Brian McDermott was sacked on Monday afternoon following their weekend 2-1 loss to Aston Villa. Reading look almost certain to be relegated as they sit in 19th place, level on 23 points with QPR, following a 4 game losing streak.
Apparently Brian McDermott is the one to shoulder the blame for these recent woes. I, for one, think he’s gotten a raw deal. At the time of writing Reading have not announced a replacement, although the current frontrunner seems to be Paulo Di Canio.
What concerns me is what McDermott has done for the club. Since joining Reading in 2009 he has made Reading into a team of overachievers, and all on a budget. Last year’s run towards the Championship title was one that seemed to come out of nowhere in the second half of the season.
In 2010-11 he took Reading to the quarterfinals where Manchester City knocked them out 1-0. That same season they finished 5th in the Championship but missed out on promotion in the playoffs, being beaten by Brendan Rodgers’ Swansea City.
I would say that he has done quite a lot for Reading. It is fairly well known that the club did not go out and splash money on big players to start the season. Their transfers were all under £10 million in fees. Most of the team is made up of what many refer to as “Championship players.” Basically meaning that they are good in the next tier down, but can struggle in the Premier League. I would say that this shows, to an extent. I would also say that this is unfair, since Reading did make it to the Premier League, so they must have some talent.
The amazing thing is that he was able to take this team to the EPL with the players that he had. He did it with a budget that was nowhere even close to any of the other Championship teams around them.
I am one who liked having Brian McDermott in the Premier League. I appreciated how calm he always was as a manager. He seems like the perfect role model for many aspiring managers out there. He always handled the press well, even in his last interview. Always remained calm even when fielding questions about his team’s poor form and results.
For Reading, it means that the players will need to move on and be able to accept whoever is brought in. If it is Di Canio, I am not sure how they will accept him. Di Canio is just about as opposite of McDermott as any manager could be. It will be quite interesting to see where Reading goes from here. I have a hard time seeing Reading staying up this season. With McDermott in charge I would’ve said that they would be coming back up soon enough, but now? I’m not so sure they will have what it takes without McDermott. I could easily see them free falling into the Championship, and maybe further. I guess time will tell.