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Reading FC 0-0 Bolton Wanderers: A Statistical Review

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A dull draw against fellow league stragglers Bolton Wanderers saw the Royals only gain a point. Hoops provides some statistical analysis of the bore draw.

Michael Steele/Getty Images

Well, would you look at that? Nigel Adkins' men have managed two clean sheets in a row for the first time since September, though that came at a cost of entertainment as the Trotters left the Madejski Stadium with a point.

Williams' forward momentum

Danny Williams has been a player many fans had hoped would be important to any success Reading would have this season. Thus far, it hasn't transpired that way but against Bolton he was at least trying to get the team moving. He attempted five take-ons during the game, the most of any Reading player; unfortunately, none of those came off.

Despite arriving at the club as a player seen mostly as a defensive player, it looks like he has been tasked with the unenviable chore of providing box-to-box support, with his attacking contributions more notable than his defensive. No aerial duels won, no interceptions, one block and two tackles. The majority of his passing also came on the right side of the field, with his passing in the centre midfield area totalling only five.

Clearly not up to speed, but with such a vital role to play in the forward momentum of the team, Adkins (and the fans) will be hoping he kicks on soon.

Intriguingly, Simon Cox (a substitute) was the Royals' best dribbler, completing three once he had been thrown on in an attempt to swing the game our way.

Defenders most threatening?

It says it all when Reading's two most threatening players were their centre backs. Jake Cooper and Michael Hector completed a monumental seven shots between them, an extraordinarily high amount for a team that finished the game with 18 shots. You won't be surprised to hear that despite the number of shots, only two of them were on target from the big men at the back—that's two fifths of the team's total.

Jake Cooper alone completed nine aerial duels, three of which in the attacking area of the pitch.

Nigel Adkins clearly saw Cooper and Hector as a secret weapon in his (fairly insignificant) attacking arsenal, but on the day it wasn't enough against a Bolton side featuring the notoriously strong in the air Matt Mills.

Poor crossing

Adkins has a habit of mentioning the number of crosses his side attempts per game, but on this occasion despite attempting 27 crosses, only three made it to their intended target. The Royals are struggling to score goals at the moment, and with shambolic crossing stats like that it's easy to see why.

Of course, with only Glenn Murray up top to aim the crosses at, it's understandable that the crosses won't make their target—so why does Adkins persist with this tactic?

Erratic shooting

Reading attempted 18 shots against Bolton, but only five of those were on target. For those in attendance I'm sure that won't come as a shock, but when your main striker Glenn Murray doesn't make one of those it's a sign of poor chances created or an out of form striker with very little competition. Either way, it's disappointing and means there was very little to get excited about.

Easy to defend against

Bolton's 25 interceptions are the most done by an opposition team against us this season (average 12) and only five were in our half. It's clear for anyone that's seen even one game of the Royals' that there's an easy way of stopping them: sit deep.

Bolton did this marvellously, waiting for an opportunity to sniff out a loose pass and pouncing, which is easy when you have a team whose pass accuracy was a lowly 65%.

Once Bolton had recovered the ball, they passed it better than we did, as they ended the game with more possession (54.3%), more passes (414), and a higher completion rate (73%).

All in all, there's not much in the stats that we didn't know already: Reading FC are currently very boring and very predictable.

All stats courtesy of WhoScored and Squawka.