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Reading 2-2 Ipswich Town: The Alternative View

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Swansea City v Stoke City - Premier League Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

After a battling game against Bristol City, the Royals welcomed the Tractor Boys to the Mad Stad with doubt still over Paul Clement’s position. After the Bristol game, confidence was high that this might be the match we needed to start that climb against an Ipswich side struggling for form and with a new manager in place.

However, what happened was the Royals returned to the form that we have a become accustomed to. The crazy thing is that this is the second week running we have scored a goal and let the opposition hit straight back, this time via route one and some pretty shambolic defending.

The Ipswich faithful haven’t had a lot to shout about this season, and there is a split decision whether they will stay up or not. What they are happy with currently though is the manager. It seems that Paul Lambert has sparked new life into their team and playing with a bit more purpose. Let’s face it, for 45 minutes they played us off the park.

Still there are a number of things in life that are certain, almost guaranteed – one of these is that the rivalry between the Anglian sides is legendary, with neither team missing an opportunity to rub it in the other’s face, which is probably why the #ITFC twitter feed is full of Norwich fans gloating around the gulf between the two sides!

Social

Some things are just too important not to mention #LestWeForget

RIP

Nailed on? Could have a point

One of those life certainties...

Well there’s being positive I suppose

Or not

Who needs an atmosphere?

Glass half full?

Bug bear alert - ‘teams like’. Are you Barca?

Sums up everyone’s thoughts

Media

A quick run around the media (as that’s far too depressing to stay any longer in) sees the East Anglian Daily Times a little frustrated with the result, claiming that Reading made Ipswich pay for not taking their chances. Football.London however on the other hand are distinctly unimpressed by the result, they also comment that patience is wearing thin, and that our defence is porous.

BT Sport remember that this sport isn’t just about the Premier League and have a fairly decent match report, whereas their counterparts at Sky have a whopping 3.08 minutes of coverage and a very similar report that BT had, and if any of you reading this have kids who play on a Sunday in defence, the second Ipswich goal is a lesson in how not to defend a route one goal kick.

Finally at the BBC, they have a couple of interviews with a livid Clement and a happy Lambert.

Summary

For the last two seasons I have been doing this column, there really has been precious little to actually shout about. Looking at our opposition’s social feeds after the game leaves me in little doubt how Reading is viewed by the opposition at large - toothless, no atmosphere and a pushover.

One of my bug bears is the phrase “We should be beating teams like…” as there are no guarantees in football – none. However, saying that, when you’re against the bottom team in the league, at home, and when we are scoring goals, we should be looking to secure three points. I mean otherwise what’s the point?

This team currently has a number of big problems. An experienced defence that can’t defend a lead, a midfield that’s disjointed at best and an attack that in reality apart from Yakou Meite is toothless.

When we look at key players, Liam Moore is going through one of those periods when he looks like a rookie in his first season. Modou Barrow is so woefully out of form it’s not funny, Sone Aluko the same – these aren’t players that are young and inexperienced, some of these are internationals that should be setting the standard for the kids to follow. It’s really scary when our best players at the moment are probably Meite and the resurgent Garath McCleary.

Everyone will point to injuries, but with a squad the size we have, with the depth we have, we should be able to produce at least the odd decent game and have solid competition for places. The phrase “sleepwalking towards the trapdoor” was used in TTE’s report of the game. For me this isn’t sleepwalking, this is bordering on a full-on coma.

I said the other week that something has to change. OK we got a result against Bristol City, but in reality, nothing will change till March as usual when it’s either too late or we are praying for a miracle.

Hopefully we will bounce back, but if we can’t beat teams that are bottom of the league, is it time for a change of direction? How much money have we spent over the last two windows again? Pfft.