BARCLAYS PREMIER LEAGUE

Madejski Stadium, England

Attendance: 24125

* Local time based on your geographic location.

Reading

  • Adam Le Fondre 66'
  • Jimmy Kebe 71'

2 - 5

FT

Arsenal

  • Lukas Podolski 14'
  • Santi Cazorla 32'
  • Santi Cazorla 34'
  • Santi Cazorla 60'
  • Theo Walcott 80'
Watch Live on: ESPNDeportes, ESPN3.com
  •  

    James Tyler: Goodnight, all!

  •  

    James Tyler: FRIGHTENING.

  •  

    [Comment from Bryce]
    Still can't believe Cazorla isn't even good enough to start for Spain. Frightening.

  •  

    James Tyler: Final word:

  •  

    James Tyler: We'll tweet as and when we know. In the meantime, many thanks to everyone for joining us today! And thanks again to the departed Steve Nicol, who put in a wonderful shift and is currently prepping for Press Pass.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: rock on America

  •  

    James Tyler: We all are, Rog. Not sure how many Boot Rooms we'll partake in but I do know that if people wish to find out, stay tuned to ESPNFC.com or @ESPNFC on Twitter. Or either of us: @JamesTylerESPN and @rogbennett

  •  

    James Tyler: Have to wonder though. Two crushing mental lapses at 4-0 up. Granted Arsenal was 4-0 up, but one still questions the Gunners' mental toughness. The opposite of Bouldian.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: All these games upcoming. Sir Ian is going to have a busy Chrimbo

  •  

    James Tyler: Right then. Gunners are fine, Reading are as good as relegated. Anything else? Theo Walcott can play CF, Santi Cazorla's ace.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Follow us on Twitter

    @rogbennett (not Steve Nicol)

    @jamestylerespn (not Steve Nicol)

  •  

    James Tyler: Wonderful stuff.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Santi gets Arsene's coat.

  •  

    [Comment from Travis]
    Then Schalke will ask for 8.5m and Wenger will say they are being outrageous

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: FULL TIME: Reading 2, Arsenal 5. A real Playstation sort of game. Only player 1's buttons were stuck.

  •  

    James Tyler: Another lovely stop by Federici to deny Giroud.

  •  

    James Tyler: According to OPTA wizardry, Santi Cazorla is the first Spaniard to score a hat trick and notch an assist in an EPL game.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Without Federici it would have been... (Fill in the blank)

  •  

    James Tyler: Huntelaar. He'll offer 8m and wonder why it's not accepted.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Rumor has it that Arsenal fan is Kyle Beckermans Dad

  •  

    [Comment from Rahul Oak]
    Ok serious question: Any chance Wenger will be making insulting bids for anyone in Jan?

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Arsenal: Podolski down the left with pace, he bangs in a nice cross for Giroud but the Frenchman can't get it on target. Kaspar Gorkss nowhere to be seen.

  •  

    James Tyler: All smiles on the Arsenal bench. Happy days for the Gunners. This might be their bridge over troubled waters.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Arsenal fans have more to feel happy about. Africa Nations Cup soon to deprive them of Gervinho for up to a month

  •  

    James Tyler: Like this because it makes absolutely no sense.

  •  

    [Comment from Ian (LFC)]
    Wilshere spends more time on the pitch than David Hasselhoff.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Two

  •  

    James Tyler: Over/Under at 0.0

  •  

    James Tyler: ZERO.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: How many goals still to be scored JT? Bet you

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Reading... Le Fondre almost clean through on goal following fine work by Robson-Kanu. Vermaelen lurches out a leg and clips the ball away from the Reading striker.

  •  

    James Tyler: Three more minutes of this.

  •  

    [Comment from SccrDon]
    I think the Green Santi Cazorla is MOTM. Much better than the orange or blue ones

  •  

    James Tyler: Well, Rog. What is there to be said about Arsenal? Do we know anything more about the Gunners after this? Do we feel more confident about them? Do they feel better? Will they win things etc etc etc

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Best moment of the game? pic.twitter.com/SJCqoFpi

  •  

    James Tyler: Nope. That was Steve. Promise. And was the Real Shaka Hislop last week, too.

  •  

    [Comment from Rahul Oak]
    Was that really *the* Steve Nicol, or just some who happens to have that name? I know a guy at the corner store who answers to Wayne Bridge.

  •  

    James Tyler: Half-chance for Reading: Lovely speedy run by Garath McCleary down the right flank. His cross is half-blocked . Eventually cleared.

  •  

    [Comment from Archer]
    On comes the French Bendtner.

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB FOR ARSENAL: Walcott off, Giroud on.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Steve does dictation

  •  

    [Comment from Autry]
    Well done, Steve. I only noticed one typo (Not including punctuation).

  •  

    James Tyler: Excuse me, Rog: HA HA HA HA HA

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Amazing to believe this Reading team beat Everton.

  •  

    James Tyler: Cheers, Steve!

  •  

    James Tyler: Robson-Kanu has designs on a third goal for Reading but loses it to Mertesacker at the top of the box.

  •  

    Steve Nicol: Thanks everyone - until the next time!

  •  

    Steve Nicol: Ha ha, nice one Bryce!

  •  

    [Comment from Bryce]
    YNWA Steve!

  •  

    Steve Nicol: Actually, it's time to get ready for Press Pass. Watch tonight on ESPNews at 2am ET / 11pm PT.

  •  

    James Tyler: Thanks so much again for joining us in the Boot Room, Steve. Really appreciate your time, wit and analysis and hope to have you again soon!

  •  

    James Tyler: Another Arsenal break. Four on three but Gibbs' cross is blocked. Seven minutes left.

  •  

    Steve Nicol: In true football fan style, I'm leaving early to beat the traffic.

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB FOR ARSENAL: Santi Cazorla off, Francis Coquelin on.

  •  

    James Tyler: Does seem like that trio is optimal, FL.

  •  

    [Comment from FLGooner]
    Normal service restored. And this Poldi-Theo-Ox lineup? MOAR. As in, again this weekend vs Wigan. So. Much. Speed.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Arsenal! Lovely work by Walcott to glance it wide for Podolski in shooting range, only the angle's too narrow and he thumps it into the side netting with his left foot.

  •  

    [Comment from Bryce]
    Don't say that Rog. Chamakh and Gervinho would find a way to cough up the lead.

  •  

  •  

    Roger Bennett: On a night like this Arsenal should be allowed to take the mickey and bring on Chamakh and Gervinho

  •  

    [Comment from DeSelby]
    Cazorla is so awesome.

  •  

    [Comment from Doctor]
    walcott has a left foot?

  •  

    James Tyler: Theo Walcott finally gets on the scoresheet. Lovely pass by Cazorla. Walcott cuts inside Gorkss and slots it under Federici. Nice finish.

  •  

    [Comment from YoungGooner]
    Finally something from Walcott in the box

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Are you an Octopus Drew?

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: Hiccup sorted then.

  •  

    James Tyler: GOAL FOR ARSENAL

  •  

    James Tyler: This is fun. Just when you think Arsenal's solved its recent woes, along comes a hiccup or two.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: @amylawrence71
    18 goals so far in two games between Reading and Arsenal, with almost 20 mins to go.

  •  

    [Comment from Andy]
    Drew= AFC stockholder

  •  

    [Comment from drew]
    everybody needs to calm down, many fixtures in the next few weeks. they can take the foot off the gas a little bit without the world ending

  •  

    [Comment from myo]
    Arsenal to get one more then game over. 5-2

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Arsenal trying to walk into the net. Their own...

  •  

    James Tyler: 76th minute.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: 4-0 leads are the new 2-0's

  •  

    James Tyler: Yes. You'd be bandwagoning.

  •  

    [Comment from Bryce]
    Is it too late to predict a Reading shock win?

  •  

    James Tyler: I know. They have rights, apparently. And earn more money in a week than most managers in a year.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: JT in the old arsenal impregnable defense days -- George Graham would have his defenders on the pitch tied together in training. He just drilled them stupid... cant do that with today's pros.

  •  

    James Tyler: Good point, Steve. Ball-watching unforgivable. Even against Reading.

  •  

    [Comment from The NY Kid]
    I go out to walk the dogs and come back in to find that Reading have scored twice. Now THIS is Arsenal.

  •  

    [Comment from Zefa22]
    Should've taken Walcott off.

  •  

    Steve Nicol: Agreed, James, but the central defenders have to close the ball down better.

  •  

    James Tyler: SUB FOR ARSENAL: Oxlade-Chamberlain off, Ramsey on. Arsenal's "best" player out of the game.

  •  

    James Tyler: Yea, probably. And you should hate saying that, Bryce.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Ramsay on. More hope for Reading fans

  •  

    [Comment from Bryce]
    @JT: Hate to say it, but Liverpool.

  •  

    James Tyler: Steve, no excuse for Podolski playing the man onside, either.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Arsenal on the break! Federici with another stunning save to deny Cazorla a fourth goal.

  •  

    Steve Nicol: On the second, Robson-Kanu is allowed to waltz through without being closed down and Mertesacker is static again.

  •  

    James Tyler: Arsenal suddenly in panic. Szczesny comes a mile off his line to punch clear a deep cross, almost misses it.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Is there a more mentally fragile side than Arsenal?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Steve... what is going on in the head of the Arsenal defenders right now

  •  

    [Comment from Josh]
    every season Arsenal set the benchmark to under achieve, 4th is what they target. what happened to arsenal being confident

  •  

    [Comment from Autry]
    Wenger Out if Reading pulls this off

  •  

    James Tyler: Two subs for McDermott: Robson-Kanu and Le Fondre. One sets up a goal, the other scores a goal. Impact.

  •  

    [Comment from rogbennett via Twitter]
    If there was a red button that allowed you to only watch Arsene Wenger and Steve Bould for the rest of the game, I would push it NOW

  •  

    James Tyler: Crooked offside trap, Robson-Kanu's played onside by Podolski at the other end, ball finds Jimmy Kebe and he casually slots it low past Szczesny.

  •  

    Steve Nicol: On the first goal, Gibbs gave it away but Mertesacker was flat-footed when the through ball was played.

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: Oh no. Memories of St. James's creeping in...

  •  

    James Tyler: GOAL FOR READING

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Hmmmm

  •  

    James Tyler: 20 minutes left.

  •  

    James Tyler: To be fair to Gibbs, he didn't know Wilshere would slip. Still poor.

  •  

    [Comment from chicagooner]
    Isn't Gibbs far more culpable?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Arsenal fans ask Reading
    "How "poor" must you be, Chamakh scored two"

  •  

    Steve Nicol: As a coach. I'd be furious to concede a goal like that when 4-0 up. What was Mertesacker doing?

  •  

    James Tyler: Bould would have simply decapitated Le Fondre for even daring to venture near the box. Those were the days.... Adams, Bould, Winterburn, Dixon. Nightmares.

  •  

    [Comment from Morty]
    if giroud is like most footballers then probably nothing is going thru his mind.

  •  

    [Comment from Girouds Mind]
    Hope my hair still looks good?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Wenger Bould detente will surely be under strain after that one...

  •  

    James Tyler: When you're winning 4-0 though?

  •  

    Steve Nicol: I agree!

  •  

    [Comment from Jason]
    Mertesacker showed negative effort there

  •  

    James Tyler: Wilshere fell and hurt himself. Ball from Gibbs is intercepted and slotted forward to sub Adam Le Fondre, who glides around Szczesny and taps it home.

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: THE COMEBACK HAS BEGUN

  •  

    James Tyler: GOAL FOR READING

  •  

    James Tyler: MacAnuff tumbles gently in the box trying to skjp between two Arsenal defenders.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Wonder what is going through Giroud's mind on the bench

  •  

    James Tyler: Goal kick for Reading as the Gunners queue up for number five.

  •  

    [Comment from Reading Fan]
    If Bobby Convey was still on the team we would be winning.

  •  

    [Comment from reading fan]
    we're doomed, just hoping someone else falls before us

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    MOTM: Adam Federici

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Arsenal! Federici punches away another Walcott shot after a Gunners fast break.

  •  

    James Tyler: Steve, what do you do if you're on the losing team in this situation? Head down, work hard to the end? Hope for a consolation goal? Shut up shop?

  •  

    James Tyler: 28 minutes left for Reading to cling on and remain somewhat respectable.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Reading Fan. Can we hear your read on the game?

  •  

    James Tyler: Says far more about Reading. They're an endangered species this season. Enjoy them while you can. Won't be much longer.

  •  

    [Comment from Peter]
    Despite the the 3 goals, who does the score say more about?

  •  

    James Tyler: Have plenty of those, in theory: Lucas Leiva not back to full fitness yet. Shelvey not quite ready. Sahin not had enough chances. Joe Allen's been in decline of late.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesD]
    Liverpool need a mid field general to help

  •  

    James Tyler: Cutting move from right flank to left. Wilshere tees up Podolski free on the left and the German graciously slots it back for Santi to glide it in.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Reading waiting to leak one more before they spring into action and blast 7?

  •  

    James Tyler: Santi Cazorla has his hat-trick. Almost a perfect hatty but finishes low with his left for a second time.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Santi Cazorla. Not looking so tired tonight, right Arsene?

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: GOAL FOR ARSENAL

  •  

    Steve Nicol: I agree. Not what Liverpool need.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: I find that rumor astonishing Steve. And the Sturridge rumor too

  •  

    Steve Nicol: I don't think Walcott is what Liverpool need. We have enough players up front who have pace but are not natural finishers.

  •  

    James Tyler: Reading has upgraded its quality of play from pee-wee to JV. Still a long mile off Arsenal, who isn't even having to try much at the moment.

  •  

    James Tyler: 57 minutes gone at the Madejski Stadium.

  •  

    [Comment from Mat]
    Walcott is not worth the money for Liverpool, hopefully he stays away.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Wenger looks like a man exhausted by the effort of having to feign civil relations with Steve Bould

  •  

    James Tyler: His "once per year" gaffes are happening once every couple of weeks. Lost some luster but I still trust him.

  •  

    [Comment from Ian (LFC)]
    JT, how do you rate Reina? I don't. His confidence is Torres-high and appears to be just as easy to fix.

  •  

    James Tyler: Sounds more like a pantomime than a Broadway play.

  •  

    [Comment from The NY Kid]
    Jack Wilshere IS "Jesus with a Football". This month on Broadway.

  •  

    James Tyler: Pogrebnyak makes a good run behind Mertesacker but Vermaelen's step-up catches the Russian offside. Quel horreur.

  •  

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Apologies to those of you tuning in hoping to see the continued bear baiting of Arsene Wenger

  •  

    James Tyler: Not a clue, Rog. Makes no sense at all for LFC. Unless we're broke and are desperate to take on all comers with a 12-man squad.

  •  

    Steve Nicol: Wilshere still hasn't done enough to have that title yet but he has the potential to be.

  •  

    James Tyler: Lovely tekkers from big Per Mertesacker to gently cushion the ball under control with his instep.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Solid. Susceptible to some Joleon Lescott like mental lapses. I dod not understand the constant linking of Reina to Arsenal. Do you JT?

  •  

    [Comment from Nick]
    How do you rate Sir Sczczczzczcny as a goalie?

  •  

    James Tyler: Still, if you're Arsene Wenger, how much stock do you put in a result like this? Assuming, of course, they don't St. James's this and end up throwing two points away.

  •  

    [Comment from Chris]
    Jack is Back, best MF in England?

  •  

    James Tyler: Harsh, we were on there back in the day. Key Word: Banter

  •  

    [Comment from Ian (LFC)]
    Still, boot room doesn't have the tradition of, say, an AOL Chat. 4th is 1st for BR.

  •  

    James Tyler: Mariappa blocks a shot on the line with Federici beaten. Another surging midfield run, this time from Jack Wilshere, goes untouched by Reading's defenders.

  •  

    James Tyler: How did that not go in!

  •  

    Roger Bennett: How did that not go in Etc.

  •  

    James Tyler: Gunners should be much kinder to Reading. After all, it's the holidays.

  •  

    James Tyler: Johan Djourou?

  •  

    James Tyler: Maybe Andrei Arshavin could come in and even things up again. Philippe Senderos?

  •  

    James Tyler: We're under budget, Nick. The most frugal Boot Room around. Have worked our way up through the academy. Untouchable.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: @therealstevieN

  •  

    [Comment from Nick]
    When FFP comes around, you will rue this decision, James Tyler.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Someone will fake you a twitter handle by the end of this half Steve

  •  

    James Tyler: So, how many more will Arsenal score in the second half?

  •  

    James Tyler: No. They were much worse, amazingly.

  •  

    [Comment from Autry]
    Is this Reading team worse than the Derby County squad from a few years back?

  •  

    James Tyler: Cheers, Steve. And do join Twitter when you have a chance... heh.

  •  

    Steve Nicol: I'm not on Twitter but Press Pass is: @ESPNPressPass

  •  

    [Comment from Archer]
    Arsenal could have Denilson in midfield for this game and still be in control.

  •  

    James Tyler: We're not a selling Boot Room, DEN. We don't negotiate in the transfer window. Not a feeder club.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Follow us on Twitter

    @rogbennett (Gervinho)

    @jamestylerespn (The Ox)

  •  

    [Comment from DEN]
    I like really like Steve Nicol's work, but who has to make way for him in the Boot Room lineup. Bennett? Tyler? Maybe we can cash in on Bennett in the January window by selling him to the Al Jazeera sports network

  •  

    Roger Bennett: George Wood having a blinder in goal though for Arsenal

  •  

    James Tyler: I did wonder how Arsenal would deal with the loss of Dennis Bergkamp for this game, Vern. Seems so good so far.

  •  

    [Comment from DeSelby]
    Ibra knows kung-fu fighting. (took your line, Rog. sorry.)

  •  

    [Comment from Vern]
    Love how Fabregas, Nasri and Song are controlling the midfield.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Fella. Def. Ibra all talk. Someone like him in every high school.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Arsenal! Oxlade-Chamberlain gets the ball deep in midfield and takes off upfield. No-one tackles him and so he shoots from 25 yards. Narrowly wide.

  •  

    James Tyler: I think Fellaini wins in 90% of contests. He'd struggle vs. De Rossi and Gattuso though.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Gervino pleading with Wenger to be subbed on at half time. "Just think how high into the stands I can blast the ball against this shambles, boss"

  •  

    [Comment from Rahul Oak]
    Talking about all-out brawls, here's a good one. Who would win a fist fight between Fellani and Ibra?

  •  

    James Tyler: Reading ready to kick-off the second half.

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: Thoughts on Balotelli, Steve? Think he is finished at City? Latest news that he's refusing to pay a club fine. The bickering continues...

  •  

    James Tyler: Just good that he didn't reciprocate, cause an all-out brawl, etc.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesD]
    Shawcross has done much much worse

  •  

    James Tyler: You wouldn't be saying that if your $80m paid for his services, Chris.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: JT -- shawcross trades in pain. he almost seemed to respect Fella after the blow.

  •  

    [Comment from Chris]
    Harsh James, Hes a class striker, not everyone can be Messi

  •  

    James Tyler: Re: Fellaini
    Good thing Shawcross didn't escalate it during the game. Could have been much worse.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Chasing the dragon JT. what are you trying to say?

  •  

    James Tyler: That was just the perfect alchemy: right time, right manager, right teammates, right situations. Can never be reprised. He'll be chasing the dragon for the rest of his career.

  •  

    Steve Nicol: On Fellaini, he gets a lot of attention and was unfortunate the other week when he got called for the foul on Dzeko. He's got fed up with Shawcross manhandling him, which he does a lot. He shouldn't have lashed out like he did but clearly he'd just had enough.

  •  

    James Tyler: He'll never be that good again, Rog. Never.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Pog... he had two great seasons at liverpool then tailed off... he may be back to his best now. but that best may not be as good as we remembered...

  •  

    [Comment from Pog]
    Bill Simmons likes to talk about Irrational Confidence Guys in basketball. All strikers are Irrational Confidence Guys -- Torres is what happens when they settle for being merely Rational Confidence Guy.

  •  

    [Comment from zipguy]
    Does anyone see my comments? I guess not :(

  •  

    [Comment from Autry]
    How much of Fellaini's actions this weekend stem from the attention he'sbeen getting and the pressure to impress? I know that he commits a lot of fouls, but not like that...

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Frustration born of the fact that he was penalized for pulling down Dzeko on a set piece against City but could not buy a call against Stoke. Inconsistency has always driven Marouane crazy.

  •  

    James Tyler: Becky, Rog. Becky.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: MY NAME'S BECCA

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Half time entertainment. Has there been a more emotional GIF this season?
    http://i.minus.com/iqjEn4IHGs0TI.gif

  •  

    James Tyler: Bad for Rafa, bad for the Blues' confidence, bad for Roman. But it'll get shrugged off. Does none of them any favors in the short term though. Worst of all for Torres who has proven he's simply good against the likes of Reading.

  •  

    [Comment from Morty]
    how bad really was chelsea's loss to corinthians?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Both are true. Premier League is so middling this season, a team can be erratic, inconsistent and a work in progress. Yet still be 4th. See Spurs.

  •  

    [Comment from Arsenal Farah]
    Is this the real Arsenal or is Arsenal a middling team playing against a much worse team? I'm curious to know if we are a top 5/6 team.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: What can be said at half time in such a situation?

  •  

    Steve Nicol: I remember playing Blackburn when I was at Sheffield Wednesday. I think I came on as sub after 35 minutes when we were already four down!

  •  

    James Tyler: So many quality games over the holidays. Man United vs. Newcastle? Wondering if the Magpies can reprise its thumping win last season in the same fixture.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Steve... what was the worst you were down in a game by half time...?

  •  

    James Tyler: Federici's having a wonderful game. That said, shouldn't be nearly this busy in an ideal world.

  •  

    [Comment from matthew cox]
    Only positive could be the goalie's performance. It could have easily been 5-0 or worse

  •  

    James Tyler: Danny -- when LFC beat Fulham 10-0 in 1986 League Cup. But Reading would probably lose to that Fulham team.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Only slight negative from an Arsenal perspective. Walcott has barely been in the game. His 15 touches are dead last for the Gunners. Even Szec has touched the ball more.

  •  

    Steve Nicol: It's hard to pick a positive for Reading from back to front. This is probably the worst performance I have sen this season.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Yes. Reading. Against Everton. They ended up beating us in the second half

  •  

    [Comment from Danny]
    Have you ever seen a team play a worse half of football?

  •  

    [Comment from Zefa22]
    Two great goals from Cazorla. One from Podolski. If not anything, at least Arsenal looks alive today.

  •  

    Steve Nicol: Arsenal can only beat what's put in front of them. So far, what has been put in front of them is awful defending.

  •  

    James Tyler: A hailstorm of lusty boos as the ref heeds Reading's cries for 15 minutes of mercy.

  •  

    James Tyler: HALF TIME: Reading 0, Arsenal 3.

  •  

    James Tyler: One minute of added time. Ironic attack for Reading via Pogrebnyak. He finds Jimmy Kebe wide right but Kebe can't work it back to the big Russian. Crowd groans. Bring on the Bovril.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Jimmy Kebe has the first touch of Jozy Altidore

  •  

    James Tyler: Assume the Ents are at the beach. On holiday.

  •  

    [Comment from Nick]
    Ent-like is unfair. The Ents defended their forest.

  •  

    [Comment from Autry]
    Alex Morgan > Chamakh

  •  

    [Comment from Fritz Atlanta,ga]
    Piers Morgan would score against this defence.

  •  

    [Comment from Nick]
    Since it's a mostly pro-Arsenal crowd in chat, I'd like to declare that Fellaini's headbutt couldn'tve happened to a "nicer" guy.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Arsenal! Federici with a superb reflex save as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain wins a header between Reading's Ent-like center backs.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Yes Blake. Absolutely. Premier League is truly middling this season. Good run over Xmas and...

  •  

    James Tyler: Yes -- until May, 2013.

  •  

    [Comment from Blake Phillips]
    Do you think QPR can stay in the Premier League?

  •  

    James Tyler: 43rd minute. Incredible, really. This is a football match in name only. Arsenal enjoying a generous training session.

  •  

    James Tyler: Wilshere, Walcott, Gibbs all combine in the Reading box. No shot but yet more chances.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: I am wondering how many goals Alex Morgan would score against this Reading defence

  •  

    [Comment from Magius]
    Reading PIF (people in uniform)

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Arsenal may achieve something many thought to be impossible tonight. Make Arsene Wenger smile.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Arsenal! Lovely passing scythes open the Royals' "defense". Ball's cut back to Podolski but Cummings is there to block the shot. Well done.

  •  

    James Tyler: Reading FC might consider removing the FC bit on the basis of tonight's performance.

  •  

    [Comment from Matt (NJ)]
    Only Ian Darke can convincingly explain how getting kicked in the groin is a good thing.

  •  

    James Tyler: 40 minutes gone. Tweet questions now for Sir Ian Darke and Dr. Steve McManaman. Use #FCBootroom to get them seen!

  •  

    [Comment from Nick]
    10% Arsenal, 90% Reading

  •  

    Roger Bennett: How much is this Arsenal's excellence. How much of this is Reading's dire lack of quality

  •  

    James Tyler: Steve, what's the most painful injury you had in your playing days? Ever had a boot to the groin like that?

  •  

    James Tyler: Jack's got a sore groin now. He's walking off under his own steam.

  •  

    [Comment from Adam]
    Wilshere hurt again. PULL HIM OFF NOW BEFORE SOMETHING BAD HAPPENS!

  •  

    [Comment from Guest]
    Wow, and Reading head to the Etihad this weekend. I wonder if they'll decide to defend then?

  •  

    James Tyler: Wilshere's hurt in the center circle. Crunched again. Jobi MacAnuff gets a booking for his part in things as Jack simply ran into the Reading midfielder's outstretched boot.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: An impact injury. Great euphemism by Sir Ian

  •  

    James Tyler: Losing to Bradford was all clearly part of some wicked plan.

  •  

    [Comment from Andy]
    James you're right on it, Reading haven't showed up. This game will,sadly, allow Wenger to insist " all is right"

  •  

    [Comment from Pog]
    Calling Reading's defense shambolic is unfair to shambles.

  •  

    [Comment from Fritz Atlanta,ga]
    Is it safe for Gervinho yet?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Steve -- reminds me of what Zidane said about France during WC 2010. Domenech's team only had two problems. They cant attack and they cant defend.

  •  

    James Tyler: Because teams generally play defense? Close the wingers down?

  •  

    [Comment from Gooners]
    Why don't Arsenal do this sort of wing play more often?

  •  

    James Tyler: First team to be confirmed for relegation, perhaps? 9 points with nearly half the season played...

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Hasty check just reveals i did not drop Santi C. from my fantasy team. *Relief*

  •  

    Steve Nicol: There's nothing Reading can do. They just can't defend. They're taking up the wrong spots and don't read the play.

  •  

    [Comment from KBreezy]
    This reminds me of when Blackburn played Arsenal last year. With a bald manager on the losing team to boot.

  •  

    James Tyler: Reading = they're no Bradford.

  •  

    James Tyler: Ball wide right for Arsenal. Another delicate chip finds Gibbs at the back post. Kebe doesn't close him down and Gibbs' header back into the mix finds Cazorla for a simple spin and shoot. Beats Federici with ease.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Arsenal appear to have got the 7 part down. Can Reading summon their five?

  •  

    James Tyler: Dear oh dear oh dear. The sort of stuff that makes you weep if you're Brian McDermott.

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: GOAL FOR ARSENAL

  •  

    James Tyler: We don't forgive him, Zefa. Never will.

  •  

    [Comment from Zefa22]
    Whoa! What a goal by Cazorla. I now officially forgive him for the dive against West Brom

  •  

    Steve Nicol: I think Reading might be happy with 2-1 now.

  •  

    [Comment from Rahul Oak]
    Who is Arsenal's most hopeless player? Arshavin, Gervinho or Chamakh?

  •  

    James Tyler: Shambolic marking. Shambolic everything.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Cazorla did not mean to head that. He was actually diving for a penalty etc.

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: More pathetic defending and Santi Cazorla profits. Wide ball to Gibbs, he skips away from his man and floats in a gentle cross that Cazorla heads home delicately from six yards out.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Here it is Arsenal fans
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShvJT5_ogCI

  •  

    James Tyler: GOAL FOR ARSENAL

  •  

    [Comment from Andy]
    Arteta looks jaded, he really needs a rest (although he's been superb this season). Why not try it with Rosicky or Ramsey today ?

  •  

    [Comment from Zefa22]
    Reading putting pressure. Looks like Arsenal are going to concede. Again.

  •  

    James Tyler: Walcott's free down the left wing. Long ball for Cazorla at the back post finds the Spaniard. Good control to bring it down but Gorkss blocks the shot.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Great ball there by Walcott to Arteta. Theo showing Wenger he can offer the kind of fast paced inconsistency Arsenal crave

  •  

    James Tyler: Rubbish corner doesn't clear the first defender. Arsenal counters...

  •  

    [Comment from Ian (LFC)]
    SIGNS OF LIFE! THINGS ARE HAPPENING!

  •  

    James Tyler: Then Kebe has a shot blocked by Gibbs. Exciting. Pogrebnyak's shot is then deflected out for a corner.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: It is as if Reading have just realized... "It's only Arsenal"

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Reading! Pogrebnyak onside down the left channel, low cross is right there for Hunt along the six yard box but a superb tackle denies him the close-range shot.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Warning shot for Arsenal as three Reading players hovered behind the Arsenal captain

  •  

    Steve Nicol: In the 50s - way before my time!

  •  

    [Comment from zipguy]
    When was, if ever, Liverpool last dropped from the premiere league?

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Arsenal! Cut-back cross finds Gibbs in the middle. His shot is blocked but Federici does wonderfully to parry the follow-up around the post. Gunners corner amounts to nothing.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Cazorla completed all 26 of his passes.

  •  

    James Tyler: 25 minutes gone.

  •  

    James Tyler: Arsenal's corner is cleared by Noel Hunt.

  •  

    James Tyler: Arsenal's winning the midfield battle with ease. Five men vs two for Reading. Cazorla, Arteta, Wilshere all with too much time on the ball. Easy stuff.

  •  

    James Tyler: Baker's dozen. Yet they're all asleep.

  •  

    [Comment from depressed red]
    is reading playing with 11?

  •  

    [Comment from EmpireITtech]
    that's quite possibly the funniest thing I've read in the Boot Room ever, Roger Bennett well done sir

  •  

    [Comment from ESPNPressPass via Twitter]
    Steve Nicol is currently webchatting as part of @ESPNFC's coverage of Reading v Arsenal: tinyurl.com/d8g8axc #FCBootroom

  •  

    James Tyler: Indeed. Did well to leap and hang on to a deep set piece.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Well handled by Scez

  •  

    James Tyler: Corner for Reading...

  •  

    [Comment from rogbennett via Twitter]
    Reading going to have to do something bold to get back into this game. Like bring Gervinho on

  •  

    James Tyler: Jack Wilshere gets crunched in midfield by Jay Tabb. Arsenal Nation holds its breath... (he's fine).

  •  

    [Comment from Ian (LFC)]
    Walcott needs to watch a tape of Leo Messi one on one finishes. That was awful.

  •  

    [Comment from Pog]
    I know it's early, but Steve Nicol is killing it. Fill out your MotBR ballot now.

  •  

    James Tyler: Why didn't he just round the keeper?

  •  

    Steve Nicol: That was why Walcott's worth trying through the middle but also why he might not have what it takes to play there.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Walcott to make it 2-0! Clean through on goal having timed his run nicely, Theo pulls up at the top of the box to shoot but Federici denies him. Corner for Arsenal is then cleared.

  •  

    James Tyler: Another chance for Arsenal as Gibbs is freed inside the box. Cummings with a robust block to stop Gibbs' close-range shot.

  •  

    Steve Nicol: Ha ha, true.

  •  

    [Comment from Chris]
    Your right, they were playing the all powerfull Bradford city...

  •  

    Steve Nicol: They weren't playing Reading last week.

  •  

    [Comment from Chris]
    Where was this Arsenal last week? (head in hands...)

  •  

    James Tyler: Jay Tabb has a shot blocked from 25 yards. Reading's turn to exert mild pressure but Jimmy Kebe's offside wide on the left. Arsenal offside trap looking sturdy.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Arsenal! Santi Cazorla gets it on his left, cuts back to his right and wallops one from 25 yards. Narrowly blazes wide.

  •  

    James Tyler: Indeed, Steve. Gunners settling into a very relaxed rhythm in possession.

  •  

    Steve Nicol: This game looks over already...

  •  

    Steve Nicol: Podolski can play through the middle but also get into those spots from wide.

  •  

    James Tyler: Poor Andre Santos.

  •  

    [Comment from Andy]
    Gibbs is actually becoming a very good left back, it has to be said.

  •  

    James Tyler: How will Reading respond? If at all? 15 minutes gone in a sleepy, wide-open game. Both sides treating defending with as much disdain as Al Bundy regarded doing the dishes.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Back in Champions League contention...

  •  

    James Tyler: Ha ha ha.

  •  

    Steve Nicol: Crisis over!

  •  

    James Tyler: Yeah, but Cologne a much worse team overall.

  •  

    [Comment from Fritz Atlanta,ga]
    Podolski across the middle...Imagine that!!! He only put in 18 goals fo Koln last season from the same position.

  •  

    James Tyler: "Are you Greuther Furth in disguise?"

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Podolski finding this as easy as a wet night at Arminia Bielefeld

  •  

    [Comment from Ian (LFC)]
    Wow that was so easy

  •  

    James Tyler: Reading the first team to stumble. Gibbs has room to drift down the left flank relatively unmarked. His looping cross finds Podolski, who skips past one defender and thumps it in. Easy. Simple. Criminally so.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Static defending by Reading punished by Lukas

  •  

    James Tyler: LUKAS PODOLSKI

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: GOAL FOR ARSENAL

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is just "like a new signing."

  •  

    James Tyler: Sharp 1-2 down the right for Arsenal but Oxlade-Chamberlain can't reach the return pass. Ball trickles back to Federici.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Lively stuff. Two glass jaws evident so far.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance! Shorey's delivery finds Noel Hunt with a glancing header. It's over the bar. Good effort.

  •  

    James Tyler: Nicky Shorey to hoof this in.

  •  

    James Tyler: Corner for Reading after good pressure from Pogrebnyak.

  •  

    James Tyler: We don't cut-and-paste in the Boot Room.

  •  

    James Tyler: I'll have you know my player name spelling is impeccable. I'll never forget the glory days of Russia v. Greece at Euro 2012.

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: Tippy-tappy releases Podolski down the left. Worked back infield, tapped about. So many passes yet none in direction of goal. Move eventually breaks down.

  •  

    [Comment from The NY Kid]
    Has anyone ever successfully spelled Pavel Pogbranyak on the first try?

  •  

    [Comment from JamesD]
    I watched Dempsey play when i was 11 in the glory days of the Revs 4 finals in so few years

  •  

    James Tyler: Gervinho could have buried that, etc.

  •  

    James Tyler: Chance for Reading! Surging, slow-mo run by Pavel Pogrebnyak into the Arsenal box from the right flank. His cross finds Hunt in the middle but Hunt can't beat Szczesny. Rebound falls to Pog but he scuffs it.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Pog shockingly generous there... most expected him to shoot

  •  

    Steve Nicol: No, not at all. He's a coach's dream. All he wants to do is play football.

  •  

    James Tyler: Reading fans leading a chant for Phil Parkinson, ex-Royal and of course current manager of Bradford City.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Because they want to try and get it past the first defender

  •  

    [Comment from Zain]
    Why is Walcott taking the Corners and Freekicks? Arteta is much better

  •  

    [Comment from Sam]
    Steve, after coaching Dempsey in New England, what do you think of his transfer "saga" this summer? Can he be a hard character to deal with?

  •  

    James Tyler: Early Arsenal free kick some 30 yards out. Theo bends it around the post.

  •  

    James Tyler: ANYWAY.

  •  

    James Tyler: Suarez was always superb when paired with an aggressive striker. Lacks that at Anfield.

  •  

    [Comment from Pog]
    I think Dempsey would have paired well with Suarez. Suarez creates so many chances for the people around them.

  •  

    James Tyler: Arsenal corner's overhit. Still the Gunners tap it about in the Reading defensive third.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Terrific cross by Ox. you know that soccer cliche about "RvP would have scored that..." Arsenal's current equivalent is, "Gervinho would have ballooned that out for a goal kick."

  •  

    James Tyler: CURRENT Reading player, I should say.

  •  

    [Comment from The NY Kid]
    Kebe is your favorite Reading player? Does Shaka know that?

  •  

    [Comment from JamesTylerESPN via Twitter]
    So cool. RT @JamesHorncastle: Vid of Inter's Xmas party at Zanetti + Cambiasso's restaurant. Cassano + Nagatomo japes. youtube.com/watch?v=84E1rT…

  •  

    Steve Nicol: Yes because he scores goals. Only Suarez and Gerrard have scored more than one in the league this season. Clint would have helped in that department.

  •  

    James Tyler: Gibbs is forward down the left but his through-ball into the box is overhit. Miscommunication to boot.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: great question

  •  

    [Comment from Danilo]
    Stevie, would Deuce really have made that much difference for Liverpool had they ponied up for him in August?

  •  

    James Tyler: Jimmy Kebe's my favourite Reading player. Was instrumental in their promotion charge last season. Yet to really assert himself in the Prem this term.

  •  

    James Tyler: Please, Boot Roomers: refrain from upsetting our guests.

  •  

    Steve Nicol: Don't upset me! Toothless I'm afraid.

  •  

    James Tyler: Ball spills to Podolski at close range but he's offside.

  •  

    [Comment from Ian (LFC)]
    Did the Ox just tackle Cazorla to get that shot?

  •  

    James Tyler: Early cross from the Royals but it's the Gunners on the counter. Lovely save by Federici as Oxlade-Chamberlain shoots from the top of the box!

  •  

    [Comment from Sam]
    Stevie! What do you think of Liverpool this season?

  •  

    James Tyler: We're off! Arsenal kicks off at the Madejski.

  •  

  •  

    James Tyler: Think I remember seeing that hat-trick not long after it happened.

  •  

    James Tyler: Reading can climb to 19th place with a win today. Magic stuff.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: It was Steve, looking as young as he does today, destroying Newcastle with a hatrrick JT and I could only dream about.

  •  

    [Comment from Zain]
    Cant watch the video in Pakistan. Youtube blocked. ;(

  •  

    [Comment from Zain]
    3-2 Arsenal. Arsenal to concede a 2 goal lead

  •  

    [Comment from Christian]
    ARSENE'S PUFFY COAT 2 - MAGIC SPRAY 1

  •  

    James Tyler: 4-4-2 for Reading, 4-2-3-1 for Arsenal. Walcott indeed up front. Well I never.

  •  

    [Comment from JamesD]
    4-1 GUNNERS

  •  

    Roger Bennett: 7-5 Reading

  •  

    James Tyler: I'll say 2-1 Arsenal as well. But the game-winner comes late on....

  •  

    James Tyler: Good point about smaller squads, Steve. 25 men seems a luxury these days!

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Defense has been an achilles heel. Did not really bolster the squad after promotion. Going to be interesting watching if Anton Zingarevich their mysterious young owner intends to splash some rubles during January

  •  

    Steve Nicol: 2-1 Arsenal

  •  

    [Comment from Ian (LFC)]
    Predictions from you lot?

  •  

    Steve Nicol: I never had a problem with playing over Xmas and New Year. At Liverpool, we were always pretty confident of doing well. The squads were smaller though, so we had to learn to manage ourselves during games. No overlapping runs late in games!

  •  

    James Tyler: Just don't have the quality, Sam. And a porous defense. Speed kills in the Prem. Lack of speed kills even more.

  •  

    [Comment from Sam]
    Guys, I've enjoyed watching Reading play this year. Why are they doing so poorly?

  •  

    [Comment from Guest]
    I like Steve's celebration after 3rd goal. Looks excited. A little Messi-esque with that finish?

  •  

    James Tyler: Tradition, history, etc. A wonderful time of year. I fondly remember getting many match tickets on Christmas Day, then heading to Anfield on Boxing Day. Best holidays ever, those.

  •  

    James Tyler: Because where there is a void in Europe, the English football cup runneth over.

  •  

    [Comment from Christian]
    Why again does England essentially double-up on matches during Christmastime, where Germany shuts downs for a month? And does it have anything to do with David Stern?

  •  

    James Tyler: Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott, Podolski

    Reading: Federici, Cummings, Shorey, Gorkss, Mariappa, Leigertwood, Tabb, Kebe, McAnuff, Hunt, Pogrebnyak

  •  

    [Comment from Guest]
    Wow Steve, what a cool finish on goal #3! I see that ice in your veins in Press Pass regularly!

  •  

    James Tyler: LINEUPS again....

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Steve... did you ever play at Reading?

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Neutrals looking for a rooting interest. Two words: Kaspars Gorkks

  •  

    James Tyler: Think he'll add even more graft to that midfield. Not sure he starts over McCarthy/MacArthur though.

  •  

    [Comment from Travis]
    Off topic question here, what kind of impact does Espinoza have at Wigan this year when he arrives? Really liked watching him play in MLS this year for Kansas City.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: All hail Sir Ian

  •  

    [Comment from Pog]
    Before this match gets started, I just wanted to mention that I discovered over the weekend that Djibril Cisse has officially held the title "Lord of the Manor of Frodsham" since 2005.

  •  

    James Tyler: Reading. Narrowly missed out on being the home town of Ricky Gervais' "The Office." (No idea if that's true, but it is that kind of town. No offense.)

  •  

    James Tyler: Theo as a striker. At this point, Arsene would be well served in trying every option available and trying them multiple times. One senses that his stubborn adherence to his principles only exacerbates the team's malaise.

  •  

    Steve Nicol: I've been asked by my ESPN FC Press Pass colleague (and former Royal), to mention that Reading are also playing today.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Demetrius. No. We are all here to watch how Reading adapt to life at the bottom of the pile. We are all big Ian Harte fans in the boot room

  •  

    James Tyler: Of course not Demetrius. But you can only work with what you're given. And we've been given an Arsenal side in "crisis."

  •  

    Steve Nicol: I hope they try Walcott through the middle. He has shown some potential to play there but can he do it at the top level over a long period? I'm not sure.

  •  

    [Comment from Demetrius]
    Is everyone here just to rag on Gooner troubles...seems harsh...but well deserved...

  •  

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Question and answer time. Which one of the three of us in todays Boot Room have scored a top flight hattrick.

    A: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ireuwGpXpSQ

  •  

    James Tyler: with Arsenal.

  •  

    James Tyler: Looks on paper to be a 4-3-3. Ox and Walcott supporting Podolski. But as Steve said, you never really know.

  •  

    [Comment from Ray]
    Is Walcott playing up top today or is Arsenal going to deploy the false 9?

  •  

    James Tyler: Steve, we outnumber him 2 to 1. Another Liverpool lad here.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: Steve Nicol. JT and I are honored. We polished up the Boot Room and dusted off the red carpet for your arrival

  •  

    Steve Nicol: Hello Roger, nice to be on with an Evertonian! I think...

  •  

    [Comment from Travis]
    Over/Under of 10 wayward crosses from Walcott today?

  •  

    [Comment from JamesD]
    4-1 Gunners !!!

  •  

    James Tyler: Funny, really. This team *should* win plenty but can't. Shows this game is as much mental as anything else.

  •  

    Steve Nicol: Looking forward to a good game. I fancy Arsenal to win but, with them, you never really know.

  •  

    Roger Bennett: JT Good Afternoon. Hello Arsenal fans. Reading fan. And assorted Rubberneckers

  •  

    [Comment from Jmac]
    I think the gunners need to sign another star, or even budding attacker. I don't think the players they've brought in have been doing it for them as well as they thought, but then again, I'm not an expert.

  •  

    [Comment from KYGOONER]
    Stevie when are you going to return to the reds????? I can see a side with you at the back and suarez up front

  •  

    Steve Nicol: Thanks very much! Nice to know the family is reading!

  •  

    [Comment from Cristiano]
    Hello Steve Your the greatest!!

  •  

    [Comment from Demetrius]
    STEVE!!

  •  

    James Tyler: Hi Steve! Many thanks for joining us today.

  •  

    James Tyler: The word's definitely overused, Our Hero. Much like "genius." But this isn't what Wenger would have expected from this season. The squad turnover has proven too much to overcome. They look ordinary at times.

  •  

    Steve Nicol: Hi everyone. Reporting for duty...

  •  

    [Comment from Our Hero]
    I thought Arsenal was in "crisis" but when i actually checked the tables and found them only 5 points off fourth with a game in hand it didn't seem so awful. Are Arsenal in "crisis" or is it just being over-exaggerated ?

  •  

    James Tyler: Indeed. Quite a stunning season of underachievement. As David Hirshey wrote this morning, whatever made Wenger and the Gunners special in the 2000s has been overtaken by plenty of clubs in various ways. Yet Arsene persists with what he's done since the beginning. Adapt or die?

  •  

    [Comment from KYGOONER]
    enough about these other squads... Lets talk gunners

  •  

    James Tyler: I think Villa's going to be just fine, as evidenced at the weekend. Good young squad, Lambert's playing three at the back nicely, Benteke's a real gem up front.

  •  

    [Comment from Jmac]
    Oh, and on that subject, what moves do you think villa should make, if any at all?

  •  

    James Tyler: He's not in the XI, Imran, I'm afraid. His inventiveness has been missing for the Royals, certainly.

  •  

    [Comment from imran]
    tell me just onething will guthrie play?

  •  

    [Comment from Sam]
    Stevie, come back to New England! The Revs need you!

  •  

    James Tyler: I think Balotelli's time at City is almost up. Thinking a move back to Serie A is in his future. A sad state of affairs. Mancini can't afford the hassle anymore given the tension in his job.

  •  

    [Comment from Travis]
    What are the chances that Balotelli leaves come January and where would he go? City doesnt exactly have a reputation for dealing strongly with troublesome but talented players (Tevez)

  •  

    [Comment from Mark]
    Even though it will never happen arsenal need to sign a big money striker like a dzeko or a falcao or a cavanni not demba ba

  •  

    James Tyler: Depth. Depth. Depth. Squad's exhausted. Someone to augment Suarez up top. Better quality on the wings, too. Then again, been saying that for years.

  •  

    [Comment from Peter]
    Mr Tyler who do you think Liverpool needs to pick up in the January transfer window?

  •  

    James Tyler: Sorry for the technical difficulties. Just getting settled. This is better. Questions galore while we wait for Rog and Steve.

  •  

    James Tyler: None. Arsene controls his own fate. He's done when he says he's done.

  •  

    [Comment from Zach]
    Any shot that Wenger is gone if Arsenal don't make UCL?

  •  

    James Tyler: Indeed. And talk of Theo Walcott flirting with an exit...

  •  

  •  

    [Comment from Kramer]
    With all of this talk of Arsenal upgrades, it seems more logical for the squad to be trimmed first.

  •  

    James Tyler: Arsenal needs to spend proper money on a proper striker. All the half measures have proven to not add up to a full RvP.

  •  

    [Comment from Felix Strek]
    Mr Tyler who do you think Arsenal needs to pick up in the January transfer window?

  •  

    James Tyler: Reading team to face Arsenal: Federici, Cummings, Shorey, Gorkss, Mariappa, Leigertwood, Tabb, Kebe, McAnuff, Hunt, Pogrebnyak

  •  

    James Tyler: Arsenal team v Reading: Szczesny, Sagna, Mertesacker, Vermaelen, Gibbs, Arteta, Wilshere, Cazorla, Oxlade-Chamberlain, Walcott, Podolski

  •  

    James Tyler: It's a dismal afternoon outside, but the Boot Room is a welcoming place.

  •  

    James Tyler: Will get you some lineups...

  •  

    [Comment from Pog]
    Christmas in the Premiership. Harry Redknapp dressed like Santa. Arsene Wenger dressed like the Krampus. Holiday cheer! Boot room!

  •  

    [Comment from Gooner]
    Our season starts today, lol.

  •  

    James Tyler: Before I forget... Press Pass genius and LFC legend Steve Nicol will be joining Rog and I for this one.

  •  

    James Tyler: Can't say I was but you never know.

  •  

    [Comment from Ian (LFC)]
    Are we expecting another 7-5 120 minute thriller?

  •  

    James Tyler: Meanwhile, three points for Reading would haul the ailing Royals up to.... 19th.

  •  

    James Tyler: Arsenal can jump up to fifth with a win! Fifth! Almost as good as a trophy.

  •  

    James Tyler: Thanks for joining us in the FC Boot Room for this one. Arsenal vs. Reading. Magic.

  •  

    James Tyler: Afternoon all!

 
COMPLETE TEAM CLOSE X
Goal Shot Video
  •  
  • Shots (on goal)

  • tackles

  • Fouls

  • possession

  • Reading

  • 9(3)

  • 12

  • 7

  • 33%

    67%

  • Arsenal

  • 26(13)

  • 16

  • 4

Match Stats

  • Reading
  • Arsenal
9(3) Shots (on goal) 26(13)
7 Fouls 4
3 Corner kicks 7
5 Offsides 3
33% Time of Possession 67%
1 Yellow Cards 1
0 Red Cards 0
8 Saves 1