Fridays Rant! (4)
So after a week off for most of the players following the international break, its back to the business of the Championship and a first return to the Madejski Stadium for Brendan Rodgers. He is sure to get a mixed reception with some fans still adament he did not get enough time to prove himself, whilst others thought he had too long and nearly ruined our club!
I am somewhere in between to be honest and I think you will find most realistic fans are. He made a lot of bad decisions in his short tenure at the club, including a stand up argument on air with local radio presenter Tim Dellor after his final game against Scunthorpe. However he did sign some good players, including Jobi McAnuff and Matt Mills, and his work with the academy in his previous spell at the club should not be forgotten.
On the field it is sure to be a decent game with two sides that are intent on attacking football, but the Swans are not good travellers and I think we will win an entertaining game.
Quite who will be in the Royals starting 11 though is a decision I am glad I do not have to make! A number of players have been either suspended or injured over the past month or so including the likes of Brian Howard, Andy Griffin and Matt Mills. The game may come too soon for Griffin but Howard and Mills are sure to be knocking on the door but with Jem Karacan and Alex Pearce in fine form when deputising it will be hard to replace them. Then there is Chris Armstrong who hadn't played for over a year and has come back into the middle of the park and has arguably been man of the match in every game he has played!
I will put my neck on the line though and tell you the team I would pick, and I would make changes. Federici would obviously start in goal, Cummings at right back Zurab at centre back with Matt Mills. That is harsh on Pearce but despite a couple of good performances of late, he has been poor on more occasions and Mills and Kizhanishvili are a solid partnership. Ian Harte will complete the defence at left back.
In midfield I would go for the usual 5, with two holding players in Karacan and Armstrong. The three attacking players would be Kebe, McAnuff and Howard. Whilst he probably deserves to sit on the bench for a stuid red card that has seen him miss three games, he is the best player for that role in behind the striker that we have right now. Shane Long would be my loan striker desite Noel Hunts hat trick for the reserves.
Lets see what McDermott will go for.....