They certainly were more innocent times, the weeks leading up to our second season under Jaap Stam. Off the back of an unexpected play-off final appearance, many fans hoped for the team to push on. The reason they didn’t, according to the Dutchman, was a lack of investment.
Speaking to Sky Sports News, Stam has discussed how he wanted more cash from the then-new Chinese owners to take the Royals to the next level.
“It was a great time working at Reading, especially the first season getting very close to going to the Premier League.
“If the club doesn’t want to invest then it’s going to be hard to maintain that certain level. The second season is always going to be harder and then you need to bring extra quality into the squad.
”If that’s not going to happen then it becomes a very difficult time and that’s what happened in the second season.”
However, Reading had plundered a record fee on Sone Aluko in the summer after the play-off final - a deal widely well received by fans until he actually started playing - and paid fees for another six players.
Dave Edwards and Leandro Bacuna sadly couldn’t use their experience to fill the void left by Danny Williams (who we didn’t get a fee for). Where Stam certainly has a point is that Yann Kermorgant’s somewhat inevtiable decline was only replaced by the earnest but often profligate Jon Dadi Bodvarsson.
This isn’t the first time the manager has laid the blame at the owners’ door for his departure, and he also went on to tell SSN about his future plans and why he’s ready for the Premier League.
“If the opportunity is there then I’d prefer to work in the UK but if something else pops up then I’m open to that as well. I’m sure I can work the Premier League, maybe my style of play is better suited to the Premier League than in the Championship.
“But if the opportunity is there to work in the championship I would love to do that as well.
”I’m open for everything, even League One it doesn’t matter, as long as the team I work with wants to improve themselves and has certain ambitions to go forward. There’s been many offers from certain clubs but there’s nothing yet for myself to say I’m going to do this”