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Reading next manager odds

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Reading next manager after José Manuel Gomes

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Reading manager José Manuel Gomes was born in Matosinhos, Portugal in 1970. A rarity for a manager, Gomes did not have a career as a player. Instead, he focused on the management and coaching aspects of the game for the entirety of his working life within the sport. At the age of 48, Gomes has enjoyed a remarkably well-travelled career. The Portuguese has taken charge of clubs predominantly in his native country, but also in Spain, Greece, the Middle East and, now, England. In total, Gomes has overseen projects at a staggering 18 individual clubs in a 23-year career.

When Gomes was still relatively young, he got his first coaching job. He initially worked with youth teams, taking charge of several of Clube Futebol de Valadares's age brackets. Valadares occupy the lower leagues in Portugal; despite their humble reputation however, Gomes was able to use the job as a springboard towards the next step. His considerable coaching talents were recognised and he was able to manufacture a move to a bigger club, F.C Pacos de Ferreria where he stayed for a season, working in the assistant manager role. The Pacos de Ferreira job was a huge step up for Gomes, but he showed no signs of it being beyond his capabilities.

The following season, 1997/98, Gomes switched his coaching allegiances to S.C. Covilha, where again he would work as assistant manager. Once more he would stay for a single season before deciding to take a job elsewhere. This time, Gomes chose to take a less visible position as a smaller cog in a bigger coaching machine; he worked as a fitness coach for a number of years with Gil Vicente FC, Pacos and, most impressively, with S.L. Benfica, one of the biggest clubs in Portugal.

After half a decade as a fitness coach, Gomes decided to re-pursue a career as a manager. Prior to the start of the 2003/04 season, Gomes would be approached by Pacos, the club where he had spent a number of years with previously, regarding the side's managerial vacancy. Gomes accepted the offer. Pacos at the time were in a dire situation, consistently battling relegation from the Primera Liga, Gomes was hired with the hope that he could bring some stability to the club. Unfortunately, he was unable to do so - Gomes took charge of just eight games, seven of which he lost. This was a torrid record which the Pacos hierarchy was unwilling to forgive, Gomes was relieved from his duties soon after. Gomes will perhaps see the fact that Pacos were subsequently relegated under different management as validation that the job was something of a poisoned chalice.

This poor showing with Pacos would be the start of some of the most disappointing of Gomes's career; he took charge of a number of second-tier clubs but was unsuccessful with each of them - he failed to last longer than a single season at any. Seeking an opportunity to revitalise his career, Gomes linked up with Jesualdo Ferreira at F.C Porto. Porto, like Benfica where Gomes had previously been, were and are one of the biggest clubs in the country. With Ferreira, Gomes would establish a strong working relationship - the pair co-operated for a number of years as a manager-assistant-manager pairing. Gomes would take his first steps out of his homeland as Ferreira's assistant as they headed to neighbouring Spain with Malaga. Then they would head to Greece where they would accept the challenge of overseeing another high-profile club: Panathinaikos.

After two seasons in Greece, Gomes would step out of Ferreira's shadow and restart his career as a manager. He moved to Hungary where he would have a strong season with Videoton before deciding to take a more lucrative position in Saudi Arabia. He would spend four years in the Middle East, taking charge of four separate clubs in this time period. During this time, Gomes won the only major honour of his managerial career thus far: the Saudi Super Cup with Al-Ahli.

Perhaps feeling somewhat homesick, Gomes decided to cut short his time in Asia in favour of a return to Portugal. He took work with Primera Liga side Rio Ave, this was his first job in the country for nearly a decade. Again, his time at the club would prove short, he stayed for less than a year before deciding to take another job.

Gomes now is the current managerial incumbent at Reading, having been approached by the Royals halfway through last season. While they were able to escape the drop under his stewardship, they were relatively unconvincing, the fan base will be hoping for more in the 2019/20 season.


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