Reading’s appointment of ex-West Bromwich Albion boss Steve Clark looks a shrewd acquisition for the Championship strugglers. Nigel Adkins was given his marching orders following a 6-1 demolition at the hands of Birmingham City after a run of seven defeats in their last eleven games and Clarke was swiftly brought in to the vacant hotseat.
In his first season at the Hawthorns he led the club to an 8th spot finish the Baggies highest ever Premier league position finish. However after a bad start to his second season the West Brom hierarchy afforded him no time based on his previous achievements and pulled the trigger early. They were only four points off tenth spot when he was axed so there is a strong case to say that he should have been given more time to reverse their early season fortunes.
He worked as an assistant under Jose Mourinho at Chelsea for a number of years and was a highly regarded member of the hands on, day to day coaching staff at Cobham and Stamford Bridge. He has already started to demonstrate some similar characteristics to ‘the special one’, features that may have rubbed off on him during his time at Chelsea, even if his broad Scottish accent and demeanour doesn’t match up to natural charisma of the Portuguese master tactician. His pragmatism is apparent; expect him to firstly start work from the back and tighten up Reading’s defence in a bid to lay the foundations for an all-round strong side.
He has the credentials to do well with Reading but although they are looking for an immediate improvement they can’t realistically expect him to be pushing for promotion back to the big time this season and must give time adequate time. He looks likely to get it at a club like reading though.
He is young in managerial terms and has a lot of ambition to prove himself as a manager as he already has done as a senior coach. Only time will tell if he will prove a success but certainly on paper this looks a good appointment by Madjeski and Co.