One hundred and siiiiiiiiiiiix... We've got the record...
It's our chant whenever anyone claims we've got no history, or asks us "who we are", to put it kindly. Reading's 2005/06 Championship-winning side broke the Football League points record for a season, knocking in 99 goals in the process (what a magic double it would have been had we broken the ton...). A 33 game unbeaten run after a frustrating defeat at home to Plymouth on the opening day, that epic journey sparked the current wave of support behind the club and turned the players from that squad from mere mortals into legends.
Not for the Football League, mind. At their annual Awards ceremony last night, they crowned their Team Of The Decade - and not one Royal record-breaker made the side. One member of the team is Gareth Bale, and seven others are current Premier League players, including former Reading loanee Glenn Murray. Also included are the fabulously-named Angel Rangel,
Peter Kaspar Schmeichel, and Southampton rejects Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert.
WINNERS: The #FLAwards @FootballManager Team of the Decade is... http://t.co/XtRGIx9mnO pic.twitter.com/1mArYO8kXV— The Football League (@football_league) April 19, 2015
It's a good team, no doubt, but for no member of that 106 side to be included is simply baffling. No Championship team has scored more than Reading's 99 goals in the nine seasons since (though Bournemouth have a chance, currently sitting on 92 after 44 matches), whilst only Preston North End have bettered our defensive record in the second tier during that time - ironically, that same season as they lost in the playoffs.
The official Reading Twitter noted that the side did get some collective recognition at the awards ceremony, but fans are still disappointed that not one member made the best XI. And "Sir" Steve Coppell, who remains the only manager to win the LMA Manager Of The Year award in consecutive years, was overlooked for the management role - that instead went to Bournemouth's Eddie Howe.
Good to see a mention for the 106 Reading team on the big screen at the #FLAwards tonight pic.twitter.com/JsDsbAIIQI— Reading FC (@ReadingFC) April 19, 2015
A couple of members of that side have sounded off on Twitter in reaction...
@football_league no reading players in team of decade wow 106 points #record #justsaying— stephen hunt (@stephenhunt1010) April 19, 2015
If you remember though Hunty we did lose 2 games so couldn't have been that good https://t.co/JclPCayrml— Glen Little (@GlenLittle07) April 19, 2015
So here at The Tilehurst End, we want to know who you think is the biggest miss from the side... Here are my five nominees - whether you vote on their contributions that season, any season in the Football League, or their career since (Gareth Bale) is your choice.
Honourable mentions go to Glen Little, Graeme Murty, Marcus Hahnemann, Dave Kitson, Ian Harte and Alex Pearce for their performances not necessarily just at Reading but up and down the football pyramid.
Kevin Doyle - Reading's joint-top scorer in the 2005-06 season with 18 goals, Doyle was a hard worker and a tremendous finisher - a bargain at just £80,000 from Cork City. Has since been capped 61 times by the Republic Of Ireland and is heading to the MLS in the summer.
Shane Long - the hurler turned striker who arrived as part of the Doyle deal, Long was only an impact sub during the record-breaking season but broke out during our failed play-off season of 2010/11, earning a big-money move to West Bromwich Albion. Currently at Southampton and has 52 caps for Ireland.
Nicky Shorey - the first Reading player to earn his inaugural England cap whilst with the Royals, Shorey's set-piece delivery was wicked whilst his defensive game was solid too. I'll always remember that run he made in our first Premier League match at home to Middlesbrough - for me, the moment that showed we deserved to be in the top flight.
Steve Sidwell - the archetypal box-to-box midfielder, he was the yin to James Harper's yang as they worked brilliantly together in the engine room of that 2005/06 side. His move to Chelsea didn't quite work out but he's been a solid Premier League midfielder ever since at Aston Villa, Fulham and now Stoke City.
Gylfi Sigurdsson - the only member of my shortlist not to be involved with that 2005/06 side, Gylfi's contributions since at both Reading and elsewhere earn him a spot here. 17 goals from midfield in the 2009/10 season, I don't think I've ever seen a Royals player strike a ball so sweetly. Currently at Swansea City after his initial move to Hoffenheim for a club-record fee.
Which one of the above would you put in the Football League's Team Of The Decade? Or would you pick someone different? Let us know in the poll (or comments section) below.