Reading have sacked Jose Gomes as manager with immediate effect. He leaves the club in 22nd, three points off bottom-placed Stoke City, after a run of five defeats in his final six games.
In truth, it’s a sad end for a well-liked manager. Gomes re-energised an apathetic, frustrated fanbase and helped to keep the team in the Championship during his first half-season at the Madejski Stadium. Given the negativity around the club when he joined - not to mention how much he was written off by many before confirmation of his arrival - he deserves respect.
However, poor results after high summer spending - combined with ambitious owners - ultimately cost him his job. Reading developed a worrying habit this season of conceding the first goal, often through sloppy defending, and being unable to get back into the game and pull off a result. That wasn’t helped by poor finishing, with the Royals generally able to create chances but not convert them.
There’s also been talk that Gomes lost authority in the dressing room in the weeks before his dismissal. He himself spoke about a lack of discipline from assistant Jorge Mendonca whose yellow cards for kicking off on the touchline happened fairly regularly.
Nonetheless, the decision to sack him hasn’t been popular. When we asked you for your thoughts on Twitter on Tuesday evening, when it became clear that Gomes was headed for the exit door, most of you said he should have got more time at the club.
Having arrived at Reading on December 23 2018, he stayed at the club for 291 days, overseeing 38 matches in all competitions. That yielded a return of 10 wins, 12 draws and 16 losses in all competitions (according to Transfermarkt who count penalty shoot-outs as wins and losses). In the league, that record becomes: 8 wins, 12 draws, 15 losses.
A club statement said:
"Gomes joined the club at the end of December 2018 and successfully steered the club away from the threat of relegation.
"However, following just two wins in the first 11 league games in 2019-20, owner Mr Yongge Dai has made the difficult decision to part company with Gomes and make a change at first team level.
"We would like to sincerely thank José for his hard work during his tenure as manager at Reading Football Club and we wish him the very best of luck in his future career.
"The club will make no additional comment at this time but will provide further updates as soon as possible."
At the moment we don’t know who his successor will be, but they’ve got a tough job on their hands to turn around the team’s form and push Reading up towards the top six.
To Jose though, goodbye and good luck for the future.