Monday, 14 March 2011

Forever FA

#ReadingFC - 755 down, only 4 clubs remaining. But the Royals won't be among them after suffering elimination.

A tight fought contest saw Reading come away from Eastlands with a narrow defeat at the hands of globetrotting billionaires Manchester City in the 6th Round of the FA Cup.

England international defender Micah Richards scored the 73rd-minute winner in the 1-0 result as David Silva was man-of-the-match.

Fans who can't get enough can check out all the reports collected via agg-bot.

With over 40,000 fans in attandance it was by long chalk the biggest game of the season so far for Berkshire's finest.

Stuart Croucher comments that the team stayed 'defiant and resilient' and "deservedly took the plaudits from the visiting supporters" to go home with "a genuine sense of pride".

Midfielder Jem Karacan definitely took the positives from the experience and the team hopes to use it as a stepping stone to move onwards and upwards.

In anticipation of the tie ReadingFanMan expressed his excitement at the challenge of knock-out competition and cautioned against making wholesale changes to the format which would remove the romance of playing against better teams. Despite only seeing a couple of giant-killings each year he says, "the magic is still there, you just need to know what you're looking for."

This chimes with manager Brian McDermott, who tasted Wembley success as a player with Arsenal in the late 1970s. He is a 'self-described cup-a-holic' who strongly defends the tradition of the historic tournament. Here he argues that "the Cup brings a lot of kudos" for teams such as Reading, adding, "what's not to love about it? Just leave it alone."

You can read his post-match analysis here.

The Royal's presence in the 6th Round of the FA Cup is put in context over on the official Reading FC site.

It was the fourth occasion that the club has reached the last-8 in 140 years, but after only managing the feat twice in the first 138 they offer a warm vote of confidence in Brian McDermott's leadership by stating it is "incredible" that they have repeated it in successive seasons in his short tenure.

But Reading may be able to look forward to further success in the future if the results of a recent survey are to be believed.

Data gathered by TrueKnowledge.com shows that of 1,323 English-born professionals to play in the top flight since the introduction of the Premiership in 1992 Berkshire ranks as the 4th highest county of origin. With 5.97 premiership footballers per 100,000 population Berkshire lags behind only traditional heartlands County Durham, North Yorkshire and Merseyside as the most common footballing hotbed in the country.

According to Coventry University's Prof. Simon Chadwick the figures reflect the level of 'social importance' attached to the national game in those areas and suggests the 'anomalous' appearance of Berkshire as a relatively high-income county in the chart may reflect the changing nature of the sport.

He explains this may signify the game is broadening it's appeal and is now being taken as a valid career path for children of more affluent backgrounds - although try telling that to Slough-born Brian McDermott!

Or it may just reflect his lack of appreciation for some of the good human structures in place locally which creates a consistently high standard of general play on the fields and parks in the county.

Efforts to discover and develop the next generation of talent continue as Reading FC recently extended a partnership scheme with St Crispin's School where it's hoped pupils can be inspired to reach the heights and possibly emulate local lads such as Arsenal's Theo Walcott or Stoke City's Dean Whitehead by performing on the highest stage.

Meanwhile current Reading winger Jobi McAnuff explains his plans to mentor aspiring pros to create opportunities for the less privileged and Chris Armstrong's experience has provided some real perspective on what's really important - all of which the current finance-obsessed establishment would do well to pay heed to.


Oranjepan says:
If Reading can continue to lead by example and enhance a burgeoning reputation within the game as an honest club where diverse personal ambitions can be harnessed to regularly reach the latter stages of tournaments it will eventually be less of a surprise when our local and national teams actually return one day with some serious trophies and are finally called deserving champions!

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