Well that was better! I saw/heard a lot of grumbling the excitement factor not being there and how we didn’t go for the throat in the 2nd half but I think that is nonsense. We were on the front foot most of the game and put a poor Barnsley side to the sword. At the moment we need a run of wins and I will take them however we can get them. Scoring 3 at home is something I will take every day of the week and I think the team and Stam should be commended on the performance and win.
Vito Mannone – 7
Was a spectator for most of the game but when he was called upon he did everything right. He is going through a lot personally at the moment with his mother being ill in Italy and it must take a lot for him to still be here with us giving 100%. Bravo Vito.
Leandro Bacuna – 7
Largely untested defensively but what he had to do he did well. Going forward he is so assured and confident on the ball. He can also drift into the base of midfield to sure us up there too. Had a couple of nice touches and showed attacking intent throughout.
Paul McShane – 6
Again he wasn’t tested massively throughout the game but did what he had to and gave that typical Paul McShane performance. He gets brownie points too for telling a moron in the Eamonn Dolan stand to “shut the f**k up” near the end of the first half. Something we have all wanted to say to a lot of the people in the stand. Well done Paul!
Liam Moore – 8
Liam Moore is the best centre back in the league. Enough said.
Chris Gunter – 6
He looks much better for us on the left than the right and I think is really winning people over. Like his fellow defenders he was largely untested but he did play a couple of loose passes that could have resulted in a Barnsley chance.
Joey Van Den Berg – 7
I have never been Joey’s biggest fan, I think the Championship is too quick for him in general but luckily for him and us we played Barnsley last night. I will give him a lot of credit, he was excellent in spells and of course scored a belting goal! It’s amazing what happens sometimes when you shoot from distance eh? I want to see Joey give this kind of display against an Aston Villa or Wolves though. Those are the sorts of games where he goes missing and looks out of his depth.
Dave Edwards – 6
Steady Dave opened the scoring and looked comfortable throughout the game. Apart from the goal I don’t remember him doing a great deal in the game. I like his energy and drive though, it is much needed in our midfield.
Liam Kelly – 6
Still waiting for the Liam Kelly of last season to appear. He played a couple of nice passes in the match and set up Edwards goal (I think, I’m miles away) but as with Edwards, I can’t remember him doing much else of note. He didn’t have to to be fair.
Sone Aluko – 5
I am still yet to discover what Aluko’s main purpose is in the team and to be honest I am not sure he knows either. He drifts around the pitch trying to get involved in the play and sometimes he can show us that flash of skill and pace we were expecting to see on a regular basis. He seems to be able to do the hard bit right in beating his man but he then follows that up with a poor finish or pass. Frustrating because I think he is a very talented player.
Mo Barrow – 9 Man Of The Match
Mo Barrow set the tone for me. He started most of our attacks off with a flashy bit of skill or some lightning pace and terrified the Barnsley full backs all night. I think it could have been a different game without him in the team last night for sure. He’s in really good form at the moment and long may it continue! One minor criticism is his final ball which is often frustrating but at least he is getting in the positions and being positve!
Yann Kermorgant – 4
I feel really bad giving Yann a rating of 4 because it isn’t his fault. Lets be honest here, the guy should not be starting games, he just isn’t fit. It must be so frustrating for him to not be able to perform to the high level he did last season. Has he had his day now or will he rise like a phoenix from the flames?
In terms of the game itself he really wasn’t in it at all.
Jon Dadi Bodvarsson – 8
Arguably his best performance in a Reading shirt for me. Looks fired up and hungry from the second he came on and took his goal very well. Has to start on Saturday!
Adi Popa – 6
The lesser spotted Adi Popa came on midway through the 2nd half which was slightly unexpected. Had some nice touches and his shot led to Dadi’s goal.
Tiago Illori – 5
Not enough time to do anything of note, did nothing wrong though.
Jaap Stam manager rating – 8
Jaap played an unchanged team which worked for us last night on the whole. Only thing I would have done any differently is start Bodvarsson but it’s a minor grumble. He timed his subs very well and has clearly changed his approach when it comes to getting the ball in the box quicker. Needs to keep an unbeaten run together now and build on this 3-0 win.