinical finishing Reading FC would have been two or three up after the first 15 minutes.

Obita caused constant issues for Wycombe in the first half with his crossing and free kicks. Taylor having a 20th minute offside goal disallowed from an Obita set piece. The disappointing Robson-Kanu had a couple of chances from the edge of area in the 22nd and 24th minute but failed the trouble the goalkeeper.

The goal finally came in the 40th minute as Obita produced a well-placed cross for the hopefully lethal Pogrebnyak to dispatch a header into the bottom corner. Chances followed for both Taylor and Robson-Kanu after some clever work by Edwards, but Reading FC were unable to add to their lead. As Cummings replaced the promising Hector at half time, the second half started with Obita playing in Centre Midfield. The game continued in the same format of the first, Reading FC dominant and pressing for more goals. Unfortunately Reading FC were unable to convert those chances into goals. Either weak shots or last ditch Wycombe tackles keeping the score down.

In the 64th minute the ever positive Edwards produced a stylish lobbed through ball for Pogrebynak but saw his shot saved by a strong right hand from Ingram. Then the enthusiastic substitute Blackman smashed an impressive rasping 30-yard effort against the bar in the 67th minute.

The second goal came in the 75th minute after good work from Gunter and Edwards allowed Taylor to produce a calm low finish past Ingram. The goal generated a flurry of substitutions as Gunter, Obita, Pearce, Morrison, Edwards, Akpan, Taylor and Pogrebnyak were replaced by the youngsters Long, Kuhl, Sweeny, Cooper, Stacey, Griffen, Tshibola, and Tanner.

The changes allowed Wycombe to come back into the game, although some nice touches were seen from Tanner and Kuhl. Blackman was unlucky not to score in the 89th minute when his back post header was well saved from Ingram. Overall it was a promising and refreshing run out for Reading FC with, in particular, impressive performances from Taylor and Edwards. Whether it was enough to give hope for the new season remains to be seen.

Reading: Federici, Gunter (c) (Long 75), Obita (Kuhl 75), Morrison (Cooper 75), Pearce (Sweeney 75), Akpan (Tshibola 75), Hector (Cummings 45), Edwards (Stacey 75), Taylor (Tanner 75), Robson-Kanu (Blackman 62), Pogrebnyak (Griffin 75).

Club Still Waiting For New Owner

22 July 2014
By Hob Nob Anyone?

With the new season just two and a half weeks ago, Reading FC are still waiting for new ownership. As time runs out for the club to take part in the summer transfer market, the club are still waiting for Thai based Samrit Bunditkitsada and his consortium to come up with the agreed funds. A 26 million pound takeover deal was agreed last month, to transfer ninety percent of the ownership to Bunditkitsada and friends. However, only a small deposit has been paid despite the rest of the money expected last week. The deal, still subject to official approval, is far from being finalised as the Royals look to start the season with a much weakened squad and an unknown boardroom team.

Should the Thai consortium fail to come up with the cash then Reading FC still have the option to switch to other bidders. Interest from the US still continues and an offer from the American group is reported to be much better funded, which could mean a quicker completion. The takeover has dragged on for months and months, and Reading Football Club remain silent as they cross their fingers in the hope that it will eventually complete. Adkins has no budget for new players and a further delay could see other players out of the door before the season kicks-off as the club look to pay off further bills. There may be no reason to panic - Bunditkitsada might suddenly come up with the money. But as time drags on you can't help thinking this could still take a turn for the worse giving the Royals a very difficult start to the new campaign.

Away Reporter Wanted

21 July 2014
By Hob Nob Anyone?

If you regularly watch Reading FC on their travels, and have an opinion, then now is your chance to get involved with Hob Nob Anyone? for the new season. We are looking for an away game reporter. You don't need to go to every away game, but if you get to most and would like to write a report after each game of around 800 words, then please get in touch! Thanks to the adverts that run across the website we can also pay for your reports. It won't be big money but it might go towards a pre-match pint or two. If you're keen then please e-mail me first (graham at, then submit a sample report from any of Reading's pre-season friendly games, and let me know if you have any questions.

Hob Nob Anyone? is officially 20 years old in August 2014 - making it one of the oldest, if not the very oldest, football website still going. HNA? started at a time when there were only around 5,000 websites in total - compared to approximately 650,000,000 today. We're older than e-bay and Amazon, and were already years old before Google started up. We're keen to keep the website going strong and need contributions to do that. According to Google's analytics we average 40,000 different users and 275,000 sessions every month. So your match report will be read by several thousand Reading FC fans each week - it's a real chance to get to a big audience. We can't promise fame and fortune but you'll get plenty of exposure.

Pre-Season Draw And Karacan Named Captain

21 July 2014
By Hob Nob Anyone?

While the takeover of the club still remains unconfirmed, Nigel Adkins has got back to work as he trys to work out what he can do with the players left available. Eleven players have now left during the summer with no new signings, as academy players are expected to step up into the first team. Adkins has now had two friendlies to work with the squad. This weekend the Royals picked up a 1-1 draw at Yeovil. The game was goalless at half time before Pogrebnyak put Reading ahead after the break as he headed home Ryan Edwards' cross. Reading had other chances during a reasonable first half but the single goal was not enough for victory as the home side equalised with twenty minutes left to play. McCarthy and Federici had a half each in goal before the Royals swapped out the rest of the team after an hour had been played.
Reading team (first 60 minutes):
McCarthy (Federici 46), Gunter, Pearce, Morrison, Obita, Hector, Akpan, Edwards, Taylor, Blackman, Pogrebnyak.
Reading team (last half an hour):
Federici, Long, Hyam, Cooper, Cummings, Tshibola, Kuhl, Fosu, Kelly, Stacey, Robson-Kanu.

Last week Reading picked up a 1-0 victory at Exeter as Reading's pre-season campaign got underway. In an uneventful game, Ryan Edwards scored the only goal of the match during the first half. Striker Edwards, who was out on loan last season but could feature this season due to the slimmed down squad, scored after seven minutes from a rare chance. Adkins, still unsure what he can do in the transfer market as he awaits confirmation of Reading's new ownership, got to try out most of the existing squad after fielding two different sides in each half. Players used: Federici, Gunter, Morrison, Hector, Obita, Williams, Taylor, Kuhl, Edwards, Blackman, Pogrebnyak, Anderson, Kelly, Sweeney, Pearce, Cummings, Akpan, Tshibola, Tanner, Long, Griffin, Stacey.

Meanwhile Jem Karacan has been named as club captain for the new season. Twenty five year old Karacan was limited to just seven appearances early last season after being ruled out by injury, but is hoping to make a big contribution this season. Karacan signed professional terms with Reading in the summer of 2007 and has made well over 150 appearances for the Royals despite injuries.