Anybody seeing this result would have thought, well played Reading good result. Good result it certainly was but well played it certainly wasn't. How in gods name we scored three goals I'll never know. This was a truly awful performance by every single Reading player bar one, and out of the dross emerged one true piece of class and that was Nicky Forster who scored a quite outstanding goal to secure the three points. Having picked the ball up deep in our half he set about running at the Preston defence beating four players before drawing the keeper a cooly slotting the ball home, brilliant, simply brilliant, you won't see a better goal all season. Apart from that not a lot more to say, sloppy passing, big hopeful hoofs up front, poor control, no passing, inability to hold the ball and midfield way too deep. I know it seems hard having won 3-1 but it really was poor. Still three points it is and we find ourselves up to fifth with a great chance of another three points on Saturday against Gillingham to maybe go top three. With Stoke topping the league to me it just proves how open the league is this year with most teams being all of the same, pretty crap in the main. Watching the Champions league after the game on Sky you'd have thought we were watching another sport compared to what we pay to watch. If Forster had scored his goal in the Champions league they'd showing it for over and over, sadly only those that were there tonight witnessed it first hand. Must play better Saturday, sure we will, won't we? UURRZ
Possession of the ball is meant to be the key to success in today's modern football. Well Reading keep rewriting the rule book. It is hard to know how to evaluate such a performance. The defence were superb and the forwards scored thre goals, but why do we have so little possession? The key to thius must be the midfield who are emphasing their defensive role far too much. This combined with a game where Marcus's kicking can best be described as appauling!
The game started well with both teams giving it a go and with pace. The fact that we got into a two goal lead should have bred confidence. Both goals were well taken and Brooker was involved in both. The free kick from which Preston scored just before halftime looked dubious but it almost seemed inevitable that they would score which is what they did. If you saw the Sunderland game then that was the second half. Preston had the better possession but did not work the keeper - in fact I only remeber Marcus having to make one save and they had a header in the second half when they might have done better. Our strikers becaome isolated, Kitson seemed more concerned about trying to win a free kick than the ball and Forster was largely anonymous till he scored the goal that will be remebered for many a long time. With Goater warming up to replace him (An honest confession from the manager afterwards), he got the ball in his own half and off he went, not stopping till he had calmly slotted the ball in the bottom corner - a terrific goal. Then the game was over, but such a strange game.
The defense is obviously working well as a unit and because of this offer less going forward. In midfield Harper worked hard but his distribution was poor and Preston were excellent at closing people down. I thought Sidwell had a better game and Brooker is improving with each game. Whilst the front two can be pleased with their individual games, I still did not see much of them working as a pair, but if they score three goals between them every game who cares?
Didn't hear Coppell's comments after the game but if he is satisfied with the performance he is deluding himself. Apparently he has been complaining about players giving the ball away. This was happening so often last night it was embarrassing. There was no skill factor in the midfield at all, just hard work and this won the game plus a goal keeping blunder and two excellent finishes from Forster.
The team is missing a Watson type player to lead the passing game (is it coincidence that Colchester are doing so well?). This a big season for Harper and Sidwell. They work very hard but do they have premiership potential or are they just run of the mill second division players?
Chris Tubb (Swansea based Royal)
Plus points from the game;- 3 points, both strikers on the score sheet, some good passing & movement at times, Reading stay very much in the thick of things near the top of the table. Negatives;- defending too deep AGAIN in 2nd half, giving the opposition too much room in the midfield (allowing them to turn, run at defence, etc) AGAIN in 2nd half, & far too much aimless hoofing of the ball in the 2nd half (felt like the home fans should be singing 'Ian Brandfoot's Blue & White army' at times). When Reading kept it on the deck, they showed they can be a threat going forward...so why resort to all the long ball (and not especially good long balls most of the time) stuff??? So many times someone at the back would hoof it aimlessly upfield only to see the ball come straight back again, with us immediately conceding possession. If it is indeed true that the team are not being told to play that style, then why do they keep reverting to it so often in games? Despite all this, Reading remain in an excellent position in the league & to be fair have played better footy this season without getting anything in return (West Ham, Millwall). But improvement is still needed along with getting the results. And to the twit who text in at the end of 'Good old Berks' phone in saying some rot about 'if you don't like long ball, go and play on a Play Station for entertainment cos we're getting results', or some such rubbish... Reading's goals came in their decent passage of play in first half ON THE GROUND, & from Forster having a run at Preston on his own. So the long ball got us.....NOTHING. So go and watch Paul Brayson in the Conference or have a go hoofing the ball about in the park if you like long ball so much you prat, or is that what you were doing Tues eve??? COME ON....