Thought we looked every bit as good as them. Our passing and vision is light years from where we were last season.
Blackman is maturing very nicely. Tish looks a great prospect. Shame about Al Habsi dropping the shot from the free kick, otherwise, we more than matched them and the prospects for this season are bright.
More than matched them for the bulk of the game, a draw and ET would have been a fairer outcome. Our goal one of the best team goals I've seen at the Madejski.
Al Habsi - 4 thought he should have done better with both their goals though haven't seen replays, kicking was good Gunter - 6 Cooper - 7 very impressive, kept Lukaku quiet Hector - 7 Taylor - 7 very composed and comfortable Tish - 8 worry we won't hold on to him for long, looks quality John - 7 Nice flashes of skill and great delivery for the goal Hurtado - 5 Looked off the pace from the start, surprised he wasn't replaced sooner. Piazon - 8 great dead ball delivery but one-paced Fernandez - 8 Kept the ball moving nicely Blackman - 9 MOTM a constant menace and looks full of confidence
This game reminded me why I hate the Prem. Too many bought fouls and soft refs completely changing the result of a game.
First half we played brilliantly and deservedly went ahead, it could have been 2 or 3 and ended the game, we completely dominated the first half and Everton were completely abysmal. Then second half they made a change and took off Kone and brought on Barry. Despite going 451 that completely changed the game. Suddenly we weren't dominating midfield and blunter going forward. Having said that their goals were soft.
Their first a lucky second ball fell nicely to Barkley who volleyed it home. Their second Barkley bought a free kick from Hector who needless fouled him and got a booking for it. Then cheating Deulofeu whacked in the free kick, either brilliantly or Al Habsi got his wall totally wrong.
Our goal was a cracker, great cross from John and knocked in by Blackman who's continuing to be a star
For the new starters: Cooper was great, he plays really well against a big striker, it's just the smaller quicker one he struggles with. Also had a great chance to score Taylor looked pretty decent as a left back and had a solid game Hurtado didn't really do much except get a needless yellow for a cynical tug back and nearly another for another grapple. Way off the pace. Fernandez I thought looked really good and linked well with Tish, I'd he happy for him to fit into the midfield as needed. John, got an assist for the goal but I can't recall him doing much more Tish, not really a new starter but I really think he's going to be a star.
Well what can I say. We matched Everton all over the pitch first half; I honestly believe in another night we would have been 2/3 up at HT and it would have basically been game over.
Second half the quick direct passing evaporated after Barry sured up the Everton midfield.
Another weak goal to concede. In fact both were. That near post should have been covered for the first and the second, well...
Overall really happy with Cooper, Taylor, Alex, Hurtado. I think all will provide excellent back up and really optimistic to get back to the league action!
On another note; Piazon looked really frustrated out there tonight. A few times he threw his toys out by waving his arms and screwy face. He also disappeared down the tunnel as soon as the FT whistle blew; leaving the rest of the squad to do the rounds. He hasn't staked a claim for a starting berth imo (one good corner) and Vydra definitely ahead (quite rightly so) in the pecking order. It's still early and really hope he can get to grips with the rough and tumble of the Championship.
enjoy the ride. It's going to be an exciting season.
Last edited by royalp-we on 22 Sep 2015 23:29, edited 1 time in total.
The strength in depth of the squad is better than i've seen in absolute years... 8 changes and we still made them look very ordinary especially in the 1st half but as so often so far this season even though its so early we're left talking about a GK error costing us the game. From my view thought he should have saved both attempts.
Stand out performers for me was Cooper who played a blinder given it was his first 90mins for months and Tshibola who was absolute class in the middle of the park, out of those 2 for MoM.
Even though we're out of the cup bucket loads to be positive about for the season ahead.
Yet another confident performance, despite so many changes. There were a few negatives, perhaps to be expected given the personnel, but it would be churlish to dwell on them too much. However, the goalkeeping department is again under scrutiny and I wouldn't be surprised if Clarke tries to sign another keeper in January.
That aside, we more than matched a very good Premier League side, with excellent performances from most. The standout for me was how well Cooper played Lukaku, but Hector, Tishbola, Blackman and Piazon were all superb. Our goal would have graced any Premier League match, it showed us to have real quality.
We shouldn't be scared of anyone we come up against in the Championship. If we can cut out the costly individual errors, we can definitely get out of the league this season.
I very rarely comment on the Team board, and very rarely slag players off, even more rarely keepers, but Al Habsi is shocking.
At Portsmouth his lack of communication with the defence was lucky to only cost us one goal, could well have lost us the game. His distribution was also slow and poor.
Today he cost us at least one goal, at fault for the second. His distribution was better, but at one point he came out to clear second half with a scouser bearing down on him, had he committed he would have beaten said scouser easily to the clearance, but hesitated in no mans land, and then decided to commit, making a routine clearance another heart in your mouth moment.
If he has no confidence in his own decision making how can the defence?
Way out of his depth.
ETA: Oh and the Everton support was absolutely awful. How loud they were after their goal made how quiet they were before even worse.
Not helped by the journey home. No Nags bus (wtf?) meant that I had to share the station bus with scousers patronising and laughing at the shit infrastructure around the ground. oxf*rd.
Last edited by St Pauli on 22 Sep 2015 23:44, edited 1 time in total.
Don't get the negativity for Al Habsi, I thought he did well. Saw the first one really late and did well to get close to it. The second one was unfortunate, but a free kick that close is always going to be difficult to stop.
Everton were better than us, but still found it difficult. Their passing and movement was slicker, but they depended heavily on a few key players. Far too much playing for the foul. Most of the incidents that resulted in yellow cards would have been overlooked completely in an average championship game.
Good game for us though, to see a squad of young, up-coming players hold up a decent premiership team like that. Should be a good season.
Aaron Tshibola is a hell of a player. Last season (or at least the second half of) Chalobah was, for me, streets ahead of anyone else in our team. I desperately wanted him back here but Tshibola has come in and made me forget all about him. The way he shields and receives the ball on the half-turn is very impressive for such a young player, and to not go at all missing whilst playing against the likes of Everton is a seriously good sign.
That being said I actually think we missed Norwood tonight. Not so much in the first half, but when they brought Barry on. As he closed out playing through midfield we suddenly appeared a bit slow and directionless in our build up. There were numerous occasions when a switch on to Gunter was on which would have stretched them a bit, but neither Tshibola nor Alex Fernadez had it in their locker.
Still, the point still stands, I'm thoroughly impressed with Tshibola. Makes people crying for the likes of Kuhl and Karacan seem a little silly now.
Credit to Taylor, Cooper, Hector, Gunter in defence. Tish outstanding in midfield. Fernandez had a decent debut start. Overall looked a tidy passer although a couple of errors earlier on. Hurtado looked dangerous early on but picked up silly booking and drifted out of game. Piazon had moments when looked good. John looked dangerous and produced excellent cross for the goal. Blackman great movement & workrate, really threw himself at it for the goal. Al Habsi - didn't think he could do much about 1st, but 2nd looked like a howler. Overall very creditable performance & lots of positives against a strong Everton side. Deserved to at least draw that.
Great performance but goalkeeping obvious concern.
Disappointing turnout from Reading fans tonight again. Not sure why they are staying away. Having said that the traffic was awful tonight and hundreds still queuing for tickets outside when match kicked off.
curetonsdipper Surprised no one has praised taylor yet. Thought he was excellent. Reminded me a bit of Chris Armstrong in his reading the game and doing the simple things right.
Thought the same lovely worked move for the goal. Overall decent match although Everton were pretty average without them ever getting going. Of the new players, Piazon was neat and Fernandez grew as the game went on. Hurtado offered little and John was direct and got a nice assist for Blackman's goal.
Al-Habsi will take a bit of flak but the foul to the free-kick was soft with Hector making a lazy challenge when Delafeau wasn't really going anywhere.
Fair performance, but Everton were always in control, always had that extra gear available. My MOTM for the Royals was Taylor. Why did Clarkson make so many changes?. Dont think we have progressed much since last season, certainly need a Goalkeeper and a decent striker . Some of the players just do not show enough passion, (just take the pay cheque TY), and the hapless Blackman still does not impress. So some positives but Clarkson needs to know his team. I think we might be safe this season, but not top ten.