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Reading FC's Next Manager - Does Personality Matter?

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As Reading search for Steve Clarke's successor, Wimb asks how much personality should factor into the new appointment.

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I'm sorry Nigel it's not me it's you, or at least it's how I feel about you that's the problem.

Pearson is currently the odds on favourite to succeed Steve Clarke at Reading. The former Middlesbrough defender is one of the most sought after managers available right now after a promotion and Premier League great escape with Leicester but I can't get excited about his potential appointment and in fact the more I think about such a move the more I have a feeling of dread rather than any form of excitement.

You see the problem with Pearson is that in my opinion he's a bully and generally not a very pleasant character. I don't know Nigel on a personal level but the way he's conducted himself in the public eye has been at best average and at worst awful. I can only imagine how our Tilehurst End Podcast Extra co-host Charles Watts must feel knowing he's potentially  got to conduct news conferences with a man who came out with this.

Now some of you watching that would probably say he's got every right to defend himself and speak his mind - an opinion I can sympathise with after sitting through 18 months of pointless Nigel Adkins soundbites. However there's a line you have to walk as a representative of a community such as a football club and Pearson often strays on the wrong side of it. The thought of the former Southampton boss representing our football club and following the likes of Maurice Evans, Brian McDermott and Steve Coppell just doesn't sit right with me.

Yet if Pearson repeats his success from the King Power at the Madejski Stadium, should I really care?

As mentioned I didn't exactly love Nigel Adkins, while Steve Clarke always gave off the vibe that he was a Reading employee using the club as a stepping stone rather than being genuinely invested in the club. Brendan Rodgers drove Reading fans nuts but few Swansea fans complained about him while he guided the team to promotion nor did Liverpool fans have too much to grumble about until that Steven Gerrard slip. Another man linked to the job is Neil Warnock who is loathed by many a fanbase yet is held in high regard by Sheffield United and QPR fans after guiding both to promotion to the Premier League.

Football may well be a results business but I just can't separate personality from the equation

The problem for any new Reading manager comes from the fact that the club's two most successful managers were both similar types and therefore any boss who doesn't fit the Coppell/McDermott mould is immediately treated with suspicion. Both men handled themselves with such dignity and respect that you were damn proud to have them as our manager and that's why both were given support and patience by the crowd even when times were tough. Few could imagine a club on the verge of promotion keeping faith with a man who oversaw a run of just two wins in 14 yet you barely heard a murmour of protest against Coppell during his final few months.

Yet while it may buy you time, personality will only get you so far as McDermott himself will testify. In his final game in charge his substitutions were ironically jeered not a year after masterminding one of the most unexpected title campaigns in second tier history.

Football may well be a results business but I just can't separate personality from the equation, no matter what impact that has on the form of the football club. I'm sure I'd celebrate a promotion under Pearson but I'd always have that nagging feeling that I want someone nicer in charge. Personally speaking, loving Reading is more than just where we sit in the league, it's about being able to take pride in your club and that's something I'd feel would take a hit under the current bookies favourite.

Then again perhaps I'm in the minority and in the spirit of our potential new manager, should stick my head in the sand and let whoever's in charge just get on with it.

So let us know how you feel about Reading's managerial search, does Pearson's off the field antics make his appointment any less appealing?