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Showing posts from 2016

Brentford 4-1 Reading

Back to Earth with a bit of a bump, a 4-1 loss to Brentford signalling the end of eight games unbeaten. Although disappointing, I'll definitely take more 4-1 losses if they sandwich runs of eight games without loss. To be honest, and this may sound ridiculous given the scoreline, I didn't think we played that much worse than against Huddersfield, but Brentford's parity in terms of numbers, combined with the ability to actually punish mistakes.
It didn't really start well when within thirty seconds Liam Moore had already punted the ball downfield, and Reading never really managed to get hold of it again in the first half, culminating in two late goals. The first was a fairly nice flowing Brentford move, where the home side's continual man over eventually paid dividends. However, Obita constantly let his man inside of him which gave the opportunity to begin with. He consistently tries to read the pass into the feet of the man on the outside, which allows the ball to…

Twenty-Sixteen - Seventeen

A somewhat interesting summer has seen a fair bit of change. McDermott replaced by Stam, the instrumental Norwood following the prodigal son in Tshibola out the door, and a not insignificant influx of talent under the guidance of the new boss and the sharply dressed Brian Tevreden.
And the new management structure is a good place to start. Reading Stam's and Tevreden's interviews there seems to be a fair bit of reason for optimism. By the sounds of it a great deal of the thinking behind Stam's appointment is his dedication to youth - and our transfer policy also reflects that. If we can take the DoF at his word then the reason to turn down signing Campi was because of our options within the academy. It's almost the actual dream. Not just that, we've been turning down signings based on the fact they don't fit the system. It's all very Barcelona.
With the departure of Norwood there's now a big chance for Liam Kelly in particular, who seems to be becoming…

The NEW Improved* EFL Trophy

Today, as well as the launch of the new kits, Reading's academy were drawn into EFL Trophy Southern Group A alongside Bristol Rovers, Portsmouth, and Yeovil. With away trips to Fratton Park and the Memorial Ground there's certainly incentive for our fans, but I'm still against academy sides entering the competition.
For one, part of this seems to have been set up for the Premier League sides but the likes of Arsenal, the Manchester clubs, and Liverpool are conspicuous in their absence; the addition of Championship clubs seems to be in response to this snub. The emphasis on academies playing one team at the club's 'actual' stadium was surely so some sides get the chance to play at Old Trafford, Anfield, and The Emirates. So while Oxford get the chance to play at Stamford Bridge and Northampton will visit the Olympic Stadium others will end up with a trip to The Hawthorns, The AMEX, and Carrow Road which is less glamorous.
I'm not entirely sure what side teams …

Exit Through the Gift Shop

There's been upheaval at Reading in recent years, and this summer is no different, with even the Bosnian Messi leaving the club. However, more seriously, there's a few first teamers that won't be here come August as well.
Hal Robson-Kanu is having an absolute whale of a time on international duty with his country. The fella now has - allegedly - multiple offers from the Premier League. However at the club the guy has been phoning it in since our relegation, after arguably being our best player in the top division. I decided to check out his stats, and wasn't surprised at what I found. "Player has no significant strengths" really does sum it up. He does, however, show up in the big games, so it's possible that a step up would actually get the best out of him. I was sad about losing him until he said running down his contract was the best decision of his life - at which point it's time to say goodbye and hope he fails at his next club.

Hal Robson-Kanu #…

This is the Worst Season of Football Since 2014/15 a.k.a. It's the Hope that Kills You

I think the worst bit about a final minute loss to 'boro is the absolute inevitability of the situation. Vydra misses a chance to put Reading into the lead, Williams loses his head, and Reading concede an absolutely shambolic goal that almost makes last season's Brentford debacle look like competent defending.
You only have to look at the reverse fixture to see how far Reading have fallen - a commanding 2-0 victory that cemented third place in the table. That fixture was the last before the first international break, which arguably proved the turning point in this season. Reading then scraped past Charlton before surrendering a two goal advantage in four minutes away at Craven Cottage and from there it's been a truly dire six months. Before that game Reading had won 6 games, and sat second in the table, in the subsequent 30 games there have been only seven more wins. How did it go so wrong?
Despite how it felt in September most pre-season signings have proved to be catros…

FA Cup: Reading 0-2 Crystal Palace

Heartbreak. Absolute heartbreak. After eighty-five minutes Cooper reaches across Bolasie, and the Crystal Palace man takes a tumble inside the box. After a couple of seconds Mike Dean points at the spot. Cabaye converts, even with Al-Habsi managing to get a hand to it and Palace proceed to Wembley. At the ground I thought it was a penalty, from replays it's the definition of soft. After Benteke's tumble last weekend Palace may feel like things have been set right, but from Reading's point of view it was just the solidification of how awful a game Dean had.

Palace were the better team, and really should have been out of sight, but a string of excellent Al-Hasbi saves, alongside some goalline clearances, and Palace's profligacy generally - in total they had twenty-three shots - kept the home side in it. In fact if Ola John had kept his composure when Hennessey flapped at the ball and it fell to the Dutchman, then The Royals could have gone one-nil up. Instead he shot wid…

Reading 0-0 Burnley

Reading fans have now gone two games without seeing a goal after this weekend's game against Burnley ended in a second consecutive goalless draw. At least this time there was some excitement.
In truth Burnley should have been out sight, but Andre Gray had an absolutely shocking game. In the third minute the division top scorer nipped in front of Cooper, but skied it from six yards. Around the hour mark he tumbled (read: dived) over the leg of Al-Habsi to win a penalty. After a fair bit of a kerfuffle, in which Reading showed passion that's been lacking for much of the season, Gray's shot was well saved. Potentially Hal scuffing up the penalty spot wasn't the greatest show of sportsmanship ever, and Al-Habsi may have been off his line before the ball was struck but all of that is consigned to irrelevance. Seconds later the Burnley striker somehow knocked the ball wide from the centre of the goal, five yards out. It is somewhat telling that the only change Sean Dyche ma…

Nick Blackman

I don't think I've ever been as heartbroken about a player leaving as Nick Blackman. Sure, we've sold key players before - Gylfi, Shane, Kevin to name but three - but those players have, on the whole, moved out of the division and progressed their careers rather than go to serial-bottlers Derby. To make things worse, Blackman will make his league debut for Derby against us assuming he plays.
Perhaps my disappointment stems from the fact that I can, rather smugly, say "I was right." Almost nobody had faith after his, admittedly poor, first couple of seasons but I stayed resolute. I am firmly of the opinion that, had he been managed better, he would have shown this sort of form far earlier in his Reading career. @TheTilehurstEnd@WilliamOwain if Blackman fulfils his potential he'll blow Kebe out the water, & HRK can be solid. Still, atm Id take Kebe! — Matthew Williamson (@Photomattic) June 24, 2015
You should see a couple of the replies to that particular t…

06/01/16

Three wins in the last fourteen games would suggest that Reading aren't playing at their best, and Steve Clarke paid the price after a lacklustre 1-0 defeat to Queen's Park Rangers. Brian McDermott came in, and has had a less than perfect start. A Danny Williams screamer beat Blackburn, and scraping past Bristol City bookended defeats to Wolves and Brentford.
This, somehow, comes from a team that has a rather respectable record against the top 6:

P 6 W 3 D 1 L 2 F 11 A 6 GD +5
Bearing in mind that both defeats saw The Royals finish with fewer men than they started the matches with. That is quite remarkable, and it backs up my belief that this team should be easily good enough to finish within the play-off positions, if not better. However, at the moment, the team is clearly not living up to its potential. Why?
Michael Hector
Our Chelsea loanee has the worst footballing brain I've ever had the displeasure of seeing in a footballer. Constantly losing his head and attempting t…