Well, this is starting to feel a bit like Groundhog Day, isn’t it? Another Reading game and yet another abject, limp, lifeless performance. Luton Town didn’t have to get out of first gear to comfortably put two past us and win the game. The Fulham humiliation was disastrous but this was nearly as bad.
Luton would’ve been on the bus on the way back thinking they won’t get an easier game than that all season. They didn’t break sweat, and as much as we huffed and puffed, I reckon if we were still playing now we wouldn’t have had another shot on target, let alone a goal.
The worst bit about the game was that, from the get go, there was no hope from anyone associated with Reading - well, it seemed that way anyway. You can’t blame the fans for losing faith after the recent showings, but to see the players play without any hope or desire is sad to see. It just felt like a foregone conclusion that we were going to lose that game.
Here’s how the fans reacted. Again, it doesn't make for pretty reading...
As I’ve just mentioned, this was the worst bit of the night for me. There was just nothing in that performance. Luton won every single second ball and bullied us all over the pitch. Not one player in blue and white hoops looked like they wanted to be out there.
All we ever ask for, or all we ever should ask for, as fans is that the players on the pitch put in absolutely everything every single game. Mistakes can be made and that’s just part of football, but showing no commitment or fight stings. As you can tell from the fans’ comments...
For all the money and time that #readingfc fans spend on this club especially recently, the least we deserve is for everyone who puts on our shirt to go out and give 100% effort. Half of them couldn’t care less, simply shambolic— Joshua Verroken (@joshverroken) January 19, 2022
I’ll be going on Saturday but being truthfully honest if we don’t turn up again or look like even scoring then I’m sorry but I won’t be returning for a while because I put more effort into driving there than I see on the pitch it’s just depressing #readingfc— Owen Thorner (@owen_thorner) January 19, 2022
Where’s the desire? Where’s the energy? Where’s the urgency? Where’s the fight? That’s as an embarrassing a performance as I’ve ever seen from a side under so much pressure. Appalling half of football. #readingfc— Paul Smith (@Skeptichead) January 19, 2022
Sleepwalking into league one without even a fight. Truly pathetic. #ReadingFC— Milo (@MiloRoyal1871) January 19, 2022
I can accept losing, but we don't compete. We don't want it. No fight. No desire. No anything. Manager tactically inept. 22 points. I reckon we need another 22 to give ourselves an outside chance at best. Fed up. #readingfc— Shaun Berry (@sbezzzab1871) January 19, 2022
No fight. No urgency. No committment. No passion. No manager. Nothing. We are finished #readingfc— Tom (@TomMoore0506) January 19, 2022
Absolute disgrace, players don’t care. No fight, spirit or guts about them. Get them out of the club. Ashamed #readingfc— Ross (@rossm1871) January 19, 2022
Really pleased with the effort of our players tonight and the tactics of course were excellent! I’m joking of course it’s the biggest pile of crap #readingfc— Russell Beaven (@RussellBeaven) January 19, 2022
Accepted the fact we’re going down if nothing changes, no fight, no urgency etc etc #readingfc— Kieran Ruffle (@KieranRuffle) January 19, 2022
Again, Pauno’s future was a big talking point. I have sympathy for the bloke, I really do. He’s been thrown into an absolute s***storm that he didn’t create. That doesn’t mean I don't think he looks a bit out of his depth now.
For his show of emotion at the end of his post-match interview against Boro’ (“we will go hard”) to be followed up by a performance like that just sums up the mess he’s in. Pauno is a genuinely nice guy and has been dealt an awful hand (he had 10 senior players available on Wednesday) but the fans have made a verdict on his future. Well, they did that after the Kidderminster Harriers defeat to be fair...
I've had enough beyond a joke now they aint playing for pauno the more games that tick by the closer to league 1 we get surely u can see by the attendance fans have had enough!!! #readingfc PAUNOOUT— Mitchell Gray (@mitchgray110101) January 19, 2022
Has said the last 3 weeks every performance has been unacceptable. With Pauno in charge we will get relegated. His tactics would work. If the team had depth and quality. This squad doesn’t. He goes now or we’re League One bound. #readingfc https://t.co/gtZFJLkloa— Will (@Willu2101) January 19, 2022
I've figured it out btw, I dont know how we didn't figure is out before....— Brightside (@BrightsideRFC) January 19, 2022
Pauno is actually from Swindon#readingfc
The club have to find a way of removing Pauno as manager, maybe gardening leave and just appoint from within. Something has to change or we are going down on that evidence #readingfc— Paul Towner (@PaulTowner7) January 19, 2022
In a fairly similar position back in 2019 this is what Jose Gomes managed to do to the fanbase. He got everyone together on one side and was a huge reason why we stayed up. Pauno is dragging us down, make the change now. #readingfc https://t.co/47R0GEQ1Bh pic.twitter.com/DjDzrpHw91— Ed Ryding (@EdRyding) January 20, 2022
To think Pauno challenged the team to go unbeaten at home after the first international break of the season #readingfc— Paul Towner (@PaulTowner7) January 20, 2022
Does pauno rank in our 3 worst managers? Other 2 being Terry Bullivant & Brendan (right manager just wrong time!) Don’t think I can put clement in as he kept us up!— Div 1 champions 2023 (@uptheroyals1871) January 20, 2022
How many more games and turgid performances do we have to endure before Pauno is sacked? He’s not the whole problem, much bigger issues with the club but without this change we stand no chance. Our defensive setup is a disgrace even with injuries. #readingfc— Jimmy Coulson (@Jimmy_Coulson) January 20, 2022
Another horrible evening supporting this club. I’m genuinely running out of ways to describe how awful we are at the moment. I can’t see a way out. We could be playing anybody on Saturday, and I mean anyone, and I wouldn’t be confident for a result - it really is that bad.
I think it’s fair to say, after the already infamous Liam Moore statement last week, that Pauno is here to stay, albeit until the summer. So he better find a way of winning games soon, or else if we think this is rock bottom, we could be in for a horrible surprise.