Skip to main content

Reading 0-3 Leeds

After weeks of every game being the biggest of the season so far it was almost relaxing to go into a match we never had a chance of winning. Leeds were comfortable victors, without really breaking a sweat.

What was a little annoying is that all the goals in the first half were so avoidable. Mo Barrow tracks Luke Ayling's run well before slipping, allowing the Leeds player to easily pull the ball back to the penalty spot for an simple finish. Goal two sees Pablo Hernandez surrounded by at least four Reading players, but still somehow in a few yards of space. His quick turn and shot hits the woodwork, before dribbling along the line and in. A good finish but he shouldn't have been allowed the time. Similarly for the final goal of the game Blackett stands off Hernandez - who had already shown his talent - before a little shift to the right allows the Leeds' player the angle he needs to pick out the far corner.

Strangely I didn't think Reading played badly in the first half. Indeed there were a few passages of play where they actually defended very well. It was a tad frustrating to watch, because it's more about cutting off the passes than pressing, but they were patient and allowed Leeds to make the mistake. It also wasn't all one way traffic, they did have a chance or two - Yiadom shooting from a tight angle (from the left!?) after a nice move being the best.

The second half was a bit of a non-event. In many ways it was similar to the first, with the only change being that Leeds couldn't take the chances that fell to them. Yiadom again popped up with another opportunity - this time a header after a nice ball in from Blackett. Harriott kept up his promising cameo performances, and even 17-year-old Michael Olise (born 2001) looked composed on the ball.

The problems were much the same as other weeks. If there were a natural anchorman there may not have been so much space for Hernandez, or the quick Leeds breaks may have been stifled. Ryan East and Lewis Baker actually had good games in the middle of the park, but they're both naturally looking to get to the other end of the pitch.

With Rotherham and Millwall both winning on Wednesday night there's pressure, again, to pick up a result away at Stoke on Saturday. They themselves aren't picking up wins and, should the teams below them keep picking up results, are in danger of being pulled into a relegation battle. Plus an affiliation to Luton has been passed down to me, and it would be nice to hamper Nathan Jones' plans.


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. The 3-6-1. Swift and Laurent are allowed to go forward but are usually content with being behind the play. 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 positio

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

Replacing Omar Richards

In the summer team report I wrote: "we  really  don't want to be going into 2021/2022 without any LBs so a new contract for Omar has to be on the agenda early". And yet, that seems to be exactly what's happening with Richards set to depart for pastures new. Whether he goes to Bayern Munich or not, bigger clubs are circling. There's a couple of options internally, and the club are also looking elsewhere. Ethan Bristow The youngster has been the go-to left-back for cup matches and tends to start for the U23s. He's been brought onto the bench since Richards' injury, but has found himself behind Gibson and McIntyre in the pecking order. Bristow's little run inside drags the right-back narrow, and gives Aluko space to attack He has good vision to spot a pass, and often plays them first time to not allow the defence to put him under pressure. That's normally followed by an intelligent run, and not always to get the ball - sometimes he simply pulls a defe