After a good performance - but ultimately a loss - against Boro’ last weekend, the Royals’ fans travelled to the Mad Stad on Saturday afternoon probably expecting an increase in both performance and the end result. They didn’t get it.
Jose Gomes came in for a lot of criticism last week due to his tactical decisions, leaving both Lucas Joao and George Puscas on the bench for the game at the Riverside. They came into the side on Saturday but were unable to cause any real damage throughout the 90; it was a flat performance from pretty much every man in a Reading shirt in all honesty.
At first watch I thought there was nothing that could’ve been done about Blackburn’s opener, but watching it back is a different story - the lack of closing down and pressing was astonishing. Blackburn’s second was, again, poor defending from Reading - who did pull one back through John Swift, but it wasn’t enough.
Here’s how the fans reacted to some of the key talking points from another frustrating afternoon at the Madejski Stadium...
Probably the only bright spark in a depressing afternoon, Jordan Obita returned for his first league start in nearly two years after his horror knee injury. I felt it was very harsh to drop Omar Richards, who has really found his feet in the left wing-back position. However, that disappointment of seeing Richards out of the starting eleven was overshadowed by joy of seeing Obita back.
It was unfortunate that his return ended in such a poor display and result, but nonetheless it was great to see Jordan back in the blue and white hoops - a feeling that was shared among the majority of the Reading fanbase on Twitter when the lineup was announced...
OBITA IS BACK!!!— Matthew Smith (@smithmatt91) September 21, 2019
Unfortunate for Richards BUT a fit on form Obita is the best LWB in the league by a mile #readingfc— JDM (@RFC_Smurf93) September 21, 2019
Come on you Biscuitmen! Great to see Obita back in the starting 11! #Readingfc ⚪️— Stevie p (@stevie_p1871) September 21, 2019
Great to see obita back as well after such a long time out. Didn’t put a foot wrong #readingfc— Dean Bennett (@DeanBennett1993) September 21, 2019
More horror defending
One of the big compliments that was given to Gomes and the new system in the earlier parts of the season is that we looked so much better defensively. In the last few games however, we have looked anything but.
The lack of pressure on the ball for the first goal was shocking from a Reading point of view - there was no attempt to stop the cross, and then Armstrong had the freedom of Berkshire to take a touch and pick his spot in impressive fashion. And the second goal was even worse. Poor defending from Andy Yiadom and Liam Moore, and then Tom McIntyre, ended in Bradley Dack squeezing the ball home from six yards out. It was defending that has been much unlike Reading in more recent times.
The fans were left disappointed and frustrated at the defensive display shown by Gomes’ men, and were left concerned at the injury to Michael Morrison too...
That was really poor defending but it was off side......#Readingfc— Dave McCormack (@davemc_exile) September 21, 2019
That second Blackburn goal has to be seen to be believed. Horrendous defending from #readingfc.— George Flood (@GeorgeFlood24) September 21, 2019
Hopefully Morrison is alright, that would be the worst news of the day if he’s out for a long time #readingfc— Zac Cologne (@ZacLONDON_31) September 21, 2019
#ReadingFC bad defending and go 1-0 down, imagine my shock.— Alex Everson (@Readingfanman) September 21, 2019
Woeful defending to even present Dack with the chance, and Rafael beaten as the ball clipped up off McIntyre’s foot and over him. We are a disaster today #readingfc— Dave Stevens (@shakefon) September 21, 2019
More pressure on Gomes?
He came under a lot of flack after last week’s result against Middlesbrough, and it cranked up again on Saturday after the Blackburn defeat. I don’t think there is any real consensus among the fans for Gomes to be sacked, but there is a section of the fanbase asking why the results have been so bad recently - especially considering the how much he was backed by the owners in the summer.
There is also a portion of the Loyal Royals saying that Gomes both needs and deserves time to turn this around - remember, it was only three games ago that we were lauding him and the team’s performances.
Here’s what the fans had to say after the game...
Out of interest, Can someone show me a tweet of an account saying "Gomes Out" now, but was saying "Gomes In" a few weeks ago? Don't believe it is actually happening. I think people love JG, but are seeing current results and wondering what the future holds. #readingfc— (@Reading106) September 21, 2019
Imagine thinking it's a good idea to sack Gomes. We have some of the worst supporters in world football. #readingfc— Nath St Paul (@NathStPaul) September 21, 2019
not blaming Gomes for today. Yes results fall and the feet of the manager but he put the team out there that we all wanted to see, just the players didn’t want it enough and looked void of any ideas. Players need to step up as well. Moore, swift, Ejaria joao very poor.#readingfc— Dean Bennett (@DeanBennett1993) September 21, 2019
Lots of tweets having a go at people who apparently want Gomes sacked but I've not seen any. Hope he's given the time he needs and my fellow #ReadingFC fans stop bickering amongst themselves soon. Fairly sure we all just want the best for/from our team #urrzz— Becky Trotman (@beckytrotman) September 22, 2019
Got a bit of stick for booing at the end from those around me yesterday. It was poor and honeymoon period is over. Gomes; and the players need to know fans frustrations. 2 wins from 8 is a cr@p return #ReadingFC https://t.co/uj3q9j7C16— Pedro‼️ (@PictonPedro) September 22, 2019
"I'm completely sure at the end of the season the table will be completely different. We'll be there at the top of the table"— Michael Baggs (@Baggsy) September 21, 2019
Find his optimism refreshing, but Jose Gomes needs to be mindful that without the results he's starting to sound like Brendan Rodgers did#readingfc
The next 3 league games defy Gomes' future imo, all 3 games will be very tough though... #readingfc— Harrison Mitchell (@harrison1871rfc) September 21, 2019
There’s no doubt Jose Gomes will now be under huge pressure. The owner won’t spend that amount of money and be happy with our position and form. I’d be surprised if he’s around after the next 3 games if there isn’t a change. I’d love him to stay but that’s football #readingfc— David Luker (@DavidELuker) September 22, 2019
I wrote an article last week for why we need to give Gomes and this team time - and I again reiterate everything I wrote in that article.
It’s September, we’re going through a bit of a rough patch. But what we have now is 10 times better and more exciting than anything we’ve been succumbed to in the last few years, so let’s give it some time and we’ll see the fruits of that patience soon enough.