Those were the days...

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Those were the days...

by 2 world wars, 1 world cup » 04 Feb 2019 15:38

This isn't another one of my nostalgic posts about the good old Southbank, the good old chant boys etc etc This is also nothing new, nothing that's not been said before but I suddenly felt a sense of nostalgia after the Villa game that I've never felt before.

What happened to the days...


...when Gilkesy would knock it past a player and run run run run Gilkesy past a player and whip in a cross?
...when Nogan and Archie would slip through the defence and score
...when Quinn would bang them in for fun... (then prove himself as a decent keeper too!)
...when Butler would get hold of every ball and score or lay it off
...when Long would work so tirelessly up front goals would happen around him, even if he didn't score much himself
...when Fozzie the greedy so and so would just take the ball , dribble past a whole team and score
...when Roberts would bang them in like a genius
...when Curo would hang around like a cheeky schoolkid and score for fun
...when Kitson and Doyle tore up the championship
...when Martin Williams would trip over his own shoelaces but still manage to score
...when Senior would score hat tricks
...when Morley would just get stuck in and somehow score a shedload of goals in a poor team
...when any rush forward by the Reading team would actually have us on the edge of our seats expecting a goal?

I haven't felt like we've had a decent chance of scoring for so so long. Any rush forward leaves me thinking "this is going to end in slow indecisive nonsense" The game against Villa gave me hope as we actually looked good, and Oliveira looked like he was there with a chance... but it was also saddening with his injury and our pussyfooting around the box with nobody willing to take a shot.

We have a team that has definitely improved under Gomes, but who still don't even look like they want to score.

It's all been said before I know, so it's nothing new, but after that game I realise I was in some sort of trance thinking "this is the way it must be" as I just got a load of flashbacks of what it was like to support Reading back in the days where we thought football meant trying to score more than the opposition, rather than trying to concede less.

Nostalgic rant over.

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Re: Those were the days...

by John Smith » 04 Feb 2019 15:49

Would a brief stint in League One be the answer?

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Re: Those were the days...

by URZZZZ » 04 Feb 2019 15:52

Very good post, especially about the scoring more vs conceding less point

The day Barcelona started their "tika-taka" football is the day football was less enjoyable. It was a pleasure to watch when it came off but too many teams now just sit behind the ball and it's a case of watching one team pass it between their defenders

Was thinking to myself actually how many times does anyone take a man on? I'm not necessarily talking about Reading here, no wingers ever seem to take on their fullback any more, it has to be passed round them now to get through

In my view, football has become too tactical rather than a spur of the moment game, and it's made it a lot less enjoyable

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Re: Those were the days...

by Cape Town Royal » 04 Feb 2019 16:22

URZZZZ Very good post, especially about the scoring more vs conceding less point

The day Barcelona started their "tika-taka" football is the day football was less enjoyable. It was a pleasure to watch when it came off but too many teams now just sit behind the ball and it's a case of watching one team pass it between their defenders

Was thinking to myself actually how many times does anyone take a man on? I'm not necessarily talking about Reading here, no wingers ever seem to take on their fullback any more, it has to be passed round them now to get through

In my view, football has become too tactical rather than a spur of the moment game, and it's made it a lot less enjoyable


+1 this whole thread thus far..

Have become increasingly bored with modern football.. just watch the 106 season highlights... then compare that to how we play now..

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Re: Those were the days...

by sandman » 04 Feb 2019 18:54

2 world wars, 1 world cup This isn't another one of my nostalgic posts about the good old Southbank, the good old chant boys etc etc This is also nothing new, nothing that's not been said before but I suddenly felt a sense of nostalgia after the Villa game that I've never felt before.

What happened to the days...


...when Gilkesy would knock it past a player and run run run run Gilkesy past a player and whip in a cross?
...when Nogan and Archie would slip through the defence and score
...when Quinn would bang them in for fun... (then prove himself as a decent keeper too!)
...when Butler would get hold of every ball and score or lay it off
...when Long would work so tirelessly up front goals would happen around him, even if he didn't score much himself
...when Fozzie the greedy so and so would just take the ball , dribble past a whole team and score
...when Roberts would bang them in like a genius
...when Curo would hang around like a cheeky schoolkid and score for fun
...when Kitson and Doyle tore up the championship
...when Martin Williams would trip over his own shoelaces but still manage to score
...when Senior would score hat tricks
...when Morley would just get stuck in and somehow score a shedload of goals in a poor team
...when any rush forward by the Reading team would actually have us on the edge of our seats expecting a goal?

I haven't felt like we've had a decent chance of scoring for so so long. Any rush forward leaves me thinking "this is going to end in slow indecisive nonsense" The game against Villa gave me hope as we actually looked good, and Oliveira looked like he was there with a chance... but it was also saddening with his injury and our pussyfooting around the box with nobody willing to take a shot.

We have a team that has definitely improved under Gomes, but who still don't even look like they want to score.

It's all been said before I know, so it's nothing new, but after that game I realise I was in some sort of trance thinking "this is the way it must be" as I just got a load of flashbacks of what it was like to support Reading back in the days where we thought football meant trying to score more than the opposition, rather than trying to concede less.

Nostalgic rant over.


Normally I think you are an absolute twat, takes one to know one I suppose. But this post right here is spot on.

I often find myself looking over at the picture they have in the East Stand of Kitson, Sigurdsson and Kebe amongst others and start remembering their best moments rather than watching the game that's going on.


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Re: Those were the days...

by Zip » 04 Feb 2019 19:37

When I watch the current team I see players who actually do have technique. Watching Ejaria on Saturday was enjoyable in the way he kept hold of the ball in tight situations. By and large they have coped well with passing out of defence in tight situations although it’s nerve-racking to watch.

There is ability in this squad. Yet we are so timid in front of goal and when we do finally shoot it’s usually forgettable.
We simply don’t have enough goals in this squad.

2WW1WC has mentioned some great forwards from the past but successful Reading sides had goals throughout the squad. The current group don’t. How often do our centre backs score from set pieces? Almost never. Goals from midfield are few and far between.

Our forwards started the season well but injuries have impacted. When was the last time Bod, Meite or Baldock
scored? It must be a couple of months now. Oliveira looks a cut above them but is now injured. Part of the problem is that our wingers have been very poor this season. How often do any of them get behind the back four? How often do any of them manage to get a good cross into the box? We spend far too much time passing in front of the opposition. We are also too slow getting the ball into the final third allowing our opponents to regroup.

Similarly Yiadom gets a lot of praise for his attacking intent but in reality he rarely sticks a good cross into the box.
Ditto Gunter. Richards looks better in this respect.

Finally is our formation getting the best out of this squad? We nearly always play with a lone striker. Often that striker is left isolated. We need to be bolder.

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Re: Those were the days...

by Esteban » 04 Feb 2019 22:06

How many times these days do you watch a boring draw and yet afterwards both managers seem delighted that they "controlled the game". Well maybe, but you didn't bloody win!

Football should bring in a bonus point for goals scored, similar to Rugby. It would probably ruin the game in the long run, but it would be fun for a while at least.

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Re: Those were the days...

by tmesis » 04 Feb 2019 23:42

URZZZZ Was thinking to myself actually how many times does anyone take a man on? I'm not necessarily talking about Reading here, no wingers ever seem to take on their fullback any more, it has to be passed round them now to get through

Wing-play, and crossing to some extent, is almost a forgotten art. Too many think the only way to beat a fullback is with pace. You need more strings to your bow than that, or you have few options when a defence in playing deep. The general standard of crossing has gone downhill as well. Players just don't seem to look up any more.

Football also lost something when they started giving free kicks for "contact" rather than actual fouls*. Too many players now would rather play for a foul than get past the man.


* it's equally bad they they never give a foul unless the player falls over.

Esteban Football should bring in a bonus point for goals scored, similar to Rugby. It would probably ruin the game in the long run, but it would be fun for a while at least.

Not for us it wouldn't. We'd never get any.

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Re: Those were the days...

by Franchise FC » 05 Feb 2019 07:22

A point per goal may provide an opportunity for a few 10-9 games. Both teams win


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Re: Those were the days...

by The Enfield Royal71 » 05 Feb 2019 07:32

Rip the fun times

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Re: Those were the days...

by 2 world wars, 1 world cup » 05 Feb 2019 09:37

sandman
Normally I think you are an absolute twat,


Normally you'd be right. I was having an off-day when I wrote this thread :wink:

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Re: Those were the days...

by Notts Royal » 05 Feb 2019 12:10

I agree to all of this. To me this is largely down to putting wingers on the wrong wing...and it’s not just at Reading.

What’s this phenomenon of playing right footed wingers on the left, and vice versa all about?

Barrow & Harriott are very left-footed. So we play them on the right ... stupid!

McCleary is a very right-footed players. So we play him on the left...stupid!

We aren’t even helping them get past their player purely down to tactics.

This seemed to start around the era Arjen Robben broke through...the big difference was when he cut inside he could actually score.

Harriott actually has a very good cross. So why not play him on the left. Then he could beat his man & get a cross in.

Would Convey & little been as effective playing on the opposite sides? 100% no

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Re: Those were the days...

by Victor Meldrew » 05 Feb 2019 12:27

Notts Royal I agree to all of this. To me this is largely down to putting wingers on the wrong wing...and it’s not just at Reading.

What’s this phenomenon of playing right footed wingers on the left, and vice versa all about?

Barrow & Harriott are very left-footed. So we play them on the right ... stupid!

McCleary is a very right-footed players. So we play him on the left...stupid!

We aren’t even helping them get past their player purely down to tactics.

This seemed to start around the era Arjen Robben broke through...the big difference was when he cut inside he could actually score.

Harriott actually has a very good cross. So why not play him on the left. Then he could beat his man & get a cross in.

Would Convey & little been as effective playing on the opposite sides? 100% no


Agree wholeheartedly.
The earliest I can remember is Preki at Everton and , like Robben, he scored a lot of goals.
I have always felt that one of the roles of the winger is to go outside the full-back and cross the ball so that the keeper goes into no-man's land to try and catch (or nowadays punch or palm away) the ball.

I get it that an inswinging cross can cause problems for keepers with defenders obstructing their view but surely playing that way should be the surprise exception rather than the rule.

The other aspect of playing on the correct side and going outside the defender is that there is more room to cross whereas when you come inside it then becomes more crowded with so many midfielders occupying less space (remember England's problems with Rooney and Scholes coming inside from the left and running into trouble?).

Left-footed Messi plays on the right but he is so good that he can go left, right or even straight through a defender but there aren't too many Messis out there.

Thanks to the OP for bringing back some good memories at a time when our football is generally so dull.


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Re: Those were the days...

by Sebastian the Red » 05 Feb 2019 12:30

John Smith Would a brief stint in League One be the answer?


I'd actually come back for the first time in 3 or 4 years if we're relegated

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Re: Those were the days...

by Denver Royal » 05 Feb 2019 12:42

Victor Meldrew
Notts Royal I agree to all of this. To me this is largely down to putting wingers on the wrong wing...and it’s not just at Reading.

What’s this phenomenon of playing right footed wingers on the left, and vice versa all about?

Barrow & Harriott are very left-footed. So we play them on the right ... stupid!

McCleary is a very right-footed players. So we play him on the left...stupid!

We aren’t even helping them get past their player purely down to tactics.

This seemed to start around the era Arjen Robben broke through...the big difference was when he cut inside he could actually score.

Harriott actually has a very good cross. So why not play him on the left. Then he could beat his man & get a cross in.

Would Convey & little been as effective playing on the opposite sides? 100% no


Agree wholeheartedly.
The earliest I can remember is Preki at Everton and , like Robben, he scored a lot of goals.
I have always felt that one of the roles of the winger is to go outside the full-back and cross the ball so that the keeper goes into no-man's land to try and catch (or nowadays punch or palm away) the ball.

I get it that an inswinging cross can cause problems for keepers with defenders obstructing their view but surely playing that way should be the surprise exception rather than the rule.

The other aspect of playing on the correct side and going outside the defender is that there is more room to cross whereas when you come inside it then becomes more crowded with so many midfielders occupying less space (remember England's problems with Rooney and Scholes coming inside from the left and running into trouble?).

Left-footed Messi plays on the right but he is so good that he can go left, right or even straight through a defender but there aren't too many Messis out there.

Thanks to the OP for bringing back some good memories at a time when our football is generally so dull.

Yep, and when Richards went in on Sat, he actually played a fair bit on the right wing (which Tim Dellor didn't take too kindly too :wink: )

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Re: Those were the days...

by Green » 05 Feb 2019 13:57

Sebastian the Red
John Smith Would a brief stint in League One be the answer?


I'd actually come back for the first time in 3 or 4 years if we're relegated

I think I could probably stretch to a micropub tour of the Medway towns before Gillingham away.

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Re: Those were the days...

by stealthpapes » 05 Feb 2019 14:41

There is so much to digest here, its literally like the last twenty years of football didn't happen, so we'll start with the easiest.

The earliest I can remember is Preki at Everton and , like Robben, he scored a lot of goals.


4, 4 goals in 46 games.

He was an indoor footballer before Everton and scored well over 1 a game in a 5 a side league, so, yeah, maybe.

To me this is largely down to putting wingers on the wrong wing...and it’s not just at Reading.
What’s this phenomenon of playing right footed wingers on the left, and vice versa all about?


Its an issue of space, and pace. Cut inside, and the game opens up. Also, as full backs became more athletic, and more attacking, the width could be supplied from a full back. Hence, the tendency for the winger to become slightly slower, more two footed, more flexible but ultimately narrower.

The other aspect of playing on the correct side and going outside the defender is that there is more room to cross whereas when you come inside it then becomes more crowded with so many midfielders occupying less space (remember England's problems with Rooney and Scholes coming inside from the left and running into trouble?).


This is not necessarily true in the general case - it depends on what the other players in the squad are doing and also what the defence are doing.

And the specific England case mentioned is somewhat misguided or misremembered. Scholes' last cap for England was 2004, at the Euros that year. In that tournament he typically played on the left of a narrow midfield diamond, so not really a centre mid, where he was good, nor really in his United role, where he scored goals. Square peg, round hole, jog on. Rooney's first England game was 2003, so him and Scholes would have rarely played in the same squad. In any case, Rooney tended to play upfront with some freedom to roam.

The key tactical issue of that era of England was two-fold folly of playing Lampard and Gerrard without a plan that suited either and trying every single left footed player - plus a fair few right footed ones - in that left midfield slot without any idea of what they would do when there. I can remember Joe Cole in that position - of course he's going to tuck inside. I can remember Alan Thompson there in a friendly against Sweden. He might as well have been Paul Brooker, FFS. You've also got, in this situation, the mismatch of your full backs. Ashley Cole was very adventurous, while Neville less so. Danny Mills (2002) even less so again. So the left midfield would have perhaps been better defensively minded. That said, with the rest of the midfield, they would have ended up covering two positions - one from the middle and also the left.

Would Convey & little been as effective playing on the opposite sides? 100% no


Little's probably a maybe there, tbf, but that side was set up as a distinct 4-4-2, with width supplied by the wingers and two grinding ball-winning centre mids.

So, tldr, wingers of either stripe, inside, outside, hotel and/or motel. Fine, there is no inherent problem, so long as the side is set up to play with them and play to their strengths.

I would suggest the problem isn't the position or the tactic, but a lack of continuity in our management and recruitment policy meaning we're playing too many players slightly out of position and slightly in the wrong attacking role.

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Re: Those were the days...

by stealthpapes » 05 Feb 2019 14:43

Green
Sebastian the Red
John Smith Would a brief stint in League One be the answer?


I'd actually come back for the first time in 3 or 4 years if we're relegated

I think I could probably stretch to a micropub tour of the Medway towns before Gillingham away.


oooh.

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Re: Those were the days...

by Victor Meldrew » 05 Feb 2019 17:15

stealthpapes There is so much to digest here, its literally like the last twenty years of football didn't happen, so we'll start with the easiest.

The earliest I can remember is Preki at Everton and , like Robben, he scored a lot of goals.


4, 4 goals in 46 games.

He was an indoor footballer before Everton and scored well over 1 a game in a 5 a side league, so, yeah, maybe.

To me this is largely down to putting wingers on the wrong wing...and it’s not just at Reading.
What’s this phenomenon of playing right footed wingers on the left, and vice versa all about?


Its an issue of space, and pace. Cut inside, and the game opens up. Also, as full backs became more athletic, and more attacking, the width could be supplied from a full back. Hence, the tendency for the winger to become slightly slower, more two footed, more flexible but ultimately narrower.

The other aspect of playing on the correct side and going outside the defender is that there is more room to cross whereas when you come inside it then becomes more crowded with so many midfielders occupying less space (remember England's problems with Rooney and Scholes coming inside from the left and running into trouble?).


This is not necessarily true in the general case - it depends on what the other players in the squad are doing and also what the defence are doing.

And the specific England case mentioned is somewhat misguided or misremembered. Scholes' last cap for England was 2004, at the Euros that year. In that tournament he typically played on the left of a narrow midfield diamond, so not really a centre mid, where he was good, nor really in his United role, where he scored goals. Square peg, round hole, jog on. Rooney's first England game was 2003, so him and Scholes would have rarely played in the same squad. In any case, Rooney tended to play upfront with some freedom to roam.

The key tactical issue of that era of England was two-fold folly of playing Lampard and Gerrard without a plan that suited either and trying every single left footed player - plus a fair few right footed ones - in that left midfield slot without any idea of what they would do when there. I can remember Joe Cole in that position - of course he's going to tuck inside. I can remember Alan Thompson there in a friendly against Sweden. He might as well have been Paul Brooker, FFS. You've also got, in this situation, the mismatch of your full backs. Ashley Cole was very adventurous, while Neville less so. Danny Mills (2002) even less so again. So the left midfield would have perhaps been better defensively minded. That said, with the rest of the midfield, they would have ended up covering two positions - one from the middle and also the left.

Would Convey & little been as effective playing on the opposite sides? 100% no


Little's probably a maybe there, tbf, but that side was set up as a distinct 4-4-2, with width supplied by the wingers and two grinding ball-winning centre mids.

So, tldr, wingers of either stripe, inside, outside, hotel and/or motel. Fine, there is no inherent problem, so long as the side is set up to play with them and play to their strengths.

I would suggest the problem isn't the position or the tactic, but a lack of continuity in our management and recruitment policy meaning we're playing too many players slightly out of position and slightly in the wrong attacking role.



You misunderstood my point about Rooney and Scholes.
I didn't say they played together, what I said was that they were both asked( at different times )to play in that wide left spot and when they did they far too frequently came inside on their preferred foot thereby causing overcrowding in midfield and no width.
The same applied when Joe Cole played.

IMHO there is always more room if the winger takes the full-back on and crosses from out wide.

As for full-backs providing the width I feel that seldom works because so often they are failed wingers and that is why they are full-backs as they weren't good enough as wingers.

Personally I much prefer full backs to be defensive minded in a 4 with wingers as wide midfielders or as part of a front 3.


Your post fortunately ,albeit a little confused , does not detract from the OP so thanks again poster for taking us down memory lane with examples of when our play was exciting to watch.

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Re: Those were the days...

by Forbury Lion » 05 Feb 2019 17:39

Maybe it's time to tinker with the rules of football to encourage goalscoring

0 points for a 0-0 draw (not this season though, we're going to need those points!)

Prize money at the end of the season to be distributed based on goals scored rather than league position/points

Bigger & Wider goals?

Wider pitches

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