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Sheffield Wednesday 1-1 Reading: The Alternative View

The referee takes centre stage on a controversial night in South Yorkshire.

Sheffield Wednesday v Reading - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

Reading travelled to Hillsborough on the back of a couple of decent results against Millwall and fellow promotion hopefuls Bristol City. The Owls have had a turbulent start this season with the points deduction, sacking manager Garry Monk and replacing him with a manager - Tony Pulis - that’s not everyone’s cup of tea.

The game itself was interesting; there was no doubt that the tactics prior to the red card were clear to see with Reading playing their normal passing game and effectively trying to pass the Owls off the pitch, with Sheffield Wednesday quite happy for the Royals defenders to have the ball and played in true Pulis “style”, with the majority of the team behind the ball.

A counter attack opened the game up for the Owls with Liam Moore and Josh Laurent probably at fault for not closing Callum Paterson down. Liam Shaw got sent off for an “agricultural tackle” which, to be fair, 10 years ago probably would have been a yellow, and which split the Owls fanbase. Lucas Joao pulled us level with a free kick which also was disputed by the Wednesday faithful, then the madness of the second half.

Pulis did his ‘Park the Bus’ tactic and the referee took centre stage by denying the Royals four penalties, two of which may have been a little dubious and would have gone in the ‘soft’ category. However, two of them were pretty much defined by the phrase ‘stonewall’.

The Sheffield Wednesday fans are a divided bunch this season - many not over-enamoured with the tactics that Pulis plays, many defining him as a dinosaur.


Twitter

Oooooh #Salty #ComicGenius

This - seriously...

So the ref denies four potential penalties and you’re still moaning?

12 men really... (btw thanks for Joao - decent cutting edge...)

Organised(!), is that another way of saying “park the bus”?

Any more laid back and he’s horizontal

Dinosaur...

Or maybe not

Sort of went in at half time, thought he might get yelled at and compounded it

Men or defenders behind the ball?

Now, now...

Every cloud...


Closing thoughts

Firstly it has to be said that Reading’s results this season have been overall fairly decent. A decent run, followed by a blip then recovery with decent away points and a home battering of Bristol City have reignited the hope. Veljko Paunović has come in and to be fair his appointment did raise a few eyebrows, but he has proven that he can get this team playing. The interview of him after the Sheffield Wednesday game was interesting, as while he kept his cool and refused to blame the penalty claims, there was some veiled comments about “accountability”.

There is a difference this season though and that is players performing to their highest levels. An example of this is Omar Richards who, for me, wasn’t great last season. This season he has established himself as our first-choice left back and is playing like it.

Combining his development with the continual emergence of Michael Olise, supported by Ovie Ejaria (who for me has been up and down) and Joao, we are starting to see the makings of a decent team. Throw in Tom Holmes, who has been a steady and dependable right back, and the biggest challenge we may face this season is keeping hold of them!

We move onto a home fixture against Nottingham Forest who are struggling, and with supporters back in the stands we can but pray that this will kick-start and energise the team to three points.