After a 1-1 draw at Craven Cottage the Royals hosted Fulham in the second leg of the playoffs. Without two of the star performers in McShane and Obita, prior to the game in the eyes of the media it seemed like Fulham had this sewn up. However we all know that football is a cruel mistress, and Fulham were added to this list of "shock losers"...
The media whipped a frenzy up with not one of the pundits giving Reading a chance, which then transposed onto the social scene, with claims of 'boring' and 'anti-football' being labels that the Reading team were branded with.
However we all know that football is a results games. I will happily take being labelled 'boring' if that ends up with us getting promoted. We can’t all be Barcelona. Stam has made this team a formidable opponent at home, and Tuesday demonstrated the grit and guile that this team has.
The take on the game from the Fulham fans was interesting, utter despair at the penalty decision, to Chris Martin getting a hard time and the anti-football charge at Reading seemed to rule the day, with also what should have been the most prominent line of people being proud of their club. Getting beaten in the playoffs is no bad achievement and after a long season, maybe it was one game too much for Fulham.
The Fulham fans took to Twitter in their numbers to comment on the game!
So you should be!
As the phrase goes, "read the morning papers"
Think the phrase is "Gameplan"
It must be some kind of joke that reading can throw 10 men in their own box for 96 minutes and call it football... #ffc— Josh Coglan (@_joshcoglan) May 16, 2017
Been here before!
My wife has locked up all the sharp cutlery and Coldplay CDs for the night #FFC— Rich Dean FFC (@richdean21) May 16, 2017
Reading a team in their manager's image - ugly, cynical, lumbering, joyless but in the end professional. Rather be the footballing side #FFC— Tom Greatrex (@tomjgreatrex) May 16, 2017
He truly is!
Free header.......nearly as bad as Swift's miss!
Now, now Derby fans - remember you signed Blackman!
Good response from a celebrity fan
On the bright side, losing in a play-off semi-final is the single most efficient way of ensuring you don't lose in a play-off final. #ffc— Richard Osman (@richardosman) May 16, 2017
No it's how Reading play football and win....
Jaap Stam...brilliant footballer. He's embarrassed himself over 2 legs with those tactics. That's not how the Dutch play football #ffc— P. Adams (@Est1879) May 16, 2017
A Verified news outlet - Poor
Oh good grief, you know my eternal whinge about little coverage for Reading in the national media….. well that all changed on Tuesday night!
Ok, so it’s a playoff second leg, so of course it’s going to get coverage and from far and wide.
So getting stuck in, The Daily Mail don’t have much of a report as such but does have some cracking pictures of the game and mainly centres around the fact that Reading practised penalties the day before and everyone missed apart from Kermorgant!
The Mirror have a decent report with the stat of the day of between Reading and Fulham they have missed 15 out of 25 penalties awarded! Their main focus is on Al-Habsi and his stunning display in goal, along with Swift's sitter.
The Telegraph make an interesting statement calling it a victory for brawn over brains, and substance over style, not sure if I quite agree with that statement but as Stam said, it's about results. Again they have some cracking photos of the game and the report is mainly around Al Habsi and Kermorgant.
Over at the Independent of the nationals probably have the best report of the game, if you want to read one rather than look at pictures then choose this one. Interesting fact though is that although the Twittersphere think it was a harsh call, the main nationals are quite happy with the penalty award. The Independent however is closely run as the winner but the report from the Guardian who say that Stam and Reading have had a remarkable season, and again is mostly around our favourite Frenchman.
The Daily Star loses points on the report for saying that it was Evans who missed rather than Swift and also saying that Fulham were better equipped to deal with the atmosphere and occasion..... The Telegraph win the award for the most pointless report, with the opening 5 paragraphs about Kermorgants miss for Leicester....
I am a little disappointed with Sky Sports. I suppose that after their plugging Fulham the whole way through it they threw the toys out the pram, so hence we only get 3.14 min of coverage!
Get West London certainly caused a reaction with the tweet they put out in the social section, I mean really, a press site tweeted that, really! They also have a vast amount of reaction to the game, focusing around Jokanovic's press conference, where basically he blamed the refs for Fulham not getting through. They say in a season the decisions balance out, don't say when they do though.
Finally over at GetReading there's enough information to keep you occupied. The interview with Stam is good if you can get through the annoying adverts which pop up just as it starts. Stam does speak exceptionally well in interviews that's something that I have been very impressed with all season.
So we are one game from glory, one game from the Premier League, and one game from being £190m richer. Whatever happens at Wembley, this has been a truly remarkable season. Not many people, hand on heart, would have said at the start of the season that we would be at Wembley in May. Also when you see that three of the playoff teams were occupying the bottom slots last season, then it’s proved to be not only a good season for all those sides, but also what a solid and competitive league the Championship actually is.
Fulham can end this season feeling disappointed, it’s only natural, however I am sure that they will be back next year, and be a challenger again. Hopefully Reading won’t being playing them next year but instead their more illustrious neighbours!
This will be the last Alternative View of the season (unless I can find a PC in Spain!) and I would like to thank you all for taking the time to read it. Hopefully I’m back next season reporting on the Alternative View of the Premier League fans.
There’s one last match, one last push and one last chance to show our support, C’mon urzzzzzzzz!