Tuesday, April 19, 2011


Reading string 8 leagues in a row together at a the denouement of the season? Yeah, and the cow jumped over the moon and the dish ran away with the spoon. In the words of the unlamented Richard Keys, late of SKY Sports: "do me a favour, love".

This is all very un-Reading isn't it? Almost uncomfortably so. Where are the serial bottlejobs I have come to know and love? Have they been gagged and bound in the back of the A Team van, as Howling Mad Brian Mc, BA Gibbs and Sal 'The Faceman' Bibbo cobble together a promotion charge using some clumsily discarded blow torches, some perspex and some tungsten tip screws to build Matthieu Manset under the watchful eye of a smug-looking Hannibal Madejski smoking a big fat fuck off cigar rolled on the thighs of Cilla Black. I love it when a plan comes together.

Leicester were our latest hapless victims, providing us with satisfaction immeasurable in beating an expensively assembled squad of well-paid loanees, smoothly stewarded by suave Sven - himself picking up his usual pretty penny, no doubt. The Foxes were latest victims of the Berkshire Hunt and although the visitors played all the football we took all the points. Leicester's pass and move was incisive until they came up against our spine of Leigertwood and Karacan, and the pelvis of Mills and Zurab was practically inpenetrable. They had most of the ball, we had most of the goals. A Reading side mugging the opposition and marching relentlessly on during the normally nervous spring months? These are mysterious times.

Reading's strength is their strength. Attacks were broken down as bodies flew into challenges, clearances were timed to perfection and tackles broke up the glacial Foxes who melted twice in as many minutes during the first half. Shane Long - upper-body of a Hod Carrier - shrugged his way into the box via byline and his pull back was dispatched into the roof of the net by Kebe. McAnuff was then fed by the Malian Pele and gave himself room inside the box to place firmly beyond Weale who Wealey had no chance. This was two minutes of footballing opium for the Madejski masses. After the communal fist pumping died down the adrenaline was still pumping. I'll book the Wembley tickets. You man the island and the cocaine and the elegent cars.

The second half was Testimonial stuff for the most part. Leicester continued to ping the ball around admirably, by now only posing the remotest discomfort to the Reading defence. A third goal followed as Kebe nipped the ball of a Leicester foot from their throw in level with our 18-yard box. Jim then set of on a run mazier than the final scene of The Shining, his pull back landed at the feet of Hunt. Drill, three-nil, and we're all pilled-up in a footballing sense. There is plenty of time left to enjoy Yakubu nod a free header wide of McCarthy's far upright and there is even a thoroughly patronising round of applause as King slots one in for Leicester late on.

Pieces of eight, what a fantastic run we have plundered. Next up, We All Love Leeds on Good Friday. We'll crucify 'em. McDermott is our Pontius Pilate. Wembley or save a few quid and invade our own pitch again against Derby? We were fated to pretend.


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