Talking points from the Bolton draw
As we digest the 2-2 draw at Bolton yesterday, we take a look at the main talking points that surround Jaap Stam`s future, the introduction of Anssi Jaakkola, among other things.
Set piece defending was dreadful - If you watch the goals we conceded last night, the defending was statuesque, it was dreadful. We were so static for the flick on for first goal and whoever was marking Pratley for the second goal clearly didn`t do a good enough job. We also got away with it late in the second half too, as if it wasn`t for Jaakkola, we would have walked away with nothing. Another reason why Yann is not only crucial in our area, but the oppositions too.
Could the late equaliser have saved Stam`s job? - Had we have lost yesterday, that could well have been curtains for Stam. We picked up with decent results against Derby and Forest, but a loss to a side in the bottom-three would have been disastrous and could have signalled the end. The performance for large parts of yesterday`s game was really poor too, which would not have helped his case. The draw in the end may seem a good result on the back of being two goals down, but on the whole we should be winning these games. It gives him more time, but it hasn`t exactly eased the pressure.
The curious case of Jon Dadi Bodvarsson - Once again Stam started with no recognised striker, with Yann rested and Bodvarsson seemingly not fit. We bring him on with twenty minutes to play and we get two, is it coincidence? I`m not sure. I know Stam has said he hasn`t trained much, but why not give him 45 then use the pace of Barrow or Aluko more centrally in the later stages of the game? Something isn`t right there, I don`t know what but Stam clearly doesn`t rate him. Yet when I see Beerens on the team sheet again, I do wonder why.
What has happened with Omar Richards? - Academy graduate made his Royals debut against Derby before the international break and was superb and looked a potential long-term replacement for the injured Jordan Obita. Since then, he`s played Bacuna, Gunter and most recently Blackett last night (who was poor), which haven`t worked. I`m not sure why Stam hasn`t continued to give him a run in the side to build experience and confidence.
Jaakola proves he is more than capable to step in when required - There were rumours flying about in the international break about Mannone being out injured for a couple of months, which raised some question marks about Jaakkola`s ability to step up to the mark. Any critics would have been answered with a superb showing yesterday. Mannone was missing for personal reasons, so should be back in for Saturday, but a couple of superb saves late in the second half proved he can step in when required.