Championship previews | Reading
Real Championship football fans give the Paddy Power Blog their honest previews for the new season. Here’s Reading fan Dave Stevens (@shakefon), who is living the dream residing in Las Vegas and is running the soon-to-be-live the79.com. He tells us all about the holy trinity of Adkins, Drenthe and Bill Oddie.
State of play: Reading fans have relegated the memory of last season to a dark recess in the back of their minds, but saying that has reminded me what happened – we were relegated from the so-called “promised land” of the Premier League. Sadly we never got going last year and came down in 19th place having been outclassed. We’d been expecting it since Stoke away in February, so no surprises.
So far this summer, we’ve made some encouraging signings that suggest we’ve turned a positive corner. We’ve added Wayne Bridge to bring experience and ability to the left back berth left open by the departures of Ian Harte and Nicky Shorey, and having seen him at Brighton last year, I’m pleased we got him. Promising US international midfielder Danny Williams looks like he might add something in the middle of the park and the larger than life powerhouse Royston Drenthe will hopefully bring us goals and assists to complement the buzz and laughs thus far. In addition we’ve tied Alex Pearce and Hal Robson-Kanu down to new deals and resisted the urge to sell our decent players (goalkeeper Alex McCarthy in particular) so the future looks bright.
How’s the gaffer? Nigel Adkins came in towards the end of last season and is getting rave reviews from the fans so far – an intelligent football man who clearly loves the game, he’s instilled a mantra of passing it out from the back, which excites those of us all too used to seeing the long ball game repeatedly tried and failed last season.
Terrace Hero: Drenthe is attracting all the attention and excitement since signing but I think Hal Robson-Kanu will end the season having made the most notable contribution.
Big-time Charlie: Harsh to single anyone out before a ball has been kicked in anger, but striker Pavel Pogrebnyak, central midfielder Mikele Leigertwood and centre-back Kaspars Gorkss have been the recipients of most criticism thus far.
Worst away ground in the championship and why? Turf Moor. Horrible part of the country. Of course in my day it was Millmoor, but they had the good sense to scrap that place, at least for football.
Which championship side have the best away fans? I’ve had a good bit of banter with Forest fans in the past. Definitely not Leeds though.
Dream Championship signing: We keep getting linked to Yossi Benayoun, probably by a journalist with column inches to fill, but I’d take that. What we really need is a striker (or two) that know where the goal is. Rhodes or Austin score plenty but they’ll not be coming to us. Still, you said “dream” so we’d take Berbatov. He’d probably knock a few in at this level.
Best terrace chant: To the tune of Madonna’s ‘Erotica’…
‘Bill Oddie, Bill Oddie, Rub your beard all over my body’
He seems to like it, have a look at his Twitter if you don’t believe me.
- Will Reading head straight back to the top flight? They’re 8/1 to win the Championship in our latest odds
- Our next fan preview is just a click away…