Date: 19th October 2016 at 3:11pm
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We pick apart the players performances from the 2-1 loss to Villa last night…

We pick apart the players performances from the 2-1 loss to Villa last night. A last-minute penalty from Jordan Ayew condemned the Royals to their first home defeat of the season.


Ali Al-Habsi – 5 – Ali didn’t really have an awful lot to do all night, but what he had to do, he didn’t do convincingly. He parried a straight-forward shot in the first half and his distribution was shaky throughout, lucky not to cost us a goal.

Chris Gunter – 6 – A reasonably solid game from Gunter, who didn’t do a lot wrong. Maybe a bit too adventurous for their penalty, with little help from GMac. Still needs to learn how to cross a ball.

Liam Moore – 6 – Would have been a 7 if he didn’t give away the penalty. Very solid throughout and dealt with the physicality of Gestede really well. Has to be considered at fault for the penalty by giving the referee a decision to make, irrelevant of how soft it was.

Joey Van den Berg – 7 – Our man of the match in my eyes. Defended superbly and was without doubt our smartest player on the pitch with the ball at his feet. He wasn’t scared of mixing it up with a few more direct balls. Maybe his best position is centre half after all?!

Tyler Blackett – 6 – Poor first half from the youngster, but certainly grew into it in the second half. You can tell why he played instead of Obita, but should maybe express himself more when going forward.

George Evans – 6 – Another one of our better players who kept things ticking along nicely. Doesn’t do anything extravagant, but does his job as well as he can.

Danny Williams – 5 – Bar the missed penalty, which didn’t matter anyway, Williams didn’t really get on the ball as much as he would have liked. Still has a tendency to hold onto the ball more than he needs to.

John Swift – 6 – Quiet game from Swift again, but he still looks like our brightest spark at times. Looked lively in the first half, but went missing in the second. Maybe he could do with a rest for a few games as he looks a tad jaded.

Garath McCleary – 7 – Definitely our brightest spark going forward and had the beating of Cissokho every time he had him one-on-one. Good run that earned the penalty and unlucky not to equalise in injury time. Could have helped Gunter more for their second goal.

Roy Beerens – 5 – Considering Roy was up against Alan Hutton, I would have hoped for more from him. It’s clear he has the ability to take on a man, so would be good to see him use it more often. Harriot will be knocking on Stam’s door soon if performances like this carry on.

Yann Kermorgant – 7 – Maybe a slightly generous mark, but I think people still underestimate the role he plays – we would be a worse team without him. Great header for the goal and helpful in our box also. Great work rate as ever also.