News and Views

Loan Frenzy: Appiah in, Guthrie and Taylor Out

27 March 2015
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Following Wednesday's loan signing of Nathan Ake from Chelsea, Reading have been busy again in the loan market. Crystal Palace forward Kwesi Appiah has arrived on loan from Crystal Palace until the end of the season. Going out is Danny Guthrie on loan for the rest of the season to Fulham, and Jake Taylor who has joined Leyton Orient in League One.

There has been speculation about Kwesi Appiah joining Reading for some time and the loan spell will give Steve Clarke time to properly assess the player. Appiah is 24 and has spent most of his career out on loan at various clubs after signing for Crystal Palace from Kettering in January 2012. He has been limited to just one start and nine appearances from the substitutes bench at his parent club. Loan spells have included time at Aldershot, Yeovil, Notts County and AFC Wimbledon - but his success has come in two different spells at Cambridge United. He has a very impressive hit rate at Cambridge scoring 18 goals in 39 starts. After leaving Cambridge at the end of the year his appearances have been limited to four matches for his country, Ghana. He scored for his country against Guinea in a 3-0 win in February.

Meanwhile, Danny Guthrie may well have played his last game for the Royals after joining Championship strugglers Fulham on-loan. Guthrie arrived from Newcastle for 2.5 million pounds in the summer of 2012 and has had plenty of ups and downs at Reading - but mostly downs. He had a very public falling out with former Reading boss Brian McDermott after refusing to travel to an away match, which saw reduced first team appearances for the player. Under Adkins he came back into favour for a time, but has had limited action under Steve Clarke. This season Guthrie has made just 11 appearances for the Royals.

Jake Taylor has also had reduced chances in the starting eleven after establishing himself as a regular at the start of the campaign. His Reading career has seen him clock up more appearances from the bench than starts, but this season had looked bright. After loan spells at Crawley and Cheltenham last season was a big break through for Taylor as he became a regular in the side - but Clarke clearly doesn't have Taylor in his immediate plans. Clarke dropped Taylor from the side and has played him just twice this year - and both occassions were when he made dramatic changes to the side to rest players around FA Cup fixtures.

Nathan Ake Arrives On Loan From Chelsea

25 March 2015
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading have completed the loan signing of youngster Nathan Ake on loan from Chelsea. Ake will join up with Chelsea team mate Nathaniel Chalobah who is also currently at Reading on loan from the Premier League leaders. Steve Clarke appears to be making the most of his contacts with Chelsea as he looks to take Reading clear of the Championship drop zone.

Ake is just twenty years old but already has career experience having made 11 appearances for Chelsea in a wide range of competitions and he has played for the Dutch under 21s. Ake can play in a variety of defensive positions including central defence and a defensive midfield role. He impressed during Chelsea's pre-season and was expected to feature more frequently this season after being awarded with the number 6 squad number. However, his chances have been limited and his arrival at Reading gives him a real chance of picking up further competitive experience.

Ake made three Premier League appearances for Chelsea in the 2012/2013 season and played the full 90 minutes against Everton as Chelsea ended the season with a 2-1 home win. The following season he was limited to one match before getting a Champions League appearance against NK Maribor this term.

Perhaps unfortunately he also appeared in the FA Cup for Chelsea this season, playing the last ten minutes in the 3-0 win over Watford. That appearance means he is cup-tied and can't feature for Reading in the semi-final.

Although his loan spell is initially for a month it seems likely he will stay with the Royals until the end of the season depending on his involvement during April. He will be available for Reading's remaining league games this season starting with the home game with Cardiff City on Saturday 4 April.

Early Queues As Cup Tickets Go On Sale

24 March 2015
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Season ticket holders are queuing outside Madejski Stadium ticket windows this morning to buy tickets for Reading's FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal - even though there will still be a guaranteed 19,000 available in 48 hours time. Tickets go on sale this morning from 10am to season ticket holders only and are available to buy at the stadium, on-line and via the phone. The earliest people to arrive at the stadium were there at 2am to be first in the queue and before 9am queues were building. The club have set up catering and free parking at the stadium.

There is no rush at all with season ticket holders having two full days to get their pick of the seats before they go on sale to members with at least 1,500 Royalty points on Thursday morning. As the club have split the eligibility over several days it seems likely there will still be over 10,000 tickets available during Friday when the eligibility is increased further.

The club have released a detailed guide to buying tickets for the semi-final on their website. Meanwhile, the fans have chosen the singing section at Wembley as blocks 110 to 113.

See Also:

Ticket Sale Dates and Tiers:

  • Tue 24 March: Season Ticket holders only
  • Wed 25 March: Season Ticket holders only
  • Thu 26 March: Season Ticket holders, and Members with over 1500 points
  • Fri 27 March: Season Ticket holders, and Members with over 750 points
  • Sat 28 March: Season Ticket holders, and Members with over 600 points
  • Sun 29 March: Season Ticket holders, and Members with over 300 points
  • In the unlikely event of tickets remaining these will go on sale on Monday 30 March to members

Tickets are on sale on-line, in person and on the phone, in price categories with prices ten pounds cheaper for concession tickets:

  • Green: £33
  • Yellow: £43
  • Blue: £53
  • Red: £63

Can Semi-Final History With Arsenal Repeat

23 March 2015
By Hob Nob Anyone?

When Reading face Arsenal at Wembley next month in the FA Cup semi-final, bookmakers, neutrals, Arsenal fans and probably most Reading fans will be expecting only one outcome. As well as the obvious gap in class between the two teams, there is a huge gap in league places with Arsenal trying to finish the season in the top two in the Premier League and Reading struggling in 19th place in the Championship.

History is also strongly in Arsenal's favour. Everyone remembers that insane night at the Madejski Stadium back in October 2012 where we went down 5-7 in the League Cup after leading 4-0 with 37 minutes on the clock. Stoppage time saw Arsenal make it 4-4 and then score three more in extra time as Reading crumbled. Our recent history of 3 seasons in the Premier League allowed Arsenal to clock up another straight 6 victories over the Royals. Our last three games alone have seen Arsenal score 16 goals against us. 16 goals. 3 games. Definately not pretty.

In fact, Reading have lost all 11 of their last meetings with the Gunners. If Reading beat Arsenal at Wembley it will be unexpected giant killing on a similar level to Bradford City's 4-2 victory at Chelsea earlier in this season's FA Cup. You have to go all the way back to 1957 to find anything other than a defeat - but that's where the good news begins.

Not only did we avoid defeat to Arsenal on 3 April 1957, but we actually beat them. And it was in a cup semi-final. The Royals were 2-1 winners over Arsenal in the Southern Professional Floodlit Cup at Elm Park. Jimmy Wheeler scored both the goals that night in front of 9,799 fans. The Reading team that night included Maurice Evans, Douggie Webb and Tommy Dixon. Reading were then picked to play at Elm Park again against Luton Town in the final where they lost 1-2, with Wheeler scoring again in front of a crowd of 15,599.

So the history books confirm that Reading have already had cup semi-final success over Arsenal - and that's something we'll be hoping to continue at Wembley on the 18 April - 58 years since our last win over Arsenal. Reading did pick up some wins during the Second World War, but putting games during that period aside as it would be wrong to include them in a competitive record, there is just one other victory over Arsenal.

Thanks to Reading FC statistician Strap, we can confirm that the Royals beat Arsenal 1-0 on 23 September 1907 at The Manor Ground in a charity cup competition. The Southern Professional Charity Cup was a brief competition played between 1901 and 1915. The Royals were joint winners in 1904/1905 after a 0-0 draw with Tottenham Hotspur in the final, and were also losing finalists in the following year... against Arsenal. Our other meeting with Arsenal in that competition was also a defeat. However, that 1-0 win in 1907 is another cup victory over Arsenal to add to our semi-final win in 1957.

Reading and Arsenal - The full competitive record:

14 Sep 1898 H United League Woolwich Arsenal D: 1-1 No report
03 Oct 1898 A United League Woolwich Arsenal L: 0-2 No report
27 Sep 1899 H Southern Combination League Woolwich Arsenal L: 0-3 No report
26 Mar 1900 A Southern Combination League Woolwich Arsenal D: 1-1 No report
18 Jan 1904 N Southern Professional Charity Cup Woolwich Arsenal L: 1-3 No report
30 Apr 1906 N Southern Professional Charity Cup Woolwich Arsenal L: 0-1 No report
23 Sep 1907 A Southern Professional Charity Cup Woolwich Arsenal W: 1-0 No report
16 Feb 1935HFootball Association CupArsenalL: 0-1No report
04 Jan 1941HLondon War CupArsenalW: 2-0No report
11 Jan 1941ALondon War CupArsenalW: 1-0No report
29 Nov 1941ALondon LeagueArsenalL: 1-3No report
07 Mar 1942HLondon LeagueArsenalL: 1-4No report
24 Oct 1942AFootball League SouthArsenalL: 1-4No report
30 Jan 1943HFootball League SouthArsenalL: 4-5No report
04 Mar 1944ALeague Cup SouthArsenalW: 3-2No report
25 Mar 1944HLeague Cup SouthArsenalW: 5-1No report
04 Nov 1944HFootball League SouthArsenalW: 3-1No report
03 Feb 1945HLeague Cup SouthArsenalL: 1-3No report
24 Feb 1945ALeague Cup SouthArsenalL: 0-3No report
31 Mar 1945AFootball League SouthArsenalW: 2-0No report
03 Apr 1957HSouthern Professional Floodlit CupArsenalW: 2-1No report
11 Oct 1967ALeague CupArsenalL: 0-1No report
05 Feb 1972HFootball Association CupArsenalL: 1-2No report
02 Oct 1974HFriendlyArsenalL: 0-2No report
10 Jan 1987HFootball Association CupArsenalL: 1-3No report
29 Nov 2005ALeague CupArsenalL: 0-3Read report...
22 Oct 2006HFA Premier LeagueArsenalL: 0-4Read report...
03 Mar 2007AFA Premier LeagueArsenalL: 1-2Read report...
12 Nov 2007HFA Premier LeagueArsenalL: 1-3Read report...
19 Apr 2008AFA Premier LeagueArsenalL: 0-2Read report...
30 Oct 2012HLeague CupArsenalL: 5-7Read report...
17 Dec 2012HFA Premier LeagueArsenalL: 2-5Read report...
30 Mar 2013AFA Premier LeagueArsenalL: 1-4Read report...

Thanks to Strap for the details.