Reading - Will we become a feeder club under Rodgers?
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Will we become a feeder club under Rodgers?

On a cold Friday night in January after the Royals had just demolished a Watford team managed by Brendan Rodgers, I found myself walking away from the ground chatting to a Watford supporter. Despite watching us demolish his team I found myself having plenty of good words to say about the Hornets and the young players they had in on loan from numerous Premiership clubs. However his response shocked me somewhat when he launched into a verbal attack about his lack of interest in watching the likes of Chelsea and Spurs youngster`s in his side and if he wanted to watch youth team football he would get himself up early on a Saturday morning and go and watch Watford`s youth team.

I probably didn`t think too much of that conversation until Friday when we completed the year long loan deal for Ryan Bertrand. Season long loan deals are something Royals fans are not too familiar with as Steve Coppell was a well voiced critic of the loan system, but if you believe what you read in the press we had better get used to them.

Bertrand would appear to be the first of many loan deals that are going to bolster our squad with talk of Jack Cork, Michael Mancienne, Dorian Dervite and perhaps even Adel Taarabt. Am I the only Royals fan not particularly excited about watching these players? I now see exactly what that Watford fan was on about.

Whilst I am sure that John Madejski is licking his lips at the prospect of getting players in and not having to pay a transfer fee, where does this leave us come the end of the season? If you look at the clubs who opted to go down the route of getting loan players in to fill their squads, they have not been particularly successful - Norwich, Southampton and even Watford.

I`m certainly not against the loan system and think a couple of additions are fine, if in fact Bertrand is one of only a couple long term loans then I am sure it will strengthen our squad long term but please let`s not go down the route of having half our team not even contracted to our club. It was Norwich last season that had to pick their match day squad based on who was in on loan and who wasn`t as they had so many - including Bertrand!

I would much rather watch players like Church, Karacan and Pearce who have come through our academy than some lad Chelsea have stolen from a lower league teams youth set up - even if that meant promotion wasn`t possible this coming season. Many will say that nothing will beat the excitement of promotion in 2006, and they may be right, but I bet watching a team full of youngsters that have come through our academy, being successful, would go close to that.

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The Journalist

Writer: Steve Guscott  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Sunday July 19 2009

Time: 11:02AM

Your Comments (oldest first)

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Dorian dervitte is an outstanding prospect and would be a great signing for you, if we allow him on loan. Adel taarabt, is a wonderful talent, but has to learnn that it is a team game and not about beating a player five times then shooting from wherever.. It is also possible that Rogers could look to danny rose, who can play LM or CM and is another outstanding prospect rated very highly at Spurs. BR had him on loan at Watford last season and he is another we would probably let go for a spell. I understand where you are coming from, but surely if the quality is there in the player, it may well be worthwhile.
Report Abuse
19/07/2009 12:03:00

Which Some lad Chelsea have stolen? Bertand, Mancienne and Cork all are from the Chelsea Academy. Dont let your irritation cloud your research.
Report Abuse
19/07/2009 12:24:00

Wasn't refereeing to any of the Chelsea players mentioned, just a general statement. However now you mention it - Bertrand was signed by Chelsea as a 16 year old from Gillingham, and then spent the majority of time out on loan. oxford Spur- I don't doubt the young players listed are fantastic prospects, however we have some great young players already at our club. Personally I would prefer to watch them.
South Bank
Report Abuse
19/07/2009 12:38:00

Bertrand is too good for you ungrateful lot!
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19/07/2009 20:25:00

Southbank, you do make sense, it is great having quality players in your team, but if they have no real affliction with your club, you wonder if they would stand up and be counted when they are really needed, some of the chelsea, spurs fans wouldn't understand what you have written as they are demading of success and want big name signings and players who are proven. The question is. would John Terry have been given a chance if he was starting his football now? some would say yes, but Michael Mancienne has not really been given a run. As a watford fan, it is good to see some players come through the ranks and get big money moves, Ashley Young for example.
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20/07/2009 17:34:00

Jack Cork, I would like to add is a player who wears his heart on his sleeve and will give his all, a player i wish all the best for the future
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20/07/2009 17:36:00

Right, got your point mate!
Report Abuse
22/07/2009 16:14:00

I think you'll find that Chelsea's feeder club is West Ham rather than Reading! Sorry to disappoint you.
Report Abuse
01/08/2009 07:11:00


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