We’ve already reviewed the performances of the goalkeepers and full-backs so far this week, and now it’s time to take a look at how well the centre-backs have been doing. There are four players under the spotlight, and you can vote on them yourself right here.
TTE average rating: 5.9
Moore hasn’t quite been up to the standards he set himself over the last couple of seasons at the Madejski Stadium, perhaps the effect of his protracted transfer saga over the summer. Nonetheless, Paul Clement has kept him as a regular starter in the first team and he’s generally been pretty solid.
TTE average rating: 5.9
In the early weeks of the season at least, Ilori looked to have made huge improvements on a patchy 2017/18 campaign. His composure, decision making and ability to make clever interceptions were all impressive and, to my mind at least, he seemed to have overtaken Moore as the club’s best centre half. He even put in a top shift at right-back in the 3-0 win over Hull City at the Mad Stad.
However, he’s dipped a little more recently, with John O’Shea eventually brought into the back four to add some more experience - at Ilori’s expense. Nonetheless, you’d expect that the former Liverpool man will return at some point.
TTE average rating: 6.0
37 year-old O’Shea was always going to be a limited signing, but he’s still done a pretty decent job since joining from Sunderland on a free in the summer. He’s added plenty of experience to the squad and even been handed a few starts in place of Tiago Ilori.
That said, his lack of mobility has sometimes left the defence exposed, so you’d expect him to be rotated out of the side at some point before the end of the year. With his contract up next summer, he’ll likely then retire.
TTE average rating: 5.5
McShane has disappeared from the first team picture, having not played at all since the 2-2 draw at Blackburn Rovers in which he gave away two penalties. O’Shea’s decent form has meant McShane is now fourth choice, so only a few injuries will get the former Hull City man back into the starting XI.
Who else is there?
Axel Andresson made waves on loan at Viking this season, getting the Norwegian side promoted to the top tier. He’s since returned to Reading and could push for a spot in the first team. Gabriel Osho is looking for similar loan success at Aldershot Town, while Toms McIntyre and Holmes are continuing their development in the academy. Danzell Gravenberch’s days as a Reading player are numbered - he’s on loan at KSV Roeselare.