Reading travelled to Wales to play yet another fixture against Cardiff City on Friday night. It does feel like we are playing Cardiff every week at the moment, which I suppose we actually are!
The FA Cup game the other week against the Bluebirds had enough drama on and off the pitch, with the Cardiff and Reading fans having lots of conversations via Twitter around some chanting during the FA Cup game. Then, at Cardiff on Friday, a Reading fan made some unsavoury gestures towards the home fans with what looked like a reference to Emiliano Sala. There’s no need for this in today’s football, and it rightly condemned by both the home and away sides.
Reading actually took the lead in this, but Cardiff with that man Paterson brought the Bluebirds level for yet another draw.
Warnock still getting the blame?
@CardiffCityFC stumbled over the 4-3-1-2 formation at half time last night due to the lack of other options when the starting 11’s performance stank. With the more advanced new full backs that might just work for this limited squad which 100% still playing #warnockball #Bluebirds— Gavin Allen (@Gavinallen) February 1, 2020
Think everyone crying out for a striker!
Cardiff lacked energy in the first half but both Bacuna and Ward changed that. However, the #Bluebirds are crying out for a striker. Callum Paterson and Lee Tomlin also caused the Royals problems at the back, but they couldn't find that divisive winner at the end.— Josh Slack (@JoshSlackSport) January 31, 2020
This is a bit damning
Its very frustrating. The infrastructure is there for #CardiffCity to be a successful club.Unfortunately the powers that be don't have the footballing nouse to turn it into success.Its all short termism. It can be done with with a bit more ambition.A change of direction is needed— Gareth Colley (@GarethGrump_71) January 31, 2020
Most of them are!
Please God no...
Draw probably the right result. Our finishing let us down in the end again. Wonder if the score will be 1-1 with #ReadingFC again on Tuesday.. Paterson probably our best player tonight #CardiffCity #CCFC #Bluebirds— Ned (@neddthomas) January 31, 2020
And get a season ban to go with it...
Given that two other minor events happened on Friday: Brexit and more importantly the transfer deadline hitting clubs, as well as the oval-balled game pushing forward our kick off to the Friday night, then it’s fairly understandable that there wasn’t a huge about of coverage around.
Starting with the Sky Sports and their stock two minutes of coverage is up to its usual standard with the goals and precious else. Mind you was there a lot more to show? Within their match report which can be found here, there is also precious little content, but they mention the off-field antics of one Reading fan, and add that Cardiff failed to get a shot on target in the first half.
WalesOnline call it drab but fiery (really?), and think Cardiff were “lacklustre”. They also comment that this style of play harked back to the Warnock era, a feeling that has been echoed by a number of other outlets. Apart from the comments that for the first 25 minutes Cardiff were dire and Reading not much better, that’s about it.
Four Four Two copy most of the other articles, but also mention the off-field issues with a Reading fan being ejected for being an idiot, and Cardiff fans for an impromptu pitch invasion. Never understood that - why get yourself banned?
The BBC report also focuses on the off-field antics, comparing Friday’s activities to last Saturday’s announcement. When they talked about football, they reckoned Cardiff looked more likely to win.
In reality that’s it; a couple of local things but nothing to set the world on fire as it was a drab game and part two of the three-act trilogy.
Over both games against Cardiff in this mini run, there have been some unsavoury actions by both sets of fans, which have no place in modern football. Those perpetuating this style of support have no place at either club.
Back to the game and OK so we didn’t lose; a point helped neither side and in reality our mid-table finish looks more and more likely. With the transfer window closing, bonus points have to go to the club for keeping the first team in one piece and not losing anyone, and also strengthening the side. I’m not too sure what to make of our new signings and time will tell, but by the reports I have seen and the trawling that you can do on the internet, both seem decent enough.
It’s interesting to see Bowen finally changing tactics on Friday, returning to the three at the back, and with Pele in midfield starting to show his dominance. The issue we have now is the front line, which had been fairly lethal, with Ovie Ejaria being imperious and John Swift playing some lovely football, but all of a sudden both have just gone off the boil. Throw in a fairly impotent George Puscas and we are in the position where although we won’t concede a lot also we are creating precious little. Bowen needs to figure out what’s changed and quick or we could potentially start to be dragged back into the dogfight it we ain’t too careful.