FanPost

Effective vs attractive - is Adkins' style the way to go?

As we succumbed to a second successive home defeat, it may be easy to point the finger at defensive frailties that have cost us dear over the past couple of weeks. Indeed, it was poor marking and the inability to track the run which saw McCann tuck away the opener. And, despite the howling wind and driving rain, a crucial misjudgement by Pearce saw Powell race through for the second.
But a more fundamental issue and one questioned in the past is considering whether the squad has really taken to Nigel Adkins' preferred style of play - and if they have, it comes across on the pitch as though the players try to 'force' the attractive football which often results in balls being played backwards and sidewards. Its a frustrating spectacle for Royals fans.
For me, it was more evident yesterday than any other game this season - a distinct lack of direction or purpose with our passing. In all fairness, Wigan had their game plan sorted - pressuring high up the pitch, which frequently resulted in misplaced passes and clearances that unfortunately have become commonplace within the Reading defence. But there were some strange, strange decisions being made. Not least the regular movement of the centre backs out to the touchline to offer McCarthy a route out of defence - or shall I say into defence and back to McCarthy... This is something we've been doing all season - but has it achieved anything ? I'd argue not.
And when the centre backs do have time on the ball to weigh up their options and look for an out-ball into midfield, they choose to pump it down towards Pogrebnyak or Sharp who, even if they do win the flick on, have to chase down a lost cause thereafter. This long ball tactic may be something that has proved successful for us in recent years under McDermott, but under Adkins we have almost assumed we would see a smooth transformation into attractive, creative and fast flowing football, on the deck.
Is it is the aptitude of the players or the distrust in the system Adkins is trying to instil that is resulting in a lack of spirit and belief on the pitch to put it into action? The adverse effect of having players play in a system they are not suited to are becoming increasingly evident as we enter a hectic fixture schedule. Whether myself and others are expecting too much too soon or our growing frustration is entirely justified, the reality is that with tough games against Leicester and Forest on the horizon, the balance between effectiveness and attractiveness must be achieved quickly if we are to keep realistic ambitions of promotion alive.


All views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Tilehurst End or SB Nation

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