Talking points after Birmingham loss
After another disappointing loss and with the vultures closing in on Stam, we take a look at the talking points hovering over the lowly Royals.
Stam is on his last legs as the fans finally turn - After quite a few months of debate, it finally seems the majority of fans are on the 'Stam Out' side of the fence. Weeks of poor results and frustrating performances have pushed many over the edge and there were even calls of 'You're getting sacked in the morning' from Royals fans after Birmingham's second goal went in. Ron Gourlay is adamant the Dutchman is here for the long-haul, but with fans getting restless and lowering attendances, the end could be near.
This is when we find out how much interest the owners have - While we have heard from Gourlay, we have heard nothing from our Chinese owners about their ambitions, which means we have no idea about their potential opinion on our poor form. With Stam remaining at the helm for the time being, does that show they are willing to invest in the long-term plan, or do they just have no interest in the running of the club? Time will tell.
The players' confidence looks completely shot - People can criticise Stam all they want, but the players deserve some of the stick too, some of them haven't been at the right level this season. It was clear on Tuesday night that a lot of the players' confidence is completely gone, which is affecting their game, - the key names being McShane, Swift and Aluko, who usually thrive. It's hard to say whether they've lost confidence altogether or whether it is simply Stam's system which has led them to lose this - personally, I think it's a bit of both.
A left-back, midfielder and striker is crucial this window - There are three main areas we have to strengthen this window, even if we are short on cash. Since Obita's injury and Blackett's drop in form, we have been crying out for a left-back with Gunter and Bacuna only make-shift replacements. Midfield is an area where we are struggling also, with van den Berg and Kelly dreadfully out of form and Swifty's injuries getting the better of him. And crucially, up top, where we have been struggling for over two seasons. A busy January is required to get us back up the table.
Could Moore be on his way this month? - The only player that is likely to gain any suitors for an outgoing this month is defender Liam Moore, who has been our best player for little over a year. West Ham and Celtic are reportedly interested and with the team seemingly a sinking ship, it seems it wouldn't take Moore a lot to jump ship. Don't get me wrong, I would not want to sell him but if we do, it better be substantial and reinvested heavily.