Posted by: RFC Blogger from Bridgend | September 28, 2011

Oh what a wonderful morning – Reading stage amazing comeback!

Fantastic comeback by the Royals!

When the Royals conceded the first goal – I thought right now maybe they’ll start playing, as it seems that they often need to let a goal in before they take the game seriously.

When the second goal went in I thought – come on Reading – we’ve given Bristol City in this game, and the rest of the league generally in the last 8 games, enough of a head start – we need to take the gloves off and get on with doing well this season.

So when Jobi scored the first goal and then Le Fondre drew the team level – I fully expected them to go on a win – and that’s what happened. Manset scored a late goal to send the Royals back eastward on the M4 jubilant.

 

I have n’t managed to get to a game yet, and in a stupid fatalistic fans viewpoint, I’m starting to wonder if the team are missing my support! I can’t seem to get enthusiastic about fixtures at the moment, lots on in work, life etc, but when that second goal went in yesterday, I could n’t help cheering the team on, from my dining room table, and it’s certainly given me a lift this morning reflecting on the win.

 

My other teams – well Brighton and Crystal Palace played yesterday, with the Eagles visiting their local rival’s new home. In this battle of the big birds, the Seagulls took an early lead, but in this case the early bird certainly did not get the worm, as Crystal Palace scored two very late goals to win  the game. Tears of joy for one brother-in-law, and despair for another.

 

Cardiff play tonight, and Swansea have finally won a game in the Premiership since I last wrote, but lost to Chelsea in their last game.

 

Posted by: RFC Blogger from Bridgend | August 29, 2011

Reading FC DWLLL! 29.8.11

Come on Reading. We are already 9 points behind the leaders (Brighton!) which is three wins, and we have not had a point in the league since 13th August. We’ve also lost in the cup so in total there is another L in the results sequence. We also seem to have got into the risky habit of letting the other team take a two goal advantage (Millwall, Barnsley and Charlton) and are also putting our reputation as late goal specialists to the test – but have only saved our bacon this way against Millwall so far.

The above probably explains why I have not been motivated to put finger to keyboard on this blog, however I am certain that King Brian will be able to restore order and performance soon enough.

The tendency has been to have a slow start both in games and the season generally under his managership and then build up momentum as the season progresses. I don’t mind this as it compares favourably with starting really well and then falling into a slump after Christmas which happened a few times under Steve Coppell. At least this way things get more exciting as the season goes on rather than racing ahead and then slowing down as everyone catches up and we end up coming in 3rd or 7th, just outside automatic promotion or just outside the playoffs.

But in case it needs saying (which I’m sure it does not) I think we have given the rest enough of a head start now, so we need to start putting points on the board and winning games.

Looking at my other teams: well maybe the Swansea fans are not enjoying this as much so far. Being a proud (potentially small-minded) fan who wants to see Reading doing better than other teams, I can’t help comparing how the Swans are doing with how RFC did in their first premiership season.

points goal diff
RFC W L L 3 -1
Swansea L D D 2 -4

Cardiff are doing ok, they got off to a good start, wobbled a bit and have now settled the ship with a couple of draws. Brighton - are making the most of beginners luck as are Southampton, and they head the league and if things carry on this way our meeting with them at Easter will be very exciting. Crystal Palace, are also going very well, maybe spurred on by their local rivals (Brighton) and needing to have a good season, after several poor ones.

The Royals have signed two players, and hopefully things will kick on from here, well when I say from here…there is a break now until 10th September. It would have been nice to go into the break on a high, but at least Brian can regroup and make a fresh start at home to Watford on the 10th.

Come on URS……

Posted by: RFC Blogger from Bridgend | August 10, 2011

Charlton v RFC – 9.8.11 – POSTPONED!

I was looking forward to the fun of following the team on-line, hopefully the teething problems have been ironed out now, getting back into the swing of the football season even though it is the Summer holidays really. It seems a bit small-minded to be moaning about the game being postponed, when so many people have had their lives turned upside down, and in some cases are mourning the death of sons, brothers, partners.

That does not stop me missing the excitement of listening to my team who should have been playing last night against Charlton in the League cup.

On top of that, the inevitable happened – with confirmation coming of Shane Long’s move to West Brom – host town to looting and vandalism last night. Good luck to him though and I am confident that another star will rise to fill his scoring shoes.

Lets hope for everyone’s sake that things have settled down enough for the looting and vandalism to stop by the weekend, so that the sporting events to take place as planned.

I do realise that there are more important things in life than football, and my insignificant views may seem naive small-minded and selfish, but getting things back to normal should be good for everyone, and allow for the people who can make a difference to get started.

Posted by: RFC Blogger from Bridgend | August 6, 2011

RFC 2:2 Millwall

Well on balance that was a good result. To come back from 2 goals down in the last few minutes would have sent the fans away happy, especially when they were staring a loss in the face.

The goals for Millwall seamed to come against the run of play, but then its funny how the commentators are bigging up the team (Reading) when they have not conceded, and then put the knives in when they start to lose. They then reflect on the missed opportunities which earlier they described as the Royals being on top.

Anyway don’t want to appear churlish – look at this photo!

Well done Manset and the team. But very frustrated at the poor level of on-line coverage. Though now managed to listen on-line to BBC Berkshire - missed Brian’s interview though. First day teething problems.

Looking at my “other” teams. Brighton turned their day around by putting in a late couple of goals to win their first home game in their new stadium. Crystal Palace took the lead but went on to lose. Cardiff play tomorrow on telly, and Swansea of course don’t play until next week.

Posted by: RFC Blogger from Bridgend | August 6, 2011

RFC v Millwall – game in progress added time being played 6.8.11

Losing at the moment – and its amazing how quickly you can feel fed-up about the season already. I’m not too worried about losing the first game of the season although its disappointing.

I’ve had ten weeks off the football. The first couple were in a shocked stupor. Then I can’t remember the middle few, then all of a sudden the last week or so anticipating the new season. The football takes up 42 weeks, and generates anxiety mostly, but also excitement and a major point of interest.

The on-line service through Reading FC has changed from Reading 107 to BBC Radio Berkshire. It takes a while to get used to the voices and styles of the commentators. I don’t feel as close to the new “interface” as I did with the guys from Reading 107 – there does not seem to be an email address, and maybe with it being a BBC radio its got a bigger listenership.

We’ve hit the bar and now the post! It’s not our day.

It’s now 2-2

Its amazing what a couple of goals can do!!

Posted by: RFC Blogger from Bridgend | July 22, 2011

Sonko – you should never go back!

Just did my usual daily look at the BBC RFC page – to see that Sonko is on trial with and may come back to the Royals.

Don’t get me wrong he was a major part of our Promotion team and really important at the back for us. But let’s be honest he did not play as well in the Premiership (was unfortunately injured), which may not be that important as we are not in the Premiership at the moment, but in my humble opinion it does not work second time around! Look at what happened to Kitson and Little!

I don’t think it sets the right tone for the up and coming players to see other players potentially coming to the latter parts of their careers coming back to Reading. Sure I realise that Ian Hart, Andy Griffin are in the same boat – but they never played for the Royals previously! My heart sinks seeing this as a possibility as it makes me question the ambition of the management at the club as well.

Anyway – good to see something happening – but not sure this is a good move!

Season starts two weeks Saturday – can’t wait!

Posted by: RFC Blogger from Bridgend | June 25, 2011

Fixture list changes – Brighton v Reading FC

That’s great! Why move a fantastic game from a lovely Bank Holiday afternoon kick off, to a Tuesday evening kick off? So much for the impact on the fans. I suppose I should consider that of all the games that could have been changed this one is during the Easter Holidays, and so maybe lots of fans will be off anyway that day, and I suppose for most Reading fans it is not the worst journey to have to make to Brighton on a Tuesday evening (hope the M25 is ok during rush hour!). Not that I think any of this helped the powers that be to make this decision easier for them – they would not even have considered any of these issues – just the TV rights most likely.

Anyway another week ending in a Saturday of the gap between the end of one football season and the start of another. It’s flaming June – but no-one told the person in charge of the weather as it is absolutely pouring down out there.

No news to speak of about transfers – and I still feel fairly relaxed about those we lose as maybe there is room for a shake up and time for some new blood. No-one is bigger than the club!

25th June today –  6th August season kicks off – six weeks to go!

Posted by: RFC Blogger from Bridgend | June 14, 2011

The season is dead! Long live the new season!

Sub title: Reading FC for promotion.

I click on the BBC Reading FC Page out of habit and usually at this time of year it is a pretty barren place. No real news to speak of, just waiting to read that Shane has signed for Premiership FC – which will undoubtedly happen.

Today though the league has been updated for the teams that were promoted and relegated. It makes interesting reading if you set aside the fact that it is in alphabetical order.

Position Team    
1 Barnsley   Birmingham are going to go back up straight away, again!  Brighton are going to do well like many teams who are promoted and reach the playoffs.  Cardiff are going to do badly and end up just outside the playoffs. Crystal Palace are going to have a better season, possibly buoyed on by wanting to out do their local rivals (but failing). Southampton are going to do what other promoted sides do and that is go straight back down, with West Ham who are also going to follow one relegation with another. By this logic, Reading are going to struggle but avoid relegation in a difficult season, post Long! 
2 Birmingham  
3 Blackpool  
4 Brighton  
5 Bristol City  
6 Burnley  
7 Cardiff  
8 Coventry  
9 Crystal Palace  
10 Derby  
11 Doncaster  
12 Hull  
13 Ipswich  
14 Leeds  
15 Leicester  
16 Middlesbrough  
17 Millwall  
18 Nott’m Forest  
19 Peterborough  
20 Portsmouth  
21 Reading  
22 Southampton  
23 Watford  
24 West Ham  

 It’s a good job I don’t do predictions, but it will be interesting to see how the teams promoted to relegated to and those that failed to escape, the Championship do in the coming season.

Posted by: RFC Blogger from Bridgend | May 31, 2011

After the play off final 2010/11 – Brian McDermott is fab!

Brian McDermott

I just listened to Brian’s interview after the game, you just have to be impressed by how composed and clear someone can be after what must be a heart breaking experience. He was much clearer about how the game had gone than I was – for me the first half was terrible and I was scared every time Swansea got the ball. Brian remembered that we were better than them the first 20 minutes, that two of their goals were lucky rebounds off our players, and that things just did not go our way. I know that he has a job to do, and every word he says will be recorded and can come back to haunt him, so he has to be balanced and also careful not to say something too personal about any of his players, the ref (!), the opposition, but even so to be  able to speak so eloquently so soon after having a really bad day at the office is to be applauded.

For me today I feel like a balloon with the air nearly all gone out of. The balloon took a battering in the first half of yesterday’s game, then stabilised during the second half, and gradually had a very slow puncture going home down the M4. This morning our alarm clock is set to radio and Radio Wales is playing in my ear while I am trying to have a lie in. Eventually I can stand the jolly Welsh and Swansea fans, reporters and presenters, no more and get out of bed to turn it off. I manage to drift back to sleep, but even while I am dozing I have that nagging feeling that something has changed, and that the something I was looking forward to has fizzled out. On reflection it felt a bit like the journey back from Man City when they knocked us out of the FA Cup. Until yesterday I had not really thought of the Play Offs as cup games – even though I knew they were really.

But come on now – before the game I was feeling that it was a bonus to get to the final and that really automatic promotion next year was what we really should be expecting. And painful though it is now, this year was really about building for next year – that’s my opinion but probably not Brian’s. This is only Brian’s first full year in charge, next year expectation will be much higher – and I can’t wait for the first game to kick off.

Looking at “my other teams”, Swansea will be in the Premiership and the best of luck to them, Reading, Cardiff Crystal Palace and Brighton are all in the Championship and as my other sister lives near Stevenage – I am going to start keeping an eye on them – they were promoted to League 1 (not that she noticed!).

I can’t believe another season is over, and don’t know if I will keep this blog going, as although I have enjoyed putting my thoughts down on “paper” it has been yet another thing I need to do, so can be a bit of a bind. But I can’t resist the Royals so what ever happens I will be following them.

Posted by: RFC Blogger from Bridgend | May 30, 2011

Play off final Swansea 4:2 Reading

 

Reading manager Brian McDermott faces prospect of losing key players after Swansea loss

 

Where to begin? So many emotions felt today including:

  • excitement at leaving home to start the journey,
  • enjoying the camaraderie of passing and being passed by Swansea and then Reading fans going up the motorway,
  • finding the ground and parking within five minutes of the ground,
  • feeling aggrieved by some refereeing decisions
  • rocking after going two goals down in two minutes, and then three down by half time
  • wishing Shane could have scored that goal just before half time
  • the Reading first goal, the cheering and shouting as the fans came back to life
  • scoring a second goal to bring us right back into it and the fantastic atmosphere that came with it
  • almost scoring a third, if only the ball had rebounded more kindly, but it did not
  • a sustained period of pressure which we need to make count, but did not
  • then the second penalty given to Swansea
  • less than ten minutes to draw level – hope fades.

Before the game I was happy to have got to the final, and to win would be a bonus. Besides if Reading could not be in the Premiership then at least Swansea would be (and not Cardiff).

But now I am as disappointed as I ever am when the Royals have lost. I’ve just seen the foul that gave the second penalty and at the time I remember thinking that the ball had already gone away when the defender clattered into the Swansea player – its easy for me to see it that way, but in the heat of the match for the player, its much harder.

Wembley was fantastic. I’ve been there before to watch American Football – but I did not care who won that. Today being there to support you team, and watch Brian lead the team out was absolutely fantastic. 86000 attendance – 40k from each side. Thats more than could fit into the whole of the Mad Stad.

The atmosphere was difficult to get going though. The stadium is in tiers and it was difficult to get an atmosphere going with pockets of chanting fans dispursed around the ground, although for alot of the time except for the beginning of the second half we did not have much encouragement from what was happening on the pitch.

When you go to events like this you try to take it in so that you can recall the feelings but it is difficult to really recreate how it felt.

The highlights will be painful to watch later. When we conceded the first penalty it was on 18 minutes and in a way I was pleased as often Reading need something to get them started. The second goal was a bit of a killer although it happened so soon after the first, and the Royals being late goal specialists I still did not worry. By the time the third one went in – I was beginning to worry that we would concede 3 more in the second half, and what was a good and promising end to the season, playing at Wembley, would turn into an embarassing and unfair reflection on the teams performance over the season.

Thankfully Brian did his half time piece and the second half started very well. I don’t think anyone expected the Royals to get anything from the game by now, so to pull two goals back and almost draw level was an unexpected position to be in. Although we still lost, somehow the performance in the second half, at least restored pride and respect, and made it easier to accept the loss.

So thats the end of that.  Its about ten week to the new season and probably only three or four weeks to the fixture list comes out.

I have great expectations of next season. I just hope I recognise the team that Brian puts out in August and that we have not lost too many of our decent players. I am not so scared by that as I was at the end of our first season in the Premiership. Players moving on leaves gaps for others to develop into – Doyle, Hahnemann, Hunt, Shorey, Kitson and Gilfi, were all missed but if their heart is not in it they should move on (Shorey) sooner rather than later, and not come back (Kitson and Little). Players moving on allows new players to come in or through the academy and for a fresh start, and no player is bigger than the team. So if Shane or Kebe do move on, then good luck and good luck to those that fill their shoes.

Well done to Brian and the boys for the season – yet again another roller coaster, which nearly had the icing on the cake this time – same again next year? The last time we lost in a play off final ( v Walsall at the Millenium Stadium), the next season we were promoted in second. I am going to avoid any references to the 1994/5 season play off final (same score line as today losing to Bolton) as I think things got worse before they got better that time.

Good luck to Swansea – hopefully you fare better than Walsall did after they beat us at the Millenium Stadium, and well done to Brendan.

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