Wow. What a couple of days at the Mad Stad. First, Nigel Howe returned to the club as CEO, replacing the unpopular Ron Gourlay, and then just a matter of hours later, Paul Clement was sacked as gaffer. In all honesty, it’s probably been coming for a while now, but the timing has shocked quite a few as performances have ever so slightly started picking up in recent weeks. However, it turned out to be too little too late for the former Derby County man.
Results and performances this season just haven’t been good enough, it’s as simple as that. Whether you put that down to Gourlay, Clement, the players or a mixture of all three is a matter of opinion, but the manager is always the one who gets the ultimate punishment.
Obviously, the big news caused quite a stir on Twitter the second it was announced. On the whole, fans were pretty joyous about it all, but some did understandably question the timing, and whether it should’ve been done a few weeks earlier. Here’s the round-up of the reaction of the fanbase on Twitter...
Overall, it was pretty happy. The majority of fans have been calling for this move for a while as results just haven’t good enough. I’m not saying we have the best squad in the league by any means, but the players we have should not be sitting in 21st - only out of the relegation zone on goal difference.
Of course, the players’ individual performances have been pretty awful, but the manager is always the one who faces the sword - rightly or wrongly. Here’s the general reaction of the fans summed up...
On what planet would you vote NO!— James (@B3rt1e) December 6, 2018
Long term yes, probably. I think Clement would have kept us up... just about. Nothing more nothing less. As long as the new boss can keep us up and look like we are building towards something it's a good decision— Jordan Cottle (@JordanCottle) December 6, 2018
Nigel Howe not hanging about. Right decision, 4 wins in 20 games is unacceptable. Clement did have his hands tied to an extent with Gourlay's influence though. Next appointment is so, so crucial.. #ReadingFC https://t.co/BgadQZjAth— Sam Rourke (@samrourke_) December 6, 2018
Let's be honest Clement is the worst reading manager of the 21st century, next appointment is massive #readingfc— hugh rfc vandel'isle (@HughIsle) December 6, 2018
To be calling Paul Clement a fraud for me is pathetic. He's always been completely honest, have to feel for him a bit. Think it's going to be a tough job for anybody to get the best out of the squad of players we have at the moment. #readingfc— Tom (@TomMoore0506) December 6, 2018
If this had come a few weeks ago - after the Swansea City game for example - then I don’t think any fan would’ve questioned the timing. However, this comes after a slight, but noticeable, upturn in performances.
With Nigel Howe coming in as Chief Executive, he probably wants a clean slate. And a clean slate is probably what Reading have needed for quite a while now, as the last 18 months have been like something from out of a horror show.
As previously stated, there were some fans that questioned the timing of this move, and expected Clement to be given a bit more time...
Surprised by the Clement sacking, nice bloke but not good enough but neither are half the players. Onwards and upwards now #ReadingFC— Harrison Leigh (@HarrisonLeigh10) December 6, 2018
Genuinly so shocked about Clement. Think the timing is slightly wrong. Really hoping we can bring in the right manager to kick start our season. #readingfc— Harrison Mitchell (@harrison1871rfc) December 6, 2018
Don’t think clement can complain to much with being sacked. The timing does seem strange tho. Gourlay gone, and thought we were slowly turning things around. Interesting see who comes in #readingfc— Jack Roberts (@jackaroberts95) December 6, 2018
Defensively the goals #ReadingFC were conceding were becoming beyond a joke but I thought the undeserving last minute equaliser would save Clement for another week at least. Strange timing to wait until Thursday unless they have someone already lined up— Jamie Harden (@MrCompo) December 6, 2018
The question on everyone’s lips. Who will be next in the Mad Stad hot seat? Throughout Clement’s spell as manager, it was rumoured Reading already had replacements lined up for the former Swansea boss including Steve Bruce, Francesco Guidolin and Carlos Carvahal.
Almost instantly, the fans were on to Twitter debating who should and could be the next manager. One of the key lines in the club statement from Thursday morning was that Nigel Howe was looking for somebody to fit ‘the Reading mould’.
Now, could that mean the return of a Reading legend such as Parky or Murty? Could it mean getting somebody in who knows how to get out of the Championship such as Steve Bruce? Only time will tell. There is no real general consensus amongst the fans as activity on social media showed opinion to be varied throughout the fanbase...
Sorry Murty or Parky you can’t manage Reading FC because you both played for the club. Nobody thinks you’ll do well if either of you are appointed so therefore your PLAYING career with us will be void and your legacy will no longer be remembered. ♂️ #ReadingFC— Samuel Kailus (@SKailus) December 6, 2018
Need to bring in a passionate manager like Carvahal and have a total clear out in jan and sign some young promising players #readingfc— Saul (@Saul1871) November 27, 2018
Bruce or jokanovic only for me. Both been promoted more than once, exactly what we need. #readingfc— JW (@jwalker1999) December 6, 2018
Let’s face it, Steve Bruce makes sense. I can’t see it being anybody else. #ReadingFC— Robin Hinton (@RobinDHinton) December 6, 2018
Ya know what....Im all for Parky or Murty. I genuinely don’t think they could do as much damage to fan and squad morale as the last 18 months has done #ReadingFC— Chaz (@Chaz_Reynolds) December 6, 2018
We said this after Brian McDermott v2, we said this after Jaap Stam, but this is the biggest managerial appointment Reading have made in a very, very long time. The club is on a slippery slope at the moment and needs someone to come in and give the club an identity again, reigniting the relationship between the players and the fans which has been distant for too long.
If it were me making the decision, I’d break the bank for Slavisa Jokanovic. However, that is rather optimistic, so secondly I’d love to see Carlos Carvahal get a crack. Whoever it is though, let’s all get behind them and kick-start what has been a horrible season up to now.