Pre-Match View From Reading
“October really is a poor month for league fixtures due to the stupid international break. After nothing in the first week, there was the long trek to Leeds and now this long ******* of a trek to Sheffield. Now you’d think league would set it so that clubs would not get this sort of idiot fixture organisation that leaves such long gaps between home games and a chance to see your heroes being embarrassing at home again.
Sheffield United are the surprise package so far and this is definitely going to be the hardest game Reading have had so far as the Blades are actually fairly useful and well capable of beating anyone in this division by the look of things so a Reading team that can be very erratic at times is not going to phase them in the slightest.
So one wonders whether this game will see the usual misfiring Reading turn up or the one that did rather well for themselves at Leeds last week to show exactly what they can do when they put their minds to it. If the latter then just perhaps Reading’s season has just kicked off. If the former then it’s going to be a very long season.
Sheffield will have bright prospect (chased by Liverpool, Arsenal and Newcastle apparently) David Brooks fit and ready to continue his, so far, stunning form but defender Kieron Freeman is likely to be missing after suffering a suspected dislocated knee last week. Reading will be without; Kermorgant, Harriott, Watson, Swift, Obita etc. McShane is also doubtful with his hamstring problem.”
“Do we stick with Bacuna at RB and Gunter at LB? It looked pretty good last game? I guess the only worry is if they have a great right winger (don’t know the opposition very well) Gunter might get caught out?”
“Wondering how much of the Leeds line up and performance was forced on him due to McShane being missing and having to adjust the team around the change. If McShane is fit might we see the same old line up and performance problems again?”
“I would be amazed to see us win there but maybe we score and hang on with the defence and Mannone winning medals”
“Our record there is fantastic over the last 15 years or so. But I have a slightly bad feeling normal service will be resumed.”
“Let’s be honest, this is a seriously tough game. Will be harder than Leeds I expect who I really don’t think are all that (not taking away too much from our performance there). I’d be absolutely delighted with anything other than a defeat”
“They start very fast and are quite direct – we will struggle early on”
“Don’t think we’ll play to badly but Sheffield Utd to win”
“Blades fans looking forward to our visit. Plastic, soulless, Tin Pot. The full Reading FC bingo!!”
“Usually the easy retort to these Yorkshire clubs that harp on about tradition is that we’ve won and achieved more in the last 15 years than Leeds, Sheffield United and Sheffield Wednesday have put together. And 15 years is a long time.”
“Last 15 years?! What are you on about?! I thought football was only invented in August when Real Brighton-lona got into the Premier League”
“It is a bit odd, seems to be a common theme amongst many northern clubs. What they either don’t realise, or choose to ignore is that football was effectively a closed shop for the northern sides and a few London sides until 1920 when they were kind enough to let us southern sides join in, so you know, they all got a nice head start. The comparison to MK Dons is a bit extreme though isn’t it? Yes the Madejski can be a bit flat and is located outside the town centre but we didn’t pack up and move to a different County.”
“There was little love lost in the Warnock era but generally, they come across as a decent bunch and Bramhall Lane is the one away ground that has a consistently decent atmosphere.”