Premier League players do not equal Premier League play
Bolton had some 'name' players in their XI - Ngog, Spearing & Knight - all with Premier league experience and they did Bolton no good. Building on last week's reports, it seemed again on Saturday that our squad of Championship quality players when put in a classic uncomplicated 4-4-2 formation, can play sensibly and keenly without the need to rely on Danny Guthrie as deep lying 'quarterback' slowing play down and making it predictable. I have a suspicion that most of the squad are more comfortable in a 4-4-2 having been brought up on it from youth and throughout the SC and BM eras. Perhaps our Manager has realised that 4-2-2-1-1 or other 'continental' styles don't suit the majority of our players' abilities and that those number sequences are best left in crossword puzzles.
Pearce seemed subdued.
Anyone else notice that Alex Pearce didn't join in with many of the goal celebrations? For many of the goals he seemed subdued, although he did join in passionately with Kaspars for the fifth. All the team seemed to want to hug it out for many of them with the exception of Alex who for the first goal had to be shouted at by the bench to get in on the love in. For most, he remained solo aside from a jog to the bench to take on water.
I was quite impressed by the team ethic be it for McCleary squaring the ball for Alf or Alf giving the ball to the Pog for the penalty, so it was a bit odd to see Pearce remain quite solitary. I don't know whether there's anything to be read into it or whether he's superstitiousbut it's an observation nonetheless.
Matt Mills must hate Reading
It's quite rare for us to have a proper panto villain as we're a quite fair bunch of fans when it comes to ex-Royals. It was funny to see him getting stick and even funnier to see him attempting to marshal a defence comprised of what appeared to be 3 other panto dames I mean villains- "Can you see the ball Matt? No? It's behind you!" And repeat SEVEN times.
Our academy is quite good
I'm quite impressed by the quality and consistency of the youth players coming through this past decade. Jordan Obita was perfectly good at left back and I think it makes a positive impact having naturally left sided players on that flank instead of playing right footers out of position. Considering McCarthy, Pearce, Obita, Hector and Taylor are all from that Academy source, I would like to think we have a decent conveyor belt for the next few years as well. Whilst rarely do we produce a player who we can all agree is Premier League quality (McCarthy TBC, Sigurdsson, yes; Long, probably) we do appear to be developing players of the right approximate quality for this division.
At 2.45 pm going via the Basingstoke Road not the A33 gets you from Reading town centre to the stadium in 10 minutes flat with next to no traffic.
Which is handy if all your clever advance plans go belly up. Like mine.