After the Swansea defeat in the cup, the Royals played host to Hull who are having similar troubles to us at the moment. All the talk after the game was about Jaap’s dig at the fans, and this polarised the fan base. The game itself was at best drab with Jón Daði Böðvarsson scoring a cracking goal at the death to nick a point. The restlessness of the fans was clear to see and this spilled out on Twitter after the game. The verdict of the Hull fans was equally as depressing as they have gone 400 days without an away win, at least we haven’t got that record hanging around us.
Following up with that we continued our Tuesday night league disappointments with a trip to Millwall. The team line up was announced and there were more than a few slightly puzzled Reading fans as to why again we are playing a false nine when it’s fair to say this experiment hasn’t worked. So for 73 minutes, the game was quiet, and the front three were not damaging the Millwall defence, again questions were being asked as to why when we had a striker on the bench, he wasn’t deployed on the park with the team crying out for a focal point.
Edwards popped up and scored what we felt at the time was a crucial goal, however two sucker punches from Millwall meant that we went home with nothing. The Millwall fans obviously were jubilant with the result, and to be fair their home record is very impressive.
Optimism at its best
We'll win away— Ian Foster (@Fozzie040388) September 23, 2017
Don't know where don't know when
But we're sure to win away some sunny day #hcafc
Probably not far from the truth
This has been Reading fans all season!
Felt like this on Tuesday night!
Just put a bet on Reading equalising. Just seen I put on £0.40 not £4.00 though...— Alfie Potts Harmer (@ahtralfie) September 23, 2017
Predictable, bit gutting, only £3 return. #hcafc
£7.5m will leave it there
Summed it up perfectly
You can tell this was the battle at the bottom of the league as the media was totally uninterested in this game. However what there was we will start at the Yorkshire Evening who said that Reading escaped with the point after a dour game. They also make a point that we put some good crosses into the box, with no one on the end of it.
The Hull Daily Mail go one step further saying that the Tigers were dealt a sucker punch. They go on to say that we packed men behind the ball, and that neither side where what you could call clinical. Short of ideas? Yes that’s a phrase that could be applied to Reading and they do it, saying that for 72% possession, we couldn’t really hurt City’s defensive line.
If you can be foolhardy to sit through it again then there is 1 min 29 seconds on SkySports in a lesson of how not to score a goal and how to defend poorly. In their report they mention again it was a dour game, and they highlight that after our 15 match run at home, we now have lost two in a row at home…..
Over at the BBC and it’s not the longest report we have had. Basically they scored, we equalised, we missed an open goal and a draw is best part of useless for either of us.
Finally at GetReading and you have to feel for Jonathan as he tries to report on a game that had little. However he goes on to say we escaped with a draw and that we had little rhythm and the game was littered with misplaced passes and laborious play.
This is mightily impressive
There's a reason why it's 14/1 #GambleAware
I had a bet before tonight's game that we would finish top 6..... 14/1 just saying lol #Millwall— Sam McFarlane (@sammc1695) September 26, 2017
From a Millwall fan...
How many teams have said this...
Reading FC hang your heads in shame, that was THE most negative, boring performance I've seen from opposition in the last 10 yrs #millwall— GregHorrorShow (@GregHorrorShow) September 26, 2017
Stating the obvious...
This game isn't very interesting... #Millwall— Tom S (@TallulahonEarth) September 26, 2017
Cheek of it...
Yeah, midweek, Champions League games and some interesting Championship games, means that there wasn’t a huge amount of coverage as you would expect.
London News Shopper seem fairly happy (as you would expect) saying that the Lions started with "Intensity and vigour". I really wouldn’t go that far to be honest. They also say that the first half lacked many chances and that as the game went on Millwall started to look fatigued – right until we scored.
London News Online reckon that Millwall showed plenty of industry but didn’t click, and their report is all about the goal hero in George Saville.
Skysports this time have 1min 35 seconds that apart from the first 10 is all coverage of the second half….. They also come up with the stat that this is the first time Millwall have beat Reading since 2004!
All the reports follow a similar vein, really struggling to actually report anything from the game and the BBC is not an exception. They have the same facts and figures and interviews as everyone else and make the point that we haven’t won in four games and are dropping down the table.
GetReading make a good point that neither team actually deserved the win, they go onto say that it’s a miserable run we are on and was a frustrating performance once again. That word has been used a lot.
Without stating the obvious, this is a terrible run we are on. The word frustrating has been overused this season, but is one that is apt in describing this team. There is no doubt that we have a talented bunch of individuals, but when it comes to team play there are far too many misplaced passes and a lack of confidence running through the squad and gelling is quite there.
Walking back from the game last night and looking on Twitter and I was shocked to see the amount of #StamOut tweets. Yes we have spent circa £15m (or so we are led to believe) and yes Stam does still to his principles. But we need to remember that just over 15 months ago, we finished 17th.
We have to remember that this is Stam’s first proper management job, and yes he will make mistakes, calling out the crowd etc don’t help but in some respects he has a principle of how he wants to play and is trying to get this to work. The only downside to this is that the distinct lack of a Plan B.
We need to build a dynasty and a team that is capable of competing with the best of them and achieving promotion. Yes it’s frustrating and yes it’s not entertaining. But how about this for an angle - How close was Ferguson at Man Utd close to getting the sack early in his career as he was playing a brand of football that wasn’t getting results and the fans didn’t like. Then after sticking with him and letting him build it started to happen and look at the dominance that created.
Football sometimes is far too knee jerk and patience is always lacking. How many fans would settle now for a mid-table mediocrity season this time, if we just breath in, hold our breaths and have a bit of faith and then something could happen when this team "clicks" or there’s always Redknapp or Pardew available…
Oh and Jaap if you do read this – please play a striker.