Brian McDermott‘s sacking by Reading has not gone down well with either players or supporters and those within football in general have also been critical of the decision. The Royals may be four points adrift of safety and favourites for relegation following a fourth successive Premier League defeat at home to Aston Villa at the weekend but the question is – could anyone have done any more with the assets at his disposal?
McDermott took over as caretaker manager at the Madejski Stadium in 2009 before being named full-time boss the following year. He guided Reading back to the top flight last season for only the second time in their history but has paid the price for the club’s struggles this term. It really does seem harsh as the Royals’ budget pales into insignificance against most of the other teams in the top flight, even those around them in the relegation dogfight. The new manager hasn’t much time to turn around their form in time to secure Premier League survival and they have a tricky set of fixtures on the horizon.
McDermott had been part of the backroom staff at the Berkshire club since 2000 and should have few problems getting a new job and Russian owner Anton Zingarevich really needs to question what having a new man in charge at this stage of the season will achieve. Academy chief Eamonn Dolan will take charge of team affairs for Saturday’s daunting trip to Old Trafford but Zingarevich is hoping to have a new manager in place the following week. Dolan is 25/1 to get the job on a permanent basis with BetVictor but the early money has been for Paolo Di Canio.
Di Canio walked out of League 1 high-fliers Swindon Town last month and would be free to take up a new role immediately. The media loves the flamboyant Italian but I’m not sure how Premier League players would respond to his antics and whether they would be prepared to battle for him between now and the end of the season. He is only a best Evens with Betfred to get the job, however, ahead of former Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo (5/2 with Ladbrokes) and Nigel Adkins. Both the latter pair can also count themselves unlucky to have lost their jobs this season but may have had their fill of working for demanding foreign chairmen. Adkins (9/1 with Stan James) would be a good candidate to get Reading back into the Premier League should they be relegated as he’s very knowledgeable with regards to the Football League but maybe the Berkshire club aren’t looking that far ahead. Alan Curbishley always appears in these markets and is 28/1 with Skybet to be installed at the Madejski while Steve McClaren is 33/1 with bet365 and Skybet to make a quick return to football having recently left FC Twente.