Joao Virginia's loan spell at Reading has got off to a pretty rocky start with two defeats in their successive opening Championship games, 3-1 at home to Sheffield Wednesday and then 2-1 away at Hull City, where Everton loanees Matthew Pennington and Josh Bowler watched the game from the subs' bench.
Virginia hasn't made the impact he and Everton would have hoped for; he has made some costly errors which have seen Reading fail to gain a single point so far this season.
After letting in 3 goals at home on the opening day, he allowed a tame shot to slip through his grasp against Hull City, giving Jarrod Bowen the simple task of scoring from a yard out to open to put Reading's behind in the 2-1 defeat last weekend.
Virginia's shaky start in the Reading side will have been a real cause for concern, but the concern deepened for Virginia personally when the Reading boss added another goalkeeper to his squad. Former Brazil international, Rafael was signed on a 3-year deal after he cancelled his contract with Italian side, Sampdoria.
Rafael came straight in for Virginia, making his first start in the Carabao Cup against Wycombe Wanderers, and he performed heroics throughout the match. He saved two penalties in the shoot-out and won the Royals the game as they avoided an embarrassing cup exit at the very first hurdle.
The Brazilian's impressive debut has certainly given Reading manager, Jose Gomes, a selection dilemma heading into their Championship game with Cardiff City in front of the Sky Sports cameras on Sunday.
Virginia wasn't even on the substitutes bench against Wycombe on Tuesday night, and it seems possible that Rafael will keep his place in the side, and Virginia will be dropped to the bench (or worse), having missed his chance to shine.
Reader Comments (27)
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1 Posted 15/08/2019 at 22:49:59
2 Posted 15/08/2019 at 22:53:17
I really wished he did well there, but he was far too young.
3 Posted 15/08/2019 at 22:56:35
4 Posted 15/08/2019 at 23:00:19
5 Posted 15/08/2019 at 23:07:49
Joao Virginia is meant to be a future Portugal No 1. There was no doubts over the lad. So it would be better to have had him as No 2 keeper, instead of LÃ¶ssl. He can be working hard in training facing shots from our players, rather than lesser players at Reading. The lad is still learning. It's not time to put that learning into practice yet, he's far from finished. He would learn far more staying at Everton this season.
If our fears are confirmed and he's dumped to the Reading reserves, then we need to call him home and get him built back up. Because, his career is not over yet, not even close, but we need to be careful.
I always come back to Steve Simonsen. There was no flaw in his game. Perhaps he could be a bit taller, but this was 20 years ago so he was big enough. He could do everything you needed off a keeper and exceptionally well. He had a record number of clean sheets for Tranmere at 17 in the second flight. He came to us, he played too young, he had a few bad games, the crowd got on his back, and he became a nervous wreck and his career was destroyed.
We need to learn the lessons.
6 Posted 15/08/2019 at 23:29:17
Can't you see the flaw in your logic where you suggest he'd be better off as our second choice keeper...leaving him a Pickford injury away from being thrust into Premier League action at an age you claim is too young for him to play at.
It's possible that Silva and the coaching staff have a better idea of what is best for his development than you or I do. If you think there was no flaw in Steve Simonsen's game then fair enough, I'll leave you at that.
7 Posted 15/08/2019 at 23:51:11
Marcel Brands and Marco Silva thought he was better off on loan, so of course I'll trust their judgement. I just don't think it's right to loan keepers out under the age of 21 if you think they are going to be exceptional.
8 Posted 16/08/2019 at 01:37:24
We are the team who wear an old kit on the first day of the season though, so...
9 Posted 16/08/2019 at 02:00:29
Onwards and upwards, Joao!
10 Posted 16/08/2019 at 03:34:21
11 Posted 16/08/2019 at 07:34:10
Ok so when you said you “it would be better to have had him as No 2 keeper, instead of LÃ¶ssl“ what you meant was No 3 keeper behind Stek. Got it now.
12 Posted 16/08/2019 at 07:44:03
Looks like a bad call, but time will tell. If he gets the right support, he can come back from a couple of poor games.
13 Posted 16/08/2019 at 07:57:56
It's an opportunity to get him games and experience. If the art of goalkeeping in mainly in your head then it's something this kid is going to have to get to grips with.
He won't ever become a top keeper by being mollycoddled or playing reserve team football.
14 Posted 16/08/2019 at 08:07:31
1. â€˜Joao Virginia is meant to be a future Portugal No 1. There was no doubts over the lad.â€˜
2. â€˜He can be working hard in training facing shots from our players, rather than lesser players at Reading.'
3. â€˜I always come back to Steve Simonsen. There was no flaw in his game.'
Some bizarre statements in that post, Steve.
1. Virginia was going to be Portugal's #1 in the same way that Sonny Pike was going to be England's Maradona. Ultimately he needs to prove himself at Club level. The Portuguese manager isn't going to pick him based on his shot stopping at Finch Farm.
2. I'm quite sure the professional footballers at Reading are able to fire a shot capable of challenging a goalkeeper.
3. I'm lost for words.
15 Posted 16/08/2019 at 11:14:56
It's a test of character and resilience that's is often the difference between very good and average.
16 Posted 16/08/2019 at 12:25:16
Watch the highlights of both games. Reading's defense sucks. The kid wasn't remotely at fault for any of the three Wednesday goals -- two defensive lapses and one brilliant strike -- and the second Hull City goal was a wide-open header from six yards that he had no chance on.
Let's see how it plays out. We can always recall him.
And Steve, enough already with Simonsen... you're entitled to your opinion of his potential brilliance, but the record says your recollections are factually in error. He came to us at 19 but sat and watched his first two seasons, so he was 22 when he got his chance. And when he failed at Everton, his career was hardly "destroyed" -- he made 166 appearances for Stoke, was their player of the season one year, and also set their shutouts record of 7 straight as he had at Tranmere. He then had a further 100 appearances for Sheffield United.
I don't think there's a lesson there.
17 Posted 16/08/2019 at 13:04:41
I think it's a good loan at a nice club at a reasonable level. I wish we could do the same for DCL and Tom Davies.
Virginia will not be under too much pressure at Reading. All young keepers make mistakes - look at Pickford. He just needs to come out the other side. Unless you expose them to this, you will never know if they can come out the other side...
18 Posted 16/08/2019 at 13:17:21
Virginia got rave reviews last season, maybe a change of scenery hasn't done him any favours, being left out of the Carling cup may have taken him out of the limelight, and give him the rest his mind may need.
I'm sure he will show his true talents as the season goes on.
19 Posted 16/08/2019 at 13:17:37
Southall was two or three years older when we lost heavily to Liverpool in a Derby game, don't know if he was responsible for any of the goals, but Howard sent him out on loan to gain more experience in a lower league side.
That loan deal probably helped Neville to become the great â€˜keeper he became, so maybe Virginia can learn as he goes along, not forgetting the old adage: The man who never made a mistake never made anything.
20 Posted 16/08/2019 at 22:34:41
However, simple handling errors can't be ignored. All players need to learn from mistakes and not repeat them. But if they are not given another chance its hard for them to prove themselves.
At 19 there's many years of learning yet and the best way to learn is playing real games. Battling back to reclaim no1 at Reading is a good challenge for him and better than being recalled after falling at the first hurdle.
21 Posted 16/08/2019 at 22:36:50
22 Posted 17/08/2019 at 00:09:04
All in all, a great thread. Would post again.
23 Posted 17/08/2019 at 01:13:17
24 Posted 17/08/2019 at 06:02:42
What may have affected Simonsen was having a massive transfer fee hanging over his head as a teenager.
25 Posted 17/08/2019 at 19:48:40
I genuinely don't think I saw him make a save.
26 Posted 18/08/2019 at 12:39:06
27 Posted 20/08/2019 at 09:19:49
Yes mate, there was some controversy surrounding the Simonsen transfer with plenty of people thinking it was a corrupt deal to line Johnson's pockets. Over-priced for his abilities and never likely to be first choice at a top club.
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