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Reading FC Power Rankings: November 12

It's been six weeks and several winless games since we last attempted to rank Reading's players so how has the recent slump impacted the standings?

If you missed the first installment  of my Power Rankings you can find it here, it contains a basic summary of how I grade the players but after a few questions in the comments section I thought I'd try and quantify my thinking a little bit more. Generally I consider around 50% of the rank based on a player's form over the past few weeks, with another 25% taking into account his longer-term form and the other 25% based on overall importance and role within the team for both the short and long-term. It's a totally inexact science but if you've got a problem with it... well, that's what the comments are for!

So without further ado.....

Top Ten

1. Nick Blackman (Last Month 1)

He's won all three of our Player of the Month votes, is the team's top scorer and generally the most in-form of all our attacking options. He's bagged three goals since our last rankings and nobody else has come close to him in terms of quality or consistency.

2. Paul McShane (Last Month 2)

McShane also keeps his position here after being one of the few members of the back five without a serious question mark hanging over him. Saturday's poor defensive showing without him in the side only highlighted how important the club captain is.

3. Oliver Norwood (Last Month 4)

It's a move up the standings for Olly Norwood who has continued to be a key cog in a midfield decimated by injuries. Scored a clever set piece against Huddersfield to help earn a draw and we can only hope he stays injury free.

4. Stephen Quinn (Last Month 8)

Some will question how a man who's been injured and missed the past six weeks can possibly go up in my rankings but in my humble opinion it's the absence of the energy, experience and utility that Quinn brings to a midfield which has been a big part of our recent slump in form.

5. Orlando Sa (Last Month 3)

Sa drops down two spots and he'd have probably fallen further were it not for a lack of outstanding candidates elsewhere. Bagged a classy goal at Fulham but otherwise it's been hard going for the striker who's struggled to replicate the form he was showing before his red card against Derby. With that being said, he's still our main striker and the only man in the squad who seems capable of nailing down the main forward slot.

6. Chris Gunter (Last Month 6)

As you were for Mr Gunter who has been his usual solid self in the past few games. Dependable but rarely inspirational.

7. Matej Vydra (Last Month 5)

This week's Tilehurst End Podcast drew plenty of debate on Vydra, with his role, loan fee and form all coming up for discussion via the mailbag. While we've yet to see the best of him, the Watford loanee has shown flashes of excellence and a first goal of the season against Brighton should help him settle that bit quicker. Still arguably the player with the most natural ability in the squad and his return to form could ignite us after the break.

8. Danny Williams (Last Month Unranked)

Injuries to Aaron Tshibola and Quinn have heightened Williams' importance to the squad but as of yet he's struggled to really show his best form. Scored a key early goal against Middlesbrough but otherwise hasn't directly contributed to much and even lost his place in the team to Alex Fernandez for the Cardiff game. Like Vydra, we'll need him to get back to his best if we want to climb the table.

9. Hal Robson-Kanu (Last Month Unranked)

I can't believe I'm writing this but yes Hal Robson-Kanu has made it into my list. The facts speak for themselves. Hal leads the team in assists and Reading haven't lost a game he's started in. More importantly we've only won one game since he's gone down with injury and that was against ten-man Charlton. Ola John and Lucas Piazon have both done OK in the Welshman's absence but neither have been as effective.

10. Anton Ferdinand (Last Month Unranked)

Anton's return to injury has come at a very welcome time but he won't have been happy with his first two games back. That being said his experience is going to be crucial going forward.


Bottom Five (Lowest to highest)

5. Paolo Hurtado

He arrived with plenty of fanfare at the start of the season but so far the Peru winger has managed a mere 65 minutes of action and that's despite a number of injuries to fellow wingers.

4. Jordan Obita

Has gone from one of the first names on the team sheet to almost a 50/50 call with loanee Andrew Taylor for the left-back spot. Still has plenty of time to improve but a worrying lack of development since he first took on the position nearly two years ago.

3. Michael Hector

Like Obita, Hector remains a player with plenty of potential but we're not seeing many reasons why Chelsea  splashed nearly five million pounds for him on deadline day. Looked lost against Cardiff and didn't seem to suit the captaincy.

2. Garath McCleary

It's been a pretty miserable few weeks for McCleary who's been unable to nail down a regular place and has failed to convince even when selected. He's not been awful but the fact he's struggling to secure starts despite so many injuries says a lot about Clarke's faith in him right now.

1. Jonathan Bond

After winning a tough contest with Ali Al-Habsi for the keepers' jersey over the summer, Bond has since lost it due to injury and has so far had to be patient on the sidelines.


So that's how I see it but what do you think? Have I been too generous or overly harsh on some players? Make your case below in the comments section.