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'If It's Football, It's Vital'

Sidwell The Talk Of The Town

And so with two spectacular goals at the weekend, the Sidwell saga becomes the main feature of Vital Reading, at least for now anyway…

Who would believe it? Sidwell has something like 30 to 40 shots at goal without scoring but put him on the TV and he`ll net a brace!

But I`m not complaining, the midfielder`s enigmatic presence won us the match - and what`s more he`s in my Sun Dream Team! But he really picks his moments, the televised early afternoon game? He might as well be in a shop window!!!

And that is bad news for the club, although Sidwell`s goals solidified our stance at sixth in the league he has made himself all the more desirable to those teams who will seek to sign him up come the end of the season.

Reading left-back and team-mate Nicky Shorey believes the centre mid should stick with the Royals:

"Siddy is a great player and he is a leader for us. I know he is not the captain but he does lead us on the pitch and he again showed against Villa what he is all a about. He didn't just score the two goals - he bossed the midfield.

'It would be great to keep him after this season. It would be unbelievable. That's what we want to do.

'Obviously, the better we do, you never know, he might stay. He would be a sore miss not just on the pitch but off it as well because he is a great lad.

'Would getting into Europe persuade him to stay? You never know. We are just going to try to finish as high as we can and hopefully he can stay."

And his manager Steve Coppell agrees 'We would love Steve to sign for us,' said the Reading boss.

'He knows that. I believe it is not a question of us persuading him to stay here because he is a lovely bloke around the place and a terrific footballer.

'I think it is a question of other people persuading him to go elsewhere, but there will never come a moment when we will say 'You've got such and such a time to commit to us'. We don't work like that."

And while all the buzz surrounds Sidwell`s future, for now he`d rather just play his football but the 'boss of the midfield` did have something to say on Reading`s chance of playing European football next year.

'I have been surprised with how well we have done. Not just me, you ask the same of the fans. We thought we would stay up but how well we are doing is brilliant.'

'That is down to us coming into this league with no fear. Not a lot of us have a lot of Premier League experience so we've just come in and tried to do our best.

'Do you talk about Europe? Of course we have. We have put ourselves into a position where we can achieve that and we will keep on trying and see what comes at the end of the season.'




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The Journalist

Writer:  Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Monday February 12 2007

Time: 8:36AM

Your Comments

some great goals, but as you say he was in a shop window.. i think a place in Europe will guarantee he will stay. we just need to keep up the good form
kingsley the lion
i agree, kingsley, if we get a spot in europe sidwell will have to stay, and our revenue will increase so we can match his wages demands!
the royalist
Apparently Boro were interested but you guys are just doing too well! Would like him to come to Boro but it's good to see teams like Middlesbrough and Reading in the Premiership doing well. Hope you qualify for Europe (as long as it's not at our expense).
Middlesbrough
Thanks for the kind words, 'Boro. Sidwell's a major asset to this club and it's vital we keep hold of him. By my reckoning, we'd have to spend upwards of £4million to find a replacement, plus signing on fee and wages, and they'll need time to bed into the squad, so even financially it makes sense to offer Sidders what he wants!
Rogue
That's a good point with regards to finding a replacement, Rogue. My only concern with giving Sidwell what he wants, is that it may disrupt the wage structure currently in place at the club. With the likes of Doyle, Sonko, Shorey etc all performing equally as well, they would want a similar wage to Sidwell.
Thomas L'Heureux
I agree, but Sidwell's the heartbeat of the team and I think it's crucial that we keep him. If we get into Europe then hopefully that'll make up his mind, but if not I fear we'll lose him. Look at Wigan this season. Jimmy Bullard was by far the best player last season, and now that they've sold him they're suffering.
Rogue
Indeed, Bullard's been a big loss for Wigan, but don't forget that the likes of Pascal Chimbonda has also been sold. Add to this their captain, De Zeeuw has been injured, as well as Camara who is their main marksman. Saying this, I do think it's massively important that we convice Sidwell to stay!
Thomas L'Heureux
I've got a funny feeling Celtic will be actively pursuing Sidwell in the summer, using Champions League football as a drawing point.
GeddyLee7
 

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