Stuck on a downer from the dip in form from the Royals? Have a look at this, and you might start feeling a little more optimistic. Here's 6 reasons why Reading will be a Premier League club by 2018... or even earlier, perhaps.
1. The Academy
A successful academy stretching across south England is proving to be one of the country's finest. The U18s were semi finalists in the FA Youth Cup last season, while the U21s were the Premier League Cup champions. 14 games into the season and Nigel Adkins has handed debuts to 8 academy graduates, 6 of which were professional debuts too. This total becomes even more outstanding when you hear that Reading's previous record for 'most graduates to make debut in a season' was 4. Demonstrating Adkins will use the academy, unlike some others clubs that just spend, spend, spend... *cough* QPR *cough*.
2. The Thais
Somewhat contradictory to the previous paragraph, Adkins has finally got the opportunity to spend some money on players. Early indications that the Thais are ready to dip into their wallet are: the news of a reported £20 million+ budget for the new training ground, Garath McCleary rejecting Premier League clubs to sign a new deal and the 5 signings made already.
3. A Manager who Loves the Club
9/10 managers would have walked out the door in Adkins' situation last season. Being promised so much by a wealthy owner, 'he who shall not be named', then having it all vanish and being left to fend for yourself. Not to mention being stuck with lazy Royston. However, Nigel remained in Berkshire, kept 'positive', as he reminded us in near enough every single interview; and has all the fans right behind him. Bodes well for the future.
4. The Rise from the Treatment Table
As we all know, injuries have been such a cause for concern for the Royals. It is almost as if a Swindon Town supporting witch has cast a curse over the Madejski Stadium. A total of 16 players have been injured at some point this season, missing a combined total of 98 matches [stats courtesy of: @WilliamOwain]. Unbelievable Jeff! An unnoticed McCleary broken back and a long term injury to Ferdinand who hasn't even played for about a year, sounds to me like the work of the Swindon witch. Anyway, by Christmas we should (I'm not making any promises here) have a near fully fit squad. There surely can't be a better midfield three in the Championship than Danny Williams, Jem Karacan and Oliver Norwood. It makes good reading for the second half of this season, and the following seasons.
5. Oliver Norwood
He's been such a revelation in the middle of the park that I felt it necessary to give him a paragraph of his own. The term 'ping' sums him up; passing genius. Alongside a ball winner like Williams or Karacan, this man will work wonders. He completed 92% of his passes against Fulham. 17 caps for his country at the age of 23, we have quite the player on our hands.
6. The Nature of the Championship
Most Reading fans would argue it hasn't been the best start to a season, but we are 6 points off top spot. How? I'm not too sure either. It's a tight league, tighter than some of the Reading players' hamstrings by the sound of things. All it takes is a steady season, which a Reading squad in two years time will be capable of.
So, there you have 6 reasons to remain optimistic about the future, and hey, at least we aren't Fulham...