Sunday, May 27, 2018

Is Nigel Adkins the right man for Reading?

Nigel Adkins has been installed as the Reading boss

Nigel Adkins is the new Reading boss

Reading have announced Nigel Adkins as their new boss. The Berkshire club have moved for Adkins after talks with Brighton boss Gus Poyet broke down last week.

Adkins always looked like the logical choice for the position though.


The sackings of Adkins at Southampton and Brian McDermott at Reading were not too dissimilar.

Both the English bosses helped their clubs to promotion last season and were unlucky to have lost their jobs.

When Adkins was sacked his team were in a better position than Reading are currently. The Saints were outside the relegation zone and playing some decent football. Southampton also had a far better team than Reading.


Nigel Adkins will encounter a near impossible task at Reading attempting to keep the Royals in the top flight. The squad of players at Reading is nowhere near good enough to survive in the Premier League and to Brian McDermott’s credit they were giving it a decent try.

If Adkins manages to keep the Royals in the Premier League this season it will be a far greater achievement than when he brought the Saints back into the Premier League. Reading are currently seven points away from safety and look doomed.

Adkins first game in charge of Reading is a weekend trip to Arsenal and by the end of the weekend the Royals could be ten points adrift with just seven games remaining.


Nigel Adkins believes in playing passing, attacking football. Reading isn’t exactly a team that plays hit and hope football. However, Adkins won’t have much time to instil his style on the team.

Adkins was able to sign players that could fit into his style of play at Southampton and managed the Saints to successive promotions. He won’t have the opportunity to sign players of his own until the summer.


I believe the best way Adkins can manage his Reading team is get to know which players are good enough for the Championship next season. He is likely to be preparing for next season in the Championship anyway.

Adkins will have his own ideas on who is good enough for the top flight and who isn’t. This process may mean that we don’t see the effects that Adkins has on the team until next season when the team is truly his.


The omens are not good for Nigel Adkins at Reading. Eight clubs in relegation zone have sacked managers at this point in the season in the Premier League era and all eight have gone down.

History shows that replacing a manager with such a short time left in the season really isn’t a way of keeping your club in the Premier League. Sometimes it even results in the team struggling the next season in the Championship, just look at Wolves this season.


If as expected Reading do go down then I don’t believe that Reading will struggle in the Championship like Wolves have this season. Nigel Adkins is a very good manager in my opinion.

His brief at Southampton this season was to keep the Saints safe. They were out of the relegation zone when he left and should survive this season. His new club don’t look like they will be so lucky.

Adkins is the right man to attempt to bring the club straight back up next season and hopefully he is given the backing of the owners of Reading this summer.


It really would be a miracle if Reading survived this season. They were expected to struggle this season and they have done, but I don’t think the blame lies with Brian McDermott.

I think the blame for the team struggling should lie at the door of the owners. They gave McDermott hardly any funds to strengthen his relatively weak squad and the result was that the team has struggled this season.

Reading may have got the right manager in Nigel Adkins, but whether Adkins has chosen the right job is another matter. Adkins will do a good job given the owners backing, but if this season is anything to go by that backing isn’t guaranteed.

Is Nigel Adkins the right man for Reading?


David Nugent

David is a freelance football writer with nearly a decade of experience writing about the beautiful game. The experienced writer has written for over a dozen websites and also an international soccer magazine offline.
Arguably his best work has come as an editorial writer for Soccernews, sharing his good, bad and ugly opinions on the world’s favourite sport. During David’s writing career he has written editorials, betting previews, match previews, banter, news and opinion pieces.



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