When he's in the mood, Pogrebnyak has the ability to be unplayable. Personally I haven't been much of a fan of his since he arrived, for a player to have so many physical attributes at his disposal he has rarely put them to good enough use in a blue and white hooped shirt. Occasionally we have seen what Pogrebnyak is capable of with, for example, performances last season against Middlesbrough at home and Derby away to name but two, but invariably he would stroll around the middle of the park looking thoroughly disinterested (see my own scathing report for the Bournemouth away match this season). More of the same please Mr Pogrebnyak. You clearly have the ability if not always the application.
Once again proved he is a superb Championship goalkeeper with a performance showing command of his area and superb shotstopping when required. His save just before half time in particular was, from my vantage point at the top of Y25, world class. Amazing how fewer mistakes are made when you have an excellent defence ...
....which leads me to number 3 No surprise that since the change in manager we have looked so much better defensively. Sadly for Adkins, his defence was consistently left exposed yet in nine matches we are yet to see opposition attacking players get anywhere near the joy they had under Adkins. Team set-up has changed for the better, errors have been eradicated from the defence, and suddenly we look so much more solid. We never had poor defenders, we had a poorly set up defensive unit.
The McCleary/Williams Spat
A lot has been made of the on-field spat between Danny Williams and Garath McCleary on Hobnob, as well as the pair fielding questions from the media about it. For me there was nothing to it other than Williams pointing out the obvious to the bench that McCleary was basically knackered and to take him off, and McCleary probably taking exception to being told he was no longer any use on the pitch (this bit of it occurred seconds before the two had words). The question for me was why the bench took so long to sub McCleary when it was painfully obvious we were playing with 10and a half men.
Why would any player think the right way to take a penalty is to roll it along the ground? Hal Robson-Kanu would do well to take a look at the Reading FC video archives and watch Jimmy Quinn, Trevor Morley and Dave Kitson taking their own penalties - bang, hard, generally high out of reach of a keeper's dive. If you're going to take a penalty you have to be convincing - Robson-Kanu rarely is (and Nick Blackman for that matter!).