Season Review

The Promoted Clubs – End of Season Report – Reading

With the fixture list for 2012/13 released at 9am tomorrow, it’s time for us to roll out reports on the three promoted clubs. Up first in our analysis, then, is Championship winners Reading. Written off by many after losing their top scorer, Shane Long, and captain, Matt Mills, in the summer transfer window, Brian McDermott’s men pipped Southampton to the title by just a single point, with a rock-solid defence the foundation of their success:

Back in November, avoiding relegation seemed like the Royals’ most pressing concern. Sitting in sixteenth position in the league table, they failed to flatter in the first few months but an abrupt changes in fortunes saw them surge up the table after harvesting 23 wins from their next 29 league matches. Reading never looked back and clinched promotion to the top-flight back in mid-April, after a four-year absence from the Premier League:

The Statistics

P W D L F A GD P CS
Total 46 27 8 11 69 41 +28 89 20
Home 23 14 5 4 36 18 +18 47 12
Away 23 13 3 7 33 23 +10 42 8

CS = Cleansheets

Over the course of the previous campaign, Reading’s returns in front of their own fans were fairly similar to those produced on the road – but this doesn’t tell the full story. McDermott’s side were sluggish out of the blocks at home, conceding 13 goals in their first 10 games at the Madejski Stadium before shipping a mere five in their final 13 home fixtures. They conceded more than one goal in seven of their home fixtures, chalking up a total of 12 clean sheets and, from an attacking perspective, scored more than a single goal on 11 occasions and failed to find the net three times.

On the road, the Royals netted just three goals less than at home. McDermott’s men scored more than once on nine occasions and failed to notch in six of their 23 clashes. At the back, they racked up eight clean sheets and conceded more than a single goal six times.

The Manager

Brian McDermott arrived at the club as chief scout 12 years ago but was thrust into the spotlight in 2009, taking over the managerial reins following the dismissal of Brendan Rodgers. Working wonders on a shoestring budget, he’s reached the FA Cup Quarter Finals on a couple of occasions and has the highest post-war win percentage of any Reading manager.

His tactics are based around a 4-4-2 formation, with the central midfielders both sitting deep in front of the back-four and breaking up the opposition play. Reading rely on speed out wide to quickly break on counter-attacks, though a high work-rate is also demanded of all their players, with the wingers tracking back to defend whenever the opponents are in possession. Up front McDermott prefers a conventional front two, utilising a target man to take advantage of crosses from the flanks, while the second striker tends to play on the shoulder of the defence and looks for knock-ons. Similar to new Villa boss Paul Lambert, McDermott has also proven to be a canny manager when it comes to substitutions – many of his switches late on in games have been decisive in winning the three points.

The Promoted Squad

Here’s a rundown of the main men for the Championship winners last term, with a brief analysis of those players who managed 10 or more starts in their successful league campaign:

Adam Federici (46 starts) Been with the club since the 2006/07 season but only established himself as the Royals’ first-choice stopper over the past three campaigns. Started every one of their league matches last term and is nailed-on between the posts.

Alex Pearce (46 starts. 5 goals, 2 assists) Established himself as a first-choice central defender for the Royals last time round, playing every game of their outstanding season. While many Fantasy managers will target Ian Harte due to his set-piece ability, Pearce outscored the left-back in 2011/12, finding the net five times and also chipped in with a pair of assists. From a EA SPORTS Player Performance Index perspective, he’s the man most likely to put his body in the way of the ball and could be a magnet for blocked shots – a crucial part of the bonus point allocation.

Kaspars Gorkss (42 starts. 3 goals) Sold to the Royals by QPR last summer, the Latvian missed just four games in the heart of defence. His ball-winning ability was a crucial factor in his side’s defensive record and he also offered a reasonable threat in the opposition area, with three goals accrued.

Ian Harte (30 starts, 2 sub apps. 4 goals, 8 assists) Despite making 30 starts last term, the left-back produced four goals and eight assists from his left-back berth. With set-piece and spot-kick duties part of his repertoire, he’s likely to be pencilled in by many Fantasy managers when the player lists are revealed next month by Fantasy Premier League (FPL).

Shaun Cummings (32 starts, 2 sub apps) The first-choice right-back seems to offer the least threat going forward of the Royals back-four. Cummings failed to produce any attacking returns whatsoever last season, making his acquisition considerably less appealing than any of McDermott’s defence for Fantasy managers.

Joseph Mills (13 starts, 2 sub apps. 1 assist) Signed in August last year, he’ll mainly be used as back-up for Ian Harte in the left-back position. His adaptability means he could also feature on the left of midfield, though his starts are likely to be minimal unless injuries to others play a significant part.

Jem Karacan (36 starts, 1 sub app. 3 goals, 2 assists) A tough-tackling central midfielder, he tends to sit deep in front of the back-four. Missed a handful of games through injury but is vital to McDermott’s tactics and occasionally chips in with the odd goal.

Mikele Leigertwood (41 starts. 5 goals, 1 assist) Karacan’s partner in the central midfield, the Antiguan international is the more impressive all-round performer of the pair and offers a superior attacking threat going forward.

Jobi McAnuff (40 starts. 5 goals, 11 assists) The club captain was brought to Reading by new Liverpool boss Brendan Rodgers back in 2009. McAnuff was the Royals’ chief creator last term, with his contribution from the flank providing 11 assists in addition to five goals, though his shooting can at times be a little wayward.

Jimmy Kebe (30 starts, 3 sub apps. 3 goals, 10 assists) His pace on the wing is vital to McDermott’s counter-attacking philosophy. Kebe’s attacking returns almost mirrored that of McAnuff’s but his place on the right looks to be under threat this coming season after the arrival of Garath McCleary.

Jay Tabb (10 starts, 9 sub apps. 1 assist) Signed for the Royals by Steve Coppell but no more than a squad player under McDermott, the former Brentford and Coventry midfielder is a versatile performer who is likely to struggle for game time unless injuries strike the first-team regulars.

Hal Robson Kanu (19 starts, 17 sub apps. 4 goals, 4 assists) Another adaptable squad player, he can play on the flank or up top for the Royals. Whether he can nail down a regular role in the Premier League is perhaps debatable, with new signings likely to push him further down the pecking order.

Simon Church (19 starts, 12 sub apps. 7 goals) Started the season as one of the first-choice forwards but the signing of Jason Roberts saw him drop down the pecking order, with his game time reduced as the campaign progressed.

Noel Hunt (33 starts, 8 sub apps. 8 goals, 9 assists) Although he’s never been a prolific goalscorer, his industry up front is a crucial aspect of his side’s tactics. Hunt’s high work-rate can go against him late on in games, though, with McDermott tending to sub him off when he needs to refresh his forward options.

Adam Le Fondre (17 starts, 15 sub apps. 12 goals, 3 assists) A series of significant performances from the bench have earned him the moniker “super sub”. Somewhat frustratingly for Le Fondre, he’s therefore likely to continue in that role, with McDermott handing him a chance to impress later on in games an opposition backlines tire.

Jason Roberts (17 starts. 6 goals, 5 assists) Purchased from Blackburn in the January 2012 transfer window, his arrival proved crucial in Reading’s push for promotion. Roberts perfectly fits the bill as target man within McDermott’s system; his aerial prowess and strength up top offers an out ball to the wingers and allows Noel Hunt to play on the shoulder of the last defender.

Potential Targets

Although the Royals have been recently acquired by Russian tycoon Anton Zingarevich, they are unlikely to change their transfer policy; there will be no “big name” players on the radar. McDermott tends to target players with a point to prove – his capture of Gorkss and Roberts typifies his thinking; both dropped down a division to sign up for the Royals and more than made up for the loss of Mills and Long, with the pair’s contribution vital in propelling the club out of the Championship.

So far, they’ve picked up highly-rated winger Garath McAuley from Nottingham Forest on a free transfer. The 25 year old was out of contract in the summer and will offer stiff competition for Kebe on the right flank. Again, he’s the typical McDermott signing; only four years ago, McAuley was playing non-league football.

Over the past few days, the transfer rumours are beginning to heat up. A bid for Watford’s Player of the Year Adrian Mariappa has reportedly been turned down; the centre-half has also been on the radar of Newcastle and Wigan in recent months.

Danny Guthrie and Pavel Pogrebnyak are also said to be of interest to McDermott as he looks to add top-flight experience to his squad – the pair are out-of-contract after their respective deals with Newcastle and Fulham ended recently. While both would fit into Reading’s system, reports of a move for former player Gylffi Sigurdsson look highly unlikely – the Icelandic star prospered under Rodgers’ passing game at the Madejski but looks ill-suited to McDermott’s more defensive style of play, with a move to Anfield to reunite with the new Liverpool boss surely more of a reality.

1,028 Comments Post a Comment
  1. Nomar
    • 9 Years
    6 years, 11 months ago

    Kaspars Gorkks-the man deemed not good enough to play central defence for QPR next season, so he sold him to get Danny Gabiddon.

    And some QPR fans genuinely wonder why Fernandes dumped him for Hughes?

    Open Controls
    1. JK - Cønt ⭐
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 7 Years
      6 years, 11 months ago

      What does this relate to?

      Open Controls
    2. Henry Hill
      • 9 Years
      6 years, 11 months ago

      Warnock will always be a legend for getting us back to the big time nomar, he was harshly sacked. He had to sell Gorkks for transfer funds as Briatore wouldn't give him a penny.

      Open Controls
      1. Nomar
        • 9 Years
        6 years, 11 months ago

        I don't think that was the case, Henry. He said he didn't rate Gorkss for this level, if I recall.

        Sacking wasn't harsh he lost the dressing room and was tactically inept at this level.

        Anyway, all past history now. We have a good manager and terrific owner. Onwards and upwards.

        Open Controls
    3. Nomar
      • 9 Years
      6 years, 11 months ago

      Should read the man not deemed good enough by Warnock to play central defence for QPR in the Premier League.

      Main reason why we struggled defensively last season was because that clown sold our rock of a centre back. Funny how Reading's defence got better the moment Gorkss arrived, too, ain't it!!

      Open Controls
  2. GREENDREAMS11
    • 9 Years
    6 years, 11 months ago

    who was looking to find out the dutch number 6 for their womens team, is it this;

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2159172/Doutzen-Kroes-young-son-sports-Dutch-football-shirt-day-lost-Germany.html

    Open Controls
    1. Evs
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 9 Years
      6 years, 11 months ago

      What a rough looking bird....yuk !

      Open Controls
      1. Nomar
        • 9 Years
        6 years, 11 months ago

        You either have exceptionally impossibly high standards or you like women that are non standardly 'good looking', to wit, mingers.

        Open Controls
    2. SPorting
      • 7 Years
      6 years, 11 months ago

      Man With No Name was looking.

      Anouk Hoogendijk is the number 6

      Open Controls
      1. SPorting
        • 7 Years
        6 years, 11 months ago

        https://www.google.nl/search?hl=en&sugexp=ckh&cp=7&gs_id=q&xhr=t&q=anouk+hoogendijk&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_cp.r_qf.,cf.osb&biw=1366&bih=653&um=1&ie=UTF-8&tbm=isch&source=og&sa=N&tab=wi&ei=OB_eT6agFor98gP6mIi-Cw

        Open Controls
        1. Abominable Snowy84
          • 7 Years
          6 years, 11 months ago

          Noice!

          Open Controls
        2. Gaz Downright
          • Has Moderation Rights
          • 8 Years
          6 years, 11 months ago

          two cafe lattes please

          Open Controls
        3. Evs
          • Has Moderation Rights
          • 9 Years
          6 years, 11 months ago

          She alright I suppose... 😉

          Open Controls
    3. Menly
      • 7 Years
      6 years, 11 months ago

      Bit creepy photographing her with her son

      Open Controls
  3. seanie3
    • 8 Years
    6 years, 11 months ago

    Captain choice tonight

    a) Schweinsteiger or
    b) sneider

    Open Controls
    1. Aliga8or
      • 7 Years
      6 years, 11 months ago

      Wesley for me

      Open Controls
      1. Evs
        • Has Moderation Rights
        • 9 Years
        6 years, 11 months ago

        +1

        Open Controls
  4. HuttonDressedasLahm
    • 9 Years
    6 years, 11 months ago

    Only got CR7 tonight, big drop coming. 🙁

    Open Controls
    1. Menly
      • 7 Years
      6 years, 11 months ago

      Same 😕

      Open Controls
    2. Pratik
      • 9 Years
      6 years, 11 months ago

      Andersen. I forgot about day2 and transferred out ronaldo for silva.

      Open Controls
    3. HuttonDressedasLahm
      • 9 Years
      6 years, 11 months ago

      Oh and Patricio, will be praying for a pen save!!

      Open Controls
    4. Nomar
      • 9 Years
      6 years, 11 months ago

      I think he's going to come good tonight, Hutton.

      Open Controls
  5. Conrad.
    • 7 Years
    6 years, 11 months ago

    Most nailed-on Italian defender after Chiellini? Bonucci maybe?

    Open Controls
    1. Kostja
      • 7 Years
      6 years, 11 months ago

      Buffon

      Open Controls
      1. Conrad.
        • 7 Years
        6 years, 11 months ago

        😆 touche

        Open Controls
    2. HuttonDressedasLahm
      • 9 Years
      6 years, 11 months ago

      No, read my post previous page!!
      In order
      Chiellini and Buffon
      Barzagli and Bonucci
      Maggio Balzaretti and Abate

      Not the week to try and guess!!

      Open Controls
  6. Aliga8or
    • 7 Years
    6 years, 11 months ago

    With RVP starting out wide is CR7 as (c) a better option ?

    Open Controls
    1. 4vets
      • 8 Years
      6 years, 11 months ago

      The CR7 who plays wide? 😉

      Open Controls
      1. Aliga8or
        • 7 Years
        6 years, 11 months ago

        good one that
        now how about something that is more helpful 🙂

        Open Controls
        1. 4vets
          • 8 Years
          6 years, 11 months ago

          CR7 for me. He's a selfish MF on set plays.

          Open Controls
        2. A2U
          • 7 Years
          6 years, 11 months ago

          Portugal know a draw would probably do, so I'm sticking with RVP. Plus he scored his goal last match from out wide.

          Open Controls
  7. Heydudes13
    • 7 Years
    6 years, 11 months ago

    Germany
    01 Neuer
    05 Hummels
    14 Badstuber
    16 Lahm
    06 Khedira
    07 Schweinsteiger
    08 Ozil
    13 Mueller
    15 Bender
    10 Podolski
    23 Gomez

    Open Controls
  8. Wild Rover
    • 8 Years
    6 years, 11 months ago

    Can't watch two games at the same time properly so Portugal v Netherlands for me. Ex wife always said I was crap at multi-tasking....... she should talk though, she couldn't even manage a headache and sex at the same time...... 🙄

    Open Controls
    1. Conrad.
      • 7 Years
      6 years, 11 months ago

      heyyoooo!

      Open Controls
    2. Silly Sausage
      • 6 Years
      6 years, 11 months ago

      ...until she was asleep.

      Open Controls
    3. Evs
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 9 Years
      6 years, 11 months ago

      She's not unique there fella!

      Open Controls
    4. Tommy J
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      6 years, 11 months ago

      My mate said he had sex when his wife had a headache. He didn't bother calling her to see how she was.....

      Open Controls
    5. Natas
      • 9 Years
      6 years, 11 months ago

      When my wife says that, I just crush some aspirin and put it on my cock

      Open Controls
  9. Conrad.
    • 7 Years
    6 years, 11 months ago

    RvP or Sneijd captain?

    Open Controls
    1. Abominable Snowy84
      • 7 Years
      6 years, 11 months ago

      Very handy 🙂

      Open Controls
  10. NATSTER
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    6 years, 11 months ago

    regretted not to took a hit to get Gomez in... 🙁

    hope for 0-0 from owner of Anderson and Gomez.. 😉

    Open Controls
  11. tw
    • 7 Years
    6 years, 11 months ago

    what is holland starting XI?

    Open Controls
    1. Demí
      • 8 Years
      6 years, 11 months ago

      Check the scout tweets..

      Open Controls
    2. ManUFan
      • 7 Years
      6 years, 11 months ago

      01 Stekelenburg
      02 Van Der Wiel
      04 Mathijsen
      13 Vlaar
      15 Willems
      08 De Jong
      10 Sneijder
      23 Van der Vaart
      09 Huntelaar
      11 Robben
      16 Van Persie

      Open Controls
      1. tw
        • 7 Years
        6 years, 11 months ago

        thanks

        Open Controls
    3. COMH
      • 7 Years
      6 years, 11 months ago

      Steklenburg

      van der Wiel, Heitinga, Mathijsen, Willems

      VDV, Van Bommel

      Robben Sneijder RVP

      Huntelaar

      Open Controls
      1. COMH
        • 7 Years
        6 years, 11 months ago

        Vlaar and Van Bommel out for Vlaar and De Jong

        Open Controls
  12. Sun Jihai
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    6 years, 11 months ago

    Schweinsteiger or Ronaldo captain for tonight? Have very little group B coverage unfortunately!

    Open Controls
    1. Demí
      • 8 Years
      6 years, 11 months ago

      If thats your choice, i'd go Ronaldo. Can see him delivering today.

      Open Controls
      1. Nomar
        • 9 Years
        6 years, 11 months ago

        Neither do I actually.

        Got Zimling, Anderson and Gomez (c).

        Ronaldo is the one I'd love to have tonight as I think we (Netherlands) are going to get turned over.

        Open Controls
    2. Aliga8or
      • 7 Years
      6 years, 11 months ago

      CR7. way more attacking
      also a kinda differential at this point in time

      Open Controls
  13. Tommy J
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 9 Years
    6 years, 11 months ago

    One to bench out of Huntelaar,Robben,Nani-I can only have 3 forwards in Proleague and I also have Gomez.

    currently benching Nani.....

    Open Controls
    1. HuttonDressedasLahm
      • 9 Years
      6 years, 11 months ago

      Robben purely for being a knob!

      Open Controls
    2. A2U
      • 7 Years
      6 years, 11 months ago

      Hard to know, but Nani probably shades it.

      Open Controls
    3. tw
      • 7 Years
      6 years, 11 months ago

      robben or nani...

      Open Controls
  14. JK - Cønt ⭐
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    6 years, 11 months ago

    Note to self, wait until the matches have started before going split screen otherwise it just gets confusing 😆

    Open Controls
  15. Tommytour
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 8 Years
    6 years, 11 months ago

    Yes Hunter starts, part one of the punt complete 8)

    Open Controls
    1. Tommy J
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 9 Years
      6 years, 11 months ago

      Gives me a selection headache! see above

      Open Controls
      1. Tommytour
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        6 years, 11 months ago

        Robben to spread the risk? Depends how you see it going?

        Open Controls
    2. tw
      • 7 Years
      6 years, 11 months ago

      lets hope for him to get a red card 😉

      Open Controls
      1. Tommytour
        • Fantasy Football Scout Member
        • 8 Years
        6 years, 11 months ago

        After his hat trick 😉

        Open Controls
        1. Tommy J
          • Fantasy Football Scout Member
          • 9 Years
          6 years, 11 months ago

          Benched Nani-just feel Dutch will go for it.....

          Open Controls
  16. Silly Sausage
    • 6 Years
    6 years, 11 months ago

    Who to captain, Willems Jacobsen or Andersen, can see quite a few goals in Por v Hol

    Open Controls
    1. Tommytour
      • Fantasy Football Scout Member
      • 8 Years
      6 years, 11 months ago

      Doesnt really matter, 90% likely to pass the armband on

      Open Controls
  17. Menly
    • 7 Years
    6 years, 11 months ago

    Not sure what's worse: those creepy dolls on the ITV coverage backed with the bizarre choice of Peter and the wolf theme tune, or Adrian Chiles back by the horrible sound of his voice

    Open Controls
    1. Silly Sausage
      • 6 Years
      6 years, 11 months ago

      Do you work for BBC? Agree those dolls are weird

      Open Controls
      1. Menly
        • 7 Years
        6 years, 11 months ago

        Errr.... Nooo 😀

        *Shuffles away removing BBC name tag*

        Open Controls
    2. Gaz Downright
      • Has Moderation Rights
      • 8 Years
      6 years, 11 months ago

      whats up with all the itv hatred? surely adrian chiles is better than that horrific five live kid doing motd2 now?

      Open Controls
    3. 1966 was a great year for E…
      • 8 Years
      6 years, 11 months ago

      Keane v Vieira in the studio, though, hoping for bloodshed!

      Open Controls
    4. Nomar
      • 9 Years
      6 years, 11 months ago

      If Adrian Chiles was a woman she'd never get a presenting job on TV, no matter how good her conversational skills were or how many academic qualifications she had.

      Sad, but true.

      Open Controls
      1. Gaz Downright
        • Has Moderation Rights
        • 8 Years
        6 years, 11 months ago

        what's your point here btw nomar?

        Open Controls
    5. 4vets
      • 8 Years
      6 years, 11 months ago

      This is why I don't switch on 'til 7.45 🙂

      Open Controls
  18. JK - Cønt ⭐
    • Fantasy Football Scout Member
    • 7 Years
    6 years, 11 months ago

    Interesting thought

    Should Germany win Group B they will take on Greece

    Funny how football mirrors life sometimes

    Open Controls
    1. GlasgowFF
      • 7 Years
      6 years, 11 months ago

      The Germans have a real superiority complex going on (not in football terms; in terms of feeling they can tell Greece what to do financially).

      Would love Greece to put them out.

      Open Controls
  19. ManUFan
    • 7 Years
    6 years, 11 months ago

    new post

    Open Controls
  20. GlasgowFF
    • 7 Years
    6 years, 11 months ago

    Come on CR7(c)!!!

    Open Controls
  21. thetinkerman
    • Has Moderation Rights
    • 7 Years
    6 years, 11 months ago

    Great to see the first real scouting article for the 12-13 season!

    Open Controls
  22. GREENDREAMS11
    • 9 Years
    6 years, 11 months ago

    goal denmmark

    Open Controls
  23. GREENDREAMS11
    • 9 Years
    6 years, 11 months ago

    krohn deli

    Open Controls
  24. GREENDREAMS11
    • 9 Years
    6 years, 11 months ago

    portugal seem to have the bit between their teeth

    Open Controls
  25. GREENDREAMS11
    • 9 Years
    6 years, 11 months ago

    gomez misses a good chance. could easily have been 3-1 germany two great chances spurned

    Open Controls
  26. paddym25
    • 6 Years
    6 years, 11 months ago

    Has anyone got any good tips on building an analysis tool in Excel for the upcomign FPL season?

    I'm quite a seasoned excel expert, i am after some more functional help - what are good statistics to use, and what views on data have people found particularly useful?

    I have already written a mechanism to get all the player stats off the Premier League ff site, so now its just a question of setting myself up with a nice 'control panel' before hte league starts. Want to start soon to give myself enough dev time

    any input much appreciate.d..

    Open Controls