These words from the BBC Midlands Radio reporter at the match say it all.Another dull and ultimately disappointing match at The Britannia Stadium.A fair estimate would be that Stoke had 80% of the possession,and spent a considerable proportion of the match in the visitors half.
Some idea of how they used it can be gained from the fact that the visiting keeper made his first save in the 70th minute.All that Stoke had to show by way of real goal threat was one Sidibe header cleared off the line.Barnsley defended stoutly and in depth.Once again Stoke could find no real answers to this and despite some tidy approach football, at times, they showed little real penetration.
By contrast Barnsley converted their one and only chance just before halftime.Their breakaway, after Stoke lost the ball in the visitors half,led to a quality goal skilfully taken by Hungarian international Ferenczy.
Despite much huff and puff from Stoke throughout the second half the result did not look in any real doubt.Currently they cannot field anyone capable of putting the ball into the net.
The visitors by contrast have the services of striker Ferenczy,who has played 5 times for them since signing at the very end of the January transfer window,and in the last 3 matches (including this one) has scored 4 goals.
Are there any positives? Fortune still looks to be a player worth pursuing for the future.Griffin and Higginbottom look what they are...a class apart from most of their teamates, the former winning man of the match once again.Simonsen only had to pick the ball out of the net.Hoefkens had a tidy game and showed real determination to make things happen for Stoke.Eustace is looking better each match,but needs to be looking to play the incisively forward more frequently.
Diao and Hendrie are not as influential as they were in their first coming.Lawrence is a major disappointment lately....increasingly it seems Roy Keane is a good judge of a player...to sell.
Stoke Team: Simonsen ,Hoefkens ,Fortune ,Higginbotham ,Griffin ,Russell (Rooney ,61 ) ,Diao ,Matteo (Eustace ,23 ) ,Lawrence (Martin ,83 ) ,Hendrie ,Sidibe
Subs not used: Hoult,Zakuani,