Skip to main content

Blackpool [Preview]

[Hopeful] Prediction: 2-1

Reading are not on a good run, that's obvious to everyone. Winless in 6 with only four goals to show for it, and goalless in four of the games. Pressure is quite clearly on, with the early season done and dusted it's placed Reading 17th in a league that many fans would have expected to do better in, irrespective of injuries. Some selections have been peculiar, especially away at Brentford, but there's also been good teams - Derby, Bournemouth, and Sheffield Wednesday will all be pushing for, at least, the play-offs this year.

That's why the next three fixtures are crucial. A broken Blackpool travel to the Madejski in a game that should be a simple win for The Royals, but stranger things have happened. 1 away win in 22, The Tangerines were utterly dominated in a 5-1 thrashing in January that saw Adam Le Fondre bag his second hat-trick in as many home games. However the 'Opposition View' on The Tilehurst End seems to think that Pogrebnyak and Murray are built to be stopped by the visitors' defence, which is where Mackie, Cox, and - praying Adkins plays him - Blackman are all crucial. On a happier note the same article mentions their frailties in midfield, which is where Reading can often be overrun. Hopefully it'll give us a bit more time on the ball and allow Norwood to pick the passes he won player of the month for. That said, if defensive lapses continue happening then literally anything could happen. The defending has been comical, and Pearce needs to step up and lead the line even with Gunter as captain - that Morrison deal is looking less and less like good business.

After Blackpool we obviously have Blackburn (A) and Rotherham (H). The former is always a tricky place to go, and a battling point may help to turn around a slide down the table, with the latter being a game we should be winning - it's never nice to lose to promoted sides. It's slightly too early to call for Adkins' head yet - being only 9 points off the top of the table even sitting so far down it - and with players allegedly coming back in the next couple of weeks now is the perfect time to pick up some results and change the direction of the current.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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…

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…

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 …