Steve Clarke made known he wanted his own team in, both in terms of playing staff and coaching staff. His summer of upheavel began on Friday as he let four members of the coaching staff go, including long-serving Sal Bibbo.
Sal Bibbo has a lot of history with Reading FC. having joined the coaching team as a full-time goalkeeping coach back in 2006. Previous to that, he was on the roster for the Royals in 1996–98. During his stay at Reading, he oversaw the development of former first-teamers Adam Federici and Alex McCarthy, as well as training Marcus Hahnemann during the Premier League years.
I understand Sal Bibbo was well-respected and was around for the development of Federici and McCarthy, but the reaction to the news has been hysterical. I can't get my head around it.
Judging coaching staff is nigh-on-impossible unless you're on the training ground. I can't see how you would judge a coach just by the players he's worked with, especially a goalkeeping coach.
Yes, he's been with the club for a long time and good goalkeepers have come and gone, but can you really put that all down to one man? Weren't the club just fortunate to have so many superb goalkeepers around? You could argue until the sun goes down, but coaching staff aren't like playing staff — we don't get to see them and their work on the pitch every week. The only information we have to judge on is what others say about him and improvements in the players, but there are a myriad of criteria you could judge a coach on.
So not only is the amount of information we have available to us miniscule compared to the amount Steve Clarke and company have, but the manager hasn't even had time to bring his own man in and fans are saying he doesn't know what he's doing. Talk about jumping the gun.
I'm not saying the decision to let Sal Bibbo go was the right or wrong one, but what I am saying is that we need some perspective. Steve Clarke is a well-respected coach who wants to bring his own staff in. We can't accurately judge just how good Sal Bibbo was and we don't know who's coming in to replace him, so why are some of us acting like it's the end of the world? I urge calm, at least until we know the extent of the changes in the coaching staff.
Here's how you guys reacted to the news on Twitter.
Getting rid of Sal Bibbo who's helped develop a number of great goalkeepers not the smartest move #readingfc
— Johnny Hunt (@Huntyroyal) May 23, 2015
Bibbo was that great he coached Alex McCarthy to kick the ball straight into touch at any given opportunity. No huge loss. #readingfc
— Matt Smith (@RustyRoyal) May 23, 2015
A shame to see Bibbo depart #readingfc after so long but my goodness are some overreacting. Clarke obviously wants his own team in.
— George Flood (@GeorgeFlood24) May 22, 2015
Sad for Bibbo, great servant to the club. Fans cried out for change and are now complaining those changes have been put in motion #ReadingFC
— Dove (@AdamDuv) May 22, 2015
Why on earth have we let go of Sal Bibbo
— Chaz (@ripdrenthe) May 22, 2015
NO WAY HAVE WE SACKED SAL BIBBO. THIS IS AN OUTRAGE
— Dominique Gilbert (@dom_gilbert) May 22, 2015
Surely we wouldn't be stupid enough to get rid of Sal Bibbo? The reason we've consistently had good keepers for the last 10 years #readingfc
— Greg Deeprose (@GregDeeprose) May 22, 2015
So what do you think? Are fans right to be upset about Bibbo's departure or should they be patient and see what happens? Let us know below.