112 thoughts on “Reading v Newcastle United: A Balancing Act

  1. Nice article mate. Thanks.

    We’ll shortly be at the stage, if we’re not there now where Rafa will start rotating again. I see game time for Hanley, Gamez, Lazaar and maybe Barlaser coming up. Not tonight though. I thought he might give Mitro a go tonight but it’s looking like he’s slipped further away from being the main man and Murphy does look a real threat. 2-0 to us!

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  2. Cheers mate, yeah the Murph has proved himself more reliable than Mitro as of late. I see the Brum game onwards as the point in which Rafa will mix things up, but even then I don’t think he’ll go too mental.

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  3. If we can get promoted with games to spare, I’d love to see Rafa experiment with a 5 at the back like Chelsea and Spurs are playing at the mo.
    Nowt lost having a good look and consideration of the squad and the options it offers.

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  4. Sharpy – you do mean three at the back eh? It’s worth a try. I still rate Mbemba and I’m sure he’d be up for that formation. However, Dummett’s definitely not a wing back so who would you play there?

    Funny old game football. Exactly a week ago I was fretting that if we lost the next two then by today we could be 7 points behind Brighton with Huddersfield just 2 points and a game in hand behind us. So it’s been a massive pivotal week for us, absolutely huge and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every minute.

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  5. Sharpy-

    When we brought in Yedlin and Lazaar, I really thought that might have been a formation Rafa was looking to try out. Both of them are the sort of winger/fullback hybrid that would fit well in that kind of system – freedom to get forward and not quite as much defensive responsibility as in a traditional back four. On top of that, Mbemba, Clark and Dummett all have that CB/FB versatility to fill in on either side of Lascelles. It would be great to see, especially if we have the freedom to experiment a bit.

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  6. The other thing for me is, what the hell will we do with the likes of De Jong, Thauvin, Krul and Rivière who are all still out on loan and will not likely get permanent moves as a result.
    There is a lot to get shot of still from this squad imo

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  7. Thanks Andy, good read and I would agree, on paper this should be the easier of the 3 games but so often we shoot ourselves in the foot at this point.I hope Rafa is keeping the lads feet firmly on the ground, we need to treat every game like Brighton or Huddersfield. What we don’t want is slip ups to lower placed teams like Burton, Wigan or Ipswich else the last two wins mean nothing. This league is a marathon not a sprint and nothing is achieved yet by any team.

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  8. Sharpy17:
    The other thing for me is, what the hell will we do with the likes of De Jong, Thauvin, Krul and Rivière who are all still out on loan and will not likely get permanent moves as a result.
    There is a lot to get shot of still from this squad imo

    Yeah mate that’s a huge problem, not so much Timmy but bloody Thauvin, Rivi and De Jong will be a very hard sell for us to do. I was reading the other day that apparently Rafa is in regular contact with De Jong, it’s possible he rates him. Wouldn’t surprise me as the lad undoubtedly has talent and is an intelligent player too, it’s just his physicality is hugely in question, shame really.

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  9. Sharpy17:
    The other thing for me is, what the hell will we do with the likes of De Jong, Thauvin, Krul and Rivière who are all still out on loan and will not likely get permanent moves as a result.
    There is a lot to get shot of still from this squad imo

    Sharpy: We can still get money for Krul. Isn’t there a sell clause with Marseilles for Thauvin if he played a certain number of games? I think he already reached that and Marseilles are under new ownership and so have money now. Riviere is like the girl you kissed when you were 12 and just want to forget that it ever happened. De Jong is just injured, we should collect the insurance and let him retire.

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  10. Why are we not on TV today?

    We have Blackburn and Wigan live on now in the USA. It is like watching grass grow.

    Literally like watching grass grow, because the football is crap.

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  11. Excellent article Andy. Too early to experiment with a back 3 and wingbacks I think. Rafa is not one to take chances. We are in good form as well. Not a time to start major tinkering. Looking forward to this one.

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  12. Would love to win tonight, put another young pretender in his place. Reading, another team who like posession, can see another “hit me with your best shot” toon performance, and a 1-2 toon win.

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  13. Delusional Jawdee:
    Would love to win tonight, put another young pretender in his place. Reading, another team who like posession, can see another“hit me with your best shot” toon performance, and a 1-2 toon win.

    Careful mate you normally call to get beat and we win,hope it’s not a Oman lol

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  14. How is it taking this long for Aarons to get fit? When was the last time he played a competitive match? Anyone remember?

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  15. Gamez cannot be match fit it’s only his second game of the season,I trust Rafa but this one is very strange one to me,maybe he knows the type of player he’s up against and Gamez is the guy to play him best,Ime just guessing

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  16. Sounds like we’re allowing them to have as much of the ball as they want until they get in a certain area.

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  17. Hi there peeps… sounds like we are making tough work of it again… yet again Colback gets a place ? Oh well…

    Let’s hope we can pull something out here. Only got the radio link as Bein are showing Champions league on all channels, ?

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  18. kimtoon: this site is loading slow again tonight. Froze on me earlier had to shut down and restart pc

    Hi Kim, yes very very slow for me too …

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  19. I can’t watch, reading the live commentary. I am not that worried, as due to the setup, we should at least get 1 point, as long as our defence does not make stupid mistakes. Just be patient.

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  20. We really need to be taking some of these chances… I would replace Perez with Gayle soon… and probably Diame on for Colback…

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  21. Arsenal getting absolutely hammered …. 4-1 down, 9-2 agg… down to 10 men… ooops!

    Brighton 2 up now.

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  22. funrafa: Thanks DT. I am in office though …

    Put your earpiece into your phone and pretend you are on a conference call. ????

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  23. I said a few months ago that buying Southampton reserves was a bad policy. Bayern fans are laughing at the Arse now. The 7th most wealthy club in the world being made fun of by the 4th.

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  24. This might be fun. The Guardian report page with the Arsenal fans going ape**** will be funny.

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  25. Stuart79:
    Reading have the best home record in the division.

    yes, only lost to QPR and another bottom team. So we are pretending a bottom team here …

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  26. Win, lose or draw tonight, we are on pace for automatic promotion by a long way. Even if we lose this, on our points average so far, we’ll finish the season with 97 points, I think, and no team with 97 points has failed to be automatically promoted in the last 20 years, if I’ve read it all correctly.

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  27. Well our first 0-0 draw… I’ll take that, but we should’ve put at least one of our efforts away.

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  28. What now for Wenger, sad demise of a once astute manager, even so players need to take a good look in the mirror.

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  29. Well, I have to say that I am delighted with 7 points from the last three away games. Great achievement. A win on Saturday and we will have had a brilliant week.

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  30. Disagree Kimtoon. Arsene has bought too many average players who come up short when they play real teams.

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