News and Views

Royals Dominate Possession But Fail To Score

13 September 2016
By Hob Nob Anyone?

Reading extended their unbeaten run to four games with a home draw against a Birmingham side fresh from consecutive victories over Norwich and Fulham. Before the game many Royals might have settled for a point, but after dominating the game (71% possession) perhaps they felt their team should have taken all three.



Discussion On This Story:


» 13 Sep 2016 22:50

My first game of the season. It was pretty absorbing for a nil nil until about the 75th minute when Brum sat back and took the point.

I think we have two problems. Lack of movement up front/killer instinct and that we are very close to a costly mistake at the back. Otherwise, in contrast to last season, I was pleased. We had an identity that we sorely lacked last year and I'm pleased to see that.

Thought McCleary was good and Williams was poor. Decent point.


» 13 Sep 2016 22:55

A massive yawn from me. Wake me up when we score.

Not sure why we played Evans as CB, McShane and Moore as full backs, and Obita and Gunts as wingers.

Either way Brum came for a draw and got it. Our attacking threat was pretty non existant, we still look dodgy in defence and liable to gift a goal.


» 13 Sep 2016 22:59

Thought McShane was going to have his hands full after the Brum striker (Che) absolutely skinned him in the opening minutes. But we completely nullified their attack this evening.

We do look much harder to beat this season; we kill the opponents momentum by taking back and keeping possession; which is great, but my god moving forward attacking is predictable. Evans dropping deep worked well, but Williams and lesser so Quinn, were really not wanting to get involved and ask for the ball tonight. They were up for the 50/50 balls, but when we play out of defence they need to put in more of a shift to open up some options for the defence.

Overall a decent point. Lucky they missed a sitter from 12yds. No other real action to report on.

Beerens is going to become a legend and Jordan did V well on his return to the side.


» 13 Sep 2016 23:06

Sounds like same problems persisting.


» 13 Sep 2016 23:10

Odd game in some ways. Loads of oldies around me (Upper West tonight) were creaming themselves about our "brilliant" play,
and walking from the ground all I could hear was moans and people saying "It'll have to change..."

Al-Habsi. Made a good double save from his own spill. OK
Gunter OK, first half making runs, loads of space, hardly ever got the ball
McShane Solid, came forward more, one run as far as their penalty area.
Moore Solid, also came forward a bit more so the possession was better
Obita Better than solid, seemed more comfortable than Blackett. Good game

Evans. Looked more like the central CB of three most of the game (3-5-2) composed, very solid
Quinn. Thought he was excellent throughout, always available
Williams. Though he did OK in parts, lost possession WAY too often. Should be a sub

Beerens OK but not as good as I've seen him
Kermogant. Won almost everything in the air, good lay-offs, good link play. Noel Hunt would have loved to play with him
McCleary as Beerens. Not a lot of sparkle from the wings tonight

Swift. IMO he should have replaced Williams, not Quinn. Played well but he was very deep so no goal threat
Harriot. Didn't have enough time

Overall, even though Birmingham had chances, I thought we played well without a clear cutting edge. With a striker in form we'd be pushing the automatics ATM. That's not to say Kermie isn't playing well, he is. But ATM he's the workhorse. The Long-Hunt duo in front of this team would be having a field day.

It's hard to imagine this team very scoring a bagful without some sort of change, but I'm very happy with this start. A new side with a new style and we are 10th, 1 point outside the play-offs and we've played 4 sides who are currently above us. I think Stam is going to turn out to be a very decent manager and if someone can start scoring goals we'll be close to the POs

I wonder how we'll fare against sides who score early. Barnsley looks like a tricky one. A good test.


» 13 Sep 2016 23:11

Even thought it was two points fewer I thought this was an improvement on the Ipswich game. There were only 2 or 3 passes back to AAH and we tried to get the ball forward quicker. Still a work in progress though final third was a bit dire despite lots effort.

McCleary did really well at times to get into great positions only for his final ball to disappoint. The best cross of the game from Obita saw only Kermie in the box and nobody making a run to the far post.

Thought some of Swifts passing was sublime, he needs to start.

Overall a decent 0-0.

On thier result tonight Barnsley will be a test of our unbeaten run.

 John Madejski's Wallet

» 13 Sep 2016 23:14

Looked solid enough, bar a few dodgy mistakes (mostly from Williams), with ZERO attacking threat

One man up front, ball always played to him with his back to goal, and no swift to push on from midfield. Swift needs to come in for Williams. Or at least that should have been the first sub..... taking off Quinn instead of Williams just meant Swift was the deep midfielder. Pointless

McCleary had a decent enough game, but he always picks the wrong cross. Rarely playing it across goal and instead cutting it behind our striker. Also, his corned are DOGSH*T. Just chipped weakly diagonally back across goal.

Thought Evans had a really good game, but one of our 3 centre backs really needing to keep pushing up into the middle to help us go forward. Instead all 3 usually stayed back and we were essentially attacking whilst permanently outnumbered.

Had a good 10 min spell in the middle of the second half that made Brum sit back for the rest of the game, so there are some flashes there


» 13 Sep 2016 23:18

Williams infuriates me at the best of times, but tonight was on another level, suppose it's the result of an accumulation of frustrating performances from him

He just has no ball control whatsoever. The ball bounces off him for his first touch, and when dribbling he never once looks like he knows what he's doing or where he's going.

It was his passing tonight though that was driving me mad, lost count the amount of times we lost momentum because Williams played a simple pass poorly, usually behind Gunter or Obita stopping us from going forward. He literally has no excuse, an international footballer should know which side of a teammate to kick the ball to and be able to execute the simple pass, I cannot believe he gets it wrong nearly every time. Like I said, the player has to either slow down, or check back because the pass from Williams has prevented them running onto it or with it.

'Yeah but he brings energy' - so? Energy literally adds nothing to our team. Someone like Kante brings energy, but he uses it to win tackles and interceptions and drive his team forward. When does Williams ever make a tackle or break up the play? Come on Jaap, get Swift in so I can start finding another scapegoat.

As for the game, just incredibly boring I'm afraid. Lots of people on Twitter asking if there were any boos tonight (there weren't), but this is the thing, it's alright for you sat at home on Twitter, but a lot of us made a big commitment tonight to go the match, and ultimately it was an evening wasted. Personally, I had a few options for this Tuesday evening but I turned them down so I could go the game and having sat through 90 minutes of literally nothing happening, I really regret my decision. If games like this become a regular occurrence, I'm not sure I really want to commit to spending afternoons or evenings watching 75% possession with no excitement whatsoever. It's a lot of time and money (I have very little of either) to get to Reading for a game, so I could quickly lose patience with the team if we continue this 'transition season'.

Back to the pitch, thought formation was a bit strange, seemed Evans took my comments from the Ipswich game about not being a passing option literally and spent the whole game with the centre-backs. Meant we had McShane and Moore almost bombing down the flanks for a lot of the game.

Kermorgant was decent for 60 minutes, then got injured, but for some reason didn't come off? Meant he spent the last half hour hobbling around slowly, not really jumping for anything in the air, and as a result our attack completely fizzled out. Also felt the subs took too long, 10 minutes for Harriott and 5 for Mendes is a bit pointless really, and shame Swift only got 20.

McCleary was very bad unfortunately, crossing was completely awful. The slow drifted corner to the edge of the penalty area didn't work the first few times, so not sure why he kept at it. 12 corners with a decent set-piece taker might have led to something, but with Garath we never threatened. McShane had a header where he had no one within 5 yards of him, yet was never going to score because of where he was and the speed the ball came to him. Get Swift in the team and get him on corners.

Yes Birmingham results-wise are a decent team and had won 3 on the bounce, but if you have near 75% possession, you should be winning matches, or at least creating chances and scoring goals. I'm not sure how much of a miss Joey was, but hopefully he'll be back for the weekend and we can test ourselves against the league's top scorers on Saturday


» 13 Sep 2016 23:20

Sorry, what? :lol:

Just further compounding the notion that you are in fact mental.


» 13 Sep 2016 23:22

Good write up. Agree re Williams. Don't want him as a starter.


» 13 Sep 2016 23:28

Oh for the days of Blakey, it comes to something when Gunter put in some of the better crosses of the night. Glad to see us play the passing game higher up the pitch rather than deep and boxing ourselves in by constantly going back to Al Habsi, that's what people are against not the passing. Better decisions and movement in the final third are needed if we're going to get anywhere, can't rely on the Referee giving us penalties every game.

Still, the manager won't care about the lack of goals he will just be pleased that we had more possession.

MotM - Obita

 Royal Ginger

» 13 Sep 2016 23:31

If this game was still happening it would still be 0-0.

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