Tomorrow marks the start of what we are all hoping is a successful campaign at the Madejski. After a somewhat underwhelming transfer window so far, all eyes will be back on the pitch as we welcome Derby County in the traditional Friday night curtain opener for the Championship season. Just what can we expect from Frank Lampard’s men however?
New Faces Aplenty
As mentioned above, Derby are now led by the Chelsea legend Frank Lampard. Personally, I think Derby have got themselves a very promising young manager who could well be destined for a highly successful career. Listening to the man talk as a pundit, his footballing intelligence and tactical awareness all point towards an understanding of how to lead a team effectively.
The hierarchy at Derby have been very busy this summer as well. George Evans has just completed his move to Pride Park, joining alongside other hungry youngsters Mason Mount, Harry Wilson and Jack Marriott, as well as 27 year old former Brentford winger Florian Jozefzoon. Royals supporters will know all about Evans, so I’ll avoid mentioning him in too much detail – especially given the fact that I do not think he’s good enough to be making too many starts for the Rams.
Mount especially is a player to look out for this season. Following a very successful start to his career, settling in easily and impressing as Eredivisie side Vitesse, he’s certainly going to be eager to impress in England as he looks to continue improving with the hope of making it in the top tier and beyond. Alongside Mount, I’m impressed with the signing of Jack Marriott. Having been hugely successful for Peterborough last year, I expect he will shine this year as he continues his development as a player.
When you combine these signatures with the level of experience, quality and strength in depth already within the squad – do not be surprised at all to see The Rams challenging at the business end of the table in 9 months time.
A quick scroll on Twitter would certainly suggest that Rams supporters are excited ahead of the season, so expect a lively atmosphere at the Madejski, with a sell-out away end predicted. With Club 1871 now firmly in position next to the travelling fans, hopefully we will see a raucous atmosphere befitting of the occasion.
Well, along with most Reading fans, I do have a degree of caution ahead of the upcoming campaign. Hosting one of the pre-season favourites to challenge for promotion first up is never going to be easy. Unfortunately I think it may well be a bridge too far for the new look Reading side, especially if Liam Moore makes his expected departure. I’m going to go for 3-1 in the visitors favour.