Brian McDermott Sacked As Reading Manager

Dean Mouhtaropoulos

Brian McDermott has left Reading after just over three years in the job and with the team 19th in the Premier League. Saturday's 2-1 home defeat to Aston Villa seems to have been the last straw for Reading owner Anton Zingarevich who has sacked McDermott less than a year after giving him a long-term deal and just eight months after the ex-Slough manager led Reading back to the Premier League after a four year absence.

My initial reaction is one of shock and sadness.

While recent form has been dire, the majority of the blame has to lay at the owners for providing the manager with unquestionably the weakest squad in the division. Saturday's defeat saw Villa's £8m striker Benteke score the equaliser and then former England international Gabby Agbonlahor score the winner... Reading's biggest signing? £2.5m on Adrian Mariappa.

To sack a manager after saving the club from the drop, guiding them to a play-off final and then winning the title is brutally ruthless and shows how much the club values it's Premier League status.

Was it the right decision?

Time will tell on that one.

Certainly you can understand frustrations from this season. Brian had public fall outs with Danny Guthrie and Adam Federici while there were also reported problems with Jason Roberts. Throw in his constant dropping of last year's player of the season Alex Pearce and you can totally understand why some felt it was time for Brian to go.

Over loyalty has also been an accusation constantly thrown at McDermott and never more so than on Saturday when Brian's decision to leave on Mikele Leigertwood and Jobi McAnuff was widely booed by the home crowd, the first time I can recall his decisions ever being so vocally criticised by a normally docile home crowd.

Brian is rightly devastated by his sacking but then he's not the first Championship winner to be sacked. Chris Hughton and Neil Warnock were both sacked within months of winning promotion, while Roberto Di Matteo was also given the boot just months after guiding West Brom up as runners-up back in 2010.

So where do we go from here?

The early contenders are the likes of Alan Curbishley, Paolo Di Canio, Phil Parkinson, Nigel Adkins and Roberto Di Matteo but at this stage it's all guess work.

We'll have plenty more analysis and discussion on this in the coming hours, days and months but what's important to say first of all is a big thank you to Brian McDermott for over 10 years of service to Reading Football Club. Not just the title win or the play-off run but the years spent nurturing young talent in the reserves, or going on long scouting trips to Ireland to scout the likes of Kevin Doyle, or putting a 17 year old Shane Long up in your family's home to help him settle.

When you throw in the magic of cup wins at Liverpool and Everton or the special days we had on the road to promotion last year, it's possible to argue that he was in fact our most successful manager, or if he's second it's only to Steve Coppell.

Brian you've a true Reading legend no matter what has happened today. I'm sorry it's had to end this way and I really, really hope we don't come to regret this.

Let us know your reaction in the comments section and by answering our poll.

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