After many trophies in the previous seasons, the eleventh season was not the same. In many ways. But despite we did not win seven trophies again, this season was successful. In many ways.
“In many ways…”
What I’m talking about? We lost another one player from the original squad who wanted to go elsewhere after many years but legends like Kelly, Cooper or Loader stayed in the club.
We finished sixth in the Premier League.
We scored fewer goals and conceded more than in previous seasons. We lost more times this season than in previous years. I had doubts about “our way”.
How I could call it as a successful season?
It’s very simple. Firstly, we won the Champions League for the FIFTH time in a row.
Secondly, we have a new stadium with a capacity of 58,628.
The record attendance was broken during the match with AS Monaco in the Champions League when it was sold-out.
- We signed “Wonderkid” from Mexico for a record transfer fee.
- Our regen Robert Crossley made his debut in Premier League and he became youngest ever Reading goalscorer at the age of 16 years and 318 days.
- After a 5-0 humble defeat at Southampton in the Premier League, players refunded supporters who bought tickets for this match.
- Danny Loader is still on fire.
- Liam Kelly is the best False Nine I’ve ever have in FM despite it’s not his best-rated position.
- Danny Loader is still on fire…
- The level of our Yout Facilities is now Top and Training Facilities are rated as State of the art.
- The 4-3-1-2 formation still works…
- And Danny Loader is still on fire!
I mentioned record transfer. And there he is. We signed midfielder Alonso Cuate from Club América for £17M. He is able to play in many central midfield roles and he is wonderkid by media.
We signed also some other players. The second most expensive one was Teddy MacDonald who is also a central midfielder and we bought him from Hull.
Michal Prokopec, Daniel Sellin, Mark Saunders and Karel Ditmar were signed for the future as Prokopec and Sellin went for a loan because of work permit, Saunders for playing time and Ditmar was injured for most of the spring time so he will go on-loan for next season.
There were, of course, outgoing transfers. We said goodbye to some youngsters and we sold David Iribar to Athletic Club. I signed him in hope he will get the work permit but he had no chance to play for Spain national team so I sold him with some profit.
Except for loans, we also sold defender Ramarni Medford-Smith who was one of the players from the original squad but he wanted to move elsewhere for a new challenge.
Striker Paul Rimmer did not want to renew his contract so he went for a loan to Brazil for half a year and then he was with Huddersfield. They had an option to buy him if he will play 15 matches for them so we got around 5M for his loan and transfer together.
2026/2027 Season Summary
The season kicked-off with two cup matches. We beat Arsenal 2-1 in the Community Shield and Chelsea in the UEFA Super Cup after penalties as the match ended with a 4-4 draw after 90 minutes.
We started a new Premier League campaign in a great way as we beat Chelsea at home 4-0. And everything looks fine as ever.
But then we did not win five league matches in a row – 2 draws (Liverpool, Stoke) and 3 losses (Manchester United, Southampton and Bournemouth). It’s funny that we beat Bournemouth 5-0 in the league cup a three days before a league defeat with a rotation squad…
We turned it around and won seven matches in a row including Champions League matches with Sporting or Monaco and league match with Manchester City.
Some lovely goals there…
Champions League Group Stage was fun this year as we won the Group A with 11 points – AS Monaco had it also. We made it to the Knockout Stage thanks to a 3-0 win over Sporting in the last match of the Group and Monaco beat Red Bull Salzburg with the same result.
After the match with Sporting we have a couple of days for a rest before we went to Seoul as FIFA Club World Cup was on the schedule.
We played against FC Seoul this year in the Semi Final and we won comfortably 3-0 and made it to the Final where we played against Atlético Mineiro. If nothing more we boosted our morale and self-confidence as we won 6-0 after a fine display.
It was our fourth FIFA Club World Cup win in a row.
As the season continued it was more and more clear we will not be Premier League champions this season. We lost too many points and it looked there will be no European cups as well as we were outside of the top six.
At the end of January, we made it to the EFL Cup Final after we beat Hull in the second leg and then we luckily won over Rotherham in FA Cup 4th Round when we played youngsters and backup players.
And then it happened. Probably the most brutal defeat during this save. Southampton vs. Reading 5-0. Outplayed. Outclassed. Conceded three goals in five minutes at the end of the match. A little bit scary and I knew I had bad thoughts after this match about all the things.
I thought about the future in terms of how long I can play with the same players.
I thought about tactical changes and maybe it could be better to adapt our own style to age and abilities of our ageing players.
“If you play a long save and your players are older and older, do you consider to change tactics because players are slower and their physical attributes are lower in overall?”
Let me know ⇑⇑⇑
These thoughts came back to me when we lost to Sunderland ten days later…
But I decided to give it another chance until the end of the season with small tweaks and small changes including our fullbacks now have a defend duty instead of support and they are not too high and too lost at opponent’s half and they are able to get back to their positions earlier.
We passed Valencia in the 1st Knockout Round of Champions League after a 3-3 draw and 3-1 win in the reply. We lost to Manchester United in the EFL Cup Final so there are new EFL Cup champions as we won this competition in six previous years.
I don’t want to bore you with all the results but I stay around the Champions League Quarter Final for a while. We played against Juventus and the first match at home ended with a goalless draw. I was not too much optimistic before the second leg but it went well.
Well. We were 3-0 up after 35 minutes.
What the fuck is this?
“Don’t get complacent lads…” – “Yes, of course, boss!”
Two minutes later Rey Manay scored the first of his four goals in this match. Yes, you’re right. They turned it to 4-3 as they scored their fourth goal in 89:03.
What the fuck is this?
74 seconds later was everything alright once again. Juventus keeper Sergiy Kovalenko made a mistake and Jan Cvancara scored our fourth to the empty net! 4-4 and we made it to the Semi Final thanks to away goal rule! Great match, great fun before laptop screen.
As you can see in the pictures with results we had a very good end of the season. Although we lost to Barcelona in the first CL Semi Final but we made it to the Final thanks to 1-0 win and luck during the penalties. The first three Barcelona players missed penalties and we were through to the Final…
During this time I also made some changes to our 4-3-1-2 formation as one of two central midfielders is now Ball Winning Midfielder and I tried to change Shadow Striker to Trequartista.
Maybe it was only luck behind us but the results in the last five matches of the season are incredible good! We beat Leicester 3-0, Hull 5-0 and Wolves 4-0 in the last three domestic league matches.
We also won the FA Cup after a 3-1 win over Manchester United.
And the last match of the season was absolutely lovely. I sat before the laptop and I’m sure I had a big smile on my face. We played against Bayern at Hampden Park in Glasgow and they had no clear cut chance, we outplayed them mainly in the second half.
I was like a small child during Christmas Eve. Jordan Obita scored the first goal in 56th minute from the free kick.
Our record signing in club history, Alonso Cuate, scored the second in the 72nd minute and Danny Loader ended all doubts seven minutes before the end of the match.
The second goal was absolutely fantastic, that assist by Barrett… 💙
It was our fifth Champions League win in a row what is absolutely great achievement and I have to say I did not expect that when I started this save…
It was a great way how to finish the year full of doubts…
All results and competitions summary…
There is also best XI of this season. As you can see, Josh Barrett played 60 matches this season with 17 goals. Danny Loader scored 35 goals in 55 appearances and Liam Kelly 19 goals in 48 matches.
For the first time, Jordan Obita and Tennai Watson are not in the best XI of the season as they had the worst season of the save. Regens Joe Fogden and Luke Carpenter were big surprises of the season and they are a big promise to the future.
Danny Loader is still on fire…
Our striker number one has won the Champions League Golden Boot award for the first time as he scored 10 goals in 12 matches.
That’s the end of our 11th season with Reading in Football Manager 2017. If you want to read the previous parts of this season you can find it in this category.
Thank you for reading and all the feedback is appreciated as always. @KeysiRensie