Wow, wow, wow, talk about building your hopes up. The first 45 was dreamland, but the second 45 was hell. The Baggies will most certainly be up there at the end of the season, and certainly look good currently for an automatic spot. They are probably the best team we have played this season.
However, what they didn’t need was the second half capitulation, which goes down as one of the worst we’ve put in for many a year. The first half - OK, so West Brom didn’t play that well, but Reading looked like they had a bit of purpose. To go a goal up at half time away from home gives you something to hold onto. Sod it, park the bus - it isn’t rocket science.
But no, the defending in the second half was shambolic, and I do feel a little bit of sympathy for the defence, as they got little to no support from midfield and it was wave after wave of West Brom attacks.
The interesting fact around this game is that the Baggies’ faithful don’t seem to rate Darren Moore that highly, indeed some have been calling for his head. This after scoring 31 goals so far this season, jeez.
However, being a Midlands team they are most interested in the goading the Villa and Birmingham City fans, and this was no exception.
Paul Clement take note!
#wba have scored eight times in the first half of games this season - 23 in the second half. These half-time team talks are working a treat— Joe Chapman (@ChapmanJ92) October 7, 2018
Some things in life transcend the result
Every team has a player that divides opinion - we have 20
If you cheered today when Mears got subbed you are an embarrassment to #wbA fans everywhere. However, unfortunately this is beoming normal to massively over criticise your team if your name is 'Simon' and you are 30 - 60 who works in I.T. with 0 coaching badges and 10 to 2 feet..— Tom Davies (@Tom4Davies) October 6, 2018
That is what you call a turnaround
#wba have now scored 31 league goals this season, the same amount they scored throughout the whole of last season— Matt Wilson (@mattwilson_star) October 6, 2018
Could have a point!
Harvey Barnes is the player that Villa fans and the media want Jack Grealish to be #wba— Tom Parkes (@parksy007) October 6, 2018
On a busy sporting weekend, this took a low priority as basically no one expected Reading to win. No doubt that, should we have had a bit of backbone and got the result, we would have picked up a few more column inches. But hey ho, there are a couple of snippets for you.
Firstly, for anyone foolhardy enough to want to watch the highlights, they can be found here along with Sky Sports’ report which actually is a lot about the Royals, basically arguing that - against the top teams - not taking the four or five chances that you make means that invariably you get thumped.
Football.London’s report of the game is understandably less forgiving, going onto say that our midfield in the second half bordered on pointless in them actually being there.
The Express and Star in Birmingham obviously take the polar opposite view of the game, and they are very proud of the fact that West Brom have he deadliest attack in the country, and rightly so.
The BBC uses the words “ease” and “convincing” to describe the home side’s victory - there’s really nothing else to say if I am being honest, that’s all you need to know!
I have no words, none that can truly sum up the abject performance of the second half. We can look at team selection, tactics and even at recruitment, but what you can’t buy is pride, commitment and desire. These are all fundamentally lacking within the Reading squad.
You see the reports and you see the comments from the players, which go on about how much it hurts and that they are trying. I have no doubt that they truly believe this but it’s up to the manager to get across to the players how important concentration is. Too many times this season, and indeed for the last few seasons, we have conceded a goal straight off the bat from half time. It’s ridiculous, scandalous even.
Is it time for Paul Clement to go? Indeed is Clement even the issue? That’s the big question, and a lot of fans would like to see him and CEO Ron Gourlay leave the club. The problem is that the issues we have run deeper into the foundations of the club.
If you haven’t read Jon Keen’s book The Sum Of The Parts then get one, really the club should invest in 30 copies and get the team and the management to read it.
There is a section within it outlining the role that psychology played in that team, and if I remember correctly it was around removing distractions from the players and management enabling them to focus on the important thing – winning. Looking at this team at the moment, the players look beaten before they get on the pitch.
Looking also at comments from former players, it’s worrying what they are saying about the direction the club is going.
Former #ReadingFC captain Jobi McAnuff tells @willow1871 on @BBCBerkshire the club has 'gone away a bit' and 'lost some of it's identity'— Jack Winstanley (@jhwinstanley) October 6, 2018
He was speaking after helping his current side @leytonorientfc to victory over @MUFCYorkRoad ⚽️ pic.twitter.com/skLSvE6OH7
We now have two weeks over the international break - for me there now needs to be some honesty in the club. Sod it, get some fans in to tell the team what this club means to the supporters, the players are here for a few years and we entrust our club to them for a couple of seasons to bring us that entertainment factor and that little bit of hope.
We though have the club for life. The players and management should realise that yes they can get a transfer, but unfortunately fans don’t have this luxury.