News and Views

First Half Goal But Still No Points

30 September 2017
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading's dismal start to the season continued today with another home defeat against an in-form City who chalked up their fourth successive away win. In a tight game neither goalkeeper had much to do. All three goals came from set pieces with City's winner coming after some extremely poor making from Tyler Blackett allowed Jerome to head past Manone unmarked at the far post.

Reading fell behind after ten minutes to a superbly struck free-kick by Maddison. Their lead lasted only three minutes, the Reading equaliser coming from a determined header by Moore getting on the end of an Aluko free-kick floated invitingly to the far post. Jerome's winner came early in the second half and Reading struggled to find any rhythm and rarely threatened to find a second equaliser as Norwich controlled the game well to maintain their lead and secure the points. Reading worryingly slipped further down the table into twentieth place.

Fans Hope For Different Approach Against Norwich

29 September 2017
By Hob Nob Anyone?

In form Norwich City come to Reading this weekend on the back of two straight away wins in a run of five league games undefeated. Ominously for Reading, the Canaries have kept five straight clean sheets in the League - which could be a problem for a Reading side that has struggled to find the net this season. Reading are nine Championship games into the season and are yet to score a league goal in the opening 45 minutes of a match. With that in mind, and Jaap Stam asking negative fans not to attend, there's not a big incentive to rush to this fixture. On top of that kick-off is at 5:30pm at the Madejski Stadium to allow Sky TV to screen the game live. It feels a strange choice of fixture given Reading's recent lack of entertainment.

Unless something is dramatically different with this match, it seems a reasonable bet it could develop into a big switch off for the neutral fan. However, something has to change, and hopefully this is the match where Reading can start positive and actually take a lead in at the half time break. It has to happen at some point this season. Things will have to change if Reading fans are going to be satisfied at half time. The Royals have gone five games without a win in all competitions and have scored just three goals in those five games. The Royals have scored just one goal in their last three home games, and that was an 87th minute equaliser from the boot of Bodvarsson, who Stam seems so keen to leave on the bench. Reading are clear leaders of the Championship possession table, but are 21st for goals scored and have only scored 4 goals in the league from open play all season. Possession alone does not win points.

After a poor run of form, Stam finds himself under some unexpected early season pressure. It may be early days still, but another Reading defeat would leave Reading fans looking at the relegation positions and Stam forced to justify himself to both fans and owners. There is expectation that the Reading manager will shuffle his squad around again for this match to try and earn some points. Will that mean that Reading will play a striker? With Kermorgant and Mendes still both out through injury, will Bodvarsson get a start? Stam may well have Mo Barrow back in his squad after the player completes his return from a knee injury, but Jordan Obita remains out after being stretched off the pitch at the end of the home draw against Hull City.

The last time Reading faced Norwich was in April when we were on the wrong end of a 1-7 scoreline at Carrow Road after being 1-6 down after just 41 minutes. Earlier last season we had much more success with a 3-1 home win. Kermorgant, McCleary and Harriott scored the goals for Reading on Boxing Day - but only after a very poor first half of entertainment. Kermorgant's goal came just before the break and Reading then went on to secure an impressive victory. So, perhaps the same again isn't that unlikely after all, and would provide much relief all round at Reading FC.

Recent Games Against Norwich City

08 April 2017 Championship Norwich (Away) L: 1-7 Read report...
26 December 2016 Championship Norwich (HOME) W: 3-1 Read report...
28 December 2014 Championship Norwich (HOME) W: 2-1 Read report...
29 November 2014 Championship Norwich (Away) W: 2-1 Read report...
20 April 2013 Premier League Norwich (Away) L: 1-2 Read report...
10 November 2012 Premier League Norwich (HOME) D: 0-0 Read report...
12 February 2011 Championship Norwich (Away) L: 1-2 Read report...

Another Defeat On The Road For Reading

26 September 2017
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Just three days after Jaap Stam asked negative fans to stay away the Madejski Stadium, it was business as usual as Reading dominated possession against Millwall but came away from The Den with nothing. Stam's radio rant after the 1-1 home draw with Hull City focused the spotlight on him and his tactics as Reading's sluggish start to the season continued. He would have done little to relieve the pressure as Reading looked to be heading for a very rare away win only to conceed two late goals as Millwall claimed victory. It was a familiar story with Reading failing to take their chances and once again failing to find the net in the first half.

Things had looked bright for Reading when Dave Edwards put Reading ahead with just 17 minutes left to play. Sone Aluko's corner was headed home by Edwards for his first Reading goal. It appeared to be a vital goal for the Royals but the lead only last 7 minutes. Another header saw Millwall pull it back to 1-1 and that was followed up with the winner for the home side five minutes later. As usual we dominated possession, but also recorded more shots and corners than Millwall, however failed to make that advantage count.

Despite coming off the bench to secure a late point on Saturday, Bodvarsson was again left out of the starting eleven. He eventually appeared from the bench inside the last ten minutes when the game had already swung Millwall's way. With a lack of a striker once again, it's not obvious how Stam expects to win matches. There was also no game time for the excellent Liam Kelly. It is of course early days in the season, but after nine games the Royals are averaging a point a game, which is hardly the form of team that were expected to be pushing for promotion this season.

Late Draw As Royals Continue To Struggle

23 September 2017
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading seemed destined to succumb to a third successive home defeat without scoring until Jon Dadi Bodvarsson came off the bench to salvage a point with a superb late strike, and had Liam Moore made better contact with the last kick of the match, would have taken all three points. It was however not a Reading performance worthy of a victory in spite of a staggering seventy-four percent possession. In fact Tomori came close to wrapping the game up immediately before Bovarsson's equaliser running through Reading's defence with relative ease before dragging his shot wide. A draw was fair result mainly because neither side played well enough to deserve to win.