On a pretty pleasant night in RG2, Reading finally got their first win of the season. Yes this was the Carabao Cup, yes it was a youthful Birmingham side, but given the respective line-ups, really it was one that Reading had to win.
This was a pressure game for both sides with neither having had the greatest start to the season. The cup hasn’t really proved a brilliant competition for Reading over the years, and normally mass changes and managers giving youth players a start is the order of the day, generally lead to pretty poor games.
From Reading’s perspective it was interesting to see the man mountain in Sam Walker given a start (not that he had much to do until the dying stages of the game), and also to see the Marc McNulty/Sam Baldock partnership which for me looked excellent.
The Blues fans on the other hand have nothing to be happy with. Issues surrounding goalkeepers, investment and Garry Monk’s approach seem to be creating a toxic atmosphere around St Andrew’s with the butt of the tweets surrounding relegation (we’re only two league games and a cup game in!), the goalkeeping situation and investment in the club.
It’s fair to say that the Blues fans are expecting a long, hard season this year – something that I have no doubt that Aston Villa and Wolves will take enjoyment from.
Reading fans, lads,what are you doing?— Brad Cooper (@bradcoopa) August 15, 2018
Embarrassing ultra 'block'✔
13th player is 'reading fans'✔
I think the best thing for you lot to do at this point is just start over again. Liquidate and start all over again #Royals #RFC #BCFC
This automatic right to win that we keep seeing...
Just not good enough losing to Reading. Need to foster a winning mindset not treat it as a leg stretch for fringe players...the aim of every club is to win matches. Fans have been let down again...I hope players and coaches are gutted but I somehow doubt it #bcfc— Bluenose (@Nortonian) August 14, 2018
Hang on... common sense?
We can use the usual excuses like it was only the league cup or it was a 2nd string team,but the fact is we need a win soon before the lack of confidence becomes a cancer that condemns us to another relegation battle. ☹️ #BCFC #KRO pic.twitter.com/l8jORUDLtb— monty (@montybcfc) August 14, 2018
Not convinced many keepers would have saved the goals...
Seeing a trend...
Never put Lee Camp in goal, every again. Monk what are you thinking? #BCFC— BCFC4EVER (@BCFC2018UPDATES) August 14, 2018
Yep... Lee Camp isn’t on many people’s Christmas lists...
What really hurts is we have a perfectly good goalkeeper sat at home watching 999 what's your emergency #BCFC— BeatusBluey (@Bluey_Bcfc) August 14, 2018
Bit early for relegation talk...
Every game that passes makes me question my faith in Monk, writing is on the wall.This is a worse start to a season than the last two. Make of that what you will but defeat Friday would really start the panic. It would be 1 point out of 9 and that’s relegation all over it. #BCFC— Andy Bavington (@oftenpartizan) August 14, 2018
We underestimated. A Monk isn’t going to be enough to save us. We’re going to need the Pope or the baby Jebus himself #BCFC— spilt chips™ (@spilt_chips) August 14, 2018
Um... not convinced...
I thought the performance was positive. Yes, we've not got the result, but Reading had the busier keeper tonight and I thought the youngsters were pretty sharp. #BCFC— Gary J. Richards (@TheGJRichards) August 14, 2018
Think the word delusional is appropriate...
Song time - they just get better and better!
Ok, so Birmingham had very much a fringe team, Reading rested only a couple of players and there was some sloppy play. However, a win is a win regardless of who you play.
It can’t be emphasised enough how much we needed this and it will mean nothing if we can’t kick on against Bolton on Saturday. The fixture list may not have been too kind to us, given us four Midlands clubs in the first five games, but what we have seen is some embryonic shoots of quality from some of the players.
Yakou Meite looked good, albeit a little raw and probably needs this season to mature, but he has come back from France a much better player than when he went. There are frustrating aspects to his game and he’s gonna be hammered a lot this season as well as praised.
The partnership between Baldock and McNulty looks good, with Baldock in particular showing that he has a football brain with some excellent positional play and spins that will get him results this season. Andy Yiadom has set Clement a big problem as when Chris Gunter is fit, I can’t see him displacing Yiadom given his current excellent form. Having Liam Moore back is also a positive and all now seems to be forgiven.
All in all, although one game doesn’t mean we are going to be up there, there are reasons to be positive. Rome wasn’t built in a day and maybe we need a solid season this year to build upon.
We go on – as said before, the Bolton game is mightily important to get the three points before we carry on our Championship journey with Blackburn Rovers and Aston Villa away.