Skip to main content

Reading 3-2 Wigan

Reading showed three moments of quality to overcome a combative Wigan side.

Wigan's first goal comes down to a lack of midfield presence. Ejaria gets pushed off the ball, Yiadom dives in, and all of a sudden Wigan overload the box. Powell's finish trickles in, but was perfectly placed inside the corner. I did think there was a foul on Blackett with no real advantage, his foot seemed to get trodden on. That being said he didn't really break a sweat getting back, which is also an issue for Wigan Goal #2. If we're being super critical Moore probably gets himself a little too deep - actually ending up right in front of Martinez - and Baker should probably be tracking Powell's run. At the end of the day, we were in a bad position from the moment we lost the ball.

The first piece of real (Royal?) quality came with John Swift standing over the ball in first half stoppage time. In the programme versus Rotherham there was a fairly lengthy piece that touched on his dead ball technique and it was nice to see that work is paying off. The keeper seems to be far too close to his near post, and takes another step when the ball's struck, and then can't get back across. It's a beautiful goal though.

Playing out from the back is always a fairly risky strategy. On the most part the quality of our five January loanees has meant that we've been fine, however on Saturday one of Martinez's attempted bowl outs was intercepted. Blackett was again out of position (not his fault) with no sense of urgency to get back (probably his fault). A scramble in the box somehow ended with a mishit overhead kick finding an unmarked Joe Garner at the back post. Queue an all too familiar feeling of disappointment.

It must be said that Martinez redeemed himself later on. A ball in behind Blackett was pulled across the six yard box, but somehow the goalie managed to get himself in front of Powell's redirection. It was like having Al-Habsi back. One mistake, five huge saves.

Mo Barrow has played 122 minutes in the last two matches and has been dreadful for 120 of them, but if he keeps popping up with vital goals then I will absolutely accept him being a liability. I did not even know that he could strike a ball that well. He managed to find a pocket of space, take a terrible first touch, and still strike from twenty-five yards right into the bottom corner. I know Paul Cook was frustrated at the fact that Baker stole the ball before it got back to the keeper, but it was a drop ball. Once it bounces it's in play, and he was perfectly entitled to go for it. Particularly as Wigan were clearly trying to slow the ball down, again. I've seen Reading concede a goal while a substitution was still being made, so I feel like we deserve this.

Yakou Meite's winner is the reason I go to watch football. I believe it to be the definition of 'scenes'. A beautiful ball in from Harriott found Meite unmarked to head home. The reason he was unmarked - a fairly obvious foul on Jonas Olsson  - is incidental. It's encouraging to see a good ball into the box; it's been so long since we've had a decent corner taker. I don't think it's the defender's fault they only have three goals between them.

One thing I can agree with Paul Cook about is the standard of officiating was dreadful. Blackett was fouled for the first Wigan goal, the freekick for Reading's first goal was soft, and to complete the full circle, Olsson was bundled over for the last goal of the game. The referee failed to put his stamp on the game, and let Wigan waste as much time as they wanted. When the whistle went you could bet there was a yellow shirt to kick the ball away.

I fully expect for Leeds to batter us, because in the last two games we haven't played well despite picking up results. I'm not sure what Gomes can really do tonight but we need to find a holding midfielder who can actually break up play, otherwise we'll be in real trouble. However, I am more confident that we can pick something up away at Stoke which is a nice feeling.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Scout Report: Brentford

It almost feels superfluous to write about a Brentford team who have already been covered so extensively. Famed for their player recruitment the core of their side is a young, attack-minded group of players who seemingly love to play together. They tend to play 4-3-3, with Watkins as the main striker, and Benrahma and Mbeumo attempting to find space to either side of him. The midfield three is given stability by Christian Norgaard in the holding role, while Dasilva and Jensen are free to push on. Even goalkeeper David Raya Martin is crucial to the team's attacking intent. His quick distribution reminiscent of Marcus Hahnemann bowling out to Bobby Convey to set the winger away. That said defensively the Spaniard can occasionally be caught out, infamously allowing Ryan Tafazolli to pass the ball from the halfway line into the Brentford net. That's not the only mistake he's made this year - a missed punch condemned Brentford to a loss at Kenilworth Road, and similarly lead to

Reading FC Season Review | 2020/2021

When your season starts with your manager having to watch your opening match from the hotel because he's not been hired in time to beat the quarantine, anything above getting relegated should probably be classed as a success. And Reading exceeded surely even the most optimistic of pre-season predictions. Veljko Paunovic Veljko Paunovic almost exclusively utilised a core group of players in a 4-2-3-1, only changing things when enforced. One of the consequences of that is that Reading had more players play over 3,000 minutes than any other side (roughly three-quarters of the season). That consistency is often seen as a good thing, but in a condensed season, it surely contributed to the injury woes. It can't have helped that the manager also used the second-fewest number of players over the course of the season. His substitutions were often categorised as late (Reading's subs played just 16 minutes on average, only Norwich's played fewer) or non-existent (Reading were 19t

Starting the Year Renew

Ah, 2023. A new year. A time to take stock of what you have, and look forward to the twelve months ahead. The first thing on Paul Ince's plate is to renew Andy Carroll and Amadou Mbengue's contracts - something he's been very vocal about wanting to do. Mbengue is a difficult one. Yes, he is undoubtedly an exciting prospect but this is a club with six other senior centre backs. He'd be useful cover elsewhere, namely at right back, but Kelvin Abrefa has also showed some promise in that position in his, albeit small, cameos so far. Ince has already said his preferred back three is Yiadom, Holmes, and Sarr. Mbengue could be first-choice backup on the right side of that three, but given Yiadom is captain and played more minutes than anyone outside of Ince and Hendrick, realistically he won't get much of a look in. Likewise TMc is probably ahead of him for Sarr's spot. Shifting Moore and Dann in the summer still leaves him in the same position - and that's before