Vital Football

Latest Reading FC News

Europe - A Dream, Or A Nightmare?

Europe - A Dream, Or A Nightmare?

Personally, I share Steve Coppell`s view that all talk of European qualification is premature. Whilst at this stage in the season, with the Royals sitting comfortably in eighth position - just three points from occupying a European berth, it is indeed possible, I`m not sure if it would be of benefit to the club to embark on their first continental adventure.

I`m sure every single Reading fan, myself included, would tell you they`d absolutely love to see their team run out on Spanish soil, to strike the ball into an Italian net, and to win a game in Germany. There`s no doubting that such an escapade seems a terrific prospect, but I personally question the benefit it would have on the club.

I refer to George Burley`s Ipswich Town of 2000/01 as an example. After gaining promotion, the Tractor Boys performed terrifically in their first season in the Premiership, and finished in fifth place. As such, they qualified for the UEFA Cup, and in the following season they faced the likes of Torpedo Moscow, Helsingborgs IF, and even recorded a 1-0 victory over Inter Milan!

So why the negativity I hear you ask?

Well, eighteen games into the 2001/02 Premiership campaign, Ipswich were bottom of the table with just one league victory to their name. Their top-flight status was looking numbered, and this was confirmed on the final day of the season with a 5-0 defeat away to Liverpool that sent Town back to the Championship.

The loss of income due to relegation led to the club going into financial administration. They had the minor consolation of again qualifying for the UEFA Cup, this time via UEFA's Fair Play route. A poor start to the season, culminating in a 2-0 defeat at Grimsby Town, meant that George Burley was sacked in October 2002 after nearly eight years as manager of Ipswich Town.

Whilst I dream of watching Graeme Murty lead his troops out onto the Sansiro pitch, something tells me that European qualification would come all too soon. Given Steve Coppell`s recent approach to domestic cup competitions, I gather he feels exactly the same and realises that all efforts must be on retaining our Premiership status, even if we do finish this season in a strong position.

Coppell`s description of the way in which this league can turn round and 'strangle you` is a very apt one. Until we have spent a few seasons as part of the top-flight, gradually attracted better and appropriate players, and had a consistant top-half finish, Europe should remain a dream in my eyes. Once we`ve achieved security within this division, then we can begin our quest for the Champion`s League crown and explain to the likes of Barcelona exactly who little ol` Reading FC are.


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

Writer:
Date:Tuesday January 23 2007
Time: 12:25PM

Best of Vital Network

Login to post a comment

Recent Reading Articles

Norwood Vs Gunter

Two royals head to head

League Cup Draw Wednesday 1pm

Four hours after the Football League fixture list is revealed, the League Cup first round...

Reading fans perspective on France

France trip

The Royals linked with 3 players.

three players linked

Archived Vital Reading Articles

Vital Reading articles from

Site Journalists

thurlow97
Editor email
Profile
Josh
no email
Profile

Current Poll (see more polls)

What Striker do you want to see here?
Suggested By:
Dom Solanke11%
Lewis Grabban8%
Jamie Mackie11%
Carlton Cole 6%
Nahki Wells64%
ScoopDragon Publishing Entire League Network of Sites

League Table

# Team P W D L Pts. GD
C Burnley 46 26 15 5 93 37
P Middlesbrough 46 26 11 9 89 32
3 Brighton 46 24 17 5 89 30
4 Hull City 46 24 11 11 83 34
5 Derby County 46 21 15 10 78 23
6 Sheff Wed 46 19 17 10 74 21
7 Ipswich 46 18 15 13 69 2
8 Cardiff 46 17 17 12 68 5
9 Brentford 46 19 8 19 65 5
10 Birmingham 46 16 15 15 63 4
11 Preston 46 15 17 14 62 0
12 Q.P.R. 46 14 18 14 60 0
13 Leeds Utd 46 14 17 15 59 -8
14 Wolves 46 14 16 16 58 -5
15 Blackburn 46 13 16 17 55 0
16 Forest 46 13 16 17 55 -4
17 Reading 46 13 13 20 52 -7
18 Bristol City 46 13 13 20 52 -17
19 Huddersfield 46 13 12 21 51 -11
20 Fulham 46 12 15 19 51 -13
21 Rotherham 46 13 10 23 49 -18
R Charlton 46 9 13 24 40 -40
R MK Dons 46 9 12 25 39 -30
R Bolton 46 5 15 26 30 -40
Latest F1 News
Latest Vital Boxing News

Recent Reading Results (view all)