Hams wrote:Struggling Reading have fired their manager Brian McDermott.
The Royals have lost their last 4 in the PL and play Man Utd and Arsenal next.
Was it fair to sack a coach who had taken the club up last season?
There are now only 3 English managers left in the Premier League.
floody wrote:Anyway, safe to say I certainly wasn't amused by the timing of this one little bit. In fact, I was disgusted by it. Had this decision been taken during December when we were rock bottom then fine, I would still have been massively disappointed to see McDermott go, but I at least could have understood slightly better as we would still have had plenty of time to haul ourselves out of serious trouble. That would also have given the luxury of a new man a transfer window to bring in reinforcements and shape the squad to his tastes. As it is, however, we are four points adrift with nine games remaining, face daunting back-to-back trips to Old Trafford and the Emirates and are looking dead certs to return to the Championship. Unless the new boss is a miracle worker, he has next to no chance of keeping us up and we have actually just dispensed with the one man who knows what has to be done to get us back up!
floody wrote:The crux of this issue for me is the money. I would be extremely interested to know just what happened there. Was McDermott's reliance on clearly under par players such as Leigertwood etc born out of some sort of stubborn, misguided loyalty or was it simply out of necessity after not being given the appropriate sums of money to work with in both transfer windows following promotion? If it's the former, then it becomes a trifle harder to provide a staunch defence for McDermott. If it's the latter however, which I personally fully suspect it is, then Zingarevich has to take the flak for not providing the funds to make us competitive. Frankly, if you look at our squad man for man, it's a wonder we have stayed within touching distance for this long. It's certainly more than I expected when the summer transfer window slammed shut last September.
floody wrote:Part of the appeal of being a Reading supporter as a kid (as well as it being my local team) was our usual sense of going about our business in a correct, proper and thoughtful manner that often seemed at odds with football's increasingly vast moral vacuum. We've always run very prudently and avoided committing to the same sort of excesses and knee-jerk decisions that have become a staple of modern football on these shores, yet have remained competitive and largely successful to a certain degree thanks to the inspirational work of hugely knowledgeable folk such as McDermott I sense now, with new money and owners and this decision, that may all have come crashing to a halt, and I for one find that extremely difficult to take.
floody wrote:I'll wait and see how the next few months develop, but for me this would certainly seem to signal the end of the so-called 'Reading way', particularly when Zingarevich assumes full control in September. Only time will tell if abandoning these principles will have a wholly positive or negative effect. Is this what we need to establish ourselves at a higher level?
floody wrote:On potential successors, there are only one or two names being linked with the post that I would be pleased to see take over. Hopefully the only scrap of a positive we can take from this sorry mess is that we bring in a new boss with a reputation for playing good football, which we certainly haven't in recent times. McDermott's system has proven extremely successful up until this point, but the 4-4-2 kick and rush, blood and thunder just doesn't cut it at this level. With that in mind, I would welcome Roberto Di Matteo, Nigel Adkins or Gus Poyet as my top three choices. However I'm not too sure I fancy our chances of being able to entice any of them.
Di Matteo can obviously now boast a Champions League victory on his CV, so I'm not too sure a return to the Championship will particularly appeal to him. Plus I understand he is still earning handsome wages after Chelsea put him on gardening leave.
Adkins is a very possible one, as far as I can see. Consecutive promotions, a reputation for playing good football and seemed well liked by the players at Southampton. I read yesterday that he has launched legal proceedings against Southampton and Nicola Cortese, which I believe now entitles him to seek employment. I did find his relentless positivity somewhat irritating during his tenure at St Mary's, but that's not a particularly big deal. The only sticking point I have with Adkins is whether he is all that superior to McDermott. After all, we pipped Southampton to the title at the last hurdle last season, with an arguably inferior playing squad. He also spent hefty sums of money in the summer and although Southampton weren't in the relegation zone when he was sacked, they weren't doing as well as you might have expected.
Poyet is a name I have seen linked heavily in the papers today. Again I'm not sure the job will massively appeal to him, given that he is in charge of a club that won't have given up on a late playoff surge this season and, if they remain in the Championship, will have an equally good chance of returning as us. Brighton do play good football, however, and he has generally been very successful on the South Coast, picked up one or two very good continental players and is popular with the fans. To me, Poyet seems to bring a similar passion to his work akin to that of Di Canio, but without all the needless and tiresome melodrama that accompanies the Italian.
Some of the names linked with the job, beyond those three, make me want to weep. Among them are Mark Hughes, Steve McClaren - hell, you can even get Graham Rix at 100-1! Obviously former captain Phil Parkinson is one who is also being heavily linked to the post due to his superb work at Bradford this season. As much as I admire and respect Parky, I'm not sure that is a good route to go down. Sure his reputation and historical association with the club down the years should see him provide plenty of passion, but he has struggled managing in the Championship before and would, in my mind, represent a serious step down from McDermott.
For the record, I do not want Di Canio anywhere near it if we can help it. The transition from the humble, likable and understated McDermott to the brash, crazed antics of Di Canio would be too difficult a transition to handle. The guy is a walking headline, yet to prove himself anywhere above League Two/League One and simply comes with too much baggage. Maybe if he was given it, it may prove a quick sharp burst that will serve to galvanise some of the complacent players in the squad, but for me it would still represent a huge risk. He was pictured in the stands at the Villa game on Saturday, but it remain to be seen whether he was there as anyone's guest or just as a spectator of the game (he admitted in a BBC article last week he has been attending several Premier League games and coaching sessions since leaving Swindon). One thing is for certain, It would certainly add even more spice to any potential Reading v Swindon derbies next season if we were to be relegated and them promoted!
I suppose the next appointment may depend on Zingarevich's thinking. If he does truly believe we are still capable of defying the considerable odds and staying up, he may be more inclined to go for a motivator such as Di Canio. However, if he's got more of a long term strategy in mind, the likes of Adkins or Poyet may feature more highly in his thinking.
Anyway, it's safe to say that Brian McDermott will go down in this club's folklore. After the disastrous six month tenure of Brendan Rodgers back in 2009, things were looking bleak and at Christmas we were embroiled in a Championship relegation scrap when McDermott, who had been at the club since 2000 in various coaching and scouting roles, was handed the gig on a caretaker basis. He initially didn't do all that well in the league in that temporary spell, but that magnificent extra time win at Anfield in the FA Cup practically assured him the job, and the rest is history. After taking temporary charge during the 09/10 season, he guided us away from the bottom three and a potentially disastrous relegation into League One and took us to an FA Cup quarter-final and phenomenal league run that saw us just narrowly miss out on the playoffs.
The following season he went one better. Having again had one hand tied behind his back with the sale of our best player Gylfi Sigurdsson, we went on another tremendous run and reached a second consecutive Cup quarter-final and also the playoff final, where we were beaten by Swansea. The following summer we again saw the club sell-off two more assets in Matt Mills and Shane Long in order to stay financially stable, and despite a dire start to the season another scarcely believable run ensued, culminating in the Championship title in May. Sadly it appears as if McDermott has largely been a victim of his own success in some ways. With such repeated success comes heightened expectation and the unwarranted criticism that can arise if you do not manage to keep producing miracles.
He certainly had his faults this season. As I've already said, he remained perhaps a little too loyal to one or two players who were clearly not up to scratch, struggled to manage one or two sizable egos within the squad and it's true to say his tactical naivety has cost us points on a few occasions. His unwavering commitment to 4-4-2 earlier in the season saw us leak far, far too many goals and the 4-5-1 that replaced it made us tough to beat but ultimately too weak offensively. As I said before though, I do believe many of these issues could have been offset by greater investment in the playing squad, and I do not know for sure whose decision it was not to spend at greater levels.
But regardless of what mistakes he has made, McDermott, in my opinion, is tied with Steve Coppell as the best manager this football club has ever seen. I wish him all the very best for the future, and I certainly wouldn't bet against him returning to the Premier League before we do.
Steely Hill wrote:floody wrote:If you're not capable of discussing it without the cheap digs mate, then don't bother because it's not really worth my time replying.
I can't make any promises.
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