What an absolute sh*tshow that was. I thought Kidderminster would be a one-off, but how wrong I was. I can barely come to terms with the magnitude of Reading's inadequacy. Fulham put the Royals to the sword and largely didn't have to break a sweat in doing so.
Because of that, I'm mixing up the format of player ratings. Trying to give entirely fair, objective individual ratings isn't something I can manage at the moment. I zoned out at 3-0/4-0, and am struggling to process the whole display.
With the exception of a few players who I'll come onto later, everyone gets a 2/10. While there were specific individual mistakes for goals - such as Josh Laurent's for the opener - Reading's collective ineptitude was such that highlighting specific failings feels like missing the point: Reading were so terrible in the second half that which individual happened to be at fault for a goal was incidental.
Weirdly enough, the first half wasn't too bad in the context of what was to come. Reading gave away two poor goals via avoidable errors - Laurent presented the ball on a plate for the opener while Tom Holmes surrendered a cheap penalty just before half time - but much of the rest was Pretty OK All Things Considered. Largely flat but with some bright moments.
But that relative competence fades into irrelevance when almost the exact same set of players capitulated so spectacularly in the second half. From 3-0 onwards it was a matter of how many Fulham would score.
So yep, 2/10 as standard with some exceptions.
Avoided the worst of it: Scott Dann and Dejan Tetek
Reading's starting CB and RB at least managed to be off the pitch when the damage was down. Dann (N/A) and Tetek (5/10) were withdrawn at 0-0 and 2-0 respectively. By virtue of that, I'm sparing them the 2/10.
Kept the score down: Luke Southwood
Left brutally exposed by the clusterf*ck in front of him, Southwood (4/10) spent most of the evening picking the ball out of the net. He did however make some smart stops, getting down low a few times after the break and denying Mitrovic in a one-on-one before it.
Would be amazing if he were onside for a change: Andy Carroll
In an alternate reality in which the offside rule doesn't exist, Reading went in at half time 2-1 up thanks to a terrific brace from Carroll (4/10). In the space of a couple of minutes he bicycle kicked the ball into the net from inside the box and then leathered it into the top corner from around 25 yards. Even besides those moments he was one of Reading's better players in the first half, and not as liable for the collapse in the second half as others.
I'm really sorry you had to be part of this: Mamadi Camara
The youngster (4/10) started on the bench but played most of the game, coming on for Dann in the first half. He was commendably tenacious off the ball and positive on it, even when everything was going to sh*t in the second half. While his efforts were fruitless in this game, his talent was still evident.
Who was your MOTM against Fulham? Vote below or through this link.