After last week's defeat to Nottingham Forest, the Royals returned to the Madjeski to face a Queens Park Rangers side who themselves are going through a period of transition with Chris Ramsey leaving, Neil Warnock temping and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink on his way in.
Putting the shenanigans around Clarke and what was ultimately going to transpire little than 12 hours later to one side for the moment, the game itself can only be described as dull.
There seemed to be an apathy that started on the terraces and spilled over onto the pitch,as it seemed that the fans, the players and the management didn’t really want to be in Berkshire on a wet, cold Thursday night. Indeed the only people who probably seemed on being intent on performing were the Sky TV Crew.
It’s always a worry when you're sat in the stands and can hear every word being spoken by the players from ten rows back - such was the lack of atmosphere. But given the fare on offer it was hardly a surprise that the fans couldn’t really be bothered about this game.
Looking at the social media and news world prior and during the game, there was only really one story, and that was JFH going to QPR, thus meaning this would be Warnock's last game. This dominated the Twittersphere, so I have seen what else was being mentioned, mostly about the game being dull. Anyway, one we go...
Atmosphere (or lack of it)
Went to #readingfc vs #QPR tonight. Safe to says readings support was embarrassing. "Shake the foundations"— Nick Scouse (@kingkop95) December 4, 2015
The QPR love for Warnock…
#qpr supporter for the last 25 years safe to say Neil Warnock is the best manager I have seen. Never thought anyone would top Gerry Francis— E®❕© (@ERIC_POWER) December 3, 2015
As much as I love Danny Williams, this could be pushing it a little far...
@DannyW_88 may have been the best man on the pitch but @ReadingFC come up short 0-1 against QPR on a late header that should've been stopped— American Soccer (@AmericansExport) December 3, 2015
And onto the thoughts of the game…
#qpr v #reading summed up in six seconds. If in doubt. #dull https://t.co/hPWchxcBey— Matt Davies (@MattDavies_NP) December 3, 2015
Football is meant to be entertaining and exciting
Only thing worse than watching QPR Reading on Sky is actually been there live. So dull I'm thing of cancelling my subscription.— Matt Davies (@MattDavies_NP) December 3, 2015
If you don't support QPR or Reading but you're still watching this game then you must lead a boring life.— Michael Cunningham (@Superhoopa) December 3, 2015
Guessing one of Faurlins corners will be shown on the highlights package and maybe a Konchesky throw in. #QPR— sportingpete (@PeterFinch1968) December 3, 2015
Should always be careful what you say
How is Onouha the QPR captain? He seems a complete liability this half
— Gonzo (@17Gonzo) December 3, 2015
Fantastic steal at the death boys. Perfect way to send off Neil and to start the Jimmy Floyd era #QPR #COYRS— Joe McCabe (@j_mac61) December 3, 2015
Smash and grab #COYRS #QPR #ThankYouAgainNeilWarnock @QPRFC #3points— Edward Allen (@Filiranger) December 3, 2015
Identity Theft 0 QPR 1— David McIntyre (@davidmcintyre76) December 3, 2015
The catering sometimes leaves a little to be desired…but he could have a point
Not sure what's worse....the reading vs qpr match or my mates pizza from madejski @RichieDow90 pic.twitter.com/1WYF7Slfai— james slim stewart (@james_slim23) December 3, 2015
Finally…If Sky can work this out then they are a lot better than the rest of us!
Sky presenter: "After the break we will try and work out why it has been so dull". #readingfc #qpr— Dom Burch (@domburch) December 3, 2015
Given that this was the only game on Thursday, we for once do get some decent coverage. Once again I have tried to skirt around the Clarke fallout and concentrate on what the media said about the game itself.
The Guardian, basically say that we could, and probably should have won if we had taken any of the chances that we created. The Mail aren’t much kinder calling the performances of both teams "abject", and that before the "Al Habsi howler", neither keeper had been tested. The themes highlighted by these two nationals, will continue throughout!
The Express says that JFH has a job on his hands to try and get the London club playing creative football if he wants to continue his progress in management, whereas The Star says that the game will give the new QPR boss hope (you have to be kidding right?).
Looking at The Independent, and they reckon that this gives JFH "scope", which probably is more accurate than "hope". They are probably the first ones to mention that Reading FC were actually playing too and up to now, no one has pointed out the Nick Blackman free-kick that hit the bar!
As for the major nationals, and the BBC actually for once have a balanced write up and mention that it was a game of "limited" quality, whilst over at SkySports, and there is the video package - that is if you can really stomach to watch 2.55 minutes of dismal finishing and three angles of a goalkeeper completely losing it.
Looking at the other outlets, and ESPN FC as usual have an abridged version of Sky but have all the stats. FourFourTwo have the greatest description of the game – saying that it "failed to capture the imagination". Is that a polite way of saying that it was a terrible game?
The Football League Website give us a soundbite, saying that QPR snatched the result, whereas Outside 90 say that QPR were lucky.
Finally looking at the local outlets, and GetLondon call it a turgid performance, London24 say the players were "colossus", whereas with GetReading I'll let you make your own mind up, but there are some distinctly unhappy reporters over there!
So now we move on to Preston, if ever we need to support the team it’s now! C’mon Urzzzzz!