News and Views

Deadline Day Was Pizzas Not Players

17 October 2014
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Transfer deadline day was more about the pizzas and less about the players according to former Royals manager Brian McDermott, who was in fine form at a question and answer event last night. Brian joked that he always enjoyed transfer deadline day - for the food - but that it always ended in disappointment due to a lack of available funds while he was in charge at Reading. After Reading were promoted to the Premier League McDermott was told over the phone by Anton Zingarevich, in Russia, that his budget for new players was just 2.5 million - but he was still expected to keep the Royals up.

It was a very welcome return for a relaxed Brian McDermott as he took part in the questions and answers session at the Tilehurst British Legion Club. The sell out evening, organised by the Reading FC Former Players' association in support of Reading homeless support charity Launchpad, was a huge success as the crowd were entertained by a humourous McDermott with former Royals captain Adie Williams firing the questions. McDermott is clearly still very much a Reading man as he frequently referred to Reading FC as "we" throughout the evening, and wished Adkins and the club success.

McDermott is now a scout at Premier League side Arsenal and was at the evening before flying off to Germany to watch a series of matches for his new job. He was clearly looking forward to his new role and couldn't wait to watch some games again at last. He also hinted that he wouldn't hesitate to recommend loan players coming Reading's direction from Arsenal in the future.

McDermott didn't have many positive things to say about former employers Anton Zingarevich at Reading and Massimo Cellino at Leeds. McDermott was dismissed by both those two men after they failed to give their support. McDermott thought he would still be at Reading if it wasn't for Zingarevich's involvement. Zingarevich wasn't the right man for Reading and lost interest when Reading were relegated back to the Championship.

When asked about the most difficult thing about modern football management McDermott claimed it was "managing the owners" that wanted too much involvement on the playing side and wanted to pick the team. He said he had no regrets about his time so far in football management but reckons the Leeds job was the toughest he could have had dealing with events behind the scenes. After that any management job would be easier, but after his recent experiences, he'd only accept a new position if he knew he could work with the owners of the club. Brian admitted that the Pavel Pogrebnyak signing, while he was at Reading, was done without his knowledge and personally he would have wanted to re-sign Shane Long.

Brian had plenty of praise for the staff and players at Reading. He singled out Gylfi Sigurdsson, Shane Long, Jason Roberts, Ian Harte and Adam Federici for their talent, hard work and attitude. Reading director of football Nicky Hammond, often a target of criticism from fans, "works his socks off" for the club. Brian couldn't speak highly enough of Hammond who does a brilliant but tough job. McDermott half-joked that the "Reading Way" is simply to sell your best players. McDermott was happy to stay late at the event to chat with fans, who were clearly pleased to get the chance to say thank you to a manager that worked so hard for Reading Football Club.

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