Things We Sort Of Learned: Reading (H)

Well, it wasn’t quite a magnificent seven again, but we did do another win against Reading. Another double to the season’s tally too. It was cold though eh? Really, really cold. But what else did we learn? Hmmmm?

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Reading Football Club

What is the fucking point of them? Seriously. Their fans obviously feel the same way, here’s the bus they came in..

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I know they’re a little cheesed off with their management and have had a disappointing season, indeed they aren’t free of relegation worries yet, but they didn’t bring many more than that last year when they were going for the play-offs.

How we only scored three and managed to let them score two, I’ll never know.

Their team were dirty today as well. From the - so late everyone missed it including the referee and the linesman even though it happened right in front of him - studs up assault on Timm in the first minute of the game to the snidey chops from behind on various of our players throughout the game. They pretty much went unpunished apart from a few yellow cards.

I thought the ref was weak today and lost the plot a little, no more so than for the pelunty decision. Madderz knocked it past the keeper, who brought him down deliberately. Surely it wasn’t an accidental foul? If he hadn’t done so Madderz would have been right in front of goal with just a scrambling defender to tap the ball past from six yards - spoiler alert, he wouldn’t have missed - so surely, that’s a clear goal scoring opportunity denied by a deliberate foul and so a red card?

Other than that Reading seem to be a collection of cast off players, the wrong ex-Ferguson player as manager, discord among the fans and just there to make up the numbers. Thanks for that lads but seriously, just go down to league one already. Thanks.

Actually no. Can we play you every week? RJ

Dennis did good

The new kid in class is slowly finding his feet. Playing out on his own most of the time can be a lonely experience, but he put in an excellent performance and was one of the best in class. The moment Dennis Srbeny made people sit up and notice was a beautiful, defence splitting through ball that was so good Ja:Murph didn't anticipate it in time. There's still some way to go, and he should have scored, but Saturday showed glimpses of a talented player. We may not be able to bring out the ‘Arise Sir Benny’ line yet (I’m ready and waiting, DS) but one day..one day. The best is yet to come, but, crucially, it is coming. CT

Murphy’s Law

Josh was excellent. He roasted Gunter at will, troubled the keeper and their defenders when he had the chance (though often there was nobody in the middle for him to cross to) and looked to be a player coming right into form.

Despite that, on the couple of occasions when he tried something tricky but failed, though if they’d come off would have led to him being through on goal, he got an absolute roasting from a lot of the crowd.

It was his 100th game for us today and he played a part in all three of our goals. He nearly notched one himself, which would have made it 3-0, at which point I think Reading would have collapsed like last season, but for a lucky block by a defender on his goal-bound shot.

He’s one of our own, maybe that’s why he’s so harshly judged by some. The crowd always has a loud and angry groan primed and ready, just waiting to come out when he doesn’t quite come up the their Messi level expectations.

Cease and desist you mothers. RJ

In the wars

Any one who suggests footballers are weak should take a look at Timm Klose; a man whose nose already demonstrates the signs of battles past. Within minutes of the start he lay prostrate on the ground in agony. Zimbo warmed up. Put his shirt on. Gingerly, Timm rose one legged and hobbled off. ‘Oh no’ everyone sighed. But this man does not know how to give up and, gladiator like, Timmius Klosemus returned to the arena to fight again.

After making it through the match, one last challenge lay in his path. A full whack in the face. Blood everywhere. Even the referee spotted this one. Timm once again rose to his feet, and almost keeled over. Wobbly Timm drew worried gasps from the fans.  But still he lived to fight to the end. Victorious. A true warrior. CT

Beast from the East: The Sequel.

I could have walked past my best friend outside Carrow Road on Saturday and not realised, such was the level of attire were all adorning to stave off the second coming of The Beast. And with Timm Klose on a one man mission to make the game as long as possible, by the time we trudged out my toes felt as though they had been amputated and I was walking on stumps.

It was beyond bitter. Even my handwarmers were cold.

It's the goalies I feel for. The outfield players get to run around. The fans can wear as many layers as humanly possible. But the goalies have to stand isolated for long periods, and I don't think their gloves are fleece lined. Their only option is to perform some sort of HIIT sessions to keep the blood coursing through the veins between any goalmouth action. Thankfully yesterday there was quite a lot of it and we were all grateful for the extra movement it caused. Although getting up to celebrate a goal wearing ten layers is somewhat more challenging... CT

Super Mario

Vrančić was just Super. His passing was neat and tidy and occasionally extraordinary, he was great in possession and was also winning battles in the middle of the pitch. He was also always looking to get things moving forwards rather than back and/or accross which we tend to do.

I was delighted when he scored from Hanley’s flick on, couldn’t have happened to a more deserving and nice guy.

His eyebrows are also a thing of wonder and beauty. RJ

Hanley Man

The real - and certainly not the mini - Beast from the East assisted our first goal, scored our second, and was generally immense as ever. Give him the armband Daniel. End of.

Also, both of those goals came from corners that were superbly delivered into the danger area by Maddison, none of your short-corner fannying about with it. He Peter Kay’d the ball onto Hanley’s heid (admittedly a large target) and it worked. Twice.

Statistics? Schmatistics. I don’t care about percentages of goals scored from corners blah, blah, blah.

Get it in the mixer lads. RJ