It's all rosy at Reading at the moment, in no small part down to the significant investment from the ownership group. Since the last time we did this poll in July - we've seen the arrival of Paolo Hurtado, Andrew Taylor, Alex Fernandez, Lucas Piazon, Ola John, and Matej Vydra, as well as the sale and re-loaning of Michael Hector. Once budgets were agreed and the green light was given, the squad was completely overhauled and now has arguably the strongest depth we have seen in the Madejski Stadium era. The majority of those players have seen League action and have impressed in their time on the pitch so far - Vydra and Piazon two to show that they can give this side the goals it was so dearly lacking last campaign.
Of course, depth is key in a division which often sees two games a week, but it also creates competition for places and pushes players to perform in order to keep their shirts. Jordan Obita suffered a slump last year after his breakout campaign in 2013/14, but with Taylor breathing down his neck, he has picked up and is now showing the form of two years ago. The loss of Pavel Pogrebnyak last season would have caused a major headache, but now with so many options up top, it was barely an issue when Orlando Sa was suspended for three matches. And the form of Nick Blackman has to be in some part down to the multitude of attacking players pushing him on the training ground.
And talking of the training ground, the new facility at Bearwood is firmly on the horizon after the purchase of the land was completed a couple of weeks ago. The plans look stunning, and it will truly be a complex which pushes not only the squad but the Royals' esteemed Academy to the next level. Couple that with the new Royal Elm Park development which admittedly doesn't visibly benefit the club directly, and you can see that these owners are interested in expanding their horizons off the pitch as well. It'd be easy to buy a new squad to instantly challenge for promotion, but developing the club over a number of years is a direct follow-on from the years of effort and vast sums of money Sir John Madejski poured into Reading FC.
Ah, the song... We've gone over this argument as has social media, but no fan likes being embarrassed. And it's fair to say that most Royals supporters viewed that video and heard that song through gritted teeth, wondering just how the world would react. The world did react and it wasn't kind... No Reading fan would begrudge the owners having a bit of fun and showing their passion for the Royals in their own way, but the cultural difference is still showing up.
Again we're nit picking here, but you'll notice a vast number of loans at the club at the moment. They're all good players, but it would be good to have those players' futures secured at the Madejski rather than elsewhere. And talking of contracts, two of the key components in this squad - Nick Blackman and Chris Gunter - have just eight months left to run on their current deals. Perhaps negotiations are going on behind the scenes, but with other new contracts being handed out at the moment, it would be good to see these two (especially Gunter) rewarded for their solid form and service to the club.
And on a purely personal note, it's sad to see Sir John relegated in his duties despite his years of service to the club. Granted, he has no share in the Royals any more but the man whose name is plastered across the East Stand seats could see those erased very soon, and has been usurped in the "contract signing photo" opportunities by Nigel Howe. A new regime and a shift of power; his legacy will live on in the memories of all Reading fans but his visibility is slowly being eradicated.
So how do you see it? Vote in our poll below