Skip to main content

Reading 7-1 Matt Mills' Bolton

A first half hat-trick sealed the points well within the first 45 minutes for a Reading side who may be starting to click. Nigel Adkins fielded an unchanged side from the one who (somewhat fortuitously) beat Watford last weekend, with Danny Guthrie and HRK still sidelined through injury.

It took 12 minutes before ALF rifled a shot past stand-in keeper Andrew Lonergan, and then again on the 28 minute mark. Within 33 he'd completed his hat-trick. McCleary dispossessed last man Tim Ream, and after bearing down on the keeper squared the ball to Le Fondre for his hat-trick. If you've ever played FIFA it was pretty much exactly how you'd score on the world's leading football video game. It was 4-0 before half-time when Alex Baptiste was adjudged to have handled inside the area (it was very fine margins) and Our Saviour converted from the penalty spot, expertly stroking the ball beyond the fingertips of Lonergan and into the bottom right corner of the net.

The second half started much where the first left off. Gorkss eventually scrambling home a corner, after Alex Pearce (yes) managed to beat a couple of players and put the ball back into the box. Hope Akpan thundered home another scramble in the box to make it 6 - one of the scruffiest goals you'll see. Finally Blackman broke away and just managed to lob the keeper to make it 7. Bolton managed to pull one back to ironic cheers before Lonergan finally made a save from a 30 yard bullet from Danny Williams.

It's fair to say that this is the best performance in a long time. Whether ALF was playing to put himself in the shop window, or just to make a case for starting games it doesn't really matter and he was easily the best player on the pitch by a country mile. The first hat-trick by a man in a Reading shirt since Kevin Doyle in 2008. Danny Williams and Hope Akpan absolutely bossed the midfield and drove everything. Williams was instrumental and it'd be hard to overstate how well he played. Every single player in blue played to their full potential and this is just a taste of what could happen if we manage to properly click and play like this every match.

Once again Jordan Obita was magnificent down the left. Going forward he tore Bolton apart and defensively he did his job well. He and McAnuff look like they could link up well down that left flank, and with McCleary and Gunter already firmly established on the other we could start playing like we did under Coppell again. Especially without Danny Guthrie continuously killing the tempo in the middle - I'm not sure how he's going to feature when he's back from injury if we manage to play like this every match (which we won't, but it's nice to think about)

That said Bolton were absolutely dire. There was no way they should've allowed any of those second half goals and a couple in the first 45 really should have been harder. Plus the penalty was debatable at best. Reading played well but it's easy to get carried away off the back of a result like this. As my Dad said, "I'd rather we won 7 games 1-0." - just a little before Bolton actually decided to try. Watford last week we were lucky, they had a huge number of opportunities and should've won the game comfortably, this week we completely dominated and gave a solid 90 minutes - but that's the first 90 minute game we've had this season. Hopefully we can build on this, and away at Ipswich - only 5 points below us - would definitely be a good start.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Reading 0-3 Wigan

Where do you start after an absolute drubbing?

Probably at the root problem, and that was Mark Bowen's tactics. Now, I have no particular issues with 4-4-2 as a system, but I think it's a horrible formation for our collection of players. The 4-1-4-1 works because the two unconvential wide men push up and in toward the striker to form an offensive three (in some way). In a 4-4-2 they have to act as more legitimate wingers, because the two up front are operating in the advanced space. So the decision to play Ejaria - not a particularly quick or direct player - on one wing, with Araruna - someone who has never been in position - is just terrible decision making. It, yet again, screams of Bowen's basic decision process. More attacking = no DM, more strikers.

Please don't get me started on the comment that everyone should know how to play it. You still have to pick the right players.


Not only that, but Wigan were able to play through the lines too easily. With Morsy, Willia…

Bowen's Brand New Box

The first game of pre-season is done, and wasn't it an interesting one? Mark Bowen previewed a brand new 3-6-1, with more central midfielders than anybody could have dreamt of. As theorized we played a back-three and wing-backs. The midfield, however, had that unexpected additional body, meaning that Joao played as a lone striker.Consistency is a much sought after commodity in football, so I suppose it can be classed as a positive that there's only a single new recruit in the squad. Laurent's role as one of the deeper midfielders was slightly surprising, because everything from his stint at Shrewsbury implied that he's a similar, but more offensive player than Rinomhota. Swift takes the majority of the ball, so he's not expected to be the main playmaker, but he was comfortable in possession and picks the right pass when needed. Plus his pressing, and positional play were encouraging.Morrison played in the centre of defensive trio. When he was in possession McIntyre…

A Potted History of Veljko Paunović

Veljko Paunović is Reading manager. The Serbian is a relative unknown here, but after leading his home nation to the U20 World Cup he put his name on the proverbial map. That lead to taking over at MLS side Chicago Fire in 2015, where he stayed for four years before being fired with one of the worst ever MLS records. For the past year, he's been unemployed.Serbia's victory at the U20 World Cup in New Zealand was a surprise. 2015 remains the only tournament that Serbia has qualified for since the dissolution of Yugoslavia. The tournament opened with a loss to Uruguay, a game in which they played a 3-6-1. For the subsequent group games they switched to a 4-2-3-1 or alternated to a 4-1-4-1; both Mali and Mexico were dispatched 2-0.They kept the same set-up for the knock-out phase, but were never as convincing, needing extra time in every round. An injury-time equaliser against Hungary combined with an own goal in the round of 16, penalties were required to see off The USA in the …