Back to Earth with a bit of a bump, a 4-1 loss to Brentford signalling the end of eight games unbeaten. Although disappointing, I'll definitely take more 4-1 losses if they sandwich runs of eight games without loss. To be honest, and this may sound ridiculous given the scoreline, I didn't think we played that much worse than against Huddersfield, but Brentford's parity in terms of numbers, combined with the ability to actually punish mistakes.
It didn't really start well when within thirty seconds Liam Moore had already punted the ball downfield, and Reading never really managed to get hold of it again in the first half, culminating in two late goals. The first was a fairly nice flowing Brentford move, where the home side's continual man over eventually paid dividends. However, Obita constantly let his man inside of him which gave the opportunity to begin with. He consistently tries to read the pass into the feet of the man on the outside, which allows the ball to be played inside. The second was dreadful, with two men around the man on the ball somehow allowing him to still slip it through to an unmarked Vibe to poke home.
All three goals in the second half I was somewhat unsighted for - terraces have their downsides. It seemed to me that people crept in behind the defence far too easily, far too often. I was totally unsighted for the penalty award, but Yann at least put it away well.
We did have more chances, hitting the woodwork a couple of times, but ultimately we seemed toothless. One of the main issues is that our centre backs trying to play long cross-field balls when they weren't working in the slightest. In fact, their pass map is fairly telling. Lots of green around the back, but the longer attempts all show red.
There's some cause for optimism that the two sitting in front of them, JVDB and Evans were both much better with finding their targets, and on occasion helped get in behind the Brentford backline. I'd rather see Moore and McShane almost solely distribute short - to the fullbacks or the two CMs. It just requires someone to take the initiative and drive us forward - we do still miss opportunities to put our foot on the pedal, but that should come with time.
Overall it was pretty dire, but Brentford are a strong side and a point against Derby this weekend builds on a decent start. The international break may have come a good point this time round, and trips to QPR and Rotherham sandwich a home tie with Aston Villa - at the moment we look capable of getting something from all those sides. Onwards!