Wednesday, 16 December 2009

Time's Up For Rodgers

#rdgnews - Beleaguered football club manager Brendan Rodgers has left his position 'by mutual consent' and 'with immediate effect' after less than half a season.

The team is floundering just one place above the relegation zone and with the worst home record in the division.

The former Chelsea youth team coach was brought in in a £1/2m deal from Watford to replace Steve Coppell in the hope that a similar understated style would replicate the form which took the team into the top flight for the first time in club history.

The intrigue is spiralling as the club attempts to temper suggestions of a high-level split with 'no further comment', although 36-year-old Rodgers was described as in 'bullish mood' ahead of this weekend's fixtures and a club event was only hastily cancelled as the events unfolded.

It is assumed that the management team Rodgers assembled will also depart, as the club declared that Chief Scout Brian McDermott will take temporary charge.

Recent fan sites have seen an undercurrent of dissatisfaction at the failure to gains results or give an indication that a future upturn is likely.

According to Hob Nob Anyone? Rodgers has been under pressure since the second-half of October.

Steven Woodgate offers some tactical insights in a wittily entitled post 'Had McAnuff' - he identifies a lack of talent in the players who Rodgers brought in as replacements for those who came close to securing promotion last year, but that an upturn in form over recent weeks had coincided with a recognition that they play within their limitations.

Ben at The Offside analysed the recent home defeat to Derby. He summed it up: "yet again, for a countless time this season we squandered a lead and ended up losing."

And the season so far was encapsulated in the incident when Shane Long was sent off. Starting to get towards full fitness a dozen games in to the season he displayed his lack of temprament and reacted badly to an in-game decision.

Floody went into a bit more detail, explaining that the team is generally "unfit, confused and... utterly devoid of confidence" due to a lack of internal stability and tactical incoherence. He suggested that the weak management structure would inevitably collapse unless the personality rifts were overcome.

The (unofficial) Reading Fan blog describes the period as an all-round disaster and turns attention to potential successors, among whom former target Darren Ferguson has recently become available.

Fans have been typically outspoken on BBC forums with the finger of blame being pointed in all directions.

Meanwhile the club fan forum has lit up with over 300 comments in only a few hours since the news became official with some serious questions laid at the door of leading figures at the club.

Google aggregates more.

Oranjepan says:
Reading Football Club is at a crossroads with chairman Sir John Madejski failing to sell the club before the recession hit home after openly touting for offers. Fans are divided and leadership is now required to show whether the organisation is committed to improving standards or just surviving at this level.

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