Under 23"s Supposedly not ready for first team football.

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Crowbar6753
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Under 23"s Supposedly not ready for first team football.

by Crowbar6753 » 14 Sep 2017 16:16

I read today that Johnathon Low feels Sam Smith and other under 23's are not yet ready for the Reading first team? I ask the question when are players ready for first team experience?
Surly if a player is good enough then he should be given a chance? Look at the likes of Micheal Owen and Wayne Rooney? i'm not comparing any of our players to these two but they were playing in the big league before they were 19 years old and i'm pretty sure Wayne Rooney was 17 when he made his England debut!!
With the state of the current transfer market the Academy has to be the future for clubs of our statue and a way around spending stupid money on average players.
I am not saying throw them all in but the likes of Smith, Barrett and Rhinomota should be in the first team squad on a regular basis if indeed these guys are ready.

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Re: Under 23"s Supposedly not ready for first team football.

by Hound » 14 Sep 2017 16:22

tbd from what I've seen, only Rinomhota is close to being considered, and unfortunately there are a number of midfielders in his way. I think a loan would have done him good actually, with an eye on next season

Stam has shown he will bring players - i.e. Kelly - into the 11 if they are good enough

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Re: Under 23"s Supposedly not ready for first team football.

by Crowbar6753 » 14 Sep 2017 16:39

I personally think we have 3 players ready for first team exposure and would warrant a place on the subs bench:

Sam Smith - The one thing we are missing is a natural goal scorer, not knocking JDB but his two miss kicks in front of goal cost us that match!! A striker is all about being in the right place at the right time and then being about to put it in the net. Smith is scoring goals for fun for the u23's which tells me he is getting into the right areas and also has the ability to put them away. I understand he's young, but with the ability we now have on the wings their should be far more opportunities created?

Rhinamota - Again, this guy is in the mold of Williams and Bacuna and should make a suitable back up on the subs bench to gain experience.

Axel Andreasson - This guy will be a class act one day and should be a more than able replacement on the subs bench. He also is very good with the ball at his feet which you would expect from a foreign player so should be comfortable with Jaaps system of playing the ball out from the back.

I'm not saying i'm right and maybe these guys are not ready yet, but are they really any worse than whats on the bench and lets not forget they're one of our own and the fans love a home grown player.

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Re: Under 23"s Supposedly not ready for first team football.

by Nameless » 14 Sep 2017 16:57

Neither Smith nor Rimonhota are ready, although I think Rimonhota is closer than Smith.
I'd not have too much of a concern if Andresson had to play, and he certainly looks to have a very decent future.

Don't think there is a ready made answer to the 'when are they ready' question. Sometimes injuries force a decision and a players surprises you but just because one or two very special players were first teasers / internationals at a young age that doesn't mean you can throw others in early.

Interesting that Smith seems to be flavour of the week with some (based on very little real evidence) when it would seem Loader is far the better prospect. Smith would probably not make the U23 side if we were selecting from a full squad.

Out of interest if these 3 players were on the bench which 3 players would not be included ? Presumably Andresson would replace Obita or Ilori (nope !). Rimonhota ahead of Edwards or Evans (nope). Smith ahead of Clement (nope).

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Re: Under 23"s Supposedly not ready for first team football.

by Snowflake Royal » 14 Sep 2017 17:43

Even top coaches can only have an educated guess as to when someone is ready and they can see the players day in day out in training. Even those who are ready to transition almost certainly won't be the finished article and will have poor periods, needing to be weaned in and dropped for periods.

Also, you can be ready to step up and not get the chance because there's someone better or more experienced or more reliable already in the place you'd get.

It's why it's such a good idea giving the young players opportunities in the League and FA cups, and the FA Trophy. Plus League opportunities on the bench for the odd run out.


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Re: Under 23"s Supposedly not ready for first team football.

by SCIAG » 14 Sep 2017 18:28

Low's right tbh.

All our young players who are ready for first team football either left the club in the summer, are out on loan, are injured (Watson and Richards), or are centre backs.

Smith is very ordinary and his appearances in the first team show that. Good strike on him but currently a League 2 player at best.

Rimonhota similarly is a pretty average player (was fifth choice in the U18s) who shouldn't really be knocking on any doors. Might be able to do a job in a crisis but isn't going to take us forward. Depends on who we have available but in the long term the likes of East, Holsgrove and Coleman are better options imo. But he's a late bloomer who only joined a formal academy at 17, so maybe he's got more improving to do.

The centre backs (Osho, Axel, and McIntyre) are probably good enough but we're not short of options there.

Barrett is probably the most "talented" of the U23s but we don't normally use attacking midfielders and I'm not sure he has the pace to play as an out-and-out striker or winger.

Richards and Watson would be good back-up full backs if they were fit.

Novakovich and Ward/Southwood could have roles to play in the first team squad if they weren't out on loan.

The simple fact is that you don't get a generation like the Tanner/Tshibola/Kuhl/Kelly/Fosu/Stacey/Cooper/Keown/Hyam/Dickie side very often. Realistically we should be hoping for one squad member a year - Cooper->Tish->Kelly->Watson->Richards->McIntyre->Holsgrove?

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Re: Under 23"s Supposedly not ready for first team football.

by Hound » 14 Sep 2017 19:36

And interestingly, only one of that 'generation' looks like he'll properly make it (Kelly). The others destined to be lower league footballers - which while is still an exceptional achievement for them, not going to help Reading

Rinomhota looked like he had something to me. Definitely will be keeping an eye on him.

Have to remember Smith is very inexperienced and only 18. He has plenty of time to improve. Very rare for players under 20 to get games in the champ nowadays

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Re: Under 23"s Supposedly not ready for first team football.

by SCIAG » 14 Sep 2017 20:20

Hound wrote:And interestingly, only one of that 'generation' looks like he'll properly make it (Kelly). The others destined to be lower league footballers - which while is still an exceptional achievement for them, not going to help Reading

Rinomhota looked like he had something to me. Definitely will be keeping an eye on him.

Have to remember Smith is very inexperienced and only 18. He has plenty of time to improve. Very rare for players under 20 to get games in the champ nowadays

Smith is 19, turns 20 in six months. By comparison, when Simon Church was the same age he scored 10 goals for the first team and Simon Cox scored 14 goals for Swindon in League One. Can't really compare with Long because we were in the Premier League, but the next year he scored 9 league goals for us. I'd suggest Smith is significantly below where those three were at his age, although ofc players develop at different rates, it's getting more competitive, etc.

Would argue that Tshibola has shown that he's already more than capable at this level and I certainly wouldn't rule out any of the others.

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Re: Under 23"s Supposedly not ready for first team football.

by Hound » 14 Sep 2017 21:06

It's difficult to say with Tish as the period he played for us was so short, but yeah he could come back


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Re: Under 23"s Supposedly not ready for first team football.

by Muskrat » 14 Sep 2017 21:23

It's all irrelevant anyway, Stam isn't interested in our Academy or the players it produces, he showed that in the summer when he released or sold almost all of our most promising youngsters (obvious exception being Kelly but even Stam couldn't ignore his burgeoning talent). He wants to tap into our new owners deep pockets and buy our way out of the league before moving on to pastures new I'm afraid. I'm also afraid that both of those plans are going to fail :|

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Re: Under 23"s Supposedly not ready for first team football.

by Nameless » 14 Sep 2017 21:36

Muskrat you talk absolute rubbish.
The players who left did so because sadly none of them had taken the opportunities given to them to show they were good enough.
On what basis were Fosu, Kuhl, Tanner etc forcing their way into the first team squad ?
Stam said a year ago that players were going on loan with the brief that they needed to perform. Hardly any did.
Early days this year but signs are better, several players are getting really good ratings which on top of what Andresson did at Bath suggests we have some better prospects.
Not sure how to explain the failure of the Kuhl cohort, perhaps they thought success at u21 level meant they had made it already ?

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Re: Under 23"s Supposedly not ready for first team football.

by Hound » 14 Sep 2017 21:48

Tbf, nearly all of them have found league clubs. Wouldn't class that as a failure really

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Re: Under 23"s Supposedly not ready for first team football.

by maffff » 14 Sep 2017 23:12

Legg, Watson, Richards, Rinomhota and Andresson should all make the bench at points over the season, might get a few minutes. Smith and Loader a bit further off, but still there or there abouts on the periphery.

I'm not really buying the Smith hype. Doesn't seem hugely different to Cardwell who disappeared very quickly, decent all rounder, but nothing outstanding to his game. Can see him being overtaken in a season or two (I'd like to be wrong). Novakovich will likely be above him in the pecking order when he returns, can see Loader overtaking him too. Plus Stevens, Hanson, House and Nolan are all meant to be pretty special.


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Re: Under 23"s Supposedly not ready for first team football.

by Nameless » 15 Sep 2017 00:40

Hound wrote:Tbf, nearly all of them have found league clubs. Wouldn't class that as a failure really


Failure is of course relative.
They have all,failed to make the grade with us.
They've all failed to make the grade in the Championship (even Cooper isn't starting many games at one of the weakest clubs in the division).
They've not failed in terms of having jobs as professional footballers but 3 or 4 years ago it looked like we might have a set of players all good enough to make our first team.
They have failed to do that....

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Re: Under 23"s Supposedly not ready for first team football.

by From Despair To Where? » 15 Sep 2017 06:55

Cooper is a case in point, thrown into the team due to injuries and whilst he acquitted himself well, in hindsight he could have benefitted from learning the game out on loan in a lower league.

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Re: Under 23"s Supposedly not ready for first team football.

by Stranded » 15 Sep 2017 08:24

Crowbar6753 wrote:I personally think we have 3 players ready for first team exposure and would warrant a place on the subs bench:

Sam Smith - The one thing we are missing is a natural goal scorer, not knocking JDB but his two miss kicks in front of goal cost us that match!! A striker is all about being in the right place at the right time and then being about to put it in the net. Smith is scoring goals for fun for the u23's which tells me he is getting into the right areas and also has the ability to put them away. I understand he's young, but with the ability we now have on the wings their should be far more opportunities created?

Rhinamota - Again, this guy is in the mold of Williams and Bacuna and should make a suitable back up on the subs bench to gain experience.

Axel Andreasson - This guy will be a class act one day and should be a more than able replacement on the subs bench. He also is very good with the ball at his feet which you would expect from a foreign player so should be comfortable with Jaaps system of playing the ball out from the back.

I'm not saying i'm right and maybe these guys are not ready yet, but are they really any worse than whats on the bench and lets not forget they're one of our own and the fans love a home grown player.


Have seen the quote 'Smith is scoring for fun in the u23s', do people actually pay attention. He has scored 2 this year in one game. Last season, he scored 2 in 10 games. Weird definition of fun. He could be good but is only near the 1st team at the mo due to lack of numbers up top.

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Re: Under 23"s Supposedly not ready for first team football.

by Hound » 15 Sep 2017 08:25

Nameless wrote:
Hound wrote:Tbf, nearly all of them have found league clubs. Wouldn't class that as a failure really


Failure is of course relative.
They have all,failed to make the grade with us.
They've all failed to make the grade in the Championship (even Cooper isn't starting many games at one of the weakest clubs in the division).
They've not failed in terms of having jobs as professional footballers but 3 or 4 years ago it looked like we might have a set of players all good enough to make our first team.
They have failed to do that....


yeah of course - all about context. And like you say, their progress with the clubs they have gone to have no benefit to Reading FC, rather than just keeping the word about the academy going

Just trying to make the point that I don't think there is anything to look into in terms of attitude etc of that generation for 'not making it' - as by many standards they have and good luck to them

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Re: Under 23"s Supposedly not ready for first team football.

by Nameless » 15 Sep 2017 08:47

we're going to have to disagree Hound.
The players have all, bar Kelly, fallen short. They were given the opportunity to be Championship players and they didn't achieve it.
None of them who went out on loan showed anything close to the levels of performance expected.
It's disappointing and hopefully one or two may climb their way back up the ladder, but from a team that was able to compete and win against the very best sides in the country to produce just one Championship regular has to raise questions. Perhaps it was a classic case of the team exceeding the ability of the individuals, but that team should not just have produced 10 journeymen and one first teamer....

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Re: Under 23"s Supposedly not ready for first team football.

by Hound » 15 Sep 2017 08:49

yeah, fair enough. Can see your point, even if not fully agree

I've got to say I'm surprised some of the loan performances (with the exception of Tish at Hartlepool) were so average, but maybe thats one for another day

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Re: Under 23"s Supposedly not ready for first team football.

by maffff » 15 Sep 2017 09:50

Nameless wrote:
Hound wrote:Tbf, nearly all of them have found league clubs. Wouldn't class that as a failure really


Failure is of course relative.
They have all,failed to make the grade with us.
They've all failed to make the grade in the Championship (even Cooper isn't starting many games at one of the weakest clubs in the division).
They've not failed in terms of having jobs as professional footballers but 3 or 4 years ago it looked like we might have a set of players all good enough to make our first team.
They have failed to do that....


Many of those that we've let go could well end up in the Championship in due course - we've managed to get them careers, they may not have made the grade here but the academy will have self-financed for another year. Also, this new batch doesn't seem further away than the academy lads we just let go. That's encouraging right?

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