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17 In: Reading's Starts Compared

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It's not hard at the moment to find Royals fans making comparisons between Nigel Adkins and former Reading managers. We decided to have a look at how he shapes up against his predecessors' records when it comes to the first 17 games in a Championship season.

Ben Hoskins

After 17 games the Royals find themselves in 14th place with 21 points. It has been a frustrating start to the season. But how does Reading's beginning to the 2014/2015 season compare with previous campaigns?

MANAGER W D L F A PTS GD FINAL POSITION
2005/2006 Coppell 11 5 1 28 9 38 19 1
2008/2009 Coppell 10 3 4 38 16 33 22 4
2004/2005 Coppell 9 4 4 25 15 31 10 7
2002/2003 Pardew 9 2 6 21 14 29 7 4
2013/2014 Adkins 7 7 3 26 20 28 6 7
2003/2004 Pardew / Coppell 8 3 6 24 19 27 5 9
2010/2011 McDermott 6 6 5 27 21 24 6 5
2011/2012 McDermott 5 6 6 17 17 21 0 1
2014/2015 Adkins 6 3 8 22 27 21 -5
2009/2010 Rodgers 4 5 8 17 26 17 -9 9

What immediately grabs your attention is the fact that this is Reading's second worst start at Championship level in the Madejski Stadium era. But what else is noticeable?

  • Reading have never conceded so many goals after 17 games.
  • Only once before have the Royals had a negative goal difference at this stage of the season.
  • There's hope! Our current position and points total are the same as Brian McDermott's 2011/2012 champions.
  • Brian McDermott's teams were slow starters. We were patient back then. Do Nigel Adkins and the current team deserve the same patience?
  • Steve Coppell was in charge for our three best starts.
  • The 2008/2009 teams had scored ten more goals after 17 games than the great 2005/2006 team. How we managed to finish fourth in a three horse race that season remains a mystery.

All in all it doesn't make great reading for Nigel Adkins. A lot was said about this being a season of transition but, as the table above shows, Reading fans are not used to watching their team treading water. The reaction to the season so far reflects that.