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Reading FC's 2014 In Review: Part 2

Wimb took the lead and walked you through the first part of 2014, but now Hoops was given the unenviable task of covering the second part of 2014.

Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

JUNE & JULY

The summer kicked off with rumours that Academy manager Eamonn Dolan was to move on and assume the managerial position at Leeds–Reading swiftly rejected that story.

The early weeks of June were taken up with the club's apparently imminent takeover. The club were taken control of by lenders, board members left, and STAR were asked to step up by The Tilehurst End regular Jon; duly, they did. Then Reading were reportedly taken over at the same time the fixture list was released.

Former Sporting Lisbon captain Daniel Carrico's departure was predictably confirmed as he left to sign for Sevilla on a permanent basis.

Moving into July and the Royals were finally able to enjoy some good news–but not before the kit and squad numbers could be revealed.

Editor Wimb took it upon himself to assess transfers made under Zingarevich, whilst it was a solid 1-0 win for the Royals in their first game of preseason against Exeter.

The takeover was finally completed in July, with the Thai consortium confirmed as usurping the Americans.

Meanwhile, on the pitch, Reading drew to Yeovil and beat Wycombe 2-0 in an impressive beginning to preseason. A draw to Stevenage was the final match Adkins was in charge of before the Thais were confirmed by the club.

AUGUST

The Thais made their first move in the summer transfer window by bringing back former Academy striker Simon Cox, and Jamie Mackie joined on loan not long after.

The Championship season kicked off with a hard fought 2-2 draw against Wigan, following that up with a solid 3-1 victory in the Capital One Cup against Newport County.

The club announced its club anthem would be Ashes, by Embrace. They followed up that news with the news that Sean Morrison was departing for Cardiff, following the same road that Adam Le Fondre followed.

Despite that departure, Adkins' Reading managed to beat Ipswich 1-0 thanks to a goal by Academy product Jake Taylor. Any positivity that may have been around the club following that win were swiftly eradicated with a shocking performances at Huddersfield in a 2-1 loss.

That loss was followed by the arrival of one of this season's greatest performers, Terriers playmaker Oliver Norwood signed up to join the Royals.

Things went from bad to worse for Adkins' men as they were gunned down 4-0 by the in form Nottingham Forest, before the hoops bounced back with a slender 1-0 victory over Southend in the League Cup.

Alex McCarthy's departure to QPR as cover for Robert Green became common knowledge in the days leading up to the official confirmation, and Jon wrote about why he felt it was the saddest loss of a Reading player for many a year.

Alex West reported on the win up at Middlesbrough for us, claiming that we should look forward to better things to come this season. Oh, Alex.

SEPTEMBER

On the final day of the transfer window, rebellious winger Drenthe was loaned to Wednesday and we brought in proven goalscorer Glenn Murray.

The International break was upon us, and with Brentford tickets announced Jon again came up trumps with his analysis of the Royalty points scheme the club currently use when selling tickets.

In one of our best performances of the season so far, the Royals thrashed a hapless Fulham 3-0. That victory didn't stop Bucks Royal from analysing our left midfield conundrum–still a problem yet to be fully resolved.

brace by local-born Cox secured a victory against Millwall in what looked like a bright opening to the 2014-15 season.

The club finally confirmed the Thai takeover was complete in mid-September; though the news was sandwiched between losses to Sheffield Wednesday and Derby County. A 3-3 draw against Wolves gave fans hope–speaking about hope, Jonny wrote a great piece about Akan who became an influential midfield player before injury curtailed his progress later on in the year.

OCTOBER

The big news from early October was the McCleary contract issue finally being put to bed, with him penning a new deal to tie him to the Madejski Stadium for the foreseeable future.

All the hype about a trip to Brentford was swiftly brushed aside when the final whistle blew with the result being 3-1 against the Biscuitmen.

Results got worse and worse for Reading FC as they continued their poor form with a 3-0 hammering to Derby, with a repeat result against Bournemouth piling the pressure on Nigel Adkins.

With the injury news looking promising, Jonny Scott took the positive side that returning injured stars might just give the Royals the boost they needed, whilst editor Wimb was also reluctant to hit the panic button quite so soon.

Their positivity seemed well placed when Murray opened the scoring and Taylor finished it in a 3-0 win against Blackpool,

NOVEMBER

November started with a poor performances against Blackburn, and things went from bad to worse with the news that Reading could face a January transfer ban. This news sparked a whole host of stories about Reading Football Club and Financial Fair Play, which you can read here.

A confident 3-0 against Rotherham seemed to be the beginning of some sort of revival thanks to some Mackie magic, but the inconsistent Royals lost their cool against a tactically smart Charlton side.

Pressure was mounting against the ever-positive Adkins, and Bobbins took his chance to cast his mind back on managers past and present to see if there were any similarities.

Meanwhile, Jon was roused to look at what could be affecting attendances at the Madejski Stadium as they plummeted.

In somewhat humorous news, it came to light this year that Nick Blackman is eligible for the Israel national team.

Pressure was at an all time high for Adkins, but a poll ran on the site said–narrowly–he shouldn't be sacked.

Bobbins tried his best to defend the flummoxed defence, while John did the same for Director of Football Nick Hammond.

With things looking bleak, Bucks tried to argue the case for Adkins to adopt a 4-4-2 diamond formation in the search for consistent points.

Fran Kirby signed a professional contract with the Royals (the first women's team player to do so), perhaps in a sign of things to come under the Thai ownership.

Jonny looked at whether there was any hope of an upturn in fortunes after the 17th game, while a calamitous Alex Pearce performance at Cardiff doomed the Royals to yet another loss under Adkins.

Then Nigel Adkins made the bold decision to let the media know he had joined Twitter, just as the campaign for his sacking was reaching boiling point. Brave, or stupid?

It didn't look like either of those as Reading plucked the Canaries for a vital 3 points.

DECEMBER

December began with Nick Hammond addressing the FFP problems the Royals face, which if you've no interest in finances may have been sleep inducing–which, funnily enough, is exactly what the bore draw with Bolton was.

Then came the straw that broke the camel's back: a 6-1 defeat at Birmingham.

Adkins was promptly sacked, Wimb finally admitted to having got off the Adkins bandwagon, and Clarke was hired as Reading manager the next day.  Keen joined as assistant not long after, but it wasn't enough as Clarke's men slumped to a 1-0 defeat to Watford.

Things improved from there for Steve though, as he was robbed of his first victory with a last-gasp equaliser at Brighton, before the Biscuitmen held out for all three against Norwich on Boxing Day.

THE NEW YEAR...

Who knows what 2015 will bring for the Royals? At the time of writing, all the sounds coming out of the club are positive–despite FFP issues, the Royals will look to kick on and improve under Clarke in the coming year.

Some might say the Royals could even make the play-offs if they went on a run...