After Saturday’s great win against Derby County, the Royals were once again in action at home. Sky had moved this Boxing Day match to a 7.30 kick off which pleased no one, especially as the Premier League’s top two were going head to head at the same time. The crowd voted with its feet on this game, leading to one of the lowest attendance at the Mad Stad for a league match in years.
Saying that, the game wasn’t as dull as most of the times Reading have gone up against QPR. Viewpoints are always a key aspect, and the Fakes are walking away from this one wondering how they didn’t at least get a draw. From the Reading perspective, you could call it dominant, with the Royals allowing the visitors a few glimpses of goal but in reality looking comfortable for most of the game.
You would expect after the run that QPR are on over Christmas that the fans would be a little more vocal than they were, but it seems that on the whole the QPR supporters are fairly happy with their team’sprogress and Mark Warburton as the manager.
The main topics of conversation on the social side of things are how unlucky QPR were, Eze vs Ejaria and the potential penalty (really?) when Eze ran into Moore.
That’s an optimistic version of the game...
Should have had a penalty.— Terry Arnold (@TerryArnoldDXB) December 27, 2019
3 glorious chances.
Hit the bar.
Hit the post.
Keeper for them had the game of his life.
Another day we win 3/4 - 1. 5th lowest budget in the league we’ll win some and lose some. It’s Rangers.
Hull on Sunday. Keep the faith #QPR
Again, rose-tinted specs
Apart from failing to shut their key player down 25 yards out, no way we should have lost that. See the same accounts as this time last year asking for a manager to be sacked. What do people really expect? 5th lowest budget. We win some, we lose some. That’s what happens. #QPR— Jamie Allen (@JamAllen93) December 26, 2019
Although im not happy, we should and could have won that game. Luck on their side today. Could have been an easy 3-1 win! We need to play 2 up top but we bounce back on Sunday! Too stale first half, no intensity. Good that results went our way and we lost very little #QPR— Cam Anderson (@CamAnderson77) December 26, 2019
That aged well...
I can’t wait to see Ejaria get pocketed by Leistner and Hall whilst Eze bags a hat trick. #qpr— reece (@reeceqpr) December 26, 2019
7 points from the top 6, 11 points from the bottom 3... 22 dead rubbers ahead We need a cup run! #QPR— Hoops & Dreams (@HoopsDreams_QPR) December 27, 2019
Oh, and Wells and Hugill have now clocked up a combined 15 appearances since either last scored.
The opposing player doesn’t have to move - you run into him it’s not a Pen
Love this guy!
⚽️ Reading 1-0 QPR - Match Review— Benjamin Bloom (@Benjaminbloom) December 26, 2019
A beauty from John Swift gives Reading the points as Rangers can’t get past Rafael in the Reading goal!
Watch - https://t.co/1bTHG5Iml8#REAvQPR #REAQPR #readingfc #QPR #EFL pic.twitter.com/wfPkTCugNb
Boxing Day is always a busy football fixture day so it’s understandable that there wasn’t a huge amount around Reading vs QPR. However, let’s start with video and Sky Sports have 1.52 of coverage which includes Swift’s worldy, some excellent saves and a post being hit. They also go on to say that chances were at a premium although QPR had opportunities to draw level later in the game.
Interestingly the BBC carries an opposite viewpoint (see, told you it’s all about viewpoints) to Sky, focusing on the Reading attempts, saying that Reading were “bright” and QPR “frustrated”. They also have with an interview with Warburton who called QPR “sloppy”.
A bit closer to home and the Reading Chronicle is all about Swift’s goal, commenting on Swift calling it one of the best of his career, in a lengthy interview with Swift about how important the result was and building towards Preston North End at the weekend.
GetReading similarly eulogise about Swift’s goal, and also carry a lengthy interview with Bowen about the Christmas games, the contribution that Adam is putting in, form and the injury to Sam Baldock.
West London Sport understandably take a different view to the game and carry a couple of reports. Firstly their “match report” highlights the attempts by QPR (spoiler it’s not long) and then secondly with the reports of “heated words” in the away dressing room - Warburton plays them down by saying that he doesn’t mind frustration.
Finally the Daily Mail and FourFourTwo both carry the same article, saying that Reading early on dominated the game with QPR building into it, Reading squandering opportunities and Michael Morrison hooking Eze’s attempt of the goal line.
So far it’s been a decent Christmas run of footie, with good wins against difficult teams in Derby and QPR. For me, there are some signs of us being a difficult team to beat with us being a little miserly due to having the sixth-best defensive record currently in the league.
As with all teams we are beset with injuries at the moment, and it’s always a challenge over the Christmas period to any squad to get results when you’re thin on numbers. Reading are no exception and we are starting to see players such as Pele starting to really demonstrate what the Reading scouts saw in him. Earlier this season you did question the reason behind signing him, especially with the reigning player of the season in Andy Rinomhota still at the club.
While Rinomhota is having a quieter season this time than last year, the recruitment of Pele has allowed us to phase Rino in and out of the team, as we cannot forget he’s probably still eligible for the academy!
I thing props also have to go to Chris Gunter. In the game against QPR he put in an excellent shift and on that showing you are questioning where this form has been. As with all things Gunter he will polarise the supporters; many believing that he’s run his course at Reading. My view on it is that with Gunter you generally get a 6.5/10 performance every game. Is there an argument to play Yiadom a little further up the pitch and convert him into a wide midfielder? Dunno, that’s the time for another column and probably a whole debate about that. Either way at the moment he’s doing a job and that’s all we can ask.
We move onto a couple of tricky games against a Preston side that’s full of confidence and always tricky, and then against a Fulham team which has blown hot and cold all season. Get anything out of these and it will be a decent Christmas. Maybe that mid-table obscurity that I’m desperate for might happen!