Just over a week on from Paul Clement’s sacking, we’re not close to knowing who his successor will be. A few names have been linked with the vacant manager’s position but, as of yet, no appointment is imminent. What’s more, the hiring process itself - reportedly - leaves a lot to be desired.
This comes from former GetReading reporter Charles Watts (now of Football.London, of which GetReading is now a part), who’s been discussing Reading’s hunt for a new manager on Twitter.
He writes that the club had originally lined up Luis Castro to immediately succeed Clement in the Madejski Stadium dugout. Indeed, rumours that that would happen surfaced on the same day as Clement’s departure; running for a few days before being quashed when Castro decided to stay put at current club Vitoria de Guimaraes.
When asked about who the Royals’ next gaffer would be, Watts tweeted:
“No idea, they don’t even know. Zero Plan B to Castro who they thought was a done deal. Now left throwing darts. People from various sides pushing different names. Mess.”
“They will eventually get someone, it will be dressed up as an appointment stemming from a well put together process. But it’s been anything but. Thought Castro was in the bag, pulled the trigger on Clement, Castro got cold feet. Now scrambling. Hopefully they rescue the situation.”
Those “people from various sides” presumably include new CEO Nigel Howe, owners Dai Yonnge and Xiu Li Dai, and potentially Kia Joorabchian. The latter is reportedly increasingly influential behind-the-scenes at the club, and was pushing Reading to appoint Castro.
Otherwise, the likes of Phil Parkinson, Slavisa Jokanovic, Gareth Ainsworth and others have been mentioned as potential Reading managers in the media, and could be the “different names” being pushed.
Either way, the apparently haphazard nature of our search for a new manager should be worrying. The club should have had a back-up in case Castro wouldn’t agree to come - people can get cold feet, it happens - but it’s Reading who need to be able to react properly.
Where we go now is anybody’s guess. Other reports have suggested Parkinson and Jokanovic are non-starters, while Ainsworth himself has said he’s happy at Wycombe Wanderers. That could leave us looking at free agents like Steve Bruce (shudder), or one of my personal favourites: Darrell Clarke, who left Bristol Rovers this week after taking them from non-league to League One in a few seasons.
Alternatively, there’s always Scott Marshall.