I hate to be a bit of a Debbie Downer, but if Saturday is anything to by, it could be a long Christmas for us Reading fans. For 90 minutes on Saturday we just weren't up to scratch, and hardly laid a glove on the hosts all afternoon.
It’s hard when you have so many injuries - a list that was added to on Saturday once again - but there were still players on the pitch in a yellow shirt that could’ve hurt West Brom a lot more than they did. Particularly when you consider the Baggies only had two recognised defenders on the pitch all game.
It was another frustrating performance and result, and it’s a result that makes next weekend’s meeting with Luton - plus the visit to Peterborough after that - absolutely massive. But, before we get on to them, the fans had their say on some of the key talking points to come from Saturday...
It’s been the story of our season hasn’t it? And it’s showing no sign of ending just yet. At 2pm on Saturday when the teams came out, it came to light that Danny Drinkwater, John Swift and Andy Yiadom were all not in the match day 18. *Audibly sighs*.
All three are so important to way Pauno wants to play and are vital members of the squad both on and off the field, and they were sorely missed on Saturday. I think it’s fair to say the fans have become a bit numb to injuries now...
Just when you thought our injury situation was getting better, bam another 3 players out. Swift a huge miss obviously, but Yiadom too and Drinkwater has been better lately too #readingfc— Tom Maynard (@ttmaynard) December 11, 2021
Oh dear I thought the injury crisis was getting better— micah (@m1871e) December 11, 2021
Swift and Drinkwater im sure were pictured in the team training on Thursday? What on earth has happened since then. I'm sure pauno has 40k excuses post game. But according to Pauno the injuries are "normal " and "it is what it is" #readingfc— Dean Bennett (@DeanBennett1993) December 11, 2021
Swift injured… we are down— Max (@MaxM1871) December 11, 2021
No Yids, Drinkwater or Swift. Going to be a big ask today!— Richard (Dougal) (@F8RDR) December 11, 2021
I was debating whether or not to include this talking point, because my personal opinion is that the criticism Moore received during the game and after it crossed the line a little. But it’s how the fans are feeling so I have to include it.
Moore - like many, many, many players who have donned the royal blue and white shirt - splits opinion among the fans. There is no shying away from the fact that he is going through a sticky patch at the moment.
He wasn’t great again on Saturday and is currently performing below the levels we’d expect of him. The fans are not happy with the skippers performances at the moment and there were more, shall we say, volatile opinions that I have left from the below selection...
Holmes pushed up too high, Moore didnt recognize the danger and close down quick enough. Poor defending all around #readingfc— Dom (@domwindle) December 11, 2021
The way moore defended robinson...wba can only blame themselves today.#readingfc— Pedro Ventura (@1pedroventura1) December 11, 2021
Abuse to moore defo not justified. Bloke can’t breathe without doing wrong #readingfc— mitch (@mitchrfc1) December 11, 2021
Don’t think I can bare to watch Liam Moore anymore. Terrible performance today #readingfc— Cameron (@ronniemac93) December 11, 2021
I wouldn’t say Andy Carroll’s performance pleased the fans - not many did to be honest - but his attitude and application throughout the game were impressive and an example to his team mates.
It was summed up beautifully in one moment when he somehow managed to head the ball off the line while being tangled in the net. Although in the end it turned out to be irrelevant, it was a brilliant moment and one that shows Andy Carroll’s mindset.
Here's what the fans had to say...
On the lowest wage and yet showing the highest commitment— LukeRfc (@LukeRfc2) December 11, 2021
Incredible That is what he brings to the team, we’ve got to try and keep him— Ralph Sizmur (@Ralph_Sizmur) December 11, 2021
90 minutes to forget in all honesty. A day we have to quickly forget. Contrary to Pauno’s comments after the game, I don’t think we deserved to get anything from the game, it really wasn’t good enough for the entire 90 minutes.
A huge period of our season is coming up now, and we have to improve for it. Starting next week at home to Luton.