At work I'm told to start with the positives when doing appraisals, so here goes.
- Norwich is a particularly beautiful city especially in the sunshine.
- The Coach and Horses is a very friendly pub and serve cracking real ales brewed on the premises.
- Tickets were only £25 - We've paid over £35 in the past.
- We scored a goal.
Before the game I was fairly confident, that with Norwich's form being a bit patchy and our past couple of games being good performances, that we could keep it tight and get the opening goal.
Two minutes in and the game plan disappeared.
You can argue that the penalty was a soft decision, given the smallest of shoves from Gunter, but the problem was actually before this when we losy the ball cheaply out wide during the build up.
So 1-0 down but at this point I still thought, that given recent games, there's no way we'd crumble as we did at Fulham, Brentford etc, after-all Stam's sorted that out, or so we thought....
Then the circus began.
It wasn't as if Norwich were particularly good - after all, the (rather flashy & expensive) scoreboard said at half-time we had 59% possession. The problem was that every time we got the ball, for some unknown reason, we passed to a yellow shirt. The exception to this was the third goal which was a great strike from outside the box, albeit due to poor Reading defending yet again. Ad for the rest? It was a case of being sloppy, with the Canaries following in while the Reading players looked like they had taken on the mannequin challenge.
When we did have the ball anywhere near Ruddy's goal - no one would take responsibility and put their boot through it. Even Yann Kermorgant tried his best to mess up the consolation goal.
Second-Half & Final Thoughts
In the second-half Reading were passing the ball around in the way we have come to expect but lacked any passion or enthusiasm to make the score a little less embarrassing.
I did think the seventh was a little harsh and a goalless second half would have been fairer.
Thankfully we've got no midweek game this week so Jaap has all week to work with the team.
I've followed Reading for the last 26 years - only missing 2 games in the last 19 of those. In that time I've seen some bad games, 7-4 at Portsmouth, 6-0 at home to Bristol Rovers and most recently 6-0 at Peterborough in the Adkins era but Saturday has to rank quite highly among the very worsr of that list.
Yet ending as we started, with a positive, let's just try and chalk it down to experience and put together a good run for the final five games of the season.
READING: Al-Habsi, Blackett (Watson), Oxford, Moore, Gunter, Mutch (Obita), Kelly, Swift (Gravenberch), McCleary, Grabban, Kermorgant