So, after the international break we get back to 'proper' football and league action. Our away form this season hasn’t sparkled and Tuesdays normally bring defeat. However, for once we had two good results from normally two bad fixtures for us.
With the McDermott IN/OUT debate raging around Twitter for the Reading FC fans, you sometimes forget that other teams are in much worse situations than our own team. Judging by the reactions from the Bolton and Forest fans, coupled with the views the other week from the Charlton supporters, maybe we should be grateful that we aren’t in the position that they are.
We have comments about lack of effort from the Bolton fans, through to the owner of Nottingham Forrest taking to Twitter (seriously, hasn't this guy got a PR department?), and doubts over the ability of the manager.
I will start with Bolton, as basically the Trotters have given up moaning about football and all in all they have accepted their fate. Then on to Forest where the owner debate is raging well and truly.
Bolton – Social
Nothing like being generous…
Free doughnuts and beer? That's nothing....#BWFC are giving teams 3 points when they come to the Macron— Ross (@rossco_1990) April 3, 2016
Fans accept being beaten by better teams, but a lack of effort…..
#bwfc have been bad all season but it was noticeable that the players weren't even trying today. #disgrace #pratleyawful #killingourclub— Aidan Brown (@Aidan_Golf) April 2, 2016
Sounds like it was a gripping game
#BWFC fans are enthralled with the football on offer this afternoon pic.twitter.com/HT8CQj5vWK— The Tino (@fowkes81) April 2, 2016
Even in the dark days humour has a place
@OfficialBWFC is this meant to be a joke? #aprilfools was yesterday #bwfc pic.twitter.com/mbBfsBmjN7— Martin D. Fletcher (@FletchtheRep) April 2, 2016
Bolton – Media
I tried, really I did. The Bolton game came up with an all time low on media coverage, but let’s be honest - a side virtually relegated and one that’s in mid table obscurity will never get column inches. Luckily we always have the BBC and SkySports to save the day!
Much of the emphasis understandably was on Ola John's stunning strike, and the BBC pretty much focus on that, with sound bites by McDermott and Philips on the game. As usual with league games the highlights are on Sky Sports and worth watching again if only for John's goal and probably the worst penalty effort you will see for many a year.
To be fair that is one of the longest highlight packages, a stunning 3m1s worth and you do have to ask the question: how was that only 0-1?
Going back to the report and again it’s about Ola John and the sending off, which Philips the Bolton manager called harsh – last man, in the box, from behind – does it get much more clear cut?
Looking at the local papers and the Bolton News are remarkably upbeat about it, seemingly having accepted relegation. They also have a couple of digs at Reading, questioning our effectiveness and gamesmanship!
The Get Reading version is a bit more philosophical, saying that we spurned many chances and to be honest it sounds like they can’t wait for the season to end as well, and 440 away fans probably sums it all up.
Forest – Social
If Neil Warnock can see this, then the Fawaz brigade need to open their eyes about what's going on at #nffc pic.twitter.com/rTJ7digcJG— Michael Day (@mickey_day) April 6, 2016
Brave, (or foolish) owner!
It is important that we stick together as we have since day one in order to come through the challenging times #nffc— @FAWAZ_ALHASAWI (@fawaz_alhasawi1) April 5, 2016
A big thank you to all our supporters once again and I promise to try my best to satisfy the happiness of our great fans #nffc— @FAWAZ_ALHASAWI (@fawaz_alhasawi1) April 5, 2016
You really are asking for it
I don't blame our fans for their disappointment and sadness as I would feel the same way if I was in their shoes. #nffc— @FAWAZ_ALHASAWI (@fawaz_alhasawi1) April 5, 2016
and the fans reaction
It's amazing to see how one man can bring down a football club in a few short years, he hasn't a clue, I fear it's going to get worse #NFFC— Trevor Gillies (@trevorgillies59) April 5, 2016
Have a day off Fawaz. We've stuck together for 150 years. Sit back. Employ football men. Open your chequebook. Simple #nffc— Alex Grimshaw (@Sievenarine) April 5, 2016
Even Collymore gets a dig in
150th anniversary of a very special football club and there seems to be no direction at all. At least talk to people @fawaz_alhasawi1 .— Stan Collymore (@StanCollymore) April 5, 2016
This could be leveled at a number of clubs
The truth is the whole club needs a clean out, completely new infrastructure implemented, new owner, manager etc, long overdue. #NFFC— Fawaz Out (@FawazOutSurvey) April 5, 2016
The manager's gameplan
Paul Williams confirmed out of his depth & willing to bring in Betty the Tea Lady to help out too. #NFFC https://t.co/8AcdG6LX1U— Growler (@khakipillowslip) April 5, 2016
Maybe some truth in this
And that clown Fawaz is still gonna pay me even though I haven't got a clue #nffc pic.twitter.com/tzWXafi7WB— Patrick Atkinson (@Patkinson6) April 5, 2016
We all love a 5 year plan – not sure this is quite the right approach
2012/13: 8th— Matt Freeman (@ItsMattFreeman) April 5, 2016
2015/16 so far: 17th
It's going well so far, Fawaz. #nffc
Forest – Media
If Saturday’s reports were all about a stunning goal from Ola John then Tuesday’s were all about one from Oliver Norwood. Two cracking shots (one via Vydra’s backside) gave the Royals a win, and there was a little bit more reporting on this game (not much though!).
Once again Sky had the video package – again 3m1s – and make a point, which is carried by a number of outlets, that this stretches our unbeaten run at home to eight matches. They also drool at Norwood's winning strike. It's quite a factual report, and basically points out the key moments. They also say that neither side had much form or anything to play for.
Down at the Beeb and basically it’s... 'Forest scored against the run of play, Reading Dominated, Vydra deflected a goal and Norwood scored'. Yep that’s it, where does my taxpayers money go…
Clubcall and Sporting Life both carry abridged versions of Sky’s report, although on Sporting life there is a good interview with McDermott who, talking about Norwood, expects him to "sparkle" at the Euro’s.
It also doesn’t help any club when ex-players come out in damning criticism of the club and the owners, with Mr Collymore having a crack at the owner. Check out the report on HITC and I will let you make your own mind up on that one!
The Daily Star is one of the only nationals to pick up the game, you have to ask though: was it worth the effort?
Looking at the regionals and the Nottingham Post seem remarkably upbeat and happy with their team’s performance, going as far as they felt that Forest could have won it. Hmmm... again, perception is a wonderful angle.
Finally over at Get Reading, they're basically happy with the win, and that the Mad Stad is slowly becoming a fortress. They also point out that the new formation which we are playing for both this and the Bolton game seems to be working.
Two scrappy games, two wins and six points against two poor sides. However I do believe that earlier this season we could have settled for a draw at Bolton and probably would have lost against Forest. So you could say we are going in the right direction. The other interesting fact is only one of our loan signings started - are we planning for next season?
The worrying stat though is that in two games we have had 49 shots with 13 on target, but only three goals. Also, against Bolton we had 75% possession and against Forest it was 63%. Read into those stats what you will but for a return of three goals it isn’t great. With a double next week against Birmingham and 'Boro, hopefully a minimum of four points and we will happily (!) be mid table. Time to start planning for next season!