Long-term issues remain

PUBLISHED: 14:22 08 April 2006 | UPDATED: 09:20 14 September 2010

I presume now that Reading have been crowned champions I must assume my £20 bet on us winning the league is safe with Ladbrokes for another season. However, come July I am sure I will placing my money once more where my mouth is and will be convincing myself that 2005/2006 was just a blip and next year will be our year.

I presume now that Reading have been crowned champions I must assume my £20 bet on us winning the league is safe with Ladbrokes for another season. However, come July I am sure I will placing my money once more where my mouth is and will be convincing myself that 2005/2006 was just a blip and next year will be our year.

At the start of the season I thought the numerous weddings I had to attend during the season, inconveniently always on home games, would be a hindrance but after seeing us play for about 50% of the season due to those weddings I am beginning to think it was a blessing in disguise.

I keep hearing we are on a six game winning run at Carrow Road… but I am somehow finding that hard to believe. Although I have been there for a reasonable number of those games (soon to be altered by the wedding season starting again) I just don't have the feeling that we are a winning team.

In all my years at Carrow Road I have to admit this has been one of the most woeful to actually witness. The only other season I have been this disappointed was the year we lost on the opening day and we were ultimately relegated from the Premiership (round 1). It is true we are sitting 10th, which isn't all that bad and when we finished round there in 02/03 it felt like an ok achievement, and we have been winning - but I actually preferred last season for many reasons.

Last season was disappointing but in a different way, because no matter how bad things were at least we played good football, even when we were out classed and losing. But more importantly we really looked liked we cared - the players wanted to do a good job and never looked as demoralized as they do know.

Maybe the 6-0 thrashing at Fulham caused more psychological problems than expected, but the Championship as a whole this year has been the most average I have witnessed. I think that explains why we, even though we haven't played well all year and have been anything other than consistent, are still 10th. It could actually have been a good year to 'get out' so I fear that next season people might just have got their acts together - but then hopefully we will have well.

There have been good points this year, for a start Safri continues to excel and it is encouraging to see Shackell back and definitely back to his best. Longer term issues remain and I feel we will be saying goodbye to Robert who has done a good job even when those around him have not. Overall this is definitely a season to wipe from memory and to avoid buying the 'best of DVD' for (although I assume it will at least be short).

Perhaps the boys just knew I would be missing most of the games due to weddings and wanted to ensure I wouldn't miss the excitement of promotion? That could just be the reason - if so boys, everyone I know is now married or nearly married so from August I can fully focus on you again - please take the time to full focus as well.

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