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John Halls: I Wasted My Time At Reading

Harsh words indeed.

Brentford v Reading Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images

In total, 24 different players featured in the blue and white hoops of Reading in the club's historic 2005-06 Championship season in which they earned promotion to the Premier League for the first time with a record points tally of 106.

On one end of the scale, centre-back pair Ibrahima Sonko and Ivar Ingimarsson played all 46 leagues, whilst at the other end, there's the likes of John Halls, who made just one league appearance all season.

The defender had arrived in Berkshire mid-way through the campaign in January, signing from Stoke City for £250,000. His solitary appearance that season came against the Potters, and he scored too, helping Reading to a 3-1 win that took Steve Coppell's team past the 100 point mark.

His prospects didn't get any better in the Premier League, as he failed to make a single league appearance in 2006-07, with an Achilles injury not helping much either. Halls would play just one top flight game in 2007-08 before being released following the club's relegation. So after just two league appearances in two and a half years, it's fair to say that Halls wasn't going to look back on his time at the Madejski Stadium fondly.

But in an interview with planetfootball.com, in which the 35-year-old said "He loved me, I loved him" about Tony Pulis, he was much less endearing about the Royals:

“It didn’t work out at Reading. I don’t know who signed me, which I think is quite common in football, but (manager) Steve Coppell didn’t take to me, and I didn’t take to him.

“I didn’t suit their style. They used their full-backs to put the ball down the wings, playing safe balls, which wasn’t my game at all.

“I had injury problems and before I knew it my time there was over. And once you’re out of sight and out of mind, you’ve got to start again.

“When I left there were only a few clubs interested. I wasted my time at Reading.

“Everything I did at Reading was no good to me. I look back it now and I have no regrets, but I wish I’d got out of there a lot earlier.

“I got on the pitch as a Premier League player, which was nice, but I got nutmegged without touching the ball within about 30 seconds of coming on! Considering my talent, it was just a waste.”

Pretty harrowing, with Halls effectively accusing the club of ending his career, which never really recovered after his Reading exit, and he retired in 2012 having failed to establish himself elsewhere.

Back in 2013, The Tilehurst End also conducted an interview with John, which you can listen to here.