2016 - 2017

2016 - 2017

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Brammer Gone...Duberry To Follow?

Yesterday Dave Brammer signed on a permanent deal with Millwall...will Stoke City Captain Michael Duberry follow him out given the interest from Premiership Reading?

Link: Sentinel

Monday, January 29, 2007

Lee Hendrie

Blackburn reportedly no longer seeking to acquire further midfield cover.

From earlier reports it would seem that just leaves Sheffield United as the only Premiership team openly expressing an interest in Lee.

Perhaps today will bring us the good news we are hoping for on this front.

Link : Sentinel

Fergie Forecasts Foster Future

Sky Sports News....Alex Ferguson confidently predicts ex-Stokie Ben Foster will be England's No.1 keeper.

Sky Sports Link

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Stoke Not Really At The Races ! Fulham 3 Stoke City 0

Not many places between these teams in the leagues at the moment,but the gulf is obvious. 2-0 would have been a fairer reflection on the match,given more than a suspicion of offside in Fulham's final goal.That said,at times,incisive Fulham players made Stoke look decidedly sluggish.Uncharacteristic mistakes by our defenders did not help the cause.

Confirmation,if we needed it,of the wisdom of Pulis'statement not so long ago that Stoke are still very much a work in progress, and that we should not get carried away by our own inflated expectations.

This reality check will have done us no harm as we go into the final part of our league programme, and for the more distant future too.As Tony Pulis said when interviewed after the match...if we were going to have an off day then it was better in the cup than in the remaining 17 league matches.

Reading his expression I couldn't help thinking that he was actually pleased that yesterday's distraction from the main business in hand was now out of the way!!

Bring on Ipswich...and normal service!

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Solved? - Mystery Of Spy Plane Over Manchester United's Training Ground.

Alex Ferguson speaks of a man in a 'Biggles'hat spying from a plane over MU's training ground....almost certainly it was Tony Pulis.

Friday, January 26, 2007

The Fulham Independent....Messageboard

Just a brief look tonight reveals the same sort of concerns that we have had on occasions....re signings,ticketing,and so forth.Sad to see that now distant past indiscretions by a few less thoughtful Stokies still colour opposing fans view of us.A real shame.

One posting concerns itself with the need for a club song :

"Song for Fulham -- 70s Man, Friday, January 26, 06:29:51pm
One thing mentioned earlier in the week on this Board was the unimaginative chanting at Fulham. We desperately need our own song: Stoke have Delilah and we really need to find one for ourselves."

LINK : The Fulham Independent

Hoefkens Staying...And Fingers Crossed on Hendrie

Happy that Carl Hoefkens has decided against moving to FC Bruges,and is staying at Stoke City.A matter of quality in depth here,to make sure that we have sufficient players to sustain the current push toward the top.

The situation with Lee Hendrie seems to be more problematic.Hopefully in due course it will be resolved in Stoke's favour.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

On Cloud Nine!!!!

Official confirmation by Stoke City FC website that Salif Diao has left Liverpool and signed up with us until the end of the season.

Young Man Utd winger Lee Martin has joined on loan until the end of the season.

Plenty of positive noises emanating from the club indicating that other quality players will be joining Stoke before the transfer deadline on January 31st......

It just gets better and better...

Sadly Hoefkens will be leaving, it seems, to return to Belgium....but from what we have seen of Wilkinson recently a ready made replacement is to hand.

Stoke City Interested In Lee Martin From Manchester United

Small item in today's Daily Mail suggests that Stoke are pursuing an interest in 19 year old winger Lee Martin of Manchester United( according to Wikipedia he recently returned from a successful loan spell at Rangers though this, was to a degree, affected by injuries)with a view to possibly playing in the Cup match against Fulham this Saturday.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Sidibe's Goal Hot Streak Predicted Last October !!!

A psychic Stoke City fan, who wishes to remain anonymous, foresaw Marmady Sidibe's current goal fest way back in October 2006.So far he has not given any prediction on promotion in May.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

More Great News From Stoke City FC !!

Sentinel carries news of Salif Diao's return,Brammer's departure,and,tantalisingly,still a good prospect of Lee Hendrie rejoining the Potters......(But... "Blackburn Rovers are to make a £1million bid for Aston Villa midfielder Lee Hendrie - Daily Star")

LINK: The Sentinel

Oatcake Messageboard.....Spot On Not_Nick_H !!

(Click Image to Enlarge)

Monday, January 22, 2007

Disappointing...But Not Disastrous

Stoke failed to capitalise on a healthy 2-0 halftime lead.After outplaying highly placed Preston North End,they failed to take 3 points or even, in the end, salvage one.

Stoke clearly impressed Preston fans, but then faded to concede defeat albeit to a last minute goal.

To listen to some Stoke fans the end of the season,if not the world, is nigh.As things stand it is not all bad news.The club are still only a whisker from the play off places.Griffin and Matteo will make major positive contributions.We can be confident that other quality imports will arrive before the transfer deadline given just a little luck.

Positive moves would include giving Rooney more opportunities up front rather than persist with Pericard,and bringing in another goalkeeper to put some pressure on Simonsen.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Griffin and Matteo Signed Up By Stoke

Details to be finalised,but both should be available away at Preston tomorrow.

LINK : Sentinel

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Oops There Goes Another One!!

Is It The Pitch? Is It The Studs? Is It The Players & A Question Of Balance?
Leaving aside the 'dying swan routines',is it my imagination or do more players fall down more often than they used to during matches?

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Stoke City 1 Wolverhampton Wanderers 1 : A Fair Result In Difficult Conditions.

Weather conditions at The Britannia Stadium were not conducive to precision football.The wind was blustery,variable in direction,and unpredictable.The ball was played in the air quite a lot by both teams.Once it was actually up there,there was no certainty about where it would come down...sometimes carried forward,sometimes held up, falling short of where the players expected it to drop.

That said the teams managed to produce an entertaining,at times exciting,but always watchable game for the 15,882 fans,with the draw being a fair result.Both sides hit the woodwork in the first half,Stoke's Fuller hitting the post,Kightly the bar from distance for Wolves.

Both goals came from set pieces,which in itself was not surprising,with the swirling wind making defending more difficult and less predictable than it would normally be.Both were scored by defenders,Collins opening for Wolves from a corner,and Clint Hill equalising for Stoke in the 85th minute from a Liam Lawrence free kick.

Salif Diao had steady game in what will hopefully not be his last appearance for the Potters.Fuller looked really lively at times,but got a booking which will take him out of next week's match against former club Preston.

Sidibe got into quite a state in the first half clashing frequently with Breen,at one stage looking favourite for a sending off.The red mists had cleared in the second half and he remained a difficult handful for the Wolves defence.He will rue the missed chance in front of the Wolves goal,when, set up by Fuller,instead of blasting the ball into the net,he seemed - inexplicably - to attempt a (as it turned out.. scuffed) pass back to Fuller who was more heavily marked,and the ball was cleared.

Sweeney was brought on for Pericard 10 minutes into the second half,and made no noticeable difference in the 25 minutes that he was on.Subbed by Rooney, Sweeney - clearly in a huff - left the pitch direct for the dressing room,bypassing the manager.Disappointed he may have been,but there is no doubt that the introduction of Rooney made much more of an impact on the game.

Wilkinson made a confident contribution when he replaced the injured Hoefkens at right back.

During the match there were real doubts about the performance of Premiership referee,Peter Walton, but on reflection it would be fair to say that he handled the 'derby' niggle and potential flashpoints pretty well.

Given the other results yesterday,it is as you were,with Stoke remaining in 7th spot.They are definitely missing the creative contributions of the likes of Hendrie and Griffin,but we can only be patient as player situations are resolved higher up the food chain, hopefully to Stoke's benefit.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Cardiff Ban At Wolves

Take a look at this very important link on The Oatcake Messageboard,its thread started by Stokie Malcolm Clarke,Chair of the nationally representative Football Supporters Federation.Some WIDELY important principles at issue here, which should be of concern to us all(whether we wish to follow our team to away matches or not).

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Carl Hoefkens....Going Or Staying ?

Tonight's Sentinel runs the piece that we all expected on Carl Hoefkens....expected because of the difficulties experienced earlier this season before he made right back his own again in the Stoke City first team (and therefore seemed pretty settled once again to most of us).

LINK :Evening Sentinel

Contrast this with Carl's recent interview on Radio Stoke

Carl Hoefkens Interview

A 7 minute interview which, from about 5 minutes in, touches on Carl's future.Have a listen again.My impression is that he seems pretty happy and positive about things at Stoke.Clearly his own man,he would fancy a tilt at the Premiership,and for me there was no indication that that would be away from Stoke.

What do you think?

Monday, January 08, 2007

Stoke Last Ball Out !! FA Cup Fourth Round Draw

Had to wait right to the end of the draw to hear the pairing of interest to us : Fulham/Leicester v Stoke City FC .

Full draw:
Arsenal v Bolton
West Ham v Watford
Bristol City or Coventry City v Hull City or Middlesbrough
Chelsea v Nottingham Forest
Chester City or Ipswich Town v Swansea
Cardiff City or Tottenham v Southend Utd or Barnsley
Barnet or Colchester v Peterborough or Plymouth Argyle
Birmingham City or Newcastle United v Reading or Burnley
Derby County v Bristol Rovers
Sheffield Wednesday or Manchester City v Southampton
Crystal Palace v Preston North End
Manchester United v Portsmouth
Blackpool v Norwich City
Queens Park Rangers or Luton Town v Blackburn Rovers
Wolverhampton Wanderers or Oldham v WBA

Leicester City or Fulham v Stoke City

The ties will be played on Friday 26, Saturday 27 and Sunday 28 January.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Mighty Potters Into FA Cup 4th Round For The Second Year Running!!

The talk was of banana skins....Stoke often slip up against teams that they ought to beat in the Cup.Facing the 2004 Cup Finalists from Millwall in front of 8,000 fans, this match had the potential for an early exit for Stoke.

For much of this lacklustre game 0-0 looked the likeliest result....Stoke keeper Simonsen had to be alert to keep out a dipping volley from Ardley, whilst a header from Stoke's Eustace hit the Millwall bar. It was really good to see John Eustace back in the team.Some very neat touches reminded us of why he was brought to Stoke in the first place...on last night's evidence as he gains fitness - and if he avoids injury- he may soon begin to make a serious contribution in the Championship.

Was the appearance of Salif Diao in this match a straw in the wind with regard to him staying at Stoke beyond January either on a temporary or permanent basis ? Playing just the first half effectively cup ties him for Liverpool or other interested clubs for that matter. Think he might be staying...sincerely hope so!

Another plus from this match was the play of Vincent Pericard. He often appears to be disinterested , somehow off the pace, and clumsy, particularly in front of goal. Last night somebody or something got under his skin (there was a prolonged verbal -not particularly affable looking -exchange with Duberry at one point !!). The result was entirely beneficial for Stoke. He put himself about more, and began to shoot with some menace and increasing accuracy from distance.He might even have been slightly angry. Long may it continue if this is the result!

Crucially Pericard played his part in Stoke's opening goal, challenging for and getting his head onto the ball from Brammer's corner kick, sufficently to divert it across to the incoming Higginbottom. His shot across goal was going wide until Millwall's Marvin Elliot diverted it 90 degrees into his own net.

Stoke's second was typical Ricardo Fuller cool! He was played through (could it have been by Brammer again?).With four Millwall players converging on him he pushed a pass forward to Rooney who was clearly offside. The ball never reached him. As two defenders collided,the ball popped out to Fuller who, seemingly nonchalantly, lifted the ball over the goalkeeper as he came out and into the empty net. (Slight flutter...the assistant referee's flag went up and then - relief-down again.)

Late winning goals, both scored in the last 8 minutes, but Stoke Manager Tony Pulis was pleased with the win and felt that his team had dominated, particularly in the second half.He was not too bothered that chances had been missed, simply happy that the match (banana skin?) had been successfully negotiated.

Into the hat we go.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Inspirational Sven

Just getting over a nasty dose of flu - missed the Leeds game as a result - felt in need of a lift. What better than the crizzy present CD which offered " A personal selection of inspirational music" chosen by Sven. 3 boxed CD's - the box having a dark brown.....ominously, almost black cover! - of classical choices.

Hmm... didn't have to listen for very long to realise that this was hardly going to lift my spirits . Some tracks pleasant enough, but too many others positively dour and funereal.

Got me thinking about the recent world cup....we didn't do as well as we should have, and if Sven considered much of this lot inspirational then its not to difficult to see that he might have been wider of the mark on matters football than some of us realised at the time.

He identifies his favorite inspirational piece as Verdi's "Chorus of the Hebrew Slaves". (Tongue very much in cheek....) Was it played in the England dressing room before the players came out to face Portugal perhaps?