Skip to main content

Reading 0-0 Brighton

So, back from a game that the majority of people seemed to class as awful. I honestly didn't think it was that bad, and there's a lot of unnecessary doom and gloom around a club who tends to pick up after the start of the season. Especially seeing as in our first six games we've played three rivals for promotion and another who currently tops the league. Yes, maybe we should have won a couple of our earlier games - and there's no way we should have lost against Blackpool - but really it's the 6-0 cup defeat to Peterborough that's casting shadows, and our inability to sign the players promised by Adkins and Anton during the transfer window.

We have to put that to the back of our minds, and there's no better way to do that than with the first game since the window closed. With Pogrebnyak starting up front alongside Drenthe and Le Fondre in what appeared to be a 4-3-3, and our record of beating Brighton in our previous six meetings with The Seagulls there seemed almost no way that this strike-force could run dry. However Pavel's two yellow cards in the first half hour changed this altogether, especially alongside a booking to Reading's danger-man Drenthe. Luckily Brighton evened things up when Ulloa tried to Kung-Fu kick Pearce's head off. With two frontmen sent off it was perhaps destined that this game would end goalless. Adam Le Fondre, not renowned for his sole-striker role, didn't help but it was more normal to see him there than playing left back, where he committed a foul in the first five minutes.

Brighton had a huge host of chances, which the ever-in-form McCarthy managed to repel with the help of some poor shooting on the visitors part. Starting with a free header after a poor clearence from Pogrebnyak which flew wide of the post. A couple of volleys that went over the bar, combined with an incredible low near post save and a few dives at full stretch. It's a wonder how Reading's clean sheet stayed in tact, though it was also surprising that the Brighton defence remained resolute. Perhaps it was because after Pogrebnyak was sent off we still tried to send cross after cross into ALF in the box. Our best chance perhaps came from a Bridge run to the byline before rifling a cross into the near post which Le Fondre so almost got on the end of to touch past Kuszczak but the keeper got there first.

Reading did seem one-dimensional, pass wide to the wings - generally Bridge when he came on - and try to get a cross in to a man who's not tall enough to beat the defenders to the ball. Bridge, probably our best attacking threat, tended to put good balls into the box but Brighton would easily clear and break down the other end - where they looked like a much better threat. Guthrie's passing to the wings was excellent but every time he attempted to cross it hit the first man. Gunter also tended to slow the play down a lot, which stopped us from attacking as quickly as we could. When he did get forward with full force he almost created a goal wit a good cross from the right side.

The referee set a rather early precedent of booking almost every tackle, and the moment that happened we should have learnt to run past the man and make them tackle us, and with this in mind brought on McAnuff who loves to take his man on. He also tends to be the guy who looks to pick up the players when things are down and Morrison as captain just doesn't have that yet.

Do we need another striker? Yes, probably, if only to give more depth to the two recognised strikers we have - that will probably actually take part in the season. Pogrebnyak actually looked good in the half an hour he managed to play. A header and holding up the ball well on a couple of occasions. Alfie was innocuous, but then again he wasn't meant to be playing up front on his own. Blackman looked alright when he came on, also managing to hold the ball up well but he hasn't set the world alight in his first few games for us. There was a few times where the ball was in Brighton's box where we were too afraid to shoot or the ball never sat down for us. A striker with power and presence with an ability to head the ball would be invaluable if this is the way we choose to play.

All in all not a terrible point but really a game we fancied ourselves to win. Can somebody also tell me how there were 18,309 people within the ground?


Popular posts from this blog

Scout Report: Brentford

It almost feels superfluous to write about a Brentford team who have already been covered so extensively. Famed for their player recruitment the core of their side is a young, attack-minded group of players who seemingly love to play together. They tend to play 4-3-3, with Watkins as the main striker, and Benrahma and Mbeumo attempting to find space to either side of him. The midfield three is given stability by Christian Norgaard in the holding role, while Dasilva and Jensen are free to push on. Even goalkeeper David Raya Martin is crucial to the team's attacking intent. His quick distribution reminiscent of Marcus Hahnemann bowling out to Bobby Convey to set the winger away. That said defensively the Spaniard can occasionally be caught out, infamously allowing Ryan Tafazolli to pass the ball from the halfway line into the Brentford net. That's not the only mistake he's made this year - a missed punch condemned Brentford to a loss at Kenilworth Road, and similarly lead to

Reading FC Season Review | 2020/2021

When your season starts with your manager having to watch your opening match from the hotel because he's not been hired in time to beat the quarantine, anything above getting relegated should probably be classed as a success. And Reading exceeded surely even the most optimistic of pre-season predictions. Veljko Paunovic Veljko Paunovic almost exclusively utilised a core group of players in a 4-2-3-1, only changing things when enforced. One of the consequences of that is that Reading had more players play over 3,000 minutes than any other side (roughly three-quarters of the season). That consistency is often seen as a good thing, but in a condensed season, it surely contributed to the injury woes. It can't have helped that the manager also used the second-fewest number of players over the course of the season. His substitutions were often categorised as late (Reading's subs played just 16 minutes on average, only Norwich's played fewer) or non-existent (Reading were 19t

Starting the Year Renew

Ah, 2023. A new year. A time to take stock of what you have, and look forward to the twelve months ahead. The first thing on Paul Ince's plate is to renew Andy Carroll and Amadou Mbengue's contracts - something he's been very vocal about wanting to do. Mbengue is a difficult one. Yes, he is undoubtedly an exciting prospect but this is a club with six other senior centre backs. He'd be useful cover elsewhere, namely at right back, but Kelvin Abrefa has also showed some promise in that position in his, albeit small, cameos so far. Ince has already said his preferred back three is Yiadom, Holmes, and Sarr. Mbengue could be first-choice backup on the right side of that three, but given Yiadom is captain and played more minutes than anyone outside of Ince and Hendrick, realistically he won't get much of a look in. Likewise TMc is probably ahead of him for Sarr's spot. Shifting Moore and Dann in the summer still leaves him in the same position - and that's before