Thursday, March 31, 2011


Reading FC has a spring in its step again. Since demotion from the Premier League in 2008 we have slumbered through Steve Coppell's tired wantaways finishing 4th in a 3-horse race in 2008/09 and last season Brendan's Bumper Book of Tactics almost eroded the last fossils of hope until he was replaced by Bald Brian. A year into the job and Bald Brian has assembled a young and hungry team of unknowns and cast-offs into a deceptively efficient unit hitting form just at the right time. The clocks have gone forward, the Royals advance. As Starship sang, Nothings Gonna Stop Us Now. So, it is with typically unfortunate timing that the Mad March Hare comes face to face with Elmer Fudd's shotgun this weekend.

It was all going so well. 3 league wins in a row, playoffs within scratching distance. Then along comes ther bogey, the jinx, the Indian Sign to rain on the parade. Sir Humphrey to our Jim Hacker, Butler to our Blakey, He-Man to our Skeletor, Basil to our Manuel, Terry to our June. It's Portsmouth and it's uglier than ever before.

Our record against them is dire, dire, dire. One league win in the last 20 meetings. The home record is even more upsetting; no Reading win in the last 9 Pompey visits to Berkshire. Worse still - in our last seven home meetings we haven't scored a single goal against them. We haven't netted against them in Reading in nearly a quarter of century. If there was literally one club likely to nick the hubcaps off our juggernaut it is Bloody Portsmouth.

It wouldn't be quite so unbearable if they weren't such a bunch of mockney english speaking chavvy oi-oiers. Reading fan and writer Roger Titford was right though when he wroted in When Saturday Comes that Pompey were probably the antithesis of Reading; loud, working class fans with a proud footballing history behind them. Sure, they're a loud bunch of oiks in the mood and fair play to them for that - just a shame it is a load of BLUE ARMY drum-banging, out-of-tune-bugle-blowing cow-bell-ringing top-hat-wearing Play-up-Pompeying drivel likely to infuriate if - when? - this unfortunate run of results against the south coast chav army continues.

Even the towns are the antithesis of each other. Pompey - home of the (rarely used) British Navy, Spinnaker Tower, a pedestrianised town centre which feels breathlessly claustrophic as if some Popeye lookalike is going to mug you at any time. Reading - home of the (no longer manufactured) Biscuit, Tilehurst Water Tower, a pedestrianised town centre where the only threat of being mugged is by a meddlesome dreadlocked Red Cross worker armed with a clipboard. Pompey, a run down squalid rough-and-ready town dripping with history. Reading, all commuter-belt misplaced smugness awash with student vomit.

As all good things must come to an end, surely all bad things must one day cease and we finally put this record straight. Better Reading teams than this one have failed to knock the pomp out of Pompey but perhaps for once Terry will smash through June. Perhaps the finger will be up the other nostril at least and the bogey beaten.


Blogger seahawk10 said...


12:46 PM  
Blogger John (Libertine) said...

Like I said somewhere else jinxs are not only meant to be broken, but destroyed.

The Starship, huh? I prefer Ride the Tiger. And right now we are looking like a big cat on the prowl...

4:26 PM  

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