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Reversing the Window: An Imagination Exercise

Reading fans were left frustrated, angered and darn well lied to by the club as deadline day passed without any signings - despite Adkins saying he hoped for three new acquisitions. Would fans feel the same way if the window had happened the other way round?

Drenthe, a classy operator on his day.
Drenthe, a classy operator on his day.
Ben Hoskins

Take a moment to put your imagination snapback on. Get your mind whirring and creativity in gear. Now, imagine we're back at the start of the transfer window...

Reading have just been relegated. Barring the anomaly that was January, Reading were dreadful and uninspiring, not once looking convincing throughout the whole season.

The season started helter-skelter, with McDermott persisting with his direct, rigid, and high tempo 4-4-2 style from the wonderful (and surprising) promotion the previous season. Come Christmas, however, McDermott had (finally) twigged that it wasn't working and changed to a more defensive, counter-attacking style. January improved, the winter window was uninspiring, and come February Reading were again uninspiring and looking more and more doomed with every game that went by.

McDermott was sacked, Adkins brought in. A war of words between Zingarevich and McDermott ensued over transfer policy, Adkins praying for survival knowing full well that it was highly unlikely.

Inevitable relegation. A number of players released - Harte, Shorey and Hunt to name a few. Adkins insists on an immediate bounce back to the Premier League.

The transfer window opens. Kebe is immediately sold to newly promoted Crystal Palace for £2m. Mariappa follows not long after for a rumoured £3m.

The fans are hurt. Kebe was a cult hero, with future West Ham games never to be quite the same again. Mariappa, a consistent and quality defender despite the dreadful relegation the season before. Gone. Not to mention absolutely no experienced and/or specialist left backs in the squad.

Reading are left with McAnuff, McCleary, Robson-Kanu and the youngster Obita on the wings. At centre back, only Pearce, Morrison and Gorkss remain. Fans shudder, praying for new signings before the season kicks off.

July passes by. Adkins again reiterates his desire to add players and yet again mentions promotion at the first time of asking.

The fans continue to attack the club, screaming for a signing. Someone, anyone, even a free transfer.

The season starts reasonably well, but it's not perfect and the everyone knows the squad could be improved. A striker is required if Pog continues to misfire and Blackman fails to improve. A centre back is necessary, with Gorkss the only back up to newly-formed centre back partnership Pearce and Morrison.

August ticks on. Deadline day is looming.

By this point the fans are sick and tired of everything the club is spouting to the media, unhappy with the lack of spending, ambition and quality in the squad.

Still no left back. Still no wingers. Still no centre back. Still no striker.

Tick, tock, tick, tock.

Deadline day arrives. The fans have reached their climax, if there isn't a signing made today they'll revolt, make insulting banners and use the hashtags #AdkinsOut #ZingarevichOut and #HammondOut as part of their everyday Twitter vocabulary.

BAM, signing. Wayne Bridge joins on a free from Manchester City. Championship Team of the Year, the Royals have beaten Brighton to the permanent signing of the former England left back. Classy, sophisticated and with a smoking hot girlfriend.

BAM, signing number two. The fans are blown away. It can't be. Royston Drenthe. THE Royston Drenthe. The Dutch winger who played for Real Madrid. The very same who was once tipped to become a mega star following impressive performances at youth level for the Dutch U21s. Enigmatic and a flair player. Reading fans could only have dreamed of this a couple of years ago.

BAM, signing three. In one day! USA international midfielder Danny Williams has joined Reading from Hoffenheim for a fee of less than £1m. Bargain, some might say. Energetic, strong and created in the Bundesliga, he's sure to be a hit.

The fans can't believe it. On the final day of the window, the club has whacked out three impressive signings. Suddenly the squad doesn't look so bad. They have the left back they want. They have the winger they wanted. They've added an international midfielder. The club have promised they will continue to look to do deals in the free and loan market. Relief.

Things are looking up, the team is gelling and Adkins is still trying to get his passing philosophy integrated into the players who are so used to playing kick and rush football.

Euphoria, despite the lack of centre back and striker that are still needed. Quality has been added. The team can get by for now.

Building. Evolving. Hopefully succeeding.

Still annoyed by the Reading transfer activity? Let us know in the comments below.