News and Views

Reading Up To Fifth With Win

29 October 2016
By Hob Nob Anyone?

As so often happens in football, two former Forest players produced the goals which extended their recent poor run of results. Reading will be delighted with a win and a clean sheet which has lifted them in to fifth spot although Jaap Stam was quick to put the situation into perspective with his post-match analysis. In a fine example of hitting the nail on the head he reflected "... We also gave away possession far too easily, our first touch was not good enough and our passing was not accurate enough..." Quite clearly Stam does not want to raise expectations too high too soon in spite of a second successive victory. Although the Royals won comfortably in the end, it was a far from convincing performance and only achieved courtesy of some excellent goalkeeping from Al Habsi and some inept finishing from the visitors.


Discussion On This Story:


» 29 Oct 2016 22:25

Well another three points. Comfortable without being convincing in any way. Forest probably should have scored but always looked like they could concede as well, even against our toothless forward line. Forest were another team visiting the Mad Stad this season that have looked pretty poor imo.

AAH 8 another good performance. Is a great shot stopper (as he has been throughout his career) and was better at dealing with crosses today
Gunter 6 - would have been a 5 except for the goal. My dad (who attends about one game a year) said "is that Chris Gunter who plays for Wales? He hasn't done anything but pass it backwards". Two minutes later he pops up and scores
McShane 5 - average today. But we we look better with him in the team
Moore 6 - calm, unfussed, quality
Blackett 5 - average, not as good going forward as Obita but he gets absolutely no help from Beerens
VDB 5 - thought he generally had a reasonable game until he lost his head. A few wayward passes but keeps the rest of the team ticking. We missed his physicality in the last 20 minutes
Williams 5 - usual headless chicken stuff. Two great counter attack situations in the second half where he did nothing with it and ran out of steam/ideas. Second one, just needed to slip a pass into GMac's path to create a great chance
Swift 6 - at the heart of most things. Needs to learn to shoot with his left foot
Beerens 3 - did he play today? He's on a poor run of games now and we need to look at different options
McCleary 7 - decent game, good going forward. Great finish and set up the second MOTM for me due to the goal and the assist
Kermogant 5 - not one of his better games

Evans 5 - one great pass down the right wing. Tidy without being great
Harriott 5 - didn't really get into th game

Ref: hmm, not sure what to make of him. Thought he got a lot right but made some howlers. Not sure why he booked Joey and then did nothing with GMac and Mills.

 Vicky Pollard

» 30 Oct 2016 00:42

Bit of a weird one.

We weren't great but somehow saw through a comfortable win. Have to be grateful for Al Habsi's wonder save at the end of the first half, game could have been a real struggle in the second half had that continued its journey to the top corner.

Swift oozes class, remembered a lovely swivel and pass out wide left in the second half to push us onto the attack- he does the simple stuff well and has great awareness on the ball.

Beerens was pretty anonymous. He has great skill but can disappear for long periods.

Joey is a legend but today's booking was a bit unnecessary. Did a great job of winding up their number 10 to get him a booking but couldn't resist going straight back in for a nibble!

Special mention to the Forest fans for joining in with 'we're fcuking shiiiit'. :lol:


» 30 Oct 2016 02:58

I think this was the poorest Reading display I have seen this season. Thankfully Stam agrees and his comments of the OS are exactly right - poor first touches, passes going astray, losing possession of the ball too easily, etc. Luckily Forest were worse than us, particularly in the first half, but not by much! They played hoof-ball throughout and it is a testament to how poor we were that they would have got at least a point out of the game if it weren't for their wayward shooting and the agility and ability of (MOM) AAH.

On the positive side I think we are slowly improving in the sense of playing a more positive passing game. McShane helps as he is keener on passing forward than, for example, Gunter!

Other comments ...
GMac played pretty well as did Moore.
Kermorgant wins almost everything in the air yet seldom threatens to score with his head from crosses and corners. Why not?
I prefer Obita to Blackett.
I am not convinced by Harriot - similarities to Ola John.
I'll be interested to see if Meite gets a chance once he is fit. He impressed me in his one appearance (in a cup game I think) and I hope he is given that chance.


» 30 Oct 2016 09:19

There is a great moment in Gladiator where Russell Crowe chops off a few heads and then shouts to the crowd "Are you not entertained" before throwing down his sword to show his general distaste for what he is being asked to do - it crossed my mind yesterday that perhaps Joey was trying to do the same thing. Maybe he was after another red card, then he could have pulled off his shirt (Andre style) flung it down and uttered those same immortal words before storming off - AND I could have stood up and shouted back "NO, I am not being entertained" :o

(Anyway another 3 points - we move on)

On a different note what was the minutes silence all about - didn't we do that at the Villa game or are we going to be in mourning for the rest of the year like most of Thailand? Not trying to be disrespectful, just asking - at some grounds like Sunderland yesterday the crowd were observing a minute of silence for November 11th as yesterday was their nearest home game to that day.

 Jack Celliers

» 30 Oct 2016 09:45

AAH 9 Awesome in the first half. Some of the saves were fantastic,
Gunter 8 Pretty faultless defensively and linked well in attack so the goal wasn't much of a surprise
McShane 7 - good
Moore 7 - very polished throughout but there were a few too many Forest chances
Blackett 7 - a good player, but not as good as Obita when going forward
VDB 6 - it was a shame that Stam had to sub him
Williams 8 - in the form of his life and again was at the heart of everything
Swift 7 - 5/5 for the right foot but 2/5 for the left
Beerens 6 - doesn't get the service Gunter provides on the other flank, but he is OK
McCleary 8 - back to his medium-paced best
Kermogant 5 - invisible really

Mills - I hope he realises we love him really


» 30 Oct 2016 11:04

Always great to have a pantomime villain in opposition colours. Loved the 1-0/2-0 & it's Millsy's fault
He waved to the East Stand after the game


» 30 Oct 2016 11:25

Another poor performance but got lucky as Forest couldn't find the net despite several excellent opportunities a blinder from Habsi.

Apparently that was our first win by 2 goals or more in the league since early October last year (Middlesbrough) :shock:

Just really waiting for the corner to be turned as if we start turning out good performances we'll be surprising a lot in this league. All it's going to take is practice and knowing when to hit forward passes as opposed to piddling about in front of the opposition or getting generally sloppy like it was a bad case of yesterday.

Habsi MotM. Millsy was a superb pantomime villain who actually seemed to enjoy it a bit (credit to him). GMac best outfield player, closely followed by Kermie. The rest were all a bit sloppy and disjointed summed up by paraphrasing Tim Dellor's question on Joey to Jaap after the game :

TD - So, why did you take Joey off, was it to avoid him being sent off
JS - No, he was just cr@p

So next week off to bogey side Wigan and yet another team who have just changed their manager. Let's hope a free week to work on things with the players pays dividends.


» 30 Oct 2016 11:33

Funny how people saying the performance wasn't that good but we got the win... in contrast I thought we looked great. At no point did I think Forest would score, they are the worst team I've seen this season in fact.

If we strengthen in January then I think we are nailed on for a playoff finish


» 30 Oct 2016 12:12

We didn't play great, but we didn't play bad and we won so who cares?

Forest were pretty poor. Didn't offer much going forwards and our midfield overrun theirs for most of the match.

AAH - class today. Always been a good shot stopper just needs to improve his distribution.

Would be happy to stay around the top 10 by the start of January so we can bring a goalscorer in and you never know where we could end up.

 Lower West

» 30 Oct 2016 13:52

A win is a win. As Stam said in his post match interview the squad is what it is. Working with what he has available to him. At least playing with a settled side is producing points on a regular basis.

Don't forget how young and inexperienced many of the squad are. The core of this team can only get better over time. Physically stronger as well. This is an exciting work in progress.

Thought Blackett had his best game to date. In the first half got into plenty of good positions on the overlap. Only made 8 appearances so far. With no preseason either. Seems to be settling in well.


» 30 Oct 2016 15:04

Agree that Forest are the worst team we've seen this season. Disagree with literally everything else.


» 30 Oct 2016 15:24

My first league game of the season, how does that happen when you work for one of the sponsors? My bloody working weekend keeps clashing with home games!

Time to see for myself what the Stam revolution is all about and overall not too bad. Better than the last few seasons after the shafting from Zingarevich!

Obvious work in progress but progress is being made.

Al Habsi 8/10 great shot stopper and the double save from the obvious offside was good and the woorldy save just after was top class. Thought his distribution was good, bowls it out quickly only for the defender to slow it down! Just the straight ball directly in front of him was a bit suicidal.

Gunter 6/10 always seems more comfortable with GMac in front of him rather than Beerens when they swap. Took his goal well but defensively not really tested.

Moore 7/10 Him and McShane seem to have formed a good partnership, reads the game well.

McShane 7/10 As above really, not afraid to get hurt.

Blackett 6/10 had a good 1st half and has a good football brain, seemed to sit back in the 2nd half.

VDB 6/10 would have been 5 but enjoyed his little spat with (Angela) Lansbury! Agree with Stam his passing was poor. Great at breaking up play though but his reputation gives poor referees a chance to flash a card.

Gmac 8/10 Seems to have benefited from a decent pre season rather than than his usual Jamaican adventures. Makes things happens and tries to keep things moving quickly.

Swift 7/10 great vision and tries to keep things moving but some of his team mates just don't seem on the same wavelength. Didn't realise how right footed he is. Always find that shocking in a pro footballer!

Williams 5/10 If he needs somewhere to practice I have a dead end alley at the back of my place! So bloody annoying, stands behind an attacker with his arms up calling for the ball, move bloody forward you twat, never really taken to him. Would prefer to see Quinn given a shot in that position.

Beerens 6/10 Jury is still out on him, flashes of brilliance but seems to be struggling with the Championship. Linked up well with Blackett in attack in the 1st half but needs to track back a bit more.

Kermie 7/10 Needs more support when we do go long, won a lot of flick ons but no one gambled on the 2nd ball. Would like to see Beerens or Gmac get nearer to him in those situations. Frustrating with his positioning at crosses but he is really a number 10 not an out and out goalscorer. Obvious lack of pace but defensively he is strong.

Evans 6/10 took up the VDB role well, more accurate passing and much improved from last season.
Harriott 5/10 Could probably do with a sustained run in the team to get up to speed and wavelength with his team mates.
Obita N/A not on for long enough really

Stam 7/10 for his refreshing honesty after the game, needs to mix it up a bit with moving it forward, sometimes gamble on a drop/goal kick and the midfielders picking up a 2nd ball. Gets a bit predictable otherwise.

Thought Forest were poor and a better team would have made that a lot more difficult for us but who's to say we wouldn't have stepped up to a sterner test?

Lino in front of the East Stand was shocking! Usual inconsistent championship Ref but hats off to him listening to his lino on the penalty/free kick decision.

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