Skip to main content

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 be played inside. The second was dreadful, with two men around the man on the ball somehow allowing him to still slip it through to an unmarked Vibe to poke home.

All three goals in the second half I was somewhat unsighted for - terraces have their downsides. It seemed to me that people crept in behind the defence far too easily, far too often. I was totally unsighted for the penalty award, but Yann at least put it away well.

We did have more chances, hitting the woodwork a couple of times, but ultimately we seemed toothless. One of the main issues is that our centre backs trying to play long cross-field balls when they weren't working in the slightest. In fact, their pass map is fairly telling. Lots of green around the back, but the longer attempts all show red.


There's some cause for optimism that the two sitting in front of them, JVDB and Evans were both much better with finding their targets, and on occasion helped get in behind the Brentford backline. I'd rather see Moore and McShane almost solely distribute short - to the fullbacks or the two CMs. It just requires someone to take the initiative and drive us forward - we do still miss opportunities to put our foot on the pedal, but that should come with time.

Overall it was pretty dire, but Brentford are a strong side and a point against Derby this weekend builds on a decent start. The international break may have come a good point this time round, and trips to QPR and Rotherham sandwich a home tie with Aston Villa - at the moment we look capable of getting something from all those sides. Onwards!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

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

The Big Man Cometh

In the grand scheme of things, I consider myself a bit of an Andy Carroll sceptic. Reading have a penchant for signing players that spend the majority of their time in the physio room, and Carroll aligns with that transfer policy to a tee. It must be said that given the lack of other options, and a short term deal that has no real risk for the club, there isn't any big downside in gambling on the Geordie. With that being said, even I was calling out for the introduction for The Big Man at half-time on Saturday. Reading had a heap of possession just outside the box in the opening forty-five but couldn't translate that into chances. Drinkwater had a tame shot saved after good work from Yiadom, but the best chance of the half fell to Puscas after a fortuitous deflection off a Forest player. The flag went up for offside but it didn't matter as the striker couldn't convert anyway. Both managers had done a fairly good job at negating the other side's strengths. Forest'

Reading 2-2 Huddersfield Town

It is frankly unbelievable that Reading managed to lose a match where they were so in control. Huddersfield didn't have a shot for the best part of forty-five minutes, and it's no real surprise that they only came back into the game after Paunovic's substitutions. It's likely that they're still managing Swift's minutes, there's no point injuring him in a game like this, and Olise was clearly struggling but to replace them with Tetek and Moore shows a depressingly defensive outlook. Sone or Camara was right there, Veljko. Reading's midfield quartet ended up too deep, and too narrow. It moved Reading to a 5-4-1, but with a quartet solely made up of central players who were clearly not completely comfortable in the role they were being asked to perform. Huddersfield had far too much time and space inside the Reading half, with all four midfielders largely looking to camp out in front of the defence. Rinomhota hands across the Huddersfield player, but that l