Ed’s note: you’ve heard of the curse of the commentator, but we have a similar problem with football news. Here at TTE, we’re proud that people choose to take time out to write opinion pieces for us - including Tom Amies who, as his very first piece for us, wrote why he thought it would be best to give Jaap Stam the rest of the season.
Annoyingly, a club statement came 26 minutes after the piece was submitted (typical luck, eh?) - but fear not, we’ve published it anyway (although we’ve had to rejig some of the tenses)...
Times have been tough for Reading FC recently, but I think Jaap Stam should have been kept until the end of the season. Here’s why:
Adapting to different style
At this crucial point of the season, we need someone at the helm who knows the players and won’t need time to get the players adapted to a new style of play. I know that the style Stam likes to play isn’t attractive and, before his sacking, wasn’t working. However, it would be more beneficial for the squad to know how the manager wants to play. We don’t have the time to adapt to a new style of play and this would be detrimental to the club.
However much the majority of the fanbase (including myself) wanted to see a change of power at Reading, realistically there aren’t many people who would take charge of a sinking ship. What manager wants to take control of a team who are in a real relegation battle? I can’t think of one. So Jaap Stam was the only one who was willing to manage us until the end of the season. If we stay up, then look at other options, either domestically or abroad, but at the time Stam was our best option.
He’s not actually a bad coach
As shown by last season’s third place finish, Jaap Stam can bring the good out of this Reading team. We’ve seen this season that we can play some decent football - for example, for parts of the game against Leeds United we played some good, high-tempo football which was enjoyable to watch. Had Stam stayed, he may well have been able to recreate this football during the run-in.
Negative effect on players
Sacking Stam may damage the morale of the players as they face the uncertainty of whether they will still have a place in the team when the new manager arrives. They will be putting added pressure onto themselves because they don’t know if the new manager will favour them or not, and whether the manager will play a formation that doesn’t suit how they play. Keeping Stam would have kept the players in a better frame of mind then they will be with a new manager coming in.
Faith and trust
Showing faith towards Stam until the end of the season would have showed the fans that the club has progressed from previous owners, and that we aren’t just going to get rid of managers when times get tough.
Ed’s note: ahem.
This could have backfired however and we end up going down, but it also relieves pressure from the next manager. This is because, if his tenure gets rocky, he will know that the owners won’t get rid of him straight away and he will have time to change it.
Now you’ve read this, go through the rest of our Jaap Stam-related content.