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

On reflection – with 17 games to go!

Where to start?

I love my team – the Royals. They make me proud in terms of the way they play. Maybe I am biased but I don’t think they show the unpleasant side of professionalism, generally speaking they go out to win each game in a positive attacking way, and certainly since Brian has taken over, substitutions are made during the game to go for the win. This is the one thing that used to frustrate me about Steve Coppell, was his reluctance to change the team, either before or during a game. On the downside, I don’t think they have the quality they need to get out of the Championship this season, and maybe the 2005/6 and 2006/7 seasons were as good as it is ever going to get, and we may never see that level of performance again. I just checked Wikipedia to make sure I spelt Coppell’s name correctly, and read the report on the Royals performance under his management – which I know was record-breaking in many ways.

“Reading dominated the Championship in the 2005–06 season, setting a new league record of 33 league games unbeaten between the opening day defeat by Plymouth Argyle and the loss at Luton Town in February; these were the only league defeats the team would suffer that season. On 25 March 2006 they clinched promotion to the top flight for the first time in their 135-year history thanks to a 1–1 draw away to Leicester City. Coppell’s team secured the league title in the following week, with a 5–0 drubbing of Derby County, and they would go on to set a new English league record for the number of points won in a season, with 106.”

I’m not trying to relive the past, although the 2005/6 season will always serve as a yard stick, until we better it – which will not be this season. But having watched the team over the seasons leading up to 2005/6 and the seasons since 2007/8, the team has consistently struggled to maintain any consistency during a season. The Royals are always there or there abouts but don’t seem to have that killer instinct. In 2008/9 right up to the last game of the season all they had to do was win the final game and they would have bounced straight back up to the Premiership. But for some reason they just could not muster enough cutting edge to do that. 

This has turned into a bit of a rant/self-pitying wallow, which was not my intention. My point is that in 2005/6 everything clicked into place. It was one of the best twelve months of my life, and following your team through such a year is just fantastic. The consistency that the Royals showed that season in my opinion has not been matched since in the Championship, and until we achieve that level of performance again, we will have seasons like this where we get close but not close enough. But then that is what sport and supporting your team is all about.

As can be seen, their results affect my mood. It takes me quite a while to get over a loss, where as a win, is something I keep getting a little buzz out of for hours maybe days afterwards. Losing on Friday evening really put a damper on the weekend, and in some ways the weekend was over before it began, especially as Wales also lost in the rugby. I’m just hoping for a Swansea win later today, otherwise the weekend will have been a complete loss from a sporting perspective.

Looking at the team’s position in my “potential” league, they have lost a bit of ground on the teams around them. This league position is not really possible, as Cardiff play Swansea today, but I did not want to wait until after that game to do this, and it makes not difference to the Royals in any case as both of these teams are above them now.

Team  Played Actual Points Max points over 30 games Potential position on 30 games
QPR 30 59 59                   1
Nott’m Forest 28 52 58 2
Cardiff 28 48 54 3
Swansea 29 50 53 4
Norwich 30 51 51 5
Watford 28 43 49 6
Leeds 30 49 49 7
Burnley 29 43 46 8
Reading 29 42 45 9
Millwall 30 45 45 10
Leicester 30 45 45 11
Ipswich 28 37 43 12
Doncaster 28 37 43 13
Hull 30 42 42 14

There are still many twists and turns to go so the next three months will be interesting I’m sure! Reading have a lot to play for, and just need to turn some of those draws into wins!

There are seventeen games to go for the Royals, the next one against Norwich who lost yesterday. The Royals unfortunately have not done so well against the teams above them, as this last week has shown, but another thing about the Royals is they never give up, as demonstrated by their late goal stats, and sometimes they need the other team to go ahead to get the best out of them.

I’ve run out of steam and lost the plot slightly so roll on next week!

             
http://m4jnct35royal.wikispaces.com/file/list?orderBy=date&orderDir=desc
             

Looking around, Crystal Palace look to be pulling themselves out of trouble, although the teams below all have games in hand. The points in the bag when you are at the bottom of the league are crucial though.

Brighton have 3 points on the team below them and a game in hand so still look good for promotion.

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