Everyone knew that after the Bristol City loss, culminating in Reading’s fourth loss from their last five games, manager Jose Gomes would have the pressure cranked up even more on him. But I think few would have actually thought that the owners would’ve gone further and actually sacked him - which they have now reportedly done.
Since joining from Rio Ave back in December 2018, Gomes has turned the club completely upside down from what it was under Paul Clement. He got fans back onside, reinvigorated the passion and connection between the players and the fans and, ultimately, kept us in the Championship.
Since the big summer splash however, results haven’t been what the owners would’ve wanted or expected after backing Gomes so heavily. But, some fans argue - and argue quite strongly - that Gomes needed to be given time to turn the form around, and probably deserved that as well after all he did for the club last season.
Some of the fanbase however argued the opposite. Football is a results business and Gomes just wasn’t coming up with the results - which, on face value, is understandable. Whatever your viewpoint on whether he deserved to go or not, we all owe Gomes a hell of a lot of gratitude. Without him, God knows where we would be as a club and as a fanbase.
Here’s a selection of the tweets from the Reading fans after the news emerged that Gomes had been sacked...
If Jose is actually gone, then that's seriously unfair, yet more instability, just want my club back #readingfc— Dan Bradley (@DanBradley10) October 8, 2019
Shrug. My feelings RE: Gomes are all over the place, so I’m at risk of saying or doing something kneejerky (à la #ReadingFC sacking a manager, for example).— Jacob South Klein (@JacobSouthKlein) October 8, 2019
Instead, I’ll refer you to these evergreen few sentences that I wrote for @TheTilehurstEnd back in August. pic.twitter.com/tvz5ioUiOM
People ask me why I have a sad minion as my avatar. It’s because I passionately support #ReadingFC who are constantly rubbish, and then when things are looking a little bit promising f**k things up because of a total lack of patience.— Cilla Shaw (@CillaShaw) October 8, 2019
One of Gomes' main tasks in the summer was clearing out the deadwood in the squad, & his inability to complete that job may well have cost him the dressing room & his job— Andrew Savory (@adsavory) October 8, 2019
I'm sure there's certain 'senior' members of the squad who're celebrating this #readingfc
Jose Gomes: handsome chap; said all the right things; just probably more suited to selling double glazing to lonely housewives than managing football teams. #readingfc— Steve Double (@Steve1871) October 8, 2019
Honestly feel like #readingfc sacking Gomes right now isn't the worse thing. Gives us the chance to say farewell while we're all still on good terms and also gives us a shot at still getting something out of this season.— Line's Aviation (@lines_aviation) October 8, 2019
I personally think the players have massively let Gomes down just like they let Stam down .... easy to change a manager but really with how it always ending up the same way in the bottom 5 bar one season, so what’s wrong? We blamed big ron he’s gone still in bottom 3 ♂️ #readingfc— JLO (@jlo__7) October 8, 2019
Fuming with the Board and this may be the decision that costs us to be relegated. Personally think José needs to be given more time. It is hard not to blame the players at this point after 3 decent managers come in and get the sack. #readingfc— Toby Ryan (@toby_ryan) October 8, 2019
Mad to think if Puscas had scored that open goal tap in, José would still have a job. That’s how ridiculous football has become, no time for managers despite positive signs. #readingfc— Taylor Cornish (@T_Cornish) October 8, 2019
Thanks for keeping us up last season Jose. I don’t have a short memory ❤️ #readingfc— Adam (@Adamhumphries44) October 8, 2019
Gomes keeping us up was a job well done. However once you lose the dressing room its only going to go one way. Good luck to him. Just wish he kept building on what he done last year rather than a complete change of tactic. #readingfc— Steven Kemp (@kempy26783) October 8, 2019
Gomes turned this club around and saved us from certain relegation. He boosted atmosphere and made us all WANT to go to football again. I know we haven’t reached our potential this season, but given time he’d have got us going. Just remember Coppell everyone... #readingfc— Cam Baker (@cambaker96) October 8, 2019
Sack manager— Sam (@1871sam) October 8, 2019
Win a couple of games, get hyped.
Transfer window comes, we sign average players and hype them up.
New signings flop.
Lose a few games in a row.
Repeat for all eternity #readingfc
Now the question arises: just who is going to take over at the helm? Rumours have it that Sporting Director Mark Bowen has been placed in charge of the recruitment process. Funnily enough, Bowen and Kia Joorabchian - reportedly involved at Reading - both have strong ties with a certain Mark Hughes. Indeed, the former Stoke City manager’s name is doing the rounds on social media.
Other (more desirable) possible replacements include Chris Hughton, Gary Rowett, Aitor Karanka and even current Potters gaffer Nathan Jones, who looks destined for the exit door at the Bet365 Stadium. Whether you’re Gomes Out or Gomes In, I think it’s fair to say you’d rather not see Hughes take over the reigns - at least judging by the social media reaction to his name being thrown into the ring.
Here’s what the fans are saying regarding potential replacements - it’s sure to be an interesting few days at the Madejski Stadium to say the least...
Noooooooooo!!!! Not Hughes!! Surely only Hughton would be a viable option #readingfc— Samantha Smit (@SamanthaSmit29) October 8, 2019
For me getting rid of Gomes is the wrong decision, deserves more time. For the love of god, please don’t let it be Mark Hughes #readingfc— Robert Bunting (@Bunting1871) October 8, 2019
Mark Hughes is a Paul Clement part 2, McCleary and Gunter will be bought back into the squad. People should be very careful for what they wish for. Bringing in Hughes would be going back to last season under Clement, would love to see Hughton here but won’t happen #ReadingFC— Jin Khangura (@JinKhangura) October 8, 2019
Chris Hughton, Gareth Ainsworth, Aitor Karanka, Javi Gracia, David Moyes and Gary Rowett are all worth looking at. Hughton would be my first choice, I think he would be a good fit for the club. #ReadingFC— Milo (@MiloRoyal1871) October 8, 2019
People that aren't Mark Hughes I'd take at #ReadingFC:— Matheus de Andrade (@maffff) October 8, 2019
Steven Reid, Yann Kermorgant, Brynjar Gunnarsson, John O'Shea, Javi Gracia, Daniel Stendel, Chris Hughton, some Portuguese bloke,
Phil Parkinson, Jack Ross
It’s quite funny seeing a portion of #ReadingFC fans getting upset because Jose didn’t turn out to be the next Nuno. Then immediately slating Mark Hughes - who is actually a very good manager and well respected in football.— Pedro‼️ (@PictonPedro) October 8, 2019
Hughton, Hughes, whoever. They’ll get my support.
Gary Rowett, Chris Hughton or Nathan Jones (although that one seems unlikely now) please and thank you #ReadingFC— Alex Everson (@Readingfanman) October 8, 2019
My options to replace Gomes would be:— Harrison Mitchell (@harrison1871rfc) October 8, 2019
4. Ainsworth #readingfc
And my word if we get Mark Hughes I’ll be #HughesOut from day 1.— Micah (@micahrfc19) October 8, 2019
Most boring manager in football #readingfc
*The favourites to take over are Mark Hughes and Sam Allardyce*#readingfc board choosing the next manager: pic.twitter.com/yN2PVNADt7— Adam (@Adamhumphries44) October 8, 2019
If we have sacked the beautiful Jose Gomes to bring in the pug faced hoofball of Mark Hughes I will be just about done with the club. #readingfc— Chris Beale (@bealec1988) October 8, 2019
If we get Mark Hughes, we are going back to the banter era that Clement put us in. I am not saying that Gomes should or shouldn’t be sacked, but we could at least get someone in with a bit more ambition... and a better CV! #readingfc— Alex Lane-Kieltyka (@alex_elkay21) October 8, 2019
Like I said, it’s going to be an interesting few days in Berkshire. There will be names thrown around left, right and centre. But sooner or later a new man will be put in charge.
It’s not going to please a huge amount of the Reading fanbase whoever comes in, because I think the majority of the Loyal Royals didn’t want Gomes to be sacked. But, as ever as fans, we need to get behind the team through thick and thin - because if we don’t, who else will?