I’m running out of things to say and ways to introduce a Fans Verdict for an away loss.
It's actually pretty impressive how many different ways we’ve found to lose away from home in the last year or so. There’s the drubbings, the last-minute heartbreaks, and then the games like Saturday - when we actually look the better team, concede one, and then the floodgates open.
It was the dictionary definition of capitulation station. And just heartachingly all too familiar. Here’s how the fans reacted...
Another away loss
As I walked back in on Saturday evening, the first thing my other half said to me was the old “Why do you keep going if it just makes you this unhappy? It can’t be very fun.” And she’s right. It really isn’t very fun.
We’ve now got just one more away game, at Shrewsbury Town, to try and make sure we don’t go a full 12 months without a win on the road in the league.
The fans lost patience a long time ago with this, and who can blame them?
Just when you think it can't get worse watching Reading away...that happens! That second half was probably the worst standard I've ever seen of any Reading team I've seen in 23 years supporting this club! It's quite painful to witness now. #readingfc #SellBeforeWeDai— JRSRoyal1871 (@JRSRoyal1871) October 21, 2023
Unfortunately still at Euston after a great day out but yet another awful #readingfc away performance. Only 3 more hours until hometime . Anyone else wondering why they do this to themselves? pic.twitter.com/xaCVyEPByd— Tom Hill (@ThomasH_1871) October 21, 2023
Betting on Reading to lose away from home has made me a more financially credible owner than William Storey. #readingfc— Greg Double (@Dubstep1988) October 21, 2023
The pressure is mounting.
The harsh truth of the matter for Sells is that, no matter how bad it is off the pitch, he still has a job to do on the pitch in terms of getting us results. That’s now seven away losses in the league so far this season - from seven away games.
Not starting the likes of Charlie Savage, Ben Elliott and Caylan Vickers (our three most creative players) was strange in itself, but choosing not to bring any of them until we were 3-0 down is even more questionable.
Not a great day for Selles and the fans weren’t happy...
Selles hasn’t Learnt his lesson. He’s had a tough hand but time to go. #Readingfc— Jamie Hodder (@Jamie_Hodder21) October 21, 2023
Thinking more about this quote: I'd say Selles wants the sack from #readingfc. Given the circumstances could you blame him? We're 100% one of those anomaly clubs now and I bet managing here is worse than he anticipated. No changes on Tuesday would confirm this for me. https://t.co/QRqDvFAfre— Blue & White Jester (@bw_jester_rfc) October 22, 2023
I've been very much in the corner of Selles, horrible situation, no pre-season etc. But now, he has to face the critism. Team selection wasn't on it today, and he needs to hold his hands up and change things #ReadingFC— JackOliverG (@JackOliverG) October 21, 2023
Ruben Selles please, and I’m begging, please stop playing 4222. Exposed every game but continues to play it expecting a different result #readingfc— harry (@hrryjnes) October 21, 2023
Absolutely shocking. Don’t mind Selles as a bloke but this evidently isn’t the right time/fit for him. No wins by November then he has to go for me. #readingfc— Harry Sands (@SarryHands) October 21, 2023
It’s very weird to talk about a positive after a 4-0 defeat, even weirder when that positive is the performance of one of our centre-backs. But honestly, Nelson Abbey is simply a superb footballer.
Once again he was brilliant on Saturday, and it was telling that, at the end of the game as the players stood solemnly applauding the fans, as soon as Abbey jogged over to clap, almost every fan who was still left in the stadium applauded him back and chanted his name.
Let’s just enjoy him whilst we’ve still got him...
We are in big trouble when we lose Abbey at the end of this season.#ReadingFC— Reading FC (@bluewhitewall) October 21, 2023
Nelson Abbey is our best academy product since Olise. He’s stupidly good. Had to play both cb positions today because Dean was nowhere to be seen for the most part. #readingfc— Joel (@Jdh72Joel) October 21, 2023
Abbey far too good for this division. Will be gone by Xmas. No idea how selles still manages to pick azeez. No resilience once going behind. #readingfc— MB (@Martinbutlerfc) October 21, 2023
Nelson abbey again the only one in blue and white to show any sort of ability. Got to feel for him that he’s surrounded by deadwood. #readingfc— Holloway (@charlie77008290) October 21, 2023
Bye bye Abbey in January, be shocked if someone don’t come in for him, #readingfc— Ross Giacobbe (@rosariogiacobbe) October 21, 2023
Nelson Abbey is going to be a Premier League footballer. Oozes class. One of the few bright spots of this dire season #readingfc— Jonathan Holdstock (@JH7123) October 21, 2023
Another depressing day following Reading Football Club away from home. The worst thing is that I can’t even see a way out. We’re easy pickings on the road and, once we concede, no matter what minute it is in, you may as well give the home team the three points there and then.
Next up are two huge home games to try and bring back some kind of positivity. The first of which is a six-pointer (yep, already) against Fleetwood on Tuesday.