Last updated : 21 September 2002 By Rob Cooper

Nicky Shorey
Shorey: Dropped
Martin Butler, Nicky Shorey and Phil Whitehead all found themselves dropped from the matchday squad for Wednesday's visit from Norwich on the back of two defeats.

None of the players in question seem to have been underperforming in recent weeks so why should they be dropped?

If they were dropped for footballing reasons then why didn't John Salako, a player who has been putting in mediocre displays in recent weeks also suffer the chop.

Pardew himself stated that Butler and Shorey hadn't been dropped, merely rested.

However, the club have not yet played ten matches this season so why would there be any reason for anyone to be rested - especially for Norwich City - one of the best sides in the league.

According to reports the real reason they were missing from Wednesday's team sheet is because ther has been a bust-up in the Reading camp.

The team have performed well below their best in recent matches, losing against Cambridge, Wimbledon and Norwich.

Martin Butler
Butler: Also dropped
Butler has a bit of a history with Alan Pardew, a year ago a fight between him and Pards allegedly erupted in the dressing-room half-way through the Royals disappointing defeat at Bournemouth.

At the time an angry Pardew reportedly threatened to transfer-list his star striker.

It would be no surpirse if the pair have clashed again, hence the reason for Butler's no-show on Wednesday.

Phil Whitehead's absense was no real surprise - the want-away goalkeeper has publically criticised Alan Pardew in recent weeks, I wouldn't be surprised to learn that he was involved in the alleged showdown between Pardew and Butler.

It seems strange also that Nicky Shorey should be dropped for the visit of Norwich. Just a week ago Pards was saying that his young left-back should be called up to David Platt's England under 21 squad.

For him to be dropped from the team altogether just a week later Shorey must have had a quite spectacular fall from grace.

As if to add fuel to what appears to be a raging fire Assistant Boss Kevin Dillon accused Wolves players of being unprofessional for publically criticisng their manager's tactics.

Speaking to readingfc.co.uk Dillon said: "There's a bit of unrest in their squad. The captain coming out and saying he's not happy with the formation is totally out of order. I think the players should just play the game - that's what their paid for.

"They shouldn't be into formations. If the manager asks you top play slightly out of position then you get on with it because as soon as you're on the pitch it's up to you."

Reading fans have already been suggesting that maybe by criticising the Wolves players he is, without the public knowing, having a go at the players in the Royals squad who have been unhappy in recent days.

Martin Allen
Did the wrong man lose his job?
Looking at the last three matches and some of the players that have been dropped it seems quite unplausible that there is unrest in the Reading camp.

I leave you with one final thought. A year ago extremely reliable sources talked of similar unrest in the Reading camp as the team went through a disastourous spell on the period, culminating with the sacking of Martin Allen.

When Allen, an extremely popular guy amongst the Reading faithful, departed many said the wrong guy had lost his job. Are Alan Pardew's days at the club numbered?