Date: 30th January 2017 at 7:20pm
Written by:

Reading, the opponents for Zola’s men in the mid-week clash tomorrow, sit 3rd in the Championship as they have hit a patch of good form and seem to pick up points every week. Despite not scoring too many goals, they do manage to score one more than the opposition and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out that that is all that is needed. Therefore, defensively it does show that they are sound and that they work well as units. As always, I start this article by saying that Zola needs to get his first win and today is no different but it will be a tough ask.

In the past, we haven’t played particularly well in mid-week games. I don’t know if the preparation is right or whether it’s the fact that we do not reinvest in the squad to allow wholesale changes with a congested fixture list. Either way, historically we have stuttered in mid-week games and to play against Reading is far from ideal. The thing that Reading possess mainly is pace. They are a quick team that break really rapidly and with a lot of efficiency. With Morrison looking like a huge doubt for the game, I wouldn’t risk Robinson and would play Harding over Scarr as I have written in a previous article.

The one man that I think will enable Reading to break quickly and to be on the end of these things is my one to watch for today and it’s Roy Beerens. The Dutch international is only 5 foot 8 inches in height but he works perfectly with his striking partner, no matter who it is because all of Reading’s other options are taller. So they nod it into the path of Roy who is always on hand to get his shots on target. He has scored 5 times this season which isn’t bad but for a player of his quality we would expect more.

He is hard to play against purely because he drifts. He tends not to hold his position in the centre and this is because he likes to get involved in between his midfield and attack in order to switch play and maintain that intensity. Therefore more often than not, the opposition centre back gets drawn out allowing a one v one situation for one of the other Reading players. I see it time and time again. The problem with this is that we will have to juggle our centre backs around so the communication may not quite be there yet and so it makes the task even more difficult than it is.

I have also noticed that for a forward player, Beerens does commit a lot of fouls. He is one of those players that will rapidly close down the defenders and goalkeepers hoping that they make a mistake, so we will have to be ready for this. He covers the ground really quickly but he isn’t the best tackler so quite often it doesn’t work out for him but he does disrupt the play which can be frustrating.

In his role, I would have expected him to have a bit more skill but truthfully, he doesn’t need it. He passes the ball simply and rarely gives the ball away allowing for his team mates around him to be the ones who pick the pass and he just keeps the ball moving. It does work and yet it is so easy. All in all we need to stop him with a defensive midfielder so then we have both of our centre backs covering in case he does manage to get a pass away. Will it be Zola’s first win? We can always hope.

Click for the forum

Comments are closed.