Well, we’ve seen that show before, haven’t we?
An away game where the match was there for the taking, crying out for us to grab it and take all three points, missing chances, before conceding late on and ending up losing. We saw it at Port Vale, we saw it at Exeter City and we saw it again on Monday evening.
It’s going to take time for this crop of very young players to adapt to Ruben Selles’ style of play, and in the meantime we’re going to have evenings like Monday. But that doesn’t make it any less frustrating.
Here’s how the fans reacted...
More away woes
Monday’s defeat means we now haven’t won away from home in nearly 300 days. The last came just before the World Cup at Hull City.
You can’t lie any of the blame from last season on Selles and this group of players, but it’s still a horrendously painful statistic. Fans pay a lot of money to travel up and down the country and it’s almost like we’ve got a curse on us at the moment.
Monday’s showing and result was by no means a new experience for the Loyal Royals...
Remeber that time we won an away game in November 2022? They were good times #readingfc— Daniel Osmond (@mrdosmond) September 4, 2023
There's poor away form and there's hitting the underside of the bar and not scoring... #ReadingFC— Scott (@American_Royals) September 4, 2023
Don’t understand #ReadingFC away from home and I never will. Yet I still go to every away game (apart from tonight) expecting us to finally have a change of fortune. We haven’t won away in the league since NOVEMBER. I haven’t seen us win away in the league since APRIL 2022…— Joe (@iJC106) September 4, 2023
Are away form is shocking, we are not going to get anywhere with how poor we are away from home…same issues as last season #readingfc— Matt (@m2120b) September 4, 2023
The shocking away form looks like it’s going to continue! - that looked like a very tired defence #readingfc— Stevie p (@stevie_p1871) September 4, 2023
Abysmal and shock horror #readingfc deservedly get nothing away yet again. A home banker from the minute you saw the teamsheet - no way they were scoring tonight. The weakest side they've put out in the league that I can remember. Zero points from Port Vale, Exeter and Cambridge.— George Flood (@GeorgeFlood24) September 4, 2023
There has been nothing but praise for Selles from the Reading fans so far, but Monday night was the first time I’ve seen some question him.
Most weren’t happy with the decision to bench Kelvin Ehibhatiomhan, and some are starting to question the 4-2-2-2 formation. For what it’s worth, Ruben is going to stick with that formation. He’s integrating an identity and a way of playing - he’s not going to chop and change the formation.
There were also a lot of fans who leapt to the manager’s defence amongst the criticism...
Last night was a bit of a low for Sellés.— Mick Day (@MickDay99) September 5, 2023
For whatever reason the starting 11 was weaker than expected, like we were still in pre-season and he was getting to know his squad.
And that in reality is where we are at, with players still arriving until a few days ago.#Readingfc
People calling for Selles out, get a grip. Still building a team and we are shit away at the moment. Lacked goals yesterday but we have the kid from Soton and Wareham available soon. Would move Vickers to where Azeez is and have Mbengue and Savage in CM #readingfc— Michael (@Emjay8989) September 5, 2023
I'm fully on board with Selles but I think results need to improve. I don't think he's under any pressure currently and nor should he be. But the kids need to learn quickly. #readingfc— Dan Hindmarsh (@DH_Editz) September 5, 2023
I hope Selles isn’t married to this 4222 formation. I heard he’s also played 433 with previous teams, which may better suit us. Midfield 3 of Savage, Hutch with Wing or Elliott worth trying…? #readingfc— Paulo (@Paulo_1871) September 5, 2023
Cant believe we actually hanging selles out already. YES last night was poor ,BUT to completely rebuild a team is tough, and to do it whilst the season is going on is massive. These are good young players and things will click. I will stick with them including selles— steve richardson (@Rich1Steve) September 5, 2023
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not entirely his fault and he’s been dealt a bad set of cards but when are we allowed to start saying Selles keeps getting it wrong and it isn’t working? #readingfc— Dan (@DanCleaver28) September 4, 2023
Some really, really poor individual performances tonight.— Ben Waite (@etiawneb) September 4, 2023
It's difficult to watch Azeez and Carson at the moment. The confidence of both seems shattered.
Selles needs to step up over the break and make a few changes again.
At least we're at home next. #ReadingFC
Have a little patience
As football fans, it’s so easy to let the emotions of a bad result or a bad performance take hold. It’s heightened for us because we’ve been so bloody awful for so long. However, as mentioned previously, Selles cannot be blamed for anything that came before him.
We want things to change and we want them to change quickly, but that’s not likely going to be the case. Mark Bowen and co are in the process of completely changing the culture of a club - it’ll take time.
It was reassuring to see fans take stock and recognise this after the game. It doesn’t make the defeat hurt any less, or the quell any frustrations, but it’s important to recognise.
Poor last night and didn’t deserve anything at all. However, they all need time, it’s been a big change this summer and will take time to get right, all we can do is support the players that step onto the pitch. #readingfc— Louis Roberts (@LouisRobWrites) September 5, 2023
Reading fans: I want our team to have a clear identity and style of play— Jon Botting (@Jon_Rfc) September 5, 2023
Also Reading fans: why doesn’t the manager change formation again as the current one hasn’t worked for 2 games
To build a clear identity you need to give it playing time. This is a process. #readingfc
It’s difficult to accept the cold reality of where we are now as a club given where we could be without Dia Yongge’s incompetent, catastrophic ownership. But, despite him, we need to get on board with the rebuild. It will be slow and frustrating. Let’s give it time #readingfc— Paolo (@Skeptichead) September 5, 2023
This is the fourth league game that most of this group of players have had together, it's going to take time to bed in.— Another Football Analyst (@Analytics1871) September 4, 2023
Not great, things were slightly off in most facets of the game tonight, but by no means a complete horror show. Had chances, didn't take them.#ReadingFC pic.twitter.com/blg5bEoWOq
Patience is needed, we are a month behind due to our pre season issues. Plenty of players to come back in, we have quality and we will gel. Trust the process #readingfc— Reading Talk (@RoyalReading106) September 4, 2023
We need to have patience with these young players but it’s so frustrating to watch at times #ReadingFC— Erik O (@Orrgarde) September 4, 2023
It’s a horrible defeat. A really disjointed, sloppy performance, and once we go a goal down we just lose our heads and there is no chance of us ever getting back into a game. My 100-mile drive home was certainly a bit of a depressing one.
However, we need to give this team and this manager time. It’s frustrating and I hate to break it to you: there will be more games like Monday’s, but we have to trust in Bowen and Selles.