This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Veljko Paunovic is beginning to lose even his most supportive fans at Reading FC after the Royals’ 7-0 defeat at home to Fulham.
Reading would be in 17th with a nine point cushion on the relegation zone if it was not for the six point deduction they have suffered, but that does not deter the concerns about dropping into the third tier.
The Royals suffered an embarrassing 2-1 loss at National League North side Kidderminster Harriers last weekend in the FA Cup third round, and confidence is clearly at an all time low after the second half capitulation that ensued at the Select Car Leasing Stadium on Tuesday evening.
We gathered the thoughts of a selection of FLW writers to see if they believe that Reading should sack Veljko Paunovic…
I don’t think so.
Paunovic has got his hands tied at Reading and though results aren’t up to scratch there are a lot of issues going on that are out of his control.
There’s a huge injury list at the club, things above him could be a lot better and I have to wonder who exactly would be able to go in there and really turn it around.
Reading looked half decent at times last season and I think he deserves the opportunity to guide them through this period and get them to safety.
Upheaval doesn’t work in these situations sometimes and I just don’t know what purpose sacking him would really serve, given the lack of options I think could really come in and replace him.
It’s hard to imagine how any manager could survive a 7-0 loss and Paunovic is likely no exception.
Reading clearly has bigger issues than simply who is the manager, but if the players have truly given up trying to perform for Paunovic then there is very little else that can be done.
The simple adage of football is that it’s cheaper to sack the manager than it is the players and that is likely why Paunovic will inevitably lose his job.
It’s unlikely that a change of coach will have a material impact on their season, however.
It’s clear that there are structural problems that run far far deeper than Paunovic, who will act as more of a scapegoat than anything, if he is to be sacked.
Quiz: Can you name which club Reading FC signed these 28 defenders from?
I can understand the clamour from some supporters for Paunovic to go given the last week, but I’m not completely sure that’s going to change the club’s fortune.
Reading are a mess off the pitch, whilst their treatment room is packed with talent at this time.
Paunovic is fronting everything and the man coming in for criticism from fans. That’s fair enough, but there’s got to be understanding to the situation that he’s having to deal with. It’s also worth noting that he’s the man that guided Reading into play-off contention last season and that he’s not just become a bad manager.
One other question you’d ask the fans calling for his head is who do they realistically want to replace him?
The suggestion of Neil Warnock from some supporters feels weird. He wouldn’t get much more out of the squad the Royals have and, long-term, it’s hardly an inspired appointment – we know how short-term Warnock is!
Simply, there doesn’t feel a standout candidate to come in and juggle everything that’s been thrown at Paunovic now.
Whilst results stay like this pressure will build and fans will call for Paunovic to go, whether that’s the right or wrong thing to do.
It just feels like Reading’s problems stretch beyond changing the manager.