Hob Nob Anyone? News and Views Latest updates on Hob Nob Anyone? - The Reading Football Club Fans' Website http://www.royals.org/news.php Fri, 20 Apr 2018 08:01:39 BST Fri, 20 Apr 2018 08:01:39 BST 1800 Paul Clement Asks Royals To Step Up For Final Games <p><img src="/images/clement.jpg" style="max-width:100%;"></p> <p>Paul Clement described Reading&rsquo;s <a href="http://www.royals.org/matchreport/140418/Reading_2_Sunderland_2">2-2 draw against bottom side Sunderland</a> a missed opportunity and has issued a rallying cry to his players to step up and secure their Championship status after a truly forgettable season.</p> <p>Their draw against the Black Cats perhaps sums up the clubs problems, with the club being saved by a late equaliser from Yann Kermorgant. That leaves them five points ahead of the drop zone with three to play.</p> <p>Barnsley have the opportunity to close that gap by three points with their game in hand against Nottingham Forest next Tuesday, which means there&rsquo;s still plenty to play for.</p> <p>Clement wasn&rsquo;t impressed with Saturday&rsquo;s performance and has encouraged the players to play smarter. Following the game he said, &ldquo;The more we play like we did against Sunderland, the more it&rsquo;s in the lap of the gods what will happen.&rdquo;</p> <p>Despite this, Clement has lost only two of his five games in charge of the Royals, both against teams challenging for automatic promotion, while they&rsquo;ve also picked up vital wins against Preston and QPR.</p> <p>Sheffield Wednesday is next for Clement. Bookmakers across sites like <a href="http://www.top100bookmakers.com">www.top100bookmakers.com</a> are placing the South Yorkshire side as clear favourites, despite sitting just three places above Reading in 16th.</p> <p>It&rsquo;ll be a big game for the club, who could help calm the nerves of those around the Madejski with a win, but Ipswich at home the following weekend is the one that could really put daylight between them and the bottom clubs with a win. </p> <p>Ipswich are without a manager and have one just one of their last five games, so are there for the taking. Clement is <a href="https://www.inyourarea.co.uk/news/clement-issues-rallying-call-to-reading-fc-players-for-final-three-matches/">staying calm about the situation</a>, following a relegation battle with Swansea last season.</p> <p>He added, &ldquo;We need points in the next three games to make sure we're safe but we have to make sure we don't get in the situation where we have to get a result otherwise there is a consequence.&rdquo;</p> <p>So far this season Reading have managed to avoid that. They&rsquo;re yet to enter the relegation zone this season and their fate will remain in their own hands if Clement can continue their current run of form. </p> <p>He believes his side are ready to step up to the challenge, and next week&rsquo;s Ipswich game could be the day it gets sealed. It&rsquo;s certainly the game where the points look available. Going to Cardiff on the last day of the season needing a result is not where Clement wants to be. </p> <p>It&rsquo;s not where we want to be either!</p> <table cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1" width="95%"> <tbody> <tr> <td colspan="5" class="table_a">Championship Table at: 17 April 2018</td> </tr> <tr> <td class=table_b> </td> <td class=table_b> </td> <td class=table_b>Pl</td> <td class=table_b>GD</td> <td class=table_b>POINTS</td> </tr> <tr> <td class=table_3>18</td> <td class=table_3><a href="http://www.royals.org/tables/recent_meetings.php?inteam=Hull">Hull</a></td> <td class=table_3>43</td> <td class=table_3>+2</td> <td class=table_3>47</td> </tr> <tr> <td class=table_3>19</td> <td class=table_3><a href="http://www.royals.org/tables/recent_meetings.php?inteam=READING">READING</a></td> <td class=table_3>43</td> <td class=table_3>-15</td> <td class=table_3>43</td> </tr> <tr> <td class=table_3>20</td> <td class=table_3><a href="http://www.royals.org/tables/recent_meetings.php?inteam=Bolton">Bolton</a></td> <td class=table_3>43</td> <td class=table_3>-30</td> <td class=table_3>40</td> </tr> <tr> <td class=table_3>21</td> <td class=table_3><a href="http://www.royals.org/tables/recent_meetings.php?inteam=Birmingham">Birmingham</a></td> <td class=table_3>43</td> <td class=table_3>-31</td> <td class=table_3>40</td> </tr> <tr> <td class=table_4 >22</td> <td class=table_4 ><a href="http://www.royals.org/tables/recent_meetings.php?inteam=Barnsley">Barnsley</a></td> <td class=table_4 >42</td> <td class=table_4 >-19</td> <td class=table_4 >38</td> </tr> <tr> <td class=table_4 >23</td> <td class=table_4 ><a href="http://www.royals.org/tables/recent_meetings.php?inteam=Burton">Burton</a></td> <td class=table_4 >43</td> <td class=table_4 >-45</td> <td class=table_4 >35</td> </tr> <tr> <td class=table_4 >24</td> <td class=table_4 ><a href="http://www.royals.org/tables/recent_meetings.php?inteam=Sunderland">Sunderland</a></td> <td class=table_4 >43</td> <td class=table_4 >-29</td> <td class=table_4 >34</td> </tr> </tbody> </table> http://www.royals.org/news/737/Paul_Clement_Asks_Royals_To_Step_Up_For_Final_Games 737 Tue, 17 Apr 2018 15:08:45 BST Hob Nob Anyone? Clement Keeps His Unbeaten Home Record With so much at stake for both sides the tense and cautious first half of this match was to be expected. However when Liam Kelly put Reading ahead from the spot after twenty minutes the game quickly gathered momentum culminating in a chaotic finale in which both teams spurned excellent opportunities to snatch the crucial winning goal. The 2-2 draw may have lacked nothing in terms of drama but left Sunderland almost certainly relegated and Reading far from safe. <br/> <a href="http://www.royals.org/matchreport/140418/Reading_2_Sunderland_2"><strong>Read More...</strong></a> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.royals.org/matchreport/140418/Reading_2_Sunderland_2"><strong>Match Report:</strong> Reading 2 Sunderland 2</a> </ul> http://www.royals.org/news/736/Clement_Keeps_His_Unbeaten_Home_Record 736 Mon, 16 Apr 2018 09:28:23 BST Hob Nob Anyone? Reading Paying Third Highest in Agents Fees <p><img src="/images/kermie.jpg" alt="Yann Kermorgant" style="max-width:100%; width:100%;"></p> <p>The Championship table is upside down, at least according to a new report that has revealed the staggering amounts paid to agents in the Championship.</p> <p>While the Royals are struggling in 19th place, they've paid a huge GBP2.85million in agents fees, the third highest in the division. </p> <p>It's a worrying figure for the club, who have failed to build on the progress in the play-offs last term. What that means is that if they're to bounce back next season those fees may be even higher.</p> <p>Only Aston Villa and Sunderland have larger fees, with the former paying over GBP5.5million. At least they're challenging though.</p> <p>Bookies and sites such as <a href="http://www.betandskill.com/">Bet and Skill</a> continue to have us down as second favourite for every game, while the Villans are hotly tipped to return to the Premier League.</p> <p>Amazingly, Wolves, who have been heavily helped by Jorge Mendes paid just GBP2million in agents fees, which would perhaps say some remain confidential.</p> <p>That looks the case within the transfer of Tiago Ilori, whose transfer is omitted from the <a href="http://www.thefa.com/news/2018/apr/03/payments-fees-intermediaries-030418">official FA list of agents fees</a>. </p> <p>Included in the list is the record fee for Sone Aluko and moves of Leandro Bacuna and Joey van der Berg. </p> <p>New contracts for Yann Kermorgant, Liam Kelly and Jordan Obita are also included on top of a number of youth contracts. </p> <p>Agents fees have been a worry for some time now on football, and it's perhaps why The FA have gone to the lengths they have to pass law to reveal them. </p> <p>What's perhaps most frustrating from a Reading point of view is that on the pitch it hasn't done us any favours. </p> <p>Aluko has netted just twice and Leandro Bacuna has made just 13 appearances for the club. You can't help but feel the fees should at least be representative of the position in the table.</p> <p>Otherwise that's GBP2.85million squandered. Wasted when it could have been spent on another signing. </p> <p>It isn't just in the Championship where the fees are phenomenal though. As you can imagine, the figures in the Premier League are baffling. Liverpool have spent over GBP200million in the last year, while even Bournemouth have forked out over GBP7million.</p> <p>What's perhaps most shocking is further down the leagues. In the National League, that's non-league football, Leyton Orient spent nearly GBP40,000 while Hartlepool United, a team who have had severe financial problems have spent almost GBP19,000.</p> <p>If there ever needed to be a sign that players and their agents are taking over the beautiful game, here it is. And you have to worry it's only going to get worse. </p> http://www.royals.org/news/734/Reading_Paying_Third_Highest_in_Agents_Fees 734 Thu, 12 Apr 2018 18:10:11 BST Hob Nob Anyone? Chris Gunter's Chinese Fan Club Is Just Fantastic <p><img src="/images/gunter.jpg" alt="Chris Gunter playing for Wales" style="max-width:100%; width:100%;"></p> <p> It's fair to say Chris Gunter is a Welsh football legend. He's the nation's all-time appearance holder and has yet to even hit his 30s. But still, it's somewhat of a surprise when an entire nation, other than Wales, really takes to him.</p> <p>Wales' trip to China revealed one of the most surprising things to the world of football perhaps of all time. Chris Gunter is an absolute footballing icon in China. Yes, really.</p> <p>Of course, don't take our word for it. Check out the video below:</p> <p><iframe width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/cyl3kHaQmSo" frameborder="0" allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen></iframe></p> <p>On a serious note, Gunter was out there with the Welsh national team to take part in the China cup alongside China, Czech Republic and Uruguay. It was a special week for the right-back as he surpassed the late Gary Speed's record to become his country's most capped outfield player of all time. </p> <p>And he has a fairly decent time of it too. Despite the Royals' lowly form, Gunter played the full 90 minutes against China in their 6-0 win and enjoyed 79 in their defeat against Uruguay in the Final.</p> <p>It was a tough test for Gunter, who had to go up against the likes of Luis Suarez, Edinson Cavani and a side in which <a href="http://www.worldcuptips.com/">World Cup tips</a> are suggesting will challenge into the latter stages.</p> <p>Wales of course narrowly missed out on the World Cup, so it'll be a free summer for Gunter, along with much of the rest of the squad. Only Jon Dadi Bodvarsson has any real hope of being on a plane to Russia, with the Icelandic national team. It'll be their first World Cup tournament, following their incredible journey at Euro 2016, which saw them knock out England. Bodvarsson was a part of that team and will be out to cause a few surprises once again. </p> <p>Elsewhere this week, Anssi Jaakkola remained on the bench for Finland in their draw with Macedonia and Leandro Bacuna got a full 90 minutes for Curacao in their 1-1 draw with Bolivia. Modou Barrow also got a game for The Gambia in their 1-1 draw with Central African Republic.</p> <p>In the next few days, it'll be back to the job in hand as The Royals welcome back their new history maker and a Chinese legend. That counts for nothing though this weekend as Paul Clement looks to turn around Reading's fortunes in the Championship.</p> http://www.royals.org/news/733/Chris_Gunter's_Chinese_Fan_Club_Is_Just_Fantastic 733 Thu, 12 Apr 2018 18:04:48 BST Hob Nob Anyone? Reading Get First Saturday Home Win Of Season Reading finally managed to win at home on a Saturday for the first time this season, and not a moment too soon. Defeat would have put Reading in deep trouble following Barnsley's home win against Sheffield United in an early kick-off. It was a scrappy game full of niggly, petty fouls, but crucially Mo Barrow reacted first to a cross flicked on by Bodvarsson heading home from close range to give the Royals an early lead which they hung on to with slightly more assured defending that in the recent similarly narrow win at home against QPR. It was Reading's defensive organisation and determination which saw them hold out for the crucial victory. Luke Moore was outstanding winning everything in the air and showing an equally brilliant positional sense to snuff out danger on numerous occasions. <a href="http://www.royals.org/matchreport/070418/Reading_1_Preston_0"><strong>Read More...</strong> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.royals.org/matchreport/070418/Reading_1_Preston_0"><strong>Match Report and Fan Opinion:</strong> Reading 1 Preston North End 0</a></li> </ul> http://www.royals.org/news/735/Reading_Get_First_Saturday_Home_Win_Of_Season 735 Sat, 07 Apr 2018 23:30:00 BST Hob Nob Anyone? Paul Clement Starts With Vital Win A brilliant solo goal from Sone Aluko, two superb saves from Vito Mannone and a magnificent 'backs to the wall' team defensive effort, gave the Royals a long-awaited victory and three points to ease their relegation fears. New manager Paul Clement had an immediate impact as Reading produced a battling performance worthy of three points. His team selection was fully justified, not least of which the recall of Vito Mannone, who in my opinion had not deserved to be dropped in the first place. It was pulsating game which had both sets of fans on the edge of their seats throughout. It has to be said Rangers played some excellent football, but in spite of dominating the game overall could not find the finish their approach play deserved. In a manic final ten minutes Reading were reduced to ten men with the dismissal of Kermorgant, conceded a penalty, which was saved by Mannone, and finally hung on for five minutes of stoppage time to send their fans home happy for the first time in long while. <br/><a href="http://www.royals.org/matchreport/300318/Reading_1_QPR_0"><strong>Read More...</strong> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.royals.org/matchreport/300318/Reading_1_QPR_0"><strong>Match Report:</strong> Reading 1 QPR 0</a></li> </ul> http://www.royals.org/news/732/Paul_Clement_Starts_With_Vital_Win 732 Sat, 31 Mar 2018 16:59:20 BST Hob Nob Anyone? Confirmed: Paul Clement Is New Reading Manager Former Swansea City manager Paul Clement has been revealed as the new Reading manager following the sacking of Jaap Stam earlier this week. <br/><br/> In a statement released by the club, confirming Clement has agreed terms, they emphasised his first target is to take Reading into an "eight-game battle" to avoid relegation into League One: <em>"Not only has he coached at some of the greatest clubs in Europe, winning trophies, league titles and European honours and working with some of the greatest players in the world, fundamentally he also has a rich understanding of English football having managed in both the Championship and the Premier League in recent years. Now, everyone at Reading Football Club is fully behind Paul and his squad of players as, together, we initially set our sights on an eight-game battle and continue to strive to the take this club forward."</em> <Br/><Br/> Clement spent a year at Swansea after being appointed at the start of 2017 and being dismissed just before Christmas in the same year. His record at Swansea was mixed, winning 14 of his 41 games in charge, drawing 5 and losing 22. His previous job in management was at Derby County where he was given even less time, again failing to complete a full year in charge, and winning 14 games out of 33. Although his record at Derby was better, and he was dismissed after a poor run, it was reported at the time he was sacked due to his style of unattractive football and his inability to work out the best way to use a large group of players available to him. <Br/><Br/> Opinion is split if Clement is the right man for the job, with his style of management similar to the outgoing Jaap Stam. Clement also enjoyed a positive start at Swansea before results quickly went downhill leading to him being sacked after less than a full 12 months in charge. Swansea were struggling at the foot of the Premier League when Clement arrived and fortunes immediately picked up as the Swans won 5 out of 9 Premier League games to begin a climb up the table. Results dipped before the Welsh side finished the season with four wins out of five to finish in 15th place and well clear of the bottom three. <Br/><Br/> The following season Clement failed to build on his success with a run of just 1 win in 11 games seeing the club show him the door before Christmas. It all feels far too similar to Jaap Stam's time at Reading with the Dutch manager seeing a first season of success as his took Reading into the play-off final before he ran out of ideas with the club plummeting towards the relegation zone. <Br/><Br/> Reading fans will be hoping Clement can provide a similar impact at Reading on arrival and provide a "new manager bounce". If Clement can halt the slide and pick up enough points to guarantee Championship football next season then we will have already achieved at Reading, then next season we will perhaps really see what he can do with this team. <br/><br/> Clement will arrive with the support of the Reading fans, and a couple of wins between now and the end of the season will make him a popular choice. However, if he fails to halt the slide he could see another short tenure added to his managerial statistics. It will be interesting to see if he arrives at Reading on a short term contract or if those in charge at Reading FC believe he is the man long-term. http://www.royals.org/news/731/Confirmed:_Paul_Clement_Is_New_Reading_Manager 731 Fri, 23 Mar 2018 10:29:43 GMT Hob Nob Anyone? Jaap Stam Sacked Jaap Stam has been sacked as Reading manager after a terrible run of form, which has seen the Royals drop to 20th place in the Championship and just three points away from the relegation positions. <br/><br/> Under Stam's guidance the Royals have failed to win in their last nine league games, collecting just four points from a possible 27. Reading are currently on a run of just a single victory - at Burton Albion - from their least 19 league games. That run has seen the Royals sink into a relegation battle with no sign of improvement. Stam had been given plenty of time to turn things around, but with only eight games left to try and avoid relegation he has finally been shown the door. <br/><br/> His dismissal does not come as a huge shock, although many expected him to be given the rest of the season and depart in the summer. The new Reading manager will have a huge job ahead of them as they attempt to avoid the drop with a team struggling with confidence and form. <br/><br/> It has been a dramatic reversal of fortunes for Jaap Stam who guided Reading to an unexpected third place finish in his first season in charge. The Royals were just a few penalty kicks away from the Premier League in the play-off final at Wembley last May, but now are looking at a possible exit to League One football. Stam was given plenty of cash to spend in the transfer windows, but his new signings failed to make the expected impact as Reading struggled to get the results they were able to grind out last season. <br/><br/> <strong>Statement from Reading Football Club:</strong> <br/><br/><em> Reading Football Club announce that Jaap Stam has left his position as manager of the club with immediate effect. <br/><br/> Majority shareholders, Mr Yongge Dai and Ms Xiu Li Dai, had wanted to give Jaap every opportunity to turn around what has been a difficult and challenging Championship campaign. <br/><br/> Jaap has not wavered in the time, effort and sheer determination he has put in to try to steer the team away from the position we find ourselves in. However, after careful consideration, the decision has been made that a change is now necessary. <br/><br/> We would like to thank Jaap for his hard work and commitment to the club, in particular noting what he achieved in a memorable first season in club management, and we wish him the very best of luck in his future endeavours. <br/><br/> We will now focus on identifying and recruiting the right person to take Reading Football Club forward. </em> <br/><br/> <strong>Stam Sacked - Who's Next?</strong> <ul> <li><A href="http://hobnob.royals.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=144766">Discussion: Next Manager Odds</a></li> <li><a href="http://hobnob.royals.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=144763">Discussion: Who do you want as the new Reading manager?</a></li> </ul> http://www.royals.org/news/730/Jaap_Stam_Sacked 730 Wed, 21 Mar 2018 11:08:41 GMT Hob Nob Anyone? Another Point Towards Safety Although Reading once again failed to secure the win they so desperately need, the point gained today was achieved with a significantly more positive performance. Reading were aggressive and direct in their attacking play, took an early lead with a superbly created and finished goal from Bodvarsson in the sixteenth minute but could not take advantage of some excellent football to extend their lead and once again conceded just before half time due to sloppy defensive play. Leeds took advantage of another Reading error early in the second half only to concede within a couple of minutes when Reading equalised courtesy of an O'Kane own goal. It is easy to see why both sides are finding it so difficult to win matches recently, neither of them seemed capable of holding on to a lead. <br> <a href="http://www.royals.org/matchreport/100318/Reading_2_Leeds_2"><strong>Read More...</strong> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.royals.org/matchreport/100318/Reading_2_Leeds_2"><Strong>Match Report:</strong> Reading 2 Leeds United 2</a></li> </ul> http://www.royals.org/news/729/Another_Point_Towards_Safety 729 Mon, 12 Mar 2018 09:49:23 GMT Hob Nob Anyone? A Point Closer To Safety It was abundantly clear this was a game neither side could afford to lose as Reading decided to slug it out against a team far better equipped for the direct physical style of play adopted by both teams. In the end both teams, helped by other results, were grateful to move a point further away from the drop zone. Reading, hitting a high percentage of long balls forward which were gobbled up by Bolton's lanky defence and midfield, found it hard to get out of their own half for lengthy periods of time. <br/><br/> A brilliant solo effort from Mo Barrow gave Reading a lead they hardly deserved after thirty-two minutes but were pegged back just before half time when the currently leaky Reading defence lost its shape and discipline allowing former Reading striker Le Fondre to nip in a prod home from close range. How Reading could do with that kind of sharpness in the box. There was a lot of huffing and puffing in the second half but neither side had the cutting edge to secure a much needed win although Reading were denied as clear a penalty as you are likely to see when Barrow was scythed down from behind after he had given the Bolton defence the slip. Nevertheless a draw was a fair result. <br/> <a href="http://www.royals.org/matchreport/060318/Reading_1_Bolton_1"><strong>Read More...</strong></a> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.royals.org/matchreport/060318/Reading_1_Bolton_1"><strong>Match Report and Fan Opinion:</strong> Reading 1 Bolton Wanderers 1</a> </ul> http://www.royals.org/news/728/A_Point_Closer_To_Safety 728 Wed, 07 Mar 2018 10:22:53 GMT Hob Nob Anyone? Another Defeat And More Defensive Incompetence Reading's defensive performance plummeted to new depths of incompetence this evening and by their manager's own admission were let of lightly in only conceding three goals. The opening ten minutes were like a pantomime on ice as Reading's defence dithered on a snow-covered and blue-lined pitch and gifted United two good opportunities to take the lead, which they failed to take, before Sharp finally put them ahead after eleven minutes. A second United goal from Duffy just before half time looked to have secured an unassailable lead for the visitors. Remarkably Reading rallied after the interval when Richards slammed home the rebound from Bacuna's free-kick. The turning point came in the space of two minutes. In the sixty second minute Bacuna missed the chance to level the scores when substitute 'keeper Moore saved his penalty. A minute later United had controversially extended their lead though Sharp after Gunter had mistakenly put the ball out of play to allow treatment for Moore who was already back on his feet. United celebrated as Reading protested and Reading never looked likely to recover. <br/> <a href="http://www.royals.org/matchreport/270218/Reading_1_Sheff_Utd_3"><strong>Read More...</strong></a> <ul> <li><a href="http://www.royals.org/matchreport/270218/Reading_1_Sheff_Utd_3"><strong>Match Report and Fan Opinion:</strong> Reading 1 Sheffield United 3</a></li> </ul> http://www.royals.org/news/727/Another_Defeat_And_More_Defensive_Incompetence 727 Wed, 28 Feb 2018 10:02:52 GMT Hob Nob Anyone? Reading Entertain In Home Draw With Derby Ironically a game in which both sides deprived of two experienced strikers, Martin and Kermorgant for Reading, and Vydra and Nugent for County, produced a flurry of goals in a highly entertaining draw. Arguably Reading could have won the game but for a series of calamitous defensive errors. Having gifted the visitors with an early lead they came back strongly with two very good goals from Kelly and Barrow. Frustratingly for Reading, more slack defending provided the Rams with an undeserved equaliser before half time. Derby started the second half strongly and unbelievably Reading's defence was punctured a minute after the restart. <br/><br/> Showing the resilience and character which has not always been evident this season, Reading came back again to level the scores through Bodvarsson ten minutes from time and looked likely to go on to take all three points as they piled on the pressure following the dismissal of Baird for a reckless challenge on Barrow. <br/> <a href="http://www.royals.org/matchreport/240218/Reading_3_Derby_3"><strong>Read More...</strong> <ul> <li><A href="http://www.royals.org/matchreport/240218/Reading_3_Derby_3"><strong>Match Report and Opinion:</strong> Reading 3 Derby County 3</a></li> </ul> http://www.royals.org/news/726/Reading_Entertain_In_Home_Draw_With_Derby 726 Sun, 25 Feb 2018 08:56:04 GMT Hob Nob Anyone?