Joe Lumley: 2
Look. I don’t feel good about giving out a 2/10. You have to feel sorry for Lumley, but it looks like we finally saw the player Boro fans warned us about. This was one of the worst goalkeeping performances most Reading fans will have ever seen.
Lumley started a nightmarish five minutes with a pair of errors that gave the second goal away to Rotherham far too easily. Washington hit it well, but Lumley should have come out to challenge and was then beaten at his near post.
Then, two minutes later, he almost immediately conceded the third with a wild head-height swing with his foot that missed the player. Lumley was lucky it also missed the player or he may well have earned himself a red to cap off his afternoon.
And then he did concede the third with the worst mistake of the bunch. Lumley let the ball slide tamely through his legs on a routine save. Clearly, the player was crestfallen. Finally, Lumley killed the match right before half time with a weak flap towards a long ball over the top after he came way too far out.
I hope Lumley rebounds, but it may be a good time to try out Bouzanis.
Tom McIntyre: 5
Left center back in a three seems like the position McIntyre was born to play, as good as he is elsewhere. By far the most cultured passer in the Reading backline, McIntyre also steps out of defence well, and this formation allows him to do so.
But… Not that this isn’t a symptom of many players right now, but McIntyre needs to cut out his habit of just switching off for odd little 30 second stretches.
Rules of drop balls situations aside, McIntyre lost concentration for the final goal before half time and while he could have expected more from Lumley, he could have prevented the entire situation with better positioning.
Stuck with his task commendably in the second half though, and looks like he should keep his place in the side when others are fit.
Tom Holmes: 5
Looks the steadiest of his defensive companions in the back three, but will benefit from more experienced centre backs joining the backline as the season goes on.
A difficult match for Holmes to manage through and while it feels odd not to criticise the defence more in a heavy loss, this is more like a one- or two-goal loss in a game with fewer mistakes from Lumley.
Andy Yiadom: 5
An unremarkable display but needs to do more as captain to communicate with his GK when he’s having an afternoon like he is.
Is adapting as well as can be expected to his currently enforced position in the back three, but Paul Ince will expect more when Yiadom is able to be moved further up the pitch.
Nesta Guinness-Walker: 5
Started more like his week-one nervy self than the confident player who was much improved at the SCL last weekend. Gave the ball away far too cheaply before and after Lumley’s five-minute meltdown.
Was a different man at the start of the second half. Early on his searching cross earned a corner, and then a mazy run into the Rotherham half earned a dangerous free kick just outside of the box. (Shame about Hoilett’s effort). He may well be replaced soon if the rumors of a ‘Premier League LB’ arriving on loan have weight to them, but he should provide good depth this season if not always a starter.
Junior Hoilett: 6
Always looks like he’s on a good wavelength with Andy Yiadom that allows the two to wriggle Reading out of defensive jams.
Did well to earn his shooting opportunities in the first half and looked like one of Reading’s most dangerous players as per usual. Twisted and turned delightfully on the left wing right after the break but struggled like many Reading attackers to provide the final ball today.
Tyrese Fornah: 6
Started brightly, and turned out of danger in possession well a few times in the first half.
Shortly after the break he made a brilliant if not a little lucky run into the middle of the field that earned Reading a corner after a Hoilett shot. Not to blame for Reading’s performance today, and this was probably his best performance in a Reading shirt yet, or at least his most involved.
Mamadou Loum: 6
Has a real presence on the field, but more importantly: reads the defensive side of the game well. Reading’s best player in the first half, and served as an avatar for the frustrated fans right before the break as he smashed a shot just north of the crossbar.
Loum certainly has enough about him that he seems like he’ll be an important player for Reading this year.
Jeff Hendrick: 5
Has the vision to play higher up the field, but still looks a little off the pace. Hopefully as he gets more minutes through the season he’ll get fitter, because he has the tools to be useful at this level.
Subbed off for Mamadi Camara and will need to provide more end product for Reading in the future if he wants to play the full 90.
Tom Ince: 6
Wasted a few opportunities after Rotherham’s third went in. I’m sure his confidence was running very high going into the game, as it should be after last week, but needs to do more to pick Long out rather than always trying to do it himself. Looked just a little off it today, with lots of overhit passes punctuating an inconsistent performance.
All of that said, Ince always looks 110% committed and he kept trying to provide a spark for Reading throughout the second half. His work-rate is second to none in this team currently and you can’t ask for more as an experienced player in terms of leading by example.
Shane Long: 6
What’s fantastic to see about Long is that he’s matured and developed into a really well rounded footballer. He does nothing spectacular, but as the old football saying goes: “he does all the basics well” like a Heskey or a Milner.
Would like to see him given earlier service from his midfielders in future weeks because he gets himself into good positions but is often overlooked. Does well to link up play in the final third and is proving to be more than just a nostalgia pickup for Reading so far.
Mamadi Camara: 4
His introduction to the game was Reading’s best chance of the game, receiving a deflected pass from Shane Long right in front of Rotherham’s goal. Unfortunately he couldn’t convert before the last defender got across.
Looks very raw and while full of potential, made some sloppy mistakes typical of young players.
Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan: N/A
Didn’t get long to make an impression, but he does make some encouraging crossing runs that should result in chances if provided with the right service.
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