News and Views

No Pressure On Adkins?

12 April 2013
By Hob Nob Anyone?

With Reading already doomed to relegation, you'd assume there would be no pressure on new Royals boss Nigel Adkins to get anything from Saturday's home against Liverpool. You would also think that Adkins would be given the rest of the season to do what he likes with the squad to prepare for next season's Championship campaign. Any unlikely points picked up from the last six games should be just a bonus after a dismal season that sees Reading on a current run of eight straight defeats. However Brian McDermott's dismissal wasn't an overly popular decision, although a minority thought it was time he left with Reading struggling in the relegation zone. Adkins hasn't replaced an unpopular manager, and another defeat could see plenty of discontent within Reading fans already annoyed about the way McDermott was thrown out.

It's a bit unfair quoting statistics on Reading in the Premier League this season with and without McDermott, but that's exactly what the BBC have done this week despite only three games passing. It's even more unfair that it's included trips to Manchester United and Arsenal. Adkins has also only been in charge for two of those three fixtures. However a quick glance at the stats must be uncomfortable viewing for Zingarevich even though they are based on so little:

  With McDermott:   Without McDermott:  
Goals per game   1.21 0.33
Conceded per game   1.93 2.33
Win % 17.24 0

Yet another defeat this weekend won't bring any anger towards Adkins, who looks like the perfect fit for the job and is a manager with all the right qualifications, but Anton Zingarevich might well come into the spotlight. John Madejski was in the press this week saying that he would have kept McDermott in charge: "I was sad to see Brian McDermott go, I would have kept him" Anton was quick to blame McDermott for the lack of investment in the squad this season. We'll never know exactly what funds were available, but the facts are that Reading's first season in the top flight under the ownership of Zingarevich was an under-funded failure.

And talking of under-funded there's been a brilliant story hitting the papers about Reading FC advertising for full time Sports Analyst job. The successful candidate is expected to travel to all games home and away as part of their full time job. They also need to have experience working for a football club and have a relevant degree. It all sounds great until you read the last line of the job advert: This role is unpaid and includes no travel expenses.. Apparently this isn't unusual for Reading FC or the industry but it just highlights the attitude of the club who are obviously keen to exploit a gullible fan. Again. This follows on from the saga of the club refusing to pay for the lunch of the Simod Cup winning squad when they returned to mark the anniversary of winning the trophy. It stinks when most of the squad get paid an average annual wage every week.

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