For me it's very disappointing we haven't built on last season but it's certainly a position which can be rectified quite quickly given our attacking personnel
I fear it maybe more through luck than judgement with players returning from injury etc
There does seem to be some blind loyalty placed on individuals throughout the team though, the balance really is messed up and it goes against everything MM instilled when he first came in, putting round pegs in round holes etc
The defence however is a big problem and has been all the way through 2015 imho, it almost cost us a play-off place and it's certainly contributed to our mid-table obscurity we are currently enjoying
We've been Paul Jewellesque in recent weeks, I never thought I'd be saying that under Mick McCarthy!
As good as MM is, he is not beyond reproach because he helped rescue us from oblivion three seasons ago
Jonny Parr, Emmanuel, Yorwerth and the new Polish lad could certainly shake things up a bit
Are the current back four really shoe ins with the way we've been defending? They really shouldn't be!
Why are we sticking with Gerken, what exactly did Bart do wrong?
The midfield two are another big problem, I know we're missing Bru and Bishop but surely Tabb would be worth a run out, just for his tireless work rate and link up play
We're a lot more cavalier now, it's easy to forget that the full backs aren't always given the best cover and that certainly leads to weaknesses against the counter attack particularly as we have one of the slowest defensive line ups in the league
The issues now are very much about balance rather than lacking quality imho, MM really needs to get his head down and make some big decisions
We've dropped four points against two very average sides, it will be only compounded if we lose to Blackburn next week
We have an embarrassment of riches in the attacking half of the pitch, it's tempering that ability with the defensive side which MM and TC need to sort out
but what it does show is the shift from being the hard to beat side of last season to a more expansive side this year is not going to be the seamless transition it first looked like
As we stretch the space further up the pitch, we expose our slow back four and our slow central pairing to higher counter attacking threat. It's not a new weakness by any means but certainly one which is now being magnified with our strikers and wingers pushed up the pitch.
Reading exposed these weaknesses expertly tonight and whilst I think it was a particularly bad day at the office and a good one for them, it's probably not a bad thing it has happened relatively early on in the season. It's a watershed moment and will force MM and TC to get their thinking caps on, going back to the drawing board.
It may take MM time to get the dynamic right in that regard, there's no shortage of attacking quality on offer to him now, it's how we mitigate these defensive issues which will determine whether we compete for promotion this season or not.
He's had to reinvent how we attack effectively given the loss of McGoldrick twice in crucial times in the last two seasons so I'm pretty sure he'll be up to this task also
Tonight is a dark night but out of darkness will hopefully come light; COYB!