Well, I can't say a lot more in this little intro that hasn’t already been said by fans across social media on Saturday. It was embarrassing from start to finish. Utterly, utterly embarrassing.
It just got progressively worse from the first whistle all the way until the last kick of the game. Going forward, it was an absolute nothing performance, with Reading only producing one shot on target - which I can’t actually recall while sitting here typing this. And defensively it was just a shambles. A horror show.
We’ve seen some bad performances under Pauno, but I think this one tops the lot. It was weak, spineless and pathetic. There aren’t enough negative adjectives in dictionary to describe the performance, to be honest.
There are a lot of questions that need to be answered after that shambolic 90 minutes, the problem is that they can only be answered on the pitch. And now we’ve got a two-week wait until our next league game. But, Saturday’s showing needs to be rectified. Immediately.
The talking points were, once again, the horror defending and the increasing pressure on Pauno’s shoulders...
We’ve now conceded the most goals so far this season out of all 92 teams. And, if you didn't think the defending could get any worse after Coventry’s winner last Saturday, all four against Huddersfield were just as bad, some even worse.
The first was just schoolboy defending; the second ANOTHER set piece; the third was the weakest I’ve ever seen Liam Moore in a challenge, and the fourth, well, the less said about that disaster, the better.
Morrison and Moore in particular need to take a huge look at themselves. Particularly the skipper, who looks a shadow of the defender we all know he can be.
We honestly look like conceding every time we get attacked by any team - which isn’t a good trait to carry for much longer than you have too. It’s need sorting, and the fans have pretty much had enough of it...
Moore is a f*cking aberration. Morro's legs are gone. Excited for Baba, but we urgently need someone to cover TMc and play alongside Holmes in the middle because those two are done.— Richard (@ProbablyADick) August 28, 2021
Pauno is inflexible and unimaginative, but the players deserve a lot of blame.#ReadingFC
I'm smashed but seriously Liam Moore was absolutely dreadful today, waiting for his apologies shortly #readingfc— Tom Maynard (@ttmaynard) August 28, 2021
We desperately need a defensive coach on the staff. Defending has been diabolical this season. Losing O'Shea has been a big blow #readingfc— Jonathan Holdstock (@JH7123) August 28, 2021
Crazy how influential John O’Shea was, in terms of defending and set pieces. We have been absolutely dreadful at the back since he’s left the club. #readingfc— Adam Goodwin (@AdamGoodwin__) August 28, 2021
#readingfc can't carry on like this. They just can't. The defending is just atrocious, game after game after game. Absolutely dreadful. So many comical goals conceded.— George Flood (@GeorgeFlood24) August 28, 2021
Put the youngsters at centre back, at least they may give a damn. Disgraceful defending and that’s not just today. #readingfc— stuart edmonds (@ednoni) August 28, 2021
Watching Peterborough v West Brom. Both teams would stuff us right now. Not pretty, but bags of tempo, commitment, effort, never say die defending. #readingfc— Paul Towner (@PaulTowner7) August 28, 2021
This is a big talking point right now amongst the Reading fans. I wrote a piece just last week about how I feel Pauno deserves a bit of a patience due to external factors that have affected his capabilities that are beyond his control. My personal opinion on this still hasn’t changed.
What Pauno has done now though is put huge pressure on himself to conjure up some results after the international break, when we will have some more signings and one or two returning from injuries.
If we’re in the same position come the start of the next international break, there will be some serious questions marks over the future of Pauno as manager - as if there aren’t already enough.
The opinion amongst the fans on this one is still split, but the PaunoOut crowd is growing larger and larger by the game...
Fact is we need to keep Pauno till the end of the window, calls for his head will seriously damage any potential incomings. If we somehow get a striker through the door in the next few days then we need to find a new manager to replace Pauno. #ReadingFC— JL ♂️ (@lockmannj297) August 28, 2021
Id be surprised if pauno is sacked in the next two weeks. Dont see anyone that comes to mind out there that would want to work in the current situation at the club. #readingfc— Dean Bennett (@DeanBennett1993) August 28, 2021
Yes our defence is awful. Yes Pauno has his faults but got to give him a chance. We have our best attackers bar Swift out injured and a paper thin squad #readingfc— Hoops (@Hoops_1871) August 28, 2021
I HAVE NEVER thought we could get relegated from the championship.— Reading FC Blue And White Wall (@bluewhitewall) August 28, 2021
I have stuck by Paunovic but results have to come quickly after the international break. VERY QUICKLY!!
His job and our championship spot is going to be going if we don't start winning.
BAD TIMES AT #READINGFC !!!
I get why people are questioning Paunovic but this team have had it easy season after season, yet they continue to let down the manager all the time. Doesn’t matter who comes in next, we are a shambles ♂️ #readingfc— Ross (@rossm1871) August 28, 2021
I don't think Paunovic is perfect, but there isn't a single manager in world football that could stay up with this group of players. #readingfc— Greg Double (@Dubstep1988) August 28, 2021
Agreed. Bowen may not have been everyone's friend, but he knew how best to set a team up in this division using the players at his disposal. Paunovic continues to play the same tedious & ineffective formation/system week-after-week regardless of who's available or not. #readingfc https://t.co/QGRxGsu9HT— Andy Povey (@andypovey) August 28, 2021
Paunovic is not so much a victim of circumstances as a symptom of them. His appointment points at everything that is wrong about how the club has been run since the current owner took over. He, like Gomes, was never good enough and that’s now playing itself out. #readingfc— Phil C Green (@philcgreen) August 28, 2021
I am confident Paunovic will get #readingfc out of this league— Phil C Green (@philcgreen) August 28, 2021
Certainly not pauno out. Senior players have let the gaffer down. #readingfc— Dan Hindmarsh (@DanHindmarsh9) August 28, 2021
This isn't me necessarily saying I want Paunovic sacked, I'm just not convinced he's the right man to take us to where we want to be. If we are to get rid of him, the two-week break for internationals is when to do it. #readingfc— Adam Goodwin (@AdamGoodwin__) August 29, 2021
Embarrassing. Spineless. Weak. Pathetic. Everything you don’t want to associate with your club, and things that I thought were a thing of the past. Saturday was a harrowing throwback to times I thought had long gone. The Clement days, the late Jaap Stam days.
But I also don’t think Pauno deserves to go. He hasn’t got the tools to do his job properly at the moment and should be judged after the next four or five games in my opinion. But that doesn’t mean I think he’s blameless, of course he should be held accountable for Saturday’s performance. As should his players.
They need to sort whatever in hell this mess is out right now. We deserve better as fans, and we know how toxic the atmosphere can get around the club when results keep getting worse and worse, and no one wants that.