Spyin' Kop: Reading Away 07/04/07

Posted by Ashfordian on April 5, 2007, 07:02:32 PM

Football's a funny old game. How can one team be so brilliant in Europe and yet in the league, be a little dis-jointed? Maybe only Rafa knows. But I think most Liverpool fans would settle for another European Cup Final and third in the League. 

After handing out severe spankings to both Arsenal & PSV Eindhoven in our last two games, Reading will hopefully be next to be on the wrong end of the scoreline to a Liverpool team in sublime form. We take our first ever trip to The "Mad Stad" in confident mood.

Reading v Liverpool
Saturday 7th April
Kick Off: 15:00
The Madejski Stadium
Referee:  Peter Walton (Northamptonshire)

We've taken a trip to www.royals.org to find out the perspective of the Reading fans before the game. Thanks to the fella's who took the time out to answer the questions.

Club History:

Reading were formed in 1871. They were originally nicknamed the Biscuitmen after one of the main trades in the town, Huntley & Palmers biscuits, but changed to the Royals in the 1970s.

The club played at Reading Recreation Ground until 1878, before moving on to Reading Cricket Ground (1878-1882), Coley Park (1882-1889) and Caversham Cricket Ground (1889-1896). The switch to professionalism in 1895 resulted in the need for a bigger ground, and to this end the club moved again, to the purpose built Elm Park on September 5, 1896. Finally, in 1998, they moved to the new state-of-the-art all-seater 24,200 capacity Madejski Stadium.


Coca Cola Championship Winners 2005/2006
* Full Members Cup (aka 'Simod Cup')
o Winners 1988
* Football League First Division
o Runners-up 1994/95
* Football League Second Division Champions 1
o 1993/94, runners-up 2001/02
* Football League Third Division Champions 2
o 1925/26, 1985/86, runners-up 1931/32, 1934/35, 1948/49, 1951/52
* Football League Fourth Division Champions 1
o 1978/79
* London War Cup Champions
o 1940/41
* FA Cup Best Season Semi-final
o 1926/27
* Football League Cup Best Season Quarter-final
o 1995/96, 1997/98

Spyin' Kop: I'd imagine you couldn't have wished for a better first season in top flight football...

Abovethe1: Well no actually. Gaining 40 points so quickly was as pleasing as winning Promotion so quickly last season.

Dirk Gently: Being honest, most of us would have been happy just to stay up, especially with the likes of Lawrenson and Hanson writing us off before a ball was kicked. Even the most optimistic were looking for a mid-table finish, so to be in contention for Europe with only 8 games left has exceeded all expectations.

Seb: Absolutely beyond my wildest dreams. Many of us doubted that the team could do it - especially as we didn't add much at the start of the season. But, equally there were so many saying that we'd do well. In the end all we needed was a bit of confidence - and there's no better baptism of fire into the Premiership than that game against Middlesbrough. From that moment I was convinced we were safe.

Spyin' Kop: Has any player(s) stuck out for you this season?

Seb: I've been impressed by two players especially - Nicky Shorey and Ivar Ingimarsson. Have been brilliant together at the back, and have been very, very important al season. The thing that strikes me about many of the games that we've turned around - especially the home game against spurs, was that a minute of Shorey magic lifts the whole team, and we all, then, start to play better

Tinrib: Nicky Shorey – A class act at LB, looks every bit a premiership player & must be pushing for a place in the England setup. He’s also played in all 4 of the English divisions. (League Two with Orient as a Teenager.) Mentions for Kevin Doyle, and Sonko.

ARCM: Doyle has been a revelation for two seasons running know, Sonko was immense while he was fit and Shorey has hardly put a foot wrong. Saying that, most of our team has had an awsome season and almost every player has made his contribution.

Spyin' Kop: Any player(s) that have stuck out for the wrong reasons?

Seb: Yes - but not because of the actions of the player - Stephen Hunt. Mourinho tried to destroy him through the media - which of course made him stick out. I say this is for the wrong reason purely because he's put in some excellent performances this season, and deserves recognition for that.

Don Finch: John Oster - he's an utter twat.

Brighton_Royal: Maybe Seol - he has obvious class and had a very good start but then looked less and less bothered as time went on. Also Sidwell's endless contract speculation has been depressing to witness (he will be a big loss when he goes.)

Spyin' Kop: Do you think you'll be able to match, or even better, this season next time round?

Brighton_Royal: History would suggest not. Depends on who goes/comes in/gets injured. The pivotal factor may be who replaces Sidwell. And how much other coaches have been learning about our style of play.

Tinrib: We’ll need to improve the squad, and in Stevie Coppell we have someone with an eye for quality. Whether the status of our club is still an issue in regard getting players in, remains to be seen. If all those boxes are ticked, and with Stevie C doing the biz, I firmly believe that we’d have nothing to fear next season.

Seb: God knows - but with Steve Coppell at the helm I know we're better prepared than at any time in our history.

Spyin' Kop: Bet you were gutted to go out of The Cup in such heroic way to the Mancs earlier in the season?

Seb: It was a brillaint night - a truly brilliant night - if we were going to go out of the cup there's no better way of doing it! Not gutted at all.

Tinrib: Being married to a Red nose scouser for many years, the disdain of Man U has sort of been transmitted deep into my psyche (especially by the Father-In law!) To say I was fookin gutted would be an understatement.

ARCM: It was really a shame that our defense had 6 minutes of madness, we almost pulled it out of the bag but it wasn't to be.

Spyin' Kop: Where do you expect Reading and Liverpool to finish in the Premier League?

Tinrib: Liverpool 4th. Reading 10th. And then I’ll have a couple of beers and reflect.

Seb: Liverpool Top 4 - Reading somewhere in the region 7-9.

Don Finch: Liverpool - 4th, Reading - 7th

Spyin' Kop: What have you made of our season?

Don Finch: Thought you'd do better than you have, mind you, you'll probably end up fluking the European Cup again. Rafa's signings were more of quantity than quality - Agger looks good but I don't think Paletta, Aurelio, Bellamy or Pennant are good enough for LFC.

Seb: You've been so inconsistent at times, but am convinced you'll right yourselves in the end.

Tinrib: Always look closely at Liverpools seasons, due to the family connections. It always seems like you’re a better Champions League side that a Prem side, and I fancy you guys to win that again this season. Losing to arsenal twice in the cups at home was really poor. I do also wonder about Benitez’s Prem League rotation policy, and I believe it’s more a hindrance than helpful. Trying to win 4 trophys is not easy, and perhaps you need to concentrate on two, and take pot luck on the others –although I know that your Fans demand success in every game you play – and that’s the difference between being a Reading Fan & a Liverpool Fan –level of expectancy.

Spyin' Kop: What player will you most feer? (Think we all know the answer by now...)

Tinrib: Gerrard. A match winner regardless of the opposition.

Seb: Gerrard is the world's best player at taking a game by the scruff of the neck and single-handedly grinding out a result. If he shows up in the way he can then he's just phenomonal. Otherwise he can just go missing.

Don Finch: Steven Gerrard and John Barnes.  :D

Spyin' Kop: For most of out travelling support this weekend it'll be there first visit to The Mad Stad, so can you recommend anywhere to grab a bevvy beforehand?

Don Finch: Three Guineas in town, there's nothing good near the ground. Callaghans is £3.45 a pint of Grolsch in a plastic cup so if that floats your boat it's a bout a 20 minute walk to the ground.

Seb: Anywhere in town is perfectly safe if the away fans are willing to get into the banter and have a good time - we're a fairly welcoming lot.

Spyin' Kop: And finally, thoughts on the score?

Seb: For me it depends on 1 player - Gerrard. I think we're a match for anyone in our day - as we've got no big shots, and play as a unit - 2 banks of 4 and everyone covering for everyone else. Gerrard, as I said earlier, is capable of winning any match on his own - if he does this then no one stands a chance.

I'm gonna go for a cheaky 1-0 win.

Don Finch: 2-1 Reading - we're going to get 6 points from our next two games, I've got a feeling.....or maybe that's just my brain seeping out my ear I can feel.

Tinrib: 2-1 Reading

Thanks people for providing some decent answers. Happy Easter :wave

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