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Derby Alternative View: Love-In For Frank, Keogh Has A Mare

A new season started under the floodlights of the Madejski Stadium with a decent Reading performance.

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Reading v Derby County - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images

Welcome back to a brand new Championship season. Certainly all the hype before the game was around Frank Lampard’s managerial debut, and a 95th minute winner was probably in the script. However this wasn’t the 4-0 hammering everyone was expecting from Derby, and Reading deserved at least a point and being honest all three wouldn’t have flattered them.

Coming into the game the main two talking points were the Lampard debut and our own awful pre-season with the club being rocked with Moore handing in a transfer request. For 60 minutes it looked like Reading hadn’t read the script, with a cracking goal by Dadi, but then it happened: one of the three things in life that are certain, taxes, death and a howler from Mannone. It was a shocking attempt at a save and from that point on the Rams looked better, culminating in the last kick of the game winner, which despite being a good goal should have been closed down at source.

Looking at the Derby social media timeline, the second coming of our lord seems to have arrived with Lampard being lauded to ridiculous levels (a word of warning Derby fans, look at the last manager Reading and how that ended…).

It’s clear to see two major streams of conversation, firstly that Lampard really does walk on water, world peace and ending starvation are all well within his capabilities, and that they have a defensive problem. Keogh was getting right Royally (see what I have done there) battered on Twitter and when you’re looking at Alex Pearce as a solution then guys you got issues.

Anyway lets take a look at how the Rams faithful really got carried with with life.


Social

So we pretty much know who the Derby scapegoat is this season

Who you gonna call? Ghost... John Terry

Yeah I’ll give you that

I think someone doesn’t like Richard Keogh...

The All About Frank Lampard section

Someone needs to run a poll for when this will actually happen

A little presumptuous methinks... jeez

This guy’s tweets are sooo negative but there’s probably something in it

Half time in the first game of the season, away from home, rookie manager, insightful tweeting this...

FIFA has created a world of armchair managers...

Sort of positive?

Probably the first tweet that has an element of common sense

Halleeeeelujah, hallelujah, hallelujah halleeeelujahhhhhhh - we have a winner!

A new segment: Songs That Should Never See Daylight

Fans do think they are the next George Gershwin

Nooooooooooooooooooo


Media

The good thing about being first up on a Friday night when there’s nothing else happening is that you do get a bit of coverage! I’m gonna warn you though: there is a theme that is going to consistently run through this part.

Starting with the national press, as very rarely we get many column inches from these guys, we have the Mail Online, who give a fairly good account of the game and have some excellent photos. Admittedly the main bulk of the report is around Frank Lampard. There are some good points and praise for Reading though.

The Guardian has a very balanced view of the game and, for once, it’s not all about Frank – I do love however the phrasing of the chants that they report... The Telegraph on the other hand is totally around Frank, the only mention Reading get is that Derby were lucky to go in at the half 0-0 and they were only one down when they scored. They also pick up on the “You’re a **** Steven Gerrard” chant which somehow I think will become this season’s opposition chant for Derby this year.

Wow, this Mirror report actually has a mention of Championship football. OK it’s all about their favourite media headline but hey we are mentioned.

There’s a number of similar reports about the game from TalkSport who have a 50/50 split on reporting the game and how wonderful Frank Lampard, is and The Sunday Herald who also tend to mention the football more than the Messiah’s landing.

Sky Sports carry on their love-in with Frank and just in case you didn’t see the game have a 3.39 min video of the match which basically is demonstrating how Reading can’t put the ball in the net. Arguably we should have been two or three up prior to Mannone’s gift.

Football.London (GetReading) as we now seem to be carry on the normal full pack of information about the game, including Jonathan Low’s video report and his talking points.


Summary

Friday night proved one thing – don’t read to much into pre-season.

By all means I am not suggesting that this team is going to tear up the Championship and walk promotion, but there are signs that this could be a better season than last year. The much worried about defence showed that maybe they could hold their own. Omar Richards looks like good work in progress and Andy Yiadom on the other wing has given us real competition at full-back.

Life after Moore will be an interesting time. We have to bring another CB in - although Tiago Ilori and Paul McShane did look controlled on Friday we do need support - apart from a 38 year-old John O’Shea. David Meyler has gone from looking lost in the Crystal Palace game to being my man of the match on Friday. He has given us the bite and dominance in midfield that Joey van den Berg should have given us last year. Upfront and there is room for optimism.

All in all, Friday was meant to be Reading getting a spanking, the second coming of Lampard and Derby demonstrating that they will win the league. What actually happened was Reading should and could have won, Frank showed he has a long way to go and that Derby have bigger defensive problems than we do.

It’s probably the first defeat for a while that I am not that upset about, as it’s the first game of the season and we held our own. The big questions are: can the team maintain this performance and grow, and what resources are available for more players to come in? If the answer to these two is positive then this season might not be the write-off everyone was expecting in pre-season. If it is negative then we could be in for a long, long season.

But hey, we all know what happened the last time we got beat at home 2-1 on the opening day of the season by a 94th minute winner… where’s my fiver?

Urzzz!