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OPINION: Reading FC Shouldn't Worry About Jaap Stam Leaving Just Yet

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Sir John Madejski told TalkSport he could leave. We shouldn't worry about it.

Reading v Leeds United - Sky Bet Football League Championship Photo by Martin Willetts/Getty Images

Ring the panic alarms, fetch the handcuffs and find a cell to lock Stam in for the summer, we can't let this manager leave.

Recent comments from Sir John Madejski have hinted that clubs playing at a higher level than Reading Football Club might be interested in poaching Jaap Stam from the Berkshire-based club.

Speaking to TalkSport, the former owner said:

"We've got a great squad and Jaap Stam has been absolutely brilliant.

"I just hope we can hold on to him because he really is the consummate manager.

"Anybody in any business wants to strive to better themselves and managers are no different," said Sir John.

"You always hear about the ones that get sacked but there's a lot that get taken by other clubs.

"I've had my fair share of that myself when we've had managers do incredibly well and are then poached by others.

"But that's the way of the world, that's football and I think we all realise that so there are no surprises."

Ring the alarms

Jaap Stam has made a huge impact since he joined the club in the summer of 2016. He's totally changed the playing style of the first team, he's picked up some bargain signings and has splashed the cash on players he thinks have the potential to have a huge sell-on value.

Oh, and Reading are currently 4th in the Championship table and highly unlikely to slip so badly that they fall out of the play-off places.

Stam has worked miracles at a club that finished near the bottom of the Championship in the two previous seasons. So you can see why the thought of him leaving so soon would send fans into a state of panic/mourning/car park protesting.

Hold your horses

I'm not sure there's need to panic about Stam leaving just yet.

Yes, I'll admit that his recent comments about the ownership situation were disconcerting — but can you really blame him?

The former Manchester United defender joined Reading because he could see the opportunity to make his mark and build a project for the long term. A project doesn't end after nine months.

If Reading get promoted this season, why wouldn't he stay and see through the next phase of his development project?

If Reading fall in the play-offs, aren't there enough signs in this side that he can make them something special and win the title next season?

If Reading — heaven forbid — drop out of the top six, would he really want to leave the club after such a disappointing end? Surely he'd have the hunger to improve his side?

Reading v Blackburn Rovers   - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

Jaap Stam has been backed as much as he possibly can in both the transfer windows he's had, and Brian Tevreden clearly has a good working relationship with the former Ajax coach.

The real question is: why would he leave? Why now? And the only reason I can see is if the owners stop backing him.

I'd worry more about the ownership situation scaring him off than the big Dutchman abandoning ship.