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I have had my doubts about Shane Long`s ability to hold down a place in a blue and white shirt for a long time but I have always been convinced to give him another chance to prove himself. He has had a lot of excuses for not being anything more than just a super sub over his time at the Madejski Stadium but after a number of the clubs top strikers left in the summer, including his pal Kevin Doyle, this was to be Long`s year. Unfortunately it hasn`t worked out like that.

He is supposed to have done some hard training in the summer but looks like he has put on plenty of weight, and it certainly isn`t muscle mass! He didn`t even make the starting line up for the first game against Nottingham Forest and it`s been downhill since then. Saturday`s red card at Derby could well have convinced Brendan Rodgers that his time at RG2 is all but over.

He now has more red cards than goals this season and can now be classed as nothing more than Reading`s 3rd choice striker, of 3! If we are looking to raise funds in January then Long would be at the top of my list to ship out, he has never done it on a consistent basis and if he can`t do it now he never will.

Another player who appears to be on his way out of the Madejksi Stadium is Kalifa Cisse, who is becoming frustrated at his lack of first team appearances. The Mali international has performed well at times during his three year spell here but is another one who cannot do it consistently and is a jack of all trades, master of none. Currently he is only of use as a translator for Jimmy Kebe!

The FA cup has been a competition that we have not had much interest in, in recent seasons but it was pleasing to hear to hear that we will be fielding a full strength side this season and what a fantastic draw we got. Whilst some loyal Royals wanted to get a tie away to Swindon or Aldershot, a home tie with Liverpool will bring some much needed exposure back to the club. ITV will cover the game live and a capacity crowd will be at the Mad Stad after the club opted to reduce ticket prices for the tie, 15 for season ticket holders is a great deal. Whether it`s the playing or commercial management of the club, they have got it spot on for this glamour FA cup 3rd round tie.

Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

The Journalist

Writer: Steve Guscott  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Friday December 4 2009

Time: 1:01PM


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