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Rants and raves (but mostly rants) about following a 2nd division team.

So the cup run is over. With a 4-2 loss at home to Aston Villa on Sunday morning, the Royals were finally eliminated in the FA Cup. And obviously, it would have been a dream to make it to the semi-finals and play at Wembley. But there are still so many positives that can come out of the impressive run all the way to the quarter-finals.

Going into the 4th round draw against Liverpool, Reading was in the bottom 3 of the Championship, unable to win consistently, especially at home. But a 1-1 draw that forced a replay at Anfield was the spark the boys needed apparently. From there, the Royals defeated Liverpool, Burnley and West Brom in the cup. They only lost once in 7 February games and managed to pull themselves out of the relegation zone in the Championship. And the loss to Villa on the weekend was the first home loss of 2010. (more…)

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Rants and raves (but mostly rants) about following a 2nd division team.

Can we give the Liverpool win back?

I’d trade the win over Liverpool for points in the league any day of the week.  I was of course ridiculously excited when Reading knocked off Liverpool last week.  But if we come out and get played off the pitch for 60 minutes in the League four days later, what’s the point?  Such was the case this weekend, when (an admittedly in form) Nottingham Forest squad ran over the Royals for the entire first half and part of the second before going down to 10 men and allowing Reading into the game.  Listening on internet radio was tough with Forest creating chance after chance and goalkeeper Adam Federici doing his best to keep the game within reach.  It was universally agreed upon that the 2-0 Nottingham lead at the break was flattering for the visiting Royals. (more…)

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Rants and raves (but mostly rants) about following a 2nd division team.

Saturday’s FA Cup tie with Liverpool was especially enticing for me because not only would we be playing the storied Reds, but that I would also get to watch the game on TV.  A draw against a major club guaranteed that the game would be available somehow and we found it on Setanta at the Dark Horse.  Up until recently I had only been able to follow my Royals through text commentary but was blessed with the gift of ReadingWorld a few weeks ago, and now I can listen to radio broadcasts of matches through the club’s website. (This has been a fantastic way to experience football by the way.  Crazy English announcers who sound like they are calling the game from the middle of the supporter’s section, and who actually know how to call football on the radio).  But actually being able to see my boys up against the underachieving Liverpool side on Saturday was a special treat.

I was asked before the match by a friend if I thought Reading had a chance against a Liverpool side that has already crashed out of the Champions’ League and played themselves into 7th place in the Prem.  I reminded my friend that Reading had only won twice (yes 2 times!) at home in all of 2009 and are currently sitting 20th in the League.  And I admit, I was a little disheartened to see a full strength Liverpool side selected.  How could we match up with Steven Gerrard and Fernando Torres? (I was pretty sure we could match up with Lucas). (more…)

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Rants and raves (but mostly rants) about following a 2nd division team.

&*#@! Why can’t we win at home?  In 12 home games at the Madjeski this season, Reading have one win.  Leading 1-0 through Grzegorz Rasaik’s 16th minute header, the Royals surrendered their lead in the 80th minute to Scunthorpe’s Gary Hooper.  Scunthorpe started the weekend in 18th place, just one spot ahead of Reading.  These are the games that we need to secure all 3 points in.  From all that I have read (and I read a lot of Reading news), there is no argument that the Royals were the better side on Saturday.  But that just makes it all the more frustrating that we only took a point.

Rasaik seems to be holding his own (6 goals in 9 league appearances) but no one has stepped up to claim that 2nd striker role with any consistency.  From all reports, Jobi McAnuff has been marauding down the right wing and supplying fantastic service.  But good service isn’t of much help when you have no one to finish.  Striker Gunnar Thorvaldsson will be joining the Royals on loan in January, and frankly the new year can’t come soon enough.  The Iceland international will provide another attacking option (along with one more name I can’t pronounce) and I can’t see how he could be any worse than what we’ve been putting out there, even though I’ve yet to see him lace up his boots. (more…)

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Rants and raves (but mostly rants) about following a 2nd division team.

I am often greeted with the reaction of “Really?  Why?” when I tell people I am a Reading fan.  And it’s not the easiest explanation really.  Reading are toiling around in the relegation zone of the Championship this season, after flirting with immediate promotion back to the Prem last year.  So how did I become a fan of a mediocre 2nd division team?

It all started in 2005-06.  This was the year I really started following the EPL as a league instead of just catching which ever game happened to be on TV that week.  As I  was watching West Brom, Sunderland, and Birmingham go down, I started to take note of Reading who had been tearing up the 2nd division.  The Royals eventually finished first, with a record 106 points, losing only 2 games in the whole season.

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Rants and raves (but mostly rants) about following a 2nd division team.

Brendan Rodgers thanks the Reading faithful.

Reading coach Brendan Rodgers called it “like winning the world cup” after Readingdefeated Blackpool 2-1 at the Madjeski on Saturday. Sure, Blackpool is off to a great start (4th in the league going into the weekend).  And yes, the Royals have struggled (22nd).  But like winning the world cup?  Come on.

You see, it has been a long time since Reading has won at their home ground.  It has been17 games since the blue and whites took down Wolverhampton on January 27th.  Just one win, 3 lousy points, in the last 7 home games of last season would have assured the Royals of an automatic promotion to the Prem.  But it never came, and instead, we settled for the playoffs, where Burnely took us down 3-0 on aggregate.


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