News and Views
All Change As Reading Face Sheffield United
07 December 2018
By Hob Nob Anyone?
Caretaker managers Scott Marshall and Nigel Gibbs face a tough challenge this Saturday evening as the Royals face sixth placed Sheffield United at the Madejski Stadium for a 5:30pm kick-off. Reading go into the game without a permanent manager and without a "Sporting Director" director after Gianluca Nani followed Paul Clement out of the door. With Nigel Howe returning as Chief Executive of the club it's been big changes in all areas of the management team as the owners look to shake up a club in decline and facing a relegation battle. Clement lasted nine months at the club while Nani lasted just three as the revolving door keeps on spinning at the Madejski Stadium.
Once again our next manager will know they will have very limited time to work miracles before they will find themselves looking for a new position. Rumours continue to fly around on who will be brave enough to take on the role. The early favourites are Steve Bruce, Luis Castro and Slavisa Jokanovic.
Steve Bruce has had a long management career with spells at Sheffield United, Huddersfield, Wigan, Crystal Palace, Birmingham, Sunderland, Hull and Aston Villa. In 2012 his Hull City team were promoted to the Premier League in his first season in charge. With Villa struggling in the Championship Bruce came in with some success in his second season - taking them to the play off final but losing out on promotion to Fulham. Bruce was sacked in October 2018 after a bad run saw his home supporters turn on him during a 3-3 draw against bottom side Preston.
Like everyone else we knew nothing about Luis Castro, who is current manager of Vitoria de Guimaraes in Portugal after having spells at Porto. He is a current favourite after reports his agent has already had conversations with the club about the vacant manager's role.
Slavisa Jokanovic was on the winning side of that 2018 play-off final. Bruce lost his opportunity to manager Aston Villa in the Premier League and instead Jokanovic took his Fulham side up during his third season at the club. As expected Fulham struggled in the top tier and as a result Jokanovic was dismissed.
Former Reading players Graeme Murty and Phil Parkinson are also considered possible contenders. Murty had a mixed spell as Rangers manager last season and Phil Parkinson's stay at Bolton continues despite pressues over finance and league position at the club. The return of either of those former players would receive mixed feelings from the fans. They would obviously be welcomed back, but it would be a shame to harm their reputations in what would be a brutal job as team manager.
With Sheffield United the visitors Scott Marshall might feel he has little to lose on Saturday as the visitors will be favourites for the win. However, their position in the table hides a run of eight games with just two wins. United have 5 points from their last 5 games. Meanwhile the Royals have 6 points from their last 5 fixtures. Yet, talk is still of promotion for the Blades, while the Royals dump their manager amid relegation fears. It's a funny old game.
Recent Meetings With Sheffield United
|27 February 2018||Championship||Sheff Utd (HOME)||L: 1-3||Read report...|
|21 October 2017||Championship||Sheff Utd (Away)||L: 1-2||Read report...|
|26 January 2013||FA Cup||Sheff Utd (HOME)||W: 4-0||Read report...|
|25 April 2011||Championship||Sheff Utd (HOME)||L: 2-3||Read report...|
|15 February 2011||Championship||Sheff Utd (Away)||D: 1-1||Read report...|
|26 January 2010||Championship||Sheff Utd (Away)||L: 0-3||Read report...|
|22 August 2009||Championship||Sheff Utd (HOME)||L: 1-3||Read report...|
|10 April 2009||Championship||Sheff Utd (HOME)||L: 0-1||Read report...|
|15 November 2008||Championship||Sheff Utd (Away)||W: 2-0||Read report...|
|20 January 2007||Premiership||Sheff Utd (HOME)||W: 3-1||Read report...|
|16 September 2006||Premiership||Sheff Utd (Away)||W: 2-1||Read report...|
|14 February 2006||Championship||Sheff Utd (Away)||D: 1-1||Read report...|
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