After 10 consecutive seasons battling in England's second tier, the post-Premier League era has come to an end with relegation to League One.

Reaping just three top-half finishes and five bottom four finishes, it has been a slow decline from the heady days of Brian McDermott- with small blips from Nigel Adkins, Steve Clarke and Jaap Stam in between.

To mark the end of the era, we have decided to try and create a best XI of players to have worn the blue and white hoops- with another substitute for each position.

Let us know if you agree in the comments, or who we're missing.



A controversial choice straight off the bat, Al-Habsi and Emi Martinez are the two go-to options.

Despite Martinez being perhaps the best loan signing the club have EVER made, the World Cup winner played just 18 times for the club.

Al-Habsi, already vastly experienced with the likes of Wigan Athletic and Bolton Wanderers, took a few months to get himself going but was vital in his two seasons with the club.

Winning Player of the Season in both of his campaigns with the club, the Oman stopper single-handedly won games under Stam.

Honourable Mention: Alex McCarthy


Defending has not been Reading's forte since returning to the second tier, conceding more than 60 goals in six of the 10 seasons.

Right-back is a challenging option, as there are only really two to select from.

Chris Gunter gets the nod ahead of current captain Andy Yiadom, purely for the longevity of his Royals career. He came in for some stick throughout but the Welshman never let the club down in his eight-year stint.

Plenty of central defenders have lined up for the club since 2013, including some who's best days were before the cut-off.

For instance, Alex Pearce and Kaspars Gorkss are fan favourites in RG2, but both had better days before relegation than since.

Paul McShane led the club expertly for three seasons, minus the Stevenage spat, and earns his place alongside Pearce.

Despite only featuring in 2013/14 and 2014/15, the Academy graduate was captain for the 2015 FA Cup semi-final and hardly missed a minute under Adkins or Clarke.

Originally not a left-back, Jordan Obita was a fan favourite from emerging as an Academy graduate to his 2020 departure.

Making almost 200 appearances and winning the Player of the Season in 2014, injuries cut his Royals career short. 

Reading's loss was Wycombe Wanderers' gain, where he was flourished since his move.

Honourable Mention: Andy Yiadom


Similar to Gunter, Garath McCleary is a player who is synonomous with the club's decade in the Championship.

Making over 250 appearances in eight years, the Jamaican was crucial- particularly in his first few years.

Perhaps at the club for too long, with supporters growing frustrated with the winger toward the end, he provided plenty of 'off the seat' moments in Berkshire.

Maybe cheating, Michael Olise will play off the other wing in our team. 

Possibly the most talented player to ever appear for the club, the 21-year-old lit up the Championship during the Covid season under Veljko Paunovic.

Winning the EFL Young Player of the Year award for 2021/22, Crystal Palace snapped him up for £8m and he is now being linked as Lionel Messi's replacement at PSG.

The middle of the park will have plenty of creativity, guile and bite with a pairing of Danny Williams and John Swift pulling the strings.

Both stars in Stam's promotion near-miss, Williams had already contributed in the three years before while Swift went on to become the heartbeat of the Royals squad for another five.

Neither have been adequately replaced since their exits, sending the side on a fast-trck to League One.

Honourable Mention: Andy Rinomhota


Despite interim-manager Noel Hunt accusing Lucas Joao of lacking commitment to the club, nobody can deny that he is one of the best finishers the club has owned this decade.

41 goals in four years, including a 20+ season in 2020/21, when the Angolan is intereted there are rarely any better.

From the silky smooth to the rough and tumble, Yann Kermorgant fired Reading into promotion contention in 2016/17 with his best individual campaign of 19 goals.

In the twilight of his career with the club, Kermorgant was approaching 37 by the time he called time on his Reading career.

Honourable Mention: Yakou Meite