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OPINION: Steve Clarke must overhaul the Reading squad this summer



After a disappointing season for the Royals, I think it’s time for an overdue overhaul of the Reading squad this summer.

Clarke needs to overhaul his squad this summer

Clarke needs to overhaul his squad this summer

It’s not been great being a Reading fan over the past three years. We had the monumentally disappointing Premier League campaign in the 2012/2013 season, where only Adam Le Fondre provided some light entertainment in January in what was a largely dire season.

Last year we spent an entire season without owners, after Anton Zingarevich realised his Dad was no longer funding him and he couldn’t afford to run the club.

We made five signings in the summer, four of them permanent and then narrowly missed out on the play offs having occupied sixth place for the majority of the season.

And then this year, we’ve had this. Under Nigel Adkins we were absolutely appalling at times, and it somewhat improved after he was sacked on the back of our 6-1 defeat to Birmingham.

The FA Cup has managed to distract us from poor league form and to be fair to Steve Clarke it’s been really fun.

But nothing can take away from the fact that 19th position for Reading football club is unacceptable.

Our defence has been one of the main issues. The inexperience of Jordan Obita and Michael Hector has really shown over the course of the season and whilst Chris Gunter has managed to turn his awful first half of the season around, Alex Pearce has been very, very inconsistent.

Which leaves a dilemma, because Pearce is brilliant on his day, and of course you’d like the young Hector and Obita to get better with more games.

My solution? Drop Pearce to the bench, because however solid he is on some days, the inconsistency is too much of a risk for us.

Keep Hector at the back, because he can definitely become a top player and only first team football can produce that.

Move Obita to left wing, which is his original position and sign at least one new left back. Ever since releasing Nicky Shorey and Ian Harte, we’ve been crying out for a left back and somehow decided Wayne Bridge was the answer to all our problems.

He wasn’t, and Obita was made into a makeshift left back and subsequently won player of the season.

In central midfield, whatever we do, SIGN CHALOBAH ON LOAN AGAIN. He’s been wonderful since coming in and particularly shone in our FA Cup win over Bradford and our win over Brighton.

He’s a very talented youngster and I wouldn’t be surprised to see other Championship clubs vying a move for him.

I’d also sell the likes of Hope Akpan, release Danny Guthrie and either play or loan out Aaron Kuhl.

On the wings, we’ve got Garath McCleary who we hope hits top form again next year.

Sell Nick Blackman, he looked good at the beginning of the year but he’s offered little since, so we should buy new right winger. I don’t really care if we sell Hal Robson-Kanu or not.

Despite being brilliant in the FA Cup and for Wales, he still can’t translate that to the league.

Up front, sell all of them. It’s been that poor. Pavel Pogrebnyak has been bad again but I can’t see us shifting him, again.

Simon Cox looked like the striker we’d been praying for at the beginning of the season, but hasn’t scored in 2015.

Yakubu may have but us through in the FA Cup vs Derby, but otherwise he’s been pointless, so release him.

I think signing Jamie Mackie is an absolute must after his blistering form under Steve Clarke.

We also need to promote Dominic Samuel to the first team, and despite some great form in League One with Coventry he’s now out for the season and will probably return to Reading.

Otherwise, sign two other strikers who are proven goalscorers, so we can have someone to rely on to stick it in the net.

So this summer, Reading need to sign a centre back, at least one left back, a right winger, perhaps a left back and  a couple of strikers to help them challenge further up the table next season.

If I were Steve Clarke, I’d also sell Nick Blackman, Pavel Pogrebnyak, Simon Cox and Hope Akpan.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: OPINION: Steve Clarke must overhaul the Reading squad this summer

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