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Reading FC Power Rankings: October 1

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If you had to rank Reading's players based on their overall importance and worth to the club how would you rank them? Well I'm going to take on that task with the first of our monthly power rankings.

Harry Trump/Getty Images

To clarify things, these rankings won't simply be listing the 10 best and 5 worst performers of a given month, instead they'll be used to judge a player's overall worth and value to the club based on a combination of his long-term performances, short-term form and future prospects. I'm also keeping the younger fringe players out of my thinking, as the likes of Shane Griffin and Niall Keown have hardly had a chance to stake their claim, nor have they been expected to.

Top Ten

1. Nick Blackman

As the song goes, he scores goals and goals is what will drive Reading to the Premier League. Eight goals so far this season have seen us shoot up to third and helped a near reserve side push Everton all the way in the League Cup. If he maintains this form he's unplayable and his ability to play across the front line gives him great versatility.

2. Paul McShane

The Reading captain has helped transform a leaky and unsure back four into one of the league's most solid, conceding just five goals in eight games.

3. Orlando Sa

Reading may have won two of the three games he's missed due to suspension but in the long-term the striker is vital to the way we hope to play. His hat-trick against Ipswich showed his ability to score different types of goals and he'll be very much needed if we're to finish inside the top two.

4. Oliver Norwood

Like Blackman he's gone from bit part player to vital cog in the Reading system. While Danny Williams and Aaron Tshibola have been mixed and matched, Norwood has remained ever present and bagged arguably the goal of the season so far against Ipswich.

5. Matej Vydra

We're yet to see the best of the Watford loanee who's now picked up a niggle. That being said, he's a player with at least 15 goals in his previous two Championship campaigns and provides a huge threat whenever he's on the pitch.

6. Chris Gunter

Mr dependable at right-back, the Wales international continues to be an ever present down the flank and has been part of the aforementioned impressive defence that has conceded more than a single goal just once in the league this season. There's no real backup should he pick up an injury and his fitness will be key going forward.

7. Garath McCleary

Like Vydra we haven't seen the best of McCleary so far this season but he's already bagged two big goals and remains one of the biggest threats we have at the football club.

8. Stephen Quinn

Has added much needed dynamism and versatility to the midfield. High energy style has really helped drive the club forward.

9. Jordan Obita

Not been at his very best this season but the youngster remains one of the brightest prospects at the football club and will only get better.

10. Jonathan Bond

Bond is far from the best player at the football club right now but lately he's shown a bit more solidity and that coupled with another awful clanger from Ali Al-Habsi has made him virtually undroppable in the short-term, while still a good prospect in the long-term.

*****

Bottom Five (from lowest to highest)

5. Simon Cox

Poor Simon Cox, he may be one of our own but he's struggled to make an impact under Clarke and remains without a goal in 2015. Couldn't even get off the bench for a virtual reserve team against Everton.

4. Ali Al-Habsi

Goals from Blackman and McCleary bailed the Oman stopper out after some poor keeping against Portsmouth but the former Wigan keeper made an even bigger clanger against Everton that ultimately saw us crash out of the League Cup. Hard to see how he gets in the team unless there's a major injury to Bond.

3. Alex Fernandez

It's been a difficult introduction to English football for Fernandez who's made just two appearances and one start since joining from Espanyol. The Spanish midfielder has potential and has shown flashes of quality but he seems well down the pecking order behind Tshibola, Williams, Quinn and Norwood.

2. Andrew Taylor

Remember this is power rankings not who's played the worst in a given month. Taylor has done well when called upon but remains firmly behind Obita in the pecking order at left-back.

1. Dom Samuel

Again it's harsh to put an injured player on here but through little fault of his own Samuel has missed a golden chance to establish himself as a first team option at the club. Now he finds himself well behind Sa, Blackman, Vydra and HRK in the pecking order but a new three-year-deal shows there's plenty of hope long-term for the young striker.

*****

So that's how I rank them but there's sure to be a few you disagree with so why not give us your top 10 and bottom 5 below?