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Showing posts from August, 2018

Blackburn 2-2 Reading

Jesus.

Look - I would have taken a battling 2-2 before the game. I would have taken any point before the game to lift off us level points with Q.P.R.. But to give away two penalties to throw the game away is unforgivable.

As always recently, it could have been worse. Blackburn squandered numerous chances in the first half to punish defensive lapses. Instead hitting the bar on one occasion, and almost cushioning the ball back to Mannone on another.

At the other end things started, for once, brightly. Three goals in three Championship starts for the Iceman, capitalising on a loose ball behind the defence to finish well for his first before he followed up on Meite's cross for goal two. Worth mentioning that Tyler Blackett - who's been quietly going about his business so far this season - put in a very good cross for the second.

In the second half Blackburn switched to match us up and, as we have often seen under Clement, Reading lacked an out ball. Baldock seems to have struggled…

Reading 0-1 Bolton

There is a chance that when the season ends, and Bolton have been promoted, that this result won't look so bad. However, given that we are only four games since they narrowly avoided relegation, and in that time their players have been on strike I'm going to count it as A Bad Loss.

With no fit wingers it was always going to be a challenge to guess the side. John Swift ended up on the left wing, with Meite being fit enough to take part on the opposite flank. Presumably the thinking was that against two big centre backs the pace and skill of Baldock and McNulty should have trumped Bodvarsson.

Clement likes his wing players to drift inside and contribute in the centre of the pitch too, which I presume was why he felt comfortable putting Swift out wide, but the problem was that he was dragged into the middle too easily. You need to pull them out wide so that you can then exploit the space in the middle - space that never materialises when all your attacks go through one area go be…

Reading 2-0 Birmingham

The Carabao Cup became a squad competition a fair while ago, so it was refreshing to see Reading field such a strong team. All the starting changes - Bacuna, Swift, Moore, and McNulty - could hardly be said to weaken the team. Conversely Gary Monk could clearly more, deciding to mix his team up and leave key players on the bench.

Birmingham were never going to have as much of the ball as the two sides we've already played this season - which meant that Reading didn't have to press as high, and we ended up controlling the ball for the opening 25 minutes. Bacuna continuously overhit his attempts to play the ball in behind, but McNulty managed to play a sumptuous ball for Meite to drive home from 18 yards past last season's Sunderland 'favourite' Lee Camp. I think the goalie should have done something to put pressure on 21, rather than staying on his six-yard line and letting him pick his spot.

When Barrow went off midway through the first half it seemed to disru…

Nottingham Forest 1-0 Reading

Starting with two ties against promotion chasing sides was never going to be the ideal way to kick off the season, but once again Reading largely held their own in a tight encounter - only to be edged out late on.

Again, The Royals probably had the better of the early exchanges in a somewhat surprising, not-seen in yonks 4-4-2 formation. Firm twitter favourite Yakou Meite finally getting a start on the right wing, while Sam 'The Saviour' Baldock played off Bodvarsson. The set-up worked much like against Derby, with a high press harrying Forest who never really settled. The only real issue was that the ball kept bouncing off our Icelandic giant.

Both wingers seemed to have the freedom to drift inside, and linked up in the middle of the pitch for Reading's best chance of the game - Barrow sliding in Meite, who was put under pressure as he shot and didn't manage to get any real power. Similar in style to Bodvarsson's miss last week, although this was in an even better…

Reading 1-2 Derby

All day I was dreaming of stopping Frank Lampard's Derby from getting off to a winning start, but alas it wasn't to be.

We started off surprisingly well - pressing Derby high and winning the ball back from their defence multiple times before racing through on goal. Had Bodvarsson managed to find Swift when he was through it would have been harder to miss; or when Barrow put in the best ball I've seen him produce Swift was, again, within a whisker of getting on the end of it.

Even Aluko had his moments; seemingly given a little bit more freedom to cut inside. With the impressive Andy Yiadom overlapping we still had the width on that side that potentially would have been lost had Gunter been in the side.

The other new addition to start, David Meyler, really showed what we'd been missing last season. Someone who, calmly, breaks play up and lays it off. As much as I loved JVDB his persistent fouling always put us on the back foot. I saw someone from Hull saying he had a k…