Following on from the midweek tonking of Exeter City, Reading made the journey up to Blackpool, the Vegas of the UK (!) to take on a Blackpool side that probably hasn’t lived up to their preseason billing and, like Reading, are suffering the hangover of relegation.
You know though, every team has a team they can’t beat - normally for Reading that’s anyone who has Jordan Rhodes in their team. A quick scout around and it seems that we are third on the list of teams he loves playing against.
Let’s not beat around the bush. For 20 minutes we looked ok, maybe even half decent. As soon as Sam Hutchinson basically lost his mind and committed hari kari on the Blackpool forward, it was game over. For a player of his stature and experience that was a brain explosion. After that, this team lacked leadership, guile and impact. It was a bad day at the seaside.
Surprisingly there’s not a huge amount on Twitter but here are the best bits!
Just chill out…
Apart from the first 20 minutes or so it so made a change to be totally zenned out rather than stressed out watching a Blackpool game ✌️ a nice tidy win #BlackpoolFC— Claire Bartle-Turan (@ClaireBartle2) September 23, 2023
Reading FC, the gift that keeps on giving
Before this afternoon, Blackpool had scored just 4️⃣ League One goals.— NT Stats (@NTStats) September 23, 2023
Today, they thrashed Reading 4-1, doubling their goal tally for the season
Excellent day at the office for Jordan Rhodes #utmp #blackpoolfc pic.twitter.com/9EnbJ7IdTv
Always need a hero
FIFA cheat codes
Week on week…
Blackpool hugely improved on last week at Wycombe, more like the version of them I was expecting.— Gabriel Sutton (@GabSutton) September 24, 2023
Clearly, bringing in Matty Virtue, Kenny Dougall, Owen Dale and Kylian Koussi was crucial - injected dynamism, tenacity, drive and power into this side.
Most enjoyable game of the season yest #utmp Critchley still needs to go. Stupid decisions in the 2nd half. We should have won by more.— Jenifer Moore (@jenifermoorebfc) September 24, 2023
Oh lucky pants!
️ "It was a good response from last week. We showed much more what we are about."— Blackpool FC (@BlackpoolFC) September 23, 2023
Neil Critchley on today's impressive win at Bloomfield Road.
Right, brace yourself, stats of the day. The BBC come up with two gems: that’s Rhodes’ first hat-trick in four years and we haven’t won in Blackpool for over 22 years. Both are equally as poor as each other. If you want to read the report it’s in the link above, however let me summarise it. The Beeb call it Reading misfiring. Translating that, it actually should say “garbage”.
If you truly are desperate for something to watch then the lowlights can be found on Sky - if you truly want to put yourself through it again!
Obviously the local media are a) positive on Blackpool and b) negative on Reading – you don’t have to try hard to understand the general gist of what they are on about.
From the Blackpool side they have a piece on the stats of the game, none of which are particularly good reading for a Reading fan, but there’s stuff we can work on.
Over at the Reading Chronicle and James Earnshaw is slightly more conservative, and to be fair is factual rather than emotional and called it as he saw it.
Yes it was poor, yes the senior pros didn’t play, Ruben Selles may have got the game plan wrong, it may have been just the wrong time of year, and whatever it was that led to the defeat on top of the now 16 away games without a win... one thing to be sure of is that, given the age of the team, the inexperience and lack of leadership, this result will happen again this season.
What I cannot accept though is the below-par play from the senior pros. Hutchinson had a nightmare. Andy Yiadom was off the pace badly. But we need to play them - there’s crucial positions in this team that just aren’t happening. We need to fix our full-back issues as we were getting hammered from the wings. We need a defensive midfielder to break up play and quarterback us.
We don’t have an option apart from keeping the faith. The manager has changed the team up and it’s sort of worked at home. Away from home we could have Lionel Messi up front and still lose. That hoodoo needs breaking and quickly.
Burton Albion at home on Saturday brings new challenges. We will be expected to win by the pundits and the fans, and it wouldn’t surprise me to see Selles switch it up a bit. BBC Radio Berkshire seem to jump on agendas: one of these is to bring Tom Holmes back into the side.
Now, I don’t think this is a terrible idea, as I do think he’s been a scapegoat for a lot of the poor displays from Reading. But I think it needs to be in a three, which means a new tactical setup, but Selles has tried to stick to his guns on this.
Anyhow, I suppose that’s what we pay the manager for, but mid-table is critical for us this season to allow us to rebuild. A drop to League Two or a relegation battle might just be the last straw for this club. We need confidence and just that little bit of luck... hopefully against Burton!