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Reading v Wigan: Player Ratings

We look back on yesterday's 2-1 home defeat to Wigan and invite you to cast your vote for Readng's player of the match.

Laurence Griffiths

Alex McCarthy: 6

Didn't have an awful lot to do in the first half other than pick the ball out of his net. Made a good stop in the second-half but his kicking and general distribution remain his weakest areas, with his confidence clearly shaky at times after a couple of dodgy kicks.

Shaun Cummings: 5

Not his best day but equally not his worst either. Neither goal came down his side and he did get into some good advanced positions. Sadly his lack of a left-foot meant that those attacking runs were often wasted and you can see why Adkins went for the left-footed Obita in the second-half. Much like Stephen Kelly, he's very much a stop-gap solution to the left-back problem.

Kaspars Gorkss: 6

The Latvian skipper didn't cover himself in glory for the first goal but other than that he played reasonably well. His passion and desire is never in question as he was happy to charge around and put his body on the line when needed. It's nice to see him slowly bouncing back from a nightmare 12 months but whether he's the long-term answer remains in question.

Alex Pearce: 4

Pearce didn't have a great game and it was his misjudgement that led to the second goal. Still, after a night's sleep to reflect on things it would be very harsh to slaughter him on the basis of one error in very tricky conditions. He's still a decent defender but he's struggling to adapt his game to a more possession orientated one. That being said, age is still very much on his side so fingers crossed he'll improve as time goes on.

Chris Gunter: 6

Was decent at both full-back and at centre back, though he was done for power a couple of times down his side. Gunter increasingly reminds me of Andy Bernal in that you get pretty solid performances but rarely inspirational ones. He's not really a £2 million pound right back but there's potential and a useful player there all the same.

Jobi McAnuff: 6

Highly committed and determined performance from the captain who tried to provide a badly needed spark in the first half. Despite some dodgy touches he was one of Readng's better players out there and showed he can still do a decent job at this level.

Danny Guthrie: 5

For all of the praise Guthrie gets when he pings a 30 yard ball to the wing, people seem to forget the two other 30 yard balls that go straight into touch. It's becoming rather obvious why Brian McDermott didn't pick Guthrie in a 4-4-2 because the fact that the former Liverpool man drifts so deep to collect the ball often leaves us horrendously outnumbered in the middle of the park, all but surrendering that area to the opposition. There's absolutely a role for a player like Guthrie at this football club but he's found out when he's only got one partner, especially when it's someone who doesn't have an engine like Jem Karacan.

Danny Williams: 5

Lucky to be on the pitch after getting into some needless aggro with Watson who showed all of his nouse to help slow down play and get Reading's players wound up. This wasn't a horror performance from Williams but due to the problems I've just mentioned with Guthrie, he also struggles to make an impact in a 4-4-2.

Royston Drenthe: 6

I was asked to write a piece for the Guardian this week about Readng's first half of the season and one of those questions was, "what's your biggest disappointment been this season?"

While plenty of things sprung to mind, I had to answer Drenthe because after all of the hype and all of the promise, what end product has the winger actually produced in a Reading shirt?

This isn't to say I'm not a fan because I love how he charges around and tries to make things happen but in the cold light of day he's not yet become that key player we all hoped he would be, and that all opposition fans tended to panic about.

Yesterday he had a couple of promising dribbles and half-decent crosses but beyond that he didn't create much and was once again shattered by the hour mark. I'm hoping that as his injury worries are further behind him he does turn into that star man but for the moment he remains potential unfulfilled, or to use a phrase from the podcast, still more Mass Sarr than messiah.

Billy Sharp: 4

Tough day for the loanee who missed two one-on-ones and more importantly a penalty. His hold-up play was OK but this was a day to forget from Sharp who was fortunate to get the full 90 minutes. I still very much hope he signs a permanent deal here and those fans who called for Adam Le Fondre after he missed the penalty were pretty cringe worthy in my opinion.

Pavel Pogrebnyak: 8

An 8 might be a little over the top but sod it, he's one of the few reasons to enjoy Reading games at the moment. Pav fully deserved his goal and his transformation continues to be a real highlight of the season. Hard working, determined and showing some good touches, Pav worked the flanks, the middle and tracked back as much as he possibly could.


Jordan Obita: 5

Didn't notice an awful lot from the half-time sub who found himself in an unfamiliar left-back position. Can't see him starting there for such a tough away game at Leicester but if Bridge is out long-term and we fail to sign a replacement, he could well start to see more chances there.

Garath McCleary: 6

Looked a constant threat down the right after coming on to play full-back. Didn't have much to do defensively and tried his best to spark something late on.

Adam Le Fondre: 4

Aside from one half-chance I can't remember Alfie doing anything other than giving away two stupid free-kicks. It's possible we might have seen Le Fondre's final home game for Reading as I'm not sure being third choice striker is something he's likely to put up with much longer.

So that's how we scored it but please let us know how you saw it and cast your own vote for POTM.