Thursday, August 04, 2005

Pilgrims sail in for start of 05/06

You’ve got to have a dream, if you don’t have a dream, how you going to have a dream come true? So sang Captain Sensible. Then again, can you really take them seriously, after all they did write the theme music for Big Break.

According to the good old Reading Evening Post, the Premiership dream is still alive. Floyd on Football begs to differ. Top four at Christmas last season, we came down with the decorations and were frankly fortunate to eventually finish seventh. Whilst generally the summer signings have been encouraging, some are inexperienced at this level and with a revolving door transfer policy which has seen 8 players in and another 8 leave the club there will be a period of transition. Floyd on Football predicts a top half finish for the Royals but is hesitant to expect too much too soon.

Quite frankly the first team squad is still too small, especially when you think that the club will be operating under the transfer window for the first time ever this season. We can field a decent squad of 16 and then beyond that, as injuries and suspensions take their toll, the back-up is youthful and Floyd on Football hasn’t seen too much to get excited about with many of the young players coming through at RFC – the exceptions being the impressive looking Jonathan Hayes, Johnny Mullins who spent time on loan at Kidderminster last season and Darren Campbell, who is returning from long term injury. In that decent-looking squad of 16 we have the likes of Leroy Lita and Kevin Doyle; however highly rated and impressive they have looked so far they are entirely untested in the Championship. It will be exciting to see how they fare.

Floyd on Football expects Crystal Palace and Wolverhampton Wanderers to clinch the automatic Championship promotion places with play-off slots going to Ipswich, Leeds, Norwich & Sheffield United; Brighton, Crewe, Millwall, Stoke & Watford will take up the bottom five places.

As for Saturday’s opener with Plymouth, well what a start against a team we had two hard fought draws with last time round. Floyd on Football would hope we’d finish above Plymouth this season, but they have signed a string of foreign players this summer to boost their squad, most notably the Nigerian former Internazionale defender Taribo West. Plymouth were far from the most impressive of sides seen at the Madejski last season but it must be a concern to us for Saturday that they have signed several players who will be an unknown quantity. For Reading, the lingering ligament strain suffered by Dave Kitson is an ongoing worry, but Nicky Shorey, Chris Makin and Graham Stack are all expected to be fit. Given the unfamiliarity of the Plymouth squad, Floyd on Football hesitantly predicts a 1-1 draw on Saturday with a goal from Steve Sidwell.


Blogger Thediaryoftonyblair said...

Floydy I agree with everything except your negativity! I think you're spot on on whos going up or down, except you should expect Reading to be in the top 4! Leeds and Sheff Utd are no stronger than the Royals- Why are Lita and Doyle going to be so unpredictable? We have an excellent keeper in Buddy, we have the statistically best defence in the league, we have an on fire American international midfielder, we have (according to Total Football) the best player in the league, we have a useful midfield hardman in Brynjar, we have a tricky winger who hugs the touchline in Little, who has the talent to improve. Lita is an U21 international, who scored 29 goals last season- we had strikers with less than that in the same league the year we were promoted, Lita was in a team that missed the playoffs. Doyle looks to have the talent, and should prove better than Owusu or Morgan at the least. Kitson, enough said! In short (or maybe long!) we have a better team than last year. We will bring in cover at centre back before the end of August, and Oster could certainly do a job up front if disaster struck there. 1-1 v Plymouth? 3-0 and hopes will be raised!

PS. Even if you're not anticipating promotion, I'm really enjoying your pictures and headlines... keep up the good work!

2:39 PM  

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