Wokingham Today

Stam’s sacking was a startling surprise

- With Simeon Pickup

JAAP STAM’S abrupt sacking on Wednesday came as a startling surprise to me. It wasn’t that the Dutchman didn’t deserve the sack, one win in 18 speaks for itself, but I can’t get my head around the timing of it.

Reading fans have been baying for Stam’s blood for months now, particular­ly since Christmas, and the club’s owners have had plenty of good opportunit­ies to dump Stam during that period.

Dire home defeats to Burton Albion, Birmingham City and Millwall were all seen as particular low points when they happened and it would have been understand­able on any of those occasions to sack Stam.

In standing by their manager throughout those matches, Dai Yongge and Dai Xiu Li seemed to be showing Stam support by default.

By leaving the decision this late, when

Reading have only eight games left to salvage their Championsh­ip status, they risk giving the new manager an impossible task.

Stam’s style of football may seem over-complicate­d and ineffectiv­e, but it is imbedded into the playing squad and will take time to rewrite, certainly longer than a few weeks.

With that in mind, expect evolution not revolution from Stam’s successor.

Whoever is appointed by Dai Yongge and

Dai Xiu Li, they will be well aware of their predecesso­r’s tactical philosophy and the scale of the task facing them.

Expect the possession style and emphasis on playing out from the back to remain (at least to a degree), as the new manager instead focusses on motivating the players and getting them organised defensivel­y.

Simeon can be found on Twitter @BucksRoyal and his website’s account is @TheTilehur­stEnd.

Head over to wokingham.today to hear the latest episode of The Tilehurst End Podcast Extra with

The Wokingham Paper’s Tom Crocker and Simeon’s colleague Olly Allen, discussing all things


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