It had all started so well.
The start of the summer and the transfer period had Reading fans as excited as they had been for a long while with the arrivals of the Wayne Bridge, Danny Williams and Royston Drenthe.
With the promised addition of one more striker we were set for a promotion push with a decent amount of cover in all positions and according to a lot of fans probably a stronger squad than the one that had started the campaign the season before in the Premier League.
The season is now starting to get into full flow and while it is still early days, Reading have looked far from convincing in picking up two wins, two draws and a solitary defeat away at Blackpool. Not the worst start on paper but it is the nature of the unconvincing performances in the last couple of games had fans including myself convinced that we would see a couple of incomings throughout the last few days of the window, especially upfront where we looked light to say the least. Adam Le Fondre will always score goals, but as we have all seen he is best coming off the bench. Pavel Pogrebnyak has not looked interested this term while Nick Blackman has failed to convince fans in the first month.
Despite this, the first bits of business in the last week of the window were actually outgoings with Jimmy Kebe and Adrian Mariappa leaving for Crystal Palace for a combined total of £5m. Jimmy Kebe has always been a player who divided opinion, unstoppable on his day but most frustrating on others and perhaps after six years with the club it was the right time for him to move on. Adrian Mariappa, despite being many fans choice for player of the season last year has rarely featured in Nigel Adkins starting 11 and perhaps he felt £3m for a player not in his plans was too much to turn down.
After recouping £5m I amongst other Reading fans was convinced there would be at least two or three players coming in on the last couple of days of August. As mentioned earlier we looked light up front and with Mariappa leaving we are left with only three senior central defenders, obviously not enough at this level.
So we waited.
There were a few rumours knocking about here and there but nothing concrete and as the excitement of deadline day unfolded it was all worryingly quiet over at the Madejski. As the evening wore on and deals were being confirmed up and down the country Reading fans took to twitter to vent their frustration. Every fan agreed that at the very least a striker and a central defender was needed, so what was going on? Well, by the sound of it, not very much at all.
So what was it that resulted in the failure to secure any players? A lot of the anger on social media has been aimed at the Director of Football, Nicky Hammond. It was reported that two deals fell through on deadline day and perhaps therefore it does seem correct to lay the blame at Hammonds door. One fan has even gone to the lengths of creating a petition for his sacking which to me seems slightly extreme but it is easy to see why the fans are so frustrated.
When the new owner took over, it seemed the days of having to sell our best players to balance the books were gone. We would no longer need to ship out the Gylfi Sigurdssons and Shane Longs of this world whenever the first club came calling. We had the money to bring in players, such as Drenthe who would be paid big wages. It therefore seems strange that no players were bought in to strengthen areas that it is plain to see need it. I think we must look at Hammonds role and he must be made to answer questions as to what happened, especially with the reported 2 deals that fell through on deadline day.
We will now see what happens in the next week or so in terms of any free transfers and loan deals but I would say that in my opinion it will be nigh on impossible to achieve the clubs ambition of getting promoted this season with the current squad. Time will tell.
Thoughts? Contact me on twitter @JackPeedell