Reading v Villa - Player Ratings

Tony Marshall

As I stated in today's Match Report, I actually didn't think we played too badly but sadly those that were bad were very bad and those that were good, just weren't good enough.

Stuart Taylor: 6

Not bad from Taylor but he had very little to do and didn't look the most confident when the ball was swung into the box. Some of his kicking was also wayward with at least one straight into the stands but he did do well to see clear a couple of dodgy backpasses, especially one from Leigertwood near the end.

Stephen Kelly: 5

Not the best day at the office for Kelly whose poor clearance late in the first half led to Villa's second. It wasn't a total disaster of a display but one he won't look back on with great fondness.

Adrian Mariappa: 6

Another solid display from Mariappa who has proved a good investment and looked comfortable in the Premier League since he's come in.

Alex Pearce: 6

A contender for MOTM after another good performance and solid display at the back. Possibly should have tracked Benteke better for the first but only his fantastic tackle on Wiemann stopped it being 3-1 early in the second half. Pearce was the last Reading player off the pitch and one of few to stay to applaud the home fans. I don't want to say it looked like a goodbye but it certainly looked like a player who maybe for the first time appreciated the fact that he might not have many more games in front of these fans.

Ian Harte: 4

Harte's limitations were cruelly exposed today and his day was summed up perfectly when he fell flat on his backside midway through the second half and nearly gifted Villa a goal. It wasn't his fault that he was so exposed but even so both goals came down his side and his set pieces lacked any sort of potency.

Jobi McAnuff: 3

This was about as bad as it's going to get from our captain who saw just about everything he tried fail to come off and just got worse and worse as the game wore on. To his credit he did set up the first and assisted a perfectly good second that was disallowed, but around that were a series of poor decisions that didn't do the midfielder any favours. Both goals also came down his side and you have to question where he was, especially in the build up to the second when Harte was left two-on-one. Utterly anonymous when moved into the middle and as I mentioned in the match report, I think the time has come to give him a rest and give someone else the chance to make the position his own.

Hope Akpan: 5

Not the best day for Akpan either but he tried hard and had some decent touches. The game just seemed to pass him by but this is something that's happened time and time again for whoever the poor soul is that gets put alongside Leigertwood in a 4-4-2 this year. Reading were just getting overran time and time again and Akpan was sadly unable to help stop it, nor offer much in the rare moments he got the ball. I can see why he was subbed, but with Reading chasing the game I felt he'd have offered more than Leigertwood.

Mikele Leigertwood: 4

Despite the ironic cheers I didn't think Ledge had his worst game of the season by any stretch. Of course there was the usual giving away of possession 5328128 times but he was tackling quite well and his positioning was pretty solid. Sadly his day was summed up by him trying to score an own goal, at least thats what it looked like as he smashed a backpass to Taylor from 5 yards in a crowded box.

You feel that the boos were more based on the season as a whole and the subbing of Akpan earlier, rather than in response to a particularly poor Leigertwood games. He's just not Premier League quality but thankfully from his point of view, he won't be a Premier League player next year.

Hal Robson-Kanu: 7

A decent game for Hal, who got into some great positions in and around the goal but then lacked the quality to finish the chances given to him. Twice he saw efforts flash past the post and if one of those had gone in... well. Quite possibly our man of the match but you can't ignore the fact he wasted key chances.

Noel Hunt: 5

You always get 100% commitment from Hunty and today was no different as the Irishman put in another gutsy display. He won several flickons but struggled to make much of an impact until his final touch, a seemingly perfectly good goal that was ruled out. I thought he was a bit unfortunate to get subbed but like McAnuff and Leigertwood, he's not somebody you want to be relying on to get you out of trouble in the Premier League.

Adam Le Fondre: 5

Did he touch the ball? Alfie had a very, very quiet day but with that level of service I guess you can't critisise our 'fox in the box' too greatly. Sadly today has shown his limited effectiveness in a struggling side and he's not got the all-round game that helped the likes of Pogrebnyak, Long, Doyle or Nicky Forster. Like Jamie Cureton, his game hasn't evolved enough to do a job in a team with such little service and he was just a hard working passenger for this one.

SUBS

Nick Blackman: 5

Looked lively but fluffed two good chances. The first was a header that was put straight at Guzan while the second saw him free in space in the box only for the former Blades forward to fall over and give the ball away. Blackman certainly has potential but hasn't got the quality we need right now.

Garath McCleary: 4

Struggled to make an impact and remains behind HRK and Kebe in the pecking order. Might get a chance if Jobi is dropped but this looks like a lost season for the winger.

Danny Guthrie: NR

Didn't really have any time to make an impact but will certainly wonder just why he's not been in the team.

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