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The Time When Reading FC Were Premier League Title Contenders

With the whole world rejoicing in the magical tale of Leicester City winning the Premier League, we look back when the Royals were contenders to be Champions of England.

Clive Rose/Getty Images

Wednesday 15 August 2007. That was the day when it seemed Reading could do the impossible and mount a challenge for the Premier League title.

Three days earlier we had fairly comfortable held the Champions Manchester United to a goalless draw at Old Trafford. Now here we were, back at home against the runners-up Chelsea, and we had just battered them.

We were only one goal ahead, but it should have been more. If only John Oster had converted the two decent chances he had missed. Could we about to witness the most incredible Premier League title challenge ever?

Sure it was hard to look at the fixture list and find where Reading would get their 20-25 wins from. Look at the games individually and suddenly it didn't seem so impossible. Could we beat teams like Arsenal, Blackburn, Fulham and Tottenham collectively? No, but looking at the games on their own then of course we could. If we held Manchester United and beat Chelsea then why not?

The idea of being promoted to the Premier League had once been a dream. We smashed that. We then spent the whole summer being told we were going to struggle, maybe even get relegated. We smashed that. We were then warned about second season syndrome, and here we were taking four points of the two best teams in the country from our first two games.

If we just kept taking Steve Coppell's "one game at a time" approach then maybe, just maybe, we could do something incredible.

Five minutes later the dream was over. Spearheaded by Didier Drogba, Chelsea put in the best five minutes I have ever seen from a team. They had completely turned the game around.

I had wondered at half time whether to tell my family that I was dreaming of Reading fighting to be champions of England, but it just seemed too unrealistic. Clubs like Reading aren't supposed to do that sort of thing.

For that reason I thank Leicester City for reminding me of a time when I dared to dream as a Reading fan. I once thought little old Reading could compete for the Premier League title. It might only have lasted the length of one half time, but what a time it was!