Five Things: Derby v Reading

Chris Brunskill

Dave Harris returns to TTE to look at five key points from our 3-1 win at Derby last weekend.

1) Jordan Obita looks the part

Up until now Obita was known to Reading fans solely as a wide player but Adkins threw him in for his first start in the middle. A solid start for the youngster, showed a decent range of passing and a sensible footballing brain, positionally excellent. Chris Baird and Danny Guthrie alongside will no doubt have helped but it is one thing being told to do something and another thing carrying out those instructions altogether. Obita, for me, was almost flawless in his play. And he showed good dead ball skills as well.

2) Nick Blackman is naive

After scoring the clincher, Blackman chose to look arrogantly at Reading fans, almost as though they were the s**t on his shoe. While I will never condone booing a player and am an advocate of encouragement while a player is on the pitch, players need to conduct themselves appropriately in the face of those fans voicing their opinion. Blackman has been out of his depth so far in his Reading career and it is, unfortunately, part of football that players who are substandard get booed.

Anyone remember Andy Gurney going radio rental after notching against Cambridge in November 2000? Blackman would have put himself closer to the hearts of Reading fans showing some passion like that rather than giving a silent bird to the fans.

3) A more cohesive performance without Drenthe?

Seemingly, the fairly comprehensive nature of Saturday's victory would suggest that a more cohesive team performance reaps better, more convincing rewards. Drenthe is a luxury player who is carrying a not inconsiderable amount of timber and who, after dominating performances against both Ipswich and particularly Bolton, has drifted off the boil.

Whether this is a quick realisation that he is going to need to fight in this league and doesn't have the stomach for it or has been completely marked out of games is open to debate, my own opinion is it is the latter. It is very difficult to play when doubled and trebled up against but certainly with a more "English" team and a young midfielder replacing the Dutchman, the feel was of a significantly more fluent performance.

4) Derby pubs are BRILLIANT

For the real ale connoisseur such as myself, Derby offers some of the best pubs a football town/city can offer and the majority within walking distance of the stadium and a mere stagger from the station. A thoroughly recommended awayday despite the slightly perennial above average price.

5) Reading's record against Derby is phenomenal

A league record of P29, W18, D4, L7 is quite superb for a club that historically plied its trade at a lower level than Derby until 1984/85. 10 of the last 13 matches have resulted in Reading wins, 2 draws and a solitary defeat (no surprises for guessing Rodgers was in charge for that), with 32 goals scored and just 10 conceded. A record like that suggests to me we are one thing to Derby - their bogey team. And their fans hate it!

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