Jordan Obita, Time For A Break
I have been thinking about this for a while. I think most fans will agree that—considering he got Player of the Year last season—this year has been a massive disappointment. If ever you have seen a player look shorn of confidence then it's Obita. I am not sure if this is because he isn't getting the protection or support from Hal Robson-Kanu et all or that he is really missing—dare I say it—Jobi McAnuff (for me it was criminal we allowed him to depart). Either way he is a shadow of the player he was last year and his ratings this season have been distinctly average.
Maybe it's time to give him a breather and bring in Jure Travner for a run, otherwise really what was the point of signing him, as we haven't exactly got money to burn? I really liked Obita last season and the way he broke though and made the left back position his own. I just think that maybe he needs a little time off to recharge and work out where his game is.
Hoof It Football
I very nearly titled this section 'Mills v Pearce who would you rather have?', but settled on hoof it football. It baffled me—especially in the conditions—that we are still doing 50-70 yard balls down the pitch for people to chase.
I haven't seen the stats and I could be wrong, but it does seem that we have an ever-increasing reliance on Michael Hector or Alex Pearce banging a ball 50 yards down the pitch for someone to chase.
How many times this season have we seen a pass from Pearce to Hector, he runs five yards then kicks it hopefully downfield? Last night our "style" seemed to be hack it down the pitch and try and pick up the scraps. When we did pass if through midfield we actually played half decent football and caused Bolton a few questions, however this was the exception rather than the rule.
Federici Back On His Game
Adam Federici is the epitome of "class is permanent, form is temporary". After a couple of dodgy games, he was back to his best with a bang last night, making some stunning saves.
Since Marcus Hahnemann left the Madejski Stadium we have been crying out for a replacement, Federici has now shown that he has the ability and self-belief to be our first choice keeper for some time to come, despite the emergence of Alex McCarthy for a period.
The only slight snag is that we have delayed all contract talks to the end of the season when he will be out of contract. We could potentially lose him for nothing and that would be a disastrous position for the club to be in. Sign him up! Now!
We Scored A Goal But The Off-The-Ball Movement Sucks
For the first time since Nov 4—and stretching five games—Reading managed to score a goal in a midweek game. It's mind boggling that we can have semi-good form at weekends and look awful midweek. The really frustrating thing is that when you actually look at the teams we have played (Millwall, Wigan, Huddersfield, Leeds and Bolton) to come away with just two points from is a diabolical return.
When you then take a look at my second point, looking at these games and last night in even more detail, when we had the ball it's like a game of musical statues; there is precious little off the ball running and players look like they are waiting for the ball to come to them—which is easy to defend against. Maybe a little more running and off the ball movement and we may have had a nine point return from those games and adding that to our total now would put us in 10th place. So come on boys, move!