I have no words.
Following on from three straight wins, two against top six sides, Reading travelled to Carrow Road to face a Norwich side that have had a mixed season.
What followed was an abject lesson in how not to play football. I cannot remember such low scores in the player ratings, including a zero to a certain midfielder on loan from Crystal Palace.
Needless to say that the reaction has been somewhat interesting, and Reading’s team have been shown no mercy by either the home fans, away fans or the press.
We have to give tribute to the Reading fans who travelled to this game. Most I would expect had high hopes of getting three points, so to come away and face the long journey back to Berkshire after that performance must have been soul destroying in the extreme.
The interesting points of having to read the Twitter timeline for this game (preparing to do so with a large bottle of red), is that the general consensus was that the Norwich players are playing for new contracts, rather than pride. Whatever motivates you I suppose.
Obviously there will be scapegoats made of this performance, Mutch being one of them, and I have no doubt that the TTE Podcast will make interesting listening.
Anyway, onto the fans reaction.
Still not entirely sure whether today's game was briiliant or part of a Truman Show/Malaysian betting ring conspiracy kinda thing #ncfc— Sharon Matthews (@sharon_ncfc) April 8, 2017
Always going to happen
Neither do we!
I just don't have any words #ncfc— jack (@jackboyce_) April 8, 2017
Probably would have shown more pride
Even school games were not this bad!
One way of motivating players
Oh please let it be a dream!
Has someone put the clocks back again? ... to 1st April Awesome #NCFC— Jim Bacon (@WQJim) April 8, 2017
Needless to say that the media reports make depressing reading. Headlines tags such as 'thrashed' and 'rampant' were the flavours of the day. Given the strange scoreline, it’s a little surprising that there is such low coverage, however this could be a blessing as well!
Starting with The Mirror, and luckily they don’t seem bothered by the game with a two line write up, calling it a day to forget.
The Daily Mail call it chastening result, but that it doesn’t really change much in the table (thankfully).
The longest write up comes over at the Guardian, who really go to town with the soundbites. Words such as 'rampant', 'humiliation' and 'poor defending' feature throughout the report, and they go onto say that Ali Al-Habsi made some good saves to keep the score down.
The same report is on the Sky Sports website, however this time you get the highlights of the trip to Carrow Road - a whopping 1 min 49 seconds.
Down at the BBC they don’t mince words calling it a thrashing, making the point that Norwich hadn’t scored a goal in their previous two games…
Onto the local papers and The Eastern Daily Press are (unsurprisingly) ecstatic with the result saying that the Canaries dismantled Reading in a hammering – probably the most true headline of the day.
GetReading’s report is done by Adam Jones this week, and to be honest I think he has been nice to the Reading side. The words could have been stronger, given that this is our main media outlet but 'dismal' and 'shocking' are probably lenient. Spineless, lack of pride and crap are all other suggestions that he could have used.
So there we go, a trawl through the wreckage that was last Saturday's game at Carrow Road. A match that I hope the players look at and if they are taking anything out of the game, it’s that performances like the one against Norwich are not acceptable at schoolboy level, let alone in the Championship.
I hope that the players have read social media this week and see the fans' utter disgust at what can only be described as a lack of application from them and then put it right this weekend. Do that and probably all will be forgiven. Don't, and the pressure is really on.
Hopefully it’s a blip. But this season there have been far too many "blips"- Newcastle, Fulham, Brentford etc spring to mind and when this team get beat, it’s solid beating. Stam is new to the job, there are a number of younger players and they say that you learn from your mistakes. Well this Reading side need to learn and quickly or what was looking like a good end to the season could end up very easily being a major disappointment.