MATCHWATCH : Huddersfield Town v Reading, Play Off Final, 29 May 2017 (Wembley)

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MATCHWATCH : Huddersfield Town v Reading, Play Off Final, 29 May 2017 (Wembley)

by Sutekh » 20 May 2017 13:19

Well I don’t know how it happened but after two seasons of complete and utter cr@ppy cr@p, from Cr@pton in deepest Cr@ptonshire, an inspired management change that had lots of us slagging the board and slating Jaap before a ball had even been kicked has seen the club rise up to earn a place in the most valuable game in the world.



Jaap Stam on being appointed

After a slow start to the season, with plenty of discontent from the great unwashed at the style of play, Reading crept up the table and kept on creeping until the top six was reached in October. Then, as the pundits would seem to want you to believe, just like that embarrassing bad stain on the carpet - where your curry went when the cat decided to mistime a jump onto that coffee table that you’d been meaning to take up the tip, before West Berkshire decided to pull out of the agreement with the recycling company that the rest of Berkshire uses and you lost the list orange car sticker thing that you need to prove you’re not daring to pull a fast one – the club refused point blank to be removed.



Jaap on discovering he’s lost his recycling pass

The discontent largely faded as the season drew on apart from a few diehards who still have not bought into the dream of a team that plays the ball about patiently before an unforced error presents the opposition with a gilt edged opportunity that Ali Al-Habsi brilliantly denies – well just not at Norwich, Fulham, Newcastle, Brentford etc.

And that’s probably why the pundits steadfastly refuse to believe Reading are any damn good as the team have never been convincing and rarely look comfortable - especially if you take them away from Berkshire – but the point is they still grind out the results and only two teams in the league were more consistent at doing that (and one of those splaffed god knows how many millions to get there).



Jaap on seeing another result being ground out

Then after too short a season Reading got a play off berth against the greatest team the world had ever seen, so the media would have you believe, and again ground out the required results much to the dismay of everyone who had bought into the Fulham lovefest.

One wonders though if we now have some “derby” opponents frothing at the mouth for future games after Reading’s apparent refusal to just roll over and die like they were supposed. How very dare Reading get organised and have the temerity to play to their strengths instead of trying to play like Fulham.



Jaap delighted with the play off victory

And now to the most valuable game in the history of the world…..



Almost £200 million is said to be up for grabs in this one in terms of what the PL can give a team. Imagine that, that’s about 26 Gylfi Sigurdssons (or 2500 Kevin Doyles). So some kind of cool head might well be the order of the day

Huddersfield, like Reading, are also suffering from media neglect. Widely dismissed in favour of the Sheffield “massive” they too have had to suffer the vitriol of having the temerity to not roll over a die and let the “proper” footballers take control of things.

Like Reading they’ve gone largely under the radar after a previous season of utterly forgettable cr@p and probably amazed their fans in the process.

Largely slight favourites to win, probably on account of the pundits hatred of the fact Reading stopped their West London lovefest, Huddersfield are a well organised, well drilled team who also like to try and bore the opposition to death.

And the similarities continue, like Reading they have no out and out stars they are a team who work hard for each other and a team you need to watch carefully as you’re not quite sure where the threat will come from. Kachunga, Mooy and Reading’s scourge Nakhi Wells are the obvious names that spring to mind but they have a more than useful squad with the likes of Lolley, Bunn, Billing and Quaner. Plus, being liberally sprinkled with a few Germans, you’d generally want to keep them well away from any hint of a penalty.

Reading will have no McShane (suspended) and Obita is still a doubt for the game while I believe Huddersfield have a fully fit and available squad to select from. Reading will, however, have the additional options of Jake Cooper and Paolo Hurtado back from successful loan stints with Millwall and Vitoria respectively so there are options for a curveball to be thrown into the mix.

Referee

Fresh from duties of refereeing the ordinary stars of the Premier League, Lancashire’s Neil Swarbrick will be trying to keep things in line and, hopefully, showing common sense in the process.

Semaphore specialists for the day will be Jake Collin and Darren Cann

Stuart Attwell will be the 4th official.



Previous games under Mr Swarbrick

31 Oct 15 > Reading 1-1 Brighton & Hove Albion
07 Mar 15 > Bradford City 0-0 Reading (FA Cup)
08 Nov 14 > Reading 0-1 Charlton Athletic
18 Sep 13 > Reading 1-0 Leeds United
04 May 13 > Fulham 2-4 Reading
11 Dec 12 > Sunderland 3-0 Reading
10 Dec 11 > Reading 3-0 West Ham United
05 Mar 11 > Reading 5-2 Middlesbrough
03 Oct 09 > Reading 0-2 Middlesbrough
28 Feb 09 > Reading 0-1 Nottingham Forest

Refereeing his first final, Mr Swarbrick has amassed 1202 bookings and 62 dismissals in his 12 years and 408 games in charge since he first hit the FL.

History

Games between the two teams this season have been very tight with a 1-0 win for both sides.. Can’t really see Wembley being any different with another game of chess the likely order of the day as Germany meet Holland in the battle for manager of the season

Unsurprisingly this is the first game the sides have played on neutral territory and looking down the years Huddersfield have made 3 losing trips to Wembley in the FA Cup final (the last being in 1938) but did win the last FA Cup final to be played before the final moved to Wembley in 1923.

Their play off record sadly rather makes up for this, they’ve played two previous play off finals at Wembley and won both (as well as winning a third at the Millennium Stadium while Wembley was being rebuilt). The only final they lost was year the third division final was played at Old Trafford.

Reading’s record at Wembley is outstanding – as long as you only count what the rest of the country would class as second class competitions. Aside from that Simod Cup win Reading have visited Wembley 3 times and managed to lose on every occasion and conceded 10 goals in the process (although they have managed 6 goals in reply).

This is not for the faint hearted, Reading’s play off final excursions have a tendency to promise a lot before the arrival of a big kick in the teeth – usually in the last minutes. Swansea was the exception where the club decided to opt for a kick in the teeth to both begin and end with.

Finally, it seems some things never change and the media really do not have Reading on their radar, given the last time SSN broke the news of the club's last playoff failure



PS - Of course, it's also time to resurrect our old friend and hope we're all in the same state when the final whistle goes on 29 May.


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Re: MATCHWATCH : Huddersfield Town v Reading, Play Off Final, 29 May 2017 (Wembley)

by West Stand Man » 20 May 2017 13:25

Can we assume that reference to Cooper and Hurtado was a tad tongue in cheek?

(Although I do think the latter might well feature next season).
Last edited by West Stand Man on 20 May 2017 14:49, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: MATCHWATCH : Huddersfield Town v Reading, Play Off Final, 29 May 2017 (Wembley)

by glass half full » 20 May 2017 13:57

Thanks, Sutekh. As always, it is entertaining and informative.

Thank you for all your contributions over the season.

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Re: MATCHWATCH : Huddersfield Town v Reading, Play Off Final, 29 May 2017 (Wembley)

by PieEater » 20 May 2017 16:06

I'm really looking forward to the to day. If we win then great but if we don't I'll be content that the Terriers deserved their chance to be last on MOTD, have all the big decisions go against them, experience the better standard of cheating, and wonder where the points are coming from after months of getting thrashed and getting generally written off by pundits that know nothing about them. That £200m will help console them.

I'll be happy with another year in the Championship and we'll see what our new Chinese overlords do as well as a trip to Burton with time for a decent prematch.

If we win probably the only thing I'll look forward to is a visit to the Stoke, one of the few grounds I've never made it to.

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Re: MATCHWATCH : Huddersfield Town v Reading, Play Off Final, 29 May 2017 (Wembley)

by TFF » 20 May 2017 16:23

Nice work Sutekh


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Re: MATCHWATCH : Huddersfield Town v Reading, Play Off Final, 29 May 2017 (Wembley)

by Libertine » 20 May 2017 17:01

Thanks for all the updates this season sutekh. They have been informative and entertaining.

Even though it is, as you say there, a bank holiday here on the 29th I will be working. By the time I get around to watching it the tears of joy, or sorrow, will have been flowing there for a few hours. Win or lose it has been a fantastic season which exceeded the expectations of the most RTG amongst us and bodes well for the future. I would imagine that karma should be on our side after all of the play-off heartbreaks but as I have found out karma can be a cruel mistress. One thing I am certain of is Stam will have the team prepared to succeed if we execute the plan that he lays out properly...

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Re: MATCHWATCH : Huddersfield Town v Reading, Play Off Final, 29 May 2017 (Wembley)

by alfie9 » 20 May 2017 17:27

I won't be crushed if we don't go up, but I will be if we lose Jaap. Only way to guarantee we don't is to get promoted. For that reason I'm incredibly nervous for this game. I need more Dutch revolution in my life

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Re: MATCHWATCH : Huddersfield Town v Reading, Play Off Final, 29 May 2017 (Wembley)

by CountryRoyal » 20 May 2017 17:39

alfie9 I won't be crushed if we don't go up, but I will be if we lose Jaap. Only way to guarantee we don't is to get promoted. For that reason I'm incredibly nervous for this game. I need more Dutch revolution in my life


Jaap's got another year on his contract and with the new ownership will have the resources to mount a more legitimate and planned promotion compaign. His ownly grievances earlier in the season came from the uncertainty of ownership.

Unless Man U sack Moaninho and give him a call, he's not going anywhere.

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Re: MATCHWATCH : Huddersfield Town v Reading, Play Off Final, 29 May 2017 (Wembley)

by Gunny Fishcake » 20 May 2017 17:40

Great stuff Sutekh as always....I also find myself in a quandary ....of course I want to win and know what it's like to win a Play Offs final after three heartbreaks.....but I honestly prefer the Championship to the Premiership ....to be able to play in a wonderfully competitive league , to have most games at 3pm on a Saturday, to have a chance of winning every game and to get eight extra games......but of course I want us to win ....I want to see my team play at the highest level and I want to dream....so let's hope this is the one , this will be our day .....but if we do lose.....it's not a bad result !


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Re: MATCHWATCH : Huddersfield Town v Reading, Play Off Final, 29 May 2017 (Wembley)

by tidus_mi2 » 20 May 2017 17:42

As this is the last match thread of the season, I will say thanks Sutekh for the effort you put into these, lest we go back to the times where people would make one without a snappy pun in the title (I know there isn't one in this one!) or when there wasn't a match thread at all.

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Re: MATCHWATCH : Huddersfield Town v Reading, Play Off Final, 29 May 2017 (Wembley)

by bobby1413 » 20 May 2017 17:49

Also I think if we didn't go up I would whack a decent sum immediately on us going up automatically next season.

Jaap Stam fully settled. We will go and do the job 100% in an easier league.

Also will be happy for Huddersfield having their chance in the PL if we don't win. They seem a decent club and I'd wish them well

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Re: MATCHWATCH : Huddersfield Town v Reading, Play Off Final, 29 May 2017 (Wembley)

by bobby1413 » 20 May 2017 17:50

Winning the league with 107 points would be nice

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Re: MATCHWATCH : Huddersfield Town v Reading, Play Off Final, 29 May 2017 (Wembley)

by NewCorkSeth » 20 May 2017 19:13

bobby1413 Also I think if we didn't go up I would whack a decent sum immediately on us going up automatically next season.

Jaap Stam fully settled. We will go and do the job 100% in an easier league.

Also will be happy for Huddersfield having their chance in the PL if we don't win. They seem a decent club and I'd wish them well

A very good point! None of the teams coming down look like favorites to win it next year to me.

Last season Newcastle, Norwich and Villa came down with fairly strong squads (Villa were a bit meh) and I cant see Robertson, Hernandez, Pickford, Defoe, (insert good Boro players here) staying for their respective clubs. Brighton will be gone, Fulham are likely to be weakened by transfers out and Derby will always fail in a promotion bid. It's going to be an interesting Championship next season.

*cheeky bid for Fischer, Ramirez, Traore or Tymon if we go up?*


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Re: MATCHWATCH : Huddersfield Town v Reading, Play Off Final, 29 May 2017 (Wembley)

by bobby1413 » 20 May 2017 19:25

NCS exactly!

Also Players have seen what Stam offers.

We keep the strong squad together with some additions. We could smash the championship next year. I really think it's possible

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Re: MATCHWATCH : Huddersfield Town v Reading, Play Off Final, 29 May 2017 (Wembley)

by Hound » 21 May 2017 09:05

The championship is definitely a more 'fun' league. A few further tweaks to our playing style and squad and next year could be memorable. However it could also be a struggle- just never know which teams will 'do a Reading/Huddersfield ' next season and improve massively, whilst the relegated teams will all spend money.

would love another go in the Prem despite the kick off times, probable struggle against relegation etc. But if it doesn't happen then at least we've plenty of optimism for next year

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Re: MATCHWATCH : Huddersfield Town v Reading, Play Off Final, 29 May 2017 (Wembley)

by Sutekh » 23 May 2017 14:20

Good item on Huddersfield's "Gegenpress" style of play at TTE

http://thetilehurstend.sbnation.com/201 ... enpressing

Now think of ways of counteracting it.

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PO Final preview podcast

by NTT20Pod » 23 May 2017 17:31

This if for anyone that likes podcasts and wants to hear a neutral view about the Play-Off Final. The first half of this podcast is all about the semi-finals and looking ahead at the final. Main topic re: Reading is Stam & tactical sophistication.

Like the idea of that? Check it out here: soundcloud.com/ntt20pod/35-play-off-final-special

If you enjoy the podcast, you can subscribe here: itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/not-the-top-20-podcast/id1112915286?mt=2

Hope you enjoy, and let us know your thoughts.

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Re: MATCHWATCH : Huddersfield Town v Reading, Play Off Final, 29 May 2017 (Wembley)

by TheLawnMowerMan » 23 May 2017 23:55

Libertine Thanks for all the updates this season sutekh. They have been informative and entertaining.

Even though it is, as you say there, a bank holiday here on the 29th I will be working. By the time I get around to watching it the tears of joy, or sorrow, will have been flowing there for a few hours. Win or lose it has been a fantastic season which exceeded the expectations of the most RTG amongst us and bodes well for the future. I would imagine that karma should be on our side after all of the play-off heartbreaks but as I have found out karma can be a cruel mistress. One thing I am certain of is Stam will have the team prepared to succeed if we execute the plan that he lays out properly...

With the 5 hour time difference and the 15:00 KO time can't you make KO?

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Re: MATCHWATCH : Huddersfield Town v Reading, Play Off Final, 29 May 2017 (Wembley)

by TheLawnMowerMan » 24 May 2017 00:01

bobby1413 Also will be happy for Huddersfield having their chance in the PL if we don't win. They seem a decent club and I'd wish them well

I'd like to support that. Clearly I want us to smash them on Monday, but if we have to lose to Sheff Wed, Fulham or Uddersfield, I would pick the latter.

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Re: MATCHWATCH : Huddersfield Town v Reading, Play Off Final, 29 May 2017 (Wembley)

by Libertine » 24 May 2017 00:02

TheLawnMowerMan
Libertine Thanks for all the updates this season sutekh. They have been informative and entertaining.

Even though it is, as you say there, a bank holiday here on the 29th I will be working. By the time I get around to watching it the tears of joy, or sorrow, will have been flowing there for a few hours. Win or lose it has been a fantastic season which exceeded the expectations of the most RTG amongst us and bodes well for the future. I would imagine that karma should be on our side after all of the play-off heartbreaks but as I have found out karma can be a cruel mistress. One thing I am certain of is Stam will have the team prepared to succeed if we execute the plan that he lays out properly...

With the 5 hour time difference and the 15:00 KO time can't you make KO?


My shift starts at 10:00 am local time...which is 15:00 there. :(

Since it is a holiday, and business has been slow I am gonna to try to convince the boss not to open the store. :wink:

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