Well, what a week that was! Two games at home and mixed reactions from both the home and away support. Firstly, we have Norwich and one of the worst defensive displays for a long time, and Tim Dellor giving us one of those moments during commentary that will be played back to him for eternity. Norwich by all means aren’t world beaters, but the ease at which they ran through Reading’s midfield was alarming.
Couple that with some pretty shambolic defending for the second goal which led to the the aforementioned Tim Dellor moment and the fans walked away from the ground debating whether another performance such as Wednesday’s against Hull would lead to Paul Clement getting a gentle shove in the back.
Then we move onto Saturday’s game against Nigel Adkins’ Hull side who were poor to say the least. When the team news filtered through, there was some interesting team selections. Dropped were Sone Aluko, John Swift and Chris Gunter with a debut for Saeid Ezatolahi. However, to be honest the team did put in a decent shift (admittedly against a poor Hull side) and pulled off a morale boosting win.
Making his debut, Ezatolahi put in a decent shift and actually played some neat passes. For my money he could be an interesting player to have at the Mad Stad this season.
On to the fans’ verdicts and there is definitely a mix of emotions between the Norwich and Hull fans.
Social (Norwich City)
Playing academy players, who would have thought...
Norwich's future really is bright. Such promising youth products coming through. Lewis, Aarons and now Cantwell. Really excited to see who else comes out of our academy. #ncfc— tom pauley (@tompauley8) September 19, 2018
No... no... no...
Many of us ask the same question...
Not going to take anything away from #ncfc because it was a well-managed win. But the Reading side they made look poor were already pretty rank. What exactly did Paul Clement do for Ancelotti?— Chris Lakey (@EDPchrislakey) September 19, 2018
Many fans would take that
Great win at the end of the night! Strong at times, still the odd shaky moment! But... The building blocks are there! #ncfc— Sven (@svenncfc) September 19, 2018
Just no... no... no...
It’s nearly the time of the season to be optimistic...
2 points off the Play-offs. I can’t see any reason why we can’t go on to win the league. #ncfc— HM (@PukkiFC) September 19, 2018
Social (Hull City)
Clutching at straws..?
Want him back? (Only joking)
The question every fan asks
Adkins says in his BBC interview that before today the players had “done really well” No Nigel, no they haven’t. They’ve been ok here and there and poor a lot. Delusional. #hcafc— Hull City Chants (@HChants) September 22, 2018
That would really be an achievement
Adkins is more likely to walk than being sacked. We may be the team to break the most positive man in football #hcafc— ★ Militant Mike ★ (@ComradeHirst) September 22, 2018
Gotta take the positives
City may have lost 3-0 today, but let’s look at the positives, they will have had a very nutritious breakfast and the warm up was just spectacular! Am I right Nige?? #hcafc— James Witvliet (@jameswitvliet) September 22, 2018
Anyone know any good pubs near Wycombe's ground or Rochdale or Fleetwood. Asking for a friend.... #HCAFC— Fanatic Hull City (@FanaticHullCity) September 22, 2018
I know that does take some doing
A polite reminder. This is the second tier of English football. It is truly dreadful. We are making Reading look competent. #hcafc— Chris Skelton (@skel42) September 22, 2018
Decent song this!
We have already seen that one win can lead to a false dawn with the Royals getting a result at Preston North End then performing dismally at home to Norwich. Saying that though, the Hull win was a semi-decent and needed performance. However, the most important thing is that it’s a win on a Saturday at home, which last season took most of the season to arrive.
How do we follow this up? Well, starting with a tricky trip to Brentford, buoyed by 1600 Royals making the trip, which given recent performances is a mighty away following. After that we have the biannual Battle Of The Hoops, with the fake kind making the trip to the Mad Stad, and then a trip to West Brom.
I don’t know why but I am fairly confident we can get a decent return from this run, probably as although Paul Clement tried selection bingo on Saturday (basically walking into training and saying “right lads, who fancies a game?”) he got it right. Through luck or actual nous is anyone’s guess, but it worked.
The main thing for me is that having Saeid Ezatolahi next to Leandro Bacuna which allowed the Curacao international to push forward that little bit more and not have to worry so much about the defensive side of his game. The interesting thing is the last time I got this excited about a new midfielder it was Marek Matejovsky...