Wednesday 28th October
Should Leicester City fans be excited that Edgar Davids could soon be on his way to the Walkers Stadium? Of course they should. But I do have reservations…
I don't want to dampen anybody's spirits because news of the legendary Dutchman's interest in a move to the east Midlands is unquestionably energising for all concerned at the club. However, signing a player like Davids will be a big gamble for Nigel Pearson.
Why you might ask? It's all about team spirit and that old adage of upsetting the apple cart. From the outside looking in at the moment Leicester City appear to have a very happy ship. Team spirit looks spot on and they give the impression that they are very together as a squad. That's probably one of the reasons why they are performing so well this season.
I don't know Edgar Davids personally and I'm sure he's a nice guy but even so, when you have a big name like him come into a football club on decent money and expecting to play, it can have a negative impact on the rest of the dressing room. He may not do anything to upset anyone himself but his sheer presence could put one or two noses out of joint. Nigel will have to be aware of this, and tread carefully if he does indeed go ahead with the signing. Disrupting a team that's happy with itself can be risky.
On the plus side, Davids is a natural winner and when he regains full match fitness could very well help take Leicester City to the next level. He's certainly a player that's suited to the style of the Championship so that's not an issue and he will bring a new excitement level to the city and to the club. It will be fascinating to see how the next few days or weeks unfold with this story.
Leicester City's most recent opponents were Reading of course, and their current plight highlights the necessity for relegated Premier League clubs to gain promotion back at the first attempt. If you miss out (as Reading did in the play-offs in May) it can cripple your prospects the season after. I look at Reading's side now and it's unrecognisable from the one which did so well in the top flight because the best, most experienced players have had to move on.
Whether it's been because of their high wages, retirements, or a desire on the players' part to perform elsewhere Reading have lost Kevin Doyle, Stephen Hunt, Leroy Lita, Marcus Hahnemann, Andre Bikey, Graeme Murty, James Harper and Liam Rosenior (both on loans) since the summer alone - and when you add to that list the likes of Nicky Shorey, Dave Kitson and Ibrahima Sonko from the year before it makes for a completely new team at the Madejski.
To try and replace that many players in such a short space of time is an impossible mission and Reading are suffering as a result. You need a mix of experience and youth, and you also need some players who know the place too. Having to cope with so many changes at once is bound to have a negative effect, as football is a team game where you need time to get to know each other's games inside out.
Brendan Rodgers came in at a tricky time with the team struggling badly for results at home and his cause hasn't been aided one bit by the early season departures. It's not an envious position he finds himself in but he's a bright young manager learning the trade and I'm sure given time he'll plot a way forward for the club.
It just seems wrong for a club like Reading to be languishing near the bottom of the Championship table. I'm convinced it won't last.
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