2016 - 2017

2016 - 2017

Saturday, September 26, 2009



.......well he did today,and to my mind put on a footballing masterclass,pulling United's strings throughout the game:short passes,long passes,changing the point of attack in an instant,all with an economy of effort.

Stoke's performance was not what we have come to expect,seemed somewhat disjointed,and lacked the bite that we had shown against Chelsea two weeks earlier.It must not be forgotten that United are a leading world -never mind European - side,yet we held them for 60 minutes,albeit penned back in our own half for much of that time.

United did not really make their superiority tell until Giggs came on for Nani (55mins).On 62 minutes Fletcher fed the ball to Giggs on the left,and his simple ball across the Stoke goal provided Berbatov with a tap in for the opener.Gigg's took a rightside free kick on 77minutes,the ball being headed home by O'Shea.

Game over....that was it.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009



Much changed Stoke ambled through the first half shipping a goal to Vaughan(40) just before halftime.A second goal by Taylor(47) conceded just after the break finally woke the Potters from their collective slumber.

Tuncay won a penalty chance to reduce the arrears but Liam Lawrence was unable to convert(55).With Beattie and Tuncay on the pitch I wonder why he was the preferred taker.

With subs Fuller and Etherington coming on Stoke livened up getting themselves back into the game through Higginbotham's headed goal(75) from an Etherington corner from the left.Next from a Lawrence right side corner a clever goal by Etherington himself(78),running across The Seasiders keeper to flick home Tuncay's excellent header on into the six yard box.

Stoke took the lead through Fuller(80).Again Tuncay was involved taking a pass from Fuller,and despite it being behind him he poked a return ball which the striker netted with aplomb.Within a minute Burgess brought Blackpool back on terms.

In 5 minutes of added on time Griffin,Captain on the night, struck a powerful winner....4 goals in the last quarter of the game. Wow!!

Apart from the win,and progresssing to the 4th Round,the really big plus was the prominent part played by Tuncay.In addition to winning the penalty he provided assists for the Etherington and Fuller goals.Expect to see him feature against Manchester United on Saturday.The only negative, Ricardo Fuller having to limp off with a groin strain shortly before the end of the match.

Sunday, September 20, 2009



Stoke were the better of the two teams in what was overall a poor game.That said they looked to be heading to all three points until Collins inexplicable foul conceded a late penalty which Taylor converted for the home side.

Ricketts seemed to be going nowhere down the edge of the penalty box,when instead of shepherding him away Collins put his studs in just below the Bolton man's knee.On another day this could well have been a sending off offence,it certainly did not look pretty.I wonder exactly what was going through Collin's mind at the time,but whatever,the nett effect was to rob the Potter's of a deserved victory.

Dave Kitson's renaissance in a Stoke shirt continues.His confident 53rd minute strike,his third in four games,looked to have set us up for another win,but c'est la vie it was not to be!

At the death heroics from the Bolton keeper Jääskeläinen - amid chaos in the Bolton six yard box caused by a Delap throw in - prevented Liam Lawrence from tapping in to restore our lead.

So 8 points from 6 games and 10th in the Prem table.....Man U next in town !

Sorensen ,Huth ,AbdoulayeFaye ,Collins ,Shawcross ,Whelan ,Delap ,Etherington (Lawrence ,63 ) ,Whitehead ,Kitson (Pugh ,78 ) ,Fuller (Beattie ,89)
Subs not used Tuncay,Higginbotham,Cort,Simonsen,

Saturday, September 12, 2009



Chelsea are without doubt a class outfit.Last season they hardly broke sweat as they cruised to a two goal win.Today was very much different as they had to work really hard for the points.Fair enough Stoke rode their luck at times,but their efforts deserved a point!

Stoke took a fortunate first half lead as Abdy Faye headed home with Cech in no man's land.Prodigious Stoke effort kept the visitors at arms length until Drogba crashed home an equaliser deep into the 8 minutes of injury time.

The second half resembled the Alamo with constant Chelsea attacks being rebuffed by a valiant Stoke rearguard.Home resistance finally cracked in the third minute of added on time,Malouda netting the all important winning goal.

Tony Pulis's master plan was undone by injuries and the sun.His Land of the Giants strategy worked well in the first half.Midfielders Delap,Whelan,and Whitehead,ahead of a backline of Wilkinson ,Huth,Faye,Shawcross,and Collins,with Kitson and Beattie up front,closed the visitors down quickly.With little space to operate in they were more than a little flustered for a period in the first half.

Injuries to Sorensen and Beattie used up two of our subs,as well as generating substantial added on time.Toward the end of the game on a very hot day with some of the players visibly wilting Chelsea were able to bring on three not inconsiderable pairs of fresh legs Essien,Anelka,and Belleti,to Stoke's one in Tuncay.So despite Stoke's defensive resistance there was that feeling that Chelsea would convert one of the many chances that were creating against the fast tiring Potters.

Major disappointment then but how far we have come in twelve months....this time pushing the prospective Prem and maybe European Champions to noticeably up their game to take the points.

Proud of you lads.....

Tuesday, September 01, 2009


Danny Collins from Sunderland for £2.75m would appear to be our last signing before this transfer deadline,the only outgoing player super sub Sonko on loan to Hull City.

But consider this.....

"Is it just me, or is the gap between the Big Four and the rest of the Premier League closing all the time? I mean obviously Man City/Tottenham/Villa/Everton etc have aspirations to get into that top four, but with clubs like Sunderland and Stoke really strengthening over the summer, is the top flight changing shape before our very eyes? "

Jonathan Stevenson,BBC Sport