After sitting through this absolute snoozefest of a playoff final, I think that it is safe to say that this game will determine which one of these teams will finish 20th in the Premier League next season.
Does anyone think that Izzy Brown will get that much time in the Premier League to miss an open goal for Huddersfield Town next season? Or the slow, lazy corners that Reading keep taking, will those not be punished by the likes of Manchester City or Chelsea? Jaap Stam was a good defender, does he really think that those 30 yard shots that Reading are launching in extra time will beat any Premier League keeper (well, besides Darren Randolph)?
Nahki Wells went galloping through the Reading FC defense early in the 1st half before being closed down and passing out to a wide man for an unsuccessful cross. There is no way that he is going to be able to pull something like that at the higher levels. Any half-decent Premier League midfielder would have cut Wells down and sent him into orbit while winning the ball and starting an attack.
Neither of these teams are playing like a team ready to go up to the Premier League. Reading even had a negative goal differential this past season, and Huddersfield limped down the stretch after starting out the year with a bang and taking Manchester City to a replay in the FA Cup.
I’m sure the fans of the clubs enjoyed the trip to Wembley, and the fans of Reading will be crushed at losing and missing out on Premier League football. However, without a massive influx of quality, Huddersfield may suffer the same fate as Derby County did when they improbably made the Premier League after winning at Wembley against West Bromwich Albion in the 2007 playoff final. That Derby team set a record of being the earliest team to be relegated, which came on the 29th of March in 2008. They were a poor team, with only one win and 11 (!) points after 32 games when their demise was sealed. Derby hasn’t sniffed promotion since coming back to the Championship.
So enjoy your day at Wembley, Huddersfield fans, cause next year is gonna be rough.