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West & Williams: Can Reading Afford Not To Go Up?

West & Williams, May 6, 2011

Morning all! here's the latest article from our resident podcast host and all round good guy Westie, who asks whether Reading can afford to miss out on promotion to the Premier League this season....

Can the Royals afford not to go up?

With the season reaching it’s end and Reading’s place in the play-offs secured,  the same question keeps popping up and raising it’s ugly head. Do we really want to go up and be potentially embarrassed by the big boys? Lets face it! In the last few weeks this question has probably been said to you, or popped up in your own mind and what do you think?

For me it doesn't matter I want promotion!

I’ll admit that the squad isn’t good enough to survive in the Premiership as it stands. But with this seasons FA Cup results against Everton, WBA and a decent account against Man City. Is the Premiership really that big a jump in quality?

So what happens if we don't get through the play-offs in the next few weeks?

Well I’ll tell you, Long will be gone in the summer, that's a fact! Reading have always sold players when their stock is high and arguably, Shane Long’s stock will never again be as high as it is now! If you look at the exits of Dave Kitson, Kevin Doyle and Nicky Shorey, they were all players that were at their most sellable point. But Reading did well to cash in on them, as how much do you think they would be worth now? Kitson- Free transfer? his stock is really low and Portsmouth might well say goodbye to him soon. Shorey- £750,000 ? he's still decent but I think he’s won the last of his England caps! Doyle is still a good player but his goals have really dried up and let’s face it, he’s probably at his level.

Jimmy Kebe will also properly be sold should we fail to go up. We have seen this year how good he can be and how much we miss him when injured , so his loss would be massive. One of the relegated Premier League sides will pick him up for £2 million and the money men at Reading will be happy to take that profit for him! So there's your best two players sold!

If that happens I can see it  causing unrest amongst some other players who are left at the club. Matt Mills for one might be affected, and do you think that Khizanshivili will want to stick around when the best players are sold? No chance! Even Mikele Legertwood may consider signing somewhere else if key elements of the team are sold.

So squad wise you would be left with a young team many of which have been less than impressive this year, Church and Robson-Kanu to name but two with another year of Championship football with a team no where near good enough to challenge.

What if we are promoted? Well you can bet that all of the above stay and Reading will add some more quality to the team. I really think that maybe Four players would be enough to stay up. Ball playing centre midfielder, left winger , left back and a decent striker and even  if they were relegated? So what! We come down stronger and would be a real threat in the Championship for at least another 2 years, plus once again raise the profile of the club, which can only be a good thing.

Or maybe I’m wrong, let me know what you think!


Westie is the co-host of the Reading Football Fancast, details of how you can listen and download are here