Skip to main content

Reading 3-0 Sheffield Wednesday

You can't have too many complaints when the side have won three on the bounce. Especially when doing so without conceding.

Paunovic stuck with the diamond that provided Blackburn's downfall, but without Ejaria there was a reshuffle. Laurent moved to the left of the diamond with Tom McIntyre sitting just in front of the back four.

McIntyre tries an outside-of-the-foot pass, rather than attempting an easier ball with his right foot. SW player manages to intercept the underhit pass.

McIntyre received many of the plaudits for his performance, and rightly so. He was fairly static in front of the defence, though did venture forward during periods of sustained possession. Perhaps his best moment came in the build-up to Joao's goal with a couple of nice touches in midfield before possession found its way to Yiadom to set-up the striker. The academy grad will have more difficult afternoons and was protected well by those next to him. His few moments needing improvement tended to be down to his lack of a right foot causing him to make passes more difficult, or forcing him to turn inefficiently. Only time will tell how problematic that will actually be in the long run.

Replacing Ovie with Laurent actually gives Reading a slightly more direct threat, and gives The Royals two similar players on either side of the diamond. Both athletic, defensively solid players but with good ball carrying and passing. Even in a game at 11 vs 11 you'd be confident the opposition won't create easy chances, but we obviously do lose what Ovie brings to the table. There's not going to be quite as many defenders sat on their backside.

Both fullbacks were in the box for both goals from open play, with them helping to create five 'forwards' in possession - particularly after the away side were reduced to 10

Holmes and Yiadom gave an excellent demonstration of why they play in their respective positions. Reading pushed the full backs high and wide - both full-backs were in the box for the two goals from open play - relying on their ability 1v1 and subsequent delivery in. Holmes is an excellent passer of the ball, but beating players and crossing are not his strengths.

The red card certainly helped the home side. The game was fairly even before Julian Börner brought down Puscas, but after that point, Reading dominated the game. Olise stepped up to copy Joao's trademark penalty, and the team never looked like relinquishing the lead.

And it may have an impact further down the line too, as Paunovic seemed more comfortable in replacing those players who have played large amounts of the season so far. Whether that was the plan before the sending off, we'll never truly know, but given his decision making so far this year, it seems unlikely. Joao was replaced the moment he put the side two-up, and even Olise had ten minutes rest. 

Sheffield Wednesday get players into the right channel, and Harris' run ensures Richards can't press out to the open man.

There are obviously downsides to any formation, and the diamond is no different. Wednesday were able to create overloads in wide positions but were often too slow to fully take advantage. There were also Banan's switches that opened up the opposite side, but as with everything in this game, that became much less of an issue post-thirty minutes.

Reading are beating what's in front of them, and hopefully can take that momentum into tougher matches.

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