Reading fan chat - Reading v Blackburn 4th April 2017

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daib0
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Reading fan chat - Reading v Blackburn 4th April 2017

Post by daib0 » Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:23 pm

4th April 2017 - kick-off 8.00pm - Reading v Blackburn Rovers

I’ve usually, over the past few seasons, given a little introduction then asked you a few specific questions. But this time, seeing that we are virtually assured a place in the play-offs - but one is never cocky if you've seen the Royals in the 4th tier! - I thought I’d expand a bit, and give you a bit more detailed information on the season ‘down south’. This has been adapted from a previous interview I did on another match but I hope is equally as valid.


So here goes - A run-down on Reading ….

Reading have proved to be a bit of a dark horse this season. After a slightly wobbly start the results have been surprisingly good really, especially at home but also certainly not a disgrace on the road either. We have had a few reality checks - such as at Brentford where we were walloped 1-4, Newcastle away the same, and an almost disgraceful 0-5 scoreline away to Fulham in which the team hardly turned up! Also very recently we’ve suffered two lacklustre 0-3 losses away to both Brighton and Preston. So our GD is hardly healthy! Just +3 as I write this, a bit insane for a club on 70 points and still seven games left to play! However, it also sounds crazy but virtually all these appear to be one-offs (I don’t think we’ve had more than 2 consecutive defeats all season) and in general we have been able to wear teams down with ‘boring’ possession football, scoring quite a few goals in the last quarter of an hour. Of course our fans still remember recently and too well the infamous freefall descent from Clarke the previous season (went from play-offs to almost a relegation battle) so we are still not counting on it yet! Back August it was extremely hard to find a Royals fan who even thought we’d finish top half, so whatever happens at the close this season it has been a big success and a big relief.

What sort of manager is Jaap Stam? Stam bases his play on a passing game, taking all the time he needs to build up play. This can result in us having 70%-75% of the possession. However, well over half of this might be in our own half. Unlike Barcelona we haven’t got a Messi or Iniesta to suddenly open up the centre of the field, so sometimes the wait to get to attack is … considerable. And that’s what has displeased some. There have been the ‘boo’ boys especially at the beginning of the season; yes, there have been whistles from some of our own fans. As we’ve been able to maintain a play-off position for a few months now this manifest disproval has largely dried up. But in any case it hasn’t rattled our Stam at all, he is sticking to his plan, his philosophy. Whilst we have the ball the other team does the running around.

Although a neutral fan might think this was some mad-cow appointment it didn’t actually come as too much of a surprise to me. Our director of football Nicky Hammond had left, after many a year at the Royals, to do the same responsibility at West Bromwich Albion. In his place we had hired Brian Tevreden as ‘Reading FC Technical Director’ in February ’16 - a Dutchman with plenty of connections, a playing career and now making astute financial planning. I can’t say he’s done badly either, looks quite smart in his moves so far. Jaam Stap’s name immediately sprang up because he had been handling the Ajax U21s successfully. When the Reading job came up he was groomed as the first choice from the beginning. With these Dutchmen in place - and remember Stam also brought across a couple more staff from the continent too - it’s no surprise that we signed principally ‘European’ players this summer and not those from home soil. Therefore the football - very European, lots of possession ‘a la’ Barca … but obviously not as good!

What’s the current ownership situation at Reading? For me slightly worrying. OK, it’s nice not to be overly interfered with by your board of directors, but our board tends to go to the exact opposite - you don’t know they are there! I don’t doubt they mean well, but bow there is talk of them selling out, to (most likely) Chinese investors. This is obviously a step in the dark. We honestly haven’t been informed. It’s all stagnated, and even Stam has cited his unease. Also, apart from the on field factors there is some other ill-feeling brewing up. Around the new stadium is a rather large area for potential building development and here it seems that the ‘Thais’ are not intending to give up their interest on this part as far as I can perceive. So suspecting fans are beginning to ask - are the board really into it for the football, as per their initial introduction to the club, or are they more thinking of making a good load of bucks with the housing-cum-business developments? This has to be defined at the earliest opportunity …


Best players and weak links in the current side? Best individual performers so far have probably been Swift (he has even scored for the England U21s this season) and Al Habsi. For me collectively the midfield is probably the best of the team. No ‘stars’ but graft well together. The forwards try hard, there is a good team spirit, but - oh dear - it’s hardly what you could call prolific. If between them they scored just one against you we’d be happy enough! Beerens is settling down well though drifts in and out of games, and McCleary shows lots of glimpses and they seem to be becoming more regular! Kermorgant tries extremely hard but perhaps now lacks that extra yard of pace. There are many defenders in the squad, indeed some would say too many - 10 of them, but are sometimes a little unstable though. Whilst passing around the back they are fine and enjoy their football, they can be found out amongst fast mischievous attackers (e.g. against Newcastle and Brentford). Al Habsi is really fine in goal though, indeed he was the Player of the Season last term, and looks WELL on course to repeating that accolade this season … has saved us already on countless occasions when the shots on-target is woefully against us!!

Will we get there this season? General aspirations, as you have probably guessed after two years finishing in the bottom third of the table after a glorious decade (by our standards anyway!) were simply to finish top half, unlikely at the start according to our fans as I previously said. Just before the season started I had predicted for an article on Sky Sports for us to be flirting around play-offs, but then when have fans been objective? And yet we are sitting fourth. It would be difficult to find many Royals fans who think we are perfectly worthy of being there, if I’m honest the majority think we’re well over-achieving. However, some of the other play-off sides are neither particularly consistent so I feel we will finish now in fact 4th/5th. I think top two was always a stretch too far. But once in play-offs - if, that is - who knows?
The manager has talked of a three-year plan to get the club into the Premier. It’s hard to comment on that. Anything quicker would be welcome news, but I get amused by these sort of long-term plans, as the championship is very competitive and it doesn’t just depend on how we ourselves are playing - taking into consideration the other 23 teams that’s an impossibility on long-term thinking, how do we even know how the others will be performing? On top of that virtually no team will even have the same manager in three years! I’m sure Reading will be again Premier league and even stick there during a number of seasons - historically you can certainly see we are on an upward trend from the dark years of the 70s, plus taking into consideration that this is a wealthy affluent zone, has a huge catchment area of the whole of the Thames Valley, probably no local rival to oust us as ‘Thames Valley champs’ for many a year, etc. … just that I’d hate to put a date on it!


Any thoughts on the game and on Reading of late would be most welcome to tell my members on ‘Royals Rendezvous’



daibo/David

daib0
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Re: Reading fan chat - Reading v Blackburn 4th April 2017

Post by daib0 » Mon Apr 03, 2017 5:24 pm

curious, that biggie was my 500th post! Not bad for a well-behaved 'away' fan :yeahright: :D :D



And here is the massive Match presentation that we do on Royals Rendezvous - you won't find a bigger intro than this on your travels!!
http://royalsrendezvous.co.uk/topic/30083909/1

And a highest written recommendation there for Rovers Talk !! :hyper:

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Re: Reading fan chat - Reading v Blackburn 4th April 2017

Post by mrblackbat » Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:14 pm

You'll beat us

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Re: Reading fan chat - Reading v Blackburn 4th April 2017

Post by Ethiaa » Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:33 pm

We'll beat you.


Seriously, I fancy us to win this. I think this a very winnable game.

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Re: Reading fan chat - Reading v Blackburn 4th April 2017

Post by mrblackbat » Mon Apr 03, 2017 8:57 pm

In that they could get five players sent off?

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Re: Reading fan chat - Reading v Blackburn 4th April 2017

Post by Ethiaa » Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:15 pm

No. In that it's by no means a done deal we will lose this one. I have a feeling.

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Re: Reading fan chat - Reading v Blackburn 4th April 2017

Post by daib0 » Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:08 pm

Ethiaa wrote:
Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:15 pm
No. In that it's by no means a done deal we will lose this one. I have a feeling.
You right in that Rovers might be up for it more. After Leeds game we're virtually there, always a danger our side that we'll relax a bit ...

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Re: Reading fan chat - Reading v Blackburn 4th April 2017

Post by Thorisgodpoo » Tue Apr 04, 2017 3:14 am

Ethiaa wrote:
Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:15 pm
No. In that it's by no means a done deal we will lose this one. I have a feeling.
Where does that feeling reside? Can we conceive it? I need some empirical data pal.

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Re: Reading fan chat - Reading v Blackburn 4th April 2017

Post by Thorisgodpoo » Tue Apr 04, 2017 3:29 am

daib0 wrote:
Mon Apr 03, 2017 10:08 pm
Ethiaa wrote:
Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:15 pm
No. In that it's by no means a done deal we will lose this one. I have a feeling.
You right in that Rovers might be up for it more. After Leeds game we're virtually there, always a danger our side that we'll relax a bit ...
Reading have taken a couple throttlings to the goal differential by Brigton, Newcastle, Fulham, Brentford, and Preston (3 goals or more). I don't know what it could be, but knowing Rovers don't have Graham for this match, it really takes out a common factor to a lot of the goal production as of late.

The fact that Al-Habsi can still put in a good shift shows how versatile he is. I am glad he is able to find a good club again to start for and push for playoffs.

Either way, a win against Reading would be a nice boost to survival, before the final 6 matches.

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Re: Reading fan chat - Reading v Blackburn 4th April 2017

Post by Ethiaa » Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:51 am

Thorisgodpoo wrote:
Tue Apr 04, 2017 3:14 am
Ethiaa wrote:
Mon Apr 03, 2017 9:15 pm
No. In that it's by no means a done deal we will lose this one. I have a feeling.
Where does that feeling reside? Can we conceive it? I need some empirical data pal.
You ain't conceiving nothing with me. Keep your hands to yourself.

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Re: Reading fan chat - Reading v Blackburn 4th April 2017

Post by mcteeth » Tue Apr 04, 2017 6:26 pm

I've been away for the last week, unsurprised by the loss to Brighton and on my way to Reading now. Would be great if we could take something from the game.

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Re: Reading fan chat - Reading v Blackburn 4th April 2017

Post by WacoRover » Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:41 pm

Daib0, thanks for the comments.

Royals are my 2nd-favorite team in the Championship, my son having obtained his Master's there.

Good luck the rest of the season, & I hope Reading makes the playoffs & gets promoted!

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Re: Reading fan chat - Reading v Blackburn 4th April 2017

Post by thehatts » Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:03 pm

Set up to try and get to last 20 mins still in game.

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Re: Reading fan chat - Reading v Blackburn 4th April 2017

Post by WacoRover » Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:26 pm

No Danny Graham to bail us out today, either

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Re: Reading fan chat - Reading v Blackburn 4th April 2017

Post by WacoRover » Tue Apr 04, 2017 8:31 pm

Gone to crap today, for sure. Bristol losing, as well.

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