A few weeks ago I took a look at Jaap Stam's record over his first eight games compared to his recent predecessors. The results were pretty favourable to the Dutchman, with Steve Coppell the only man to make a more impressive start.
So now he's had double that time, how does the latest Reading boss match up? This time around I thought I'd limit it to managers from the Madejski Stadium era, specifically those who began their time here with us in or around the Championship. I've not included Alan Pardew on the basis that he had 2 1/2 seasons before our time in the second tier to build a squad.
|Brian McDermott (v1)||9||3||4||30|
|Brian McDermott (v2)||4||6||6||18|
Once again our dynamic Dutchman finds himself second in the table but this time it's behind Brian McDermott, with Steve Coppell dropping to fourth. The name in third on the list surprised me, with Nigel Adkins notching an impressive 25 points from his first 16 games. In fact if you took the next two games into account, Adkins would see his side rise to fourth on 31 points.
The comparisons between Stam's start and that Adkins enjoyed by Adkins are quite interesting and should provide a note of caution for any Reading fans getting too carried away right now. That team, much like today's, was rarely a free flowing destructive unit, but was powered early on by some influential midfield displays by Danny Guthrie. Likewise they had a McCleary in fine form, a good goalkeeper in Alex McCarthy and a Dutch winger who blew very hot and cold in Royston Drenthe. When they won it was usually by a single goal but they were also capable of getting ripped apart, losing 5-2 at Sheffield Wednesday and 6-0 at Peterborough.
Yet that team also came to within a single goal of the play-offs, so if Stam's side can match that I'm sure we'll all be pretty satisfied!
So how would you rank Stam's start? You can vote in our approval rating right now.