Reading Football Club News: January 2023

Royals Set For Another Big Summer Of Player Disruption

17 January 2023
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Despite expectations of a potential relegation battle in the Championship campaign of 2022/23, manager Paul Ince has seen his side enjoy a more comfortable than expected opening half to the season, and although many would feel a genuine push for the Play Offs may be a step too far given the other issues at the club, whilst only a four point gap remains to West Bromwich Albion in sixth place, fans will understandably continue dreaming.

Whatever ultimately happens this year on the Play Off front and where ever The Royals eventually finish in the English second tier table, everyone appreciates the main aim of the year is to simply stay away from the drop zone whilst we work through the ongoing issues that we have. On that score, it is set to be a big summer full of playing squad decisions, as right now we have ten seniors members of the team coming into the final few months of their existing contracts and as things stand come the end of the year, they will be free to depart. Then it is Powerplay slots time again as we look to replace them.

Players who could walk away for nothing at the end of the season include Liam Moore, Yakou Meite and Lucas Joao, so you would assume that discussions and plans are already being held with so many futures up in doubt.

As we saw with striker Andy Carroll's new deal being announced last week, the club can offer new deals to existing players despite currently being under a transfer embargo and as well as Carroll's new 18 month deal, the club have tied down former Metz centre half Amadou Mbengue to a new shorter deal that also sees him remain with us until the summer now.

With an ongoing need to reduce costs, expenditure and the overall wage bill though, it is likely that some tough and unpopular decisions will have to be made in the months ahead and there will inevitably be one or two high profile player departures in June and July as we look for a much stronger financial footing in the seasons ahead.

The players currently set to depart ahead of the beginning of the 2023/24 campaign are:

Luke Southwood, Scott Dann, Nesta Guinness-Walker, Liam Moore, Amadou Mbengue, Dejan Tetek, Junior Hoilett, Shane Long, Lucas Joao, Yakou Meite.

These obviously then include our loanees Joe Lumley, Baba Rahman, Jeff Hendrick, Mamadou Loum and Tyrese Fornah.

Berkshire Live journalist Jonathan Low held a recent webchat with fans on Monday lunch time following on from the 2-2 draw with Queens Park Rangers on Saturday afternoon, and obviously the future of soon to be out of contract players came up during the questioning, and this was his take on things as they stand.

"I think like last year, the majority of those out of contract will be off. Those that do stay will have to accept a reduced wage package. There is still a great need to cut costs and even though there were some big name exits last summer, more are needed to help balance the finances. I can see Guinness-Walker and maybe Hoilett and Mbengue staying but apart from that, the rest will be off I'd say. Meite will be on big money and given he's been here since 2016, will probably want a fresh challenge elsewhere."

It will be a busy old time again, but hopefully the club make the right decisions and we continue moving forward again, in a much healthier state.

Reading Let Two Goal Lead Slip

14 January 2023
By Hob Nob Anyone?

An extremely poor decision by referee Darren Bond just after half time almost certainly cost Reading a win they arguably didn't deserve. Shortly after the interval Shane Long burst in to the Rangers box and was brought down from behind by a clumsy challenge with the goal at his mercy. Long may not have scored, Reading might not have converted the penalty, but either way they were denied the chance to take a three goal lead by a referee's mistake. A third goal would have been almost certainly enough to secure a home win. It doesn't help to dwell on such things but neither should they be completely ignored.

Andy Carroll Extends Contract

12 January 2023
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Andy Carroll has agreed an extended contract with Reading to keep him at the club until the end of the 2023/2024 season. Carroll was coming to the end of his second short term contract with the Royals and would have been leaving the club this month. Since leaving Newcastle in the summer of 2021 Carroll has spent time with Reading and West Brom on short term deals while trying to find a club to tie himself to longer term. Thankfully that club is now Reading after the player has impressed, scoring six goals in his 24 league appearances, which has included 16 Championship starts.

Thirty four year old Carroll has shown he has plenty still to offer at Championship level and is a real capture with Reading suffering from severe transfer limitations. He has also become a very popular player with the fans in a short space of time and his signing is a real boost for the Royals as they continue to keep in touch with the top six. Carroll joined Liverpool for 35 million pounds from Newcastle in January 2011 before a 15 million pound move two and a half years later to West Ham where he spent six years at the club.

Manchester United Away In FA Cup

08 January 2023
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading will again travel away to Old Trafford to take on Manchester United after the draw for the FA Cup Fourth Round was completed. The game is scheduled for Saturday 28th January, after the Royals overcame Watford 2-0 at the Select Car Leasing Stadium this weekend. Manchester United were 3-1 home winners over Everton on Friday night to set up another home fixture in the FA Cup.

The Royals have had three away games at Manchester United in the FA Cup in the past 10 years, losing 0-2 in January 2019, 0-4 in January 2017 and 1-2 in February 2013.

05 January 2019 Man Utd (Away) FA Cup L: 0-2 Report...
07 January 2017 Man Utd (Away) FA Cup L: 0-4 Report...
16 March 2013 Man Utd (Away) Premier League L: 0-1 Report...
18 February 2013 Man Utd (Away) FA Cup L: 1-2 Report...
01 December 2012 Man Utd (HOME) Premier League L: 3-4 Report...
19 January 2008 Man Utd (HOME) Premiership L: 0-2 Report...
12 August 2007 Man Utd (Away) Premiership D: 0-0 Report...
27 February 2007 Man Utd (HOME) FA Cup L: 2-3 Report...
17 February 2007 Man Utd (Away) FA Cup D: 1-1 Report...
30 December 2006 Man Utd (Away) Premiership L: 2-3 Report...
23 September 2006 Man Utd (HOME) Premiership D: 1-1 Report...
27 January 1996 Man Utd (HOME) FA Cup L: 0-3 Report...


Reading and Man Utd - Head to head record (since August 1994)
Games Between Reading and Man Utd 12
Reading Wins 0
Man Utd Wins 9
Draws 3
Reading Goals 10
Man Utd Goals 26
Average Goals Per Game 3


Reading Progress In FA Cup

07 January 2023
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading secured their first FA Cup victory in three seasons with a comfortable, but unconvincing, victory over a makeshift Watford team severely depleted by injuries. Reading fielded a strong side in spite of resting several key first choice players, and yet it took a fine goal stoppage time goal, created by McIntyre and finished clinically by Shane Long, to secure their place in the 4th Round draw. Kelvin Abrefa put Reading ahead in first half stoppage time with his first goal for the club. The flight of his intended cross caught Watford 'keeper Okoye off guard and the ball dropped over his head and into the net off the far post. Reading however deserved to lead at the interval having dominated possession from the start.