2016 - 2017

2016 - 2017

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Russell and Griffin Stoke Injury Doubts Ahead of Match At Leicester

It is to be hoped that both Griffin (neck) and Russell (calf) recover in time and get to put in an appearance against Leicester City. Both had fine games against Norwich on Saturday.

Monday, October 30, 2006

Ricardo Fuller

A thought or two about Stoke's 26 year old Jamaican forward......

First, at around £500,000, he is beginning to look like a particularly sharp piece of business by Manager Tony Pulis.

Second the way he took his goal against Norwich on Saturday marked something that we have not had at Stoke for a while : a striker who does NOT panic and shoot wildly wide or over the top if the goalmouth beckons.

From our viewpoint on Saturday he seemed to be closed down as he moved along the 6 yard line, not once, but twice. He had the cool and confidence to push the ball each time before popping it skillfully into the net.

Hopefully he will steer clear of injury.....if he does then Pulis's prediction of 15 to 20 goals this season will not be far wide of the mark.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Stoke Feast On Traditional Norfolk Canary Pie :Stoke City 5 Norwich 0

You will not find this recipe in any of Delia's cookbooks. This was a well deserved victory for Stoke, although the scoreline might be a little flattering. Such was Stoke's industry ( and at times imagination) that they outplayed a Norwich side that has done quite well since Nigel Worthington left. The Canaries were made to look very ordinary indeed.

Once again there was enterprise and inspiration from on loan Lee Hendrie ( another goal, and approaching hero status after just a few short weeks at the club !!) and steady dependability from Salif Diao. Again,as in other matches recently, these players brought out the best in those around them. Daryl Russell was a revelation against his former club, and Luke Chadwick had his best game for a long while ( certainly since early last season when he was playing for a contract).To add icing to their cake both of them scored.

There can be no doubting the class of Higginbottom at the centre of Stoke's defence.His ability to play the ball out of defence constructively is a considerable asset to the team. Leaving aside the petulance which Hoefkens showed when deposed by Higginbottom as penalty taker (to be fair to him, the job he had done successfully since he took over last season after one or two Gallagher penalty misses) the Belgian player had an excellent afternoon with some good overlapping runs and some slick one two passing.He has bags of talent, and it would be sad if he leaves the club in January, as seems increasingly likely.

One of those matches that you did not want to end!

Friday, October 27, 2006

Jimmy McIlroy .. Missed Birthday..75 on Wednesday

Jimmy was a classy player, one of Stoke ManagerTony Waddington's shrewd acquisitions in 1963.Over 30 when he signed he had the ability to make things happen on the pitch, particularly with his incisive passes. Picked up from Burnley- where he still enjoys cult status - the Northern Irish international served Stoke well.

Link: Clarets Mad

Ade Akinbiyi Training Ground Altercation

Life's never dull with ex- Stokie Ade Akinbiyi about. Training ground incident at Sheffield Utd involving AA and Claude Davis looks like a windup that got out of hand. Mention made in reports of a razor being involved

Makes AA's sit- in outside John Rudge's Office at The Britannia, not many months ago, seems quite tame by comparison!!

Link : Daily Mail Friday 27th Oct 2006

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Goallie Needed at Stoke City FC

Manager Tony Pulis is clearly not going to let anyone rest on their laurels. His earlier comments about necessary change suggested that it might be journeymen players he would be seeking to move on.

The current N0.1 goalkeeper Steve Simonsen has had some impressive games, often making sure that points earned by the team were kept in the bag with reaction saves.However there have been times when he has appeared less than convincing, particularly on crosses.

Whilst not mentioning the keeper by name Pulis described Southampton's goal on Saturday as 'soft', referred to 'individual mistakes' as costing, and expressed disappointment at 'not keeping a clean sheet.When asked to comment on a good save that had been made by the keeper, he didn't concur.

So we perhaps shouldn't be surprised by what appeared in the 'Evening Sentinel' last night

'Stoke City are stepping up their search for a second goalkeeper to join Steve Simonsen at the Britannia Stadium.'

"We have been looking for another keeper for some while," said Pulis, "it's not something that we've been sweeping under the carpet.But there's no doubt that competition is the best way to keep people in good form and not fall into the trap of drifting down easy street."

"You need competition for all positions, but goalkeeper is a particularly crucial area because if there is a mistake there, nine times out of 10 it's a goal, often a winning goal."

Monday, October 23, 2006

Stoke City Away Card Scheme

It is pleasing to hear from Tony Scholes, Chief Executive at Stoke CityFC, that ultimately the Away Card Scheme may be discontinued, although he did not put a timescale to it. Certainly this move would be expected to increase Stoke's away following,which would be welcome.

He was speaking at the end of an interview with Radio Stoke dealing with football banning orders.With regard to these he asked for some perspective. Although Stoke statistically were held to be 4th worst in the country the bulk of the (50 of the 58 total) orders related to 2 matches: one involving England v Wales at Manchester in 2004, the other a cup match Stoke v Birmingham in early 2006.Very little trouble had been experienced at all other matches home and away involving Stoke.

Radio Stoke Interview:
Tony Scholes on Football Banning Orders

Friday, October 20, 2006

Wembley Stadium...Ready For The Next FA Cup Final

Looks like the 'When Will Wembley Stadium Be Finished Saga' is finally heading for a conclusion. It should be the venue for the 2007 Cup Final all being well.

Remember these words from the WS website:

"How much will the new stadium cost? The entire Wembley Stadium project will cost £757 million, including WNSL's contribution to the redevelopment of local transport infrastructure. "

"How do these costs breakdown? • The purchase of the land and early design fees cost £120 million.• The basic cost of building the stadium is £352 million • Demolishing the old stadium and fitting out the new will cost £99 million.• The contribution to local infrastructure improvements is £21 million.• Financing the project, management and other costs amount to £165 million."

"What is the possibility of cost over-runs and who would be responsible? The contract with Multiplex Constructions UK is fixed-price. The cost of any overruns will be borne by them. "

A s we all know there has been an overrun with the Aussie construction firm Multiplex, and Wembley Stadium blaming each other.Multiplex were looking for £100m over and above the fixed contract price of £458 to finish off the work.Reluctantly the FA are now to pay a compromise additional £40m to the firm for final work. Final price tag in excess of £800m.

Am I the only one to be just a little concerned about everything being ready for the Olympic Games in 2012??

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Stoke City 2 Sunderland 1

Great night at the Britannia Stadium.....atmosphere and crowd reaction to the team's efforts brilliant....a goal down at halftime, but then a purple patch 10 minutes into the second half,with goals from Hendrie and Pericard, bringing the 3 points. Nail biting last 15 minutes or so as the team seemed to drop back deeper into defence, although that had a lot to do with concerted Sunderland pressure with particular danger and crosses coming in from the left.

Delap started the game - his first at home - brightly,but was injured in a collision with Sunderland's Elliot. It is upsetting and sad to see any player stretchered from the pitch.From the stands the injury looked serious,and if later rumours are to be believed he has a leg broken in two places.It can only be hoped that he makes a swift and full recovery.

The loan players who remained on the pitch -Hendrie, Griffin,and Diao- made a major contribution to the win : Hendrie with his excellent drilled shot plus all action approach, Diao with his calm unhurried economical (laid back?) style, and simple but effective passes. Probably best of all is that both of these players , plus Griffin have had the effect of bringing the best out of the players that we already have.Russell is a revelation...Sidibe seems so much sharper.

Definite grounds for increasing optimism.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Championship Highlights

Watching the highlights on TV what was really impressive was the quality of the Stoke goals scored against Leeds,with attack midfield and defenders all contributing. Has Mr. Pulis answered the question...where are the goals going to come from? Can't wait until tomorrow's fixture against Sunderland to see if this really is the kickstart that the season needed.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Leeds Utd 0 Stoke City 4

Died and gone to Heaven.One swallow does not make a summer but....not only did they take the lead today but they had every intention of increasing it by all accounts. No way back for Leeds,unlike teams in earlier away matches this season.Loanees all made a substantial contribution.....and Fuller 2 in 2....if he stays fit could he be our first20 goal a season striker for a good while? Sincerely hope so.

Some Guarded Optimism

With the three loan acquisitions Lee Hendrie,Salif Diao, and Rory Delap to call on at Leeds tomorrow hopefully Stoke will show more midfield creativity than of late.It will be interesting to see who is omitted. Brammer quite likely..then who? Certainly good to see the message boards and also Radio Stoke's 'Praise and Grumble' more optimistic. Fingers crossed for a good result.

England Never Looked Likely

Somehow not only a disappointing but a dispiriting performance by the England...quite spoiled my day. Lots in talk and print about the system,but I think David Platt had it right when he said that the system didn't really matter,but what did was passion from all the players. No blame to Robinson on the second goal bobbles happen..think he was out of position for the first Croatian goal though. Rooney seemed sharper- which is a plus-though not back to his best.

Theo Walcott

Caught the highlights of Germany v England U 21 late last night. Really sound performance from England with Walcott's goals being the icing on the cake.Having seen the guy's pace and supreme finishing I am tempted to say that Sven selecting him for the World Cup was not at all premature.He is one of those talents where age is irrelevant...he's good enough now.Had he got off the bench in June I sense he would have surprised a few people and maybe even reshaped our fortunes.

Tony Pulis Interview With Radio Stoke

Read some doomster comments on the Oatcake message board again last night.Managed to listen to the interview tonight.Most of what the manager had to say in the 10 minute interview made sense......certainly the plea that we need to be patient.
(Needs free RealPlayer)
Tony Pulis Interview