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Which Reading, Birmingham & Derby Players Would You Rescue From The Drop?

manager-sheepskin-coat.jpgIf you were a manager of a Premier League club, which players from Reading, Birmingham City and Derby County would you snap up? Despite the clubs having parachute payments to lessen the blow of landing in the Championship League, the reality is that some of those three teams will be torn apart and rebuilt.

Even if they’re not, many of the players from those trio of clubs will want to return to the Premier League in the summer transfer window, much to the disdain of fellow players who want to bring their teams back up.

And the reality is that there are some diamonds in the rough among those teams. Here’s EPL Talk’s pick of the best 11 players to sign from those clubs:

  1. Marcus Hahnemann (Reading)
  2. Graeme Murty (Reading)
  3. Nicky Shorey (Reading)
  4. Alan Stubbs (Derby County)
  5. Liam Ridgewell (Birmingham City)
  6. Stephen Hunt (Reading)
  7. Sebastian Larsson (Birmingham City)
  8. Giles Barnes (Derby County)
  9. Kevin Doyle (Reading)
  10. Mauro Zarate (Birmingham City)
  11. Mikael Forssell (Birmingham City)

Who would you pick differently and why?

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  1. Anonymous

    May 15, 2008 at 7:55 am

    Hunt, Doyle, Harper, Shorey, Long and Lita all linked away from Reading.

    No pressure to sell, although I think Hunt and Shorey will move.

  2. Bluenosesol

    May 15, 2008 at 6:53 am

    Already there has been interest from Prem clubs for 5 players from Brum’s last season squad. How about the other clubs?. I think the prem clubs have the nonce to decide the best players??

  3. Anonymous

    May 15, 2008 at 4:45 am

    Hunt was tragic from Christmas onwards. Convey offered a lot more when given his opportunity against Arsenal but struggled with a knee injury.

    Bikey will surprise everybody – he has massive potential.

  4. eli

    May 14, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    matejovsky looks like a good player but can you really say hes been fantastic… i mean he only played in the premiership for 3 months. i can’t understand how ANYONE could not have Stephen Hunt on this list. I don’t care how well he played in the second half of the year, all premiership managers know he is the best player on any of the three relegated teams. URRZZZ. (I love murty but have no confidence in any of our defenders except Shorey)

  5. Ivan

    May 14, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    Zarate i picked up as a key player for about a year now. Technically brilliant and McCleish seems to agree with me. BBC article states two big PL clubs are after him for about 10m pounds.

  6. Shakira Graham

    May 14, 2008 at 4:34 pm

    Stubbs??? Are you out of your mind? He is on his last legs and didnt do much when he came in. I would keep Barnes, if he can be injury free he has a lot of upside. I would also keep Villa from Derby as well.

  7. March

    May 14, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    I can’t see anybody but Barnes in demand from Derby.

  8. Simon Burke

    May 14, 2008 at 12:36 pm

    They are all poor.
    Nah, I think Kitson and Doyle from reading would have done better with a better midfield behind them.
    McFadden and Miller are in a similar situation, Miller is a bit small though so he’d lose out for me.

    GIles Barnes gets touted a lot but I have seen nothing to suggest he is any good but when you have a poor team around you its hard to look good.

    Ridgewell and Stubbs are horrendous – none of the keepers are worth having, Taylor was good a couple of years back . Bikey tosses over the medical staff so is clearly insane.

    Very hard to take any 11 of these and form a team that would stay up – Shorey is about it plus the 3 aforementioned strikers. Zurate scored a few but a 4 game hot streak requires a better examination.

    Seb Larsson should be doing better than he is so maybe he’s just not that good and thats why Wenger let him go.

  9. Lonnie

    May 14, 2008 at 11:39 am

    Bywater’s played well at the Championship level for West Ham and Derby and I preferred him over Hahnemann largely because of age. He’s a quality keeper and I do not fault anyone for naming him in their preferred XI based on this exercise.

    Bywater’s inexperience at the top level is why I kept Maik Taylor around…a quality vet who could mentor the younger goalkeeper. I tried to approach this with the mindset that I was really asked to piece together a squad and thus went with players I would build a squad with.

    As for the mentions of McFadden — you do have a point in that he has shown flashes of brilliance for both club and country but he has not produced consistently at the club level. He had a terrible run with Everton and after a bit of a hot run after signing with Birmingham, he went cold again. I did think about adding him to my subs bench but opted for Kenny Miller instead who has only done marginally better.

  10. Darren

    May 14, 2008 at 11:19 am

    Only thing I would change is placing McFadden somewhere on that list, but unsure of who I would replace him with to be honest…

  11. Anonymous

    May 14, 2008 at 11:14 am

    Hunt was poor for the 2nd half of the season.

  12. Anonymous

    May 14, 2008 at 10:59 am

    GK Hunt
    RB Hunt
    LB Hunt
    CB Hunt
    CB Hunt
    RM Hunt
    LM Hunt
    CM Hunt
    CM Hunt
    CF Hunt
    CF Doyle

  13. Anonymous

    May 14, 2008 at 9:49 am

    GK Hahnemann
    RB Kelly
    LB Shorey
    CB Bikey
    CB Ingimarsson
    RM Larsson
    LM Barnes
    CM Matejovsky
    CM Kapo
    CF Doyle
    CF Forssell

  14. tampasoccer

    May 14, 2008 at 9:31 am

    Why si McFadden not on the list? He is still fairly young and a quality player.
    Ridgewell I wouldn’t have on my co-ed intramural team: what a misunderstanding he is…

  15. Anonymous

    May 14, 2008 at 9:28 am

    Lonnie, that is a million times better than The Gaffer’s team.

    Should have Hahnemann in goal though. Bywater is awful at the top level.

  16. Lonnie

    May 14, 2008 at 9:20 am

    It appears the premise The Gaffer has proposed is to form an 11-man squad out of the ruins that are Derby, Birmingham and Reading.

    As there are a dearth of quality centre-backs, I decided to really roll the dice and build a 3-4-3 formation:

    GK – Stephen Bywater
    LB – Nicky Shorey
    CB – Ívar Ingimarsson
    RB – Stephen Kelly
    MF- Marek Mat?jovský
    MF – Giles Barnes
    MF – James Harper
    MF – Seb Larsson
    FW – Kevin Doyle
    FW – Olivier Kapo
    FW- Cameron Jerome

    Subs (I name 7 as this team would get into UEFA Cup for sure….LOL) – Leroy Lita, Liam Rosenoir, Kenny Miller, James McEveley, Bobby Convey, Maik Taylor, David Jones

    I opted for younger players with that I thought have some promise. The exception are for my backup keeper and I did not count Zarate as he is on loan from another club. I only considered players that any of the three actually owned the contracts of.

    A fun premise….nice post Gaffer.

  17. Anonymous

    May 14, 2008 at 9:09 am

    Marek Matejovsky made a really positive impression at Reading.

  18. Anonymous

    May 14, 2008 at 9:07 am

    Why oh why did you pick Stubbs? There is absolutely no foundation for that at all!

    All three may have had poor defensive records but watching Stubbs was just painful.

    Bikey, Ingimarsson, Ridgewell, and even Jaidi would be better!

  19. True Blue

    May 14, 2008 at 8:49 am

    You’ve left out the best defender of the lot in Stephen Kelly at right back who has been outstanding all season and only been troubled once by Ashely Young in the home game vs Villa sadly.

  20. The Gaffer

    May 14, 2008 at 8:28 am


    It’s one thing to say that you would add so-and-so to the list, but who would you remove in his place to make the starting eleven?

    Trust me, coming up with quality defenders from Reading, Derby and Birmingham City wasn’t easy. Murty, Stubbs, Shorey and Ridgewell were four of the best I saw, which is a pretty sad reflection of those three teams really.

    The Gaffer

  21. BillE Shears

    May 14, 2008 at 8:20 am

    I would place Oliver Kapo within that group.

  22. steve

    May 14, 2008 at 8:06 am

    as a lifelong blues fan the ones I would willingly sell and who might find a buyer are Maik Taylor, Liam Ridgewell, Damian Johnson, Garry O’Connor

    Those who I would let go but who won’t find a prem buyer are Radhi Jaidi, Richard Kingson and Franck Quedrue

    Not sure about Fabrice Muamba, Stuart Parnaby and Cameron Jerome

    Please keep your hands off David Murphy, Stephen Kelly, Olivier Kapo, Seb Larsson, James McFadden and Mikel Forsell

  23. Anonymous

    May 14, 2008 at 8:02 am

    Stubbs and Ridgewell are absolutely ridiculous suggestions.

    Bikey from Reading is a considerably better player than both.


    May 14, 2008 at 7:51 am

    Cant believe that Stubbs & Ridgewell made that list but McFadden didnt!!

  25. ammo

    May 14, 2008 at 7:41 am

    ridgewell is rubbish 2bf he made his mistake of the week every week cost us the drop

  26. AML

    May 14, 2008 at 7:36 am

    Sorry to say Ridgewell only played because the other Birmingham central defenders were worse, Premiership snap him up (PLEASE)
    Long term bluenose

  27. Kevin O'Connor

    May 14, 2008 at 7:34 am

    Why not Stephen Kelly???

  28. Anonymous

    May 14, 2008 at 7:28 am

    Graeme Murty?

    Did you actually watch Reading trying to defend?

  29. TT

    May 14, 2008 at 7:28 am

    Stubbs is on his last legs.

  30. Anonymous

    May 14, 2008 at 7:24 am

    Liam Ridgewell??

    Did you actually watch Blues trying to defend?

  31. Anonymous

    May 14, 2008 at 7:01 am

    Alan Stubbs?

    Did you actually watch Derby trying to defend?

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