DIRE first half finishing combined with a rudderless second half display was enough to see us lose for just the second time this season in a game we could and should have had wrapped up by half time.
A recurring theme of our recent woes has been conceding goals from dead balls; weve shipped four in our last four games from set plays which have followed fouls conceded in or around our box.
A lot of this is down to the attacking emphasis of our side and that we are getting caught out by the opposition numbers wise during counter attacks on our goal. New signing Hitzlsperger looked decent going forward but was suspect going the other way; his foul for the free kick which led to Readings equaliser was for a tackle he was never going to win.
Like most clubs in the top flight, we use a mix of man to man and zonal marking when defending set plays and whilst Le Fondres movement was decent, Seamus Colemans was poor as he didnt get goal side and let his man run across him too easily.
Colemans judgement was equally rash in Readings winning goal shortly after. Whilst you cant doubt the commitment of Coleman his decision making is poor and he lacks composure. With the injuries to Neville and Hibbert however, Moyes is unable to take him out of the firing line for the next few weeks at least.
Crucially, our defending is at best shaky at the moment and we seem incapable of withstanding any type of pressure from the opposition. Yes, Reading came on stronger in the second half but with no disrespect to Nicky Shorey or Adam Le Fondre we arent talking about players of the standard of a Cazorla or Aguero who we will be taking on in the coming weeks. This, combined with the familiar tale of woe in missing clear cut opportunities has become a recurring double whammy at L4.
On a positive note, Naismith played well and looked capable of creating and scoring more than the one goal he did register.
What appeared a home banker a few weeks ago against Norwich now appears far from it given the respective sides form and the Scot will need to maintain this level of performance especially with Fellaini suspended.
The Canaries will bounce into town on the back of superb recent wins against Man Utd, Spurs and Arsenal. Again, Id expect us to have bags of possession and hopefully with Mirallas back we can return to winning ways prior to a massive run of fixtures against Arsenal, Spurs and Man City in a ten day period.