Date: 27th August 2018 at 9:27am
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Regular forum poster Langoe66 has a few thoughts on the (arguably disappointing) draw at Villa Park with winless Reading.

Positives:

Not many, but a few.

McGinn is a player, already looks settled in the shirt, a class act. Nyland, looking more assured by the game. Had little to do all game but his double save in the second half was superb.

El Ghazi – amongst the doom and gloom, the lad has hardly got a mention… very promising debut. With Bolasie on the right, we’ll have pace aplenty down both flanks. Jedinak is still getting flak from some but I actually thought he had his best game at centre half today. Also thought Tuanzebe did ok.

Negatives:

Reading were so poor and yet we seemed to ‘coast’ through the game. Play in the final third was so b****y frustrating… overhit passes, under hit passes, poor decision making and shooting…. crikey! My mum could shoot more effectively than some today and she’s 85! Several times we got into decent positions to shoot but ended up ‘passing’ the ball to the keeper rather than putting the laces through it.

Kodjia – back to his frustrating ‘best’ today. There are times when he switches off, makes the wrong choices, holds onto the ball for too long and invariably loses possession. That said, with three goals in two games, he’s had a decent week, although one poster suggested he should have been dropped today – strange?!

Chester’s tackle – why go to ground to tackle from behind in that position?! The bloke has been excellent for us but a strange decision that one. No need to do it.

Bruce (despite, apparently, being a ‘lover’ of his) – another frustrating afternoon where he did himself no favours. I don’t think there could be too many arguments about the team selection initially. I was surprised he started El Ghazi actually after Albert’s improved showing on Weds, but it was the right call. However, after a bright start, we fizzled out and as I said above, we just seemed to coast and let Reading ease themselves into the game.

Other posters have pointed (quite rightly) to the hotchpotch on the pitch by the end of the game. Frustrating and this will ultimately cost him his job because there are now simply no excuses. The owners have backed him, and the squad has more than enough quality to mount a challenge, although whether he’s identified all the areas of concern (i.e. left back, centre half, forward) we’ll only know by Friday.

The squad is still unbalanced. If he doesn’t address those areas and it comes back to haunt us, then he will rightly carry the can. Should he go now? Of course not, but from Friday onwards when the window closes, last chance saloon begins. We have the players going forward to frighten the life out of the opposition and shouldn’t need to grind out results playing with the handbrake on. Two points against the current bottom two is not good enough. A few more repeats in the next few months and he’ll be lucky to see in the New Year. And that’s from an alleged ‘Bruce lover’….

 
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