There are two ways at looking at Saturday’s 0-0 against Wigan Athletic. It’s either a good point and clean sheet or another pretty poor performance where we looked toothless in attack and vulnerable at the back.
With games coming up against Leeds United, Stoke City and Sheffield United, Reading should really have been looking at getting all three points in this one if they are to turn around their fortunes. The Latics were there for the taking, and we did cause them a few problems every now and then, but we just lacked the killer touch. We also lacked any defensive awareness in the first half as Wigan had two or three clear-cut chances.
The only real notable chances were from Yakou Meite; the Ivorian hitting the post in the first half and getting a well-saved shot away after some good hassling in the second. Other than those, Reading created absolutely nothing.
Here’s how the fans reacted to some of the key talking points from the game...
One highlight from Saturday afternoon was the long-awaited Championship debut for under-20 World Cup Winner Danny Loader. The young forward has really impressed in the U23s this season and got his reward against Wigan, coming on for Sone Aluko midway through the second half.
It was a good little cameo from Loader, you can clearly see that he’s got bundles of natural talent, and if nurtured correctly, could be a really good player for Reading going forward. The fan’s certainly loved his debut...
A much brighter second half, we were a bit more creative going forward. Danny Loader and Josh Sims completely changed the game. No idea how we didn't lose that but I'll definetly take the point. #readingfc— Harrison Mitchell (@harrison1871rfc) November 24, 2018
Loader is looking lively. He’s gonna be good! #readingfc— Ashley (@Ashley_Holloway) November 24, 2018
I would imagine that Gunter is a manager’s dream, but he sure splits the opinion of the fans. I was in the crowd at Wigan, and the amount of stick Gunter was getting was incredible.
He does have a tendency to pass the ball backwards, and Yiadom would get into our strongest starting eleven over him any day of the week, but Gunter is a good player and has been here for a long time. He’s genuinely cares about our club, and those kind of players are hard to come across these days.
Here’s what the fans said about his performance on Saturday...
Today’s a good day, Reading fans chanting ‘off off off off’ to Gunter after a terrible tackle. #readingfc— Micah (@ME14Ding) November 24, 2018
Can’t believe I’ve just seen Gunter pass the ball forward #readingfc— Charlie (@CaigerRfc) November 24, 2018
'Gunter slow to react' 'Gunter backs off' .........get him off !!! #readingfc— Neil Palmer (@neilpalmerphoto) November 24, 2018
He wears his heart on his sleeve and gives his all for this club. The jeers and boos and “banter” we (including myself in the past) have shouted at him are ridiculous. We are in a perilous position that we need to get out of and we desperately need to back the boys... #readingfc— Dr. King Schultz (@Adamhumphries44) November 24, 2018
Paul Clement’s starting line-up
It’s something that’s got the fans talking a lot this season. Clement has continuously made big decisions in his starting lineups, and Saturday was no different. Leaving usual fixtures in the side Andy Yiadom and Leandro Bacuna on the bench was a big one. He may have had one eye on Leeds on Tuesday, but we’re surely not in a position to be resting two of our most important players?
Sone Aluko managed to get into the team again, to some astonishment from the fans. I don’t understand where it’s gone wrong for Aluko at Reading but it’s clear to see he’s just not up to scratch. The midfield trio of Kelly, Swift and Rinomhota also raised a few eyebrows, with no real ball-winning midfielder in there. Here’s how the fans reacted...
Imagine going away from home and thinking Gunter, Kelly, Swift and Aluko starting together is a good idea..... As lightweight as it gets. #ReadingFC— Nath St Paul (@NathStPaul) November 24, 2018
Bit disappointed with that line up to be honest, I think Bacuna has be really good recently and looked more mature, Yiadom in general has been one of our best players. Never delighted to see Aluko start he's had so many chances, and looks pretty lightweight all round #readingfc— Tom Maynard (@ttmaynard) November 24, 2018
Is PC trying to sack himself by playing Aluko? #readingfc— Zac Cologne (@ZacLONDON_31) November 24, 2018
I feel this was a bigger game than people thought. We have a seriously tough group of fixtures coming up now that we need to get points from.
It’s looking bleaker by the minute for Clement, as you would have to think if he doesn’t get at least one win in the next couple of games, he’ll be under even more pressure than he already is. Up next, it’s Leeds United away on Tuesday.