After a resounding win against Hull City and a battling game against Brentford, Reading went into this match against the fake hoops supposedly on a high. Oh how foolish we were; - in reality it was a turgid contest with two poor teams, the slightly less poor one getting a deserved win through a scrappy goal. There’s no escaping how dire it was; the midfield did nothing and the forwards created nothing.
The contrast on social media could not have been starker. There wasn’t one post on the Reading hashtag that was positive, upbeat or complimentary. The QPR faithful on the other hand were full of praise and happiness (this changed during the game of course!). Steve McClaren before kick-off was probably under a lot more pressure than Paul Clement has been with many Rangers fans calling for his head.
After the game the view was understandably different and the jubilation around their Twitter feed was hard to read. Anyway, for those masochistic enough to want to see some examples of the Fake Hoops bragging, feel free to scroll down.
Fake! Check history mister!
Quite possibly the worst referee I have seen in years
I know it's only Reading but 3pts, away, and a clean sheet is a belting result #QPR— George (@DevsQPR) October 2, 2018
He’s not the messiah, he’s a... (Monty Python fans fill the rest in)
Probably not far from the truth
Both teams very poor. We were less poor. Great three points. Fans great #qpr— Adam Boxer (@aboxer11) October 2, 2018
Shows how poor our home form is
There’s an interesting difference between the reports from Sky Sports and the BBC; Sky reckon that QPR dominated the game and deserved the win, whereas the BBC call it a narrow victory to the Hoops. For those truly in need of punishment you can also watch the video highlights - a whopping 1m38s of them here.
Over at Football.London on the Reading section and they are asking a lot of questions which do need answering, such as team selection and the effort the players put in. The QPR section of the site however is a little more happy, but not as much around the game as their Reading counterparts, and their team ratings are full of sixes and sevens rather than the fours and fives of the Reading team.
Let’s not sugar coat it, this was bad, not just bad but really bad. OK so the injury to Dadi didn’t help, but the distinct lack of tempo and the inability to pass more than six yards - or even to one of our players - was a problem. The creative aspects of the game were non-existent.
Looking at the social feeds and there’s a lot being asked around team selection. Why were John Swift and Yakou Meite (although he did start in the end) left out of the team after good performances on Saturday? Josh Sims must also be wondering why he bothered to come here as it seems that he’s not trusted to start a game which is somewhat perplexing given the form of Sone Aluko.
It’s a shame, it really is, as this was one of the most winnable games we could have had this season. Yes QPR beat us, but don’t be fooled into thinking they’re a good side - better than us as they got the three points, but in reality a decent team would have put them to the sword.
Where do we go from here? A nice easy trip to West Bromwich Albion. In true form, we will probably get something from this game as we all know football is one of the most difficult things to predict.
At least after that we have the international break, however going into that with a thumping from West Brom is hardly inspiring. What that potentially helps with though is to give us a chance to regroup and give the players a chance to reflect. Maybe they should spend some time with fans to understand what this club means to them. All we ever ask for is pride, commitment and dedication - get those three right and the rest will follow. At the moment it seems that all are lacking.