Royals manager sacked following 5 defeats in 6
Reading FC terminated the contract of much loved manager Jose Gomes yesterday, with owner Dai Yongge calling it a ‘difficult decision’.
The Portuguese manager was much loved by Royals Fans, after saving the club from relegation last season and also causing a dramatic upturn in the atmosphere in and around the Football Club.
Football is a results driven business, and Jose has only won 2 of his 11 league games this season, with Reading languishing in 22nd in the Sky Bet Championship relegation zone.
Gomes released a lengthy and heartfelt statement through the League Managers Association, just hours after the club announced his departure.
But What Next For Reading?
There have been a number of managers touted for the role in the betting.
Inititally Mark Hughes was the favourite for the role, following close ties with Readings Director of Football, Mark Bowen.
His odds lengthened throughout Wednesday and Thursday morning, with Bowen himself taking over as favourite as Wednesday drew to a close.
Other managers favoured by the bookies include Chris Hughton, who’s odds have become as short as 6/1 as well as Phil Parkinson and Gareth Ainsworth, behind Hughton, Bowen and Hughes at 16/1. Other names include Daniel Stendel who departed Barnsley on Wednesday, Roy Keane, Sam Allardyce and former Royals associates Graeme Murty and Alan Pardew.
This move has now confirmed Reading FC are a sacking club. We haven’t allowed a manager to build a legacy in a long while now, with the Team going through 8 permanent appointments since 2013. Many are now saying ‘The Reading Way’ is truly dead and buried.
The concern is – of course – that this could now be the norm. A manager comes in, the team bounces and staves off relegation before the rot returns for that ‘hero’ to be replaced early in the next season.
The only slight bit of comfort is that the board have pulled the trigger early this year, giving a new manager a substantial amount of time to turn fortunes around and improve the attitude and consistency of a group of players who – on paper – have bags of potential.
The team haven’t been anywhere near as poor as they appeared near the end of Paul Clements reign, and there are some sublime talents. Players like George Puscas and Ovie Ejaria undoubtedly have bags of potential, however If they could begin to realise that sooner, it seems clear that the team would be progressing with Jose Gomes still in position.
Since it started to become clear that Jose Gomes’ position was under threat, there was only one man who I personally hoped would get a look in – and that was Gary Rowett.
Sadly Gary doesn’t appear to be anywhere near the role at all, which for me is an oversight from the Reading FC hierarchy.
Rowett performed admirably at Burton Albion, Birmingham and Derby (he boasted an almost identical record to Frank Lampard who went on to be given the top job at Chelsea), and as Nathan Jones is suffering at Stoke, it appears that’s a club potentially more rotten to the core than the Royals, thus shining a light on his apparently disappointing reign at the club.
Even though I feel Rowett would be perfect, Reading definitely need somebody to come in and aggressively shake up the attitude at the club. Even though it felt like most of the dead weight was cleared out in the summer, it appears that too many players still need to whipped into shape to push harder for the club and achieve something close to a level of consistency.
Whatever happens next – it’s testing times for the Royals, and a huge task for any new manager to be able to build a dynasty and legacy at Reading FC. I just hope that come 12 months time, we won’t yet again be sitting here and having this identical conversation.