It is good to write this report on a decent Reading FC win, however the performance from the Royals, the lack of a performance from West Brom and the game itself were all overshadowed by some unsavoury goings on after the final whistle.
This has pretty much dominated everything around the game itself, and trying to find comments and reports that were not directly linked to one mindless "fan" was difficult.
The Baggies fans were all united in condemnation of the event along with football fans in general, and there must be restraint in tarring all the West Brom fans with the same brush.
Back to the football itself and it does seem that the Baggies faithful aren’t overly happy with Tony Pulis. From the outside he is deemed to be the architect of defensive football, but it does seem that the Albion supporters strongly think that he’s stuck in the Jurassic Age with outdated tactics and lineups.
The commentary on the social scene when we actually got any tweets about the game itself were of disappointment and the lack of a passionate team. The media? You guessed it - all about a certain fan and a 50p coin.
I tried, really I tried to find tweets that weren’t just about the coin throwing incident, but they were few and far between, however we have to pay it service given the sheer volume of comments on social media about it.
Coin throwing idiots
It could have been a lot, lot worse...
Support for Brunt
Was there a game of football played?
It's as if yesterday's result and "performance" didn't actually happen. #wba— Steve (@pennwba) February 21, 2016
What happened to Brunt - disgraceful.— Will Jeavons (@wjeavons) February 21, 2016
But it also draws all the attention away from Pulis and how inept he is/we are #WBA
Summer of Discontent?
In all my days following #wba I've never seen such disarray on the pitch and discontent off it. Even muddling on now seems a big ask.— Gaz Sloane (@MechaPangolin) February 21, 2016
Says it all…
Well all in all it sounds like Reading was the annual village idiots day out. Glad I refuse to travel to watch Pulisball. #wba— Ross Wood (@Standaman60) February 20, 2016
Not quite sure if this is a backhanded compliment?
Of course, the coin-throw has overshadowed the fact that #wba were poor & deservedly dumped out after staggering through 3rd and 4th rounds— Matt Wilson (@mattwilson_star) February 20, 2016
Super Matej Vydra!
Laughable that Vydra decided to carry it into the corner at the end and they still end up with a goal from it #wba— Kieran Doody (@kierandoody) February 20, 2016
Who were the Premiership side…
So #wba lost to 2 set pieces and a last minute breakaway. Frankly it's not like we were outplayed because I was there and we weren't.— Vargas (@dchantry) February 20, 2016
How many teams have the same problem…
Our midfield needs a massive overhaul for starters. No one is comfortable on the ball, no legs, no pace, no creativity etc... #Wba— Alex Fellows (@AlexFellows4690) February 20, 2016
When you play to have zero possession every week, don't be surprised when players can't keep hold of the ball. #wba— London Baggies (@LondonBaggies) February 20, 2016
Nearly, but not quite!
Sign him up, sign him up, sign him up!
There is going to be a large volume of this about #CoinGate, and hopefully some football will break out amongst the reports on the thrower.
The good thing about the FA Cup is that it draws international interest, so ladies and gentlemen for the very first time since last season’s FA Cup run, I can (drum roll please) split this into two areas, National and International.
Starting over the Pond in the US of A and Fox Sports have an almighty roundup of yesterdays FA Cup action, focusing on #CoinGate and also the fact that James McClean's wedding can go ahead now. They also mention that Reading earned the victory for taking our chances and the endeavor we showed (first time that’s been labelled on us this season!)
I do love the phrases and words that American sports columnists' use. Never would I have described a lead being "fumbled" away or we score "thrice" however the Yanks use them and actually manage to make sense out of it, and hands up who knows what an "ouster" is?! But somehow NBC Sports manage to give a write up about the game in two segments firstly here and then here.
Bleacher Report follow suite and carry tweets and statements put out by the players and club.
The National over in the UAE focus purely on the Chris Brunt incident and only mention the game in an opening statement. However I would hardly describe one coin as a "pelting", but hey, journalistic license.
Down under and it’s interesting to see the overseas verdicts of Reading’s season. Second division strugglers is perhaps a little harsh, however it’s always entertaining hearing football spoke about with an Aussie/Kiwi accent as on NewsHub. Similarly over at the Age, Reading get three lines at the bottom of the page, but watching the Arsenal highlights with Aussie commentators is humorous.
A bit closer to home, and given the Irish influence in the Reading side, then it’s no surprise that there is actually a fair amount of views on the game. Setanta pick up on the fact that this was Paul McShane's first goal for NINE years, RTE Sport call West Brom "poor" and that Tony Pulis was let down by his side. This is the first main report that doesn’t actually lead with the events after the game.
The Irish Independent has a number of reports, firstly a quick round up of the game, secondly the expected furore into the Brunt incident and thirdly one which I would suggest is a good read, with McDermott hailing the effect that Hector had on the game. Hector has had his critics this season, myself amongst them when he has played at centre back. However playing in a defensive midfield role, I must admit he is a revelation and could well find himself lining up there for Chelsea next season.
The Independent speak highly of Reading saying that we impressed, highlighting the contributions of Hector and Hal Robson-Kanu. The Guardian follow in similar vein, giving the Royals good praise, mentioning a surprise inclusion for Simon Cox, (to be fair I think this got everyone!) and also that West Brom's embarrassment continued after the game with the actions of a so called "fan".
The Daily Star could be argued to be getting a little carried away with Reading's cup pedigree. They make the comment that we took the Baggies apart in a 30 minute spell in the second half and given how strange this season has been, could it be Reading’s year in the Cup? – We can but dream!
Over at the Daily Mail and we have two articles, firstly they also jump on the Michael Hector bandwagon, again highlighting the contribution that he made to this result and secondly a match report where they fully give Reading credit for the result.
Also on this report are the heat maps of the players. Looking at it, and both full backs have impressive heat maps but it’s that man Hector whose map is extraordinary. The work rate he has in that defensive midfield role is incredible.
The Mirror are now labelling us a cup team and their 5 things we learned is worrying given that the fifth is Hal Robson-Kanu is worth a punt. The Telegraph major on the Brunt incident however they do make the point that West Brom deserved to go out.
Sky Sports lead with the point that it was a drab first half, however they aren’t as damning as the rest of the press on West Brom’s impact on this game.
Now then, the BBC I have a bit of an issue with. Yes we were first on Match of the Day, but the focus and reaction was all about West Brom with little credit given to Reading. However the match highlights are a massive 3 minutes 16 seconds this time around, which I think I am right in saying is our longest highlight package this season.
They also have a lengthy report and give credit to Michael Hector, making a point also of our third goal which they report that we ripped the Baggies apart on.
As usual we have the other reports, with HITC having a roundup of the tweets from disillusioned Baggies fans; ESPN FC focus on McDermott’s praise of Hector and BT Sport play up the incident with Brunt.
Finally with the local press and the Birmingham Mail is a little depressed. Their player ratings are a hammer blow to the team with many scoring 5, and they comment that even with Berahino playing that they where a little toothless.
The Express and Star carry a similar theme, they reckon that West Brom limped past previous opposition and given their history against us in the FA Cup, there really was only one outcome.
Now Charles Watts over at GetReading has had precious little to get excited about this season and it shows with this report, gushing with praise as he singles out Norwood and Hector for his main men. He says he is now buying into McDermott building something, which we all hope he is.
We now have a short turn around to the Rotherham game Tuesday, and many questions are being asked as to why this side hasn’t performed and showed the approach that was evident on Saturday. Many people before the kick-off were questioning McDermott’s sanity in playing Cox and the formation that we did, however it worked and we pulled a good result out of the bag. Maybe, just maybe this is the kick start we need to go on a run and bring some credibility back to an otherwise poor season, and let’s face it, none of us would be too upset with a couple of trips to Wembley!
I will be back after the Rotherham game, c’mon Urzzzzzz