Since Sir John Madejski became Chairman in 1990, 13 men have held the role of Reading manager on a permanent basis but where does Jaap Stam rank among them after eight league games in charge?
|Quinn & Gooding||4||2||2||14||2nd*|
|Brian McDermott v1||3||2||3||11||9th*|
|Brian McDermott v2||2||2||4||8||17th*|
(*took charge during season)
(** sacked before end of season)
So Stam's start ranks as the second best of any Reading manager of the past 26 years, with only Steve Coppell bettering it, and we all know how that turned out!
What does stand out from the list above is how few managers have actually taken over at the start of a season. Only Stam, Brendan Rodgers, Terry Bullivant and Mark McGhee have had the benefit of a full summer before they took over and yet two of those three failed to last the season.
The other thing that jumps out is that only one new management team has managed to secure a finish higher than 9th, when Mick Gooding and Jimmy Quinn guided the team into the First Division Play-Offs, only to lose to Bolton at Wembley. The reason for that seems rather obvious in that it usually takes an old manager doing badly to warrant a new appointment but even so, none could mastermind a successful campaign, even when having more than 50% of the season to go. On that note, it's worth considering that despite recording fantastic starts, both Coppell and Clarke saw their teams slump, rather than consolidate their progress.
So Stam is in pretty uncharted territory here folks.
While the quality of the performances on show may divide some fans, you simply can't argue with the results he's been able to achieve after a summer that saw big changes at the club.