Plugging the gaping hole in defence may result in only conceding one goal, but apparently Reading are incapable of scoring more than one goal unless already down by at least two.
It’s not a question of failure to produce guilt edge chances, its more failing to put them into the back of the net. Noel Hunt is certainly doing his bit, now making it three in three, but every shot can’t fail to him and we are wasting so many ‘easy’ scoring opportunities. I’m still not sure what is more frustrating; failing to create chances or the inability to convert the chances you do create.
It’s becoming more and more obvious that this inability to score so called easy chances (one on ones, empty netters and in the box scrambles) is causing us to drop points on a regular basis, and it seems at the moment Long and Karacan are two of the biggest culprits.
Whilst Long’s performances have vastly improved in the past few games, he is not a natural finisher or a 20 goal a season striker. That’s not meant to take anything away from his recent performances. He is a committed player who appears to be working on his general game, setting up goals, holding the ball and pressuring other teams.
What is also clear is that Reading are unable to hold onto any kind of lead. Again the problem isn’t sitting back and trying to protect a slight lead, it’s more pushing forward and failing to do anything of note. This seems to give opponents the confidence to assert themselves more, eventually getting the breakthrough (largely due to our defence). I can’t think of many games where you can’t sense the opposition’s goal is coming.
Games against Watford have not been known as thrilling encounters, and this one followed that trend with six draws in the last nine encounters (and only one win to keep Royals fans happy). Sadly our form for the last eight games is starting to mirror this pattern, and things need to turn around soon, before we find ourselves moving further down the table.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.