What was the single biggest mistake we made this season?

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Re: What was the single biggest mistake we made this season?

by Hound » 12 Feb 2018 17:45

Williams has been in and out at Hudders, but has been injured just recently. Imagine he'll stay at least another year

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Re: What was the single biggest mistake we made this season?

by Ascotexgunner » 12 Feb 2018 18:00

Giving Stam the bigger contract before waiting for the new season to pan out.

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Re: What was the single biggest mistake we made this season?

by Snowflake Royal » 12 Feb 2018 19:10

Sanguine wrote:I don't know about our biggest mistake this season, but our biggest loss has been Danny Williams' energy in midfield.

Yeah, but only because his clear upgrade in Bacuna has been playing RB.

Aluko has been a horrendous bit of business. Failing to pick a consistent XI for so long at the start of the season was a crap move. As was not giving Bod a proper crack of the whip when our confidence wasn't shot and buried.

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Re: What was the single biggest mistake we made this season?

by SCIAG » 12 Feb 2018 19:23

Tactically, we have got the possession side of things right, but it needs to be coupled with quick and decisive counter attacks. Good possession teams need two good wingers - look at us last season with McCleary and Beerens. Barrow does the job on one flank but Aluko, Beerens, McCleary, and Popa all struggled this season. Our best games were with Bacuna overlapping from right back with real purpose.

I also think our central midfielders need to be better at driving forward with the ball. Swift does it, Bacuna does it when he plays there (but we need him at right back), Kelly was doing it well in August/September, but lately it's been Edwards and Kelly in front of Joey and none of them want to make anything happen.

I think spending so much on Aluko and Edwards when we could have added a full-back and a striker and kept Tanner and Stacey/Fosu around has to go down as a major mistake. Two expensive proven Championship players haven't really gelled with the squad and have taken up a lot of money. We'd have got just as much from our better young players who we let go.

And of course, one of the major problems has been the boo-boys. No good from coming of bemoaning how terrible your fans are, so more should have been done to get the fans onside. I think the early-season initiatives like "show up an hour early for six matches and get a free program" probably did more harm than good because they were hopelessly out of touch. There were also the invasive body searches being performed at low-energy league cup games. What was the East Stand's "fantastic prize" for winning the half time game? Long and short is that the club needs to be doing more to foster a community spirit around the ground. An increased emphasis on counter-attacking would also probably help the atmosphere.

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Re: What was the single biggest mistake we made this season?

by Zip » 12 Feb 2018 20:35

Sanguine wrote:
Hound wrote:
Old Man Andrews wrote:
Moore, Swift, Kelly will all have their value cut by about half I would think should we go down. We would be in deep, deep sh*t financially, it is a scary thought. I see some people bang on about different away days etc but there is a serious risk of ending up like Coventry like you say.


I'm not saying you are wrong on the finances, but how much of a hit would going down be?

We'd lose some tv money undoubtedly, but we're not on often anyway. Crowds would prob go down, but maybe not by a huge amount if we had a good season (obvs a big if), though there are very few 'big' teams in that division. Though if Swindon and Oxford were in it would help.

Player values would certainly take a hit, but I'd assume we'd get rid of Swift, Aluko, Moore, Ilori, Mannone, Gunter, Barrow and maybe one or two others. The value of the squad would go down hugely, but we'd probably pull in a few quid from that lot. The wage bill would surely be massively slashed.


The biggest worry for me if we go down, is that I look at the squad and struggle to pick more than three senior players who would (want to) stay, or wouldn't get snapped up (Obita, Quinn and Kermorgant). Admittedly they aren't showing it, but the rest are, I think, Championship level players at worst.

And here's a sobering thought. Even if we win every one of our remaining 15 games, we'd still be 8 points short of last season's total.



It is indeed a sobering thought. How on earth did last season’s squad do so well? Yet this season so badly?


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Re: What was the single biggest mistake we made this season?

by RG30 » 12 Feb 2018 21:45

A weak pre season that saw us so under prepared for the opening day
Not replacing Steven Reid properly
Failure to land a striker despite having the biggest transfer budget in our history
A really poor run of results over Christmas and New Year against opposition we should have been beating

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Re: What was the single biggest mistake we made this season?

by AthleticoSpizz » 12 Feb 2018 21:47

Well, that makes four RG :wink:

How about this one?...inertia

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Re: What was the single biggest mistake we made this season?

by leon » 12 Feb 2018 21:47

Renewing my season ticket.

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Re: What was the single biggest mistake we made this season?

by loyalroyal4life » 12 Feb 2018 21:55

Hound wrote:
retro royal wrote:Not getting decent coaching staff in for me, Stephen Reid was key last season, and the fact our displays are going from okay at the start of the season to terrible now, suggests something is amiss on the training field.


on board with that as well


Ever since news broke of his depature, was interested to try understand for what reason, difference of opinion with Stam, not agreeing with training methods perhaps?

Even moreso curious given our performances have gone from poor to shocking


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Re: What was the single biggest mistake we made this season?

by under the tin » 13 Feb 2018 07:36

SCIAG wrote:Tactically, we have got the possession side of things right, but it needs to be coupled with quick and decisive counter attacks. Good possession teams need two good wingers - look at us last season with McCleary and Beerens. Barrow does the job on one flank but Aluko, Beerens, McCleary, and Popa all struggled this season. Our best games were with Bacuna overlapping from right back with real purpose.

I also think our central midfielders need to be better at driving forward with the ball. Swift does it, Bacuna does it when he plays there (but we need him at right back), Kelly was doing it well in August/September, but lately it's been Edwards and Kelly in front of Joey and none of them want to make anything happen.

I think spending so much on Aluko and Edwards when we could have added a full-back and a striker and kept Tanner and Stacey/Fosu around has to go down as a major mistake. Two expensive proven Championship players haven't really gelled with the squad and have taken up a lot of money. We'd have got just as much from our better young players who we let go.

And of course, one of the major problems has been the boo-boys. No good from coming of bemoaning how terrible your fans are, so more should have been done to get the fans onside. I think the early-season initiatives like "show up an hour early for six matches and get a free program" probably did more harm than good because they were hopelessly out of touch. There were also the invasive body searches being performed at low-energy league cup games. What was the East Stand's "fantastic prize" for winning the half time game? Long and short is that the club needs to be doing more to foster a community spirit around the ground. An increased emphasis on counter-attacking would also probably help the atmosphere.

We all can talk all day long about tweaking formations, using different players, improving the concourse beer, etc. But in the final analysis , football is about the nets at either end of the grass. Nothing affects the atmosphere more than seeing your team sticking the ball into the opposition's one. Even near misses or good saves by their goalkeeper lift the crowd.
Fact is, the Madstad faithful have been denied very much of this under Stam's stewardship.
Can our friend Strap enlighten us all with how many attempts on goal have been made per game at the Madstad and compare that in relation to our peers in this division?

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Re: What was the single biggest mistake we made this season?

by under the tin » 13 Feb 2018 07:36

SCIAG wrote:Tactically, we have got the possession side of things right, but it needs to be coupled with quick and decisive counter attacks. Good possession teams need two good wingers - look at us last season with McCleary and Beerens. Barrow does the job on one flank but Aluko, Beerens, McCleary, and Popa all struggled this season. Our best games were with Bacuna overlapping from right back with real purpose.

I also think our central midfielders need to be better at driving forward with the ball. Swift does it, Bacuna does it when he plays there (but we need him at right back), Kelly was doing it well in August/September, but lately it's been Edwards and Kelly in front of Joey and none of them want to make anything happen.

I think spending so much on Aluko and Edwards when we could have added a full-back and a striker and kept Tanner and Stacey/Fosu around has to go down as a major mistake. Two expensive proven Championship players haven't really gelled with the squad and have taken up a lot of money. We'd have got just as much from our better young players who we let go.

And of course, one of the major problems has been the boo-boys. No good from coming of bemoaning how terrible your fans are, so more should have been done to get the fans onside. I think the early-season initiatives like "show up an hour early for six matches and get a free program" probably did more harm than good because they were hopelessly out of touch. There were also the invasive body searches being performed at low-energy league cup games. What was the East Stand's "fantastic prize" for winning the half time game? Long and short is that the club needs to be doing more to foster a community spirit around the ground. An increased emphasis on counter-attacking would also probably help the atmosphere.

We all can talk all day long about tweaking formations, using different players, improving the concourse beer, etc. But in the final analysis , football is about the nets at either end of the grass. Nothing affects the atmosphere more than seeing your team sticking the ball into the opposition's one. Even near misses or good saves by their goalkeeper lift the crowd.
Fact is, the Madstad faithful have been denied very much of this under Stam's stewardship.
Can our friend Strap enlighten us all with how many attempts on goal have been made per game at the Madstad and compare that in relation to our peers in this division?

under the tin
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Re: What was the single biggest mistake we made this season?

by under the tin » 13 Feb 2018 07:37

SCIAG wrote:Tactically, we have got the possession side of things right, but it needs to be coupled with quick and decisive counter attacks. Good possession teams need two good wingers - look at us last season with McCleary and Beerens. Barrow does the job on one flank but Aluko, Beerens, McCleary, and Popa all struggled this season. Our best games were with Bacuna overlapping from right back with real purpose.

I also think our central midfielders need to be better at driving forward with the ball. Swift does it, Bacuna does it when he plays there (but we need him at right back), Kelly was doing it well in August/September, but lately it's been Edwards and Kelly in front of Joey and none of them want to make anything happen.

I think spending so much on Aluko and Edwards when we could have added a full-back and a striker and kept Tanner and Stacey/Fosu around has to go down as a major mistake. Two expensive proven Championship players haven't really gelled with the squad and have taken up a lot of money. We'd have got just as much from our better young players who we let go.

And of course, one of the major problems has been the boo-boys. No good from coming of bemoaning how terrible your fans are, so more should have been done to get the fans onside. I think the early-season initiatives like "show up an hour early for six matches and get a free program" probably did more harm than good because they were hopelessly out of touch. There were also the invasive body searches being performed at low-energy league cup games. What was the East Stand's "fantastic prize" for winning the half time game? Long and short is that the club needs to be doing more to foster a community spirit around the ground. An increased emphasis on counter-attacking would also probably help the atmosphere.

We all can talk all day long about tweaking formations, using different players, improving the concourse beer, etc. But in the final analysis , football is about the nets at either end of the grass. Nothing affects the atmosphere more than seeing your team sticking the ball into the opposition's one. Even near misses or good saves by their goalkeeper lift the crowd.
Fact is, the Madstad faithful have been denied very much of this under Stam's stewardship.
Can our friend Strap enlighten us all with how many attempts on goal have been made per game at the Madstad and compare that in relation to our peers in this division?

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Re: What was the single biggest mistake we made this season?

by Snowflake Royal » 13 Feb 2018 08:42

RG30 wrote:A weak pre season that saw us so under prepared for the opening day
Not replacing Steven Reid properly
Failure to land a striker despite having the biggest transfer budget in our history
A really poor run of results over Christmas and New Year against opposition we should have been beating

Play Off Final hang over too.


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Re: What was the single biggest mistake we made this season?

by Woodcote Royal » 13 Feb 2018 10:32

savage 4 england wrote:I think it mainly stems from a poor recruitment policy. We are buying players with bigger reputations, higher wages and "experience" from bigger leagues. We have gone against a policy that worked for many years of bringing in young players with potential from the lower leagues (and on far lower wages!).

This has benefited a number of teams with far smaller budgets than ours in this division. With the potential to sell on young players for now vastly obscene prices, and then re-investing the proceeds.

Yes, there is clearly problems with the brand of football and the manager. However, it always helps when you have better players and not necessarily ones with big undeserved reputations. Despite the problems with Stam, our squad is full of bang average players, which I remember pointing out in August.


This is a squad of good players who are massively under achieving thanks to Stam's management but I thoroughly agree with every other word of your post.

I think we've won one point from our matches with Brentford and Millwall this season; small clubs who are over achieving in this league by using similar recruitment policies to those that made us successful in the past.

From memory, Lita cost £1m and the rest of the 106 the square route of FA. Most were sold for several million. Even the young players who have put in good performances this season have been sidelined in favour of Stam's under performing and expensive acquisitions such as Aluko.

The biggest mistake is Stam still being here. End of.

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Re: What was the single biggest mistake we made this season?

by Maneki Neko » 13 Feb 2018 11:24

From memory, Lita cost £1m and the rest of the 106 the square route of FA


Entire squad cost us less than 5 million quid.
Even adding in the 06/07 team additions it was under 7 million.

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Re: What was the single biggest mistake we made this season?

by Vision » 13 Feb 2018 11:32

alfie9 wrote:We didn't replace our key players properly, almost all of whom left the club or suffered a long term injury. On top of that, we over-saturated the squad by spending on players we didn't need instead of promoting our own youth players. Genuinely think that the play style takes a backseat to the poor summer transfer window in terms of causing this mess.


Yep. I do believe that part of the injury problems can be attributed to the bloated nature of the squad. It's odd but it seems that the more players you buy , the more players you still seem to need.

The other point is we brought in players who had talent but in general were available because they lack consistency. Bacuna,Barrow,Bod have all shown that on their day they are more than capable Championship players. Edwards and Mannone are more steady players whilst Clement was a punt that might still come of in the future but was unlikely to hit the ground running this season.

The one big transfer failure is undoubtedly Aluko. In theory we needed to add a little more flair to the side from last season (Barrow and Bacuna both added badly needed pace) but it just hasn't worked out for him. Unfortunately for the money we spent it's left us heavily hamstrung.

Also highlights one of the pitfalls of a transfer policy which isn't solely dictated or driven by the manager. But that's a whole different debate ;-)

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Re: What was the single biggest mistake we made this season?

by royal_rumble » 13 Feb 2018 11:35

Ascotexgunner wrote:Giving Stam the bigger contract before waiting for the new season to pan out.


Agreed. Similar to giving Yann an extension before he'd even recovered from his injury. Mismanagement all over the place.

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Re: What was the single biggest mistake we made this season?

by Hound » 13 Feb 2018 12:38

Vision wrote:The one big transfer failure is undoubtedly Aluko. In theory we needed to add a little more flair to the side from last season (Barrow and Bacuna both added badly needed pace) but it just hasn't worked out for him. Unfortunately for the money we spent it's left us heavily hamstrung.


I think Aluko has been pretty badly affected by this as well tbh. He must know what the general opinion of him is from the Reading fans, and how we're pretty much in agreement he has been a complete waste of money.

He really has been fcuking awful, and I'm sure he is aware of it. He is a much better player than what we have seen. Confidence and any enjoyment look totally shot

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Re: What was the single biggest mistake we made this season?

by Old Man Andrews » 13 Feb 2018 12:43

Hound wrote:
Vision wrote:The one big transfer failure is undoubtedly Aluko. In theory we needed to add a little more flair to the side from last season (Barrow and Bacuna both added badly needed pace) but it just hasn't worked out for him. Unfortunately for the money we spent it's left us heavily hamstrung.


I think Aluko has been pretty badly affected by this as well tbh. He must know what the general opinion of him is from the Reading fans, and how we're pretty much in agreement he has been a complete waste of money.

He really has been fcuking awful, and I'm sure he is aware of it. He is a much better player than what we have seen. Confidence and any enjoyment look totally shot


Aluko has the look of a relieved man when he gets subbed off in games, bad sign. I don't want our players to throw tantrums or anything like that but I would like to see him show some level of disappointment and frustration.

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Re: What was the single biggest mistake we made this season?

by Coppells Lost Coat » 13 Feb 2018 13:41

Every one keeps going on about confidence which I believe is one of the biggest factors of our downfall this season on a player and team level. Has the club done anything to address this. I know top clubs across most sports has a sports psychologist, does RFC employ one for our players?

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